Propaganda of the Police State: ABC's Boston Legal Episode Containst Pro-Torture Brainwashing Propaganda
Infowars.com | February 23, 2005
Apparently Gonzalez and Dershowitz, both exposed on infowars.com for being advocates of torture, were apparently used in this recent episode of Boston Legal to propagandize to the American people about the merits of torture.
Below are a couple of emails we received from listeners as well as an abstract of the episode, which centers around the defense of a police officer accused of torture.
From an Infowars Reader:
ABC's show, Boston Legal had an interesting show the other night where they advocate torture. In this episode, the cops break an innocent man's arm. All is ok because the lawyer-actors convince the jury that torture is good. It's so good that even Alan Derschowitz and the rest of the Bush clan do it too.
Another Reader had this comment:
The other day I was watching the ABC nightly court
drama called Boston Legal (aired Feb. 20, 2005). In
the episode, a cop brutalizes a guy by breaking his
arm saying "Where's the kid?" Anyway, the cop is
defended on the basis that even though he acted
illegally, his vicious deed (breaking the man's arm)
helped solve where the kidnapped boy was. Even though
the man with the broken arm didn't have anything to do
with the crime (it was his brother), the moral that
was presented in the courtroom was, "wouldn't anyone agree with torture if it leads to the return of a
Also, many references were made during the trial about
how Alan Dershowitz and Alberto Gonzalez both promote
torture. Really sick Alex. The moral of the story was "Torture is good!"
P.S. It's funny how these script writers reiterate
everything verbatim what you and others like yourself
talk about on your show. It's total brainwashing and
mind control. .
ABC | February 23, 2005
From ABC's Boston Legal Episode Guide:
Air Date: 02/20/2005
Denny Crane's son, Donny (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), is the opposing counsel in Denny's trial -- an obvious attempt to settle a score with Denny for letting him believe for 25 years that he was his father. Denny tries the case with Chelina Hall (Kerry Washington), an associate at the firm. Meanwhile, Shirley Schmidt recruits an extremely reluctant Alan Shore to defend a police officer accused of torture. And Shore's former client, Bernard Ferrion, is befriended by his secretary, Catherine Piper (Betty White), much to Shore's dismay.
Footnote TV | February 21, 2004
Alan defends a police officer accused of torturing a suspect connected to a kidnapping.
While no federal law specifically bans torture within the United States, prohibitions on torture can be seen as embedded in the Constitution, specifically the Fifth Amendment, which specifically provides that "no person," whether or not he or she is a citizen, shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Any government agent or official who violates due process risks civil or criminal liability for such actions.
Still, such prohibitions can be difficult to enforce and have some exceptions.
First, it may be difficult to prosecute those who engage in torture, due to the difficulty in amassing evidence and given juries' likely sympathies to claims that such acts might have been necessary given the circumstances. Still, the conviction of military personnel associated with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal (Spc. Charles Graner was convicted on Jan. 14, 2005 for his role and was then sentenced to 10 years in a military prison) indicates that torture not associated with public emergencies may not be accepted.
Second, some in the Bush administration did try to define "torture" in a much narrower way than is commonly accepted.
Federal law (18 USC 2340A) does define acts "specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering … upon another person within his custody or physical control" as torture. This law is limited in scope since it only makes torture a criminal offense when committed outside the United States (some in Congress also have sought to amend this law and make it applicable within the United States). Still, it stands in contrast to an August 2002 memo that then White House Counsel (now Attorney General) Albert Gonzales received from a Justice Department lawyer (on-line as a PDF here ). This memo defined torture narrowly in order to allow interrogation techniques that might be "cruel" or "inhuman" so long as they did not provide pain "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."
(Gonzales was grilled in a January 2005 Senate confirmation hearing about this memo; Gonzales renounced the use of torture in this hearing.)
Third, evidence obtained through torture could be used in certain circumstances, which does allow the government occasionally to benefit from the use of torture.
For example, constitutional protections such as the Fourth and Fifth Amendments do not apply to foreign governments and do not limit their actions. Thus, a foreign government could conceivably torture someone and then turn over the resulting statements to the United States. The United States government could then use the statements to build its own case against a suspect, as some say it did in the case of Abdul Murad, a terrorist captured in the Philippines in 1995 and reportedly tortured before being turned over to the United States.
At the same time, courts have refused to admit some evidence obtained through the use of torture. For example, a statement obtained by Mexican police who threatened to kill the defendant, beat him about the face and body, poured water through his nostrils while he was bound and gagged, and applied electric shocks to his wet body was excluded from evidence at trial in a 1987 case because the conduct "shock[ed] the conscience." A court also noted in a 1988 case that statements obtained via torture would be inadmissible if U.S. agents were so involved in the foreign officials' actions that the conduct was effectively a joint venture between them.
Sources : International Criminal Law, 2000 edition (pages 515-34). Stephen A. Saltzburg, The Reach of the Bill of Rights Beyond the Terra Firma of the United States, reprinted in International Aspects of Criminal Law: Enforcing United States Law in the World Community, edited by Richard Lillich (1981). Jordan J. Paust, Constituional Limitations on Extraterritorial Federal Power: Persons, Property, Due Process, and the Seizure of Evidence Abroad, in International Criminal Law: A Guide to U.S. Practice and Procedure, edited by Ved P. Nanda and M. Cherif Bassiounni (Practising Law Institute, 1987). Human Rights Watch, The Legal Prohibition against Torture, is on-line here . Supreme Court cases are on-line via Findlaw.com.