The bridge special episode of 24 was all about Jack Bauer fighting genocide.
It’s clear this episode will cover the morality of torture, and try and reinvigorate the series. So… I’ll be live-blogging the season-opening episode to highlight any international law, combatting genocide, or other fun things…
From the Washington Post:
In one of the new season’s opening scenes, Bauer is asked if whether he tortured a suspect.
“We’ve written more deeply and in a more nuanced way on the subject,” says Howard Gordon, the executive producer and chief writer of “24,” adding that the debate over torture intensifies as the season progresses. “We felt we couldn’t denounce Jack and wash away the last years of the show, but we do have him travel some distance on the subject and give voice to different points of view, particularly in the president’s character, who isn’t falling for the whatever-it-takes formulation. She holds fast.” President Allison Taylor (a Hillary Clinton manquée) is played by Cherry Jones.
“According to the definition set forth by the Geneva Convention, yes I did,” says a defiant Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland. But later, in one of the few flashes of self-reflection in the show’s first hours, Bauer says the American public has a right to know what’s done in its name.
For more info on the role that 24 has played in the national discussion on torture, check out Human Rights First’s Primetime Torture Project.
8:17 – nothing much yet. Bauer gets out of answering to the government about his past torture, and justifies it by saying it worked. Not necessarily what human rights advocates are hoping to hear…
8:20 – PSA featuring Kiefer Sutherland (Jack Bauer) for NoMoreMalaria.org. Worthy cause…
Ethnic cleansing in Sangala! American intervention necessary to end it! “Worst mass murder in Africa since Rwanda”. “The UN’s paralyzied…while those people are being butchered by that madman”. “We have to go it alone”. !!! Genocide !!!
President says she doesn’t want the death of so many on her conscience. If only our real politicians felt that way (and acted on it).
“Putting American lives at risk is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. But it’s one that has to be made”. – President
8:29 – easy to overcome the defenses. Oh good, let’s diss the UN a little more… Oh wow she’s going to replace the Secretary of State because he won’t support the mission to stop the ethnic cleansing in Sangala.
8:32 – is a terror threat connected to the possible intervention in Sangala? The agents say no… but is this foreshadowing?
8:37 – “this isn’t a tribal war, this is a genocide. how can we be sure we won’t be stuck there indefinitely?” (reporter)
Post invasion plans… a great idea!
Oh, and they’re trying to court the media… get the public on their side. Good call!
8:42 – are we mocking people who tortured, now? is that really a good call? “We’re the FBI… we honor the law, even when it’s not convenient”.
8:54 – and now, we’ve authorized torture… but, just the threat of torture works! hooray!
9:00 – ok, the second hour better be good. I’m missing Desperate Houswives for this!
9:12 – Human Rights Watch “No More Child Soldiers” PSA. Good for the 24 people (or whoever it is that figures out which ads play when?) for including these PSAs.
9:20 – full scale intervention of US forces only way to stop the full-scale slaughter of innocent civilians. The president and former PM meeting to create post-invasion plan.
“Our soldiers are the ones who deserve your thanks.” Once invasion over bad guy (Juma) must “be dealt with according to the rule of law”. Otherwise, there will be cycle of violence. That’s the only way democracy will thrive in Sangala.
9:25 – “You don’t deserve to be treated that way” – FBI agent to Jack Bauer, about the fact that he has to undergo a Senate Hearing about the fact that he commited torture? Now, I’ve helped write testimony for a Senate hearing (albeit in friendlier circumstances) — is it REALLY that bad? Come on people – the House and Senate aren’t the terrible things the media like to make them out to be.
9:something… – we are reminded that there are some [evil] Washington-insider lobbyist types supplying weapons to Juma and his genocidal militias.
… and it’s over. Some thought-provoking questions about how to fight genocide, as well as the effectiveness/necessity of torture. Tune in tomorrow for hours 3 & 4.
For a (somewhat) more thoughtful analysis of this episode, check out my guest post at Stop Genocide.