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There is a movie, Zero Dark Thirty, that is soon to be released.  From what I hear, it involves the use of torture in the pursuit of Osama bin Laden.  I will not presume to judge this movie in advance, but it started me thinking about the way torture is presented in the movies in general.

When depicted in film, torture is usually portrayed as something evil, something done by Nazis, for instance.  But one of the earliest movies to represent torture as something good is the 1971 movie Dirty Harry.  Early in that movie, the “Scorpio Killer” has buried a little girl alive with only enough oxygen to last her a few hours, and then demands ransom for her release.  Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is a police detective who agrees to deliver the money.  When he does, the serial killer announces that he intends to let the little girl die.  When Harry catches up with him, he tortures the killer until he tells him where the girl has been buried.

Even if we disapprove of torture in real life, we cannot help but approve of Dirty Harry’s actions while watching the movie.  And this for five reasons:  (1) We are certain the man is guilty.  Dirty Harry knows, as do we, that the man he is torturing is the Scorpio Killer.  (2) The punishment fits the crime.  The Scorpio Killer is evil, and clearly deserves the pain Harry inflicts on him.  (3) There is a time element.  In just a few hours, the girl will die, so the information must be extracted from him immediately.  (4) The situation is ad hoc.  Although early in the movie a doctor jokes about Harry beating a confession out of a suspect, it is our sense that he does not routinely torture criminals.  (5) The torture is effective.  We find out later that the girl was already dead, but Harry does get the information concerning where she is buried.

Perhaps the greatest example of justifiable torture is in the 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove.  Because no actual torture takes place, but is only feared, and because this film is satirical, it does not come readily to mind as a torture-justifying movie as does Dirty Harry.  But even so, it makes a case for torture that cannot be exceeded.  General Ripper (Sterling Hayden) has decided to launch a sneak attack on the Soviet Union, which will start World War III.  Worse still, the Russians have just activated a doomsday device, which will destroy all life on this planet if ever they are attacked with nuclear weapons.  Ripper does not know this, but when his air force base surrenders to the army, he rightly fears he will be tortured for the recall code, which will allow the president to order the bombers to return home.  Again, we have the five elements:  We know Ripper is guilty.  He would deserve what he gets.  There is a time element of about 15 minutes before the planes invade Russian air space.  The army does not routinely torture people.  And finally, it is because Ripper knows that the torture would be effective that he commits suicide.  Anyone who can contemplate the scenario thus outlined, and still say it would be wrong to torture Ripper, may count himself as being morally pure on this issue.

More recently, we have had the television show 24.  The principal difference between this series and the two movies above is that Jack Bauer usually manages to find someone to torture before and after lunch.  That is to say, torture is not ad hoc for him, but rather seems to be part of his job description.  Still, the other four elements are typically present, and they seem to suffice for showing that torture is good.

Needless to say, these five ideal elements that justify torture in the movies or on television are not likely to be found in real life.  Sometimes the innocent are tortured right along with the guilty.  Or, if guilty, we must wonder if their guilt is always sufficient to justify the torment they must endure. The presence of a time element is more likely to be an exception rather than the rule.  Nor is the torture exceptional, but is carried out on a regular basis.

Now, what do we say about the kind of man who would make torture his life’s work, a man who gets up every morning, goes to his dungeon, makes a few notes on his clipboard, and then proceeds to inflict pain?  The answer is simple.  He likes it.  He enjoys causing pain, or he could not do it day after day.  And such a monster will not be squeamish about the guilt or innocence of his victims.  In fact, he may even prefer the innocent, for unlike the guilty, they can never give him the information he requires, and thus he gets to keep them longer.

As for the effectiveness of torture, that is debated by the experts.  From a moral point of view, it would simplify things greatly if it turned out that torture was worthless, and that the information sought could more easily be obtained through other means.  But since this goes contrary to common sense (I would certainly talk if I were tortured!), it might be best to concede that torture is useful, and then fall back on the principle that the ends do not justify the means.  To borrow a line from another movie, Touch of Evil, “police work is always easier in a police state.”

