alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Russell Brand on CIA Torture Report: If Rape Is Being Used As a Way To Get Info, We’re Already In Hell

Russell Brand describes the CIA’s torture report as “terrifying” in his latest episode of The Trews.


The Senate Intelligence Committee's report will reveal the extent of the organisation’s “enhanced interrogation.” Main methods are thought to include sleep deprivation, confinement in small spaces, slapping, humiliation, sexual assault threats and waterboarding. These measures were carried out on al-Qaeda terrorism suspects following the 9/11 attack and weren’t effective in delivering life-saving intelligence to the US.

Around 10 percent of the 6,000-page tome will be released to the public.

“This CIA report is important because around the world now there are all sorts of measures that give governments more rights to spy on their own people,” said Brand.

“If there are unaccountable government agencies that can torture without having to ever justify or explain even when it doesn’t work. We’re living in a terrifying time.

“Isn’t it obvious that if rape is used as a way of getting information out of a person that we’re already in hell? There’s no further to go, there’s no further for us to decline.”

The comedian suggested that the report should make the public question “the considerable clandestine power these organizations hold,” but noted that government torture techniques are becoming more acceptable.

A recent study showed that 36 percent of Britons think that torture is sometimes necessary.

“The problem is we’ve created a climate where we think torture as oddly acceptable,” said Brand. “According to a recent Amnesty report, television programs like the Fox-created 24, which a couple of neo-conservative guys created, glamorize and justify the idea of torture. It helps us to accept that that is a normal part of international espionage.”

Brand also commented on the Fox News coverage of the report, which asserted that the document should not be released.

“What this story shows is of course the CIA are acting in an unaccountable, clandestine, terrifying way. And that the media are supporting them in that,” he said. “We have no access or purchase to power.”

Once again, he asserted that supporting localised campaigns is the best way of “confronting mighty institutions”.

“Although they might seem small, it says that we come together we can change the world,” he said. “They’re the not going to do it for us. We’ve just seen how the media collaborates with the government in order to suppress the truth about the CIA. If you want true news you have to get it for yourself.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close