According to this Instapundit post, large majorities in many modern countries support the legal use of torture in extraordinary circumstances. There is even the line that it should be “legal, safe and rare”.
I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. I am willing to say that it is a trade-off. While we gain information we lose some degree of moral high-ground and reputation (which has other long run costs), and there will inevitably be lots and lots of mistakes as with any government endeavor.
But what does one do in the ticking time-bomb situation, or what you reasonably think is one? You’ve got bloody hands either through action or inaction.