In the political double speak of the pro-torture ex-Vice President, our country did not torture ‘detainees.’ Our country merely used ‘enhanced interrogation tactics.’ The straight shooting, tell it like it really is Cheney still hides behind political correctness.

But what if one member of the 9/11 terror group had been captured as a potential terrorist on September 1, 2001? Could Cheney have extracted the truth through torture and stopped the 9/11 attacks?

There are several scenarios to examine. None of these scenarios give a definite answer. Just another maybe.

If we believe the 9/11 attackers numbered 20, not 19, then the arrest of one didn’t stop the attacks. The leaders did not necessarily tell everyone the plan. The plan may have been flexible. Most likely, the leadership did insulate plan specifics like the date and flight numbers until the last possible moment. Had we tortured the missing 20th terrorist, would we have learned enough, soon enough to stop all four, simultaneous attacks?

What if we had captured the leader? Would torture have stopped all four attacks? Most likely the answer is no. If the leader was captured before the plans were final, his capture would have stopped the attacks. If the plans were finalized, then other issues come into play. We don’t know if other 18 terrorists would continue the attacks without him. If the group had an alternate plan, then capturing the leader only causes a change in timing, location, and methods.

The leader, seeing escape as being impossible, was already committed to dying for his cause. He would only need to hold out against torture until the plan or an alternate plan was executed by the rest of his terrorist cell. Or, he could have committed suicide by cop before being captured.

Our cowardly enemies on 9/11 carried out one of the most successful, if heinous, sneak attacks since Troy fell to a wooden horse full of Greeks. They were clever. Clever enough to have thwarted detection by existing law enforcement methods.

Unless all four group leaders were captured, the attacks or at least one attack would have been successful. Torturing one or more co-conspirators would have likely done no more to stop the 9/11 attacks than the accidental capture of the master planner.

In a battle against terrorists or another nation, no one can absolutely predict the unknown contingencies. Not even with torture as the main tool.