The Obama Administration should not have declassified and released the memos as it gives the enemy a broader understanding of our intel operations. The reasons that the administration did this seem obvious.
There are two theories out there about this. Let's start with the Guardian UK:
...Senior members of the Bush administration today defended the physical abuse of prisoners by CIA operatives at Guantánamo and elsewhere round the world set out in graphic detail in secret memos released by president Barack Obama.
General Michael Hayden, head of the CIA under president George Bush, and Michael Mukasey, who was attorney-general, criticised Obama for releasing the memos. The two accused him of pandering to the media in creating "faux outrage", undermining the morale of the intelligence services and inviting the scorn of America's enemies.
But the interrogation techniques outlined in the memos prompted a flood of calls from human rights groups and others for the prosecution of politicians, lawyers, doctors and CIA operatives involved...
Faux Outrage. That IS the basic emote out of the WH these days. Why is it fake outrage? Because if it were real outrage, the WH would have changed something, ANYTHING, about how we conduct the war, intel operations, interrogations, a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. And the left is going berserk over the President's pledge to not seek charges against the CIA agents involved.
BTW, all of the methods of "torture" are derived from SERE training and some of the authors here have experienced just about all of them. The Guardian article above has a decent rundown of the different "tortures" like Nudity, Sleep and Food Deprivation, etc.
...David Rivkin, a constitutional lawyer and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, released a statement Friday saying the release of four memos provides a "great benefit" to the former president.
data is analyzed in great detail to establish that the use of these
techniques does not inflict either physical or psychological damage,"
said Rivkin, who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and
George H.W. Bush. "The conclusions (the) memos reach -- that the
specific interrogation techniques used by the CIA did not constitute
torture -- are eminently reasonable."...
In other words, the released memos prove that the Bush administration did not use torture.
Thank you, President Obama, for putting this silly argument to bed.
I'm certain that was your intent.