Another week, another John Oliver report that covers topics we talk about on Techdirt. This time, it’s the CIA torture report, put together by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The 6,000+ page document is still classified, but the 500+ page executive summary (still with lots of redactions) was released last December as you may recall. There were plenty of interesting revelations in it — and we’re sure the full report has many more. The “true believers” in torture took the fingers-in-ears-“we’re-not-listening” approach to dealing with it. The DOJ announced that it had not opened the report. Apparently, the former CIA boss Porter Goss claimed he hadn’t read the executive summary either — even though he mocked John McCain for not having read it either.
Either way, John Oliver decided to do something about this, and asked famed actor Helen Mirren to create an audio book version of the work (which, you know, he can do because it’s in the public domain), clips of which were played on the show. The segment highlights that torture doesn’t work and that people ridiculously think it does because it works in TV shows even if basically every actual study shows it doesn’t. And then it makes the more important point: even if it did work (which it doesn’t), it shouldn’t matter because it’s the wrong thing to do.
I’ve been searching around trying to find a link to the full audiobook, which Oliver insists was recorded, but so far can’t find anything other than the snippets in the show itself. Hopefully it really does exist.
Either way, kudos to Oliver for taking topics that we tend to talk about in our small corner of the world here and exposing them to a much wider audience — and including Helen Mirren in the process.