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tv   The Colbert Report  Comedy Central  October 20, 2011 1:30am-2:00am PDT

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comedy central >> stephen: tonigs debate in vegas. either that or cirque de soleil is really phoning in it. [laughter] then should we abolish the e.p.a.? 65% of americans say... [coughs] and my guest ali suppan has a new book on terror. you have to take off your shoes and belt to read it. [laughter] the world population will hit seven billion people by halloween, so you might want to buy an extra bag of snickers. this is "the colbert report." captioning sponsored by comedy central [theme music playing] [cheering and applause]
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[audience chanting "stephen"] [cheering and applause] >> stephen: welcome to "the report." thank you, everybody. it's good to have you with us. nation, there was another republican debate last night, which caught me by surprise because i was not aware that the previous debate had ended. [laughter] it was first debate since my man herman cain became the republican front-runner. of course, moderator and arctic cloud sprite anderson cooper wasted no time trying to catch cain with the liberal gotcha tactic of quoting something cain had said. jim. >> herman cain, i got to ask you, you said "don't blame -- two weeks ago you said, "don't blame wall street. don't blame the big banks. if you don't have a job and
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you're not rich, blame yourself." do you still say that? >> yes, i do still say that. >> stephen: yes, he does. and that message of hope is sure to rally the nation's unemployed to herman cain if they weren't so goddamn lazy. [laughter] and from there herman continued the cain-ing. >> i still stand by my statement and here's why: they might be frustrated with wall street and the bankers, but they're directing their anger at the wrong place. wall street didn't put in failed economic policies. wall street didn't spend a trillion dollars that didn't do any good. wall street isn't going around the country trying to sell another $450 billion. they ought to be over in front of the white house taking out their frustration. so i do stand by that. >> stephen: yeah, unemployed, you should be out in front of the white house blaming yourself for not having a job. [laughter] wall street, may i remind you, wall street has not cratered our economy in like two years.
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that's ancient history. at this point who can even remember who took worthless sub-prime mortgages and knowingly bundled them as mortgage derivatives so they could be sold, rebundled and resold to pension funds and banks around the world until things inevitably collapsed, annihilating $17 trillion, national economies, centuries old financial institutions and the life savings of untold millions of americans. i can't remember. and neither can herman cain. so suck it up, unemployed. it is your own damn fault that you don't have a job. speaking of which, where are all these jobs obama keeps promising? people can't find work, and it is all the president's fault. so stop scapegoating wall street, workers. because you're the problem that obama caused. his wasteful spending and bailouts are why these unemployed people can't pull
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yourselves up by your own bootstraps. you whiners should shut up and fix your problems that obama has done nothing to fix. but herman cain will fix the economy and get you a good job because herman cain knows the buck stops with 999. [cheering and applause] these people understand. and while not all republicans agree with herman cain's visionary tax plan, they do all agree on one thing. >> we need serious regulatory reform, not just repealing obama care, but ending the e.p.a.'s regulatory reign of terror. >> and i guarantee you the e.p.a. will have doors locked and the lights turned off. >> you're doing nothing more than killing jobs. it is a cemetery for jobs at the e.p.a. >> stephen: yes. this job-killing cemetery is
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murdering jobs and then burying them in itself. jobs. everyone knows pollution is a job creator. when i was a kid my first job was working at my sidewalk stand. and, folks, we all know, countries without environmental regulations are killing us in the job market. just look at china. it's in there someplace. [laughter] china is the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gasses, and it only has 4.1% unemployment. plus, thanks to mercury poisoning and factory suicides, positions are opening up all the time. [laughter] now, folks, i have always, and this is well-known, i have always despised the jack-booted birken stocks over at the e.p.a., ever since it was created by that bleeding-heart liberal richard nixon. [laughter]
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get a haircut, hippie. of course, the agency was formed back in 1970. back then america's ecosystem was full of hazardous cfcs, ddts and 3bgs, and ohio's cuyahoga river was so polluted that it caught fire 11 times. who knows what caused that? it could have been pollution. personally i suspect the trout torched it for the insurance money. [laughter] but that was then. this is now, right, john stossel? >> thank goodness for the e.p.a. the air and water are cleaner than they used to be, but they passed those rules. they made the air and water cleaner. it's diminishing returns. they've done a wonderful job. stop already. stick a fork in it and it's done. >> stephen: yeah, stop already. when something is clean, you don't need to clean it anymore. that's why i sold my dishwasher and my bidet. [laughter] the e.p.a. is useless. that is an indisputable fact. here to dispute that fact is
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senior fellow at the center for american progress and former head of the e.p.a. carol browner. carol, thank you so much for coming. [cheering and applause] okay, carol. i'll bite. why the e.p.a.? why do we need it? make your case. >> we need the e.p.a. for two reasons. one, we need it to protect our air, our water, the health of our community, the health of our children. >> stephen: we protected the air and the water. we cleaned it up. now you are just rubbing it in our faces by continuing to keep it clean. [laughter] okay. what's your second one? i knocked that one down. >> the e.p.a. creates opportunities. >> stephen: oh, no, you do not. >> we do. >> stephen: you march around the country. as soon as an employer is about to hand out start paperwork to a new employee, you slap it out of their hand dates. >> e.p.a. creates jobs. >> stephen: how so? >> when e.p.a. says that a new
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scrubber is needed, someone has to engineer the scrubber, to build it, install it, maintain it, operate it. those are american jobs. >> stephen: tell me one thing the e.p.a. needs to do now. >> they need to regulate mercury. mercury is a neurotoxin. it's bad for our brains. it's bad for our children's brains. >> stephen: what? what? no. we put those in thermometers and put those in our children's mouth. your logic eats itself. what are you talking about? the china are eating our lunch right now because they don't have environmental regulations, and they can build factories without worrying about the costs of extra scrubbers or extra safety for their workers. why do you want to hobble american factories? why do you want to bind the feet of american factory owners? >> you've been to china, right? >> stephen: i've been to china many times. >> and you've breathed the air? >> no, i bring my own tank. >> that's... we'll give every american their own tank.
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>> stephen: okay. well, that's another job creator. that's a job creator. if there is more pollution, then there's more work for the doctors who have to cure us of the diseases we get from the things we eat and drink. >> i left out the doctors. >> stephen: i can use your own logic against you. okay. here's what i don't get, you want to protect mother nature, right? >> i want to protect the air and water. >> stephen: right, right. well, do you know what the air and water has done to us lately? hurricane, tornadoes. i think it's time we fight back. [laughter] give them a taste of their own medicine. [cheering and applause] i guess what i'm trying to say is we have come to the point where we have to choose between jobs and clean water. that's all these republicans are saying. >> we don't have to choose. in fact, clean water will be good for our economy. someone did a study of the clean air act, 20 years, two trillion dollars in economic opportunity because of the clean air act. >> stephen: i read another study that it costs $10 trillion just to print the e.p.a.
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regulations. [laughter] >> no, no, no, no. >> stephen: i read that. i read that someplace. well, carol, thank you so much for joining me for this conversation. former e.p.a. administrator carol browner. we'll be right back. [cheering and applause] ♪ swing music plays ♪ ♪ swing music plays ♪ ♪ swing music plays ♪ ♪ swing music plays ♪
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>> stephen: welcome back, everybody. thank you very much. nation, thanks, folks.
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night after night, i come out here and i nail it. but when i comes to true punditry, i stand on the shoulders of giants, like rush limbaugh. actually, i stand on his back paunch. his shoulders are a little slope-y. but once again, folks, el rushbo was the only one brave enough to criticize barack obama, this time for sending u.s. troops into uganda to fight a guerrilla group called the lra or the lord's resistance army. >> lord's resistance army are christians. they are fighting the muslims. lord's resistance army objectives, i have them here: to remove dictatorship and stop the opression of our people. now, again, lord's resistance army is who obama has sent troops to help nations wipe out, wipe out christians. >> stephen: obama is wiping out christians.
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he's not only a secret muslim, he's a secret lion. [laughter] now, folks, turns out, turns out -- thanks very much. i thought that was clever. [cheering and applause] now, folks, there's actually a funny story here. turns out lord's resistance army is kind of a quirky way of loving thy neighbor. >> is that right, lord's resistance army is being accused of really bad stuff, child kidnapping, torture, murder, that kind of stuff. we just found out about this today, and we're going to do our due diligence research on it. >> stephen: yeah, of course, of course. due diligence, due diligence always comes after accusing the president of killing christians. [laughter] that's why... that's why, folks... [cheering and applause] that's why it's called "re-search."
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if you do it before, it's called "pre-search." and rush did some pre-search. for instance, everything he read about the lra he got from the wikipedia entry on the group's ideology. it's also where rush learned that the lord's resistance army broke up rem and played booger in "revenge of the nerds." now, folks, some people will say rush should have found out a little more before accusing the president of slaughtering christians, but as a broadcaster, i believe you have to trust what an organization says about itself on the internet. that is why, and i just found this out, this is why i cannot believe that obama is against another christian organization whose stated objective is "a healthy environment, children's welfare and freedom of belief without fear." amen, brother. all right. where do i send the donation check? okay.
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the american nazi party. [audience reacts] okay. okay. we're just learning about these nazis, and i hope i'm pronouncing that correctly. we will, of course, do due diligence research on that and investigate the nasty rumors circulating about these folks. but that does not change the fact that there is another organization our there that obama has repeatedly attacked. i believe they have excellent core values. listen to this, "we believe very simply that it is the actions of individuals working together that builds strong communities." i love that. i don't care who said it, nazi, commies, the klan, i stand by the bank of america. oh, my god. [cheering and applause] oh, no. jimmy, jimmy, please, we got to edit this out that.
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that is a career ender. they have blood on their hands. we'll be right back. get it off. get it off! [cheering and applause] >> stephy
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much. my guest tonight is an expert on getting information from terrorists. i'm going to have him call time warner customer service for me. please welcome ali soufan. [cheering and applause]
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hey, mr. soufan. thank you so much for coming on. now, many people here may not know who you are, but they really should because you've got quite the impressive cv. you're a former special agent for the f.b.i. you served on the front lines against al qaeda as an interrogator and a counter terrorism operator. and you have a new book called "the black banners: the inside story of 9/11 and the war against al qaeda." what's a black banner? >> this is actually what al qaeda believe they are. the black banner is a saying from the prophet of islam, prophet muhammed. >> stephen: i know who that is. sounds like a good guy, yeah. >> it says that the black banners will come at the end of time for the final battle of armageddon, and bin laden made a lot of these people who joined him in al qaeda believe that they are part of this black banner myth that's going to come towards the end of time. >> stephen: so it's an apocalyptic vision.
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>> well, it just gives us how little we know about al qaeda as an organization after all these years fighting it. >> stephen: you actually found out a fair bit about al qaeda for the greater good of the united states. you got bin laden's bodyguard to identify the september 11th hijackers. you got abu zubada to finger the 9/11 mastermind, and you unearthed jose padilla's plan to use a dirty bomb. can i assume all of that is waterboarding? because that enhanced interrogation is what got us the tips we needed to fight al qaeda. >> actually, none of this, as you mentioned, is because of interrogation techniques or waterboarding. for example, abu zubadia, the first question, i asked him his name. he gave me a wrong alias, so i looked at him in the face, and i said, "what i if i call you hani?" that was the name his mother nicknamed him as a child. he had that look, oh, my gosh,
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he got me. he started talking and gave actionable intelligence in the first hour of our interrogation. >> stephen: but it wasn't enough because they eventually brought in an outside contractor who water boarded him 83 times. >> exactly. >> stephen: so if you were getting good information, they wouldn't have given him the free swimming lessons. >> right. right. the 83 waterboarding sessions is just a perfect example how these techniques don't work because... >> stephen: what do you mean? >> if it worked you're not going to do 83 with him. i was there with khalid sheikh mohamed. these enhanced interrogation techniques that conclude with waterboarding, as appalling as they are to people in the west, it is nothing compared to what they are expecting to receive if they are caught in some eastern jail, for example. >> stephen: right, so we're still the good guys for doing it. let's be clear, you don't have a problem with waterboarding? >> i do have a problem with waterboarding because i don't believe it's effective. let me tell you how interrogations work, for example. >> stephen: i know how that
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works. good cop, bad cop, right? >> no. >> stephen: bad cop water boards, good cop carries the towel. >> no. where were you when i was on the front line? >> stephen: i was on the front line here, my friend, every night. so how do they work? how do you believe... >> you outsmart the individual. you have a lot of information already under your fingertips on that person, on the organization. you try to outwit them into knowing you have a lot of things about them. for example, bin laden's personal bodyguard had no idea who were the hijackers. we only knew that he knew one of the hijackers. after we made him believe that that hijacker may be a source to us and he knows a lot about him, he started identifying everyone else, and this is how we knew that seven out of the hijackers were al qaeda operatives and we had all the information that we needed at the time that al qaeda was behind 9/11.
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>> stephen: okay. so you say you don't need to use waterboarding for any of, that but vice president cheney said that enhanced interrogation, like waterboarding, is how we got this information. are you saying he's not telling the truth? >> well, i am saying that i was there and he wasn't, and i am saying... [cheering and applause] if you are saying... >> go ahead, no, go ahead. >> i am saying i'm the only one so far in the u.s. government who gave a statement under oath about the alleged efficacy of enhanced intergation techniques. when other people want to raise their right hand and take that oath and answer the questions, then we can talk. >> stephen: if you're saying these people won't raise their right hand and take the oath, you're saying these people are not telling the truth. you're saying that dick cheney is not telling the truth.
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and i know the only way the get the truth out of him. water board the guy. [cheering and applause] >> i believe there's many other ways. >> stephen: no. let's talk acted al qaeda now. we're taking these guys out left and right. we just took out al-awlaki with a drone over yemen. are you down with that? >> absolutely. >> stephen: i'm down with it. en i just want to make sure you're down with it. an american citizen without a trial gets blown up over in yemen because he's on the kill or capture list. >> stephen, i don't like to discriminate against terrorists based on nationality. if you declare war on the united states and you want the kill us, we're going to kill you first. period. [applause] >> stephen: i like these people. how do you get... if you're on the kill or capture list,how do you get off? and i'm just asking for a friend. >> i think one day you will be sitting in a cave or in a room or in a small little mud house in the middle of a tribal area and a drone comes and takes you
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off the list. >> stephen: so there's only really one exit? >> it's like hotel california. >> stephen: thank you so much for joining me. ali soufan. the book is "the black banners." we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] a batman: arkham city bundle,
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report," everybody. good night.