Read Pentagon Okayed Tough Questioning Methods in the Washington Post. Then, at least for the sake of the argument, assume that none of the practices are, legally, “torture” and that none violate international or US law but instead represent the measured outer limit of what can be done to fight terrorism. (Without actually reading them, I'm not prepared to say whether this is a fair assessment, but I would very much like it to be.)
Two things still jump out.
1. The Post doesn't know if these rules applied at Abu Ghraib. We do know that the brass took extraordinary action to keep out a highly trained military lawyer. Were there other rules in effect (and, followed or broken? is there a paper trail?) or no rules?
2. These chilling words: “Separate CIA guidelines exist for agency-run detention centers.” Do they have written rules? Who monitors to see if they re followed? How many camps are there in the American secret prison archipelago? How many prisoners? How long do they stay in? Do they get out?
See BOP News for the relevant parts of the Rummy transcript. Seems the discussion cut off just before it got to the meat.
I wouldn’t worry about this stuff – didn’t you hear? The war for freedom is in good hands.