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August 31, 2015

Does 24 torture affect how real interrogators work in Iraq?

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Feb 12th 2007 4:41PM

Jack and Graem Bauer on 24Creators of 24 met late last year with human rights advocates, the dean of West Point's military academy and experienced interrogators to discuss torture and how the torture scenes on 24 affect how people are questioned by authorities in real life, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The panel of torture experts wanted to persuade 24 writers to "show torture subjects taking weeks or months to break, spitting out false or unreliable intelligence, and even dying. As they do in the real world," the article said.

Meanwhile, an Associated Press article quoted a representative from Human Rights First saying that torture scenes from 24 influence how interrogators in Iraq do their jobs.

Human Rights First is also in talks with the Writers Guild of America to have Hollywood scribes meet with real-life interrogators who can discuss their experiences regarding torture.

According to the Parents Television Council, the LA Times reported, there were 624 torture scenes on television between 2002-2005, the most on 24 which had 67.

The show's executive producer, Howard Gordon, has been filmed by Human Rights First talking about the 24 torture scenes. The video is expected to be shown at West Point this fall, the Times article said.

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I wonder if those terrorists learned how to behead a person by watching American television? They can break a person in minutes, in the real world. Why don't all these human right groups protest the cruelty practiced routinely by these "wonderful, peace loving muslims? Maybe because they know they would be "broken" in minutes. Get your heads out of the sand!

February 12 2007 at 11:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"show torture subjects taking weeks or months to break, spitting out false or unreliable intelligence, and even dying..."

Um, great idea, buuuuut, the show takes place over the course of one day. Call me crazy but I'd rather see someone break quickly than see all these people held for weeks and months on end crack at convenient times during one 24 hour period.

And there have been deaths during torture in 24. Jack Bauer himself was medically dead as a result of torture during Season 2.

Of course, Jack was revived, although it left him with a heart problem that felled him later on in the season. But the main point here is that it showed how torturers can go too far sometimes without meaning to.

And can we even count the number of times people have lied under interrogation. I think Nina alone should cover the spread on that one.

This season we are seeing Jack have a heart towards those he tortures, as odd as that sounds. He cradled his brother's head and told him to breathe. He had trouble early on in the season torturing another suspect. This may sound trivial, but maybe its the writer's and producer's subtle way of showing that torture affects both the torturer and the torturee.

I get the point, and I do agree that torture has become far too accepted in today's world, and maybe 24 in some small way plays a role in that, but maybe suggestions for its improvement should come from people that have actually watched it, instead of just going through clinically counting the number of torture scenes.

February 12 2007 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just in Iraq, what about Guantanamo?

February 12 2007 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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