Saturday, June 30, 2018

Where Are the Children ?

Donde están los Niños?

Thank you!  All who participated in the Families Belong Together marches across the nation.  Thank you for showing up!  It is a tremendous statement. 
Having worked in the immigration fight for years, this is a peak moment.  It is humbling to see the millions and the families uniting to find the children taken by ICE.  Thank you for standing with the immigrants’ rights movements.  
See Sacramento Bee video.

It was a reminder that, for all the chaos and cruelty of those in power, a massive and growing movement exists in every corner of the nation that still believes in fundamental decency. It was a reminder that—at the ultimate wellspring of power in the American political system—the core values of we, the people blaze, undiminished, indivisible.
The horror that so many of us feel about the devastating policies of our government won't go away due to a march. But we are here, we are ready to fight, and we won't go away. This administration hopes to crush our will to resist. Today, we made clear that they will fail. 
In the days ahead, we'll be sharing more actions we, together, can take next to build upon this momentum, end these terrorizing and traumatizing policies, hold abusers accountable, and reunite families. Our movement needs to:
  • Keep up the heat on decision-makers everywhere. We'll organize more in-person actions to create pressure to reunite families, close family prisons, and end indefinite detention—working with Indivisible, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and other organizations.
  • Hold corporations accountable for profiting off this system—companies such as Wells Fargo must be held accountable for their role in funding family separation infrastructure.
  • Rein in the excesses of the brutal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers who are terrorizing communities and tearing apart families across the country.
And we need to make sure everyone who is eligible registers to vote—a critical way to get involved with all the issues that matter to all our communities and families. 

More on all of that soon. Watch your email for opportunities to take action, or join MoveOn's SMS list to get text messages with alerts about clear, impactful actions by texting FAMILY to 668366. 

NYT Editorial Board
The marches taking place across the country this weekend are really about the soul of America. Forcibly separating children from their parents is not about “deterrence,” or the legal technicalities of law, or illegal immigration, or anything else President Trump has claimed to justify his latest and most odious outrage. It’s about “Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation,” to borrow from the Declaration of Independence.
No, the United States does not have clean hands: It has tolerated many inequities and atrocities throughout its history, toward Native Americans, blacks, Japanese and women, among others. Yet against that is the tradition in American law, culture and practice to defend the weak, to welcome the other, to give refuge to the oppressed and to refuse to acquiesce when a government acts against basic dictates of conscience.
The Trump administration has committed a gross offense. It is the duty of every decent American to demand that it promptly reunite these children with their parents.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTOpinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Teachers: Texas Protesters March to Federal Courthouse Where Migrants Are Being Pr...

Families Belong Together- Demonstration. Sacramento June 30

Seeing thousands of immigrant families torn apart, I am devastated and beyond furious.
Join me on June 30 in Washington, D.C., or in a city near you to demand an end to this disgusting family separation policy.

Sacramento Rally.  10 AM.  ICE Administration Building.  650 Capitol Mall.
Organized by Move On, ACLU, and many more.
Endorsed by Sacramento Progressive Alliance
Democratic Socialists of America,  and more

A new Trump administration policy has been separating children—including babies younger than a year old—from their parents at our border, and detaining them in cages and tent cities. It is cruel and appalling, and it is our moral obligation to demand that it stops.
Even now that Trump is feeling pressure, he's not solving anything, as there is no plan to reunite the thousands of kids who have already been taken from their parents. And instead of stopping the imprisoning of children, he's proposing locking kids up with their families in cages for indefinite spans of time. I have visited the inside of a "detention" center, and make no mistake, they are prisons in which families and children are treated like criminals for fleeing life-threatening situations and seeking asylum.
I just gave birth to my first child four weeks ago. When I hold him in my arms, my heart breaks with the weight of my love for him, and I can’t help but imagine the devastation these parents and their terrified children are going through. As a parent, I can’t help but feel a responsibility to speak out against this horrifying situation. As an American, I know it is my duty to condemn these dehumanizing actions and demand that this never happen in our country, on our watch.
Many of us feel this pain and call to action so deeply—which is why hundreds of thousands of us are preparing to take to the streets at more than 600 events around the country next weekend to declare Families Belong Together.
Have you ever read about a moment of crisis in history and wondered how people could let something so evil happen? This is one of those moments. We have to speak up. The Trump administration chooses to brutally punish families like this. It’s immoral, it’s wrong, and we can force them to stop.
We're seeing that our outrage is working. But this crisis is far from over. Now's the time to declare that these brutal policies must end, families must be treated with dignity, and the monsters who created these policies deserve to be held accountable.
Families come to the U.S. seeking a better life than was possible for them in the country they came from. Can you imagine living in such a dangerous and untenable situation, that your best option is to subject your family to a harrowing and life-threatening journey, only to arrive in a new country and have your child ripped from your arms with no indication of whether you’ll ever see them again? Can you imagine your terrified and confused child imprisoned by themselves?
MoveOn, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the ACLU, and others, are calling for June 30 to be a Families Belong Together national day of action. More and more Americans are mobilizing, and we need you to join us.

