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Why so slow to do anything about torture?

waterboarding4A paradox of the torture scandal is "that it is not about things we didn't know but about things we did know and did nothing about," wrote Mark Danner, author of "Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror," in a Washington Post commentary. "Beginning more than a half-dozen years ago, Bush administration officials broke the law and did repugnant things to detainees under their control. But if you think that the remedy is simple and clear — that all officials who broke the law should be tried and punished — then ask yourself what exactly the political elite of the country has been doing for the last five years. Or what it has not been doing. And why." Danner noted that "although we have known the general narrative of torture since the summer of 2004, most politicians have been loath to do anything about it," because they feared being painted as soft on terrorism.