Jon Stewart ripped President Obama on Wednesday for his plans to veto a law that would require the military to maintain custody of suspected terrorists, and allow them to be indefinitely detained without their cases going to trial.
Stewart doesn't have a problem with the veto -- he objects to what he says are the president's reasons for it.
Members of the studio audience laughed a bit less than usual during the segment -- one, because Stewart's argument is hard to follow. And two, perhaps, because he's calling out the Democratic president rather than the usual slew of Republicans.
The bill, which the Senate approved last month, would exempt U.S. citizens but apply to arrests made in the U.S. It would also create a federal statute giving government the authority to hold suspected terrorists in military custody indefinitely and without trial, during hostilities.
The president could issue a waiver in some cases to keep prisoners in the civilian justice system.
Stewart says Obama is threatening to veto the bill not because it gives the government too much power, but because it limits the power of the executive branch, partly by requiring the president to ask for waivers.
"The White House is going to veto this because they don't want to do any f---ing paperwork," Stewart said.
Hm. Or the White House wants to veto the bill because Obama is uncomfortable with indefinite detentions, but doesn't want to look soft on terrorism? So he's presenting this as a complicated debate about executive powers?
In case it's all feeling a bit too nuanced in here, Stewart lightens things up with an Admiral Ackbar clip. Enjoy: