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HOSTILE WITNESS

posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Hostile Witness
Author: marinw
Rating: PG
Characters: Dr. Schreber/Prosecutor Gordon (OC)/Jack
Summary: Pre Day 7. Dr. Schreber is called to testify before the Congressional Hearing.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company. Etc.
A/N: Could my musical tastes BE any dorkier? Thanks to my beta. the super-awesome sardonicynic, who moonlights as a legal researcher.

Dr. Daniel Schreber entered the large, well-lit room nervously. Everything about this felt wrong.

“The prosecution calls Dr. Daniel Schreber to the stand.”

Daniel took a moment to look at Jack. He hadn’t seen his former patient in over three years. He was still thin, but he was clean-shaven, his hair was neatly combed and he was wearing a suit and tie. He looked so different than the slightly disheveled agent who had once sat in his office.

For a moment, their eyes locked.

“Jack, I’m sorry,” Daniel whispered.

The hurt look in Jack’s eyes was the only reply Daniel received. He took his assigned seat.

“Senator, I would like it entered into the record that Dr. Schreber is a hostile witness,” declared Chief Prosecutor Howard Gordon.

“So noted,” replied the senator.

“My appearance here is in violation of doctor-patient privilege!”

“Given the nature of your case load, doctor, you should have known your expertise would be called on sooner or later,” Gordon said. “And may I remind you that perjury is a serious crime?”

“I’m aware of that, sir.”

“Good. Would you please state your profession and the area of your expertise?”

“I’m a psychiatrist. My specialty is treating trauma and stress. “I work primarily with law enforcement personnel and soldiers. I also have extensive experience treating survivors of imprisonment and torture.”

“When did you first meet Mr. Bauer?”

“Almost four years ago. Bill Buchanan contacted me and asked me to examine Mr. Bauer, who had just returned from twenty months in a Chinese prison. A psychiatric evaluation is standard procedure when an agent has been missing or captured for a significant period of time.”

Daniel hated talking about Jack like he wasn’t even in the room.

“As I recall, Mr. Buchanan had recently been relieved of his duties as Special Agent in Charge of CTU. So, Mr. Bauer was no longer under his jurisdiction.”

“I‘ve worked with Mr. Buchanan before. I agreed to do this as a personal favor.”

“So then what happened?”

“I visited Mr. Bauer in the small hospital where he was being treated for his injuries. I persuaded him to continue therapy upon his release.”

“How long did this therapy continue?”

“Several months, until he left the country.”

“As you know, Dr. Schreber, we subpoenaed your notes…”

“Under protest…”

“Yes. They were hand-written in German and impossible for our translator to read.”

“I don’t apologize for the way I keep my records. My notes are only for my benefit.”

“Well, due to your - unique method of record keeping, I am going to have to ask you this directly: At any time during the therapy sessions, did you discuss the interrogations that Mr. Bauer conducted while under the employ of CTU Los Angeles or while he was acting on his own authority?”

Daniel shifted in his chair.

“You are compelled to answer the question, doctor.” Gordon demanded.

“We touched on it, sir.”

“Did Mr. Bauer ever express regret or remorse for the methods he used during his interrogations?”

Daniel looked over at Jack, who was stone-faced and silent.

“We’re waiting for your reply, Dr. Shreber. Did Mr. Bauer express any remorse over his actions?”

“No, sir, he did not.”

Gordon let the statement hang in the air for a moment.

“Dr. Schreber, could you please provide us with a definition of the term ‘sociopath’?”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s a simple definition, doctor. Well within your field of expertise.”

“Criminal psychology is not my specialty.”

“I’m sure you’ll manage.”

Daniel could already see where this line of questioning was going. He reverted to his most clinical voice.

“Sociopathy is more properly defined as antisocial personality disorder. It is characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others and an inability or unwillingness to conform to what are considered to be the norms of society.” *

“Thank you. Is it true that one symptom of this ‘antisocial personality disorder’ is a history of drug abuse?”

“It has been known to occur. However, there are many reasons why an individual may develop a drug dependency -”

“You must be aware that Mr. Bauer is on record of having a heroin addiction.”

“Years ago, yes, but…”

“Is it also true that this behavior has a genetic component? That it can run in families?”

“There is some research to support that theory.”

"Are you aware of the role that the late Phillip and Graem Bauer played in the nuclear attack that destroyed Valencia almost four years ago?”

“I never met those two individuals. I wouldn’t know.”

“Another symptom of sociopathy is an inability to form lasting, healthy relationships. Have you noted this symptom in Mr. Bauer?”

“It’s difficult for a person to form lasting relationships when he’s being held in solitary confinement.”

“Don’t be cute.”

