Torture sucks. That being said, sometimes it may be better than the outcome. I will draw an example from the show 24 (which kicks ass, btw) for the sake of illustration:
A nuclear bomb is set to go off in LA. There is a man who has information that could be used to stop it. He isn’t going to give the info voluntarily. There is no other avenue to explore for this info. Therefore, torture is used, on the idea that the torture of one man is better than the deaths of millions.
Granted, that’s an extreme example, but I would bet dollars to donuts that when the US resorts to torture, it is under the assumption that the result will be to save lives.
In places like Iraq, or Cuba, or N. Korea, though, torture is for a different purpose. Saddam doesn’t torture dissidents because he needs valuable info to save the lives of his people. He tortures dissidents either for shits and giggles, or to teach a lesson to other potential dissidents: To speak ill or plot against Saddam is to invite your own agonizing death. Sure, I bet he tortures for info, too - for info that can be used to shut down rebellions that might depose him and thus liberate the Iraqi people.
I’m surprised you can’t see the difference. You can make an argument that torture is a crime so heinous that even saving the lives of others is not a justification (not that I’d agree, but you could argue that, and I would respect the position). But even in such a case, to compare the US’s use of torture to that of Iraq’s is, frankly, a more than a little disgusting.