I loved your take on the topic. This topic is VERY polarizing as the recent polls suggest. I agree with most of what you stated. Yes, the US signed a “we will not torture” treaty. Yes, the report claimed torturing proved to be pointless since persons did not disclose additional information or any information at all after being tortured. So on both of those grounds I would agree with you that torturing individuals, in general, is not a practice that we should participate in.
However, I disagree with 1 of your main arguments.
The whole “don't stoop to their level” argument is great ideology to teach kids growing up. If more and more young people grow up taking the moral high ground, then hopefully in a few generations these types of “evil people” will either be too scarce to be a concern or won't be able to do much harm.
But in modern war, we don't have that luxury. Less than a century ago, wars were fought between two identified enemies. Gorilla tactics then came into effect during Vietnam that changed the landscape of how wars are being fought. Groups have taken those tactics to an inhumane end where we now have children, women, and plain dressed citizens ambushing troops. Our enemy is no longer clear and identifiable. They don’t where a uniform. How do we fight an enemy that has no face and every face at the same time? The answer: intelligence. And if our enemy is going to send their children into harms way, haven’t they given up their “right to life and liberty”? I have no problem with the tactics used by the departments of government that we trust to protect our founding idea in their pursuit of military intelligence.
Is what they are doing right? Is it good? Is it considered “God’s work”? No. But i believe in it’s necessity. As much as it pains me to say that. I wish it wasn’t so. I long for the days when we knew who the enemy was. When we met on a field and duked it out until only one remained. But in this day and age, when our life and liberty are threatened by cowardly individuals who not only refuse to be identified, but who refuse to fight the fight themselves and instead hide behind their wives and sons and daughters, then yes, we must identify, find and stop them by any means necessary. Even if that means cramming a bottle up the ass of a known terrorist leader who is not a US citizen and has declared a ruthless war against us and has empowered and mobilized thousands more against us. In that case, get your back into it.