There's been much debate for the last several years about the US government and it's allies use of torture. The articles are too numerous to mention and there's been at least one movie, Rendition.
The arguments pro torture generally revolve around gathering intelligence. I'd like to suggest that this is largely false. Extracting information from people is just the excuse used to cover the real reasons for torturing. There are basically two.
The first is to break enemy leaders and potential leaders. Leave them in such a broken state of mind that they can't effectively organize opposition to the US government. This is bad enough, but it begs the question of who's being tortured? Going after potential leaders inevitably means that many innocents will be hauled in.
The second reason for torturing is intimidation. Trying to strike fear in those who would oppose the US government. Submit or this could happen to you.
History will judge the US as harshly as it has the Roman Empire, which we have equaled if not surpassed. For all the Roman's technical and scientific achievements they are most remembered for their brutality. Sadly, so it will be for the US. This is what people will see of us one thousand years from now. This is the monster that the quest for empire has turned the republic into.
In advocating the adoption of the Declaration of independence, Richard Henry Lee said:
"Why then, sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace and of law."
How far we have strayed from the ideals of the Founders.