In March 2016 Secretary of State John Kerry officially declared ISIS guilty of waging genocide against Christians and other religious minority groups in the Middle East and Africa. The declaration was made after careful consideration of the facts on the ground and after a number of human rights organizations presented the Obama administration with irrefutable evidence the terrorist organization actively engaged in genocide.
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 17, 2016
Governments around the world are hesitant to make this type of declaration because an official declaration comes with legal requirements to act and stop the genocide taking place. The case of ISIS was so severe, it was made anyway.
A 1948 treaty, signed by the US and 147 other nations, declares genocide a crime under international law and states that countries need to work together "to liberate mankind from this odious scourge."
In any case, there are still issues that the US has to work through, considering that a genocide designation could "require an adjustment to US military strategy," according to Yahoo.
Yahoo News reported last year that the US "has historically been reluctant to invoke the genocide treaty because of concerns it might create a moral, if not a legal, obligation to act in ways that previous administrations were not prepared to do."
The State Department was sued by the American Center for Law and Justice last year for failing to provide information about what was being done to stop the genocide.
Now, a new report from the Washington Free Beacon alleges current State Department officials are erasing any reference to ISIS and genocide, specifically surrounding Christians and other minority groups like the Yazidis.
The State Department's top lawyers are systematically removing the word "genocide" to describe the Islamic State's mass slaughter of Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria from speeches before they are delivered and other official documents, according to human rights activists and attorneys familiar with the policies.
Richard Visek, who was appointed by President Obama as head the State Department's Office of Legal Adviser in October 2016, is behind the decision to remove the word "genocide" from official documents, according to Nina Shea, an international human rights lawyer who directs the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom.
"I don't think for a minute it's a bureaucratic decision—it's ideological," said Shea, who also spent 12 years as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, or CIRF, from 1999 to 2012.
Since President Trump took office in January, ISIS has been beaten back significantly and Mosul was recaptured by Iraqi forces just three weeks ago. The defeat of ISIS doesn't erase the terrorist organization's brutal history, which includes genocide By erasing references to genocide, State Department lawyers are shamefully sanitizing ISIS' past and rewriting history.