Well, when the Torture Memos came to light last spring, the Department of Justice started an investigation into whether or not the authors (John Yoo and Jay Bybee) had violated professional ethics in writing the memos in question. (If I had been in charge of writing it, it would have been done long ago, and would have consisted of one word: DUH.) Apparently the original report made similar conclusions to mine, though probably in more flowery and lawyerly language. But according to Newsweek:
Previously, the report concluded that two key authors–Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor–violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed “poor judgment,” say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.) The shift is significant: the original finding would have triggered a referral to state bar associations for potential disciplinary action–which, in Bybee’s case, could have led to an impeachment inquiry.
So a verbal slap on the wrist, no consequences, no impeachment, nothing.
And this is in a country that might imprison you for 10 years if they catch you with a couple of funny cigarettes. Some priorities.