State Dept. officials accuse Tillerson of violating law: report

State Dept. officials accuse Tillerson of violating law: report
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Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump House passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department Biden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet MORE is reportedly being accused of violating a U.S. law regarding foreign militaries' use of child soldiers.

Approximately 12 State Department officials accused Tillerson of violating the law, which is intended to prevent foreign militaries from enlisting children, Reuters reported, citing international government documents.

The "dissent" memo alleges Tillerson's June decision not to include Iraq, Myanmar and Afghanistan on the list of countries that use child soldiers violated the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, according to the news service. The law requires that children under 18 are not "recruited, conscripted or otherwise compelled to serve as child soldiers."


Countries on the list include: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Mali, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. By removing countries from the list, the U.S. is more easily able to give them military assistance.

The decision to leave the countries off the list was reportedly at odds with unanimous recommendations from officials including the heads of the State Department’s regional bureaus overseeing embassies in the Middle East and Asia, the U.S. envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the department’s human rights office and in-house lawyers.

“Beyond contravening U.S. law, this decision risks marring the credibility of a broad range of State Department reports and analyses and has weakened one of the U.S. government’s primary diplomatic tools to deter governmental armed forces and government-supported armed groups from recruiting and using children in combat and support roles around the world,” the July 28 memo said, according to Reuters.

A State Department spokesman said Tillerson "thoroughly reviewed all of the information presented to him and made a determination about whether the facts presented justified a listing pursuant to the law."

Tillerson's adviser, Brian Hook, said in a Sept. 1 memo in response to the dissent memo that the countries removed from the list use child soldiers. But he said there was a difference between countries that are "making little or no effort to correct their child soldier violations ... and those which are making sincere — if as yet incomplete — efforts."