In the midst of a spirited defense of the Bush administration's intentions in developing interrogation techniques, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Tech: Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up hack | Apple considers battery rebates | Regulators talk bitcoin | SpaceX launches world's most powerful rocket Overnight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach MORE (R-S.C.) dropped a phrase that liberals may seize upon.

The Bush administration did not commit any crimes, Graham said, but "they saw the law as a nicety we could not afford." That's a view that squares pretty well with liberals' view that the Bush administration circumvented the law to reach conclusions it desired.

Graham, who said he disagreed with the Bush administration's legal rationale for waterboarding, nevertheless accused Democrats of politicizing the interrogation debate and attempting to criminalize their policy differences with Bush officials.

"The difference between the nobility of the law and a political stunt may be soon evident one way or another," Graham said. "And I don't know if this [hearing] is actually pursuing the nobility of the law."

Here's a video of Graham's opening statement. The remarks in question occur at about 12:00.