This just in… “Torture May Have Slowed The Hunt For Bin Laden, Not Hastened It” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/06/torture-may-have-slowed-h_n_858642.html
From the article:
(i) “I think that without a doubt, torture and enhanced interrogation techniques slowed down the hunt for bin Laden,” said an Air Force interrogator who goes by the pseudonym Matthew Alexander and located Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, in 2006.
(ii) But subjected to physical and psychological brutality, “they gave us the bare minimum amount of information they could get away with to get the pain to stop, or to mislead us,” Alexander told The Huffington Post.
“We know that they didn’t give us everything, because they didn’t provide the real name, or the location, or somebody else who would know that information,” he said.
(iii) ...trained interrogators found that traditional, rapport-based interviewing approaches are extremely effective with even the most hardened detainees, whereas coercion consistently builds resistance and resentment.
The ticking bomb argument falls flat given the informed opinion of these folks.