Some of these horrors make agonising reading - but it is incorrect to say that they defy description. In the cold, expressionless language of the Senate report, even blunt, mechanical phrases can contain the key to understanding a world of pain. 'Rectal feeding' is one. 'Stress position' is another. Through reams of inert prose, an appalling picture of abuse is built up and solidified.
If torture worked, the need to criminalise it would be even more imperative than if it were ineffective because the temptation to use it would then be even greater. If torture did not work there would be no need to use it. It was largely because the CIA believed, or persuaded itself, that it did work that it became such a widespread practice.
The release of this report teaches us an important lesson; that it is easy for the rule of law and our own civility to be lost in a climate of fear, where pressing concerns are focused on finding ways to protect ourselves from dangerous and evil forces like Al Qaeda or ISIS. Behaviour that compromises such principles, however, will invariably fail to keep us safe.
The intent upon which the law of Universal Jurisdiction in the United Kingdom was developed was to ensure that those persons committing international crimes such as torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity, those crimes that have attained the status of jus cogens, in foreign jurisdictions couldn't escape justice, simply on the basis that that country did not have the appetite or ability to commence such proceedings.
As more and more stories of human trafficking appear in newspapers and on television, consumers are increasingly asking what they can do to fight this problem. Many are frustrated, and feel disconnected from the people who make the clothes they wear or pick the fruit they eat, toiling in foreign countries and even on distant continents thousands of kilometres from the stores and markets where the products are sold...
The news is worrying. Maryam faces charges of insulting the King, assaulting an official (authorities say there was a scuffle when they took Maryam's phone, from which she was tweeting her experience), and running an organisation which named officials who had tortured political prisoners. She could face a long sentence.
No, it's about protest, torture and death. Sport is just the backdrop. Starting with ... the Brazil Olympics in 2016 (yes, you're probably already counting the days). Given the widespread protests against the Brazil World Cup this summer, I can only suppose that there'll be further demonstrations against the Rio de Janeiro Olympics when they roll into view the year after next.
Not only should James Foley's recorded death be expunged, as much as possible, from social media but other deaths should be too. Masked killers from the Islamic State have uploaded hundreds of videos of their horrific murders. These videos of less well-known victims should also be censored and deleted.
On 11 September 2001 and then on 7 July 2005 our outlook changed. We were struck with a level of fear and vulnerability that allowed principles that we once held dear to suddenly evaporate. In some circles torture suddenly became justified under exceptional circumstances. The war on terror emerged and the rule of law fell away.
For too long the North Korean people have suffered terribly. There are no easy answers, but we are determined that we should not simply see this as "too difficult" and put it to the bottom of what is a very busy foreign affairs in-tray. We must remain resolute in tackling the DPRK's efforts at nuclear development.