Jack Bauer Lives

The genre of the right-wing pro-torture thriller is on a roll, propelled by Beck and Limbaugh. Jason Zengerle has a terrific piece in the new TNR on the phenomenon:

With Chapter 50 of Pursuit of Honor, Flynn appears to be angling for a new level of conservative street cred. The chapter finds Rapp sitting in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has asked him to explain his torture of a Saudi terrorism suspect. After being scolded for his “immoral techniques” by Carol Ogden--a California Democrat (and thinly veiled send-up of Barbara Boxer) who “moved in the elite circles of her party, listening to the trial lawyers, academics, and the nuttiest of the crazy special-interest groups”--it’s Rapp’s turn to address the committee. “[W]hat do you think is more morally reprehensible,” he asks, “dislocating the arm of a terrorist … or sticking a steel spike into the brain of an eight-and-a-half-month-old fetus and then sucking his brains out[?]” Reminded by one of Ogden’s colleagues (a “jowly Senator from Vermont” who bears a striking resemblance to Patrick Leahy) that he is speaking in the august chambers of the U.S. Senate, Rapp shoots back: “I’m well aware of where I am, sir. This is where we not only say it’s perfectly okay for a doctor to kill a full-term baby, but we think taxpayers should help pay for it. … And you call me a barbarian.”