In solidarity,
—America Ferrera

Sacramento Rally.  10 AM.  ICE Administration Building.  650 Capitol Mall.
Organized by Move On, ACLU, and many more.
Endorsed by Sacramento Progressive Alliance
Democratic Socialists of America,  and more


    Donald Trump and his administration have cruelly separated thousands of children from their families. Now they're jailing families -- and they haven't yet reunified the families already brutally torn apart. 
    But we won't allow it to continue. On June 30, we're rallying in Washington, D.C., and around the country to tell Donald Trump and his administration to permanently end the separation of kids from their parents. End family internment camps. End the "zero-humanity" policy that created this crisis. And reunify the children with their parents.
    Trump and his administration have been systematically criminalizing immigration and immigrants, from revoking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to ramping up intimidating ICE tactics. 
    Join us on June 30 to send a clear message to Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress: Families Belong Together! 

    Thursday, June 28, 2018

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    U.S. Supreme Court Attacks Workers- Teachers


    With its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the U.S. Supreme Court today turned its back on American workers—the educators, nurses, firefighters, police officers, and public servants who make our communities strong and safe.

    The Court’s ruling is a massive gift to the special interests and billionaires who already benefit from a system that is rigged in their favor and against the rights and freedoms of working people. They brought this case to silence our voice and make it more difficult to join together to advocate for our students and communities.

    But make no mistake: we will not be silent. We are organized and determined to stand together and fight for the resources our students need to succeed.

    Take the #RedForEd pledge and stand with NEA as we continue to build a strong union that advocates for the opportunity students need to succeed.
    Add your name >
    As we saw earlier this year in state after state that went #RedForEd, educators—joined by parents and community members—are a force to be reckoned with. We will do what it takes to roll back years of funding cuts and to make sure our students have up-to-date textbooks, desks and chairs that aren’t broken, the latest technology, and adequate school buildings.

    Now, we must continue to build this movement by coming together to advocate for students like never before.

    So whether you are an educator, parent, or community member, please show your support for strong public schools by taking the #RedForEd pledge today.

    Thank you for your continued involvement with the National Education Association. Your support of great public schools for every child matters more and more every day.

    In solidarity,

    Lily Eskelsen García
    National Education Association

    Monday, June 25, 2018

    Abolish ICE Demonstration - Sacramento

    antiracismdsa: Abolish ICE Demonstration - Sacramento: LACLAA ( Labor Committee for Latin American Advancement)  organized a dynamic demonstration today at the ICE offices in Sacramento to ...

    Saturday, June 23, 2018

    Separated From Her Mother at the Border, a Six-Year-Old Has to Find Her ...

    Poor People's Campaign. Live. Now ! Washington.

    As you read this, thousands of us from California to the Carolinas are gathered on the National Mall, preparing to march on the U.S. Capitol to deliver letters to Congress demanding an immediate end to the policy violence that hurts poor children and families of every color and creed. 
    We are faith leaders of numerous religious affiliations, advocates and poor and disenfranchised people who are directly affected by the policies being pushed by the Trump administration and Congress. 
    We are the “new and unsettling force” that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King called for in starting the Poor People’s Campaign along with so many others 50 years ago.
    And people are watching us. 
    This campaign isn’t just on the ground. Even from home, you can take part in the event by amplifying it on Facebook and Twitter.
    Click the graphic below to share a Facebook post linking to our livestream. And get the word out on Twitter with the hashtag #poorpeoplescampaign. 

