Weekend Reading

Repeatedly, the Study faults the CIA for not briefing the president, the FBI, the Senate, and other bodies. Repeatedly, the Study faults the CIA not because it tortured detainees, but because the torture failed to produce intelligence. Repeatedly, the Study wants to hold on to torture as a resource, but it must be better torture, more efficient torture, torture that pays for itself. One gets the sense that the Study authors are disappointed that torture did not pay for itself—some torturers got paid, but torture was not profitable enough. The problem with torture is that it fails at capitalism..

Between 1996 and 2001, there were 102 “torture scenes,” the Parents Television Council told the Los Angeles Times. But in the three years after 2001, that number skyrocketed to 624 — with “24″ accounting for nearly 70 of those scenes. Those years also illustrated a shift in the portrayal of harsh interrogation. It was no longer the bad guys who did it — like in “Rambo” and “Braveheart.” It was now society’s protectors: stoic men like Jack Bauer, who sold his soul to keep his country safe.

“Isn’t it obvious that if there was a nuke in New York City that was about to blow — or any other city in this country — that, even if you were going to go to jail, it would be the right thing to do?” asked “24″ producer Joel Surnow, who calls his program a “patriotic show.”


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