Friday, March 13

Primetime Torture to Gitmo: The Deadly Connection

Human Rights First has produced a 14-minute movie featuring interrogation experts and trainers who all support the argument that Hollywood via shows such as "24", "Alias" and "Lost" have been bombarding the American public with a vicious, poisonous lie.

The idea the Torture is EVER "Heroic" or effective.

Psst It's NOT!

There's a debate and an argument going on in this country concerning the issue of Torture and War Crimes. On the one had you have those who believe the U.S. has an absolute obligation to honor it's own laws and treaties and abide by the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Convention against Torture.

Geneva states "There Will be NO AFFRONTS TO PERSONAL DIGNITY" against detainees.

The UN Torture Conventions says:

No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

Neither of these documents leave any wiggle room - there are no "Special Circumstances" - No Exceptions. No MEANS NO! Period.

On the other hand you have people who posted these comments to another HRF video on "24" which call it nothing more than an "Ad for Torture"

-torture and interrogation is ok for terrorists and bad people, to do whatever it takes to make them talk, we dont see you human rights assholes when innocent people die, you only come forward to protect the rights of the worst kinda murderers

-What a bunch of fucking pussies. You're safe because of torture. Never forget that.

-right so.. terrorists are allowed to kill innocent people but we're not allowed to try and stop these attacks from even taking place?

These people sound a lot like George W. Bush.

Bush: I just can't imagine being President without having these techniques when we capture a known killer who has information about the next attack on America

Don't worry - you won't be. Thank God.

Or maybe they sound more like Jack Bauer.

Season 7 Episode 1
BAUER: When I am activated, when I am brought into a situation, there is a reason and that reason is to complete the objectives of my mission at all costs. [...]

For a combat soldier the difference between success and failure is your ability to adapt to your enemy. The people that I deal with, they don’t care about your rules. ... In answer to your question, am I above the law? No, sir. I am more than willing to be judged by the people you claim to represent. I will let them decide what price I should pay. Now please do not sit there with that smug look on your face and expect me to regret the decisions that I have made because, sir, the truth is I don’t.

Yeah, that's a great argument for Jury Nullification there O.J.

Episode 6 (When Jack argues for the kidnapping and threatening of an innocent woman and child to get her suspected traitor Secret Secret Agent husband to cooperate)

Bauer: When are you people going stop thinking everyone else is following your rules- They're NOT!

Because committing acts of terrorism against innocent people is a wonderful way protect innocent people from terrorists - dont'cha know?

Episode 9
Mayer: Madame President I don't care if his source is the blessed virgin Mary nothing justifies what went on in this room.

Taylor: But what if he's right? What if it means we could save lives?

Mayer: Look at that (points to the bloody and battered Burnett) and tell me it's not barbarism? Is that something you can live with?

Bauer: Earlier today two airplanes were brought down - is THAT something you can live with?

Mayer: You're reprehensible Bauer.

Bauer: AND YOU SIR ARE WEAK - Unwilling and Unable to Look Evil in the Eye and DEAL WITH IT!

Right, all the people stand for Human Rights and against torture - are the "Weak People". The Pussies! It takes a REAL MAN to be a sadistic Dickhead who repeatedly inspires vicious terrorists to hunt and attack him and his country. Thanks for the Tip Jack.

And then there are those who feel "It's Just TV", so don't worry about it.

why are people making a big deal outta this? So 24 shows torture. Deal with the guys who abuse kids and kill innocent people first, then we can talk about a TV show.

-Oh, and another thing assholes, what happened to freedom of speech? Just turn if off if you don't like it, yes? I'm quite sure that's what you'd say if a program happened to be in alignment with something you advocated, but others were criticizing. Fucking hypocrites.

Well, the big deal is that it's not just one show. It's many many shows over a great many years including "Alias" and "Lost" that have perpetuated this MYTH that all you have to do is inflict enough pain and the bad guys will "Crack". All of us have seen that movie, from Dirty Harry to Death Wish to SAW VII, that moment when the bad guys finally says - "ENOUGH, I'll Tell you...I'll TALK!"

We've all seen it, and hardly any of us have stood up and walked out thinking "That's Bullshit". We consider it credible, we think it's plausible - we BUY INTO IT - but it's just a myth, no more valid or real than the idea that a young girl in a short skirt is asking to be raped and murdered by a pedophile - or that the dirty Juden Deserved the Ovens!

Yeah, I went went there, because Nazi Germany is a large part of why Geneva exists. If Bauer was real, by now he'd be a sadistic neo-fascist sociopath - and that's exactly the point. He's a War Criminal.

If we saw a suggestion like those two in a film almost no one (except maybe Bill O'Rielly or Pat Buchanan) would buy it as believable. Yet hardly anyone objects to the idea that "everybody breaks" - and that right there is the challenge that stands before anyone who supports Human Rights and the rule of law. Even people on our side of the argument, are often willing to make excuses and compromises for "Special Circumstance", but just as the UN Torture Convention state - there are no excuses. None. Zero. Even seriously entertaining the suggestion should be completely abhorrent to all of us - yet it's not.

The argument that real people don't take this seriously and don't believe what their seeing on the TV or movie screen is belied by the Real Experience of Interrogators in Iraq.

U.S. Army Interrogator Tony Lagouranis: We were told that the old rules (Geneva) didn't apply anymore and were encouraged by the Pentagon to "Be creative" - so we watched Movies and TV for ideas.

Thanks to Bush, Cheney and the Yoo Memo's all their training and all the rules We're Out the Window!" Here is an Iraq Veteran Interrogator TELLING YOU they took tips directly from shows like "24" (and still I'm sure people will argue that these shows had nothing to do with it even though Lagouranis is clearly saying that IT DID!).

Add this to the words of the interrogator who helped take out the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq - Abu Zarqawi - that Torture Is NEVER Neccessary

No one is suggesting Censorship, nor is simply ignoring a show you don't like or agree with a solution. Sticking our head in the sand does nothing to address the fact that Millions of Americans are being LIED TO and almost no one - NO ONE - in Hollywood is making a rational and responsible effort to get the truth out, even while they repeatedly perpetuate a lie that is costing American lives.

When all anyone hears is one side of the argument - that side wins by default. Ignoring it is tacitly endorsing it.

Contrast how many times you've seen in your own life someone screaming "No - Enough" on TV or a film with how many times you've seen what Alexander is talking about? How many times have you seen Hollywood show someone give a False Confession or bogus information just to make the pain stop the way we received false intelligence information from Ibn Sheilk al Libi and Abu Zubaydah, information which helped send us into pointless war with Iraq?

I've only seen it once that I can recall - on Showtime's Sleeper Cell which IMO was the most honest and accurate program on terrorism ever, but that's hardly enough to counter the cultural juggernaut that Bauer has become. He's practically a national Icon. No one is saying "24" shouldn't be made, or that the creators don't have a First Amendment Right to present their story the way they'd like to - but if that story is based on a LIE - it should be questioned and vigorously challenged. We should always recall that the best of our art is literature isn't simply done in a flashy or stylistic way - it also represent and illuminates some basic human truths, not lies.

Ironically in part 2 of the Human Rights First film some of our real life interrogators do happen to use a piece of Hollywood film making to help them make their point on young soldiers who've already seen years of successful torture - and that piece of film comes from way back in the pre 9-11 days of 1998's The Seige.

What we don't really see is someone like Agent Hubbard on "24" who doesn't wind up looking like and treated like a Coward and a Pussy. Last year the producers of "24" promised to "Tone done the Torture" after a visit from the Commandant of West Point Gen Finnegan, but they haven't, they've simply come up with louder excuses for it. Waiting for Bauer to lose the argument to Agent Moss or Senator Mayer is like expecting Colmes to have ever gotten the better of Hannity. The Shit is RIGGED - "Jack the Superhero" is always right and always wins the fight. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

But then again even on TV sometimes the Hero does lose, like on Season 2 of Sleeper Cell: American Terror when torture fails and the bad guy uses it to play them for a suckers. It's not that you can't do accurate TV addressing terrorism - you can - but only if people refuse to accept and idly stand for BAD MISLEADING TV about terrorism. People need to demand better, but they'll only do that when they realize like Mathew Alexander - THERE IS A BETTER WAY!

Yet Again, (because people really don't seem to get this point) no one is suggesting censorship or a boycott, but even a show like Mythbusters includes a clear disclaimer :"Don't try this at home - Ever."

Maybe at the very least "24" should have a similar disclaimer
; Don't Try this on the Battlefield - EVER!


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