Saturday, April 25, 2009

Six Waterboardings a Day Keep bin Laden Away

I know it's been a while, and I obviously don't have the time to keep up a decent blog anymore, but occasionally something needs to be said.

We have now learned that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times during just one month in 2003. Since that month was March, that works out to just under six administrations of torture each and every day, assuming the barbarians didn't tempt both irony and fate by taking Sundays off. You wonder if they had a schedule posted somewhere, maybe in the breakroom. "Hey, guys, gotta run, or I'll be late for the 6 o'clock waterboarding,"

Anyway, here's my point. A decade or two may have passed since I took freshman logic, but I don't think you can absorb this news without determining that one of the following three statements must be true. Either:

1) torture works, but only on the 183rd try (not only does this seem unlikely, but it would also negate any further talk of a so-called "ticking time bomb" scenario); or

2) torture doesn't work, and after 183 waterboardings, they finally gave up; or

3) torture works within the first three or four times it is administered, and the remaining 180 or so waterboardings were simply proof that Bush, Cheney, Rice, and the rest are unambiguously depraved brutes who gratuitously tortured a man nearly two hundred times because they derived some sort of twisted sense of empowerment from the practice.

If #1 is true, waterboarding should be abandoned as a hopelessly inefficient methodology, particularly if information is needed immediately. If #2 is true, waterboarding should be abandoned because it is futile as well as barbaric. If #3 is true, we are dealing with some world class war criminals who need to answer for their deeds in a court of law.

So which is it?