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This is what we have come to: Supreme Court justices citing Hollywood for constitutional principles:

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.

"So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes."

Lest we forget, Scalia was one justice dead-set against looking to international law for guidance last year:

Justice Antonin Scalia chastised the "arrogance" of U.S. judges who seek to decide politically charged questions involving gay rights and the death penalty by citing international law..... Scalia bemoaned a recent trend on the high court in citing international opinion to support decisions interpreting the U.S. Constitution, including those decriminalizing gay sex and banning the execution of the mentally retarded.

Got that? Fictional super-heroes are perfectly reasonable to introduce into panel discussions about the legality of torture. International judicial opinions, on the other hand, are to be discarded as un-American.

Next up: How H.G. Wells' The Time Machine made irrelevant the Bush administration’s failure to provide for post-invasion Iraq.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:46 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You can't stop there (31+ / 0-)

    If you're going to convict Jack Bauer, you're going to convict Scooby Doo.  Ruh-roh!

    I am talking to the server. You don't have to wait for me to finish.

    by RogueJim on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:47:54 AM PDT

  •  Of course (20+ / 0-)

    Their whole world is fiction. I'm sure they would have no problem looking to international judicial opinions, providing they were entirely fictional. We've already seen them comparing Iraq to Lord of the Rings. But comparing Iraq to Vietnam? Out of the question.


    "Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right." - Salvor Hardin

    by Zackpunk on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:49:58 AM PDT

    •  There's only one problem: (5+ / 0-)

      Frodo doesn't have the Ring, Wormtongue does.  ;->  See?  We can twist it around to suit us too - only we know it's just a game to relieve some stress.  They think it's for real.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18

      by Noor B on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:01:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, no (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dehrha02, MikeTheLiberal, sabershadow

      Only American sources are acceptable, that's the whole point--anyone citing a foreign teevee show or movie show, let alone legal opinion, is wrong, wrong, wrong. You can cite American comic books, but not foreign laws.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:03:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But Sutherland is a *Canadian*! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gareth, MikeTheLiberal, pickandshovel

        Does Scalia know this?  Maybe we should start him watching some other shows...

        Congress has the choice between what is politically expedient and what is right. Finally, for one goddamn time, let them choose the latter! IMPEACH!

        by zephron on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:06:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That must be why (4+ / 0-)

          when Jack Bauer breaks the law, he acknowledges it and is prepared to accept the consequences.

          Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? - Ian Frazier, Lamentations of the Father

          by Frankenoid on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:08:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure Kiefer is Canadian (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MikeTheLiberal

          His dad, Donald Sutherland is.  But I think Kiefer was born in California.

          David Broder is journalism's Alberto Gonzales.

          by litigatormom on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:10:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  According to Wiki and IMDB (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, MikeTheLiberal

            Kiefer was born in London in '66, and is still a Canadian citizen.

            Congress has the choice between what is politically expedient and what is right. Finally, for one goddamn time, let them choose the latter! IMPEACH!

            by zephron on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:15:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Kiefer was born in London (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, MikeTheLiberal

            But because his parents were Canadian, he holds both Canadian citizenship and some sort of status in the UK as well.

            An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. -- T. Paine (-6.25, -7.18)

            by DH from MD on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:16:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Kiefer was born in London (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ari Mistral, ER Doc, MikeTheLiberal

            But raised in Canada. He moved to LA in his late teens, after a few roles in small pictures here in Canada (The Bay Boy being one that brought him critical notice).

            Granted, he's pretty much an American now, but he still has strong ties, including his mother Shirley Douglas, a Canadian actress of note and daughter of the founder of the precursor to the New Democratic Party, Tommy Douglas (as Premier of Saskatchewan, Tommy introduced the first public healthcare system).

            So, he's more Canadian than Jim Carrey I would think. At least, he cherishes (according to his own words) his Canadian roots and citizenship. But probably less Canadian than Nelly Furtado or Sarah McLachlan. Definitely at least as Canadian as Celine Dion. And less into kitsch.

            -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

            by thingamabob on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:26:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I stand corrected! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MikeTheLiberal

              I assumed he was your ordinary Hollywood brat.  My bad.

              David Broder is journalism's Alberto Gonzales.

              by litigatormom on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:39:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not sure it makes much difference (0+ / 0-)

                I don't care so much about his nationality; I just wish he'd stop making 24 into a show about cheerleading for extrajudicial torture, killing and so on. He has actually said he's somewhat uncomfortable with Jack's tactics on the show.

                But he's still doing it. And he is more responsible for 24 than anyone, right now.

                Also, the show sucks. It depends far too much on people making absolutely unlikely or unbelievably stupid decisions. I stopped altogether after the first 1/2 of Episode 1, Season Three. When Jack's clueless daughter, who has singlehandedly been responsible for allowing terrorists to almost blow up LA, shows up as a counter-terrorism operative in a relationship with Jack's new partner. That's not just unlikely, that's simply not credible. And I turned it off for the last time.

                -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

                by thingamabob on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:11:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've never watched it (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  thingamabob, MikeTheLiberal

                  I got the first 3 seasons on DVD last Xmas as a gift, and was going to watch because the giver told me what a great show it is.  Then I started reading here about how the show glorifies, how shall we say, alternative interrogation techniques, and I decided I was better off using that time to blog here!

                  David Broder is journalism's Alberto Gonzales.

                  by litigatormom on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:40:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Watch (0+ / 0-)

                    You must absolutely, positively watch Season One.

                    Watch the morality "lessons", especially with regards to sex.

                    But the storylines are compelling, the acting great, and the directing stellar.

                    Then decide on Season Two.

                    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

                    by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:53:48 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Unless its the...... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikeTheLiberal, pickandshovel

        ....bible (except for parts that they don't like).

        I hated george bush before it was cool.

        by dehrha02 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:15:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's no surprise that Nino pays more (6+ / 0-)

      attention to a fictional TV character than the Constitution on national security matters.

      After all, he's the guy who relied on the treatise "Due Process Principles of the Bizarro World" in ruling that counting all the votes in Florida in 2000 would violate George W. Bush's due process rights.

      David Broder is journalism's Alberto Gonzales.

      by litigatormom on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:09:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now, Mom . . . (4+ / 0-)

        as Justice Scalia was kind enough to point out in his opinion . . . if all the votes had been counted it would have irreparably harmed the candidacy of the plaintiff . . . George Walker Bush.

        My continuing question is . . . how did Bush have standing to sue regarding a voters rights issue in Florida????

        "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by bobdevo on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:24:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I guess it was more important that the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobdevo, ER Doc, MikeTheLiberal

          entire nation suffer the irreparable harm of George W. Bush's presidency that to permit Bush to be irreparably harmed by being unable to harm the nation.  That's what called in the legal biz "balancing of the equities."  Clearly, Bush had a greater interest in BEING president than the American people had in the having the president of their choice.

          David Broder is journalism's Alberto Gonzales.

          by litigatormom on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:41:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Bad as the per curiam opinion was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikeTheLiberal

        That wasn't Scalia's view.  He, Rehnquist, and Thomas all held that the "safe harbor" clause regarding the protection of a state's electors required that Harris' original certification stand given the timelines involved.  Say what you will about that view, it is nowhere near as nonsensical as what the per curiam opinion arrived at.

        The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

        by Categorically Imperative on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:23:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Demonizing Hollywood (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah, MikeTheLiberal

      Yeah right.

      They demonize Hollywood because it just gives the GOP one more group to rally the base against.

      If you don't hate gays, you might hate peaceniks or you might hate the abortionists or you might hate the librul media or you might hate Hollywood.

      Whoever you hate, join the GOP: they hate most of them.

      Funny they didn't bitch about Schwartzenegger. Funny they're not bitching about Fred Thompson.

      "I intend to live forever. So far, so good." Steven Wright

      by gsbadj on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:47:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, but they worship FOX n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah

      I hope Lincoln's ghost kicks Nixon's ghost around the Oval Office at night. Petition to impeach Gonzo - http://www.commoncause.org/ImpeachGonzales

      by feduphoosier on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:14:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I keep telling my wife, if it (28+ / 0-)

    was okay for Mr. Rochester to keep his crazy wife locked in the attic while courting the young, charming Jane Eyre, that she best not lose her marbles.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:50:32 AM PDT

  •  Consistency, Scalia-style (8+ / 0-)

    Since it was a Canadian judge who rejected the Jack Bauer test, and foreign judicial opinions ought not to be respected, it clearly follows that the Jack Bauer test is valid. Let's just hope it doesn't find its place in the legal lexicon, along with Miranda and the like.

    •  I certainly hope not, but don't forget (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

      Scalia serves for life unless impeached.

      •  Can he be impeached for coming unhinged? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, MikeTheLiberal

        Because that "analysis" really makes me question his sanity.

        "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18

        by Noor B on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:03:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lots of things have made me question his sanity (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

          this is far from the first.

        •  He's not crazy, not by a long shot (6+ / 0-)

          Torquemada was not crazy either.  They were both, uh, conservative Catholics.  I'm actually curious about Scalia's ideas about what torture is good for.  He's an intellectual - one with a hollow soul to be sure - but still, someone who values reason within the narrow and rigid confines of his religion and his authoritarian bias.  

          Does he support torture as a tool of intimidation?  Or does he see torture as a legitimate information collection activity?  Or, for Scalia, is this a mere legalistic exercise in expanding executive authority? His emotional outburst indicates that he sees some instrumental value in torture itself.

          There's an Iraqi saying "beat one, scare two". From a purely instrumental point of view, torture is effective at intimidating larger groups of people. I think this appeals to Scalia's inherent authoritarian bias.  He certainly feels that the government must be unconstrained in its ability to apply intimidation for policy reasons.  I think he's totally sane - dead wrong - but totally sane.  

           

          In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

          by ivorybill on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:51:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Shouldn't this life term thing be eliminated (4+ / 0-)

        I think a 10-year term is perfectly adequaet. Then we would not have to put up with the enormous circus that goes on around the nomination process, and also would not be saddled with Justices that are out of touch or were obviously nominated and confirmed by mistake. Clearly, Scalia and Thomas are lousy judges, and should have been retired by now.

        Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

        by Batfish on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:06:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The narrator... (7+ / 0-)

    ...in H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds showed us that we should be ever vigilante against big-headed Martians.

    An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. -- T. Paine (-6.25, -7.18)

    by DH from MD on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:51:05 AM PDT

  •  Now we know why they love Fred Thompson (14+ / 0-)

    Constitutional and Criminal Laws don't apply to anyone who has appeared in a movie or television show.  The only thing constraining Bush these past few years were his lack of Hollywood credentials.

    Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

    by zenbowl on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:51:05 AM PDT

    •  Poor Rs miss St. Roneee - they need another actor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal

      to help project their dreams of empire, because this one is shot to bits.

    •  Sam Dash, Thompson, Watergate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbowl, MikeTheLiberal

      My local PBS station played All the President's Men the other night and followed it up with a program tracing the Watergate Hearings by highlighting interviews with many of the individuals who testified or who were part of the committee. Sam Dash was interviewed and offered his thoughts on the historic events of thirty years ago. Dash was chief counsel for the Senate during the Watergate Hearings.
      Dash said something that has stayed with me..words to the effect that the individuals involved in Watergate and the cover-up (including Nixon, Mitchell and the now familiar crew of Handelman, Erlich and Colson) had no regard for the Constitution. Today we have men and women running our government...like Bush, Cheney, Gonzalez and Scalia...who have no regard for the Constitution. Sadly, we have no politicians, journalists or Deep Throats who seem to have any regard for the Constitution either.

      Thompson, of course, was chief co counsel along with Howard Baker for the Republicans...

      I think, therefore, I snark. Anon.

      by byteb on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:18:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Scalia needs to get a job with his true master (8+ / 0-)

    "Our knobs go up to 11."

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:51:26 AM PDT

  •  Cartoons (10+ / 0-)

    That's what they are, cartoons.

    What an embarrassment to the Supreme Court Scalia is.

  •  Willy Wonka for FDA head (9+ / 0-)

    get on the train :-)

    ...the military is different. It is unique. It exists for one purpose and that's to apply state violence -Colin Powell Meet The Press 6-10-2007

    by waitingforvizzini on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:51:46 AM PDT

  •  What a fucking idiot. (8+ / 0-)

    I can't believe this man is on the Supreme Court.

    We cannot allow the next president to be a Republican, period. I don't care how much you hate Hillary Clinton, she would never nominate a Scalia.

    I'm just a simple hyperchicken from a backwoods asteroid. Relentless!

    by ablington on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:51:55 AM PDT

  •  In fairness to Scalia (18+ / 0-)

    He wasn't really citing Jack Bauer for constitutional principles, he was responding to another panel member's comment that had used Bauer's conduct as an example of what crosses the line from hard-nosed interrogation to torture.  Whatever one may think about Scalia's views on international law, the comparison between the two situations is inapt at best.

    The disturbing thing is that Scalia does seem to think that mental and/or physical torture can yield useful intelligence, a view that is likely to color his decisions in any torture-related cases to come before the Court.

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

    by Categorically Imperative on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:51:56 AM PDT

    •  fairness .. Scalia ? (11+ / 0-)

      somehow I felt dirty just reading that.

    •  Right - this bodes ill (6+ / 0-)

      We can see how the whole right side of the court - Scalia, Scalito, Thomasito, and Robertsito are gonna tilt when facing a ruling on torture.

      My sense is that Scalia and Roberts will agree on the general position that the Constitution permits and authorizes the Executive to torture at will, and then Alito and Thomas will co-sign once they see what the other two think about it.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

      by The Raven on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:55:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So we need to point out (5+ / 0-)

        That the US has signed numerous international treaties which prohibit the use of torture, and the Constitution binds us to those treaties.  I don't think the President can just unilaterally dissolve those treaties when it's convenient, considering it has a congressional vote and a previous president's signature on them...

        •  This is BUSH (4+ / 0-)

          He has no problem whatsoever with disobeying or ignoring any law or treaty that gets in his way.  

          1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

          by noweasels on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:20:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  But point out to whom? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivorybill, MikeTheLiberal

          The SCOTUS obeys no master (theoretically). It gives the final ruling. They're appointed for life. What will truly matter is how Kennedy eventually rules on the issue.

          Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

          by The Raven on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:21:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Two ways around that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Raven, MikeTheLiberal

          First, by redefining torture to permit "harsh interrogation" and then claiming that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture or the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights are without authority to make a finding that certain techniques constitute torture.  They will mess with the definition game, and weaken the UN in the process.  Kennedy might sign along on that one.  

          Second, they may well determine that our elected emperor has a constitutional right to torture, and that the legislation ratifying the Convention Against Torture is unconstitutional.  I would never have thought this could seriously be contemplated, but Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito probably actually hold this view.  I think if this is the argument, they will have a 4:5 split.  But it is horribly frightening that we are this close.

          Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas - all of them are too rigid and too authoritarian to ever change. Scalia and Thomas are both getting old.

          In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

          by ivorybill on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:01:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe (4+ / 0-)

        It really depends on the underlying details.  If it is a "battlefield"-type scenario, Scalia is going to sympathize with the executive.  The further the facts move from an immediate, wartime situation, however, the less sympathetic Scalia is likely to be.  Remember, he was basically the only Justice to straightforwardly stand up for habeas in Hamdi.  Scalia's real litmus test may be whether the person in question is a citizen, resident, or alien.

        The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

        by Categorically Imperative on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:06:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes - that's where it gets interesting (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gsbadj, 4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

          What, exactly, is a "battlefield," a "combatant," and a "war" in the new paradigm of urban terrorism?

          We've seen how tricky this is already with the recent ruling on combatant status in the al-Marri case, decided by the 4th circuit court of appeals.

          If the government's stance was upheld, civil liberties groups said, the Justice Department could use terrorism law to hold anyone indefinitely and strip them of the right to use civilian courts to challenge their detention.

          This one eventually turned on the phrase "unlawful enemy combatant," as opposed to the "lawful" type, I guess.

          Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

          by The Raven on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:28:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True (4+ / 0-)

            FWIW, I think the al-Marri court got it right...I'm not sure how much any of those definitions change whether we're fighting terrorists or nation-states.  Denominating something a "war" (i.e. the "war on terror") does not make it so, at least in the eyes of international law.  After all, no one thinks that, say, due process and habeas corpus don't apply to drug dealers just because we've been fighting the "war on drugs" for a few decades.  People who are captured in the Afghan or Iraqi theater are combatants captured on the battlefield.  So-called terrorists we abduct in the US or in other countries are civilians, as that term is understood in international law.  To view it any other way, IMO, is dangerous and contrary to the law of war as it has developed over the last 80 or so years.

            The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

            by Categorically Imperative on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:11:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  What about being human as a litmus test? (3+ / 0-)

          Sometimes I want to scream at Scalia when he parses these differences in rights between citizens, permanent residents, and aliens.  He has so little concern for universal rights, versus those pertaining to citizenship, that I fantasize about plopping his sorry ass down in the Sonoran desert near Cerro Pinacate, or perhaps in the Gaza Strip, and see if his sophistry gets him a drink of water or spares him a beating.  

          In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

          by ivorybill on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:10:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with you (3+ / 0-)

            And I didn't intend to defend Scalia's views on those matters, at least in this instance.

            In some cases, the Constitution itself makes distinctions in rights between citizens and noncitizens inevitable.  For example, the 14th Amendment protects the privileges and immunities of citizens only, but provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.  So Scalia isn't wrong as a blanket matter in drawing the distinction.

            Where he goes off the rails is intimately tied to his disdain for international law.  For example, the Geneva Conventions require that foreign citizens (combatants or otherwise) receive a certain minimum level of treatment even when captured during active hostilities.  Scalia's bizarre refusal to acknowledge that the GCs apply  (or, if they do, that they are enforceable in court) leads to pernicious results when coupled with his observation that, in certain situations, the US Constitution does not apply to aliens.  Torture is, obviously, one such case.    

            The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

            by Categorically Imperative on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:17:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think Alito will wait to see (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Raven, 4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

        what Scalia or Roberts think about torture, he's more likely to be in the lead on that one. If anything, Alito is even further to the right than Scalia, though he he is not as theatrical and therefore doesn't get quoted as much.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:09:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)

      I honestly thought this was snark when I first read it.  Scalia couldn't be that loopy, I insisted.

      I've always thought that Scalia was a pretty bright jurist.  That's partly what makes him so difficult to fight, he could argue rings around most folks.  But this is just wacky.  How can you site a fictional outcome to support a real world legal argument.  Jack Bauer saved LA because the scriptwriter made it so.  What part of fiction does he not understand???

      Frugal Fridays, where the cheap come to chat.

      by sarahnity on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:03:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People cite the Bible all the time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikeTheLiberal

        This isn't necessarily so different to those who place the Bible before the Constitution.

        •  Not quite (4+ / 0-)

          I'm not a Christian and I really resent those who are trying to turn my country into a theocracy, but there is a difference in believing in something because you think it is the divine word of God and believing in something that was written to sell soap and beer.

          Frugal Fridays, where the cheap come to chat.

          by sarahnity on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:10:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But the bible writers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sxp151, sarahnity

            never won an Emmy!

            "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

            by aggressiveprogressive on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:37:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Stem Cell Research, Abortion, Creationism, more (0+ / 0-)

            The poster said that they didn't agree with citing a fictional work in real-world laws.  I consider the bible fiction, and while it has many good lessons, people cite it as they make their case for real-world laws all the time, and fictional outcomes.  Even those who believe it's the divine word of God don't all believe it is written by him - many do, but many also understand it has been crafted over two thousand plus years by multiple writers, many who were in good faith describing events as they understood them.  They weren't claiming to be divine as they wrote things down, and neither were the groups of clerics who then further modified the words and meaning.

            The Koran is different - that's where God spoke the words to Muhammed who wrote them down directly as God told him.  I don't recall anyone ever saying the Bible was written in that fashion.

    •  Actually, Scalia's belief in ABSOLUTES (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

      makes him scary...

      the Framers did not intend to plunge us into ABSOLUTES...

      simple really::: if they picked the wrong ABSOLUTE, we'd be stuck

      if they believed in ABSOLUTE, then there would not be a balance of power...

      i could go on, but why...

