Per Vox: "I like it a lot. I don't think it's tough enough. Can you imagine them sitting around the table or wherever they're eating their dinner, talking about the Americans don't do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads? They probably think we're weak, we're stupid, we don't know what we're doing, we have no leadership. You know, you have to fight fire with fire."
This does not appear to be a prudential rationale for torture. It's to impress "them" by showing that "we" are as "tough" and "smart" as "they" are. Otherwise, presumably, "they" will laugh at us.