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Wednesday, April 26

Steven Mnuchin's position does not absolve him of the Judgment at Nuremberg

April 24, 2017, TASS:
The US sanctioned on Monday 271 employees of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center in connection with an alleged use of chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun (Idlib province), the US Department of the Treasury said. 
"These 271 SSRC employees have expertise in chemistry and related disciplines and/or have worked in support of SSRC’s chemical weapons program since at least 2012," the press center reported.

The statement qualified Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), as "the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them".

The report also quoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaking on the decision. 

The statement [identified] Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), as "the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them".
The report also quoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaking on the decision. 
"The United States is sending a strong message with this action that we will hold the entire Assad regime accountable for these blatant human rights violations in order to deter the spread of these types of barbaric chemical weapons," the treasury secretary said. "We... will relentlessly pursue and shut down the financial networks of all individuals involved with the production of chemical weapons used to commit these atrocities". ...
So much information has come into the public domain about the April 4 Khan Shaykhun chemical incident that I would find it hard to accept Steven Mnuchin doesn't know that he is bearing false witness by calling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government poisoners.

My question is whether Mnuchin is aware that Befehl ist Befehl ("Just following orders") has not been an acceptable legal defense since the Nuremberg Judgment

The same question could be asked about any others serving the White House who have knowingly borne false witness against Assad to rationalize the April 6 military strike against the Syrian government that was ordered by the American president.

For those who need a refresher, here is Principle IV of the Nuremberg Judgment:
"The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him".
Not only under "international law."  No civilized country can any longer accept that a person's official capacity acquits him of responsibility for following orders that amount to a war crime.

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