Apparently GWB's memoirs include an acknowledgement that he okayed torture and attempts to justify it by claiming that it saves lives, British lives in particular. It also appears that the British are taking some exception to that claim. Setting aside the intriguing question of whether he's acknowledging war crimes, this points to something that's always bothered me about the torture debate, i.e., the fact that so much of it seems to hinge on the question of whether or not it's effective. Imagine someone proposing, oh, i don't know, something crazy like having poor people eat their children and trying to demonstrate that that would bring down poverty rates and/or dependence on government welfare programs. Surely, we'd reject the argument as absurd, not because we're skeptical about whether or not it would actually bring down poverty rates or welfare dependence, but because the proposed solution is an affront to human decency and a violation of fundamental human rights.