Beyond Surreal: Stephen Colbert Joshes w/ fooking Michael Hayden on Late Night

David Walsh at was not amused at Hayden’s adorable performance and Colbert’s abject love for the CIA.  If there’s any further evidence one needs to see how Libruls learned to love the drone and the CIA , I can’t imagine it.  And no, I’d never known that Colbert had bought into the ‘Dems believe that Trump is a stooge of Putin’s meme, although I vaguely remember Hayden’s having signed a joint letter opposing Herr T and noting that he would be ‘the most reckless President in history.

“Hayden’s stature, among “left liberal” elements within the establishment such as Colbert, has risen in recent months because of his opposition to Trump’s 2016 presidential bid and his continued criticisms of Trump since the new administration took office. These forces are more than willing to overlook Hayden’s war crimes and crimes against American democracy because this spymaster and architect of US subversion and violence around the world considers Trump too “soft” on Russia.

Hayden baldly asserted that “in the 1970’s we took the authority to direct that action out of the hands of the president, and we put it in the hands of the federal court system.” He claimed that “as director of NSA, I’d have to go to the judge, and I’d have to prove to a level of probable cause that the intended target of the surveillance was either the agent of a foreign power or was involved in some sort of criminal activity.”

Of course, this is a lie. In the first place, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (or FISA Court) is a rubber stamp for the intelligence agencies’ demands, and, second, they simply bypass the court at will when necessary, as the Edward Snowden revelations and the recent CIA leaks make evident.

After providing Hayden with a platform from which to defend the unconstitutional NSA spying programs, Colbert got in a few cracks about Trump and his tweeting, with the retired Air Force general chiming in.”

Then Colbert shucks and jives some ridiculous questions pertaining to WikiLeaks’ new Vault 7 CIA exploits, giving the ever-abysmal Hayden a chance to deny (specifically) that Colbert’s Samsung teevee is spying on him, har har.

Hayden: “There are bad guys who have Samsung teevees, yanno.”  har har.

The rest of his critique contains other adorable parts of Hayden’s visits on other teevee shows, as well as his criminal war-mongering history, not limited to this:

“During his final days at the CIA, in the first weeks of the Obama administration, Hayden strongly opposed the release of the Bush Justice Department torture memos. In 2014, he bitterly denounced the Senate Intelligence Committee report that shed light on some of the CIA’s more brutal and sadistic methods, including “rectal feedings,” threats to rape children and family members, interrogation by hypothermia, etc. The report also revealed that Hayden had lied to members of the US Congress and others about the effectiveness of the CIA torture program and how many detainees it held.”

the rest is here.

Also up at today are ‘Trump administration invokes “state secrets” in CIA torture case’, and ‘US Attorney General Sessions praises Guantanamo as a “very fine place”’.

When at a ‘progressive’ website the proprietor had been bullish on either Oprah or George Clooney for Prez in the next cycle, I’d almost jived: ‘How about Stephen Colbert’, recalling his pretend run for NC Senator back in the day.  I’m no actually certain that I knew he’d replaced Letterman, who you may recall had on Rachel Maddow who spoke on Assange and WikiLeaks in sincerely uncomplimentary terms.

44 responses to “Beyond Surreal: Stephen Colbert Joshes w/ fooking Michael Hayden on Late Night

  1. maybe trump has gone off the deep end? wouldn’t be the 1st prezzie to do so.

    in the environment of fear, paranoia, suspicion, hyper-vigilance, and Stockholm dependency being manufactured in this society, Norman Bates’ self-diagnosis, “sometimes we all go a little crazy,” comes to mind. and maybe trump really is figuring out for the 1st time that it’s the Praetorian guard that invests a man in the imperial purple. Nixon does come to mind but his paranoia about the CIA was not w/o foundation.

    and maybe…and maybe…meanwhile, ground troops roll into Syria and the proud Obama tradition of bombing into starvation the poorest country in a region (Yemen) goes on as it has since…a long time.

    • i’m not getting why you asked your opening question, as the only trump admin narrative was the ‘state secrets’ link, which includes:

      “Among the CIA officials the government is seeking to shield from being forced to testify is Gina Haspel, named by President Trump to the post of deputy CIA director and confirmed by the US Senate. Haspel, a 32-year veteran of the agency, ran a CIA torture site in Thailand in 2002, during the Bush administration, where she oversaw the torture of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, both of whom were repeatedly waterboarded.

