The 2003 "Abu Ghraib" memo is now available (full text here). The memo essentially legalizes any action (including illegal actions) against enemy combatants as long as the torturer has his or her heart in the right place. We should read John Yoo's memo within the context of the Winter Soldier hearing at which soldiers from Iraq describe the random killing of farmers, firing randomly into "free fire zones," and the regular torture of those picked up on the street under the flimsiest of pretexts. The Iraqi farmer, the loitering youth, and virtually anybody (including, presumably, the South American union member picked for protesting in front of a Coka Cola plant) can be legally tortured--a "necessary" sacrifice in the fight against Al Qaeda.
Americans need to re-develop a healthy fear of their government, an idea that conservatives give lip service to but don't really believe.