“Mr. Bauer has been unable to maintain a long-term relationship since the death of his wife thirteen years ago,” Daniel said, choosing to avoid any mention of Audrey Raines. “However, federal agents typically exhibit higher-than-average rates of divorce and relationship breakdowns. Additionally, a solitary lifestyle is not, in itself, a sign of mental illness.”

“You talk a lot, don’t you?”

“It is what I do.”

Gordon went over to a nearby table and picked up a file. The letters ‘CTU’ were printed on the cover.

“One document that you did see fit to write in English was the initial assessment you submitted to CTU.”

Daniel was becoming nauseous.

“This is an obscene breach of privacy! That document was intended only for the eyes of the Special Agent in Charge of CTU.”

“Who had just been relieved of his duties.” Gordon opened the file to a page that had been marked with a Post-It note.

“ ‘Jack is currently experiencing a profound sense of isolation from the rest of society due to both the conditions of his confinement and the circumstances that prompted his eventual return to American soil,’ Gordon read. “I predict an unusual amount of difficulty in his efforts to return to a state of normalcy.”

“If you read further, I state that Jack…I mean Mr. Bauer, is an exceptionally intelligent and resilient individual and that - considering the circumstances - he emerged from his ordeal in a surprisingly functional state. I also wrote that, given time, he could achieve a state of…”

Gordon laid the file down. “Let’s stay on topic, doctor. The part about his isolation from the rest of society is a little troublesome, is it not?”

“It’s not uncommon in these cases.”

“But let’s compare that statement to everything else we know about Mr. Bauer: his drug use, the criminal behavior of his immediate family, the complete lack of remorse over his interrogation techniques. That pretty well fits the definition of a sociopath, does it not?”

“Jack Bauer is not a sociopath! If he was I never would have let him into my office.”

“I’m surprised at you, doctor. You understand the long-term physical and psychological damage that result from torture better than anyone. Yet you sit here and defend the man who is on record, for committing numerous acts of torture throughout his nefarious career.”

“Your understanding of antisocial personality disorder is extremely simplistic.”

“Simple can be good, doctor. I like to phrase things in a way that the general public can comprehend. That is all the questions I have for you, you may go.”

“What?”

“It’s obvious that you don’t want to be here. You’re dismissed.”

“You subpoenaed me here from Los Angeles against my will, thus disrupting my practice. You forced me to violate doctor-patient privilege. You then proceeded to continually interrupt my testimony and manipulated my answers to suit your amateur diagnosis. You dragged me in here for a clinical assessment of Mr. Bauer, and that is exactly what you are going to get. So let me finish!

Everyone in the room was silent for a moment. Jack’s eyes- now made blue by the warm natural light of the courtroom-widened in an expression of – what? Outrage? Amusement? Jack’s face was normally so expressive that Daniel had wondered how he had ever managed to work undercover. But at this moment Jack was impossible to read.

“Very well, doctor. I’ll allow it,” the senator in charge of the hearing relented. “But please contain yourself or you will be removed from these proceedings.”

“Thank you, senator. As I stated earlier, I have treated many law enforcement personnel l, including more than a few CTU agents. All these individuals were –at one time or another- compelled to commit acts that normal society would consider immoral. Including what have been described as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’.”

“What’s your point?”

“My point is that Mr. Bauer viewed his methodology strictly as a means to an end. He regarded a few minutes of inflicting pain as a worthwhile compromise to potentially save thousands of innocent lives. Any satisfaction he might have derived came from the completion of the assigned task. He also does not try to deny his personal responsibility for his actions. Indeed, he has already endured harsh punishment. While his methods may have been morally and legally questionable, in my assessment they were not motivated by sociopathic tendencies.”

“Interesting,” Gordon admitted.

“Additionally, true sociopaths - if you insist on using that term - typically display a high degree of emotional immaturity and a diminished ability to serve in positions of responsibility. Mr. Bauer frequently was frequently employed in responsible positions: as the agent in charge of CTU and advisor to the then Secretary of Defense, for example. Furthermore, Mr. Bauer is an unusually sensitive individual with a very full emotional life.”

“Perhaps he’s a little too sensitive for his particular line of work.”

“Perhaps. But the last time I checked that wasn’t a crime. It is also highly atypical for sociopaths to devote themselves to humanitarian work.”

“A few months of feeding orphans and building straw huts doesn’t make up for years of violating people’s constitutional rights. I can’t believe you fell for that. And you think I’m unsophisticated?”

“I haven’t fallen for anything. Except being forced to participate in your little witch hunt.”

“Thank you for your insights, doctor. Most illuminating. You may step down now.”

It was with great relief that Daniel stood up from his chair. As he left the room, he took a final glance at the slender, sandy-haired man in the dark gray suit.

Jack Bauer hadn’t said a single word.

END

* MedicineNet.com

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