The United States has “unsigned’ the 1998 Rome Treaty that would put America under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court treaty that Bill Clinton signed on Dec. 31, 2000.
The Bush administration took the unprecedented step of “unsigning” an international treaty because, well, simply put, it doesn’t trust the international community. Dubbed the “Rome Treaty,” it puts signatory nations under the jurisdiction of the International Court at the Hague, grants ICC prosecutors extraordinary powers and grants ICC officials lifetime immunity.
The Rome Treaty would give the ICC the right to review U.S. court decisions and re-try individuals if the ICC determines decisions “were not conducted independently or impartially,” or were for the purpose of “shielding the person concerned from criminal responsibility.”
The ICC also does away with rights granted Americans under the Constitution, like the right to confront one’s accusers, due process, trial by jury, a public and speedy trial by an impartial jury, and protection from cruel and unusual punishments. So Bush “unsigned” it.
The Bush administration’s “unsigning” of the treaty signed by Bill Clinton in the final days of his presidency caused the global elitists to choke on their caviar as they rushed to condemn the administration of “bad faith” in overturning the will of Bill Clinton.
The jurisdiction granted under the Rome Treaty to the ICC would put every U.S. serviceman and woman at risk. Even U.S. travelers, especially if they are or have been public officials, would be at risk of being grabbed for trial by judges from Sierra Leone, Sudan, Iran and other nations who will supply the ICC’s international “judges.”
The Rome Treaty says the ICC is accountable to no one, not even to the United Nations, whose charter recognizes the sovereignty of nation-states and where we have our Security Council veto.
The United States said it won’t place itself under the ICC’s jurisdiction, even though other democracies – like Great Britain – already have. The ICC has already been ratified by more than 60 nations.
And now the chickens are coming home to roost.
Eight international lawyers, – plus law professors from Britain, Ireland, France and Canada – are building a case before the ICC, charging Great Britain and the United States with “war crimes.” They plan to turn it over to ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo next month in the Hague.
From there, Moreno-Ocampo is expected to question Lord Goldsmith, the United Kingdom’s attorney general, and Secretary of Defense Geoff Hoon. According to Britain’s U.K. Independent, “… if he concludes that a prosecution has a “reasonable prospect of success,” the case will go before the pre-trial chamber of the court, which has the power to try individuals and governments for war crimes. From there, it goes to a “full inquiry.” A full inquiry could mean that British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior ministers could be called to face charges.
The British “war crimes” reportedly arise from its use of some 70 cluster bombs, each of which contained 17 “bomblets,” as well as its use of artillery shells that also contained bomblets. In other words, they used weapons of war to conduct a war and fought to win. Under ICC rules, that is evidently a war crime.
The group compiling the war crimes accusations, called Peacerights, is also accusing the coalition of “stifling” the media for the way it dealt with such bastions of journalistic excellence as al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV.
A recent report from Human Rights Watch says that an estimated 1,000 Iraqi civilians were either killed or wounded by cluster bombs. That is out of a total of 13,000 cluster bombs used by the British and the United States during the war.
Doing the math, that means for every person wounded or killed, it took 13 of those cluster bombs to do it. Not very efficient, for war criminals. (Saddam was able to kill that many using only a thousand bullets.)
Following the ICC’s definition of war crimes, all parties to World War II were war criminals. In World War II, enemy propagandists were war criminals. Now, they are victims. Enemy soldiers who committed genocide against their own people – and against the people they conquered – were war criminals. Now they are victims.
But thanks to the foresight of the current administration, the ICC has no jurisdiction over U.S. servicemen or the U.S. officials who prosecuted the war. Just over the British who thought, “Gee, what a great idea!” when it was presented to them.
I told you so.