Watch: Jon Stewart Nails Obama on Guantanamo

Human Rights

On last night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart took on one of the biggest stains on Barack Obama’s presidency: his failure to close Guantanamo Bay. Stewart took the president to task for previous promises to close the offshore prison, as well as recent comments after the human rights crisis received heightened attention due to a 166-prisoner hunger strike.

“Candidate Barack Obama from 2007, with three simple words we don’t say too much anymore,” Stewart reflected, before playing a video of the then-Senator promising that “I’ll close Guantanamo” on the campaign trail. Stewart played another clip of the president reiterating his promise in 2009, and again in 2010, with “two small changes”:

“Make no mistake, we will close Guantanamo,” the president said.

“One. He has gone from I’ll close Guantanamo to what’s taking everybody so long,” Stewart said. “And two. He has added the phrase ‘make no mistake, Aquaman! You haven’t seen the last of me and my plan to weaponize kelp.’”

“So that was in 2010, and I haven’t heard much about it since then,” Stewart continued “So, I am going to assume that since then we have regained our moral stature and closed Guantanamo.” The host proceeded to play a clip from Obama’s press conference yesterday, in which he affirmed, “I continue to believe that we are going to close Guantanamo.”

“And in Santa,” Stewart added. “Those are the two things that I think about once a year and continue to believe.”

Stewart noted that Congress has given Obama permission to use case-by-case waivers to release prisoners, an authority his administration hasn’t exercised once. The comedian also pointed out that 86 detainees have been cleared for release for three years now.

Now, several striking prisoners are being force-fed with tubes shoved up their noses and down their throats.

“We have gone from water-boarding them to food-boarding them? It’s a good thing for the government that those prisoners aren’t geese,” Stewart said. “Or else they’d have PETA all over their asses.”

“I knew this was reminding me of something: a hundred odd people trapped on an island thanks to a confusing, metaphysical conundrum without any possibility of escape,” Stewart concluded. “It’s like Lost all over again, and just like Lost, it probably should’ve ended a few years earlier.”


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