Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Colbert's WØRD: The Dark Side

I just got home from the YearlyKos Convention in Chicago yesterday evening, in time to catch a splendid new Colbert Report, including a segment specifically about YearlyKos, further extending Bill O'Reilly's comparison between the DailyKos folks and the Nazis and KKK. However, what especially caught my eye was the WØRD segment, talking about the Bush administration's push for absolute and unlimited power in the name of fighting terrorism.

[video no longer available on]

Transcript follows below the fold.

The Colbert Report, 2007-08-07, ©2007 Comedy Central.
Of course, there was another big story over the weekend, folks. President Bush signed into law a bill passed by Congress that allows him to monitor the e-mails and international phone calls of U.S. citizens without a warrant — even citizens not suspected of having terrorist ties. I believe there are three of those left: Alberto Gonzales, Toby Keith, and my dog Gipper. [to the dog:] Who's not a terrorist? Who's not a — you're not a terrorist! No, you're not! You're not a terrorist!

Now, I'll admit this sounds great at first: 16 Democrats in the Senate and 41 in the House siding with the Republicans, the President getting what he wants, and terrorists are now forced to revert to smoke signals. But, Nation, legalizing warrantless surveillance is actually a dangerous step backwards, and it brings us to tonight's WØRD:

The Dark Side. Folks, just five days after September 11, the Vice President Cheney told us what it would take to win the War on Terror, explaining, "We have to work the Dark Side, if you will. Spend time in the shadows..."• The Dark Side
Exactly: it's just like math class. When you're confronted with a difficult problem, turn the lights off.• Then, Torture A Nerd For The Answer
You see, the Vice President knew we cannot win this war if we go by the book.• Or The Constitution
You do whatever it takes, you go beyond what's legal, you go past what's acceptable.• You Shoot A Man In The Face
But, thanks to this new law, all that Dark Side is now allowed, and we know doing what's allowed is not enough.• Nobody Tempted By Approved Fruit
Now, tragically, folks, we are illuminating more and more of the Dark Side every day. Now that indefinite detention, enhanced interrogation, and domestic spying are acceptable, it is getting harder and harder to find those things that we as Americans theoretically cannot bring ourselves to do.• Vote?
I mean, what's left that's beyond the pale? Hollowing out enemy combatants and using them as hand puppets to act out episodes of 24? We shouldn't be even able to conceive of the actions necessary to win this conflict.• Troop Withdrawal?
But, Nation, we must. I am calling on you, the heroes, to imagine scenes of physical depravity and shocking illegality, quickly, before Congress legalizes them, because, if we keep allowing the things that we as a people have agreed we shouldn't be doing, who's gonna win this war?• The Dark Side

And that's the WØRD. We'll be right back.
The argument isn't whether the government should be able to listen in on terrorists, it's how we make sure it's only the terrorists the government is trying to listen in on. That's the whole point of warrants, the whole point of the Fourth Amendment, and a large part of the whole point of the American Revolution. In order to prevail against the terrorists, the United States needs to shine light onto the Dark Side, not expand it into our homes.

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