      "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

      by pfiore8 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:24:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It does - on TV. (6+ / 0-)

      When Jack Bauer uses torture, it results in accurate, actionable intelligence.

      That's how he saved LA.  California.  Whatever.

      The fiction of Jack Bauer is very precise - it's the best-case scenario for the torture supporter.  Only by doing X can you save the world.  So of course we can do X.

      What the US has been doing, however, is closer to the worst-case scenario.  Not only have we gotten nothing by torturing people, but we have lost immeasurably.  Osama is still on the loose, Al Qaeda is growing by leaps and bounds, and the only 'plots' we've foiled have been pathetic set-ups.  And America has been dragged through the mud.  

      We do X.  We do X.  We do X.  And nothing changes, except the man in the hood is scarred for life, and the man outside the hood is scarred as well.

      Tell me how someone who spends years torturing people, innocent people, sometimes innocent children, can be reintegrated into society.

      Yes, I would vote to convict a torturer, even if Scalia compared him to Jack Bauer.  I wouldn't want him living next door to me.

      •  24 has done tremendous harm to this country (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gareth, ohiolibrarian, ER Doc

        As a society, we have started to glorify torture.  In the hollywood version, those who torture are hard but fair men, who torture from strength in order to get essential knowledge for the common good.

        In reality, those who torture are weak and the use of torture broadcasts weakness.  It inevitably delegitimizes whatever entity uses it.  And worst of all, torture tends to expand.  Once one law enforcement or intelligence entity starts torturing, the barriers against that kind of behavior start to fall apart. This is precisely what happened at Abu Ghraib - the US started torturing in black sites, in Guantanamo, and the acceptability of torture creeped into the system to the point where you have undisciplined, amoral children like Lindey England torturing people out of some combination of boredom and cruelty.  She, of course, suffers the consequences.  The authors of US torture policy - John Yoo, Rumsfeld, Steven Hadly, Dick Cheney, Gen Miller - will escape meaningful punishment.

        In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

        by ivorybill on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:24:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  lack of comparison (3+ / 0-)

      The Bauer comments were relevant to the current debate on issues of torture and terrorism at a legal conference.  They were also in reply to someone else who brought up Bauer first.  The whole thing was hypothetical.

      Comparing that to using a foreign judge's opinion to decide on a case before the US Supreme Court isn't just apples to oranges, it's apples to Medium rare Filet Mignon in a Tarragon Mustard sauce.

      What Scalia said was he didn't think Buaer would be convicted by a jury of people he saved by using torture.  

      How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could get welfare?

      by Kaos Klerik on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:38:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ditto (2+ / 0-)

        You are quite right. Nothing to see here but a few jurists debating a hypothetical example. It seems, however, that some of us in the "reality-based community" have trouble with reading comprehension.

        •  You evidenly missed some of the article (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivorybill, ER Doc

          which included the decidedly non-hypothetical comments from the lawyer for Mr. Arar who was extraordinarily renditioned to Syria where he was, in fact, tortured.

          Scalia also said that he'd hate to see any kind of prior restraint on people using torture (or comments to that effect).

          Happy the man and happy he alone--he who can call today his own ... John Dryden

          by ohiolibrarian on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 12:22:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you or I were asked, (0+ / 0-)

            hypothetically, whether Jack Bauer's use of torture could be justified under the law, we would probably say "no".  Hopefully, we would say that information derived from torture is unreliable.  Hopefully we would say that torture should remain illegal, because if it is used and Jack Bauer turned out to be right, jury nullification could be a possibility - but if he was wrong, as he nearly always would be in the real world - he could and should be convicted.

            I agree with you that Scalia's statement is not inconsequential.  It demonstrates (a) that he sees torture as having a legitimate use and (b) that he feels that the use of torture is within the law.  Hypothetical or not, he demonstrated to me why his presence on the Supreme Court is a blight on our nation.

            In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

            by ivorybill on Wed Jun 20, 2007 at 09:14:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Warrantless searches work too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      There is no doubt that allowing a search without a warrant would yield more convictions. That doesn't make it right, any more than torture "working" would make it justifiable. It doesn't matter if it works, it doesn't matter if it causes our "enemies" to torture us, or if refraining from torture makes them do likewise. It is wrong in principle.

      •  You might be heartened to know that (0+ / 0-)

        Scalia is against warrantless searches

        The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

        by Categorically Imperative on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 01:02:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He beat me to the part about warrantless searches (0+ / 0-)

        You left off if we stopped and they kept using torture.  

        It also depends on what type of "torture" is used.  

        Would you rather be waterboarded or...
        have your fingernails ripped off,
        your fingers broken or pulled off,
        your kneecaps broken,

        Would you rather be fored to stand for 8 hours with womens underwear on your head or...
        have an eyeball removed (using one of a variety of methods),
        have a power drill applied to various strategic location on your body?

        The problem with the word "torture" is that it has been so artfully corrupted by some commentators that we now find ourselves at a loss to describe the kinds of activities that the al-Qaeda interrogation manual graphically recommends. Now that the term "torture" has been put in one-to-one correspondence with such admittedly unpleasant activities as punching, sleep deprivation, a handkerchief pulled over one's face and loaded with water, searches by women upon sensitive Islamic men or the disrespectful handling of Korans -- what on earth do we call gouging people's eyes out? ~ Real Torture

        This is an ethical dilema.  Do you use Jack Bauer level torture and get the intel which you use to prevent a nuke from going off in LA and killing 200,000 people or do you keep to a moral absolute and watch 200,000 people die?  There is no good answer.  The lesser of two evils is still evil.  Either choice should leave a bad taste in your mouth.  If you have no qualms about doing one over the other then you need to rethink your morals.  

        While Judge Scalia argued that doomsday scenarios may well lead to the reconsideration of rights, in his legal decisions he has also said that catastrophic attacks and intelligence imperatives do not automatically give the U.S. president a blank cheque - the people have to decide. "If civil rights are to be curtailed during wartime, it must be done openly and democratically, as the Constitution requires, rather than by silent erosion through an opinion of this court," he dissented in a 2004 decision.

         
         

        How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could get welfare?

        by Kaos Klerik on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 01:44:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I submit (0+ / 0-)

          that you may be uninformed about torture.  In the real world - not the Jack Bauer fantasy world - torture is nearly always used to intimidate and modify the behavior of others, rather than to extract information.  Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Saddam Hussein both use/used torture specifically to terrorize populations in order to achieve policy goals.  I would argue that the US use of torture in Iraq, although not as severe, was used at least in part for the same reasons.

          Also remember that the US has beaten a number of prisoners to death. Of course al-Qaeda and Saddam were more brutal. However, we are the United States and we have already lost way too much when we need to protest that our torture is more gentle than their torture.  A couple dozen prisoners - that we know of - have been beaten to death in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.  One expects that of al-Qaeda or Saddam or the Taliban. It's unacceptable for the US to torture prisoners in general, and to beat them to death in particular.  I have a real problem with Jack Bauer, Jack Bauer defenders, and the fact that there has been no significant investigation or prosecution of US personnel who have beat prisoners to death.

          In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

          by ivorybill on Wed Jun 20, 2007 at 09:22:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Torture to intimidate? (0+ / 0-)

            I disagree.  While there may be isolated incidents of this the allowable purpose of 'torture' is the extraction of information.  

            Torture to intimidate is terrorism.

            I'm not saying our torture is "more gentle".  I'm saying it's not even in the same league.  Making someone extremely uncomfortable for long periods and scaring the hell out of them does not compare at all to massive permanant physical injury.  Most, of the beating deaths occurred early on, when the rules of interrogation were vague and more prisoners were coming in already wounded (some severely) from the battlefields.  I'm not saying it still doesn't happen, but I think you'll find it to be more like what happens in US prisons when the guards mete' out some in-house "justice", rather than a sanctioned brutal beating.  

            "On May 9, 2006, three US soldiers shot and killed three Iraqi detainees, having allowed the Iraqis to escape so as to make the killings appear justified. The army eventually brought homicide charges against four men, who include a sergeant and three others of lower rank, one of whom has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 18 years in prison"  

            How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could get welfare?

            by Kaos Klerik on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 12:05:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Jack Lord was so much cooler than Jack Bauer (13+ / 0-)

    and he didn't have to cut fingers off.

    Book 'em Dano

    I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain

    by route66 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:52:16 AM PDT

  •  When you're devoid of legal argument. . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, 4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

    make shit up, or cite Hollywood (uh, not the "liberal" Hollywood, the other kind).

    BenGoshi
    ____________________________________________________

    The distinction that goes with mere office runs far ahead of the distinction that goes with actual achievement. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:52:17 AM PDT

  •  So what the f*ck happend to (6+ / 0-)

    Strict Constructionists

    "So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes."

    I guess the founding fathers were just a bunch of terrorist coddling wimps who liked to dress up in frilly clothes and wear wigs.

    Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. --- Thomas Jefferson

    by Wandering Hoo on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:52:21 AM PDT

  •  What a fucking asshole (13+ / 0-)

    Goddamit I hate Scalia. What a disgrace to Sicilians like me everywhere.

    I wish this were a Bugs Bunny cartoon and that somebody would drop an Anvil on his head. What a maroon.

    Check out my new blog, dedicated to electing our boys in blue: An Enduring Democratic Majority

    by Skulnick on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:52:45 AM PDT

  •  Jeezus H. Christ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, 4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

    This is scary $#it!! How come repugs howl the loudest about "Hollywood Libruls" unless it's convenient to their "cause"? (Just a rhetorical question) Scalia "citing" Jack Bauer... There are  just no words to describe how f***ed up that is.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:52:52 AM PDT

  •  Does it work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, prodigal, MikeTheLiberal

    Torture works when it's fiction. The authors get what they want.

    But does torture work in real life?

    Not particularly often. The countries which Nazi armies occupied in Europe all had resistance movements from shortly conquest until liberation.

    •  It doens't even work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal

      on the show!

      It didn't work against Jack himself when he was held by the Chinese.  It didn't work against Gial  (sic) when he was thought to be traitor, but was in actually working secretly with Jack to get in undercover with the Salazar cartel.  More than half the times where someone breaks, like Chloe's ex who agreed to help put together a nuclear device after terrorist put a nail through his shoulder - they don't break.

