Torture evokes many things in the general public, and none of them are (for good reason) good things. Just by the very fact that Zero Dark Thirty even offers the opportunity to bring up questions like this is a bad sign for its chances to bring an Oscar home. It would be unlikely based on past occurrences.
I do not think that the Oscars will really look at it and says it condones torture. Today we live in a society where we cannot speak our mind on the risk it will offend someone. This movie is not supporting torture, it shows that some people do and sometimes people who do not have to go to a "morally grey" area to achieve the better good. That is essentially why it shouldn't affect it's Oscars chances and why it should win some awards.
People like what they like, I don't think this will hurt it. The accuracy of it being included isn't something that should do it any disservice with regards to winning or not winning an Oscar for what it is on the screen. We're far too depraved as a society for it to make the entire movie so objectionable people will frown at it.
No, torture is something that draws people to theatres, and that is weird and perhaps part of human nature, but so much a part of the American hypocrisy whereby Americans like to think themselves above such practices, but also love and flock to it as entertainment. I don't think the torture scenes will hurt the popularity of the movie or its chance at an Oscar.
I would like to think that the general public has gotten to the point that some (granted) evocative imagery will not prevent an otherwise amazing thing it's well earned dues. Torture is a terrible thing, but creative licenses should allow for it to be displayed in such manner as it only adds to what Zero Dark Thirty is.