I have asked this question before, but it’s a partially new crew here now, so I’m reviving it:
Let’s assume the following hypothetical facts are true. U.S. officials have KSM in custody. They know he planned 9/11 and therefore have a solid basis to believe he has other deadly plots in the works. They try various noncoercive techniques to learn the details of those plots. Nothing works.
They then waterboard him for two and one half minutes.
During this session KSM feels panicky and unable to breathe. Even though he can breathe, he has the sensation that he is drowning. So he gives up information — reliable information — that stops a plot involving people flying planes into buildings.
My simple question is this: based on these hypothetical facts, was the waterboarding session worth it?
Conservatives, your mission in this thread is simple: try to keep the liberals on point.
It’s a question of morality, and it is a relevant question. My answer is clear: an unequivocal “yes, it was worth it.” I might add that I wonder how realistic the hypothetical is. It was reported as fact, and I tend to believe it — but part of me is slightly skeptical.
But the reality isn’t the issue. We are exploring our moral differences here, in a hypothetical. Arguing against the hypothetical by saying that the assumptions aren’t realistic is dodging the moral question. It makes you look like Hillary Clinton doing the two-step on licenses for illegals — you’re refusing to answer a direct question and everyone can see that.
Oh, dodging the question is what every liberal opponent of waterboarding will do. Because, as I said in a recent thread on this issue, “[a]dmitting any ambiguity kills the sweet, sweet high of self-righteousness.”
P.S. Fritz is the only waterboarding opponent who is off the hook. He has given an answer.
Here is the question again in case you missed it, liberals: based on the above hypothetical facts, was the waterboarding session worth it?
The liberals will dodge the question. They do every time.
UPDATE: My admiration for my commenters has increased. Despite my confident assertion that liberals always avoid this question, many liberal waterboarding opponents actually take the question head-on in the comments below. I have changed the title to add the word “some” in parentheses.
A couple of commenters haven’t been heard from, though, as of about 10:50 a.m. on November 12. Itsme pointedly evaded answering. And I’d like to see an appearance from Oregonian in the thread.
UPDATE x2: When I say that I am asking a purely moral question, I mean for you to assume that waterboarding is legal — so that questions of violating the law need not enter into your analysis.