Antonin Scalia Studies Law at the Jack Bauer School of Torture Justification

Brian Zick

Colin Freeze for the Globe and Mail reports: 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." Apparently Scalia is a devoted viewer of the TV show. 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." And it is also apparent - and rather frightening in the extreme - that Scalia really doesn't have a grip on the fact that IT'S A FANTASY MADE UP BY WRITERS WHO FABRICATE TERRORIST THREATS FOR THE PURPOSE OF FICTIONAL DRAMA. THERE'S A SCRIPT! THE SCRIPT TELLS JACK BAUER WHO THE BAD GUYS ARE AND WHAT THEY'RE DOING. IF POLICE DETECTIVES AND SECRET AGENTS IN THE REAL WORLD HAD A SCRIPT, THEY WOULDN"T NEED TO INVESTIGATE ANYTHING AND DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT A THREAT EXISTS. WITHOUT A SCRIPT, HOW WOULD JACK BAUER KNOW WHO TO TORTURE IN THE FIRST PLACE?Scalia is clearly guided by the operative premise that torture is sometimes justified because a script someow exists in the real world too, which pre-informs police authorities of terrorist threats and identifies the bad guys, and so that's how they know who to torture justifiably.via SusanG at dailykos

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