Friday, April 24, 2009

Torture Calculus

Sorry, this post is not related to the fiscal crisis at the heart of the Tea Party Patriot movement. However, the subject is all over the news and I just feel compelled to ask this question.

Given that:
1. Waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation" techniques used by the CIA on Khalid Sheik Mohammad and the other two guys at Guantanamo really do constitute torture, and
2. Intelligence gleaned from the use of such techniques provided "high value information," including information used to prevent a 9/11-style attack on Los Angeles.

How many Americans should we let die in a terror attack so that we can feel good about not torturing terrorists? 1? 10? 100? 1,000?

If we had captured one of the 9/11 terrorists on 9/9 and knew he was up to something big, should we have been willing to sacrifice those 3,000 Americans to have a clean conscience?

I know my answer. What's yours?

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