The euphemism “harsh interrogation techniques” is used by those who would defend torture under another name.  And, it must be admitted, there is a difference between waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and exposure to uncomfortable temperatures on the one hand, and the kind of torture that mutilates its victims on the other.  Regarding these harsh interrogation techniques, the point is often made that Navy Seals and other soldiers who volunteer for special forces are subjected to the same sort of thing to toughen them up.  And if our soldiers can endure such treatment, the argument goes, there is no reason to spare the terrorists from the same.

However, when our own soldiers are waterboarded and the like, they know that they are among friends, as it were.  They know that things will not be allowed to get out of hand, and the length of time they will have to endure the treatment will be relatively short.  Many others have been through it before, and they may even look forward to the experience, as it will give them bragging rights later on.  The enemy has no such reassurances.  He knows he is in the hands of those who hate him, and there is no telling how far things will go, or for how long.

This psychological difference is not unimportant.  Imagine a man with a knife, telling a woman to undress, after which he ties her hands and feet to the bedposts.  If the man is her boyfriend, and they are playing a game, it may be the best sex she’s ever had.  But if the man is a stranger, who, for all she knows, may mutilate or kill her when he is through raping her, it will be a night of terror so awful that even if she survives physically, she will suffer from the trauma for the rest of her life.

To return to the subject of movies, I look forward to seeing Zero Dark Thirty in hopes of being entertained.  And if it should justify the use of torture?  No problem.  I can enjoy a fascist fantasy same as anyone else.  I do not, however, expect it to weaken my opposition to torture one whit. If Dr. Strangelove could not do it, it is not likely that this movie will.

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Comment Preferences

  •  People support use of torture because (0+ / 0-)

    it works. From what I've read the movie is making the same argument. It may be bad and dirty but it yields information and some of it can be useful as long as there are people/analysts who know how to exploit this information.

  •  Movie torture: Hollywood in general. (7+ / 0-)

    But seriously, we have ample evidence that torture does not work.

    I am gay, and I'm getting married in the Episcopal Church, just like my great-grandmother did.

    by commonmass on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:47:50 PM PST

  •  They are going to use torture in the (4+ / 0-)

    movie because we tortured people in real life to get information.

    There is NEVER an excuse or justification for torture.

    Ever.

    "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

    by skyounkin on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:50:00 PM PST

  •  It was a movie not factual account of how (5+ / 0-)

    useful it is. Nor does it really explore what going to the dark side does to the people doing it and to a country that shrugs and looks away. There are no statistics of how many informationless people are tortured but there must be some since there is no trial by jury , simply some pol or agent deciding to be judge jury and executioner.

    I call this the newest variety of porn... satisfying to those who would likeone day to grow up to have the power to torture and maybe kill those they don't like or disagree with or maybe even someone who has the woman they want or a property they wouldn't sell them.

    I can not count the number of times cops have tried this "above the law" crap... One example : sitting by the river talking, me 54 and my spouse 58... cop stops , asks for id and scans the inside of our truck.... Obviously we had to be drinking or doping...I rolled my eyes when he asked and he got all pissy, asking me why I rolled my eyes... Told him we were just enjoying the location and no we had no drugs so he could NOT confiscate our new vehicle... He really got po'ed at that but then I asked for his badge number and he left... What if he could take the law into his hands and since we were unarmed ...How many cops shoot people and walk.  

    Torture is not a line we should cross because its value is very marginal considering its cost. That said, I understand the motive in the little girls case  and if it was my daughter, I probably would not hesitate but I truly doubt it really would be successful.

    Never watched 24 because it seemed to be creating a mythos to justify people deciding they don't need no rule of law... that it just gets in the way of the good guys taking out the bad guys... but then who decides who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Seems to me that the terrorists on 911 made that decision about the people they killed...

    Fear is the Mind Killer...

    by boophus on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:19:43 PM PST

  •  I saw the movie last week (0+ / 0-)

    It takes no stance on whether the torture is justified.  It presents it as a very matter-of-fact kind of thing that is part of the story of the hunt for Bin Laden.  

    I will say that Kathryn Bigelow, the film's director, does make an effort to maintain her main protagonist's humanity in light of having to witness the acts.

    Look for a link to my review at some point as the release date nears.

