These are, of course, Obama holdovers, but they should have been cleared out by now. Fire Richard Visek (and Rex Tillerson) and drain the swamp, already.
“State Department Lawyers Removing References to ISIS ‘Genocide’ Against Christians, Other Religious Minorities,” by Susan Crabtree, Washington Free Beacon, July 25, 2017:
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.
Additionally, Democratic senators are delaying confirmation of Mark Green, Trump’s pick to head the U.S. Agency for International Development who has broad bipartisan support.
These efforts guarantee that Obama-era policies that worked to exclude Iraq’s Christian and other minority religious populations from key U.S. aid programs remain in place, the activists said.
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…
The latest moves from the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser appear aimed at rolling back then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s March 2016 genocide determination. Kerry’s much-anticipated genocide designation came after months of equivocation and detailed documentation by interested parties that the Islamic State is responsible for genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims.
It was one of the few times in history that the United States designated ongoing mass murders against ethnic or religious minorities as meeting the legal definition of genocide laid out in a 1948 treaty. That agreement requires signatories, including the United States, to take steps to “prevent and punish” genocide.
A bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawmakers and activists, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Rep. Robert Aderholt (R., Ala.) were hoping the designation would help direct millions of dollars in U.S. relief funds to Christian, Yazidi, and other persecuted religious minority communities.
ISIS murders and kidnappings have decimated the Christian population in Iraq, which numbered between 800,000 and 1.4 million in 2002, reducing it to fewer than 250,000 now. Without action, activists and charities say, Christians could disappear completely from Iraq in the near future.
After meeting with Pope Francis in May, President Trump vowed to do everything in his power to defend and protect the “historic Christian communities of the Middle East.”
Activists and Catholic leaders are now calling on Trump to turn the rhetoric into action on the ground and help get U.S. aid to these persecuted communities trying to rebuild their homes and their lives in Iraq.
These advocates want the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations to allow church groups and other religious-affiliated relief organizations to receive government aid, a practice prohibited during the Obama administration….