Hear an interview with Air Force interrogator "Matthew Alexander" (a fictitious name), the author of "How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq". Alexander was assigned to hunt down Al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq and has also worked in other parts of the World. In his book, Alexander challenges (and pretty much destroys) the Conservative conventional wisdom on the need and usefulness of torture. He instead describes a more sensible approach that uses more modern interrogation techniques that rely on skill to outsmart suspects.
The tactics described by Alexander are more practical and have been proven in the law enforcement community. It's not surprising that the smarter techniques produce better, more reliable intelligence information.
Review from Time