Vlad Tepes III engaged in torture, according to traditions of his time where brutality and impalement were not uncommon -- and to preserve law and order. His subjects were grateful, as he fended off the invading Ottomans. He still is recalled with respect. See biography: at http://www.thenagain.info/WebChron/easteurope/Dracula.CP.html His form of impalement was the Persian, through-the chest-breastbone area, judging from the woodcuts. See, if you must, http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Impalement
That worked for about 40 years. Still, his tactics did not last. The drastic measures just gave a reprieve until the Turks regrouped and came again. See Romania Road Ways
Put the history of Romania and its reputation for torture and political repression in perspective. What uses do cultures make of pain, by whom, against whom, and why. Are we so far removed. Is impersonal use of agent orange, or napalm, any more moral than impalement just because the victims of napalm are, or become faceless; and impalement is highly personal. Extreme interrogations: are those so much verbiage for torture but on an individual level -- any less worse?