This chapter gives a brief discussion of the nature of torture. It considers some of the current policies on torture. Torture is forbidden, but there are important qualifications on what 'torture' and 'forbidden' mean. The chapter considers how recent writers have framed the torture debate and then argues that while particular acts of torture seem justifiable in exceptional circumstances, it is unwise to fashion policy based on appeals to such unusual cases. People must ask whether the promise of torture's success, even if never fulfilled, can count as a justification for a policy permitting torture. Techniques of torture include methods that produce visible lasting physical damage. Harsh treatments of torture involves sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, lengthy exposure to loud noises or sensory deprivation, being forced to stand, sit, kneel, or crouch in uncomfortable positions, beatings, cuttings, piercings and shockings. Critics of torture exceptionalism insist that refusal to permit any torture is a naive form of absolutism.