Following the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States by al Qaeda, the United States captured a number of "high value" detainees who were believed to have knowledge of imminent terrorist threats against our nation and its allies. CIA operatives, who understood that the use of torture is unlawful under both international and domestic law, and above all, is abhorrent to American values, interrogated the high value detainees. The United States rejects torture as a means to garner information - a fact reflected in our domestic criminal law, but also by the country's signature on the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
James P. Terry, Torture and the Interrogation of Detainees, 32 Campbell L. Rev. 595 (2010).