Originally Posted by BGutzman
Murder is still murder last I checked....
True, but the actual murder was committed by the person or persons who were on the other side in the gunfight that killed Agent Terry.
However, any and all of the BATFE agents who knowingly and willingly participated in allowing (and encouraging, and facilitating) the illegal sales of the firearms used and the transportation of those firearms across an international border contrary to U.S. law, Mexican law, and international law, most assuredly should be charged with conspiracy to commit various firearms offenses; with being an accessory to various firearms offenses; with aiding and abetting the commission of various firearms offenses; and possibly with being accessories to the murder of Agent Terry.
They should NOT be allowed to hide behind "the Agency told me to do it, I was only following orders." That approach was discredited at Nuremberg, it should not be allowed here in the U.S. Further, if any of the BATFE people involved were ever in the military, they should know that under the UCMJ a soldier not only does not have to follow an unlawful order, he/she is required to disobey the unlawful order and to report it up the chain of command.
Seems like pretty good motivation to obey any order you're given, right? Nope. These articles require the obedience of LAWFUL orders. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders -- if the order was illegal.
I fully understand that the BATFE is not operating under the UCMJ, but the principle that one cannot hide behind an order to commit a crime should certainly translate into the DOJ itself.