Is it illegal to break the law?

An interesting question will arise between today and Jan. 20 around the semantics of the word "illegal."

This article argues what many suspect; that Mr. Bush and others in his employ broke the laws of the United States hundreds or thousands of times. 

Other than the invasion of Iraq itself, we don't really know what if any crimes George Bush committed. But we do know that journalists who attempted to investigate these crimes were themselves victims of threats from the people who currently work for Mr. Bush. 

So, if a President commits a crime, is it illegal? If you do commit crimes, and your country's Attorney General sits next to you at work, and you're not in jail, then it is not illegal to break the law. 

Power is a funny thing. Mr. Bush is about to lose it, and not in a subtle way. His family name, his ideological partners, his team and much of his party have lost almost everything. They will have no real power, of course -- other than high but not stratospheric personal wealth, and good connections. They will have no coercive power because their people will be out of power. No one associated with Bush who does not repute him will have any statesman-like standing after he leaves office.

Almost like Nixon, he will be completely stripped of everything. And then, two things will happen:
a) he will be powerless against the people he pushed around, and who have been holding in years of disclosure about what he and they did that broke the law but was not illegal.
b) he will be a private citizen in a country with a massively more powerful domestic security apparatus. He created a monster, which is incredibly stupid when you have a term limit.

Should Bush be found to have committed crimes, and those crimes be considered illegal ones, I'm not sure I like the actual optics of Bush going to prison. It's too vindictive, and he's a symbol. But President Obama may just find it nearly impossible to stop the tide of indictments against people who broke the law while serving Bush, thinking somehow that it wasn't illegal.