You train a torturer by torturing them. So when the military bosses decided they wanted to toughen up soldiers against rough interrogation techniques, they implemented the SERE program, which put our soldiers through some rough interrogation. Then, most of the limits put in place to prevent torture and abuse were removed.
Add to that the Presidential rhetoric about "the gloves are coming off" and other handy phrases, and what do you have except implicit permission to abuse prisoners? With unaccountable CIA contractors telling soldiers to "soften up" their Iraqi prisoners, what do you think you are going to get? No structure is in place to stop that pressure.
For these and other reasons, this Administration needs to be held accountable for its deliberate lapses in management and policy.