I have heard it said from dozens, perhaps scores of people - that because we have succeeded in getting some information from a couple of those who we have subjected to harsh interrogation (or torture, depending on who defines it), that justifies the continued practice.
I don't necessarily get that connection. First off - we are in a nation where you are supposed to be presumed innocent. And when we subject suspected ANYONES to harsh interrogation, let alone those who are not charged with anything, then that kills that presumption. But even more importantly, in my mind, is the idea that because it worked once, it is the method we should use.
I mean, really. We are fairly sure we know where Osama Bin Laden is. He's currently somewhere in the Middle East. Knowing this, it's entirely logical to assume that we can get rid of him by dropping nuclear weapons on the entirety of the Middle East. Even if he did survive the bombing, he would have thousands of square miles of radiation to try to get through to be able to do anything, and the Electromagnetic Pulse that the bombs would generate would probably wipe out most of any of the communications equipment he'd have available.
And, by bombing the middle east, we'd get rid of that pesky Iranian Nuclear weapons program that's threatening to start World War III by - oh, wait.
But the thing is - even though it would be effective, it's still wrong. And that is why we don't do it. And we should be better than this; better than even having to deny or defend it. We should not be doing it.
And we should have a president who's aware of what's going on, and of the oversight of what's going on.