The editorial page of the New York Times has apparently been thinking through its reaction to the recent OPR opinions as deliberately as I have (note the quote in the title). The lede sentence is haunting to me as a lawyer:
Is this really the state of ethics in the American legal profession? Government lawyers who abused their offices to give the president license to get away with torture did nothing that merits a review by the bar?
And then there’s this:
As the dealings outlined in the original report underscore, the lawyers did not offer what most people think of as “legal advice.” Mr. Yoo and Mr. Bybee were not acting as fair-minded analysts of the law but as facilitators of a scheme to evade it. The White House decision to brutalize detainees already had been made. Mr. Yoo and Mr. Bybee provided legal cover.