There is a significant difference between the German prisoners in the cage and the German spies captured by the British during World War II. The Germans in the cage were accused of war crimes, and the techniques was used to coerce confessions of guilt. It didn’t matter if what they said was true, and even then the success rate of the cage was terrible.
The Cage held 3573 prisoners. They were accused of war crimes. The techniques were designed to coerce confessions of guilt. But only about 1000 confessions, false or true, were coerced – either by torture or “not torture”. That is 70% refused to confess anything. These are, as I say in the book, surprisingly dismal results but pretty much in line with other dismal results for false confessions including Korean and Chinese torture during the Korean War and French ancien regime torture (which was even poorer). And these are cases where people don’t care if the information is true or false. They just want the confession.
By contrast, the German spies during the war were captured with standard British policing techniques and interrogated using “soft skills”. British counterespionage managed to identify almost every German spy without using torture—not just the 100 who hid among the seven thousand to nine thousand refugees coming to England each year, not just the 120 who arrived from friendly countries, but also the seventy sleeper cells that were in place before 1940. Only 3 agents eluded detection; 5 others refused to confess. The British then offered each agent a choice: Talk or be tried and shot.
Torture didn't work then (and the Battle of Britain represents more of a ticking time bomb scenario than anything we have seen over the past 8 years), why should it work now? Shouldn't Jay Bybee have included this nugget of past evidence in his "good faith" effort to render a legal justification for torture? Oh wait, the decision to torture had already been made. It just would have made for unseemly awkwardness at the intelligence briefings...