QUOTE OF THE DAY…. The right sentiment for a U.S. president to express when it comes to government-sanctioned, government-directed torture policies:

“It’s important for people to understand that in a democracy, there will be a full investigation. In other words, we want to know the truth. In our country, when there’s an allegation of abuse … there will be a full investigation, and justice will be delivered. … It’s very important for people and your listeners to understand that in our country, when an issue is brought to our attention on this magnitude, we act. And we act in a way in which leaders are willing to discuss it with the media. … In other words, people want to know the truth.

“That stands in contrast to dictatorships. A dictator wouldn’t be answering questions about this. A dictator wouldn’t be saying that the system will be investigated and the world will see the results of the investigation.”

You could probably guess by the frequent reference to “in other words” that this wasn’t Obama, but rather, was George W. Bush, speaking to al Arabiya after the Abu Ghraib scandal erupted.

“Full investigation.” We want to know “the truth.” We believe in “justice.” “We act” in response to allegations of torture. We’re transparent and discuss developments “with the media.” To fail to answer questions is to act like a “dictatorship.”

It seems to me if Democrats are looking for an excuse to do the right thing, they don’t have to say much more than, “We’re doing what Bush told us to do.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.