- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Roughly a third of British citizens say that what’s good enough for Jack Bauer — the fictional hardcore intel character who roots out terrorism on the televised “24” series — is good enough for them and that includes torture.

Thanks to shows like “24” and “Homeland,” a third of Brits say torture is justified in certain circumstances, Amnesty International charged, in its newest poll. By the numbers, 36 percent say “torture is sometimes necessary and acceptable to gain information that may protect the public,” The Independent reported, citing the study.

By contrast, only 25 percent of Russians said similarly — versus 74 percent in China.

Another 44 percent in Britain are opposed to global bans against torture.

“These findings are alarming,” said Kate Allen, the director of Amnesty International UK, in The Independent. “We didn’t foresee this sort of response from people in the U.K., and it shows we have a lot of work to do. It looks from these results like we have placed panic over principle.”

She also pointed to the influence from drama shows as driving up the numbers.

“Programs like ‘24,’ ‘Homeland’ and ‘Spooks’ have glorified torture to a generation — but there’s a massive difference between a dramatic depiction by screenwriters and its real-life use by government agents in torture chambers,” she said, in The Independent.

Amnesty International also said in its poll that the use of torture is “flourishing around the world,” with 27 different kinds of treatments reported in 79 different countries just this year. Among the tortures: electric shocks, rape, water boarding and mock executions, The Independent reported.