claim that waterboarding resulted in vital information that prevented terrorist attacks upon Great Britain, and therefore saved British lives.
This has obviously caused enormous controversy, with many lefties (and a number of panicky conservatives) dismissing the claim, and stating that it doesn't really matter anyway as torture is completely unacceptable etc. Now one of the difficult things about this is that the word 'torture' gets thrown about alot. This is quite an emotive term, and is normally left undefined, which makes it impossible to have a proper debate about
If we give 'torture' a wide definition, and then declare 'torture = bad' then you end up with a ridiculous scenario where even giving a prisoner poor quality food is 'obscene' and 'abhorrent' and all the other emotive terms the left use to distract from arguments they always lose on the merits of the facts. In order to condemn 'all torture', we need a very precise definition that does not lead to absurdities like the above, otherwise even banging on the table in anger would be classified as "torturing the suspect using fear and aggression."
This new revelation by Bush is perfectly easy to believe, and is pretty obvious as well. One of the only three people to be waterboarded (by the way the left went on about it you would think we waterboarded all of Afghanistan) was the infamous right hand man to Osama Bin Laden - Khalid Sheik Mohammed - who eventually sang like a red robin, and gave away detailed information about potential terrorists attacks on Britain and the US. While the exact nature of this information is classified, it can be revealed that these include plans to attack Heathrow Airport, Big Ben and Canary Wharf. Such an attack would have caused unimaginable devastation, and all Brits should be thankful that we had someone like Bush in office who was prepared to make those difficult decisions that saved lives.
Now, we always have to look at costs and benefits to any action. While the ends do not necessarily justify the means (i.e something intrinsically evil cannot be approved to get a good final end) unpleasant acts that are not intrinsically evil are made more bearable by potential benefits. Waterboarding scumbags like Sheikh Mohammed are not intrinsically evil, because a) it is not torture, it is just water and b) Sheikh Mohammed is a direct and immediate threat to the lives of innocents.
Therefore the question is - what is more important, the lives of thousands of British citizens, or the comfort of the life of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? With that in mind, I think the answer to the question of whether or not to waterboard terrorist scumbags like Sheikh Mohammed is clear - make sure that towel is wet, the water icy cold, and squeeze the terrorist lemon until the pips squeak!