    This is the moment we’ve been building toward, the start of a new phase in our movement to organize and build power to end policy violence against the poor once and for all. Don’t miss your chance to be part of it.
    The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

    The Forced Separation of Families Is Trump's 'Katrina Moment' | Portside

    The Forced Separation of Families Is Trump's 'Katrina Moment' | Portside

    Thursday, June 21, 2018

    Trump Plans to Shut Down U.S. Dept. of Education

    GOP Wants to Shut Dept. Of Education

    Trump Team mulls merger of Education, Labor Departments. Education Week: “The Trump administration is considering a merger of the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Labor, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the proposal. The plan, which would be part of a broader effort to overhaul the federal government, would require congressional approval. That’s likely to be a difficult hurdle. It could be announced as soon as a cabinet meeting scheduled for June 21. The proposal, would fit into the president’s push, first outlined in an executive order issued last year, to overhaul the federal government, eliminate what the administration considers unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and programs, and merge functions. Administration officials are also considering the more limited step of moving some programs in the Labor Department over to the Education Department, sources say. The programs that would most likely get shifted to the Education Department include initiatives in the Employment and Training Agency that deal with workforce training for young people, including Job Corps and YouthBuild.”

    Monday, June 18, 2018

    Seizing Children at the Border is State Terrorism

    Duane Campbell, Photo be Leisa Falkner
    Thank you for being here today.  This is a critical day in our efforts. 
    My Name is Duane Campbell.  I am a co-chair of the Immigrants’ Rights Committee of Democratic Socialists  of America.
    Let us be clear. 
    Seizing children from their parents at the border is immoral. 

    This issue before us is  one of human decency.  Under the Trump Administration ICE has developed a new policy of deliberately separating families of immigrants and refugees.  They are separating parents from their children as a form of collective punishment.   They are violating both  due process and human rights.
     Many of us have seen the photos and the video.  We are here to disrupt the Immoral narrative  that terrorizes children for political gain. 
    The United Nation says so.
    The U.S. Catholic Bishops say so.
    Most religious communities say so. 
     Trump, and Republicans in Congress have rejected a way to fix DACA and protect Dreamers. Now they are forcing a vote on two cruel bills that hold dreamers hostage to the Trump Administration’s deportation machine .
    This is state  terrorism.  
    I have a 3 year old grandson.  I can only imagine the terror that these children are feeling.  Without their parents, in a strange place.
    This is not who we are as a country.
    There have been other times and places where this policy was practiced. 
     The Nazis did this in Germany in the 1930’s.  One of their victims was a Protestant Minister. He survived Auschwitz.

    Saturday, June 16, 2018

    Sens. Warren, Sanders Hear Directly From America's Poor At U.S. Capitol | HuffPost

    Sens. Warren, Sanders Hear Directly From America's Poor At U.S. Capitol | HuffPost

    Poor Peoples Campaign in Washington.

    Trump's Witch Hunt

    Cartoonist censored.
    Rogers said he feels the opinions of the Post-Gazette’s executive powers are beginning to change the content of the paper. “My views have always remained the same,” Rogers said:

    Top 4 takeaways for educators from primary election season

    Top 4 takeaways for educators from primary election season: Primary season is upon us, and with 26 states already in the books, it's a good time to take a look at the top trends and takeways for educators.

    Thursday, June 14, 2018

    House Republicans Advance Monster Immigration Bill

    House Republicans Prepare Monster Bill

    Republicans seek to protect their vulnerable candidates, not to protect people.
    Funds border wall. 
    Restricts asylum rules.
    Legalizes separation of children and families. 
    Offers limited protection for current DACA recipients. 
    Reduces over all immigration. 
    Unclear what it would do on TPS. 

    This is Fascism
    U.S. Catholic Bishops say current policy of separating families is immoral.

    A survivor of the NAZI Death Camps remembers life in Germany this way;

    Pastor Martin Niemöller is best remembered for the quotation: 
    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. 1947.

    We still talk about American fascism as a looming threat, something that could happen if we’re not vigilant. But for undocumented immigrants, it’s already here.
    There are countless horror stories about what’s happening to immigrants under Trump. Just last week, we learned that a teenager from Iowa who had lived in America since he was 3 was killed shortly after his forced return to Mexico. This month, an Ecuadorean immigrant with an American citizen wife and a pending green card application was detained at a Brooklyn military base where he’d gone to deliver a pizza; a judge has temporarily halted his deportation, but he remains locked up. Immigration officers are boarding trains and buses and demanding that passengers show them their papers. On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions decreed that most people fleeing domestic abuse or gang violence would no longer be eligible for asylum.

