Everything Antonin Scalia Knows About Torture He Learned on 24

Good god, this is disturbing. This is usually an apolitical space, but I have to mention this truly bizarre intersection of fake television terrorism and real life terrorism (from the Globe and Mail, courtesy of Gerry Canavan):

Senior judges from North America and Europe were in the midst of a panel discussion about torture and terrorism law, when a Canadian judge's passing remark - "Thankfully, security agencies in all our countries do not subscribe to the mantra 'What would Jack Bauer do?' " - got the legal bulldog in Judge Scalia barking.

The conservative jurist stuck up for Agent Bauer, arguing that fictional or not, federal agents require latitude in times of great crisis. "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.

"Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so.

...During a break from the panel, Judge Scalia specifically mentioned the segment in Season 2 when Jack Bauer finally figures out how to break the die-hard terrorist intent on nuking L.A. The real genius, the judge said, is that this is primarily done with mental leverage. "There's a great scene where he told a guy that he was going to have his family killed," Judge Scalia said. "They had it on closed circuit television - and it was all staged. ... They really didn't kill the family."
Okay, so, um...who is going to tell the Supreme Court Fucking Justice that Jack Bauer is actually Canadian and about four feet tall? We should also mention to him, maybe, that MacGyver can't really do all that stuff with a chocolate bar, and the Fonz was faking that thing with the jukebox. Oh, and Gilligan? Never got off the island, man. But here's the cool part: there's this whole new group of people on the island. Only the bad part, Antonin, is that they call Gilligan "Ben" and think he's some kind of "other" guy who is controlling everything, and...oh, god, i could go on forever.

For best results, I'd read the Scalia remarks in concert with this New Yorker article on Antonio M. Taguba, a guy who knows a little more about torture than fatass television watching Supreme Court justices, since he's the guy who risked his military career to write the truthful report about Abu Ghraib. You'll go through all the stages of grief in about a half-hour, including the seldom mentioned "laughing hilariously" and "blogging" and "researching a move to Canada/Mexico."

1 comment:

Mike said...

Well, it could be worse: I hear Clarence Thomas is a big Hostel II fan.