      Vyan

  •  can we torture (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal

    President Shrub and his whole cabinet the day after the next president is sworn in, you know, for the safety of our country?

  •  A storyline idea for Season 7 of '24': (5+ / 0-)

    The mastermind behind the terrorist plot will be a fictional right-wing U.S. Supreme Court Justice.  Jack finds a way through SCOTUS security to get to the guy and make him confess.

    I dare Scalia to watch.  Yeesh!!

    "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'I need to quit drinking!'" - Greasy Grant

    by Greasy Grant on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:53:43 AM PDT

  •  Hell yeah, I'd convict him. (7+ / 0-)

    Torture is anti-American, and promoting torture is downright evil.  

    Cry "Mandate!" and let slip the hounds of accountability.

    by sagra on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:53:51 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles (8+ / 0-)

    But that was nothing compared to the time that Sherrif Andy Griffith ran off those stereotypical '50s "Gypsies'from fleecing the good people of Mayberry.  That really happened, right?

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:53:52 AM PDT

  •  Jack Bauer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, Shockwave, MikeTheLiberal

    Is usually seeking specific information form a specific person at a specific time.  It is related to events that are unfolding in real time.  This differs significantly from people held in jails for years when the information they have is undoubtably out of date if it existed at all.  Would anyone convict Jack Bauer under the circumstances he is facing?  Probably not.

    •  Jack Bauer is also a fictional character (4+ / 0-)

      it really has no bearing on reality and shouldn't be treated as if it does - especially by a Supreme Court Justice!

      "The feeling of respect for all species will help us recognize the noblest nature in ourselves." - Thich Nhat Hanh

      by friendlyfire on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:06:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd convict the hell out of him. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill

      If a society is based on the rule of law, then those who work for the government need to follow the laws. If JB were a real person who thought he was being patriotic and serving America by torturing, then he should be just as willing to face the consequences of torturing: jail.

      I thought the movie The Siege handled this sort of thing pretty well, at the end.

    •  Bauer should be convicted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal, Spekkio

      Both for cruelty and stupidity.  

      I have some experience with victims of torture, both working with refugees in the US and having spent a lot of time in Iraq.  Most people just offer up whatever s/he thinks the interrogater wants to hear.  Think about how you would react if you were captured by some group who wanted to know some important information that would allow them to kidnap or kill your spouse, for example.  Wouldn't you spin some plausible story in order to get them to stop torturing you, to buy a little time?

      Sometimes the person simply will not talk.  A minority of people will be simply be tortured to death before they talk.  

      Torture victims rarely tell the truth during torture.  They hate and fear the person that is victimizing them.  Would you tell the truth?

      Torture works as an intimidation tactic, but as a means of collecting information, it is next to useless.  This is simply the truth, and "24" lies to the American public and damages our country by reinforcing a horrible fiction.

      In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

      by ivorybill on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:31:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. Just wow. (6+ / 0-)

    No limit to the depths.

    Dismantle the infrastructure of tyranny.

    by Captain Nimrod on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:54:18 AM PDT

  •  Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles (8+ / 0-)

    LOL

    He is insane.  Can an insane justice be impeached?

  •  From my diary ... (6+ / 0-)

    that I'm about to delete:

    [G]iven our experiences with deadly terrorists taking over and killing innocent people on Air Force One and at Nakatomi Plaza, we need to use all means necessary to extract critical info from these animals!  

  •  The Nice Thing To Consider (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, mango, MikeTheLiberal

    is that pronouncements such as these by Scalia (which are almost certainly held almost identically by Alito and Thomas) are likely to create a great deal of distance between him and Justice Kennedy, now clearly the swing vote on the Court.

    Kennedy has long been a fan of looking toward global standards (he teaches must summers at an international law program in Europe), and famously included this line in the majority decision two years ago in Roper v. Simmons, the case involving the juvenile death penalty:

    The opinion of the world community, while not controlling our outcome, does provide respected and significant confirmation for our own conclusions.

    I somehow doubt that Kennedy would be willing to apply the Jack Bauer standard in the same manner that Scalia clearly is.

  •  Someone needs to get (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, Yoshimi, MikeTheLiberal

    Disbarred.  Christ.  Basing legal opinion on purely fictional precedent?  Didn't they teach him ANYTHING in law school?

    What do Republicans and cockroaches have in common? -- Shine a light on them and see.

    by kismet on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:55:27 AM PDT

  •  Can't wait to see how this plays (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, MikeTheLiberal

    out in the European media, we won't hear a peep from the lackeys here in the big PX.

    Cable News Anchors: Something you scrape off the bottom of your shoe after a walk in the dog park.

    by usedmeat on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:55:27 AM PDT

  •  If the German defendants at Nuremberg (10+ / 0-)

    had raised the defense that Dr. Goebbels's movies showed how everything they did was for the sake of saving Germany and the world from an international conspiracy of Jews, plutocrats, and Bolsheviks, I wonder how that would have gone over with the judges.

    Katrina was America's Chernobyl.

    by lysias on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:55:33 AM PDT

  •  I can't wait until he puts on his (6+ / 0-)

    Judge Dread uniform and takes to the streets to dole out justice.

  •  For a better idea of what works in interrogation, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, rwsab, MikeTheLiberal

    Scalia should read some LeCarre.  It's much more effective to work on the psyche for weeks on end, as opposed to simply pushing pain buttons.  People who work in intelligence know this.  

    However, it makes for relatively boring movies.  

    "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."--Mark Twain

    by RickD on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:56:47 AM PDT

  •  All the more laughable (7+ / 0-)

    since even an unimaginative dolt like me can come up with far more realistic plots for these scenarios. Such as:

    Jack Bauer tortures bad guy to find out where nuke is.

    Bad guy talks.

    Bauer rushes to the location, to find...a mocking note that says "Ha American asshole! Fooled you! The bomb is next door...bend over, grab your ankles, and kiss your ass goodbye!"

    Close up of Bauer's shocked face, then a bright flash...

    If I worry, will the future change?--Quai Chang Caine

    by Enjoy Every Sandwich on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:57:03 AM PDT

  •  This gives new meaning to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

    "Strict Constructivist"

  •  is this a joke? (6+ / 0-)

    he didn't really say that, did he?...did he?

    Georgetown University College Democrats Blog: http://democrats.georgetown.edu

    by The Hunter Gracchus GU Dems on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:57:05 AM PDT

  •  Well, last season sucked. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, shpilk

    Hope Scalia spends some time with Jack Bauer's writers.  

    And we can't forget Lassie...Lassie saved Timmy week after week.  And there are some who defend the practice of keeping dogs in enclosed spaces...where's the "Lassie test"?

  •  Gee, does that mean the other members of the (12+ / 0-)

    Court can cite 'West Wing' in retaliation?

  •  Nut licking (5+ / 0-)

    Considering Scalia is pro sodomy laws, I wonder what he would think if Jack Bauer blew a terrorist to get information?

    hink

    Please, save the conservative.

    by MrHinkyDink on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:57:42 AM PDT

  •  Bull on Jack Bauer, the true test is: (11+ / 0-)

    What Would Buffy Do?

    Let's get our heroes in proper order here.  Buffy saved the whole world several times (at least 5 or 6), Bauer only saved a couple of cities.

    Jeez.

    "Willie, the children are over-stimulated. Remove all the colored chalk from the classrooms." --Principal Skinner

    by prodigal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:57:57 AM PDT

  •  Here's a when-to-use-torture standard (10+ / 0-)

    Torture is illegal. It should remain illegal -- if we are to continue calling ourselves civilized.

    How about this standard?

    An agent who believes he/she can save lives by using torture shouldn't do so unless he/she is willing to serve a long prison sentence for doing so.

    How many patriot-torturers are willing to face that test?

    "We have trouble in the oil states because the President is viewed as favoring cheap energy." ~ George W. Bush in 1992.

    by chapel hill guy on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:58:29 AM PDT

    •  A much more concise way of saying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal

      what I spent a lot more verbiage on below.

      The funny thing is that Scalia argues to the same point:

      "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.

      But I think he winds up in a different place.

      I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth. RIP, Molly Ivins. And thanks.

      by Nowhere Man on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:26:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All of them. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greeseyparrot, MikeTheLiberal

      (+/- a few =^)

      I had this discussion with my DOJ friends. We went around and around on the 'should it be legal' question.

      I finally convinced them that it should not be legal, as long as it was still possible. They agreed with the idea that if they tortured they would face trial and, that if convicted by a jury, they'd have to go to prison. That was a perfectly acceptable standard for them.

      I think having a personal standard for when torture was 'ok' really made them feel better. "Am I that certain he knows what I think he knows, and that the information is that important? Am I willing to spend the rest of my life in prison for this? Will a jury agree? Will America agree?"

      Interestingly, that standard is probably higher than otherwise. None of them seemed willing to trust a superior's word if they were going to be accountable accountability (whether or not policy said it's ok).

      •  let me get this straight (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opendna

        inflicting physical injury to a suspect, someone who has not committed the crime that has not occurred, is justifiable, only if ...

        • the crime never occurs
        • OR the injury obtains true information
        • AND the information is sufficient
        • to confirm the suspect's knowledge of material evidence that that crime that has not occurred is occuring
        • OR to identify AND locate AND detain accomplices of the crime that is occuring OR has not occured
        • within an indeterminate period of time before the successful commision of the crime?
        given these many conditions place upon the interrogator's personal standards of justice, law enforcement, and predictive powers, should the interrogator first ask the question, "where is the harm?"

        Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

        by MarketTrustee on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 11:30:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're making it too complicated, I think. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivorybill, ER Doc, MarketTrustee

          The conclusion was:

          1. 'Torture is and should be illegal'. Period.
          1. 'There should be no policy for legalized torture.' Period.
          1. 'If I'm going to torture, I should expect to go to jail for the rest of my life.' Period.
          1. 'There may come a time when I am willing to go to jail for the rest of my life to protect my country.' God help us.
          1. 'I don't trust Ashcroft, Gonzalez, the President or anyone else to make that decision for me.' Period.

