Even the genius behind Leviathan was skeptical about the practice. Money quote from Chapter 14:

"Also accusations upon torture are not to be reputed as testimonies. For torture is to be used but as means of conjecture, and light, in the further examination  and search of truth: and what is in that case confessed tendeth to the ease of him that is tortured, not to the informing of the torturers, and therefore ought not to have the credit of a sufficient testimony: for whether he deliver himself by true or false accusation, he does it by the right of preserving his own life."

Dick Cheney knows better, of course. He always does.

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