The Obama administration has finally released four long-awaited legal memos used by the Bush administration to design its torture programme. Although their existence, like US torture itself, has been an open secret over the years, the memos are nonetheless shocking. Written in a dispassionate legal tone, the documents contain the professional opinion of some state attorneys, yet the interrogation techniques are just harsh. "The use of torture has proven so counter-productive that it might have led to the death of as many US soldiers as killed on 9/11," wrote Patrick Cockburn, the winner of the 2009 Orwell Prize for journalism. The reason, why foreign and indigenous fighters overwhelmingly joined Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan was because of abuses at Guantanamo, Abu-Ghraib and Begram, and not because of Islamic Ideology. There are 10 disturbing gleanings that provide a hideous glimpse of what was done in the so-called War on Terror. One of these inhuman tortures was the cramped confinement a suspect in a specially prepared box with insects in it. The time span ranged between 2 to 18 hours that profoundly disrupted the senses of the inmate. There are others like sleep deprivation for 48 hours or more to break the resistance of the prisoners. The commonly used 'waterboarding' produce suffocation and incipient panic that creates an uncontrollable physiological sensation in the subject that he is drowning to certain death. President Bush, flanked by the panjandrums of shame and dirty hands gang, including the attorney general and the vice-president, signed into law the "Military Commission Act" in October, 2006, a fudge law that would go down in history as an obscenity against liberty and decency. While touting the Act, Bush declared that the CIA programme would now be allowed to continue and interrogators could return to performing their duties to the fullest extent of the law. He was strident in asserting that the CIA "horror chambers", would once again be opened to its dirty ventures. And what a bluff, when at the same time he assured the world: "The US did not torture." A former CIA insider suggested that the president had got it all wrong, if he thought that the CIA interrogators had the license to torture the prisoners. According to Fred Hitz, former CIA Inspector General and veteran operations officer: "There is nobody out there in the CIA that I can imagine, who wants to be governed by a set of standards that is different from those in the Army Field Manuel. And under that manual, abusive techniques are strictly barred." On November29, 2007, Senator McCain, while campaigning at St Petersburg in Florida said: "Following World War II war crime trials were convened. The Japanese were tried, convicted and hung for war crimes committed against American POWS, and among those charges for which they were convicted was waterboarding." From any stretch of imagination it really were president and vice-president and there minions who were pushing for such outlawed interrogation techniques that Dr Allen Keller, who directed a programme for torture survivors in New York, called this "torture and the infliction of serious physical or mental pain and suffering." "Our leaders think the Military Commissions Act gives them the thumbs-up. But morality, common decency and history surely won't," he observed. The American citizens and the world at large need to see the complete record of atrocities committed under the cover of Bush's War on Terror. From the material already released or ferreted out by media men, it is clear Bush and Cheney succeeded in using torture, not primarily to secure needed intelligence, but to generate the propaganda they used to sell their invasion of Iraq. The evidence comes from a variety of sources, including the report that Senator Carl Levin's Armed Services Committee has just released. The report exposed that Pentagon officials started preparing to use torture and other abusive interrogation techniques, as early as December 2001; less than two months after the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, and eight months before the Department of Justice gave legal authorisation in two memos August 1, 2002, signed by Jay Bybee, the then Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. The first memo defined physical and mental torture and suggested that the president, acting pursuant to his constitutional powers as the C-in-C, could override the Federal Anti-Torture Statute. The second analysed and approved specific tactics, including isolation, prolonged sleep deprivation, stress positions and waterboarding. If, not the Justice Department lawyers, who gave the earlier go-ahead signal, the Senate report puts the onus directly on President Bush. He issued a written determination on February 7, 2002, that the common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions that would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, "did not apply to Al-Qaeda or Taliban detainees." Former White House terrorist adviser Richard Clarke has confirmed Bush had given an informal go-ahead even earlier. According to Clark's account in his book, Against All Enemies, Bush addressed his National Security advisers late on September 2001. "We are at war and we will stay at war until this is done." He told them: "Any barriers in your way, they're gone." Later, he added in a heated exchange with his Defence Secretary Rumsfeld: "I don't care what the international lawyers say; we are going to kick their ass." The lying about Iraq remains the original sin from which flows much of the Bush White House's illegality. Torture might not have worked as well as conventional interrogation to provide sound intelligence, but it certainly worked for Bush and Cheney in exactly the way they most wanted. Thus, torture became a major tool in the campaign to falsify and exploit 9/11, so that fearful Americans would be bamboozled in a mission that had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda. According to a report published in the Los Angeles Times, CIA failed to closely evaluate harsh interrogations that it used on suspected Al-Qaeda prisoners for about 7 years without ever seeking a serious assessment of their effectiveness. A 2004 report from the CIA inspector general had raised concerns over water boarding and other methods, but no experts ever examined the effectiveness or otherwise of these inhuman techniques. The Obama administration has already announced that it will not seek charges against the officials who perpetrated the outrages. President Obama, himself, said in a statement that in releasing these memos, it was their intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Justice Department and that they would not be incriminated. His decision to spare CIA torturers from prosecution stands the Nuremberg principles on their head. "Good Germans," who were only following orders are not exempt from the bar of justice. Individuals must be held responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Justice Robert Jackson, the chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg trials, declared in his opening to the tribunal that men charged "represent sinister influence that will lurk in the world long after their bodies have returned to dust. They are living symbols of racial hatreds, of terrorism and violence, and of the arrogance and cruelty of power. The arrogance and cruelty of CIA officials who torture and brutalise hapless prisoners are not expunged just because, as Obama said: "They carried out their duties." Mr Obama must realise that punishing a few for inhuman atrocities, doesn't amount to indicting a nation. He must understand that impunity to torturers and their mentors gnaws at the wound of injustice and denies healing. The writer is a former inspector general of Police