Just Following Orders
by William T. Cooper

The tribunal of Judgment has different policies

     The prosecutor rose and made the ritual opening.

     “May it please the court,” he said, pointing to the defendant, “we will show that this man, an HONOR graduate,” –the sarcasm was evident—“of his country’s premier military academy, was for years engaged in a government-sanctioned policy of genocide. We will show that he wantonly murdered not only soldiers, but also women, children, and babes in arms. Testimony will further show that he justified this slaughter of innocents with the callous phrase, ‘Nits make lice’.

     “And I can anticipate his defense. I can anticipate his justification. He will say that he was only following the orders of his superior officers and their civilian leaders. And so he was. But that does not mitigate his offense, it further EXACERBATES it.  History is replete with hate crimes and genocide perpetrated in the name of patriotism or government policy, all of them justified with ‘I was only following orders’.

     “In another time, ladies and gentlemen, such crimes would have been forgotten or passed over, or ignored and left unpunished. But now, thanks to modern science, we are able to travel back to the past and prosecute those crimes. We are able to make the guilty pay. And we hope some day to be able to prevent as well as prosecute these crimes, and thus change the world and the future—OUR future—for the better.

     “And now I would like to call the first witness for the prosecution. He had been brought forward over two hundred years from the past to testify here today. He will swear under oath that the defendant, William T. Sherman, is guilty as charged of murder and attempted genocide, and that he was responsible for the deliberate massacre of whole families, whole villages, and indeed, a whole nation of people.

     “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Your Honor, I now call my first witness for the prosecution…Chief Sitting Bull.”