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018

    Charter Schools and Death by a Thousand Cuts

    Death by a Thousand Cuts
    Privatization in education has been slow and halting. But it's already crippling many public schools.

    ed. note. And it will be on the California ballot in November in the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

    In this marketized system, competition would, theoretically, eliminate low-performing schools because they wouldn’t attract enough customers to stay in business. In the real world, the poor buy necessities at a price they can afford even if the quality is inferior. This is why the free market has always failed to meet the real needs of low-income people; they get what they can pay for.
    In a school voucher system, wealthy families can (and will) add as much money as they want to their vouchers to pay for their choice of schools; middle-income families will pull together whatever resources they can for the best schools in their price range. Low-income families without additional resources will “choose” schools charging the value of the voucher. Almost no higher quality schools will be available because they will have no incentive except altruism to offer their products at the minimum price. (For example, the value of a government voucher for high school in Washington, D.C. in 2016–17 was $12,679 while tuition at Washington’s elite private schools exceeded $40,000 a year.) As a last resort, low-income families could choose a “government school.” For free-market ideologues, government schools are always a last resort and available to the poor.
    Many Southern states anticipated the 1954 Brown school desegregation decision and prepared policies to evade racial integration. Between 1954 and 1959, eight states adopted what were whites-only versions of Friedman’s voucher system. They used public funds to pay for white students to attend all-white private schools, which were called “freedom of choice schools” or “segregation academies.” States also leased unused public school property to private schools.
    Read the entire essay.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    Poor People's Campaign asks America to face the injustices keeping milli...

    Poor People's Campaign - Sacramento

    Vince Villegas - Progressive Alliance

    by Duane Campbell
    Hundreds of tenants, low-wage workers, clergy, union members and community activists descended upon the California state capitol today in a show of collective power to demand that state lawmakers take action to address the state’s homelessness crisis and to combat the systemic racism and poverty in our communities.

    Working families traveled from San Diego, Los Angeles, Salinas, and the Bay Area to join in this fifth successive week of nonviolent direct action. 

    Speakers and participants included union workers protesting the attack on workers rights and their unions.  Anti-worker attacks – like Janus V AFSCME -  would create so called ‘Right to Work’ status for government workers in California and around the nation.  
    DSA Members at PPC 

    “ The greedy rich and the corporations backing Janus are coming after us because they know about our power in numbers, and they know what we can accomplish when we stand together,” said David Dunbar a SEIU Local 721 member from Los Angeles. 

    As the rally concluded, hundreds entered the capitol building to take their message directly to the lawmakers and to bear witness to their crisis when communities are torn apart by homelessness, poverty wages, systemic racism, and corporate greed. 

    Kevin on MSNBC Kevin de León

    Monday, June 11, 2018

    We Can Change an Unjust Immigration Policy

    By David Bacon
    48 Hills, 6/4/18

    Saturday, June 09, 2018

    Join Poor People's Campaign _ Monday June 11

    GREATER SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Join Poor People's Campaign _ Monday June 11: Join us next week, Monday, June 11th at 12:30pm, as we continue, along with 30+ other states across the nation, to unite the poor and bu...

    Thursday, June 07, 2018

    Funding for English Learners -SCUSD Board Meeting Tonight

    Sacramento City Unified District Board Meeting.  June 7, 2018.   6 PM. 5735  47th. Avenue.  The Serna Center
    June 7, 2018
      SUBECT: LCAP UpdateBudget Hearing (2018/2019)

    Dear Superintendent Aguilar:

    On behalf of the Lorenzo Patiño League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) we urge you to include our recommendations in the budget of the Sacramento Unified School District for 2018/2019.   LULAC is a long-standing national and local civic organization dedicated to the advancement of civil rights, including the achievement of excellent educational opportunities for every child. 

