OK, here’s my view on ticking time bombs. It’s not original: Torture should always be illegal. But if you’re really, truly convinced that a nuke is about to go off in downtown Atlanta and the human filth in your possession can tell you where it is, then do your worst. I’ll cheer you on, the president will pardon you, and the nation will be grateful. OK? I wish everyone could just agree on this. It’s not as if it’s ever going to happen, after all, and if it does, well, the guy who saved Atlanta really would get a presidential pardon, wouldn’t he?
In the meantime, it would allow Charles Krauthammer to apply his allegedly vast IQ to less barbaric sophistries. And the rest of the pro-torture crowd would have to think up some real reasons for supporting the Spanish Inquisition. (My emphasis)
Or this one:
You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders. Jesse Ventura, Minnesota governor.
A more rigorous but less amusing refutation of the “ticking bomb argument” is here.