The series 24 seems to contradict itself always in respect to Jack. He repeatedly seems to be acting against orders and for his personal goals, pretending to act for national security. Yet he always comes out as the hero, while others acting for their personal endeavours get punished for it, even by Jack himself. This shows in various incidents throughout the show:
In Season 1 Jack's family got kidnapped and he broke protocol/rules to go get them, when CTU got to know about his endeavors they stuck with him because he was doing it for the greater good. But the question is was he really doing it for the greater good or was it personal -- because of his family? He got away with it.
In Season 4 When Jack Bauer's lover Audrey Raines got kidnapped, he did everything to save her and chocked it up on national security and went further to save the day -- but prior to eventually saving the day, Chloe's friend the Hacker who was abducted by the terrorists was been beaten and interrogated forcefully. When Jack found him later, he was reluctant to actually save Chloe's friend and he shot the two remaining terrorists and left in persuit of the one on the run, leaving Chloe's friend, why? Because he cared about the bigger picture. BUT when the word got out that FA team are about to bomb the site that the terrorists are hosting their execution telecast, he actually decided to go irrespective of orders given to him, because of a woman. Well, he was successful and saved the day, again Jack Bauer got away with breaking rules/protocol. (Actually this happended twice, and he broke rules twice for Audrey Raines, the second time his reward was a restraining order, that was the only thing that made sense to me.)
In Season 6 - "Day 6: 9:00am-10:00am" (the season that Jack returned from China) Abu Fayed, the terrorist, demanded for Jack in return for a Hamri Al-Assad. The exchange was made and it came to the intelligence that Hamri Al-Assad was actually on the side of the government. Hamri Al-Assad agreed to co-operate with CTU so as to get his immunity from all his crimes, and he agreed, but CTU agent Curtis Manning, had a beef with Hamri Al-Assad and was not pleased with the immunity granted. He was willing to kill Al-Assad point-blank because his past involved him personally. Well, Curtis Manning had is moment and had the drop on him, but Jack (standing in for national security) told Curtis Manning not to, because doing so will go against the PRESIDENT'S ORDERS. Curtis Manning refused and Jack Bauer never hesitated to kill him, actually he made it clear that he is determined to kill him. Curtis Manning died and Jack was the hero because Curtis Manning was going against presidential orders.
Later on, the main terrorist Abu Fayed got captured by Jack and the replacement agent for Curtis Manning, Mike Doyle, who happened to be the head of field ops. While Jack was interrogating Abu Fayed by assaulting him and other brutal means Abu Fayed never broke, still maintained his posture, Jack got bored and fed up and phoned the CTU director. While he was on the phone Mike Doyle went for a shot, actually his shot was more of a persuasive approach, again Abu Fayed maintained his posture, Mike Doyle got bored and pulled out his gun, Jack intervened and told Mike Doyle to stand down... he later reached for his gun saying "I do not want to shoot you, but I will if I want to ... Drop the weapon agent Doyle". Well, Doyle responded saying something and Jack replied with "those are the orders of the Director of CTU". Again Mike Doyle wasn't able to do what he wanted because Jack demanded he follow orders.
But in Season 8 when Jack Bauer's lover (Rene Walker) got killed by the Russian, NATIONAL SECURITY, PRESIDENTIAL ORDERS, GREATER GOOD, and all those things again seemed to become irrelevant and only there to make Jack Bauer all knowing and invicible etc etc. He went against everyone - The country, his friends, national security, human morals all because of one insane/crazy woman who is willing to kill herself anytime (has tried it a couple of times, minimum one) and in the event, good people died - The bank owner of Dayna's deposit bank, courageous people proving security whether private security or national service, police men, innocent people who came in the middle of a crossfire, and at the end of the day Jack Bauer was the hero? Really?
My question is:
Am I misunderstanding or missing something? Is there an explanation for Jack being right all the time, especially in those mentioned instances? Why can only Jack Bauer not be charged with treason? If I quite recall the Chief of staff of President Taylor and another associate disobeyed the president so as to ambush Jack's team and save 10,000 Americans by giving in what the terrorists asked for, and they did, and they saved 10,000 Americans. Obviously that wasn't enough because it wasn't Jack Bauer who broke the rules and their reward was life imprisonment.