          Was that a bit more clear?

  •  That's what I call being a few cards short (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, shpilk, citizenx, MikeTheLiberal

    of a full deck -- and he's got a death grip on the jokers.

    You don't say what happened next in that panel discussion.  Did the Canadian jurist give himself/herself a rupture holding back the laughter?

    "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18

    by Noor B on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:59:29 AM PDT

  •  jury nullification and the ticking bomb scenario (10+ / 0-)

    A common justification for legal torture is the ticking bomb scenario--you know, you've got the suspect in custody and there's a bomb ticking; do you torture the suspect to get the code to stop the bomb?  Do you explicitly make it legal to torture in order to cover this situation?

    With jury nullification, this needn't be a dilemma.  Common Law provides that, judges' instructions notwithstanding, we each have the right to judge both the facts and the law when we sit on a jury.  This eliminates the dilemma because we can make it illegal--always illegal--to torture someone and still deal with corner case hypotheticals.

    Let's say Jack tortures the suspect, gets the code and saves the city.  Jack would be arrested and tried for torturing the suspect.  The jury would have it in their power to acquit if they believed that torture was the only way to get the information and that saving lives justified the use of torture in that instance.

    We don't need to remake our laws in the image of tyrannical nations.  We simply need to trust in the judgment of our fellow man.  This cuts two ways--Jack has to decide if a successful outcome is likely AND if he'll be able to convince 12 citizens that his actions were appropriate AND the jury has to decide if the principle we agree with (torture is wrong) has exceptions.

    Remaking our laws to cover the corner cases leads to Guantanamo.  Trusting in the judgment of our peers does not.

    "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius "I'm a gun carrying member of the ACLU" me

    by Mosquito Pilot on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:59:33 AM PDT

    •  The ticking bomb scenario is irrelevant (7+ / 0-)

      Scalia completely misses the point.  We've never seen Bauer torture someone who MIGHT have information about a POSSIBLE terror plot sometime in the FUTURE.  The criteria is always 1)certainty of direct knowledge, 2)truly imminent danger, and 3)catastrophic results if the plot is carried out.  There has been NO interrogation of any suspect during the Bush administration which meets those criteria.  Therefore, there has been NO justification for Bush's actions.  

      •  in real life (5+ / 0-)

        in real life torture doesn't matter at all. Your more likely to get crap info just to stop the torture.  If 24 was real, Jack would of gotten bogus information and would of been sitting in a Kansas City Wal mart parking lot looking for leprechauns, while the nukes went off as planned.

        Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses.. Evil minds that plot destruction Sorcerers of deaths construction..........

        by pissedpatriot on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:21:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wish I could give you 10 recommends (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, MikeTheLiberal

          You are exactly right, and very funny at the same time.

          In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

          by ivorybill on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:33:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivorybill, ER Doc

          The only time torture has ever been "succesful" is in cases where the interrogator already knows the truth and is trying to make the suspect confess it. It's never been successful as a means of acquiring information.

          When should torture be legal? In the same cases when raping a six-year-old should be legal, that's when.

          I do like conducting hearings in an actual hearing room -- John Conyers

          by ebohlman on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 11:58:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Or, Jack has to convince (0+ / 0-)

      one juror out of twelve as many times as it takes for the prosecutor to get tired of retrying him, since an irreversibly hung jury prevents a conviction and produces a mistrial.

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:24:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why not--our President is Homer Simpson n/t (4+ / 0-)

    ...don't blame me, I voted for Ned!

    by theark on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:00:46 AM PDT

  •  Scalia's interpretation (7+ / 0-)

    of Godzilla v. Mothra was pretty crappy too.

  •  if americans aren't (5+ / 0-)

    yet terrified by these comments then all that's left is to mourn the death of the Constitution and give it a decent burial.

  •  In general, torture is wrong... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theark, MikeTheLiberal

    but, be honest, Dr. Romano from ER had it coming!

    "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'I need to quit drinking!'" - Greasy Grant

    by Greasy Grant on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:01:16 AM PDT

  •  Since we are citing pop culture (6+ / 0-)

    I'd have to say that Judge Judy, Flip Wilson's TV Judge character, or Fred "Herman Munster" Gwynne as Judge Chamberlain Haller from My Cousin Vinnie would be a fairer jurist that that little fascistic bastard scumbag; I hope he chokes on a breadstick at the Olve Garden.

    Stop bitching and start a revolution!

    by Randian on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:01:22 AM PDT

  •  Wow - truth is scarier (5+ / 0-)

    than fiction. Holy shit.

    "The best way to leave Iraq is to start leaving." -- John Edwards

    by okamichan13 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:01:49 AM PDT

  •  Apparently this "strict constructionist" (5+ / 0-)

    hasn't read the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, or the 4th Amendment, or the Supremacy clause making treaties, and thus the Hague Conventions, "Supreme law of the land."

    Scalia's a joke.  

    Neutralize your personal 7.5 ton/year CO2 footprint.

    by Five of Diamonds on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:02:33 AM PDT

  •  I've never watched "24", so I was horrified (3+ / 0-)

    to read in the recent New Yorker piece on the show that the "Whatever it takes" slogan Bush used so much in his campaign ads in the 2004 campaign was taken from the show.  It's very likely "24" spelled the difference in the election.

    Katrina was America's Chernobyl.

    by lysias on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:03:44 AM PDT

  •  Justice Antonin Scalia (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, mango, 4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

    is what passes for an "intellectual" on the right.
    .

  •  OK, really... (3+ / 0-)

    ...this is from The Onion, right?
    Can a United State Supreme Court Justice NOT discern between fiction/fantasy and f-ing REALITY?
    Tony -- babe -- of COURSE the writers are gonna have the bad guys tell Jack Bauer "what he needs to know" every time, because (cue Lewis Black rant) IT'S ALL F-ING MADE UP!!! IT'S NOT REAL!!! ARE YOU AN INCREDIBLE, GIANT-HEADED MORON WITH RAMEN NOODLES FOR F-ING BRAINS???!!!???

    "Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth." Mondaugen's Law

    by Newton Snookers on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:04:43 AM PDT

  •  Is Scalia now certifiably incompetent? (4+ / 0-)

    I'm thinking this has got to be grounds for impeaching Scalia for gross judicial malpractice.  What would we do if a SCOTUS judge said that he made decisions based upon voices in his head?  Why does it make any difference if those voices come from the boob tube?

    Also, a little more from the article:

    Generally, the jurists in the room agreed that coerced confessions carry little weight, given that they might be false and almost never accepted into evidence. But the U.S. Supreme Court judge stressed that he was not speaking about putting together pristine prosecutions, but rather, about allowing agents the freedom to thwart immediate attacks.

    "I don't care about holding people. I really don't," Judge Scalia said.

    Even if a real terrorist who suffered mistreatment is released because of complaints of abuse, Judge Scalia said, the interruption to the terrorist's plot would have ensured "in Los Angeles everyone is safe." During a break from the panel, Judge Scalia specifically mentioned the segment in Season 2 when Jack Bauer finally figures out how to break the die-hard terrorist intent on nuking L.A. The real genius, the judge said, is that this is primarily done with mental leverage. "There's a great scene where he told a guy that he was going to have his family killed," Judge Scalia said. "They had it on closed circuit television - and it was all staged. ... They really didn't kill the family."

    (emphasis added)

    Chilling.  I see he comes from the GWB school of criminal punishment.  (Or does Bush come from the Scalia school?).

    Congress has the choice between what is politically expedient and what is right. Finally, for one goddamn time, let them choose the latter! IMPEACH!

    by zephron on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:04:45 AM PDT

    •  Ever seen newsreels (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal

      of the Nazi judges screaming at defendants "on trial" for attempting to murder Hitler?

      Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

      by Batfish on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:09:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am calling for Scalia's impeachment. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pfiore8, MikeTheLiberal

      I would like the grounds to be stupidity and arrogance and a total mistrust of the American people and an abrogation of our rights under our Constitution. However IMH and uninformed opinion he should be impeached under Constitutional law.

      This individual does not belong dispensing life and death justice in the highest court in our land. If he doesn't care about how long or how an individual is detained, his conduct is totally against the intent of our democratic Constitutional and he must be removed from office.

  •  They really are that stupid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

    Got that? Fictional super-heroes are perfectly reasonable to introduce into panel discussions about the legality of torture. International judicial opinions, on the other hand, are to be discarded as un-American.

    I can't even believe what I am reading.  Please tell me I am not reading this.  Every time I think I can no longer be surprised by the idiocy in my government, I see something like this that raises the bar just a little higher.

    So now Supreme Court Justices argue the merits of 'Jack Bauer?' Weren't they supposed to be, oh, slightly more intelligent (certainly trained to be rational and reasonable) than the average Congressman or Senator?

    We're toast.

    I hope Lincoln's ghost kicks Nixon's ghost around the Oval Office at night. Petition to impeach Gonzo - http://www.commoncause.org/ImpeachGonzales

    by feduphoosier on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:05:31 AM PDT

  •  If only real life were like TV (5+ / 0-)

    ... maybe I'd wake up and discover the past 6.5 years were all a bad dream.

  •  I thought that's what pardons are for. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

    Of course Jack Bauer should be prosecuted. And convicted, if that's how it works out. Then the President gets to pardon him.

    Everybody's happy and the ROL (RIP) is preserved. I really don't understand who this is so difficult.

  •  scalia (5+ / 0-)

    scalia probably lays sleepless in bed at night worrying about deep thoughtful matters of the law such as , should the Kool Aid guy be brought up on breaking and entering charges, I mean is Kool aid really worth losing a sidewall of your kitchen?

    Oh Yeah!

    Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses.. Evil minds that plot destruction Sorcerers of deaths construction..........

    by pissedpatriot on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:11:25 AM PDT

  •  So, when do we get the "Fast Times" ruling... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dehrha02, Randolph06, MikeTheLiberal

    ...on Medicinal Marijuana...

    Hey buds, let's party!

    I don't recall updating my signature

    by Zero Carb Rob on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:11:56 AM PDT

  •  Can we impeach him? (4+ / 0-)

    for complete and absolute stupidity?

    So our judges are now to use a tv show as a basis on how they rule on the constitution?

