Sacha Baron Cohen made waves a few weeks ago when he released a teaser for his new show, Who Is America, that seemed to show former Vice President Dick Cheney signing a “waterboarding kit.”
You can watch the clip here. It’s very short: it shows Dick Cheney, sitting calmly in an armchair, while a voice off-screen asks, “Is it possible to sign my waterboard kit?”
“Sure,” Cheney replies. Because of the quick editing, it is impossible to know if Cheney said this in direct response to the question. But a moment later, Cheney says, “That’s a first. That’s the first time I’ve ever signed a waterboard.”
Now, Cohen says the waterboarding kit (it’s really just an empty plastic milk jug) is up for sale on eBay.
Cohen’s character on Who Is America is an Israeli colonel named Erran Morad. So of course, the eBay listing went up in Colonel Morad’s name.
The Cheney segment appeared in today’s episode, which aired on Showtime at 10PM.
In the lead-up to showtime, the eBay listing for Dick Cheney’s autographed waterboarding kit got a lot of attention, with bids getting up to at least $1,700 by Sunday afternoon. But this gives rise to so many questions. Were all of those bids real? Was the item real? Did Dick Cheney really sign it, and what did he think was going on?
And then, by the time of this post, somebody removed the original eBay listing. All that’s left of it now is this sad error message announcing that the item can’t be found.
Cheney, who was vice president during George W Bush’s “war on terror,” was a staunch defender of “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding. Waterboarding is a simulated drowning, in which water is poured over someone’s face so that they feel as though they are drowning.
As recently as May, Cheney told Fox News that he wishes the US would start using enhanced interrogation techniques again. “If it were my call I would not discontinue those programs. I’d have them active and read to go,” he said, in an interview with Maria Bartiromo.