Just to keep things on track, should anyone wish to add to this discussion, or perhaps to refine and clarify my position.
1) I do not condone abusing fellow human beings for the sake of inflicting harm. If we are at war, we inflict harm in battle and do so with the notion that we are defending some principle or ideal, mostly dealing with the lives of our people or allies. This makes the harm we do justified as well as necessary. Thus, to protect lives, we inflict harm on those who threaten those lives. It is a form of self-defense.
2) I do not condone abusing captives taken in battle for the sake of causing them further harm. However, since I consider the enemy equivalent to any other criminal or scumbag, I don't believe we are required to make their incarceration perfectly comfortable. They've done wrong or we wouldn't be fighting them. Therefor they deserve food, shelter and medical care, but not life on their terms.
3) Though I cannot control how other people define "torture", I do not have to accept every definition for the sake of arguing this issue. Thus far, it appears the harshest form of enhanced interrogation technique is what is known as waterboarding. Nonetheless, I will from this point call anything that causes the least bit of discomfort "torture" so as to get past this dubious point of contention. I'm tired of arguing with people who I don't believe are sincere in their stated concerns for the "victims of torture" or how it makes us look to the world to use these techniques or if they feel ashamed that their government ever uses these techniques. So, its all torture. Their incarceration, even if justified by their having shot to death civilians, then members of our military who sought to stop them, along with their constant insistence that they hope to kill us all, even their incarceration is torture. There. Satisfied?
4) I believe there are times when we, as the good guys of a Christian nation (yeah, Barry, we're still mostly a Christian nation, you fraud) are totally justified in the use of some forms of torture in order to save the lives of our people, our troops or our allies.
5) I believe that despite the liklihood of exceptions (because there always are), our government does not employ enhanced interrogation techniques without just cause or without the firm belief of a professional experienced in the field that actionable intel can be aquired from a given suspect by doing so, and that nothing will be gained unless those techniques are employed.
6) I believe that in these cases we are not only justified, but that our position morally is not affected in the least, because I believe that we do not enter into these situations by choice, but do so out of necessity.
7) I believe that the situation, together with the uncooperative nature of a given suspect forces our hand and thus any guilt for using enhanced techniques is totally on the suspect.
8) I believe that for the party of nuance to not see how one could engage in violent behavior, inflict pain and distress upon another human being and still retain the moral high-ground exposes them as fraudulent in their position and merely looking to cast the opposing party in the worst possible light.
9) I believe any life lost due to the concern for the comfort of a terrorist believed by the experts to have actionable intel is on the shoulders of those who acted to strip our government of their use. They are complicit in such deaths.
10) I believe that the biggest mistake was when the first lefty decided to try to use "torture" as a means to discredit George W. Bush and his administration. To put our country in a position where it has to state publicly its position on the use of enhanced techniques has put us in greater harm, as it has eliminated another reason for bad guys to fear us. It doesn't matter whether we use the techniques or not. It doesn't matter if we would ever use techniques that would then make us the most savage nation in the history of mankind. What matters is how the bad guys view us. What matters is what they think we're capable of doing. Thanks to the left, we are once again viewed as paper tigers, unwilling to do what is necessary to defend ourselves.
Before the left saw this as a way to get Bush, our enemies could only hope that we were too nice to be brutal. But they couldn't know for sure. Before the left once again put their lust for power before the good of the nation, the world, if it was to insist on an honest assessment of who we are, would have had to weigh our known good works against our known failures and then decide if we were likely to do the worst in interrogations of terrorists. Those who mean no harm would have no reason to believe we'd just up and attack them. Those who mean no good would never be sure that we wouldn't stop at any line of ethics in defending against their evil. Now they believe there is a line we won't cross and that will again embolden them as our flight from Mogadishu has done.
But here's the thing. Some day, someone from our side will be an evildoer himself and engage in the worst types of torture for all the wrong reasons. No law will prevent it. Or some day, someone from our side will be in a position that more closely resembles the "ticking bomb" scenario the left likes to mock as never likely, and that person will have his hands tied and civilians will die who could have been saved.
Or some day, someone from our side will be in a position that more closely resembles the "ticking bomb" scenario the left likes to mock as never likely, and he will, on behalf of those in danger, see his duty and ignore the law, use whatever technique gets the intel necessary, save lives and have his own freedom taken from him. Like David taking food for the priests to feed his starving troops, I believe God, if not the psuedo-sanctimonious left, will not judge that person harshly, knowing that what he did was righteous.
UPDATE to clarify my clarification:
11) I do not believe in the use of enhanced methods for the purpose of "fishing" or "treasure hunting". I'm confident that more often than not, our pros can tell when a suspect is a pawn and when one is a real source of intel. Only the latter would qualify for the use of enhanced techniques.
12) I'm constantly told by some that enhanced methods don't work, yet never told what the alternatives are or what intel has been had by their use. Other than simply asking politely what a suspect can tell us that would help us defeat his own people, only bribery comes to mind as possibly having any positive results. While I'm sure Dan, ER, Jim and Marty wouldn't mind having their taxes raised in order to provide funds for this purpose, can we expect to succeed with a people who don't believe it's sinful to lie to an infidel? Can we expect it to work with those for whom their faith is so strong that they would remain steadfast no matter what? What are examples of "nice" methods and how and with whom have they worked?