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British Spy Drama: The Good Guys Torture

Paul Joseph Watson | December 6 2004

Falling in line with its American counterparts, 24 and Threat Matrix, the British drama Spooks, which is a drama about the British MI5, featured a plot in which the use of torture was advocated as a morally just measure.

The use of situational ethics was clearly in play. Why ask questions about if it's right to torture of you're trying to prevent a building full of people being bombed. Surely the end justifies the means?

The storyline revolved around an ex-British military mercenary who had been hired by a foreign oil company to help procure and set up a missile targeting system to bomb the headquarters of their rival bidding company in London.

The MI5 agents had to find out where the targeting system was hidden in order to prevent the bombing.

During the course of the hour-long episode, the mercenary was poisoned, beaten, deprived of sleep, and tortured with repeating sirens that are designed to drive people mad. He eventually co-operated when MI5 put his 8-year-old liver diseased daughter on the roof of the building that was going to be bombed.

Here is part of the episode promo from the Spooks website....

MI5's suspicions are aroused when Robert Morgan, a known mercenary, is seen visiting a top secret disused Soviet arms dump whilst under routine surveillance.

Morgan is brought in and during questioning it becomes clear that he is more significant than could have been imagined. The team have found a laser target missile designator - but another one is missing. They've got 72 hours to stop the guided missile reaching its target in central London. But what is the target and why?

Meanwhile, Harry confides in Ruth that he has been invited to apply for the MI5 Director General position. Ruth offers to help him prepare for the interview.

Back at Thames House, Adam and Danny, under immense time pressure, begin the interrogation of Morgan. Morgan claims that he's just a private courier and knows nothing. He's lying. Danny goes for a mercenary's weakspot - money. He offers him money for the information. It doesn't work. He threatens to ruin his life. It doesn't work.

They decide to put him in a stress position - aka torture. Sleep deprivation and a constant siren in his cell drive him half mad. Toxins in his water bring on severe food poisoning. The team is uncomfortable with this, except Adam, who, despite having been tortured and interrogated himself, feels that the ends justify the means.

Meanwhile, the team have uncovered a link between Morgan's bank account deposits and an oil company. Fiona makes contact with an oil company bigwig and uses the knowledge of her extra-marital affair to blackmail her for information. She comes up trumps - the source reveals that Morgan is employed by the company. But what could they require a missile for? - to 'remove' a London-based rival company from the bidding of a multi-billion pound oil pipeline route deal.

But despite the torture, Morgan, well-versed in anti-interrogation techniques, will not reveal the whereabouts of the designator. Will the team go as far as to use his ill daughter to make him talk? Adam has no such qualms. Morgan has no choice - he tells them where it is and the potential catastrophic strike is alleviated.

Throughout the episode there were lines like 'we have to behave worse than the terrorists,' 'we have to be more dirty and evil than they are'. These same cliched justifications have been heard before not just in 24 and Threat Matrix, but in real life.

This is part of a conditioning mechanism to acclimatize us to accepting torture as a reasonable and ethical method. However, in every case of torture that has come to light in the real world there isn't even a basis of 'situational ethics' to justify this with.

The Red Cross reported that 90% of Iraqis held in prison camps and tortured were not guilty of any crime, never mind any link to terrorism. These people mainly consisted of families who were arrested at checkpoints and then tortured for not having their papers in order.

In August 2002, the LA Times reported that no leaders of Al-Qaeda were found at Guantanamo Bay. Most of them were shoemakers, farmers who had never even heard of America and people who were given guns by the Taliban and shoved onto the front lines.

In Britain, of the over 500 arrests made on the grounds of terrorism, the only charges that were eventually made were either related to the IRA or immigration fraud. The most recent terror alert in Britain, a supposed plot to fly planes into London landmarks, was admittedly cooked up by ITN news executives and Home Office government minions.

Click here to watch a video clip in which Alex Jones explains the hypocrisy of torture and why the doublethink of the 'it's bad when the enemy does it but good when we do it' mentality is so dangerous.

Related: MSNBC’s Dan Abrams "debates" torturing children

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