  •  So is he for Death or the Maiden? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, MikeTheLiberal

    The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

    by nightsweat on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:15:33 AM PDT

  •  Terminator 1 defeated Terminator 2... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DC Scott, MikeTheLiberal

    ... in Terminator II - Judgement Day and that TII dude was out to change the future (to a very bad future) where everyone was being killed, leaving the planet to machines.  So are you for endoskeleton cyborg units that save the world or are you for liquid metal ones which hate 'Merca? (this one is kinda tricky because the "endo" model was intent on killing em all in the first movie, but through "re-programming" turned out to be a good cyborg.) The point being that 24 and T2 (not T1, nor T3) demonstrate that we shouldnt handcuff ourselves with adherance to international conventions that we previously agreed to adhere to.

  •  Judge Scalia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal

    Without a clear majority in the House and Senate, the democratic party is going to have to live with facist judges like Scalia.  With the majority, I would encourage my representatives to start the impeachment process against not only Judge Scalia but also Judge Thomas.

  •  Superman would legally be a vigilante/terrorist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, MikeTheLiberal

    You can't make laws based on hypothetical situations from movies.

    If Superman was real, he'd be in a heap of trouble for assault, extra-judicial execution, property damage, and terrorism too should he happen to take sides against institutional corruption.

    And is that right?

    Fair question.  But the law is the law, and needs to be applied the same to everybody.

    If Scalia wants to employ movie morality to justify what the government can do, he should beware that citizens may then start using movie morality to justify their own responses.

  •  Scalia needs to recuse himself from ALL cases (5+ / 0-)

    You left out the really shocking bits:

    "I don't care about holding people. I really don't," Judge Scalia said.

    Later he added over cocktails: "I don't care who's right or who's wrong. The important aspect is that I get to decide, and my decision will be entirely consistent with how I feel about the plaintiff, the defendant, the litigators and the weather that day. If I'm feeling crummy, at least I get to make someone else's life more miserable. That's what makes this job fun. If you take away the ability of Supreme Court Justices to make indiscriminate, arbitrary decisions based on personal whim, who'll want the job? I don't care about rights. I really don't."

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:19:07 AM PDT

  •  This is truly scary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, 4Freedom, MikeTheLiberal

    "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said.

    What lives?  Those fictional numbers some Hollywood writer cooked up?  Is Scalia possibly seeing the same doctor who had Rehnquist hopped up on drugs?

    I remember well Scalia's opposition to using international law as guidance (completely forgetting, of course, that most of ours originated in England).  Such hypocrisy!

    Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory. ~ Cervantes

    by Deep Harm on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:21:11 AM PDT

  •  This is easily resolvable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, MikeTheLiberal

    ...if someone feels that torture is acceptable in order to "save lives," then that person should be perfectly fine with signing a confession PRIOR TO administering the torture, then serving the sentence for torture.  After all, soldiers throughout history have sacrificed their lives to save others.  

    No, what these cowards want is the ability to use torture with NO consequences.  And they KNOW in advance it doesn't work.

    Rubus Eradicandus Est.

    by Randomfactor on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:21:16 AM PDT

  •  Ugh. [embarrassed again] Sigh. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarketTrustee, MikeTheLiberal

    keep on rocking in the (formerly) free world.

    Impeach them already, for crying out loud! How many laws do they have to break?!?!

    by netguyct on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:21:24 AM PDT

  •  Earth to Antonin Scalia . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, irishwitch, MikeTheLiberal

    ya sawed-off, fatassed, delusional monster:

    "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said.

    Tony - hate to burst your fuckin' bubble . . . but Jack ain't real. He's a guy onna TV.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:21:39 AM PDT

  •  And to think how I got blasted (4+ / 0-)
    for pointing out that our troops and West Point Grads are taking torture tips from Jack Baeur.

    And for defending Olbermann when he blasted 24 as wingnut propoganda.

    And now we have this... a sitting Supreme Court Justice using a paranoid terrorism fantasy as justification for ignoring the rule of law.

    Amazing.

    Vyan

  •  Somebody shoot me... (4+ / 0-)

    ...because I suddenly find myself agreeing with Justice Scalia.

    I haven't read the article, so I'm sure that, in context, I'd find much to disagree with. But I think Scalia has it right. I've used the same reasoning to show why strict laws against torture must stay on the books.

    Specifically:

    • If a terrorist were being held for interrogation, and
    • If it were likely that he had information that, if revealed, could save many innocent lives, and
    • If torturing the terrorist were the only conceivable way to produce that information quickly enough, and
    • If the information that the terrorist provides could be quickly validated to ensure that he isn't lying,

    Then, and only then, there'd be such a strong case for employing torture that the law is about the last thing to worry about in such a circumstance. As Scalia says, it's very unlikely that any jury would convict the torturer. (But if it were me, and a jury did convict me, I'd accept the consequences knowing I'd done the right thing.)

    Because of its inhuman nature, and because it's so unlikely to be as effective in real life as it is on T.V., our laws and government must remain steadfastly opposed to the use of torture under any circumstances. If a would-be torturer is hesitating out of fear of later facing a jury, then torture is not morally justified in that situation.

    I haven't followed the link, but I'd be surprised if Scalia sees it quite the same way.

    I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth. RIP, Molly Ivins. And thanks.

    by Nowhere Man on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:22:57 AM PDT

    •  But our standard for torture has been much lower (4+ / 0-)

      You make an interesting point about this extreme case, but the fact is that we've been torturing people for basically no other reason than suspected affiliation with Al Qaeda.

      And it's patently absurd to suggest that we can justify this widespread trashing of the constitution based on a rationalization from a scenario which could only be imagined in Hollywood.

    •  The Point Is ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal, Greasy Grant

      Scalia is a Judge (and one of the most important ones in the world), not a juror.  Hypothetical discussions of what jurors might do (or who might be pardoned or not prosecuted in the first place as a matter of discretion) are irrelevant to the issue of what the governing legal standards should be.  Torture must be illegal - absolutely, no exceptions.  Conservatives should be out front on that.  As I always say, if you start putting in legal loopholes permitting torture, the next thing you know is that some smart-ass prosecutor figures out an argument to permit torture in white collar criminal cases.

      •  My point is the same as yours (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikeTheLiberal, Greasy Grant

        I've used the same reasoning to show why strict laws against torture must stay on the books.

        The idea that a ban on torture would prevent a real-life Jack Bauer from saving real-life people is a real-life red herring. I'm sorry if anything I wrote mislead you to think I meant otherwise.

        I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth. RIP, Molly Ivins. And thanks.

        by Nowhere Man on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:50:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No Apology Needed (0+ / 0-)

          I was just trying to make the point that I don't see why it is any of Scalia's business to speculate about what a jury might do in a hypothetical case.  Scalia's job as a Judge is to define legal standards, and there is no room for legal loopholes on the subject of torture.

          •  He wasn't speaking from the bench (0+ / 0-)

            He does have the right to free speech, even if he's wrong every time he opens his mouth. (And even if he's speaking in Canada, which as we know is partly French-speaking, and we all know how much the French hate freedom.)

            I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth. RIP, Molly Ivins. And thanks.

            by Nowhere Man on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 11:57:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  A real-life Jack Bauer ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... would have been outed by Dick Cheney.

          "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

          by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 11:21:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  BANG! (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

      "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

      by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 11:16:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ahh in that case (5+ / 0-)

    We best start reviewing the "Dirty Harry" movies for clues as to proper Police procedure and the likely constitutionality of same.  Strict constructionist my Patriotic ass.

    Time waits for no one, the treasure is great spend it wisely.

    by mojavefog on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:25:32 AM PDT

  •  so now we now without a doubt that one of our (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, DC Scott, MikeTheLiberal

    Supreme Court Justice's is a flake. A certifiable loony tunes. unhunhunhu, unhunhunuhu, ackyity, ackyity acck. I think thats the background music for looney tunes cartoons.

  •  Scalia is right. (3+ / 0-)

    The right to a jury trial is the reason we don't need to change the law to allow for the "ticking bomb" scenario.  No jury would convict in a genuine ticking bomb situation.  The only reason to legalize torture is to institutionalize it.  In the unlikely event of a real ticking bomb scenario an agent such as Bauer would and should use his best judgment and so would and should a jury.

  •  I heard a rumor (4+ / 0-)

    that Jack Bauer is actually the father of Murphy Brown's child.  How will Scalia react if it is actually true that super-patriot got it on with the woman who single-handedly led to the moral decline of this nation by advocating the single motherhood lifestyle?  Where is Dan Quayle when you need him?

    To say my country right or wrong is something no patriot would utter; it is like saying my mother drunk or sober. -- G.K. Chesterton

    by commonweal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:27:45 AM PDT

  •  A Much Better Idea (5+ / 0-)

    Let's just put Wonder Woman in charge of The War On TerrorTM.

    • She has a golden lariat -- which forces the bad guys to tell the truth. We won't have to torture anyone.
    • She already works for the Government.
    • She wears red, white and blue.
    • She has the bracelets, so she doesn't need body armor to protect herself from enemy fire.
    • She flies an invisible jet, which I'm sure in Scalia's eyes makes her qualified to be a fighter pilot.

    This is a real possibility.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:27:53 AM PDT

  •  too bad we can't "MAKE UP" the ending in Iraq (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, DC Scott, MikeTheLiberal

    what a shithead and an asshole, "he saved Los Angeles" he fucking said that. A supreme court justice cited a made up ending to a made up story, can we impeach a supreme court justice?

    •  We can. It's called demanding that our (0+ / 0-)

      Members of Congress stop funding the occupation, and only provide money to bring our troops home.

      17. Ne5

      In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

      by Spud1 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 12:19:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  2 branches have become delusional (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, DC Scott, MikeTheLiberal

    It was bad enough when it was just the Executive, but now the Judicial has gone insane.

    Next thing you know, Congress will legislate an increase minimum wage in exchange with funding the Iraq fiasco.  Ohhh shiiit!

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:29:07 AM PDT

  •  Can you torture a suspected terrorist's child? (3+ / 0-)

    This is the question I think of when I hear these people talk about the "ticking time bomb" scenario.  If torture is immoral unless you "really" need to do it to save thousands of lives, what else becomes moral under those circumstances?  If you knew that killing the terrorist's child would make him talk, could you do that?  What about raping his wife or killing her in front of him?  Is it okay if you are only saving 1000 Americans?  What about 50?  Too many people are comfortable with the notion of torturing an adult man (like it always is on TV), but aren't they really saying "anything goes" to save American lives.  That's scary.

  •  Scalia should be ridiculed by the press for his (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, MikeTheLiberal

    idiotic and asinine behavior.  

    THIS IS THE DRED SCOTT SUPREME COURT!!!!!!!

    80 percent of success is just showing up - Woody Allen.

    by Churchill on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:31:03 AM PDT

  •  Who or what is Jack Bauer? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, MikeTheLiberal

    maybe I am under a rock, but I have NO CLUE

    "The best way to determine what a person wants is by surveying what he gets." -Erle Stanley Gardner

    by KOTCrum on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:31:23 AM PDT

    •  Jack Bauer is a fictional govt agent on TV's "24" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, MikeTheLiberal

      Full wiki here.

      Former Army, CIA, etc. - now working for city of L.A.

    •  good for you... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spud1, MikeTheLiberal

      can i join you under that rock? seems like a damned good place to be

      cheers, KOTCrum!

      "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

      by pfiore8 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:49:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Once you stop watching TeeVee it becomes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KOTCrum, pfiore8

        obvious how large a part it plays in our culture. When I used to work at firms with a dozen or more employees, TeeVee shows came up in conversation all the time - and so I would actually learn about them 2nd hand. Now, it's mostly through advertising on the radio and the newspaper. I know what "24" is, although I have never seen it.

        17. Ne5

        In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

        by Spud1 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 12:18:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This reminds me (6+ / 0-)

    My husband got a commission to paint a mermaid for a client.  He was given the freedom to do what he wanted.  When he had developed his concept he had a long discourse with my daughter about the reasons why his mermaid, contrary to most images of them, was fat.  He expounded on marine mammals and their need to keep warm in the water.  He wanted to make his mermaid as realistic as possible.

    He went on and on and it was obvious that he had thought long and hard about what mermaids look like.

    Finally, he allowed my daugthter to get a word in edgewise.

    She said, "Uh, Dad?  Mermaids aren't real."

    The Next Agenda "For Progressive Canadian Politics"

    by Bionic on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:35:37 AM PDT

    •  I embroidered one for an SCA favor (0+ / 0-)

      once. We concluded they were mammals, and thair tail flukes should reflect this. ANd mermaids don't wear bras.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:29:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What if the filmmaker is Saudi? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ohiolibrarian, MikeTheLiberal

    Well - that would show the conflict in a clear moral perspective from the oppressed's (an Iraqi citizen under illegal occuption) point of view - and the freedom fighter's ("terrorist" from the American point of view) actions would be totally justified.

    Movies manufacture a moral framework based on stereotypes and the cultural standards of the audience to be entertained.  Jack Bauer lives in a fantasy world where the motives of the U.S. government are pure, where nobody has a legitimate beef against it, and where the winning side in any war must of course be the U.S.

    Slippery slope isn't a strong enough term for this - Scalia is jumping off of a legal cliff.

  •  International Abolition Law Precedents? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal

    The US was fairly late among Atlantic nations to abolish slavery. By 1861, several Northern states had abolished slavery, but entire European countries had already outlawed the inhuman practice.

    Were any of the US state laws argued in legislation or court decisions to include guidance from foreign laws already passed regulating slavery? Any US Federal regulations including "foreign influence"?

    Gay people's rights and Terror War laws are not arriving on a clean slate. We've got centuries of arguing and living with the results to reflect on. Scalia is a notoriously biased crank. But he does face a lot of pressure from precedent, when it's shoved in his fat face. What precedents force his hairy hand away from the edge of his chin, and over to banging the gavel for justice?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:39:27 AM PDT

  •  Scalia May Be Said to Be "Intelligent", (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal, CA Libertarian

    But he is nothing but a Fool, IMHO.

    What a disgrace.

    P.S. The other Supreme Fool is staring to my right as we [speak].

    Shame on the Democrats for allowing such demonstrably unqualified candidates to achieve such positions of power.

    Shame, Shame, Shame.

    To announce...that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

    by potownman on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:40:12 AM PDT

  •  Scalia has long gotten a pass.... (5+ / 0-)

    from both the MSM and even many Dems because of his alleged legal "brilliance". He is presented as a stern conservative, but one who is "true" to his "values" as a "strict constructionist".

    In fact, Scalia has followed an ideologically right-wing agenda since day 1. He is intelligent enough and glib enough to disguise his true intentions and forment the above-described image, but Scalia has had a long history of bending and twisting his "legal principles" every which way possible to support his ideological framework and has shown an ability to be as "activist" as any justice ever.

    Now in his dotage, his true mean-spirited and ugly character is being revealed more and more in the public--as well as his seeming ignorance of most aspects of real life.

    Scalia doesn't have the stealth or quiet ruthlessness of a Roberts or Alito, but he is definitely a Grandpa Bushie of the first rank.

  •  I think the Republicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivorybill, irishwitch, MikeTheLiberal

    have been watching a little bit too much television.  What surprises me is that people are fans of Jack Bauer for saving Los Angeles.  I mean, that would probably make most people turn against him (tv fans that is) as there is just a great level of hatred for Los Angeles out there.  I'm surprised that Scalia didn't find that as his one failing.  As for Scalia, he is an asshole.  I wish he'd just retire and go away.  The fact that conservative jurists think of our legal system in this way is just further proof of their intent to destroy it.  

    Now I don't watch 24 but some people in my family do and I got dragged to Mary Lynn Rascub's one woman show (she plays Claire the computer genius).  It wasn't my favorite but it was entertaining and I figure fans of the show would probably love to go see it.  

    Obama-Villaraigosa 08'!

    by SoCalLiberal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:45:29 AM PDT

    •  Two things (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalLiberal

      Mary Lynn Rajskub plays "Chloe".

      Other than that, your post is good.

      Oh, Ms. Rajskub had a small part in "Little Miss Sunshine".

      "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

      by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 11:27:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This of course shows you how much I follow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikeTheLiberal

        and watch "24".  Lol.  She has a Sunday night performance at the Steve Allen theatre at Sunset Boulevard and Berendo Street in Los Angeles, CA.  If you are a fan of Chloe, you might really enjoy the show.  My dad did anyway and I think my brother did to some extent and they're both 24 fans.

        Obama-Villaraigosa 08'!

        by SoCalLiberal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:47:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  He does make a point just not the one (4+ / 0-)

    he was intending.

    Yes, we need to believe in these absolutes.  Yes Jack Bauer would need to go on trial for what he has done because of those beliefs, and no it is not likely given the fictional situation and the fact that it is scripted and all that he would be convicted.

    But without those beliefs in those absolutes the "necessary evil" becomes the just plain ordinary expedient everyday normal way of doing business.  Those beliefs define who and what we are.

    Those beliefs define the boundary between good and evil my friends.

    And although there may be times that call for the commission of a necessary evil they do not absolve it from BEING evil.

    Scalia would do well in remembering that.

  •  I saw Tinkerbell fly on TV... (4+ / 0-)

    So I believe in faries.  Don't you?

    If Jack Bauer can save LA, then by all means let him torture whoever he wants.

    Oh, that's right.  He's not a real person.  OK, so it is perfectly OK for a fictional Jack Bauer to torture fictional terrorists.  But I refuse to allow him to exit the television and torture real people.

    Scalito needs to put down the remote and step away from the tube.  He should go to a TVWA meeting immediately and get a sponsor.  12 little steps later, perhaps he'll be ready to sit on the bench again.

  •  To make things worse (3+ / 0-)

    Scalia's mute, sock puppet, Thomas, multiplies his insanity by 2.

    The only shame in ignorance is taking pride in it.

    by carver on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:55:22 AM PDT

  •  You MUST be ****ting me! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DC Scott, MikeTheLiberal

    no

    words

    It is amazing how much can be accomplished when you don't care who gets the credit - Harry Truman
    PoliticalCompass Scale: -2.13, -2.97

    by floundericiousMI on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:57:49 AM PDT

    •  and here I thought... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Uniter

      the Wookiiee defense was just a joke on South Park!?

      "But, your honor! It's not my client's fault that he refused access to counsel, illegally tapped phones, beat/brutalized suspects in interrogation, waterboarded them, and made them disappear for months...."

      "Why exactly, do you say that?"

      "You see, Jack Bauer has saved hundreds of thousands of people...if Jack Bauer saved hundreds of thousands of people using these same methods, you must acquit!"

      "Oh no...the Jack Bauer defense!"

      It is amazing how much can be accomplished when you don't care who gets the credit - Harry Truman
      PoliticalCompass Scale: -2.13, -2.97

      by floundericiousMI on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 12:07:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jack Bauer had a better scriptwriter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, irishwitch, MikeTheLiberal

    Than George W. Bush does.

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:58:01 AM PDT

  •  Please tell me you're kidding. (3+ / 0-)

    Let me get this straight.  A Supreme Court judge is citing a show where fictional torture is used by a fictional character against a fictional terrorist, and because the writers decided it worked and a fictional Los Angeles is saved from a fictional nuclear explosion fictionally planned by said fictional terrorist, that proves that real torture works and real soldiers, or whoever, should be able to use it against real terrorists.  Even if we're not sure that they're really real terrorists.

    Sum it up okay?

    Forget impeachment.  He's deeply delusional, perhaps due to some sort of senile dementia.  He needs to be committed.  Luckily his insurance will pay for long-term psychiatric care.

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    by nilajean on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:02:52 AM PDT

  •  I am reminded that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, irishwitch, MikeTheLiberal

    Leo Strauss, godfather of the NeoCons, was a great fan of Gunsmoke, since the drama was so explicitly between Good and Evil. Good Marshall Dillon wore a white hat, never drew first, etc., and always won in the end. Just like real life.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:03:10 AM PDT

  •  Damn Liberals (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, MikeTheLiberal

    Let's see you try to arrest Superman.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:07:23 AM PDT

  •  jack bauer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal

    I'll admit that I've not the show. Mr. Bauer is certainly fictional, but hardly a "superhero." He plays to the most baseless instincts of humanity foreign to the the rule of law and 800 years of civil torts and criminal justice law. If Justice Scalia touts Jack Bauer as a model of civility then I want no part such "civilization."

