Four Ways to Talk Back to Torture Apologists
 One way to confront apologists is to directly call their bluff. A start would be to refer to those who are better placed to know. For example:
"There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process." (1) A second tack is to remind the apologists that there have, from the outset, been individuals in the military and the government who argued against the BushCo embrace of torture. these individuals thought the policy ill-advised for various reasons and disputed claims that it has been productive. (2)
 A third reply to the apologists, who whimper and whine that those pressing for accountability are 'criminalizing policy decisions,' is to point out that Cheney and Rumsfeld and their cronies were making political decisions, not engaging in policy-making. The BushCo team had decided they wanted to invade Iraq and used torture in an attempt to rationalize that plan. They hoped to get detainees to 'admit' that there were ties between al Queada and Saddam Hussein. (3) Of course, when the torture failed to generate the proper 'intelligence' Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al. simply lied.
 A fourth way is to refuse their efforts to narrow the debate onto the false claim that torture 'works' because it allegedly produces useful intelligence. This is about rhetoric and framing. Since the apologists want to discuss torture in terms of consequences, let's insist on considering a broad range of consequences. For example, we should insist that debate consider the institutional and practical reputational consequences of out having publicly endorsed torture. But let's talk too about the impact on individual service women and men. For instance there is reason to believe that at least one female Military Intelligence Officer was driven to suicide after having taken part (under orders) in a "harsh interrogation." (4)
Of course, all this presumes that the apologists are at all interested in reasons and evidence. I suspect that they are simply trying to cover butts - whether their own or their comrades.