I agree. So where is the disconnect?
Why do you guys worry that we went outside the country and waterboarded a few high placed Al Qaeda to make sure we were getting what we could out of them? That's the thing...you say that the intel is iffy...maybe it is, but get what you can out of them and follow the leads. You might get the next 9/11. You might not. But fuging make sure.
Look, I'm fully aware that it's going to happen one way or another. The way the world works to some extent necessitates these things. But....
A. It should not be institutionalized. There is no need for an infrastructure for these kind of things. These things should not be practiced by regular army, prison guards, marines or even elite combat units (unless in the field) like Rangers, Recon etc. nor ever by run of the mill interrogators.
B. It should be illegal, it should be discouraged, it should be frowned upon and as such be relegated to usage only by top level operatives of the CIA and like organizations. Anything else opens the way for over-dependence on these type of tactics. If people are caught doing these things in isolated events they should be dealt with internally.
This is essentially the way the CIA has always worked. My problem is not with the tactics themselves (because I'm sure the reality is much worse than I can actually imagine) as I am with governmental and public acceptance of such tactics. They should never be accepted, we should strive to be better. So it needs to be what it always has been, "left hand, right hand" thing.
Bush/cheney/rummy tried to legalize it and institutionalize it. Imo this mentality is extremely dangerous to the existence of a republic, as such, it can never be accepted.