    Facta Non Verba
    San Francisco, CA

  •  he's not the only idiot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal

    i've yet to see a great supreme court justice since Black. impeach them all

    •  Ginsberg has amde some mistakes (0+ / 0-)

      like the latest ruling onhelathcare workers not deserving min, wage or overtime--but for the msot part she has been good.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:25:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Scalia Is Eric Cartman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    You must respect his authoritae!

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:24:40 AM PDT

  •  Time for the Onion to close its doors (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, MikeTheLiberal, Spekkio

    Yesterday I had to track back from a  to prove to myself that Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary diary really was planning a class to teach seminary student's wives cooking and sewing.

    Now this - a Supreme Court justice is really relying on a TV drama for legal guidance.

    The poor old Onion doesn't stand a chance.

    "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." Plato

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:27:34 AM PDT

  •  Ahhh! This brings back fond memories of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, MikeTheLiberal

    Dan Quayle and Murphy Brown (another FICTIONAL character).  The Quayle-Brown brouhaha was hilarious.
    This is not!

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all - JFK- 5/18/63-Vanderbilt Univ.

    by oibme on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:40:06 AM PDT

  •  Sigh. Remember when Supreme Court (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, DC Scott, MikeTheLiberal

    justices were intellectually distinguished?

    Instead of being crass purveyors of the lowest common tabloid opinions?

    Is it TV that has so markedly accomplished the dumbing down of America?  

  •  Maybe Not What You Think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal

    It's not clear that Scalia was saying agents should be legally allowed to torture people. There has always been a necessity defense to just about any crime, where you do something that would normally be a crime, but are excused because you did it to prevent a greater harm.  Necessity defense to murder?  Try self-defense.  Or killing someone who is gunning down a school yard of kids.  Cops get away with this all the time.  It's called justifiable homicide.

    So Scalia's point may have simply been that if there really is a ticking time bomb, then torturing the perpetrator to get information out of him would be justifiable, just like killing a school yard killer would be.  And that under those circumstances, no jury would convict the agent.

    At least that's what I hope Scalia meant.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 11:14:53 AM PDT

  •  Who would convict Daffy Duck? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nimbus

    Sure, he didn't do everything within the law, but he was saving the world from alien invasion!  What jury would punish him?

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 11:45:45 AM PDT

  •  They Actually Don't Need Latitude for Crisis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Uniter, Nimbus

    If an interrogator really believed in one of these save-the-world-by-getting-the-guy-to-talk scenarios, he would do whatever it takes, including torture, and wouldn't care about the consequences of a possible jail sentence to himself.  In fact, he could probably argue extraordinary circumstances after the fact and get off.  This is just a strawman argument to justify torture in your usual, non-critical interrogation scenarios.

    •  Exactly. It is the very fear of jail that keeps (0+ / 0-)

      them from using these tactics routinely, along with, hopefully their own moral compass. If they are under the gun and do it anyway, despite the consequences, then maybe it really did need doing, and they can face those consequences. If there are only fake consequences, where is the restraint? In the scenario the judge mentions, "what jury would convict?" well, give them the chance to nullify, as they probably would. But it should be in the hands of the jury to make decisions like that, not the President or the Supreme court. They serve at OUR pleasure, goddamn it.

      •  Except that Scalia and his ilk (0+ / 0-)

        really don't want to be given a chance to prove, afterwards, that the situation required extraordinary treatment (i.e., torture). That's never been part of their argument. They want interrogators to be absolved of all responsibility, regardless of whether or their actions proved necessary. They like to say that they only want to use torture when they are sure it's required, but they also want everyone to excuse them if they just get carried away in a moment of overzealousness. Remember the 1% Doctrine? That's really what Scalia's defense of torture amounts to....

  •  Reminder (0+ / 0-)

    I hope this little tidbit along with the last 6 years helps us remind the rest of America just how little trust we should provide our public officials.  They're just regular jackasses (on our side also) that happen to be in a position of power at this point in time.  If their job position read "to have the public hold your feet to the fire every minute of every day" maybe a few of these toejam-brained idiots will stay out of the business and maybe a few more citizens will uphold their end of our democracy (from the Declaration of Independence):  

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

  •  Well, since we've got... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the cast of Gilligan's Island running the country -- minus the Professor, of course -- maybe having constitutional questions settled by Jack Bauer is a step up...

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 12:12:33 PM PDT

  •  P.S., yes Justice Scalia, I would convict Jack (0+ / 0-)

    Bauer.

  •  I am frankly bemused that you do not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    incompleteness, grreapsphos

    see a difference.  

    An panel DISCUSSION is an appropriate place to use almost anything you like.  A fictional figure is just liek a hypothetical that judges and professors are so fond of.

    A JUDICIAL OPINION, on the other hand is another matter entirely.  Justice Scalia did not cite to Jack Bauer in upholding or striking down any statute.  

    I don't even see a parallel.

  •  Popular culture has value as allegory (0+ / 0-)

    I want to make a strong point here: citing popular culture is not insane.

    The problem here is not that Scalia is citing pop culture. The problem is what he's citing and how he's interpreting it.

  •  the thing about torture is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch

    that the tortured person is liable to say anything whether it is true or wildly false, in order to get the torture to stop.  

    Ask John McCain, who when tortured as a POW, signed a statement denouncing the United States government.  

    Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence.

    by zdefender on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 01:21:22 PM PDT

  •  This is not a good post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    incompleteness

    I am no fan of Scalia, trust me, but this post doesn't make any sense, and is the exact sort of thing that conservatives can use to make fun of progressives and not take them seriously. Scalia isn't citing '24' as containing legal reasoning to support a constitutional position, which is how some jurists use foreign/international law opinions. He's merely using the character from the show as an illustration of his (dubious, no doubt) constitutional attitude. It is by no means hypocritical, as the post suggests, for Scalia to maintain these two positions, however wrong such positions may be.

  •  Scalia is an idiot. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader

    And if Jack Bauer were real instead of a TV hero played by Kiefer Sutherland,  he add his bosses shouldn't be tried in America but at the World Court for violating the Geneva Convention.

    Seriously, why shouldn't he be tried publicly? COPS who extract confessions or information through coercion are tried for their actions. They don't get to go Tony Soprano on suspects. Why should spies? ESPECIALLY considering that the experts say torture doesn't work--people will say anything to make the pain stop.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:24:17 PM PDT

  •  Scalia Is a Thug (0+ / 0-)

    Justice Antonin Scalia is a thug. He looks like a thug, he acts like a thug, he talks like a thug and he thinks like a thug. Why should this latest expression of his thuggishness surprise anybody?

  •  '24' Producer is a fact-free, far-rightist (0+ / 0-)

    Arrogance of his opinion on reality vs. reported events - or, even the advice of various experts - on such issues as torture . . . well, it parallels the public persona of President Bush and most Republican party Presidential hopefuls almost completely:

    http://www.newyorker.com/...

    Whatever It Takes
    The politics of the man behind "24."

    . . .
    For all its fictional liberties, "24" depicts the fight against Islamist extremism much as the Bush Administration has defined it: as an all-consuming struggle for America’s survival that demands the toughest of tactics. Not long after September 11th, Vice-President Dick Cheney alluded vaguely to the fact that America must begin working through the "dark side" in countering terrorism. On "24," the dark side is on full view. Surnow, who has jokingly called himself a "right-wing nut job," shares his show’s hard-line perspective. Speaking of torture, he said, "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?"
    . . .

    Past calls to avoid the show have recently made more sense to me, armed with more facts behind the message it is meant to convey beyond simple entertainment (which I innocently figured it was only about).

    I can still appreciate the excitement it induces by the ticking-time-bomb approach to pacing, some of the acting and reasonable editing work.  But, the purpose which is driving everything is much more than a fictional reflection, a "what-if?" creation to drive storylines.

    "24" has become seriously bent propaganda as part of what was once just a veneer of violent entertainment, and I now wonder if mainstream audiences see through that and just accept the roller-coaster ride for what it is . . . or, if they are emotionally unwilling to accept that their awful prejudices are so seriously wrong - pushing them to fall back on a television show's plot assumption for support of their view on how things in the USA should be.

    Scalia is a whining brat who probably couldn't accept that his opinions required revisitation unless his job was on the line.  Which it hasn't been in years, unfortunately.

    So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way.

    by wader on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:39:59 PM PDT

    •  Don't Confuse Him With the Facts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader

      I read that New Yorker article too. At one point Surnow is confronted with the fact that experts in military intelligence and law enforcement say torture doesn't work. His response, essentially, is that he doesn't care what the experts say -- he thinks it works.

      Let's face it: These thugs and would-be thugs support torture because it turns them on.

  •  This is a sign .. (0+ / 0-)

    of things to come...

    And you should be scared - but not so much that you allow/enable such a thing to happen.

  •  And Isn't It Weird ... (0+ / 0-)

    Isn't it weird that two of the nine Supreme Court justices are Italian-American Catholics from the town of Trenton, NJ? I mean, what are the odds?

    Full disclosure: I am an ex-Catholic who grew up in Trenton, NJ, and though I am not Italian-American, I have nothing against people of that ethnicity.

  •  Scalia, and his toady, Thomas, (0+ / 0-)

    are an embarrassment to the human race. I don't imagine that even Dick ("Darth") Cheney himself would make a worse Supreme Court Justice.

  •  The Perfect Encapsulation of the Right Wing... (0+ / 0-)

    ....Political "Philosophy".

    Fictional super-heroes are perfectly reasonable to introduce into panel discussions about the legality of torture. International judicial opinions, on the other hand, are to be discarded as un-American.

    -5.75 -4.72 3.14159 2.71828

    by xynz on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:02:51 PM PDT

    •  Just when you think things can't get worse... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm at a loss for words.  

      A US Supreme Court Justice said these things?  Even with a grain of salt for "humor" (about US torturing people?), this is inexcusable.  

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