After reading the CIA's report on interrogation techniques, here is what many Americans are saying:
"If it saves even one American life, then I can live with it."
Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in Chapter One: The Dignity of the Human Person:
II. GOOD ACTS AND EVIL ACTS
1755 ... There are some concrete acts ... that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil.
1756 It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object... One may not do evil so that good may result from it.
In Fidei Depositum,
Pope John Paul II said,
The Catechism of the Catholic Church ... is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion.
This Catechism ... is also offered to all the faithful who want to understand better the inexhaustible riches of salvation.
Do you want to know what to think about torture? Then read the Catechism.
This is a short post because there is really not that much else to say. The Church does not require us to feel good about the choices we have to make, but she does rescue us from having to figure these things out on our own. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.
The world is full of people who want to hurt, torment, maim, and kill. They all think they have a good reason to do these things, or else they would not be doing them. The Church begs us to be different. The Church begs us not to be an accomplice to intrinsically evil acts, either with our actual hands, or with our wills, or with our assenting words.