Antonin Scalia Defends “Jack Bauer”
Seriously, this is just getting ridiculously old, not to mention just plain sad.
Jack Bauer is a fictional character on a fictional show that has become terror-porn for torture apologists everywhere. “See, Jack Bauer got the information out of the terrorists by shooting him in the leg and he saved the world! He saved the world!”
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.
Of course he’s talking about “real-life” Jack Bauers, but guess what…this type of torture is notorious for providing FALSE intel. That’s right. Jack Bauer is batting 1.000 right now because it is FICTION.
So to answer Scalia’s question about whether or not Jack Bauer would get convicted, yes Antonin…probably. Because he wouldn’t have saved Los Angeles from a nuke, he would have shot somebody in the leg who didn’t know anything.
And to that point…
But sometimes this message proves a little too persuasive. Last November, a U.S. Army brigadier-general, Patrick Finnegan, of West Point, went to California to meet with the show’s producers. He asked if the writers would consider reining in Agent Bauer. “The kids see it, and say, ‘If torture is wrong, what about 24?” he told The New Yorker in February.
He argued that “they should do a show where torture backfires.” It’s not just the military that’s watching 24. It turns out that the judges who struggle to square the Guantanamo Bay prison camp experiment with the British Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 are watching the show, too.
Hmm, I wonder if the guy behind the conservative answer to The Daily Show, The 1/2 News Hour, is going to hold Jack Bauer’s actions up to real scrutiny.
I have my doubts…