As you surely know, torture has been a big topic for a while now. It's a sad world we live in when this is even questioned as an available choice.
Unless you're enemy is stupid, those that know the information will never give it up, and those that would give up information don't know it. The more important point is that, most simply, torturing used as a weapon against terrorism is an oxymoron. Torturing is, without question, terrorism.
Sadly, America, at least during the Bush administration, was the biggest terrorist nations in the world. Don't worry, my explanation follows:
From Wikipedia's entry on terrorism, with my own links afterwards to display where America as performed each of these actions: Terrorism is, most simply, policy intended to intimidate or cause terror. It is more commonly understood as an act which (1) is intended to create fear (terror), (2) is perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a materialistic goal or a lone attack), and (3) deliberately targets (or disregards the safety of) non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence or unconventional warfare, but at present, there is no internationally agreed upon definition of terrorism.
(1) Just search Google images for Iraq torture.
(2) A quote from George W Bush, before entering office: "Tomorrow, I will take an oath and deliver an inaugural address. You'll be pleased to hear I'm not going to deliver it twice. But I will speak about freedom. This is the cause that unites our country and gives hope to the world and will lead us to a future of peace. We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom, and America will always be faithful to that cause."
Now I'm not saying Bush is the only one to subscribe to dogma and narrow world views, but this quote is a compact display of one.
American ideology of freedom is that of freedom of democracy (not from it. I'm not arguing whether or not democracy is right or wrong, just that it shouldn't be forced on anyone), Freedom of religion (many will argue that doesn't mean freedom from religion, though. Just ask them if 'under god' should be taken out of the pledge of allegiance), freedom of speech (that's why the ' Free speech zones' are setup where no one can hear you), and plenty of others I don't care to list.
One of the main problems America has in it's ideology is that, at least for most Americans, ego is a major deal. America is an insanely egotistical nation. "We have a calling from beyond the stars". Yes, someone's god has chosen us to lead the rest of the world.
Really, I don't want to waste my time arguing this. Basically, America's ideology isn't perfect and, until it is, there's no reason to force it on anyone. Share it? Yes. Force it? Never.
(3) Use of white phosphorus is chemical warfare which is used to intimidate and cause fear, so this one also works for the first point but, in this article it speaks of a corporal Nicholas Bogert. It says: "Bogert is a mortar team leader who directed his men to fire round after round of high explosives and white phosphorus charges into the city Friday and Saturday, never knowing what the targets were or what damage the resulting explosions caused."
If you don't know much about white phosphorus, here's an image of what a wound from it looks like: (DON'T CLICK THIS LINK IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED) A very minor wound.
Okay, I know I really strayed from topic to topic on this one, but my whole point is that, most assuredly, America is nothing close to perfect. We need to admit our flaws and, if we want to help the rest of the world, stop doing the evil we're trying to stop. Torture is barbaric. I don't care if, in limited cases, it gets the job done. I know there's plenty of hypothetical cases people can make up where it is useful but it still don't contradict the fact that torture is inhumane.
As a last note, I don't care about 'under god' being taken out of the 'pledge of allegiance'. We just need to skip that step and take the 'pledge of allegiance' out of America. I will never pledge my allegiance to an imperfect nation. I will pledge my allegiance to freedom of speech, equality, or any other good, unchanging value. I will never pledge my allegiance to something like a country. Besides the pledge of allegiance is only useful for brainwashing small children.