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Archive for the ‘International Criminal Court’ Category

The United States fortunately is not part of the ICC, but that is not stopping the court’s chief prosecutor from threatening to prosecute American soldiers. This is not a debate about U.S. policy in Afghanistan, but rather a critical fight over national sovereignty vs. global governance. The international bureaucrats presumably would like to seduce the United States into becoming a signatory. The second option, from their perspective, would be to slowly but surely constrain U.S. sovereignty by getting America to behave as if it was bound by the court. The potentially explosive final option is what would happen if the ICC explicitly went after an American serviceman without the prearranged acquiescence of Washington. Ideally, any President – even Obama – would defend the Constitution in that situation and tell the ICC bureaucrats to go jump in a lake:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed “great regret” in August that the U.S. is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This has fueled speculation that the Obama administration may reverse another Bush policy and sign up for what could lead to the trial of Americans for war crimes in The Hague. The ICC’s chief prosecutor, though, has no intention of waiting for Washington to submit to the court’s authority. Luis Moreno Ocampo says he already has jurisdiction—at least with respect to Afghanistan. …the chief prosecutor says he is already conducting a “preliminary examination” into whether NATO troops, including American soldiers, fighting the Taliban may have to be put in the dock. …Asked repeatedly whether the examination of bombings and torture allegations refers to NATO and U.S. soldiers, Mr. Ocampo finally stated that “we are investigating whoever commits war crimes, including the group you mentioned.” …Mr. Ocampo remained tight-lipped about the specifics of his preliminary examination. Asked whether waterboarding—a practice that simulates drowning without causing lasting physical harm—is a form of torture produced a telling “no comment.” Yet if the Obama administration considers this practice torture, one has to wonder if the ICC’s chief prosecutor would give it his stamp of approval. There is also the issue of whether Predator strikes of unmanned drones targeting terrorist leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan—as carried out in the very first week of the Obama presidency—are part of the bombings he’s looking into. Mr. Ocampo chuckled and answered evasively. “We have people around the world concerned about this,” he said… Although the prosecutor’s preliminary examination may not result in a formal investigation of Americans, the mere potential of a legal confrontation between the court in The Hague and Washington should be disconcerting to the White House, not to mention to all Americans.

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