Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jack Bauer vs. Reality, Part 89034583458

A Muslim: “You’re torturing me right now, so I’ll tell you! I wouldn’t have told you where it was otherwise, so this ticking time-bomb scenario proves that series creator Joel Surnow (close friend of Rush Limbaugh) is right and Benjamin Franklin was wrong when it comes to balancing liberty against security!”
- 24.

"Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots"
-The real world, rudely contradicting what the Republicans have been telling us for years.

The latest in a series of post-Bush articles to (belatedly) take on the issue of stupid illegal torture goes on to say that:
Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh
measures quickly evaporated, while most of the
useful information from Abu Zubaida -- chiefly
names of al-Qaeda members and associates -- was
obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they
So the guy had already been talking with them when they decided to put the boots to him, medium style? It’s good to know that literally no part of the 24 scenario is in any way accurate, I was worried that they might have gotten some minor detail right.

So the men in Guantanamo were put there on a whim by random soldiers who couldn’t make any sense out of what they were seeing in a strange land, but at least the decision to allow torture was subject to long weeks and months of discussions about the moral and legal implications, right? Right?
Such intelligence was significant but not
blockbuster material. Frustrated, the Bush
administration ratcheted up the pressure --
for the first time approving the use of
increasingly harsh interrogations, including
Oh good, the decision wasn’t a product of an imminent threat or soul-searching discussions about torture, but rather frustration and a vague insistence that this guy (whom they had already realized wasn’t as important as initially thought) might know more.

Fantastic. Once again, none of this is very surprising to anyone who's been paying attention, but after so many years it's still truly shameful to see. Anyone have any ideas about how future Presidents can be held responsible for grossly immoral acts without having the whole thing turn into a partisan vengeance-fest?


  1. The question at the end is entirely serious, by the way- that goes out to any remaining guests from ResistNet (any that are interested in more than poor attempts at trolling, anyways) who want to volunteer an idea or two.

    In regards to the SpaceGhost youtube link in the article- as far as I know you can't link to specific times in videos, so pretend that I had linked to 6:25 (that said, the entire episode is pretty funny so...)

  2. I hate everything about the show 24...I just felt like sharing. I like that you have postscripts, and continue to challenge your guests.

  3. You'd think the fact that torture doesn't actually work would play a bigger part in our public debate on torture.

    But then again, you'd also think that people would be able to differentiate between a fictional TV show and real life, so I guess all bets are off.

  4. Jack Bauer's teardrop3/30/09, 2:52 PM

    Man, I don't care what you guys say, did you see the last episode of 24?

    Terrorists SCUBA DIVED into the White House to kidnap the President!!

    I wish I was joking, but I am not.

    I think the show may have run its course

  5. I always knew they would regret installing that white house moat with a secret waterway leading to the oval office.

  6. Kippy O'hare3/30/09, 7:04 PM

    The Lewinsky Hatch!!

  7. Kari- Putting a postscript on something this short does feel funny, but... eh, nothing to be done for it.

    JJ- Yeah, I'm glad conventional wisdom says that "torturing people is bad and useless" is more or less equivalent with saying "i want terrorists to explode everything."

    teardrop- is that true? it sounds true but i dont want to go interneting around to doublecheck.

    nimsofa- and with our precious tax dollars, too! stupid big government moat-installing spendocrats!

  8. I can vouch for the scuba diving. Not cause I've seen the show, but because a friend asked me if DC really had an underground river that went under the white house.

    I'll leave you to imagine my response.