This past November, U.S. Army Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, the dean of the United States Military Academy at West Point, flew to Southern California to meet with the creative team behind “24.” Finnegan, who was accompanied by three of the most experienced military and F.B.I. interrogators in the country, arrived on the set as the crew was filming. At first, Finnegan—wearing an immaculate Army uniform, his chest covered in ribbons and medals—aroused confusion: he was taken for an actor and was asked by someone what time his “call” was.
In fact, Finnegan and the others had come to voice their concern that the show’s central political premise—that the letter of American law must be sacrificed for the country’s security—was having a toxic effect. In their view, the show promoted unethical and illegal behavior and had adversely affected the training and performance of real American soldiers. “I’d like them to stop,” Finnegan said of the show’s producers. “They should do a show where torture backfires.”
New Yorker article on Joel Surnow, writer/producer of 24
Powerful when it aired in 1992, the episode is even more resonant in 2009. When Picard's comrades on the Enterprise learn of Picard's capture, they insist that the Cardassians abide by the terms of a Geneva-like "Solanis Convention." The Cardassians rebuff the request: "The Solanis Convention applies to prisoners of war … [Picard] will be treated as a terrorist."
Slate - Torture in Star Trek: TNG vs JJ Abrams' reboot
"You don't get people to talk by beating them or waterboarding or anything of that nature," said Rudolph Pins a 94-year-old former Nazi interrogator told CBS News' Seth Doane. He said that in contrast, the strategy was to make the prisoners comfortable so they would talk, "If you make life for certain prisoners fairly easy, they will relax," he explained.
Recent CBS News article on PO Box 1142
Joe Navarro, an FBI interrogation expert who was at the meeting, said he wouldn't want anyone like Bauer on his team. "Only a psychopath can torture and be unaffected," he said. "You don't want people like that in your organization. They are untrustworthy, and tend to have grotesque other problems."
NY Daily News article on the US Army/Joel Surnow meeting
"I forgot to mention last night that following World War II war crime trials were convened. The Japanese were tried and convicted and hung for war crimes committed against American POWs. Among those charges for which they were convicted was waterboarding," he told reporters at a campaign event.
John Fucking McCain
Torture has never worked for interrogation. Even the Spanish Inquisition eventually reefed Torquemada in because he wasn't accomplishing anything. We've known this intellectually and spiritually for about 500 years. It wasn't until the French needed an excuse to treat the Vietnamese inhumanely that it was even entertained within the civilized world.
In 10, 20, 30 years we'll look back and decide that Joel Surnow was a war criminal. I hope the prick is still alive.