President Obama's decision last Thursday to release U.S. Department of Justice memos outlining the Bush administration's use of interrogation tactics was a mistake. One that has undoubtedly made America less safe and has undermined the Central Intelligence Agency's ability to effectively gather information on groups that want to harm our country.
The declassified memos show the integral role medical professionals played in the interrogation process by making certain that detainees were "not likely to suffer any severe physical or mental pain or suffering as a result of interrogation." Now public, this knowledge is sure to serve as a psychological victory for future detainees and a barrier for the CIA in its pursuit for critical information about terrorist organizations.
I encourage you to read at least one of these memos. You'll be reassured about the precautions the Bush administration took to guarantee compliance with the federal prohibition on torture. You might even characterize its diligence as overcautious.
U.S. Department of Justice Memos Disclosed by the Obama Administration, 4/16/09 (PDF Downloads)