    Recommendation 1:   Promote school success of English learners by adding instructional time in English through direct instruction in small groups by skilled credential teachers.  To accomplish this, the District should include in your budget the addition of at least 10 bilingual instructors. 
    The task that the District set out in the prior LCAP (2017/2018) was to provide professional learning service for teachers to implement English Standards and ELD Standards.  You held these in service sessions last year.  For 2018/2019, you propose staff support to monitor and coach teachers working with EL students.  You say you will implement the EL Master Plan in accordance with the CA ELA/ELD Framework and you say that staff will support schools’ monitoring of English Learner progress in ELD and in academic subjects. 
    While setting this as your goal in LCAP is appropriate, in service and coaching  by itself will not significantly change the learning environment for ELL students.  Some teachers will improve from in service and some will improve from increased monitoring.   
    To promote school success English learners in the district need more instructional time in English.  For a period of time – months- students at the emerging level and the expanding level  of English proficiency  should be grouped for dedicated ELD instruction in addition to their participation in the general curriculum.  These students  need intensive instruction at their appropriate language level.  Simply modifying language in a regular classroom (scaffolding) as described in the English Language Arts/ELD framework  is helpful but insufficient.   
    Consistent with the ELA/ELD Framework, we recommend that students at an emerging and expanding levels of English proficiency should receive direct instruction in small groups from skilled credentialed teachers.  For students in grades 1-4   class size of 4-1 or 6- 1 would be optimal. This instruction should be at least 40 min. per day for at least 4 days a week.  In upper grades of 8- 12, students in the emerging and expanding levels of English proficiency could work well in a class size of 6-1.  Prior experiences with pull-out programs were too limited in time provided per day to be effective.  
    To carry out this additional instruction, we support the Community Priorities Coalition’s proposed hiring of 10 bilingual resource teachers to work at school sites.  These teachers would be under the direction of the Multi-Lingual Office. Such a program would be monitored and evaluated by the Multi-Lingual Office. Should the district not adopt such a strategy, we encourage the Multi-Lingual Office to develop an alternative plan that would provide for an equivalent amount of time in direct, small group instruction using funds received from LCFF. 

    Recommendation 2:  In addition to tracking English Learner Funds, ensure your accountability documents clearly show how the authorized funds, now reaching $6 Million, are being used primarily for those students.

    Review of your budget documents reveals that you will be adding a code to track English Learner funds.  We are pleased to see the budget will provide the distinct internal code 0009 to track expenditures that serve Limited English Proficient students.  While we appreciate this responseto our recommendation, we believe this is only the beginning.  We will continue to monitor the use of LCFF funds for EL students and look for improved academic success.  We also strongly believe that these funds should not be used to support general administrative district functions.  LULAC’s goal is that the District achieves effective reclassification of English Learners by actually using the dedicated funds that should promote their achievement.  

    Thank you for your consideration of our recommendations.  We urge inclusion.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding our request, please contact Dr. Duane Campbell, LULAC #2862 Education Committee Chair .  As you are aware, Dr. Campbell and other LULAC members have been working with District staff to achieve these objectives, and we expect to continue to urge you to take actions that we believe will be of great benefit the Latino community. 


    Luisa Menchaca, President                              Dr. Duane Campbell, Chair
    LULAC #2862                                                Education Committee, LULAC #2862

    Trustees, Sacramento Unified School District Board 
    Jessie Ryan,  President, Board of Education, Area 7
    Darrel Woo, First Vice President, Board of Education, Area 6
    Michael Minnah, 2ndVice President, Board of Education, Area 4
    Jay Hansen, Board of Education Member, Area 1
    Ellen Chocrane, Board of Education Member, Area 2
    Christina Pritchett, Board of Education Member, Area 3
    Mai Vang, Board of Education Member, Area 5
    Sarah Nguyen, Student Board Member   

    Wednesday, June 06, 2018

    Sacramento Vote Ends Sheriff's Cooperation With ICE

    As Co Chair of DSA’s Immigrants’ Rights Committee I testified  on May 29 to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to not renew an existing contract with ICE to use the Sacramento County Jail to hold immigrants.  California, and Sacramento, is already a Sanctuary state/county.  
     On Tuesday, the County Supervisors voted 3-2 to end the contract in opposition to the position of the pro Trump Sherriff and his allies. 
    Opposition to the use of the jail for immigration holds by ICE developed significantly as a response to the Trump campaign of defamation against our sanctuary policies and the development of the new Trump Administration policy of separating children under 4 years old from their parents upon arrest. 
    See the post below.
    The campaign  was an effort of a broad coalition, including DSA. 
    As the campaign mounted, we received significant local media support.   Author Sasha Abramsky compared the work of ICE agents to those prosecuted at Nuremberg after WW II.
    The local paper which is decidedly moderate on most things, editorialized strongly against continuing the ICE Contract asking, How much is it worth to Sacramento County to stop being part of the Trump administration’s deportation machine?

