My work and my studies with organized crime have made one thing pretty clear: nobody knows the law better than crooks. The crooks know exactly what the rules are, and when they have broken them.
By the same token, Republican know well that Bush ran an entirely illegal torture program, with the aim of forcing people to lie about a non-existent Iraq-terror link, so they could win elections.
They know they are dead wrong on this issue, and they know they can't win on this issue.
And now Republicans have spoken explicitly on the issue: by a huge margin, they say Cheney is wrong and he needs to shut up.
"He seems determined to vindicate his decisions and policies even if it damages the GOP's recovery. And it has."
"Anything that reminds the public of the Bush administration harms the party's ability to turn the page. If he'd had any concern for his public image when he was in office, he wouldn't have to worry as much about defending his reputation now."
"There is nothing Dick Cheney can say or do to help the Republican Party today. The best thing he can do is disappear for the next 10 years."
"Let's face it: The guy doesn't know anything about winning elections outside of Wyoming."
"Not even a close call. With Cheney out there, Obama doesn't even need to remind the American people about the mess that was the Bush years."
"He's advocating for what's left of the party. We need to expand the party."
"Cheney represents the grumpy intolerance that has come to characterize the GOP. Get off the stage!"
And they wouldn't be saying it, if there was any validity to Cheney's appalling pro-torture argument.
For dessert, here's Boehner admitting that we can't trust the intelligence community: