The other day, former Vice President Dick Cheney was on the Fox News Channel claiming that the questionable, some say torturous, interrogation tactics used with suspected terrorists resulted in information that thwarted major terrorist attacks. I was a bit dismissive of all this because, well, after all, this assertion comes from Cheney, believed to be the chief proponent of coercing information from terrorists in the previous administration. But now comes word that a key member of the Obama administration is verifying Cheney's claim.
The New York Times reports that a memo penned by National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair confirms that the tactics, that have been forbidden by President Obama, resulted in "high value information."
I am among those who have always felt that strong arming tactics don't work. That they only serve to get a suspect to tell you what he thinks you want to know, not what he really knows.
A former intelligence expert with the FBI who was a guest on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com echoed that sentiment.
But what if, say those on the other side of the equation, the torturing of a terrorist stops just one major attack on the United States? Wouldn't the ends justify the means.
Until now, this argument was purely academic. But perhaps, not so any longer.
The issue of the United States' reputation around the world still plays into the discussion of course. But let's put this a little bit into perspective. Most of these suspected terrorists come from nations that would not hesitate to use similar interrogation techniques - or worse.
That doesn't mean, of course, that two wrongs equal a right. But it does mean that, perhaps, we need to enter a little more information into the discourse before jumping to conclusions.
As one who watched the Twin Towers collapse I feel we owe ourselves at least another look at the issue.
We talk about issues like this and more weekdays at 5 PM New York time on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com