Doesn't intent matter to the morality of "torture"?

Whatever the verbal fencing over the meaning of the word “torture,” there is a fundamental difference between simply inflicting pain on innocent people for the sheer pleasure of it– which is what our terrorist enemies do– and getting life-saving information out of the terrorists by whatever means are necessary.

The left has long confused physical parallels with moral parallels. But when a criminal shoots at a policeman and the policeman shoots back, physical equivalence is not moral equivalence. And what American intelligence agents have done to captured terrorists is not even physical equivalence.