In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_kate_plays_christine

Kate Plays Christine

An actress prepares to play the role of a suicidal news anchor, and is slowly transformed by the experience.

Thumb_war_dogs_ver2

War Dogs

War Dogs is a film about horrible people that refuses to own their horribleness.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Torture, '24' and 'Dirty Harry'

dh.jpg

When the issue of torture comes up, many people think of the way it's portrayed on the screen (especially in '24'), as an effective tool for extracting vital information in a ticking-clock scenario. Hey, it works for Jack Bauer, and he's saved the country, and the world, several times over, right?

In real life, however, torture has proved to be a lousy way of getting anything meaningful out of, uh, "suspects." (And then there's that whole Geneva Convention thing...) To quote Professor Darius Rejali ("Torture and Democracy") in Salon.com:

Aside from its devastating effects and the wasted time and resources, does torture actually work? Organizations can certainly use torture to intimidate prisoners and to produce confessions (many of which turn out to be false). But the real question is whether organizations can apply torture scientifically and professionally to produce true information. Does this method yield better results than others at an army's disposal? The history of torture demonstrates that it does not -- whether it is stealthy or not.

Another perspective from a reader's e-mail to Andrew Sullivan:

When Americans think of torture they think of Dirty Harry standing over a serial killer whose next victim is running out of air at a remote location. Americans think of Harry as a hero for doing everything he can to save the victim. But what most people fail to realize is the thing that makes Harry the hero is not the act of torture. It is the choice to torture given he will face consequences for his action. If the consequences are removed then Harry becomes a meter maid.

Once the torture bill passes it won't take long before many, many more terror suspects will be tortured. A time will inevitably come when a detainee is found to contain some information that could have stopped a loss of life or property. At that time interrogators will have to account for not getting the information. Torture will become a cover-your-ass technique.

This is a sad time for morality and accountability.

And for the reputation of Senator John McCain, who has once again expediently sold out his alleged principles to satisfy his political ambitions.

Popular Blog Posts

Hollywood Gave Up on You: The Summer Movies of 2016

A look back at how this summer's best offering, Netflix's "Stranger Things," makes the failure of this season's block...

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

No Matter Where You Go, Here It Is: "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension" Hits Blu-ray

A celebration of the cult classic "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension," in light of the film'...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus