Oddly enough, I think my analogy is apt enough for the purpose intended.
Added more context.
(Wondering if for the sake of being understood, I need to include a larger excerpt from Sullivan's post.)
As to the larger point - it goes to the difference between a peacetime and wartime concept of "criminality." Killing people of a certain designated type, as many as possible, is somewhat frowned upon in peacetime, for instance, and the leeway for harming innocent or uninvolved bystanders is obviously much greater in wartime.
However, the main point here for "sane and rational and decent" critics of the criticisms isn't that no laws were broken or that those who broke the law or went "over the line" shouldn't be held responsible, but whether the program or operatives or those presiding over it should be held responsible for such lawbreaking. If I design a health care law, and, in the process of its being implemented, unscrupulous vendors defraud new applicants, even to the point of causing serious injury to people, to what extent am I responsible? If I am by some construction at least partly responsible, if not necessarily legally responsible, do I get to introduce my good intentions and the good the law has done in mitigation? Is it fair to call me a criminal?
Not sure which DC quote you're referring to. You understand that the quoted statement is Sullivan's idea of what should have been said, nothing Cheney actually said, right?