www.aclu.org enter "Military Commissions Act fact sheets" into the search box and it will come up
The Military Commissions Act:
Makes the President his own judge and jury by "interpreting" the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution.
Thus, the President was granted (by the former Republican Congress, with only a few Democrats breaking the party lines with their votes) the power to unilaterally declare what exact form torture takes. Because the Geneva Conventions provide a guide to what constitutes torture/does not, and the President may now "Interpret" that, means that the President himself dictates what exact form torture takes.
That form ain't pretty. It's defined in the MCA as eliciting pain levels equivalent to what is experienced in "severe organ failure and death".
Thus, waterboarding is only one form that torture takes. The public discussion of waterboarding is important, but also may offer the illusion that once waterboarding has been struck from torture at large, that the problem has been fixed.
http://uruknet.iknfo/?p=m33306&s1=h1 "ACLU suit allege firm is profiting from torture The Boing Subsidiary is accused of helping facilitate mistreatment of terrorism suspects" Henry WEinstein, Times staff writer
This article above refers to the use of a scalpel to cut the clothes off the suspect's body and engrave his body, cut wounds into his groin, and pouring scalding hot liquids into the wounds.
So much for waterboarding as "Torture" sum total. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As for the vanishing of the CIA "interrogation" tapes, that is easily explained. The fact that Congress itself approved these "enhanced interrogation methods" against Constitutional and international law means that they themselves stand to be indicted. Especially because they gave their bosom buddy, Bush, the power to torture WITHOUT BEING PROSECUTED AS WAR CRIMINAL under the MCA.
No wonder impeachment is off the table and no wonder the tapes disappeared.
Studies about torture conflict: Some sources say that it works and is an important tool for gaining intelligence. Others say that torture is useless because the severity of it is such that false confessions are routinely squealed up if only to stop being murdered in the absence of actual death being the result. Geez.
Which means that the innocent confess to crimes they never committed and are punished for it, yet the real bad guy walks around free.
Further, it has been pointed out in some studies that when a terrorist is in captivity, the terrorist home team changes its tactic. So the "intelligence" squealed up by force may prove useless in most cases, anyway, even in the rare events that it is true.
HERE IS SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT TO POINT OUT TO YOUR FRIENDS: Since the MCA nixes habeas corpus (The right to challenge the legal grounds for one's detention) and the terrorist suspects are forbidden access to their own attorneys, most of them end up with nobody to prove their innocence or guilt, either way. Thus, to see a newspaper photograph accompanying a statement that a "terrorist" or even a ring leader has been caught, is to be questioned. These people have no way of proving if they are innocent (and according to the Red Cross, ,more than 70% of Guantanamo detainees are innocent) . THEREFORE NOBODY SHOULD ASSUME THAT JUST BECAUSE THEY SEE A NEWSPAPER PHOTOGRAPH, THAT SUCH A PHOTO SHOULD "PROVE" THAT THE PHOTO SHOWS AN ACTUAL TERRORIST. THIS COULD BE JUST PLAIN "SPIN" TO GAIN THE GOVERNMENT FALSE CREDIBILITY IN ITS PROWESS IN FIGHTING THE WAR ON TERROR. PLEASE SPREAD WORD!