The Trump regime continues to declare war on international bodies and Trump refuses to hold anyone accountable for international crimes in his regime, let alone allow international organizations to investigate. Trump turned up the heat this week by authorizing sanctions and travel bans on International Criminal Court employees as the ICC keeps on attempting and failing to try to investigate the US over war crimes in Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump lobbed a broadside attack Thursday against the International Criminal Court by authorizing economic sanctions and travel restrictions against court workers involved in investigating American troops and intelligence officials and those of allied nations, including Israel, for possible war crimes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Trump’s executive order marked his administration’s latest attack against international organizations, treaties and agreements that don’t hew to its policies. It would block the financial assets of court employees and bar those employees and their immediate relatives from entering the United States.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced The Hague-based tribunal as a “kangaroo court” that has been unsuccessful and inefficient in its mandate to prosecute war crimes. He said that the U.S. would punish the ICC employees for any investigation or prosecution of Americans in Afghanistan and added that they could also be banned for prosecuting Israelis for alleged abuses against Palestinians.
Pompeo’s comments were echoed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Attorney General Wiliiam Barr and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, who spoke at a State Department announcement of the new measures. Barr also announced that the U.S. would investigate possible corruption within the ICC hierarchy that he said raised suspicions that Russia and other adversaries could be interfering in the investigatory process.
None of the four men took questions from reporters at the event.
The Hague-based court was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes and crimes of humanity and genocide in areas where perpetrators might not otherwise face justice. It has 123 state parties that recognize its jurisdiction.
Human rights groups deplored the Trump administration’s move.
“The Trump administration’s latest action paves the way for imposing sanctions against ICC officials and demonstrates contempt for the global rule of law,” said Andrea Prasow, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch. “This assault on the ICC is an effort to block victims of serious crimes whether in Afghanistan, Israel or Palestine from seeing justice. Countries that support international justice should publicly oppose this blatant attempt at obstruction.”
The US has ignored the ICC since its creation, Bush and Obama refused to recognize any authority the ICC may have, but they didn't threaten employees. Trump on the other hand looks like he's making good on Pence's threat to expel ICC employees and basically destroy the organization's funding with economic sanctions.
The EU is concerned of course, but nothing will happen in the long run. Even if Trump is defeated, I surely don't expect Biden to join the ICC and even if he tried, Senate Republicans would block any attempt to ratify joining.
Investigating the US for war crimes will never happen. Not in my lifetime.