John Oliver took on the Senate torture report on his Sunday HBO show Last Week Tonight with the help of Helen Mirren. Many of the passages were difficult to get through, but thanks to Mirren’s Oscar-winning voice it was a little bit easier to hear. In the end, Oliver had one clear message he wanted to communicate to America – torture doesn’t work, and it says so in the government’s own report.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the full contents of the U.S. Senate torture report are still classified, but a 500-page summary is available on Amazon for $16.20 or in the public domain for free. Some sections are graphic, even when read by Helen Mirren.
“Majid Khan’s ‘lunch tray’ consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins was ‘pureed’ and rectally infused.”
“Just try not to think about that the next time you eat hummus,” quipped John Oliver before he apologized to Sabra brand hummus.
According to Rolling Stone, Oliver said that five detainees were forced to undergo “rectal rehydration,” another was sat down for a game of Russian Roulette. One of the more shocking cases was that of Gul Rahman, who was entirely innocent, picked up by mistake and left to die chained to a wall. The official cause of death was hypothermia.
At that point in Oliver’s comedy bit, he needed some of Helen Mirren’s refreshing voice. She recited the children’s classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Unfortunately for the comedian, even that tale ended in rectal infusion.
John Oliver explained after one of Mirren’s torture report renditions that although the summary is 500 pages, and no one wants to read it, there are some parts that really need to be discussed – particularly the part that explains that torture didn’t work.
The late night host cited a poll from CBS News that reported 57 percent of Americans believed that torture sometimes/often resulted in reliable intelligence, a fact refuted by the Senate report. Oliver thinks the widespread misinformation comes from TV and movies.
“Torture is one of those things that is advertised as something that works, but doesn’t, like a Ford truck, or all those weird bottles of horny goat weed available at your local bodega. But maybe the reason that so many of us innately believe that torture works is because it does… on TV.”
The host pointed out that even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had used the TV show 24 as proof that torture could work.
“Torture works on 24 and in movies because it has to. It’s a dramatic device to move the plot along. But ask terror experts and they’ll tell you it’s one of those movie tropes that has no basis in reality.”
See below for the full clip from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight including Helen Mirren’s reading from the torture report.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]