Shorter Stuart Taylor: It is well-established that criminal laws can only be applied if it can be proven that lawbreaking had no positive consequence whatsoever.* By far the most reliable guide to whether such consequences exist is the highly reliable unsubstantiated assertions of the lawbreakers themselves. A commission to investigate the Bush administration’s arbitrary torture is OK, but the only acceptable outcome is exoneration, which we should assume in advance. After all, an illegal arbitrary torture regime is far less consequential than a president lying about receiving a blowjob — now that’s worth a multi-year investigation.
* Note: this innovative ad hoc principle may not apply if you’re not a Republican public official.