Anytime someone says a government employee was, “Just doing their job” my head nearly explodes with instant anger. It doesn’t apply in all cases but the first thought that comes to my mind is, “That defense wasn’t allowed at the Nuremberg Trials.” If their job is violation of constitutionally protected rights then they are criminals. One doesn’t defend criminals with a defense of “They were just following orders.” Or “They were just doing the job they were hired to do.” There are very few crimes that I would be allowed to defend myself with the claim of “I didn’t know it was a crime” or “I was just doing what my boss told me to do.” The standard should be no different for government employees.
All this was brought up by reading some posts and watching a set of videos I came across via Sebastian. A Canadian publisher is being questioned by “The Human Rights Commission” over the publications of some cartoons (yes, those cartoons) that offended some Muslims. The relevant links are:
- My visit to a kangaroo court
- Kangaroo court
- Some press coverage
- Opening statement
- What was your intent?
- Violence in Alberta
- I don’t answer to the state
- “You’re entitled to your opinions”
Some might only see some middle-aged lady doing her job. What I see is that she is backed up by men with guns–as many as it takes to enforce her decisions. She may be a very nice person but when someone works for the government to enforce laws and regulations they are exercising force. Dozens or even hundreds of “rough men with guns” will enforce their will upon the violators of those laws and regulations. That a “Human Rights Commission” would give more than a few milliseconds of thought to an expression of speech that did not advocate illegal violence tells you all you need to know to conclude this isn’t about human rights. It’s about the repression of human rights.
If she were doing this in the U.S. I would be advocating for her prosecution under 18 USC 242.