In a Twilight Zone-esque move, the Hague-based International Criminal Court, which holds no jurisdiction over America, nonetheless issued a not-so-veiled threat via its cheif prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to go after U.S. troops for perceived improper treatment of detainees in Afghanistan during military missions between May 2003 and December 2014.
Bensouda, a Muslim lawyer from Gambia, wrote in a letter, reported by the New American, that “members of U.S. armed forces appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity on the terroritory of Afghanistan.”
The New American goes on:
“The kangaroo court’s ‘chief prosecutor’ also claimed that operatives with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency might have subjected more than two dozen detainees to ‘torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity and/or rape’ between December 2002 and March 2008. The alleged crimes took place in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania, and Lithuania, according to the report. Echoing previous rhetoric, ICC ‘prosecutors’ said they would ‘imminently’ decide whether to try and press forward with a full-scale investigation and possible war-crimes charges against U.S. military and intelligence personnel. The court also claims jurisdiction over vague ‘crimes of aggression.’”
“Whether the baseless threat to illegally prosecute U.S. forces was an effort to stem the exodus of members from the troubled and widely ridiculed court was not immediately clear. But while the ICC has in the past issued illegitimate threats to prosecute Americans over supposed crimes in places such as Libya, the threats have generally been ignored, because the court has no jurisdiction over Americans. By claiming that the alleged crimes by U.S. troops took place in nations where authorities have signed on to the Rome Statute, which created the court, the ICC now claims it may be able to investigate and prosecute Americans without constitutional protections.”
America ought to respond with a simple toss of head and say: What does the ICC matter to the United States?
But President Obama is not the man for that job.
Again, from New American:
“Under normal circumstances, the U.S. government might kindly remind the ICC of its irrelevance and lack of jurisdiction, and that would be the end of the story. After all, American courts and officials are perfectly capable of prosecuting any of the crimes alleged to have been committed — all of which are serious crimes under U.S. law. Instead, though, the Obama administration, even while expressing doubts that U.S. troops would actually be prosecuted, has attempted to legitimize the ICC’s usurpation of jurisdiction by taking the threats seriously and treating them as legitimate, despite the fact that such schemes might open him and his top officials up to war-crimes trials.
“After the ICC prosecutors’ threats against Americans were released, Obama State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said the Obama administration did not believe the ICC investigation was ‘warranted or appropriate.’ What the department did not say was what it should have said: The ICC is a rogue body with mass-murdering tyrants as members that has no authority to investigate or prosecute Americans under its pseudo-justice system. Obama might have also reminded the ICC that it includes none of the U.S. Constitution’s protections that ordinarily would ensure that suspects’ rights, presumption of innocence, and due process are upheld.”
Legal minds in America for years have been warning the United States to steer clear of the ICC, reminding that the Constitution, not United Nations, guides U.S. law.
But again, under Obama, that sovereign view has crumbled.
The New American:
“Indeed, the Obama administration, which has been illegally trying to legitimize the court from the start of Obama’s term, pretended in its statement that the probe was legitimate. “The United States is deeply committed to complying with the law of war, and we have a robust national system of investigation and accountability that more than meets international standards,” Trudeau added. In reality, Americans and the U.S. government are not legally bound in any way to the dangerous “international standards” of the dictators clubs that are the UN and its kangaroo courts.”
Donald Trump, anyone? It’s not likely the president-elect will prove so conciliatory to the United Nations on matters of sovereignty, the Constitution or the missions and actions of the U.S. military.