As to be expected, the usual canard is the race against time to find a bomb or a suffocating hostage, which I imagine accounts for somewhere around 0% (give or take) of torture. The rest is to punish and terrorise the victims and those that know them.
I hear; 'you can't be absolutist about it'. I disagree and point out that if it's acceptable to torture a suspect, because the necessity to extract information trumps any other consideration, then it must also be acceptable to torture his wife or children in front of him. This may give some pause for thought. After all, we're the 'good guys', right?
Besides such qualms, it is, I thought, well established that the evidence extracted under torture is generally worthless. As Jesse Ventura said (and he had been waterboarded as part of his Navy SEALs training and declared it definitely to be torture) "give me Dick Cheney, a waterboard and one hour, and I'll get him to confess to the Sharon Tate murders".