At least two attacks on the UK were foiled by intelligence gained through waterboarding, claims former President George W. Bush in his 'autobiography'. The ghost-written Decision Points lists Canary Wharf, Heathrow Airport and multiple sites in the USA as among former terrorist targets.
It has long been known that the President authorised the procedure, which involves pouring water onto the face of a restrained prisoner whose mouth has been blocked with a gag. But this is the first time its use has been officially linked to plots against the UK.
Most of the world, including the UK government, considers waterboarding to be a form of torture. Bush's lawyers managed to slither around such legal obstacles by defining it as an 'enhanced interrogation technique'. The Obama administration has since outlawed the practice.
The Bush book once again raises the age-old question of whether torture (creative persuasion?) is justified if the lives of thousands are at stake. Scholars and moralists have written long tomes on such themes, but why don't we try and settle it once and for all with a loosely informed argument in the comments?