We are always awesome, whatever evil we do

Another The Daily Show newcomer Hasan Minhaj, making just his second appearance on the show, spoke about how despite its history of wreaking death and destruction all over the world, and despite the depravities revealed most recently in the torture report, the US is still, and always will be, the greatest, noblest, most humane and moral country in the world, facts be damned.

Stephen Colbert also reflected on the media journalists and pundits’ attempts to put a favorable gloss on the torture report and trying to act as if this is ancient history, like the Spanish Inquisition.

Colbert also interviews Tom Blanton of the NSA (this is the good NSA, the National Security Archive) who talks about where these torture practices originated and how the people involved knew from the start that torture would not provide good information, how some of the people who were asked to do to simply could not because it was too awful, and yet the CIA went ahead anyway. He says that the report, using the CIA’s own documents, shows that every single one of the ‘success stories’ touted by the CIA was a lie.

(These clips aired on December 10, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. brucegee1962 says

    So I was explaining the findings of the torture committee to my students on the last day of class, even though it wasn’t related to anything we were studying, because they don’t read the news much, and I thought they ought to know.

    This response kind of sums up the American attitude, from when I told them about the CIA’s unusual use for hummus:
    “Well, I’m glad they didn’t use a food I actually like, since whatever they used would be ruined forever.”

  2. says

    “I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are… I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.”

    -- US vice-president George Bush Sr. during a presidential campaign function (2 Aug 1988), commenting on the USS Vincennes terrorist act against a civilian airliner, Iran Air Flight 655

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