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Monday, September 28, 2009

As Seen on TV: Jack McCoy Investigates Torture

If you were watching NBC during prime time on Friday night you may have seen something we’ve been waiting for, an investigation into torture during the Bush Administration. The premiere for Law and Order’s 20th season was aptly titled “Memo from the Dark Side.” If you missed the original airdate, it is available for purchase on iTunes, and select clips like this one that emptywheel posted to Youtube here will get you caught up:

The episode does an excellent job of taking the topic of torture and conveying the need for an investigation. As you can see in the clip above, they refuse to accept the label of “harsh interrogation techniques” for the clear authorization of torture. In addition it connects the dots for mainstream America (obviously in a fictionalized way) that Justice Department lawyers could be charged with “conspiracy to torture.”

[Jack McCoy] “This memo he wrote for the Department of Justice laid out the
legal architecture permitting the abuse of prisoners…you could argue this memo
is an element in a conspiracy…”

[Michael Cutter] “You want to prosecute a member of the Bush Administration
for assaulting suspected terrorists?

[JM] “The word is torturing and yes it’s about time somebody did.”

It is indeed about time someone investigated torture during the Bush Administration, and not only by investigating low-level operatives. Attorney General Holder must uphold the Constitution and the law by authorizing a full investigation of those who ordered, designed, and justified torture.

As Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter said in this episode:“It is not disloyal to hold our officials to the highest standards of conduct and it is not disloyal to allow you, the people, to decide what you want done in your name.”

What do you want done in your name? If you believe that torture must be investigated to the full extent of the law, add your name to our petition today.

You can also get involved with AFJ's new film on the role of DOJ lawyers in providing legal cover for torture. The short documentary, Tortured Law, will be released soon, but you can watch the trailer, or sign up to host a screening in your community.

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