Yesterday's Guardian reported that
Pakistan used torture to gather intelligence that helped thwart the recent terrorist plot to blow up 10 airplanes. Several blogs have weighed in on whether this is okay, but there's something else worth talking about. During the big torture debate a few months back, those who supported a complete ban on the use of techniques such as "water boarding" argued that not only were such techniques inhumane, but that they produced bad intelligence. The logic being that if you threaten to abuse a detainee until they talk, eventually they'll start making up anything just to get you to stop. While it leaves the moral debate unchanged, the Guardian story, if accurate, pokes serious holes in the argument that torture doesn’t work. In this case, it may have very well saved thousands of innocent lives.