In the unlikely event that Zubaydah knew nothing of value and that every bit of information he divulged was false, it was still reasonable to assume in 2002 that this was not the case. If his interrogators were able to stop one terror attack by waterboarding him, even if they violated international agreements and our national conscience, it was justified. All nations have laws against killing, but all recognize self-defense as a legitimate excuse. I think the waterboarding in this case is directly analogous, except that Zubaydah himself, although he richly deserves it, was neither killed nor permanently harmed.
In the unlikely event? So we only need a strong suspicion to justify torture?
I also reread this recent post, and its seems Sullivan has indeed tapped the vein of logic with regard to what “enhanced interrogation” means. As long as it only scares the living shit out of the “suspect” then we can claim: No harm, no foul. Jesus! What is this? A pickup basketball game?