The US Supreme Court ruling in 2004 that the prisoners in the Guantnamo Bay prison in Cuba had the right to take their cases to the US courts ended the anomalous status of Guantnamo Concentration Camp where hundreds of innocents were dumped in the name of Bush's War On Terror. Despite the fact that Bush's attempt to create a legal black hole outside the American and international legal system had failed, he persistently denied legal rights to the incarcerated not in Guantnamo alone but in Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Bagram in Afghanistan. In addition there were many CIA rendition gulags operated around the world where the inmates were subjected to worst kind of torture by CIA trained demons in one of the most controversial aspects of Bush's apocalyptic War. After the 9/11 devastation, both houses of Congress signed into law the authorisation for use of military force that gave Bush sweeping powers to "use all necessary and appropriate force" against any organisation, person or nation that planned or committed acts of terrorism against the US, and also laid the groundwork for Bush's expansion of the CIA programme. Obama's orders to close down Guantnamo, halting of military trials and restricting CIA interrogators to Army Field Manuel techniques was a glimmer of hope that his presidency would inaugurate a transcendent world order on a new moral plane. But, the acting Assistant Attorney General Hertz told the Washington district court on February 20 that the administration maintained Bush's views that the prisoners held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan could not challenge their detention in US courts. Obama's closure of Guantnamo in one year smacks more of fulfilling a symbolic pledge than following it through. Bush administration's legal case was transparently unconvincing, as it argued that the inmates were "enemy combatants" being held until hostilities ceased. If so, they should have been extended the protection of the Geneva Conventions on the rights of prisoners of war. Bush had even resisted that, and now Obama seems to be following the same policy. But the question of respecting human rights still remains unanswered. Brutality, torture and long detentions without trial are all not just morally repugnant but counterproductive. That was an argument Obama himself made when he was running for the slot. Yet he has said nothing about the disappointing retreats from those high principles made on his behalf by his officials during past three weeks. All the national and international legal prohibitions on torture and persecutions derive from a philosophical consensus that all such atrocities are immoral, as well as impractical. These international conventions and philosophical propositions notwithstanding, many organisations that monitor human rights abuses report a widespread use of torture condoned by many countries of the world that include the US. The US economy may revive in few years, but its spirit will lay in the symbolic dumpster without an articulate vision of new America under Obama. When a country loses its bearings and sense of direction, its soul, too, falters. Throughout history, torture has invariably been used by authoritarian rulers as a method to gain political gains by breaking the will of the people. On December 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Article 5 of UDHR forbids: "No one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel inhuman and degrading treatment, or any such punishment." Since that time a number of other international treaties have been adopted to prevent the use of torture. Two of these are the UNCAT (UN Convention against torture), and for international conflicts, the Geneva Conventions III and IV. Signatories to the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions officially agree not to torture protected persons (PoWs and enemy civilians) in armed conflicts. Torture is also prohibited by the UNCAT that has been ratified by about 150 states. But, how many are showing respect to the Geneva Conventions and other UN Resolutions? Perhaps, Washington, Moscow, London and Tel Aviv could answer this question. The possession of unlimited power can make a despot of almost any man. Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do that they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. They are the ones, who always create the most hellish tyranny. It is no less than tyranny to deprive a man of his liberty upon the supposition that he might abuse it against the US interest. Absolute power invariably corrupts judgement of reason and leads the possessor astray. Anyway, suspected terrorists were taken to secret prisons where they had no right to contest their capture. With no judicial oversight, prisoners were subjected to humiliating and more often brutal interrogation techniques. The perpetrators maintained that these methods, which included beating, sleep and food deprivation, sensory and light bombardment, isolation and simulated drowning, did not amount to torture. Court proceedings, or no unsavoury details on abusive interrogation techniques and other controversies were vigorously reported by the media. An independent review by the Council of Europe found that 14 European countries, including Poland, Romania and Spain were involved in the dirty business. These grisly revelations sparked an international commotion. Watchdog groups like the American Civil Liberty Union and Amnesty International have repeatedly attacked the rendition programme for its alleged and documented abuses, especially in the wake of prison abuse scandals at Abu Ghraib, Mazar-i-Sharif and Bagram. The height of cruelty is that while some inmates had died, Bush had described these interrogation techniques as safe, lawful and necessary. Obama's campaign slogan was "change we can believe in." Americans, desperate for a change, gave him a clear victory. Now in power, he must deliver that change, which Bush had denied the Americans and the world at large during the last eight years. The writer is former inspector general of police