News Columns & Blogs

Does torture work?

waterboarding5Richard Cohen wonders if Vice President Dick Cheney is right about something: "Where I reserve a soupcon of doubt is over the question of whether enhanced interrogation techniques actually work." Cohen called on the White House to release the memos that Cheney claims prove such interrogation saved lives. "If Cheney is right, then let the debate begin: What to do about enhanced interrogation methods? Should they be banned across the board, always and forever? Can we talk about what is, and not just what ought to be?"

But Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, calling Cheney an "Old Faithful of self-serving nonsense" who should go back to Wyoming, wrote that "it is impossible for Cheney to prove that anti-terrorism methods within the bounds of U.S. law and tradition would have failed to prevent new attacks. Nor, for that matter, can Cheney demonstrate that torture and other abuses were particularly effective."