The issue of torture is a complex one in my opinion.
The basic issue in the war, yes the war, between militant Islam and the West is there are two sets of rules in play. The West seems to think you can use the legal system, complete with legal rights and protections granted to US citizens, when dealing with non citizens, hell bent on killing western people.
The issue with torture is not only what you do to the people you are torturing, but what happens to the people doing the torture. Further, any society that takes the high road on torture will find itself at a significant disadvantage when dealing with amoral opportunists and religious fanatics. Militant Islam will win if the West fails to defend itself, or even worse decides it will allow our enemy a free pass. It is a fact that Militant Islam uses what they see as our major weak spots against us; namely, our legal system, our secular society and culture, as well as our freedom.
Bush is the result of long term elite inbreeding and honestly really isn’t that intelligent. He was a useful puppet and nothing more. It says it all that our Imperial Cretin in Chief Obama, he of the hope and change mantra uses drone strikes and torture more than Bush ever did.
We will have to decide, as a society, whether waterboarding a known terrorist is worse than allowing a school bus full of kids to be blown up by a suicide bomber.
Personally, I am willing to do whatever it takes to crush an entity like ISIS that beheads five year old kids.
The German philosopher said it best: “If you stare into the abyss long enough, it will stare back at you.”
We face the same situation combat vets have always faced. If you do what is needed to live through the situation, you will damaged and scarred for life, but if you do not, you will be dead.
One of the reasons I despise Militant Islam is they are going to force the West to do things that will not be good for us in the long term. The thing is if we don’t crush Militant Islam THERE WILL BE NO LONG TERM.