Defense Bigs Ask '24' To Cool It On Torture




 
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February 10th, 2007  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Defense Bigs Ask '24' To Cool It On Torture


New York Daily News
February 10, 2007
Pg. 3

By Owen Moritz, Daily News Staff Writer
The grossly graphic torture scenes in Fox's highly rated series "24" are encouraging abuses in Iraq, a brigadier general and three top military and FBI interrogators claim.
The four flew to Los Angeles in November to meet with the staff of the show. They said it is hurting efforts to train recruits in effective interrogation techniques and is damaging the image of the U.S. around the world, according The New Yorker.
"I'd like them to stop," Army Brig. Gen. Patrick Finnegan, dean of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, told the magazine.
Finnegan and others told the show's creative team that the torture depicted in "24" never works in real life, and by airing such scenes, they're encouraging military personnel to act illegally.
"People watch the shows, and then walk into the interrogation booths and do the same things they've just seen," said Tony Lagouranis, who was a U.S. Army interrogator in Iraq and attended the meeting.
"The kids see it, and say, 'If torture is wrong, what about '24'?" Finnegan said.
The show's co-creator and executive director, Joel Surnow, 52, a self-described "right-wing nut," seemed stunned by the complaints, but gave no hint that the torture scenes would be toned down - or shown not to work. "We've had all of these torture experts come by recently, and they say, 'You don't realize how many people are affected by this. Be careful,'" Surnow conceded. "But I don't believe that."
Kiefer Sutherland, who is reportedly paid $10 million a year to play agent Jack Bauer, admits to being "anti-torture" and "leaning toward the left." He says he tries to tell people the show "is just entertainment."
Joe Navarro, an FBI interrogation expert who was at the meeting, said he wouldn't want anyone like Bauer on his team. "Only a psychopath can torture and be unaffected," he said. "You don't want people like that in your organization. They are untrustworthy, and tend to have grotesque other problems."
Bauer, as a counterterrorism agent, has just 24 hours to stop a terrorist plot endangering the U.S. and invariably chooses torture to force suspects to divulge critical secrets.
February 10th, 2007  
bulldogg
 
 
Anyone see the Denzel flick, Burning Man I think was the name? It was far more graphic than anything on 24.
February 10th, 2007  
Marinerhodes
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
Anyone see the Denzel flick, Burning Man I think was the name? It was far more graphic than anything on 24.
Right, but the character in 'Man On Fire' is not acting on behalf of the US government. He is acting on his own.

Admittedly I have not seen the show '24' so I am not sure of all the particulars. But I believe my above statement will hold true under scrutiny. Here is an excerpt from a wikipedia article:

Quote:
24 is in real-time with each season following a 24-hour period in the life of federal agent Jack Bauer (played by Sutherland) as he tries to prevent terrorist attacks. The show also covers the actions of others associated with the attacks. It is based in Los Angeles, around the fictional Counter Terrorist Unit.

I can see some cause for concern. At the same time if an operative or interrogator is trained properly they will know this crap won't work well if it works at all.

May as well remove Tom and Jerry cartoons so the kids don't start thinking they can drop anvils in each other and have it just squash em flat. . .
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February 10th, 2007  
bulldogg
 
 
thanks Rhodes, good points made. And good to see you back on the boards.
February 11th, 2007  
Damien435
 
 
99% of the time torture won't work, either because the person being tortured believes too strongly in their cause or is innocent, usually the latter. The only time torture should be allowed is when the tortured is KNOWN to be a terrorist or something, not SUSPECTED. So if Osama Bin Laden is captured alive, torture is... tolerable in my mind because we know he is the head of a international terrorism organization, but if we capture someone we believe to be an Al Qaeda operative, well 99 times out of 100 any information we get out of this person will be wrong and cost more lives than it would save.
February 13th, 2007  
Marinerhodes
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien435
99% of the time torture won't work, either because the person being tortured believes too strongly in their cause or is innocent, usually the latter. The only time torture should be allowed is when the tortured is KNOWN to be a terrorist or something, not SUSPECTED. So if Osama Bin Laden is captured alive, torture is... tolerable in my mind because we know he is the head of a international terrorism organization, but if we capture someone we believe to be an Al Qaeda operative, well 99 times out of 100 any information we get out of this person will be wrong and cost more lives than it would save.
Torture can come in many forms. You are speaking of physical torture right?

Sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, mental abuse etc. You never have to lay a hand or item on that person to make them want to give up any information.
February 13th, 2007  
Damien435
 
 
Not just physical torture, that is in most people's mind the most common form of torture and when a person mentions torture they immediately think of weird ways to cause pain, but that was my main point. I think sleep deprivation is wrong because of its long lasting effects on a person, sensory deprivation varies from case to case, things like playing the same song over and over again till somebody finally cracks are spots where I can turn a blind eye. The only kind of "torture" in my mind that is tolerable are forms that cause short term discomfort and maybe pain, but a person can be fine and feel almost no ill effects only minutes afterwords. I don't specialize in torture techniques or anything like that, but my understanding is that some forms of torture involve making a person stand in awkward positions for hours before they finally give in but other than some general muscle soreness really has no long lasting effects. I know it's controversial but my understanding is that water boarding or whatever it is called cause a great deal of discomfort but has no long lasting effects.

All in all I prefer instances where the threat of torture was enough to get a confession, which is why I don't want any laws or regulations outright banning it, but that doesn't mean I want to practiced regularly. Much like the death penalty, I support keeping the death penalty mostly as a threat, confess to this crime and get 30-50 or else take your risk in front of a jury
with a prosecution that will be going for the death penalty. That sort of thing.
February 14th, 2007  
Marinerhodes
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien435
Not just physical torture, that is in most people's mind the most common form of torture and when a person mentions torture they immediately think of weird ways to cause pain, but that was my main point. I think sleep deprivation is wrong because of its long lasting effects on a person, sensory deprivation varies from case to case, things like playing the same song over and over again till somebody finally cracks are spots where I can turn a blind eye. The only kind of "torture" in my mind that is tolerable are forms that cause short term discomfort and maybe pain, but a person can be fine and feel almost no ill effects only minutes afterwords. I don't specialize in torture techniques or anything like that, but my understanding is that some forms of torture involve making a person stand in awkward positions for hours before they finally give in but other than some general muscle soreness really has no long lasting effects. I know it's controversial but my understanding is that water boarding or whatever it is called cause a great deal of discomfort but has no long lasting effects.

All in all I prefer instances where the threat of torture was enough to get a confession, which is why I don't want any laws or regulations outright banning it, but that doesn't mean I want to practiced regularly. Much like the death penalty, I support keeping the death penalty mostly as a threat, confess to this crime and get 30-50 or else take your risk in front of a jury
with a prosecution that will be going for the death penalty. That sort of thing.
From the articles I have read chronic to long-term sleep deprivation can be found in societies across the globe. http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/2415.html and http://www.webmd.com/content/article/64/72426.htm (take it for what it's worth). On the other side of the coin complete sleep deprivation can possibly lead to temporary insanity: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neur...b3/Ledoux.html

However you slice or dice it, I myself have been kept awake for 54 hours with only exercise (walking in a 10ft circle) for a stimulant. I am still here, and sane (in my own world) with no long-term side effects that I or doctors have noticed. Ever see a guy on a 20Km hike with a full pack sleep walking? I haven't seen it myself but I have heard "stories".
February 14th, 2007  
bulldogg
 
 
I've done it. Fell asleep while marching in Basic... woke up in the ditch as I had veered wide right apparently. Also fell asleep in the back of a deuce and a half going over open ground out at White Sands for our FTX... didn't think that was possible either.

The mental irregularities caused from sleep deprivation are always temporary. 54 hours is pretty damn long bro. Longest I did was something about 36 hours to reset my clock trying to get rid of insomnia.
 


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