     Below is a brief excerpt of my testimony and the background.
     My Name is Dr. Duane Campbell.
    I am the Co Chair of the Immigrants’ Rights Committee of Democratic Socialists of America. 
    This issue before you is one of human decency.  Under the Trump Administration ICE has developed a new policy of deliberately separating families of immigrants and refugees.  They are separating parents from their children as a form of collective punishment.   They are violating both due process and human rights.
    Sacramento County should not be a party to this “ foul deportation and family destruction machine. “   We must take a stand. We call upon you to take a stand for justice and humanity,  to not  collaborate with an evil project. 
    I urge you to refuse to renew the contract between the County and ICE for the holding of immigrants. “
    In the vote we won 3-2.  

    Tuesday, June 05, 2018

    Sacramento County Supervisors vote to end contract with ICE !

    Will ICE Agents be able to live with what they are doing to migrant children ? Will you?
    Ed. Note.  Some 7,500 ICE Agents are represented by ICE Council, part of the American Federation of Government Employees.  
    On June 5, 2015. the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to end the contract with ICE. 
    Sasha Abramsky,
    Over the last few months, officials on the U.S.-Mexico border have begun implementing a deliberate policy of the hostage taking of children, ripping kids as young as one year old from their parents at the border and removing them into the byzantine world of detention, foster care, and miscellaneous other systems. Women report their children screaming in terror as strangers forcibly removed and dragged them into vans and then onto places unknown. 
    The manifest unconcern with the well-being of the children is summed up by John Kelly’s response as to what would happen next. He told an interviewer the kids would be placed in foster care “or whatever,” and explained that the seizing of children was intended as a “tough deterrent” against those trying to cross the border without papers.
    Trump has raged against a growing slew of immigrant groups in recent months and has, over the past week, publicly mused about removing would-be-immigrants’ rights to a trial and simply throwing them back over the border. He labels some immigrants as “animals,” and talks about chain migration “breeders,” a language not so far from Hitler’s description of Jews as “bacillus;” long before there was genocide, there was a language of systematic dehumanization and a progressive erosion of basic civil rights for Jews and other minorities. 
    Last week Trump said that desperate young kids trying to cross the border are “not innocent.” His administration, which has long made it a policy to separate husband from wife at the border, has now begun incarcerating asylum seekers en masse – the poor and huddled masses of our troubled age, people with nothing, who walk hundreds of miles, braving rape, robbery and kidnapping in order to reach a land they have been told is generous and kind and empathetic and law-abiding, only to find that that land’s officers now seize their young children as if they were ill-begotten property forfeit in a drug raid.

    The following is text from the U.S. military tribunal verdict in Case No. 47 of what came to be known as the “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials,” a series of trials of lesser known Nazis in the years following the main Nuremberg cases immediately after World War II. 
    Case No. 47 is known as “The Hostages Trial,” against Wilhelm List and other Nazi officers accused of taking, and punishing, hostages as reprisals for attacks on Germans and German infrastructure. It was tried from July 8, 1947, through Feb. 19, 1948, and reiterated the precedent that simply saying “I was only following orders” was no defense against charges of carrying out clearly immoral actions.
    “...The defendants invoke the defensive plea that the acts charged as crimes were carried out pursuant to orders of superior officers whom they were obliged to obey… Superior order is not a defence to a criminal act is a rule of fundamental criminal justice that has been adopted by civilized nations extensively.” 
    The judgment continued that, “Implicit obedience to orders of superior officers is almost indispensable to every military system. But this implies obedience to lawful orders only. If the act done pursuant to a superior’s orders be murder, the production of the order will not make it any less so. It may mitigate but it cannot justify the crime…The general rule is that members of the armed forces are bound to obey only the lawful orders of their commanding officers and they cannot escape criminal liability by obeying a command which violates International Law and outrages fundamental concepts of justice.”
    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.