      She also gave the order in 2005 to destroy videotapes of the interrogation sessions at the Thai site.

      The administration, headed by a man who boasts of his enthusiasm for torture, including waterboarding, intervened in the case of Salim v. Mitchell, which is underway in Federal District Court in Spokane, Washington under the purview of Judge Justin Quackenbush. The suit was filed in 2015 by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, who survived a savage regime of CIA torture, and the family of Gul Rahman, who died at the Afghan site in 2002 after being left naked and shackled to a wall in the freezing cold.”

      but yeah, trump’s military has waaaaay upped O’s drone kills already. guess his non-interventionist promises were just more rubbish, eh?

      • just affirming that maybe the slant on trump hinted at and toyed with constantly by msm types, ie, he’s nuts, may be true. and that the origin of that derangement may not reside exclusively w/in his (or anyone’s) own cerebral neuro-transmitters.

        and then…so what? he’s got good health coverage. so he’s crazy. and?

        if the criteria for custodial restraint is harm to self and/or others…well fuck…

        • i suppose that ‘nuts’ is more of a medical term than a legal one, here, yes? is he sane enough to know what he’s doing w/ his policies and rule by tweet? beats me. but last night i got to imaging that he really is the president, and it flipped me out anew. aside from his rule, i began to see how dangerous a precedent his election set in that others might just emulate his cruel celebrity show acting and perfidious financial dealings, bailouts, yada, yada, in their quests to become ‘the leader of the free™ world’

          this psych analysis may be good for its purpose, but boring, really. i’d love it if the folks who read micro-expressions as on the ‘lie to me’ show could slow-mo some film of him to see what they see. or those who ready body language well. this paragraph in the atlantic piece did ring true to me, as i’ve seen it at websites lovin’ on him:

          “When individuals with authoritarian proclivities fear that their way of life is being threatened, they may turn to strong leaders who promise to keep them safe—leaders like Donald Trump. In a national poll conducted recently by the political scientist Matthew MacWilliams, high levels of authoritarianism emerged as the single strongest predictor of expressing political support for Donald Trump. Trump’s promise to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep illegal immigrants out and his railing against Muslims and other outsiders have presumably fed that dynamic.”

          • yes, I saw that article, started reading…and fell asleep. it can be fun to psycho-analyze prezzies and the like. what do lessers do but speak of their betters? it can also be “People” magazine for the bright set, a celebrity cult focusing on criticism rather than adulation, but still a celebrity cult. and of course we play fast & loose w/the medical & legal terms. (I would say the criteria for, e.g., “war criminal” are more secure than those for say, “narcissism.”)

            DT wouldn’t be a solid red-blooded patriotic apple pie USAian if he wasn’t a little crazy. and hey, what is to define madness but to be mad? anyway, a piece like The Atlantic one, in that its not truthful about DT’s *politics* or most else going on in the world, must be lacking in its analysis of the Trump psyche.

            on the paragraph you copied: what is an authoritarian? HRC acolytes are less authoritarian than the Trumpenators? the Trumpeteers? I don’t see it. I think even that statement is self-flattery for the liberals.

            • yeppers, boring, and all points well argued. ‘less authoritarian than the queen’s acolytes’, even. i see now that i was pinging my recent personal anecdotal experiences.

  2. Tragically the past is pretext for Colbert:

    (And, BTW Tricky Dick WAS Company since @ 11/22/63, even IN Dallas that DespiCIAble day.)

    • O, henry. but ye gods and little fishes. hayden’s visage is hard enough to take when it’s stern, but laughing hayden is just too chilling to handle.

      dinnae know either of those things about ‘your president is not a crook’, bruce.

  3. This may be a relevant point to introduce Thayer Dowd:

    Everything you know is shit.
    Everything you think is shit.
    Everything you have been taught is shit.
    Everything you say is shit.
    And everything you believe is shit…

    ~Thayer Dowd

    • lol. and who is thayer dowd, v arnold? this is rather relevant to a comment i’m working on for another venue….

      and i’d added this after posting a link to a hard-to-read essay by vltchek on his recent stay in afghanistan on the ‘war and more war’ report.

      ‘Amnesty’s Abuse of Rights Advocacy’, joseph thomas

      it’s thailand’s turn for their brand of love,thomas writes.

      • Joseph Thomas is correct re: Thailand. The U.S. deep state is alive and well here. The fooking NGO’s are everywhere and the Junta knows it. I think it’s the main reason Thailand is turning towards Russia and China.
        Ah, Thayer Dowd: He’s buried in a pioneer cemetery in S.E. Portland, Oregon. He comes in handy from time to time.

