Guardian of the timeline Marcy Wheeler (Emptywheel) has a great article for Salon, "The 13 people who made torture possible," which gives a valuable overview of the key players and weaves in much of the basic timeline as well as key facts. (Her more detailed timeline is here.) Appropriately enough, Dick Cheney and David Addington top the list. It's a very good introduction or refresher to the subject, and the piece and its accompanying links demolish the "good faith" defense of torture apologists.
(These people ordered and justified torture rather than doing it themselves – that's work for the "help," perhaps - but I chose my title because, reading Marcy's piece, I thought of this:)
(Cross-posted at Blue Herald)