Mark Bowden has written a sensible article in defense of Water Boarding. Here's an excerpt:
Opponents of torture argue that it never works, that it always produces false information. If that were so, then this would be a simple issue, and the whole logic of incentive/disincentive is false, which defies common sense. In one of the cases I have cited previously, a German police captain was able to crack the defiance of a kidnapper who had buried a child alive simply by threatening torture (the police chief was fired, a price any moral individual would gladly pay). The chief acted on the only moral justification for starting down this road, which is to prevent something worse from happening.The one thing I disagree with is that Bowden argues that while necessary, methods such as water boarding should be illegal. I'm more inclined to agree with Alan Dershowitz that we should establish appropriate legal conditions for its use rather than ban it and hope that people will be willing to sacrifice themselves for doing what's right and necessary.