        • well if the junta read thomas, they certainly know, and good on him. i guess that for me those ‘champions of human rights’ that have such agendas bother me a hella lot; HRW, as well, of course. and clooney and friends, avaaz. but swear to goddess, some news report at the guardian yesterday actually quoted the ‘syrian human rights’ agency, which even the new yawk times admitted was…one guy in london or close, funded by…the UK.

          er…was that belief system of thayer’s chiseled on his tombstone by chance?

          • No, Thayer would never support such nonsense…

            • okay, i’ll bite. why not?

              • Had to think about that.
                I would say, that inherent in that saying, is a message; accept nothing other than what one knows from ones own life experiences. I would also argue it’s not nihilist; quite the opposite. Somewhat Zen like in outlook. Something akin to Chuang Tzu’s teachings.
                That’s about as far as I can take it…

          • er…was that belief system of thayer’s chiseled on his tombstone by chance?
            Sorry, I didn’t exactly answer that question.
            No, the tombstone had just his name, date born, and date died (which I do not remember). I’m pretty sure it was the 1800’s though.

  4. “…guess his non-interventionist promises were just more rubbish, eh?”

    Sadly I agree. And as apparently it is all fine and dandy that it’s up to Homeland Security to be checking my perfectly valid status as a naturalized citizen (so I am informed by both Congressman Lujan’s office and the DMV), I would say this country has gone to hell in a handbasket in no short order. And no, I don’t have my ID yet. I am still under scrutiny, and that’s perfectly fine of course, because I could have snuck in under the radar from New Zealand being an oldie who still thinks it was great we refused those nuclear ships that apparently must now come and go as they please. Rainbow Warrior and all that. (By the way, that’s my new party of one, the Rainbow Warrior party. Our headquarters are on a sunken reef somewhere off the northern coast of Aotearoa.)

    And as the Democrats seem unable to get their heads on straight, whilst the Greens seem to have disappeared into the woodwork, one wonders who is left to speak truth to power. Certainly not the press, and increasingly also voices diminished online – save a few heroic few, and you know who you are.

    I’m reminded of the food situation, actually. Back when they stopped putting butter in cookies and you had to read the labels before you bought anything, suck it up and just buy organic, lots of us, even poor folk like me, did. This is the same kettle of fish, only all the ingredients are currently toxic. And here’s the thing: we made them, the others, the one percent, recognize it too – we did that, the deplorables. I hear they want to whittle us down to just the ones needed – well, you crazies, do that at your peril. You need us more than you know.

    • ach, i’d almost written to see how your ‘case’ was going, then i’d seen you at MOA, and figured all must be well…for some silly reason. but ‘naturalized citizen’? i’d have sworn you’d written about taking your citizen oath; was that someone else entirely? if so, my apologies. and your previous dmv license doesn’t matter in the scheme of things? or is it ‘the new scheme of things’, rather, that matters?

      re: the T admin and war, you may gag when you even scan ‘the march café war and moar war report‘. it would be all too easy to blame it all on the shadow miitary, etc., to me.

      when i spy so many progressive essays on why and how to impeach (and i assume remove) online, i wonder what they’d think of rule by pence, don’t you? and the bernistas are trying to form a new party now, arrrggh. the trnn coverage of it yves smith cross-posted had more comments than you could shake a butterfly niet at, and mainly positive! (i was an outlier).

      well, re: toxic sandwiches: yes. and fukushima, monsanto, and climate change. funny thing though, those who are fomenting revolution in the main never answer the ‘what’s next?’ question. so easy to be agin’ somethin’, skate on the ‘what’re ya for?’ question.

      well, blessings on you, rainbow warrior. i like it.

      • Yes, that’s what naturalized citizen means, wendye – I did take my oath of citizenship, having been examined, documents verified, etc. etc. along with a thousand others at a mass swearing in ceremony in Albuquerque back in the day. So I felt not a little put out (and was physically put out) for my citizenship paper not to be recognized at the DMV, so I wrote my congressman, Ben Ray Luján and signed up to be represented by his office, which just called me to say oh, it will be a few days (so did the DMV) – as soon as the Department of Homeland Security gives the OK.

        Fine. And dandy.

        • I was trying to think of something a kiwi might be thought of as a terrorist for – the Rainbow Warrior was as close as I could get, though those folk are way above my pay grade.

