Moral High Ground
Well personally I believe the moral high ground is vitally important.
Why? Well two reasons
First it is one of the things that defines who we are as a society i.e. what our values are, for years now "who we are and what we stand for" has become vague but there was still a core, things like an independent judiciary and the rule of law (international or otherwise)
Second: We become hypocrites, we go around nagging various countries about their record o human rights, when we ourselves are guilty of the same things. so why should they pay any attention to us, I wouldn't in their shoes.
In fact one can make a strong case for this sort of behavior playing into the hands of the terrorist recruiters, we have at least one example of this when the UK had a policy of interment in Northern Ireland, what happened? It just swelled the ranks of the IRA, it was totally counter productive and I suspect it will be the same thing with this.
Now all of the things we have talked about have been going on for years (way before 9/11) but the difference was they knew it was wrong and if caught would suffer the consequences (not that it ever happened, but the threat was there) now its officially sanctioned.