USA challenges ICC Ruling

Daya Gamage, in Asian Tribune, 7 March 2020, with this title U.S. says: Global War Crimes Probe on U.S. Violates Sovereignty”

The Government of the United States strongly consider the International Criminal Court ruling on Thursday, March 05 that its chief prosecutor could open an investigation into allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan by the U.S. military and the CIA as an infringement of the sovereignty of the U.S.Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, center, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, last year.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking to reporters in Washington, called the ruling a “truly breathtaking action by an unaccountable, political institution masquerading as a legal body.” He reiterated that the United States was not a party to the treaty that created the I.C.C., and that “we will take all necessary measures to protect our citizens from this renegade, unlawful, so-called court.”

American officials have long sought to pressure the court not to prosecute United States citizens, arguing that doing so would threaten American sovereignty and national security interests. In 2018, John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser to President Trump, denounced the courts illegitimacy.

He said: “We won’t cooperate with the I.C.C. We will provide no assistance to the I.C.C. And we certainly will not join the I.C.C. We will let the I.C.C. die on its own.” He added, “If the court comes after us, we will not sit quietly.”

Mourning civilians killed in a raid last year by a C.I.A.-sponsored strike force in Khogyani, Afghanistan.

The United States has revoked the US entry visa of the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in her attempts to visit the U.S. and investigate allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan, including any that may have been committed by American forces.

Ms. Bensouda confirmed that her US entry visa was revoked, and the State Department admitted it did so.

The United Nations’ mission in Afghanistan has documented the killings of more than 17,000 civilians by the Taliban since 2009, including nearly 7,000 targeted killings. Yet, last April, a U.N. report found that U.S. and Afghan forces had killed more civilians in the first three months of 2019 than the Taliban did.

Although the United States is not a state party to Rome Statute, the treaty that created the court, American citizens can be subject to its jurisdiction if the court is investigating crimes in countries that have joined. Those countries include Afghanistan, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

The decision to open an investigation into allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan by the U.S. military and the CIA was resulted in a comprehensive investigative report prepared by the ICC.

The Asian Tribune took the following data from its 180-page report based on ICC’s determination to investigate and file charges against U.S. military personnel and officials of the CIA.

(Quote) The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that in the period since 1 May 2003, members of the US armed forces have committed the war crimes of torture and cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity and rape and other forms of sexual violence. These crimes were committed in the context of a non-international armed conflict. The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that in the period since 1 July 2002, members of the CIA have committed the war crimes of torture and cruel treatment; outrages upon personal dignity; and rape and other forms of sexual violence. These crimes were committed in the context of a non-international armed conflict, both on the territory of Afghanistan as well as on the territory of other States Parties to the Statute.

Twelve members of one family — 11 of them children — were killed when an American airstrike hit their home in September 2018. They were buried just feet away. The United States initially said it was not involved, but after visual investigation, it changed its story.

Within the above parameters, the Prosecution has identified to the reasonable basis threshold a number of victims within a broader total range of reported victims that appear to have a nexus to the conflict. As such, and for the purpose of this Request, the information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that at least 54 detained persons (selected from a wider range of reported victims) were subjected to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and/or sexual violence by members of the US armed forces on the territory of Afghanistan, primarily in the period 2003-2004. The information available further provides a reasonable basis to believe that at least 24 detained persons (selected from a wider range of reported victims) were subjected to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and/or sexual violence by members of the CIA on the territory of Afghanistan and other States Parties to the Statute (namely Poland, Romania and Lithuania), primarily in the period 2003-2004.

In particular, there is a reasonable basis to believe that members of the US armed forces and the CIA applied a series of techniques, often cumulatively and consistently for extended periods, against detainees for the purpose of extracting information. The Prosecution recalls in this context that there is no requirement that the threshold of severity is met by each single act of torture or cruel treatment; the severity of pain and suffering of the victim may instead result from a consistent course of conduct. (End Quote)

Based on the information available, the potential case(s) concerning alleged crimes committed by members of the US armed forces and members of the CIA are of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the Court, the ICC 180-page report says.

– Asian Tribune –

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

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