American Conversations

Zegart on American attitudes toward torture

Thursday, December 12, 2013
Amy Zegart on American attitudes toward torture

In this sixth video, produced in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Amy Zegart, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, describes the disconnect between Hollywood portrayals of gaining intelligence, including torture, terrorism, and assassinations, and intelligence education. “People’s attitudes toward killing terrorists, detaining terrorists, and torturing terrorists are heavily influenced by the movies and television shows that they see,” she observes, which she thinks might account for at least some of the surge in the public approval of such behaviors since 2005. Zegart concludes that Hollywood must be more responsible in its portrayals of intelligence gathering and that academia could remedy this disconnect through research and writing for a popular audience.

Entitled American Conversation Essentials, the video series features Hoover senior fellows delving into a broad array of topics, from economics to national security.

Recorded on Tuesday, July 30, 2013