Posts Tagged ‘24’



This morning’s headline reads that our future Attorney General, Eric Holder, submits his opinion that waterboarding is considered torture.  As I read this questionably newsworthy headline, I wondered what the military and other justice officials are allowed to use to coerce their prisoners into providing information necessary for the defense and expedition of justice in our country. 


I firmly believe that the majority of the viewers of the popular “24” series are in part wrapped up in the show because of the common sense justice that seems to be dispatched regularly by “the good guys.”  Today that kind of justice is an enviable fantasy for many military and law enforcement professionals.  Many of us have a longing for what seems to be common sense justice because so many of us seemed to be robbed of it lately.


indiana-jones-harrison-ford1On “24” you can forget the gratuitous fighting in hand to hand combat style. If the bad guys pull a gun on Jack Bauer, he merely finishes things with an appropriate shot to the head. (Reminds me of a classic scene in one of the Raiders of the Lost Ark Series in which Indiana Jones is confronted by a display of a long fancy sword display, only to have Indi appropriately just pull out his gun and shoot the bad guy. I recall a loud roar of approval in the theatre during that scene.)


I have a really good friend who is a high level agent for the DEA.  He has periodically bemoaned the way that their hands are tied in appropriately defending themselves against strung out, maniacal drug traffickers in the name of justice.


While I’m not saying I’m an advocate of waterboarding — I’d have to research it more — I wonder where the line will be drawn when it comes to worthwhile interrogation?  Frankly, the mere act of an interrogator making vicious threats to a prisoner in order to get information could be considered “torture” if the case was made that the suspect/terrorist truly believed the threats to be true.   I can just hear some attorney now claiming emotional duress.  Putting a perpetrator in a four-walled concrete cell having to do “his business” in plain sight could be considered torture because it’s not “humane.”  Making Paris Hilton wear prison garb could be considered a form of torture.  When my mother was first married and still learning the domestic ropes, my father claims that having to eat her cooking was a form of torture.  Recently in the news, a prison inmate claimed the chicken he had to eat from the prison cafeteria was a form of torture.  Where do torture claims end and the ability to do a critical job for our nation’s security begin?  It’s really beginning to appear today that the criminals have more rights and privileges than law abiding U.S. citizens.  We certainly are proving that theory in other aspects of our nation’s operations.


There are actions and there are consequences of those who elect to compromise the democracy, virtue and freedoms of another.  There’s torture and there’s effective coercion. There’s inhuman treatment and there’s protecting our freedom.  I hope that we don’t lose sight of effective operations at the cost of our souls or our freedoms.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
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