The decision to torture individuals was made by Bush and Cheney before the CIA ever asked for legal cover for the torture they had been ordered to commit. The torture and abuse was planned before even the January 2002 presidential memo that authorized torture:In December 2001, more than a month before the President signed his memorandum, the Department of Defense (DoD) General Counsel’s Office had already solicited information on detainee “exploitation” from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), an agency whose expertise was in training American personnel to withstand interrogation techniques considered illegal under the Geneva Conventions.
As the "Angler" himself put it:
"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared," Cheney said...
Valtin gives some ideas of how this promoting, aiding & abetting of torture could be prosecuted, suggesting the possibility of a conspiracy charge and an independent prosecutor. When some suggested this interview was a "hook" to get a pardon from Bush (which would require an admission of guilt! and that would put Bush himself on the table! so I don't think they'd go that route), Valtin pointed out that a pardon would not absolve Cheney or any of his co-conspirators from international prosecution. But not so fast... would an international prosecution really be likely?
US prosecution might be easier to pull off, if the public would only demonstrate en masse their disgust at this horrific behavior, at this resurrecting of torture without public discourse, consent, or even, as they wished, knowledge.
Where is the outrage? Where is the courage? Where is the accountability? Where are the prosecutors?