Each new day, each new week, and each new month brings us another reason to feel ashamed of our current administration. And today is no different, because White National security adviser and no. 1 war fan John Bolton is reportedly about to tell the International Criminal Court to stop being so darn curious about American war crimes. There’s nothing to see here, folks! Per Newsweek:
Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton will outline the White House’s new approach to the ICC at a meeting of the Federalist Society, an organization of conservative lawyers, in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
According to a draft of Bolton’s speech seen by Reuters, Bolton will assure the audience that America “will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”
This meeting with the Federalist Society—a group responsible for loading our federal courts with Kavanaugh-type ultra-conservative judges—comes in direct response to the ICC’s proposal to investigate American war crimes in Afghanistan.
The ICC is an independent Hague-based institution that works closely with the U.N. to prosecute war crimes, genocide, and the like. It was founded in 2002 by the Rome Statute, but America under George W. Bush (and later Obama) never ratified the agreement. As for the proposed investigation, it will look into the most unsavory aspects of our 17-year forever war in Afghanistan:
The ICC is considering opening an investigation into alleged war crimes by American troops and intelligence officials during the war in Afghanistan, as the 17th anniversary of the U.S. invasion approaches. In a 2017 report, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda suggested Americans might be guilty of torturing detainees between 2003 and 2014.
Reuters got their hands on an advanced copy of Bolton’s speech, and it includes threats of sanctions against ICC judges and prosecutors, as well as a promise to “fight back”—whatever that means. The main point of his bellicose rhetoric, though, is to ensure that the court can’t exercise jurisdiction over Americans.
Other nations that have not ratified the Rome Statute include Israel, Russia, Sudan, China, and India. Solid company!
The speech will also cover Trump’s decision to close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in D.C. Palestinian groups are pressuring the ICC to investigate Israel for the violence and death that has hit Gaza in the wake of recent protests. Just this past weekend, two teenage boys were shot to death by Israeli soldiers, one for the simple act of throwing a rock.