The US shields its own war criminals and those of its friends

In another move that shows the contempt that the US has for international law or even the norms of decency, the US government has warned that it would impose sanctions on any members of the International Criminal Court that pursues measures against Americans or Israelis accused of war crimes.

Human rights defenders expressed outrage on Friday after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that the Trump administration is revoking or denying visas for any International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel who try to investigate or prosecute U.S. officials or key allies for potential war crimes.

The move, Pompeo confirmed to reporters Friday morning, is a direct response to ongoing efforts by the ICC to probe allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity tied to the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan.

“These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies’ consent,” Pompeo added. “Implementation of this policy has already begun.”

The move is “is highly indicative of [the administration’s] culture of disregard for rights abuses,” said Balson. “Throwing roadblocks in front of the ICC’s investigation undermines justice not only for abuses committed in Afghanistan, but also for the millions of victims and survivors throughout the world who have experienced the most serious crimes under international law.”

More confirmation, if one needed it, that the US and Israel know they are committing war crimes and will do anything to prevent being held to account.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    Also: the way things are going, there’s really no need for that letter “s” at the end of the post title.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    Semi-serious question:

    If you interfere with a domestic criminal investigation by the police or other sanctioned body (e.g. the FBI, MI5, whatever), that’s a crime. A whole bunch of different crimes potentially -- interfering with a witness, perjury, perverting the course of justice, there’s quite a list.

    Can’t the international community make interfering with investigations by the ICC a crime in itself? If it isn’t already? Or am I just being hopelessly naive?

  3. Dunc says

    You have to remember that, in 2002, the US passed The American Service-Members’ Protection Act (widely referred to as the “Hague Invasion Act”) which authorises the use of “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court.” That act already prohibits US military aid to all countries which are party to the court (with exemptions for NATO members, plus an “unless we really feel like it” clause). It also prohibits US federal, state and local governments and agencies from assisting the court in any way, and prohibits agents of the court from conducting investigations in the U.S.

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