When the President "defends" his torture policy by saying "I got legal opinions that said whatever we were going to do was legal," (courtesy Andrew Sullivan) what he's saying is he wanted legal cover to do what he wanted - at least, that's how I interpret the statement.
Torture took place during the previous administration - that much is clear. The Justice Departments OPR looked into whether the legal work of John Yoo and Bybee, as well as Steven Bradbury, "was consistent with the professional standards that apply to Department of Justice attorneys," (also from Andrew Sullivan's blog, citing Isikoff).
There clearly needs to be an impartial investigation into what transpired at the top levels during the previous 8 years. Sign Senator Leahy's petition.