What you refer to as "actual torture" is called mutilation. A range of acts of varying severity may or may not occur in the course of a torture session: interrogation for information, physical and psychological forms of duress, threats of or actual violence against family members, mutilation (see above), rape, murder, etc.
Every one of these actions, with the exception of the first, falls under the legal definition of torture as established and accepted by the United States and by all civilized nations. And every one of these actions were perpetrated by U.S. actors at various points during the Bush-Cheney administration.
You may consider yourself a "serious person," but you are seriously and gravely incorrect about these matters.
I have got to know who the people are believing this to be torture. What words, in that case, are left to describe actual torture, i.e., the breaking and severing of limbs, burning out of eyes, etc.? These are not serious people.