        • whooosh how very concerned and assiduous ry bans lujan was. ta for explaining. may i join your party in solidarity, please? (i’m also mindful of the younger jesse jackson who’d advocated for a rainbow coalition of all colors of working people). ha i went to the co state convention for him back in the day, after convincing county dems to earn him a handful of advocates.

          and may i say: fook DHS under both of the last two administrations?

          “if you see something: say something”. a nation of paranoid delusionists by now. edward bernays laughs from his grave. a commodified market for fear. what have we become as a nation? i gt to know rex weyler a bit waaaay back in the day….

          • I’m reflecting on what a lovely name for a ship that was – ‘Rainbow Warrior’. And back in the day, too, when we little knew (thankfully) what was in store for us.

            A link to Consortium News at NC this morning was a good read, with a quote from James Joyce that makes a lovely bookend with Plato’s Socratic dictum “Know thyself”:

            “Wipe your glasses with what you know.”

            I’m thinking this also hearkens back to St. Paul’s “seeing through a glass darkly” and would, all of it, be fitting admonitions to the glasses-accoutred Stephen Colbert.

            • Here’s that link, and yes to your request to join – most definitely! We shall cavort with the dolphins.


              • ta; i’d gone over to discover which essay you’d meant. parry’s one about the canuckistan hitting him hard for his exposé on the ugh, christya freeland looks good, too, esp. as i’d read the original story he’d written.

                i know i can be cynical about the plethora of resistance movements afoot, but i was curious enough about the possibilities of this one that came in this morning’s popular resistance newsletter to go looking for more. The ‘Freedom Cities’ Campaign: Resistance Through Progress at the Local Level’, by Ronald Newman, Director of Strategic Initiatives, ACLU’

                now i figured that they’d have a hashtag, and of course they do, but their related #peoplepower one actually uses the ‘the russians help elected T’ meme. and gawd’s blood, am i tired of that. plus a lotta ‘depose trump’ (cuz we loooove pence?) stuff. pffft. still, given that it’s geared toward local movements, it just might help.

                the OMB’s scored RyanCare, i guess, but beyond a cursory glance to know that it seems to even suck worse than obamaDontCare, and will get worse over the years instead of better. i reckoned i wouldn’t even bring the report. Rs in congress may even help kill it it’s so *politically* terrible.

                now i am still trying to write up herr T’s infrastructure stuff, but i keep getting waylaid by…endless war. now the US is sending a fleet of our new national bird, the grey eagle drone, to seoul. and Ts given the cia power to…drone people. such a gift! guess it’s by way of an apology from him?

                yes, we’ll wipe our glasses with what we know, and periodically scream to the heavens at the mass insanity!

  5. The only way to read someone like Hayden appearing on Colbert is that his former day job is drying up because of his opposition to Trump’s election and tight support of Clinton.

    It is very curious to see how comedy works with the current political environment. For a decade it worked to deliver the news that the captured media couldn’t or wouldn’t. And to upbraid the serious talkers like Tucker Carlson.

    That doesn’t work now in quite the same way. I don’t see any of the recent or old (SNL) guard getting their footing yet.

    Unless was peddling a book (the usual reason for an appearance) you really have to ask what brought him there? Successful national security contractor executives generally don’t go seeking publicity.

    • he seems to have been making the late night rounds, and yes, at the end colbert showed his feb. 2016 book, prolly remaindered already. here’s part of the blurb:

      “As Director of CIA in the last three years of the Bush administration, Hayden had to deal with the rendition, detention and interrogation program as bequeathed to him by his predecessors. He also had to ramp up the agency to support its role in the targeted killing program that began to dramatically increase in July 2008. This was a time of great crisis at CIA, and some agency veterans have credited Hayden with actually saving the agency. He himself won’t go that far, but he freely acknowledges that CIA helped turn the American security establishment into the most effective killing machine in the history of armed conflict.”

      playing to the edge

      so you’re guessing he called colbert? i dunno; i reckon he’s kinda prime time given his hatred for trump and the new librul love of the IC and bombs, but…that’s just me. i found it more than cringe-worthy. but yes, comedy central used to do some good and interesting news, although once upon a time i was told that stewart came out in favor or torture, but no one ever told me when or how to find it.

      • His book agent called Colbert’s booking agent with a “Nixon goes to China” (er “Hayden goes progressive” pitch. Colbert is not on Comedy Central; he’s now on one of the gotta kowtow to the boss networks. The floating world that Steve Allen established during the McCarthy era and Johnny Carson made stick during the 1960s. (With a very interesting interlude of Jack Paar.)