    When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion. - Abraham Lincoln

    by EntrWriter on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:40:41 PM PST

  •  The problem with torture is that people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    will talk whether they know anything or not. Unless the interrogator is absolutely certain that the victim does actually know something, what results will be worthless.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:51:00 PM PST

  •  Donut for defending the use of torture. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, willrob, Shuksan Tahoma
    As for the effectiveness of torture, that is debated by the experts.  From a moral point of view, it would simply things greatly if it turned out that torture was worthless, and that the information sought could more easily be obtained through other means. But since this goes contrary to common sense (I would certainly talk if I were tortured!), it might be best to concede that torture is useful, and then fall back on the principle that the ends do not justify the means.  To borrow a line from another movie, Touch of Evil, “police work is always easier in a police state.”
    Utter garbage.

    'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

    by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:53:08 PM PST

    •  diarist unleashed a shitstorm but hasn't commented (2+ / 0-)

      I would have been interested to hear a discussion between the diarist and the prolific pro-torture commenter.

      •  I didn't realize I was missed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ConfusedSkyes

        Strangely enough, I seem to be accused of defending torture, even to the point of receiving a hide-rating from Clive.

        At any rate, I seldom comment on my own essays, unless asked a specific question, because I feel that I have already had my say, and I am content to let others have theirs without further interference from me.

        •  in your defense, your username makes that clear (2+ / 0-)

          yet, it is disingenuous to suggest that one is a disinterested spectator while participating to the extent of actually, you know, taking the effort to write a diary.  

          And so, OK, here's a question.   User P2010 has gone up and down and back and forth in your diary seemingly justifying - if not advocating - torture.   Are you ok with P2010's use of your diary for that?  

          And another.

          Do you agree with the territory staked out by P2010, or do you agree with the bulk of the comments condemning the position held by P2010?

          •  Torture is evil (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ConfusedSkyes

            Actually, it does not appear to me that politico2010 refers much to my essay at all.  Rather, he uses it as an occasion to argue that torture is justified because it is effective.  My position is that while I am heartened by the arguments that torture does not work, I prefer to oppose torture on the grounds that regardless of whether it works or not, it is immoral, and the ends do not justify the means.

        •  Defense of torture: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lib Dem FoP, Shuksan Tahoma
          There is a movie, Zero Dark Thirty, that is soon to be released.  From what I hear, it involves the use of torture in the pursuit of Osama bin Laden.  I will not presume to judge this movie in advance, but it started me thinking about the way torture is presented in the movies in general.

          When depicted in film, torture is usually portrayed as something evil, something done by Nazis, for instance.  But one of the earliest movies to represent torture as something good is the 1971 movie Dirty Harry.  Early in that movie, the “Scorpio Killer” has buried a little girl alive with only enough oxygen to last her a few hours, and then demands ransom for her release.  Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is a police detective who agrees to deliver the money.  When he does, the serial killer announces that he intends to let the little girl die.  When Harry catches up with him, he tortures the killer until he tells him where the girl has been buried.

          Even if we disapprove of torture in real life, we cannot help but approve of Dirty Harry’s actions while watching the movie.  And this for five reasons:  (1) We are certain the man is guilty.  Dirty Harry knows, as do we, that the man he is torturing is the Scorpio Killer.  (2) The punishment fits the crime.  The Scorpio Killer is evil, and clearly deserves the pain Harry inflicts on him.  (3) There is a time element.  In just a few hours, the girl will die, so the information must be extracted from him immediately.  (4) The situation is ad hoc.  Although early in the movie a doctor jokes about Harry beating a confession out of a suspect, it is our sense that he does not routinely torture criminals.  (5) The torture is effective. We find out later that the girl was already dead, but Harry does get the information concerning where she is buried. [1]

          Perhaps the greatest example of justifiable torture [2] is in the 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove.  Because no actual torture takes place, but is only feared [3], and because this film is satirical, it does not come readily to mind as a torture-justifying movie as does Dirty Harry.  But even so, it makes a case for torture that cannot be exceeded. [4] General Ripper (Sterling Hayden) has decided to launch a sneak attack on the Soviet Union, which will start World War III.  Worse still, the Russians have just activated a doomsday device, which will destroy all life on this planet if ever they are attacked with nuclear weapons.  Ripper does not know this, but when his air force base surrenders to the army, he rightly fears he will be tortured for the recall code, which will allow the president to order the bombers to return home.  Again, we have the five elements: [5]  We know Ripper is guilty.  He would deserve what he gets.  There is a time element of about 15 minutes before the planes invade Russian air space.  The army does not routinely torture people.  And finally, it is because Ripper knows that the torture would be effective that he commits suicide.  Anyone who can contemplate the scenario thus outlined, and still say it would be wrong to torture Ripper, may count himself as being morally pure on this issue. [6]

          More recently, we have had the television show 24.  The principal difference between this series and the two movies above is that Jack Bauer usually manages to find someone to torture before and after lunch.  That is to say, torture is not ad hoc for him, but rather seems to be part of his job description. [7] Still, the other four elements are typically present, and they seem to suffice for showing that torture is good.

          Needless to say, these five ideal elements that justify torture in the movies or on television are not likely to be found in real life.  Sometimes the innocent are tortured right along with the guilty.  Or, if guilty, we must wonder if their guilt is always sufficient to justify the torment they must endure.  [8]The presence of a time element is more likely to be an exception rather than the rule.  Nor is the torture exceptional, but is carried out on a regular basis.

          Now, what do we say about the kind of man who would make torture his life’s work, a man who gets up every morning, goes to his dungeon, makes a few notes on his clipboard, and then proceeds to inflict pain?  The answer is simple.  He likes it.  He enjoys causing pain, or he could not do it day after day.  And such a monster will not be squeamish about the guilt or innocence of his victims.  In fact, he may even prefer the innocent, for unlike the guilty, they can never give him the information he requires, and thus he gets to keep them longer.

          As for the effectiveness of torture, that is debated by the experts. [9] From a moral point of view, it would simplify things greatly if it turned out that torture was worthless, and that the information sought could more easily be obtained through other means.  But since this goes contrary to common sense (I would certainly talk if I were tortured!), it might be best to concede that torture is useful [10], and then fall back on the principle that the ends do not justify the means.  To borrow a line from another movie, Touch of Evil, “police work is always easier in a police state.”

          The euphemism “harsh interrogation techniques” is used by those who would defend torture under another name. And, it must be admitted, there is a difference between waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and exposure to uncomfortable temperatures on the one hand, and the kind of torture that mutilates its victims on the other.  [11]Regarding these harsh interrogation techniques [12], the point is often made that Navy Seals and other soldiers who volunteer for special forces are subjected to the same sort of thing to toughen them up.  And if our soldiers can endure such treatment, the argument goes, there is no reason to spare the terrorists from the same. [13]

          However, when our own soldiers are waterboarded and the like, they know that they are among friends, as it were.  They know that things will not be allowed to get out of hand, and the length of time they will have to endure the treatment will be relatively short.  Many others have been through it before, and they may even look forward to the experience, as it will give them bragging rights later on.  The enemy has no such reassurances.  He knows he is in the hands of those who hate him, and there is no telling how far things will go, or for how long. [14]

          This psychological difference is not unimportant.  Imagine a man with a knife, telling a woman to undress, after which he ties her hands and feet to the bedposts.  If the man is her boyfriend, and they are playing a game, it may be the best sex she’s ever had.  But if the man is a stranger, who, for all she knows, may mutilate or kill her when he is through raping her, it will be a night of terror so awful that even if she survives physically, she will suffer from the trauma for the rest of her life.

          To return to the subject of movies, I look forward to seeing Zero Dark Thirty in hopes of being entertained.  And if it should justify the use of torture?  No problem.  I can enjoy a fascist fantasy same as anyone else. [15]  I do not, however, expect it to weaken my opposition to torture one whit. If Dr. Strangelove could not do it, it is not likely that this movie will.

          [1] Offering conditions where torture could be considered approved

          [2] Torture is never justified, ever

          [3] Fear of torture is still torture

          [4] see [2]

          [5] see [1]

          [6] Strawman

          [7] normalising torture

          [8] Setting up torture as SOP for suspects, guilty or innocent.

          [9] Experts? Debate? Really? False equivalence.

