This week was a rough one for the defenders of torture. The legacy of the Bush/Cheney administration is being pounded to dust by a flurry of new information regarding the torture policy of George W Bush and Dick Cheney. February polling indicated that 65% of the public favor torture investigations, 40% criminal prosecutions.

In 2005, George Bush uttered the famous line that "We do not torture." Now, Cheney is out claiming that torture works. More revelations are coming soon from the Justice Department, keeping the defenders of torture on the defensive. The media is energized by the discussion.

John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and thirteen of his Judiciary colleagues formally appealed to Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor. The letter to the Attorney General reads: "there can be little doubt that the public interest will be served by appointment of a special counsel. The authorization and use of interrogation techniques that likely amounted to torture has generated tremendous concern and outrage in this country, and has harmed our legal and moral standing in the world."

Yet America seems to have become acclimated to our use of torture. The country was outraged at the photos of Abu Ghraib but current revelations no longer offend. Defenders of torture claim that Americans have a history of torture, citing Vietnam as an example. Some believe the Cheney argument that torture works. Some believe that the tortured prisoners must have been guilty, even the many released without charges.

Americans have but one excuse for not being completely and totally outraged over the new revelations for torture. The reason that Americans are not outraged is that they do not know what our soldiers, our CIA personnel, our contractors, and our proxies in foreign lands have done to these people, including children.

Below are listed four examples of what has been done in our name.

From Michael Hass, “Children as Unlamented Victims of the “War on Terror” here

“While detained, several children have been brutalized and tortured. At Abu Ghraib, American guards videotaped Iraqi male prisoners raping young boys but took no action to stop the offenses. Perhaps the worst incident at Abu Ghraib involved a girl aged 12 or 13 who screamed for help to her brother in an upper cell while stripped naked and beaten. Iraqi journalist Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz, who heard the girl’s screams, also witnessed an ill 15-year-old who was forced to run up and down Abu Ghraib with two heavy cans of water and beaten whenever he stopped. When he finally collapsed, guards stripped and poured cold water on him. Finally, a hooded man was brought in. When unhooded, the boy realized that the man was his father, who doubtless was being intimidated into confessing something upon sight of his brutalized son.”

Hass reports several examples, including this one:

Omar Khadr’s videotaped plea for his mommy and claims of torture has been seen on television worldwide. While still wounded from battle in Afghanistan, Omar was interrogated many times, sometimes while hooded with dogs barking near him, so he confessed to stop the pain from his wounds. During interrogation at Guantánamo, Omar was shackled to the floor in stress positions until he soiled himself. His bound body was twice used as a mop to wipe his own urine mixed with pine oil after which he was refused a shower and a change of clothing. He has also been administered a brutal beating while on a hunger strike, threatened with rape, and denied pain medication. “

Physicans for Human Rights prodcued an 18 page detailed report, found here, which detailed the following example:

“Kamal is in his late forties. He served in the Iraqi Army during the 1980s and later became a businessman and Imam of a local mosque. In September 2003 he was arrested by US forces. At the time of his arrest, he was beaten to the point of losing consciousness. After being brought to Abu Ghraib prison, he was kept naked and isolated in a cold dark room for three weeks, where both during and in between interrogations he was frequently beaten, including being hit on the head and in the jaw with a rife and stabbed in the cheek with a screwdriver. He was then placed in isolation in a urine-soaked room for two months. When Kamal was allowed to wear clothes, they were sometimes soaked in water to keep him cold. On approximately ten occasions he was suspended in a stress position, causing numbness that lasted for a month. He was made to believe that his family members were also in prison and that they were being raped and tortured. He recounted, “[T]hey were telling me, making me hear voices of children and women, and told me they were my children and [wife].” He was eventually transferred to a tent area of Abu Ghraib, where he remained for seven months until his release in June 2004.”

In this article by Retired Colonel Ann Wright, a 29 year veteran of the US Army, she writes of the decision of Convening Authority of the Military Commissions at Guantanamo Susan Crawford. Crawford said that for 160 days al-Qahtani's only contact was with the interrogators and that 48 of 54 consecutive days he was subjected to 18- to 20-hour interrogations. He was strip searched and had to stand naked in front of a female agent. Al-Qahtani was forced to wear a woman's bra and had a thong placed on his head during the course of his interrogation and was told that his mother and sister were whores. With a leash tied to his chains, he was led around the room "and forced to perform a series of dog tricks." He was threatened with a military working dog named Zeus. The interrogations were so severe that twice al-Qahtani had to be hospitalized at Guantanamo with bradycardia, a condition in which the heart rate falls below 60 beats a minute and which, in extreme cases, can lead to heart failure and death. At one point, al-Qahtani's heart rate dropped to 35 beats per minute, the interrogation records showed.

In September 2003, another Mormon, a woman soldier, US Army Spc. Alyssa Peterson, said she refused to use the interrogation techniques that Bybee had authorized on Iraqi prisoners. An Arabic linguist with the US Army's 101st Airborne Division at Tal Afar base, Iraq, 27-year-old Peterson, refused to take part in interrogations in the "cage" where Iraqis were stripped naked in front of female soldiers, mocked and their manhood degraded and burned with cigarettes, among other things. Three days later, on September 15, 2003, Peterson was found dead of a gunshot wound at Tal Afar base. The Army has classified her death as suicide.

President Obama is clearly reluctant to lead the charge against Bush and Cheney, but he has the sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. The term “blind justice” means that determination of innocence or guilt should be made without bias or prejudice. It is the idea behind the United States Supreme Court motto “Equal Justice Under Law”. An outraged American public can assure that justice is done to the purveyors of this mid evil practice.