        Colbert’s job is to bring his young audience over. Politics did it very well on Comedy Central.

        People keep forgetting that Colbert (and Stewart) are comedians. They are not bound to any ideological litmus test. I guess that Colbert knows that laughing too hard at the Democratic establishment contortions since election day would not go down with his audience. It’s the audience. And the advertising. Little else. Hold the first to rope in the second. The publisher pays for the plug time. (At least they oughtta)

        Not real, and neither was his interview with Carolyn Kennedy about her book. The shtick about SuperPACs with his own hired GOP PAC lawyer was real in how he played the comic ruse of running his own SuperPAC. Laugh and find out where electoral politics went at the same time.

        Just in time for a President who is real and not real at the same time. Some of the realDonaldTrumps are fake; you just don’t know which ones. Isn’t that Soros guy brilliant?

        • i’ll take you at your supposition that hayden’s publisher requested the interviews for his paperback release, but no way will i cede that he wasn’t o-be-joyful at playing straight man to hayden’s bullshit con artistry. yes, i remember his running his superpac for prez or senate, but times have changed now that the libruls have learned to love the bomb and the cia.

          good satire by paulbibleau, talk about expressions! this that he’d retweeted was hilarious:

          but should i take it that your soros comment was mocking those of us who see soros behind a lot of the #notMyPresident stuff? ;-)

          on edit: i’d kept meaning to laugh about mr. anti-capitalist revolutionary Wallerstein’s having four or five lines of © info under his essay.

          • I was mocking the Soros attribution in Bibeau’s satirical piece itself. I don’t think #notMyPresident stuff is directly Soros and only a few of the outfits are Soros-funded. But I understand the suspicion of some of the well-heeled organizers.

            Yes, anti-capitalist academics reflexively protect their works.

            Hopefully Colbert’s straight man showed Hayden for the buffoon he is. He has been gracious to other war criminals who relaxed enough to out themselves on some issues. Hayden was NSA from 1999 to 2005. He has been an avid spokesperson for more funding of the intelligence community, especially after he went to his post-military career.

  6. (thanks bruce & co.) now that trump’s in, the “comedy” crowd can regain the its tepidly satiric footing, as w/bush jr. Obama was lean years. I watched both stewart & Colbert for a couple of years, late shrub era. Stewart was easier to see thru cuz of his guests. Colbert was more “cutting edge.” but they both had their moments

    then I noted Colbert’s continual promotion of Apple (oh god, this is now over 8 years ago).

    wiki has helpful lists of the history of guests on both shows. it really tells everything. really, really lazy “satire” w/ plenty of chances for Hayden, Musharref, Kissinger, Bill O, Clintonii, etc., types to express “their side.” barf.

    I don’t remember who pointed out this rather obvious observation: so much of the media is about…the media. Colbert reports on some idiocy of Bill O which then gets reported on Good Morning America!!!! which then gets “rebutted” on Bill O’s show. the GMAC/Colbert clip Bruce posted is a perfect example. look at the on-line front page of the NYT and how much of that is comment on media BS (“what shows are hot this week!” “Sean Spicer responds to Chris O’Donnell’s tweet.” etc., etc. “here’s your must know GoT update!” (game of thrones for you media haters.)). why do I have the feeling they are trying to distract me from sumfin?

  7. long day in RL; ‘life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’. but at least i have 4 new loaves of sourdough bread outta the oven, and… i scored a bath!.

    tonight’s lullaby; sleep well, i’m srsly done for the night. bless you all.

  8. Recently, I viewed Hayden on the PBS show that is Charlie Rose. And given that there’s a rotating or cyclic hosting given that Charlie Rose has been absent, Hayden’s arrival was appropriate. Senor was the day’s host and was advantageous to Hayden, since Senor was the current Republican heavy. And in the end, Senor didn’t have the ability or the practice for delivering the high accolades Hayden felt his due.


  9. gol-durnit; see how easily i go down garden paths? these two videos on trump at from in kiwi land. only watched the first, and he doesn’t speak to microexpressions at all (but it’s short), mebbe the second one does. oh, bother; the second one has the same url. never mind.

  10. fun thread stoller via david dayen (click to stand alone and read the subtweets:

  11. Rachel Maddow reads the Pentagon Papers herr Trump’s 2005 tax return on live teevee!, via the guardian

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