And I'm unclear on what the point of using a cattle prod (turned to a presumably "low" level!!) during interrogation might be? If it doesn't produce severe pain and fear or more to come, then it will have no effect, and if it does produce those effects, it's torture by the very definition of the word. So how can you draw a line around "painful, but not TOO painful" when talking about a cattle prod or a set of electrical prods to your testicles, just a little bit of waterboarding, etc.?
Can you cite a study (or anything else) that finds torture is superior to traditional interrogation techniques? I've read quite a few articles quoting professional interrogators who conclude that it's excellent for obtaining confessions (as any brutal dictator has known for thousands of years), but otherwise what you get is what the detainee thinks will stop the torture, and that might or might not be in the same ballpark as the truth, cannot be relied on, and is frequently bad. And that information AT LEAST AS GOOD and generally better can be obtained by skilled interrogators using traditional methods. Again, that last part is essential.and I have been following what torture means, has been applied and works since I was a kid. There have been a good number of studies and reports available over the years. And you do not seem to have read much.
Bottom line is if we want to accept torture as a legitimate interrogation tool, then let's do it with our eyes open and admitting what we are doing and why. Then maybe we can have a proper study of which torture techniques produce the best information, and pay some Pentagon consultants fat fees to oversee the U.S. Torture Program, make sure that it's not too painful, but still gets the hardened terrorists singing like birds, etc. And maybe if it works well enough on foreign detainees, we can bring it home to use on domestic 'terrorists' and other 'high value' targets! After all, if it's not torture to waterboard someone, then why shouldn't the NYPD waterboard their detainees during questioning?
And it's just cowardly to redefine 'torture' so we don't have to admit that IS what we were doing to detainees.