The Colbert Report

Season 5 Episode 61

Paul Rieckhoff

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM May 05, 2009 on Comedy Central
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Paul Rieckhoff
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Tonight Stephen welcomes the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and author of Chasing Ghosts: A Soldier's Fight for America from Baghdad to Washington, Paul Rieckhoff. Also, Stephen talks with former Supreme Court clerk and Slate publisher Cliff Sloan.
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    • TRIVIA (1)

      • "Purple-Mounted" returns to the opening credits, after being bumped for one day by "346X", a J.J. Abrams inspired code hinting toward Stephen's upcoming trip to the Persian Gulf.

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Stephen: Tonight: Who should be the new Supreme Court justice? Here's a hint: I'm two days away from an online degree. Then: Should we hold torture trials? It'll just open a can of worms…which we can then use against a detainee with worm phobia. Plus my guest Paul Rieckhoff runs an organization supporting veterans of Iraq & Afghanistan. What about the war on Christmas? Hey, codebreakers! Here's a hint: Try harder. This is the Colbert Report.

      • Stephen: Nation, if we don't resolve this issue, these patriots reputations could be damaged forever, which brings us to tonight's Word: Captain Kangaroo Court. Folks, there is only one way to clear the names of these individuals: (New names?) A torture trial. Now a lot of my colleagues in punditry think torture trials could never be fair. Edward R. Zombie explains.

        [Video: Brit Hume: I predictt…based on what you're saying that any prosecutions that come out of this will be a total farce….It will be a series of grand inquisitions…]

        Stephen: And grand inquisitions should only be used for rooting out communists and or consensual hummers. But still employed Bill Kristol sees this crisis as an opportunity.

        [Viedo: Bill Kristol: I think now that the door's open, I say bring it on. Let's have a big national debate on this. Let's have Steve Bradbury confront his accusers, who are one tenth the lawyers he is….]

        Stephen: Yes! We must finally get the answer to the most troubling question of the entire torture scandal! Who's the best lawyer. (And why is Bill Kristol still employed?) So, I folks, am all for a trial, but it has got to be the right kind of trial. (I hear military tribunals are fair) And you know, I heard some news this past weekend that gave me an idea. On Sunday, Condi Rice visited an elementary school where she was asked about enhanced interrogation policies by a fourth grade boy. (Could have been Stephanopoulos) Of course, Secretary Rice responded.

        [Video: Condoleezza Rice: President Bush was very clear that he wanted to do everything that he could to protect the country….But he was also very clear that we would do nothing, nothing that was against the law.]

        Stephen: And by the law of double negatives, nothing nothing means everything. (Two wrongs make no rights) Well, this kid, folks I'm telling you, this little kid gave me a great idea. Our torture trials should be conducted by children. (PRECEDENT: Rubber v Glue) You see, kids have no political agenda and they ask great questions like: Do dogs go to heaven and: When is it appropriate to abandon the values of our country in order to save our country. (When you move out of this house, young lady) Kids will accept: Because I told you so as a legitimate answer. (Also accept: "Just watch this Finding Nemo DVD.") So let's have, Rice, Cheney and everyone else explain the nuance of their rationale to a jury of children. For example:

        Kids, Mr. Bunny was a bad, bad bunny, and he had information that President Raccoon needed. So the President got his lawyer squirrels write a magic letter which made everything he did perfectly legal. Then, Mr. Bunny was strapped to an incline bench with a blanky over his nose and mouth and Willy the Whale squirted water into his face so that Mr. Bunny thought he was drowning. But remember, President Raccoon had a magic letter so it was not a violation of Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions. Then he married a princess. The end!

        So, I say let the children decide whether these men and women should finally be free from a life sentence of relentless accusations about their character and actions. (President Raccoon should have pardoned them) After all, remember, children are the future and if we explain torture to them right, it will be a future where torture isn't wrong. And that's the Word.

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