The Times article describing the legal deliberations prior to the bin Laden raid mentions four lawyers: the CIA’s general counsel; the NSC’s legal adviser; the Joint Chiefs’ legal adviser; and the Pentagon general counsel. All of them, of course, did what executive-branch lawyers do: identify the most convenient legal categories needed for permitting the executive action.
More interesting, the OLC–which would normally be called upon to render the final opinion–was not included. Not just the OLC, but the entire Justice Department was frozen out. Why? Could it be that the OLC was less than cooperative when the White House sought a legal rubber stamp for the Libya intervention in 2011? Has the OLC been demoted for its insubordination?