Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jack Bauer

Chesty LaRue agrees with the Judge, and yet again, Jack Bauer is mentioned. I seriously wonder if the torture debate would be different in this country if it weren't for that damn show. Probably not, but I at least wonder who the 'literary' go-to justification would have been... Rambo?
here, here, Judge Smails.

I also wonder if the general public also has been duped into thinking torture works as a means to extract useful intelligence that prevents terrorist attacks. From reading a few articles in the past 2 days, it seemed like the "powers that be" really believed torture is an effective intelligence gathering mechanism and that it was necessary to torture before obtaining the legal authority to do so to prevent terrorist attacks.

I wonder if you asked some hypothetical about this to the american people, how many would believe that in this scenario the ends justify the means? (and how many of them watch 24?). In fact, from what I have read, experts in the field of suspect interrogation say that forming a trusting relationship and using "bribes" of small pleasures works infinitely better in extracting useful intelligence from people. And it isn't tainted by the whole physical coercion thing. But I think that most people probably don't know that because their information on the subject comes from tv and movies, not reality.

I also agree that race is probably a big factor, as many people have negative feelings about arabs. We would feel worse about torturing whites, or even africans since that brings up some bad collective memories about slavery.