          [10] see [2]

          [11] Justifying certain torture techniques on the grounds that they are not physically debilitating or damaging

          [12] No scare quotes lending credibility to the phrase

          [13] See, we torture our own people, so we should be allowed to torture you, too.

          [14] See [3] and [11]

          [15] What can I say? You're looking forward to the possibility that the movie justifies torture in your mind. See [2].

          Portraying torture in the movies as heroic, necessary or justified spills over into real life and the result is 'extraordinary rendition', black sites and Guantanamo Bay. It's disgraceful and unforgivable and the people involved in torture IRL should be up on charges of crimes against Humanity.

          I'm looking at you Chimpy, Darth, Rummy, Yoo and everyone on down the chain of command right the way down to the chef.

          Your penultimate sentence is interesting because nowhere can I find you disapproving of torture.

          'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

          by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:06:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  most-cited justification for an HR ever. (1+ / 0-)

            Yet all I would like to hear from the disinterested diarist would be a direct response to the comments made by p2010.

            •  So would I, ST. nt (0+ / 0-)

              'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

              by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:27:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ugh. (0+ / 0-)

                1) He has responded. He basically thinks they're not worthy of his time. After tangling with p2010 repeatedly, I'm inclined to agree.

                2)

                it might be best to concede that torture is useful, and then fall back on the principle that the ends do not justify the means.  To borrow a line from another movie, Touch of Evil, “police work is always easier in a police state.”

                The euphemism “harsh interrogation techniques” is used by those who would defend torture under another name.  And, it must be admitted, there is a difference between waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and exposure to uncomfortable temperatures on the one hand, and the kind of torture that mutilates its victims on the other.  Regarding these harsh interrogation techniques, the point is often made that Navy Seals and other soldiers who volunteer for special forces are subjected to the same sort of thing to toughen them up.  And if our soldiers can endure such treatment, the argument goes, there is no reason to spare the terrorists from the same.

                However, when our own soldiers are waterboarded and the like, they know that they are among friends, as it were.  They know that things will not be allowed to get out of hand, and the length of time they will have to endure the treatment will be relatively short.  Many others have been through it before, and they may even look forward to the experience, as it will give them bragging rights later on.  The enemy has no such reassurances.  He knows he is in the hands of those who hate him, and there is no telling how far things will go, or for how long.

                This psychological difference is not unimportant.

                No, prior to his penultimate sentence, he does not directly say, "torture is bad," but it's extremely easy to read between the lines. He's pointing out how the media attempts to justify torture, and then explaining why these fictional justifications are fictional. You're tar-and-feathering him for what?

                Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

                by ConfusedSkyes on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 05:41:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  adsf... (0+ / 0-)
                  To return to the subject of movies, I look forward to seeing Zero Dark Thirty in hopes of being entertained.  And if it should justify the use of torture?  No problem.  I can enjoy a fascist fantasy same as anyone else.
                  Can't see a lot of condemning torture there, can you?

                  'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                  by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 07:01:42 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, and? (0+ / 0-)

                    Darth Vader and his force choke entertains me (and a lot of other people), and I'm not the biggest fan of choking people to solve problems. All the diarist is acknowledging there is that if the movie does end up legitimatizing torture as is so common in media, he'd be able to enjoy the film anyway - but it wouldn't make him any less opposed to its use outside of fantasy.

                    I've seen people talk positively about Dirty Harry here, particularly after the whole Eastwood thing, and do you think any of those would not, in a heartbeat, condemn waterboarding, etc.?

                    There is certainly a strong argument to be made that it's wrong-headed to reward Hollywood for these stupid dramatic portrayals, but there is a very big distance between openly supporting torture and enjoying a movie that happens to include it.

                    The very use of his descriptor "fascist" to describe such a fantasy should tell you where his (or her) sympathies lay.

                    Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

                    by ConfusedSkyes on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 07:16:51 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Bad HR, IMO. (0+ / 0-)

      Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

      by ConfusedSkyes on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 05:37:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Movie Torture (0+ / 0-)

    I can cite another movie to prove that torture does not work to refute your argument that this film prove it does.

    I suggest you watch "Casino Royale". While Daniel Craig as Bond being repeatedly hit in the testicles may have a certain homoerotic appeal, it does not result in Bond giving up the information.

