Those of us who grew up in the shadow of WW2 surely remember the contempt with which the “just following orders” defense was met. From the Nuremberg principles:
Article 7. The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or responsible officials in Government Departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.
Article 8. The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires.
Suddenly it’s all, “never mind”? Isn’t anyone even a little embarrassed at mounting this defense some 60 years later?
More from Glenn Greenwald.
…the next time you’re pulled over by a police officer for speeding, quote Barack Obama: “This is a time for reflection, not retribution.” See if that works. If not, move to: “It’s time to focus on the future, not look to the past.” Criminal defense attorneys should try that on juries and judges, too.