To the Editor [New York Times]:
Re "Report Faults 2 Who Wrote Terror Memos" (front page, Feb. 20):
About the report that concluded that John C. Yoo and Jay S. Bybee were not guilty of ethical or professional misconduct in their memos justifying waterboarding and other interrogation techniques, just ask, "Who is the client?"
If lawyers at the Department of Justice are advocates hired to defend an administration's chosen policies, the report is right.
If lawyers at the Department of Justice are hired to defend American citizens' interest in a constitutional government, the report is wrong.
It is the difference between being a hired gun and being the holder of a public trust.
Robert H. Alsdorf
Seattle, Feb. 21, 2010
The writer was a Justice Department lawyer from 1973 to 1975.