The use of torture has become a hot-button debate among presidential candidates.  Democrats have generally opposed the use of torture under any circumstances, while Republicans tend to be in approval of any tactics that get the job done (the main exception being John McCain, who is really the only person on either side of the political spectrum who has a legitimate, first-hand point of view on the issue).  While this headline may seem to indicate that Clinton has now become pro-torture, that is not exactly the case.  He’s simply using 24’s Jack Bauer as an example of discretion. The former president said, “When Bauer goes out there on his own and is prepared to live with the consequences, it always seems to work better.”

The main point is that if torture is deemed illegal, which he is in favor of, it’s OK if someone like Jack Bauer goes out on his own and breaks laws only if he’s both prepared to take the consequences and is certain that his tactics are absolutely necessary in the situation.  Clinton went on to say, “If you have any kind of a formal exception, people just drive a truck through it, and they’ll say, ‘Well, I thought it was covered by the exception.’” 

So, really, the Clintons are not in favor of giving any exception or exemption for torture.  If it comes up and a Bauer-like person uses it with extreme discretion and is willing take the heat for his actions, then that may be acceptable.  I find it interesting that Clinton would invoke such an extreme and fictional person like 24’s Jack Bauer in a discussion of torture, if only because some of Jack’s tactics have been completely ridiculous.  He’s tortured, brutally so, some innocent people, most notable Audrey Raines’ husband.  But, I suppose if you’re going to invoke any fictional person’s name when discussing the issue of torture, who else is there besides Jack Bauer on 24?

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Source: New York Daily News
(Image Courtesy of FOX)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV