.....Obama's answer to [Jake] Tapper on whether he believes the Bush administration "sanctioned torture," what is most significant is that Obama flatly stated that waterboarding -- which Bush officials acknowledged that they ordered -- constitutes "torture." That means that Obama is currently and simultaneously advocating these positions:
* Bush officials ordered torture.
* Torture is a crime.
Unless you're David Broder, Fred Hiatt, Peggy Noonan or Tom Friedman, those premises of Obama's, as a matter of logical reasoning, all necessarily lead to one conclusion (hint: it's not: "This is a time for reflection, not retribution"). Greg Sargent has similar thoughts about the significance of Obama's torture answer.
UPDATE: When asking Obama about whether Bush officials sanctioned torture, Tapper explicitly stated that "torture is a violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions" (it is also a violation of clear domestic criminal law). Obama's acknowledgment that Bush officials did indeed sanction "torture" by, at the very least, ordering waterboarding amounts to a clear concession that Bush officials broke the law. When you combine that conclusion with the "nobody-is-above-the-law" mantra they keep embracing, the case for criminal investigations makes itself.
UPDATE II: Rep. Jerry Nadler, commenting to Greg Sargent on Obama's torture remarks, makes the obvious point:
President Obama said, "They used torture, I believe waterboarding is torture." Once you concede that torture was committed, the law requires that there be an investigation, and if warranted, a prosecution . . . . The president stated in so many words: Waterboarding is torture, the previous administration has admitted that it waterboarded, and torture is a violation of international law. Once this is admitted, there must be an investigation. It forces the Justice Department on this path.
I don't see how that can be contested. As Sargent says: "Expect more like this."