Someone eventually asked Mr. Peikoff about torture in a manner acceptable to him, apparently without the elaboration and real-world constraints prefaced to our own question. He answered June 2, 2008  and in the process committed every fallacy we had warned against.
Question: “When if ever is it moral for a government to torture its enemies?”Mr. Peikoff’s answer: It is moral for a “proper government” to use torture against “real enemies violating rights.” Thus one might truly apply the adjective “proper” to a government that tortures. According to Mr. Peikoff torture is sometimes necessary in order to “advance the war for freedom.” He does not say what war that is or ever was, indeed he gives no historical examples of (what we might call) “proper torture” at all. Regarding “real enemies” he assumes as part of “proper” that the (proper) government will use a valid procedure to determine that the man to be tortured is a real enemy.
Mr. Peikoff next defines torture, defines it away really, by saying there is no essential difference between torture and other uses of physical force. Torture differs from, say, holding a man prisoner, only in degree, it is no different in kind.  The operative word in the following quote is “simply”: “torture is simply the extension of physical force,” of “taking it to the point of making the individual’s own body his enemy.”
He goes on to say that asking if torture is moral is the wrong question, the correct question is “not the morality but the practicality.” In other words, as far as eliciting information, does government institutionalized torture work? He quietly drops the context he started with, of working for a civilized country. The question then becomes – we observe – a pragmatic question that a thug would ask.
Mr. Peikoff’s reply to the question is that torture performed by government agents might elicit valuable information, and he argues using precisely the sort of fantastic example warned against in A Question for Leonard Peikoff. He says (emphasis his): “there are occasional situations where you [that is, government agents – proponents of police-torture frequently confuse themselves with the police] have intelligence that a bomb will be exploded ... .” His emphasis of “will” indicates the selective knowledge of government agents who are sure of one thing but not its first cousin. Somehow they found out the what, when, and who, yet not the where. He gives no examples of the “occasional situations” he pretends to know actually happened, and of course he could not because they are found only in fiction such as unreal television shows. 
Speaking of practical, in Links: Government Institutionalized Torture on this website you can see what Mr. Peikoff’s sophistries entail in the real world. As far as torture is concerned Mr. Peikoff voices no objection to anything any branch or agency of the U.S. government has ever done.
In concluding his reply Mr. Peikoff tries to soften his preceding remarks by saying that torture, “it’s not a hopeful way, it’s not a general way” for government agents to acquire information. As an afterthought he throws a sop to civilization: “of course if it’s done out of sadism then it’s completely corrupt.” Yet still we should not protest if it is, as he implies in his answer to the next question in this podcast:
“If it is moral to use torture at all, how could you limit the government to only using this power in an emergency situation?”Mr. Peikoff answers that you cannot, and that is no problem. His full reply is given below (emphasis his), and as you read keep in mind that George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld at the time, Barack Obama and Robert Gates now, and unknown men who will replace them in the future are the ones who run U.S. wars. Again, how could government torturers be limited:
“Well, the answer to that is that civilians do not run wars. This is a question of military tactics that is outside the province of the ordinary citizen to consider. These officers have been trained, they’ve passed various tests. If you suspect that one of them is bad then you speak up at home, but you cannot expect to follow him around or have an agency follow him around and second guess him. There may be a court system to oversee in general but tactics are not the province of civilians.”We interrupt. Can you imagine a more statist, authority-worshipping mentality? “These officers have been trained, they’ve passed various tests” – unlike us ordinary citizens who ignorantly balk at American empire and Torture USA.
Mr. Peikoff continues, saying that the training and tests don’t matter anyway:
“Moreover if there were generals that wanted to torture senselessly, you’re not gonna stop them, no matter how many courts there are. How many zillion buildings are hidden away that they can torture in. There’s no point putting down a rule that you can’t enforce and find out what’s going on. You know John Allison’s wonderful line, ‘You have to inspect what you expect.’ And if you have no access there’s no use laying down rules.”That would be John Allison, former CEO of BB&T, a generous financial supporter of ARI, and once on its board of directors. At the end of BB&T’s Annual Review 2006 Mr. Allison writes that BB&T has been a success because “we carefully manage and inspect the behaviors that we expect from our people.” One wonders if he appreciates the applicability of his observation to torturers as well as bank tellers.
In the mind of an ARI man Mr. Allison’s aphorism means that government institutionalized torture might as well be unrestrained.
Mr. Peikoff winds down by saying that, anyway (again as if to soften his point), “torture is not a primary or major issue in a war. It’s a minor tactic.” In other words, the most gruesome aspect of a totalitarian state is small beer, there are more important things to worry about. As an aside Mr. Peikoff obliquely refers to real-world torture: “Counter to what all the newspapers are saying.” Thus he would have his remarks apply to the actual torture in the news, examples of which can be found in the torture section of this website’s Links page.
Mr. Peikoff’s statement about “issue in a war” insinuates that torture is to be used only in wars, necessarily by the federal (as opposed to a local) government, yet nothing in his preceding argument imposes such restrictions.
Mr. Peikoff concludes his answer by repeating the contention he began with, that the only question about torture is: does it work? As we have seen his answer is: Yes, and in the context of America. To echo the title of Bill Kauffman’s book on American empire, this Ain’t My America.
Without missing a beat Mr. Peikoff goes on to the next question, how does one retrain oneself to “a conceptual principled way of thinking” after college !
The podcast ends with Mr. Peikoff’s usual pre-recorded message: “If you want to know more about Ayn Rand’s philosophy I invite you to ask me a question. ...” Well then, here is another: How is it that a philosophy that anchors thought to the objective world has left so many dead brains in its wake?
But the question is a loaded one. It is not Ayn Rand’s philosophy that has done the killing, not even its perversion that has done it. These people, inside, were dead already. They know a good thing when they see it though: Objectivist boilerplate makes an alluring cover.
That ticking bomb story is perversely ironic given that since the atom bomb’s invention one administration after the other, Democrat or Republican doesn’t matter, has worked to get an atom bomb exploded in an American metropolis. See Links: Arming Our Enemies on this website. Indeed such a disaster could happen. A precondition for preventing it is obvious, stop doing two things: (1) arming our enemies and (2) entering foreign wars, in particular Israel’s wars. In a word, stop mucking about in foreign lands.  After a century of such mucking, stopping now will have much less effect than it would have had say sixty years ago. For sure, though, trying to bring to life crazy torture fantasies will not protect us.