    Ian Fleming was a British Intelligence agent so did know a thing or two about interrogations and the book chapter from which it is taken may well be instructive in getting into the mind set of the victim of torture. However both movies are works of fiction - it's just that as far as one is removed from reality regarding torture and it aint the Bond movie.

    "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:16:01 PM PST

    •  Damn (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shuksan Tahoma

      I really should double check when I make ammendments so ignore the "as far as" in the last sentence.

      However I will take the opportunity to make the point. For very good reasons, torture and cruel and unusual treatment are war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Bush administration attempted to weasel out of their guilt by claiming legal niceities that have no legitimate arguement and are rejected by all civilised countries.

      Anyone attempting to justify such universally recognised crimes in my opinion make them complicit in torture and as guilty. This is one of the very few cases which is a black and white issue. Torture is ALWAYS wrong.

      Even in practical terms it does not work, those who are likely to have the most valuable information will tell lies, deceive and most likely have been trained to resist torture. They will tell their torturers just what they expect but distorted in a way to make the information unusable. Those with no knowledge will tell whatever they think their torturers want to hear, no matter how bizarre.

      "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:27:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Movies prove nothing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ConfusedSkyes
      I can cite another movie to prove that torture does not work to refute your argument that this film proves it does.
      I did not mean to suggest the movies ever prove that torture works.  Rather, I was arguing that movies that depict torture as something that is morally justified typically have five (or at least four) features, one of which is the effectiveness of torture.  When torture in a movie is presented as something evil, as in the James Bond movie you cite, where it is the villain who does the torturing, then indeed torture may be seen to fail.
      •  This is what happens when you have films... (0+ / 0-)

        like this.

        http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/...

        Torture apologists like Scarborough appear in the mainstream media defending torture.

        It's dangerous.

        Torturer #1: Hey Bob, how many boxes did you check?
        Torturer #2: Four out of five.
        Torturer #1: Great! Where do you want to start?
        Torturer #2: Fingernails?
        Torturer #1: Cool. Do you want the hammer, or do you wanna just pull 'em?
        Torturer #2: Hammer. My girl left me yesterday.

        'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

        by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 03:12:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You don't know if the movie depicts the torture as (0+ / 0-)

        actually leading to Osama bin Laden's whereabouts.

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 04:39:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correction, it does (0+ / 0-)

          Glen Greenwald

          What makes this so remarkable is that, by most accounts, the film glorifies torture by claiming - falsely - that waterboarding and other forms of coercive interrogation tactics were crucial, even indispensable in finding bin Laden.In the New York Times on Sunday, Frank Bruni wrote: "I'm betting that Dick Cheney will love the new movie 'Zero Dark Thirty.'" That's because "'enhanced interrogation techniques' like waterboarding are presented as crucial" to finding America's most hated terrorist.
          What is alarming is that the reviewers I have read are not bothered at all by this.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 04:46:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The movie is getting top reviews (0+ / 0-)

    no doubt it is a brilliant movie. However, the Charlie Rose interview of the director Kathryn Bigelow and her screen writer Mark Boal, was revealing. Near the end Rose mentions that the movie begins with a man being tortured. Bigelow replies:

    Enhanced interrogation [echoing Cheney], it's part of the history, it's what the research showed. It's one of the realities and methodologies in that hunt.
    Later when the screen writer Boal says the story made him proud to be an American, Rose says rather meekly in the face of Boal's bravado that there were some controversial things. There was rendition, the detainee program, and the torture.

    One of the most sinister things mentioned was that when the three were lauding the professionalism and the heroism of the Special Ops. Boal says that they told him "we do this everyday."

    Zero Dark Thirty is a propaganda movie. The most dangerous kind because from all the reviews, it is packaged in a brilliant, exciting movie.

    The whole interview is available on line on the Charlie Rose web site.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 04:13:12 AM PST

  •  Torture does not work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ConfusedSkyes
    •    Major Matthew Alexander, who personally conducted 300 interrogations of prisoners in Iraq, has concluded that torture does not work, particularly in the "ticking time bomb" scenario so often quoted by those who support torture..

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 04:20:41 AM PST

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