Queensbury rules in the war on terror?

John Sawers, head of Britain's legendary MI6, appears to be ready to trade the welfare of terror attack victims for purity when it comes to methods. In the first speech ever given by a head of the secret agency, as reported in the WSJ:

"Torture is illegal and abhorrent under any circumstances, and we have nothing whatsoever to do with it," said Sir John -- adding that this policy could limit the agency's ability to prevent a terrorist attack. "Some may question this, but we are clear that it's the right thing to do." (emphasis added)

There was no mention on what constitutes "torture." Loud music? Sensory deprivation? Electric shocks? Ripping out a person's fingernails?

Here's a video clip of the comments from The Guardian.