On Torture Investigations: What Would Jack Bauer Do?

Tom Maguire makes a good point:

I am not sure how much of "the truth" needs to be classified and how much can safely be told but this approach is consistent with the stand taken by Jack Bauer. Presumably, Bush's supporters should not be afraid of the truth (if it can be told). Let the public learn and decide.

Jack Bauer was unafraid to tell what he did and why he did it and face the consequences, if any. Why then are some so afraid of following the example of Jack Bauer? (Yes, I know Jack Bauer is a fictional character.)

Speaking for me only

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    It is a good point... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:31:08 AM EST
    I've said basically the same in the past...torture must be codified as illegal under any circumstances, and if a circumstance arises where it may be justified, let the torturer defend themselves in front of a jury of their peers and let them decide.  Best we can do.

    Neither was Murphy Brown, (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:32:55 AM EST
    but that didn't stop Dan Quayle from berating her publicly.

    She was destroying this country :) (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 04:11:43 PM EST
    TV heros and villians (none / 0) (#17)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 05:17:47 PM EST
    at the center of Republican policy-making.  It has been so for decades now.  Puts a whole new spin on that "we are not reality-based" comment by that White House Bushie from the Times all those years ago.  It is like the people they've studied who are obsessed with soap operas.  That the soap operas become as real in people's minds as anyone they actually know in real life.

    I've often thought that it must be really weird on some level to be a writer on "24".  How weird is it to think that what you write in a total fantasy world becomes reality because a President and his cronies are taking direction from your program.  Even if it is your objective to sway that audience, it still has to be beyond weird to have that much power and influence.


    Jack Bauer would (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:25:27 AM EST
    break out the piano wire.

    But then again, having never watched "24" (I read the initial review back when it first came on, saw it was on Fox, and decided I did not need to pollute my mind with what appeared to be transparent propaganda.), I can't be sure what Bauer would do.  

    But, he's surely not the specimen of moral and physical cowardice that's a membership requirement for the Loyal Bushies.

    But you are a member of the reality community! (none / 0) (#2)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:28:11 AM EST
    so your acknowledgment that Bauer is a fictional character, doesn't count.

    O/T: If the governer can appoint his replacement, I support Judd Gregg for Commerce. That is bipartisanship I can get behind!

    LA Times (none / 0) (#7)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:49:45 AM EST
    says this morning that a Gregg appointment would be conditioned on the Democratic Governor appointing a Republican replacement for Gregg.

    Could just be a schmooze of Gregg, who has been voting with Obama so far this session.  An Obama schmooze helps Gregg with his re-election 2010...and gives him the chance to move to Obama...

    Who knows?


    Still a good deal for Dems (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 12:03:28 PM EST
    Takes out an incumbent who is reasonably well thought of in NH.

    This is a post partisan unity schtick I could get behind.


    The Jack Bauer Exception... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Addison on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:34:27 AM EST
    ...is mutable, though, based on what Jack Bauer has accomplished in 24.

    So one attempting to invoke the Jack Bauer rule would, after "24: Redemption" aired, have to had saved a group of African children from a murderous junta in order to invoke the exception. And even then, as we have seen, the exception (now) merely covers whether someone is viewed as "good" or "evil" in the media, not whether they testify or are held accountable, which Jack Bauer did willingly (to save said African children).

    Even Jack Bauer said, in episode 3 or 4 of this season, that Jack Bauer should have to be held accountable.

    Truth (none / 0) (#6)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:37:48 AM EST
    That's been my argument from the start. We've been told for 6 yrs that the Bush crowd did nothing illegal. If they're telling us the truth, what's their problem?

    Jack Bauer? They are not even Paul Simon (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 01:09:25 PM EST
    But I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers
    Still crazy after all these years

    ummmmmmmmmmmm, (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 01:10:41 PM EST
    because jack bauer is a fictional character, and fictional characters don't face real consequences for their actions? well, other than having their shows cancelled.

    aside from that, i can't think of a good reason.

    On a related note (none / 0) (#11)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 01:20:19 PM EST
    we can stop the further metastatization of torture by closing the SERE school, as is argued in this piece in Slate by a graduate of the school.

    The trouble with Bush Corp (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 02:01:31 PM EST
    is what do you start investigating first?

    The stage managed war run-up (so many culprits, so little time!), torture, the post-invasion Iraqis-be-damned greed orgy, judicial appointments, Karl's butt buddy Abramoff..

    And of course, in America these days the attention spans are shorter than ever, the memory hole like the "inviting, cool depths of the pit" in Poe. And a few of the rats like Wolfie and Chalabi have already, seemingly, donned drag and escaped in one of the life boats.


    oh my (none / 0) (#14)
    by sj on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 03:10:54 PM EST
    That was horrible to read.  I have a young cousin who is trying to get into the special forces.

    That makes my soul feel sick.  I wonder why I've never heard of this before.  It seems to me that it has be where all these "harsh techniques" were defined...

    If so, in a way it's the source of all that evil.


    astonishing (none / 0) (#13)
    by Lil on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 02:51:27 PM EST
    that real people ask what Jack Bauer would or wouldn't do. Dan Quale using Murphy Brown. The whole Republican party following the buffoon, Rush. Are there examples of the left looking to entertainment charicatures or fiction for leadership, if anyone can think of it. kind of curious about this phenomenon.

    Well personally, (none / 0) (#18)
    by reynwrap582 on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:37:59 PM EST
    I spent 8 years wishing for Josiah Bartlet to take over the white house.

    good one (none / 0) (#20)
    by Lil on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:48:41 AM EST
    Hmmmmm? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 04:12:57 PM EST
    I wonder why nobody wants to tell what was done and what was learned by doing it?   Hmmmmmmm?

    You want the truth? (none / 0) (#19)
    by ricosuave on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:33:20 AM EST
    You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.

    Sorry...I thought I would let Col. Jessup make the counterargument to Jack Bauer.  But this basically sums up the reason the bushies would rather not let it out.  They think they are doing us a favor...taking one for the team...making the "hard decision."

    Actually, this really makes me think of a Jorge Luis Borges story in which there is a cult that celebrates Judas as the real savior: he willingly sacrificed his soul (and reputation) for eternity so that Jesus could die and be resurrected.  That's real selflessness...