A reader writes:
Say it ain't so, Andrew, please. "But more to the point: he and his fellow students were tortured for their political beliefs, not their perceived ties to terrorism." Their perceived ties to terrorism are Cheney's political beliefs, surely. But that's beside the point too. Torture is torture is torture is torture. The point you've been making for so many months is evident. There is no justification for torture whatsoever.
Andrew did not write that post; I - Chris - did. (Like every post during these rare co-blogging days with Patrick, I put my initials at the end of the post, and in this case even referenced Andrew by name.) I think this is worth reiterating because readers sometimes forget.
Anyway, I also published this email as an opportunity to air an argument: while I am firmly anti-torture, I actually think the ticking time-bomb scenario can be justified. But my take is very different from the likes of Krauthammer; I think the TTB scenario can be ethically justified, not legally justified. Torture should always be illegal, without exception. But in the infinitesimally small chance that someone is put in the situation where he or she is utterly convinced a captured terrorist holds the key to preventing the deaths of countless people, torturing one person would be the lesser of two evils.