Approved U.S. interrogation techniques do not equal torture, under any legal definition applicable to U.S. actions. And thus they aren't illegal, under those same definitions. Nor, in my mind, are they immoral or otherwise wrongly applied in general.
They aren't supposed to be making those prisoners feel warm and snuggly. There is no requirement that they be kept comfortable, and not be subject to things that make them uncomfortable, whether they be religiously uncomfortable, culturally uncomfortable, psychologically uncomfortable, physically uncomfortable, or some combination thereof.
To quote from the article:
[i]"Interrogators at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, forced a stubborn detainee to wear women's underwear on his head, confronted him with snarling military working dogs and attached a leash to his chains, according to a newly released military investigation that shows the tactics were employed there months before military police used them on detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The techniques, approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for use in interrogating Mohamed Qahtani -- the alleged "20th hijacker" in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- were used at Guantanamo Bay in late 2002 as part of a special interrogation plan aimed at breaking down the silent detainee.
Military investigators who briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday on the three-month probe, called the tactics "creative" and "aggressive" but said they did not cross the line into torture."[/i]
The article goes on to try to make an argument that Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo must be causally related, irrespective of the fact that no causal relationship is shown.
The problem is that in the case of the Abu Ghraib abuses, techniques that were related to approved techniques for specific interrogations under specific circumstances were misapplied for sh*ts and giggles by some low-level night-watch teams who were not being properly supervised. In Abu Ghraib, the abusers were misapplying interrogation techniques against random prisoners for no reason other that to entertain themselves.
In addition, the WaPo story willfully blurs facts by using a catch-all phrase "sexual humiliation" to try to lump the sexual assaults that occurred at Abu Ghraib with the tactics of Guantanamo, which included nudity and other non-assault techniques.
Hooding, nudity, loud music, etc., are all techniques previously applied by other countries in similar situations, such as by the British against the IRA in the 70s, and they are both effective and legal.