Tonight Jack Bauer bows out for yet another fascinating season of a 24 hour thrill ride. I am sure that all of you conservatives out there will be watching with anticipation for the conclusion (will Jack die or will he miracuously survive the infamous bio-weapon mishap?). But, whether you watch 24 or not, this season has asked very relevant questions regarding a subject that has been a media favorite as of late; torture.
The entire season has wrestled with the morality of torture. At the beginning of the season Jack was being investigated for torturing terrorist suspects illegally. There is no doubt that he is guilty as charged. However, in the process he had saved thousands (perhaps millions) of American lives and basically the existance of the Republic. (Obviously this is a television show we are talking about, but nevertheless, one must admit that such a senario is plausable.)
Another aspect of this discussion has to do with the sacrifice that Jack Bauer made for his country. He has been tourtured numerous times by other coutnries (China most notably) and by terrorists. His family life has been ruined and his emotional as well as spiritual well being have been dramatically undercut.
My perspective, in light of all of the facts, is that Jack Bauer made decisions that he felt needed to be made in order to do what he has sworn to do, protect his country. People are human and they make mistakes, but I see nothing but harm in judging people like Jack Bauer (as a congressman or a citizen) too harshly considering we didn’t have all of the knowledge that he had at the time he made his decisions to torture (mostly beat up very very badly) the terrorists that were always guilty.
Of course all of this ties into the murky controversy/swirl surrounding the issue of waterboarding. Personally I just don’t get it. First of all, waterboarding is such a wimpy form of “torture” that I find it embarassing that people actually object to it. It’s not as if the governement is waterboarding innocent people. And besides in all this talk and swirl it can be hard to forget that only three people have actually been waterboarded (al Qaeda members at that). Also, since 2003 no one has been waterboarded.
Waterboarding has no lasting physical effects nor does it do anything but scare the tar out of the terrorist. So, what is the problem? I find it pathetic that someone wouldn’t be willing to go that far in order to protect their livelihood and the lives of their family members. We are talking about terrorists who have vowed to cut off your favorite child’s head simply because they are American.
Also, to tie in another current event, I find it hard to listen to a lecture about maintaining our moral high ground from a president who supports abortion and infanticide (yes I said INFANTICIDE).
UPDATE: Jack Bauer is awesome.