Post by annabelleleigh on Sept 25, 2009 13:28:38 GMT -5
Below, per nich5oh's link, which also offers access to a 10 minute recorded interview of Mr. Balcer by Mr. Greenwald about tonight's premiere "Memo From The Dark Side." (NBC, 8 PM ET)
A knowledgeable, thoughtful review by Mr. Greenwald, equal in gravitas to the episode's intentions.
Jim Cooper primary challenge, TV episode on torture prosecutions, and various other matters
By Glenn Greenwald Salon.com Friday Sept. 25, 2009 11:26 EDT
"..The 20th season of Law & Order begins tonight on NBC with.an episode examining -- and rather clearly advocating for -- prosecutions of Bush officials (especially DOJ lawyers) for authorizing torture. When I was asked to consider writing about this and interviewing the show's Executive Producer and lead writer, the former journalist and Emmy Award-winning René Balcer, I was very skeptical that doing so would be worthwhile -- for all the obvious reasons. But I then read the script for the episode and was genuinely impressed: although it is burdened by the requisite conventions of network drama, it's a far more sophisticated, knowledgeable and substantive discussion of accountability issues and torture than one typically hears on, say, cable news or Sunday morning talk shows. I actually recommend watching it, and hope that it receives substantial attention.
I spoke with Balcer yesterday for roughly 10 minutes about the episode, what prompted him to write it, and what he hopes to achieve....
... Three specific aspects of the episode impressed me most: (1) its depiction of torture and those who authorized it is deliberately realistic, so it's crystal clear exactly which Bush officials they are indicting (it contains the infamous Yoo endorsement of presidential testicle-crushing); (2) it focuses on the deaths caused by the American torture regime, not merely some "water poured down three people's noses"; and, most of all: (3) it develops a plausible and thoughtful theory for how criminal liability could be imposed on the DOJ lawyers who authorized Bush's torture. If nothing else, this depiction of the brutality of America's torture and the need for accountability will likely reach at least some who haven't been previously exposed to such arguments, and provides a good counterweight to the standard depiction of torture in American entertainment as something employed by heroic protectors."
What an interesting interview! Thank you, nick5oh for the link, and to you, Annabelle, for the written article.
Glenn Greenwald is an intelligent, well prepared, courteous interviewer. Exactly what Mr. Balcer deserves.
I wonder how graphic this episode will be? Enough to show the cruelty and horror of torturing a human being, I would assume. And as Mr. Balcer stated, torture really doesn't work anyway. People will lie to stop pain.
I like how Mr. Greenwald brought up the series "24" as a show that glorifies torture. And how the producers of that show refused to hear what experts had to say about it.