John Yoo's newly declassified torture memo—download it here—surely paved the path for the abuses at Guantanamo. But it wasn't alone. Vanity Fair reports:
Ideas arose from other sources. The first year of Fox TV's dramatic series 24 came to a conclusion in spring 2002, and the second year of the series began that fall. An inescapable message of the program is that torture works. "We saw it on cable," [Lt. Col. Diane] Beaver recalled. "People had already seen the first series. It was hugely popular." Jack Bauer had many friends at Guantánamo, Beaver added. "He gave people lots of ideas."
The rest of the Vanity Fair feature isn't so funny. Read it here.