Friday, April 20, 2007

Crossing Jordan

Normally this isn't a show I'd consider worthy of reviewing, I watch it mainly because they have a lot of colorful characters, especially those played by Miguel Ferrer and Steve Valentine. But last Wednesday's show is worth mentioning. In it the medical examiner called Bug (his area of expertise), played by Ravi Kapoor, is abducted by Homeland Security, threatened and interviewed while being accused of all kinds of things he never did and never would have done. He was told he would lose his citizenship and be sent to Guantanamo Bay - indefinitely. He was not allowed to see a lawyer, and then they brought out the electric shock machine, where he said he doesn't know anything that he can tell them. They didn't show the torture scene, probably thought that was over the line. Macy, his boss, enlisted the support of the Boston DA to try and get him him out and she enlisted the aid of a prominent judge to talk to the HS agent doing all this, the agent will not listen to anyone or talk to anyone and the judge says because of the patriot Act he has no jurisdiction. Macy refuses to give up and keeps approaching the agent with new information showing how he got the wrong the idea about Bug. The whole show was very chilling. Macy eventually told the agent that he needs to do his job but the one thing he has to make sure of is that he gets it right, not destroy innocent people, and by wasting his time on the innocents lets the guilty get away. The show ends with everyone at Jordan's apartment when there is a knock on the door and it's Bug, big hugs all around, but Bug has what can only be described as a haunted look. How would it feel to have your government kidnap you without a warrant and torture you for having done nothing and almost made you disappear? That's how Bug looked. The fact that they didn't show the torture but you knew it happened and Bug didn't look damaged except for that look, made it all more terrible. None of his friends really knew what he'd been through.

When I was a kid these were the kind of stories we heard about the Soviet Union, but America was better because we weren't like that. Now, thanks to Bush and his cronies, we ARE like that. I applaud cast and crew for dramatizing this so well, not many would have the courage to tackle this subject at all, let alone so brutally and honestly. Too many of us can't relate to abstract ideas, the idea that Habeas Corpus no longer exists in America is the kind of thing most people don't think about or really appreciate what it really means. It means we are no longer a free country, because
Habeas Corpus is required for that. A show like this makes it all personal and people can then understand just how important it is, and also understand that Bush has destroyed this country. Not damaged it, destroyed it, most people just haven't felt all the effects of that yet so are unaware of it. Can we come back? Yes, but I don't have a lot of confidence in the whole process these days. Theoretically, what Bush has done shouldn't have been possible, but the system did not stop him. Maybe a show like this one will wake up a few more people to the danger we are in as a country.

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