It looks like the ticking time bomb scenario is in need of a little revision.
One Monday, Liz Cheney claimed that this is “exactly the situation
my daddy these folks were in”:
So, if you knew that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had information about an imminent threat on the United States. Information that would result in the death of your family members and the death of the people you care about and love, and that if he were waterboarded you would be able to get that information and prevent the attack, you wouldn’t do it? You’d let him go ahead and launch the attack?
History may record instead this slightly emended version:
So, if you knew that the administration had scheduled an imminent war on Iraq, a war that it currently had no persuasive way to sell to Congress and the American people, a war that was already written in stone but in dire need of a plausible rationale. And if you thought there was a slim chance that if the dozens of al-Qaeda number 3s we had in secret CIA prisons were waterboarded enough times (say, 183), one of them might might say something that could be misrepresented (by truthtellers ranging from George Bush to Dick Cheney) as a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, you wouldn’t do it? You’d force them to abort the Iraq war instead?