copyright © 2007 Jeff Goode

Two Takes on Torture
by Jeff Goode

"Jack Bauer"

I am a big fan of Jack Bauer. Huge fan.
Jack Bauer is a bad-ass counter-terrorist dude. From that show 24.
If you are a terrorist, you do not want to mess with Jack Bauer.
He will kill you - and your men - and their men. And then he will kill some of his own men, just so you know he's serious about the War on Terror.

But if you think being killed by Jack Bauer is the worst thing he can do to you, then you don't know Jack.

Because the last thing in the world that you want - or the next world - or the world after that - is for Jack Bauer to even suspect that you might have vital information that he needs to know in order to defuse a ticking time bomb. And now he's gonna have to interrogate you.

Because you don't know the meaning of the word "torture" until you've withheld information from Jack Bauer.

Jack tortures the truth out of people faster and more efficiently than any man living, dead, or fictional. He is an interrogating machine.

When Jack walks into that room, you know he's gonna shoot you in the leg before he even asks the first question. Then he'll shoot your wife in the leg, and then he'll strangle one of your children right in front of you. And that's all by way of saying, "Howdy-doo."

"Indescribable" does not begin to describe the suffering you will feel if you even think about not telling Jack the truth, the whole truth, the half truth, and any other kind of truth you got on you.

That's why I like Jack Bauer. Nothing stands between him - and what he needs to know. The man is a real American hero.

The President likes Jack Bauer, too.
But not because he's an American hero.
Because the President thinks Jack is the reason we should legalize torture.

But he don't know Jack.

You see, what the President - and his posse of pussies keep forgetting - is that Jack Bauer never asks for immunity. Jack always puts the laws of this country first, even when he's breaking them.

Any time Jack Bauer tortures someone, he knows that he may be going away to jail for life - or worse - as soon as he's done. He knows he may be tortured himself. He may be put on trial for war crimes. He may be turned over to a foreign power and executed on the spot. But that's a risk Jack is willing to take.

Because Jack takes responsibility for his actions.

If he's wrong, and it turns out he shouldn't have been torturing that guy, Jack is willing to suffer the consequences. When Jack tortures you, you know he'd be willing to die himself in order to get that information.

So naturally, Jack doesn't torture just anyone.
He's not going to torture you to get directions to the Dixie Chicks concert.
Or to find out who got voted off on the latest episode of Survivor Galapagos.
He's not gonna torture you to find out if you smoked marijuana in high school.
Or where you keep your stolen MP3s you downloaded off the internet.
Jack's not going to jail over some piddly shit.

It takes incredible courage to do what Jack Bauer does.
And that's why legalizing torture is fucked up.
Because if it was legal? Any fucking pussy could do it.

If torture was legal, we'd have people doing it just so they can get a cool picture for their myspace page. (gives a smiley "thumbs up")

We'll have fucking cowards doing it to find out shit they don't even need to know. Cuz, why not? It's fun!

Once it's legal, we'll have pencil dicks torturing people to find out if she "likes me likes me" or just "likes me".

We'll have people tortured "just because". Because why waste the opportunity? I mean, we're all here, and we've got the equipment out.

Legalizing torture - let's cowardly little pussies do - what only Jack Bauer should do.
And that makes this policy an embarrassment to a real American hero.

"Jack Coward"

I'm against legalizing torture.
And not for the reason you think.
Not because I'm some
Lily-livered, bleeding-heart,
Conspiracy theorist
Who thinks this is a slippery slope
That will eventually lead to
Law-abiding liberals like myself
Being tortured in the name of freedom
For checking out certain library books.

I know that's not going to happen.

I know for a fact that I, personally, will never be arrested
And subjected to illegal torture techniques
No matter how bad things get for the rest of the world
And for our local Muslim community.
And not just because I'm a
Basically law-abiding
Predominantly white
Natural born citizen of these United States.
The reason they're never going to torture me
Is because if they ever did bring me in on some trumped up charge of - I don't know -
Assault with a deadly stem cell
Possession of medical marijuana leaflets
Conspiracy to commit free speech outside of a clearly marked free speech zone -
And they arrest me and threaten to interrogate me under torture if I don't tell them everything they want to hear...
(sneers) I'll just say, "Fine!"
They don't even have to show me the implements.
I'll tell them "Fine..."
"What do you want to know?"

You see, I don't like pain.
I'm not afraid of it. Nothing against it. I'm sure it's good for something.
But I don't care for it.
And I won't stand for it. No way. Not a chance.
If they think they can torture me
I will put a stop to that right then and there.
I will confess.
To anything and everything.
And I mean everything.
I will confess to things I've done, to things I haven't done.
I will confess to things I've heard about, but not sure I know exactly what that means.
"Tea bagging? Yes! I was there."
I will confess to everything I can possibly think of in my wildest imagination, and then...
I'll take requests.
"What do you think I should confess to?
What would you like me to have done? Because I was there for that, too!"
I will confess, and I will keep confessing until everybody is all out of ideas.
Then I will type up the confession myself, and sign it that day. Let's not waste any time. I'll even leave a couple spaces blank in case they need to fill something in later.
"No, thanks, I don't need a lawyer. We can clear this up right now, officer. Can I get you some coffee?"
I will confess. I will cooperate.
And I will name names.
I will give them a list of my co-conspirators.
And people they think are my co-conspirators.
And people I've never heard of who might as well have been my co-conspirators.
And people I've never even met, but - fuck it - they're co-conspirators now, baby!

I will turn in my friends and co-workers.
And people who are not my friends at all - but it's a little late to apologize for taking my parking spot now, fucker! "Yeah! She was in on it from the beginning!"
I will rat out everyone in this room if I have to.
I will take down this whole place, if I think that'll help.
And there's nothing you can do to stop me.
I will testify against each and everyone of you. In court. Under oath.
The truth? Fuck the truth!
You're all guilty, if that's what they want to hear.
You were there. You did it. I saw it. So help me God.
I don't care if I do burn in hell. I am not gonna burn in that little room in the basement of Guantanamo.

And you can say what you want about me.
Call me a coward, I don't care.
At least I'll be a coward with all my fingernails.

No one will ever lay a hand on me.
I can promise you that.
I can guarantee it.
You, I'm not so sure about.

And that's why I don't think it's in anyone's best interest to legalize torture.
Because I really don't think I'm the only coward out there.