Certain things are obvious, or at least seemingly obvious after having been pointed out. The implications of these obvious things, though, tend towards obscurity.
In April of 2009, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen expressed some concern over America’s ongoing debate on the subject of torture, a discussion he worried had been “infected with silly arguments about utility: whether it works or not.” Those silly-billies who believe that it does not work, we are told, are simply being gloomy gusses. “Of course it works—sometimes or rarely, but if a proverbial bomb is ticking, that may just be the one time it works,” he hypothesized, or something.
Fair enough; there are quite a few commentators who believe likewise, and Cohen is certainly entitled to his opinion. In fact, he is apparently entitled to two of them.