According to the UN Convention Against Torture, which the U.S. took the lead in ratifying on December 10, 1984, there are ” ‘no circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency,’ that could be ‘invoked as a justification of torture’ or ‘other acts of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment’ used to get prisoners to divulge information. …It defines torture as ‘severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental.’ ”

 – Jane Mayer, The Dark Side, Page 150