Nuremberg, Germany—At the end of World War Two, many high ranking German military and civilians were tried and hanged for Crimes Against Humanity.
In the tribunals many of these defendants raised the defense that they were only following orders. That defense was scoffed at and ridiculed since these men and women (yes, we hanged German women too) were involved in one of the greatest mass murders in history.
The US Justice Department recently announced that, of the 101 cases involving torture of post-9/11 detainees by the CIA and its contractors, 99 were being closed.
The remaining two, which involved deaths in custody, would continue to be investigated.
The decision to drop virtually all these cases is based on a policy promulgated by Attorney General Eric Holder shortly after he took office.
Holder wrote that the Justice Department "would not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees."
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