I don't see how people can't see the danger in institutionalizing the practice. It leads, inevitably, to Abu Ghraib.
OK, here's my view on ticking time bombs. It's not original:
Torture should always be illegal. But if you're really, truly convinced that a nuke is about to go off in downtown Atlanta and the human filth in your possession can tell you where it is, then do your worst. I'll cheer you on, the president will pardon you, and the nation will be grateful. OK?
I wish everyone could just agree on this. It's not as if it's ever going to happen, after all, and if it does, well, the guy who saved Atlanta really would get a presidential pardon, wouldn't he?
Kevin Drum's view of torture is also mine: