The fact is torture is illegal under US and international Law. Even Saint Ronnie was against torture:
Lets not forget to mention that waterboarding is a technique we picked up from the Koreans during the Korean war which was used to elicit false confessions from POWs. Waterboarding is not a successful method of interrogation and it was such a touchy subject the FBI was told once it was used to stay away from it by Director Mueller. Even the CIA had qualms to the point that they asked for legal cover after they had already begun."The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention. It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today. The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called 'universal jurisdiction.' Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution."
Besides waterboarding several cases of detainees have been killed by other extreme methods used at Baghram, Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and the military has several active investigations into their deaths. What we must remember as a civilized country is that many of these detainees have not been charged with a crime yet. Until they are they are detainees. Also a fair amount of the detainees came from when we offered bounties to warlords, who in turn turned over random people fro the money.
Torture is abhorrent to civilized society and once upon a time the majority found it not to even be a subject worth discussing. It is against our values.