Former Vice President Dick Cheney was roasted at a dinner at the Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday. And according to BuzzFeed, which spoke to several people who attended the private event, some of the controversial tactics authorized by Cheney in the Bush administration's war on terror were fodder for jokes.
One recurring theme involved the enhanced interrogation technique known as waterboarding.
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, one of four guest roasters, joked about Cheney waterboarding fish. Cheney himself retold a waterboarding joke he attributed to Jay Leno:
It centered on a one-shot antelope hunting contest in Wyoming in which the loser had to dance with an Indian squaw. Cheney’s shot got caught in the barrel, producing a dispute over whether it counted as a hit or a miss — and Leno, according to Cheney, joked that Cheney wanted to go catch the animal with his bare hands and waterboard it.
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, another guest roaster, "said something to the effect that it’s nice that we’re all here at the Plaza instead of in cages after some war crimes trial."
“I can see the case for enhanced interrogation techniques after Sept. 11," one attendee told BuzzFeed, "but I can’t really endorse sitting there drinking wine and fancy dinner at the Plaza laughing uproariously about it.”
Two other guests, though, said they found the jokes appropriate in the spirit of the roast, which was hosted by Commentary magazine and co-chaired by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Of course, torture techniques weren't the only thing on the menu. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and President Barack Obama were mocked, too.
According to BuzzFeed, the event was punctuated with a live performance of Yiddish songs and a video featuring Cheney’s face on other people's bodies.