Why Does The DoD Hate America?

7 comments February 10th, 2007at 02:28pm Posted by Eli

This is interesting…

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.”


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.

Even the military and the FBI think 24 is over the top! Torture should only be performed by Serious Professionals, not yahoos just acting out what they saw on teevee!

Oh, and can I just say how totally shocked and surprised I am that the executive producer of 24 is an enthusiastically pro-torture “right-wing nut”?

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Media,Republicans,Torture,TV,Wankers


  • 1. Ruth  |  February 10th, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Sadly, a much-watched tv show is probably more real to the kids who see it than anything they hear from parents or whatever about decency and principle. We’re not surprised I suppose that the Focus on Family is not showing it might have any problems with teaching anti-personnel practices to our supposedly vulnerable children?

    Eric Saar was an Guantanamo interrogator who wrote Inside the Wire awhile ago, revelations about the kind of people who actually are the subject of torture. For the most part, their guilt has not been established, and a lot of them were turned over to us for money.

  • 2. Eli  |  February 10th, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    The purpose of 24 is to mainstream torture for the Bush administration’s benefit. Certainly Focus On Family is not going to interfere with that, as long as the good guys don’t torture any Christians.

    Regardless of what the administration and its apologists say, torture is not about intelligence, it’s about punishment. And it doesn’t matter whether the individuals being tortured are innocent, or if they don’t know anything, because the punishment is *collective*. Also, torture can yield a lot of *politically* useful intelligence (i.e., completely false, but in conformance with the BushCo narrative).

  • 3. charley  |  February 10th, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    “stop with the negative vibes dude”

    i loved it the first season, considering the times i find it highly inappropriate viewing these days. great lighting.

    romanticizing torture, who’d a thunk it…

  • 4. Interrobang  |  February 11th, 2007 at 2:37 am

    I’m slightly skeptical in general, because it’s the NY Daily News reporting, but I will agree that there are significant numbers of people who confuse televisual verisimilitude with mimesis — they really do seem to think that things that look realistic and/or plausible on television must therefore be real and/or plausible in real life.

    Call it the “Argumentum Non Potes Id Facere in Ultravisionem,” if you like. *grin*

  • 5. Ruth  |  February 11th, 2007 at 6:45 am

    Funny, Eli, that’s similar to what the MD delegate I worked for said about the ProLifers, they want sex to be punished. And I am not sure I agree. But I have a problem with excessive serendipity.

  • 6. Eli  |  February 11th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    romanticizing torture, who’d a thunk it…

    24 is all about mainstreaming torture and the word “nukular”.

    they really do seem to think that things that look realistic and/or plausible on television must therefore be real and/or plausible in real life.

    I think a lot of people have trouble fully internalizing the concept that TV IS NOT REAL. They may understand it intellectually, but not viscerally.

    Funny, Eli, that’s similar to what the MD delegate I worked for said about the ProLifers, they want sex to be punished. And I am not sure I agree.

    The Republicans are Old Testament Christians. They dig all that stuff about a jealous and vengeful God, but they tune out when Jesus starts preaching all that hippie shit.

  • 7. Multi Medium » 24! &hellip  |  February 20th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    […] Carlson’s snarky “Oh, grow up, people!” tone makes me want to smack him, but his “Magazine Reader” column today has some interesting and horrifying follow-ups on the real-interrogators-ask-24-to-lay-off-the-torture story: When the general arrives at the studio, wearing a uniform decorated with countless ribbons, people figure he’s an actor playing a general and they ask when his scene will be shot. Then, at the meeting, one of Finnegan’s experts suggests some non-abusive interrogation techniques including — get this! — “giving suspects a postcard to send home, thereby learning the name and address of their next of kin.” […]

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