American Imperialism
September 2, 2020 3:11 PM   Subscribe

U.S. blacklists ICC prosecutor over Afghanistan war crimes probe The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, over her investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
posted by - (14 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
“Pompeo also said that individuals and entities that continue to materially support Bensouda and Mochochoko would risk exposure to sanctions as well.”

That caught my attention.
posted by anshuman at 4:19 PM on September 2 [7 favorites]


There have been reasoned arguments that, in the long run, this will backfire for the US. Trump's (and Pompeo's) abuse of sanctions (via the executive order behind the actions against the ICC, and previous treaty violations against Iran) will likely only hasten the demise of the petrodollar, and limit the future extent of US influence, by encouraging nations around the world to speed their migration to Euro-, yuan- and ruble-based alternatives.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:28 PM on September 2 [10 favorites]


Never underestimate Mike Pompeo’s willingness to go lower.
posted by pmurray63 at 4:38 PM on September 2 [11 favorites]


... will likely only hasten the demise of the petrodollar,...

That's not backfiring. That's what Putin wants them to do.
posted by notsnot at 5:34 PM on September 2 [19 favorites]


I will take that at minimum, as an admission from Pompeo that he knows that American forces have committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
posted by mrgoat at 5:42 PM on September 2 [35 favorites]


Congrats to the US on finally achieving that coveted 'rogue state' status, I guess.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:37 PM on September 2 [19 favorites]


This is the logical continuance of US exceptionalism and international law-evasion, based on a law passed in 2002, and supported under both Bush and Obama admins.
posted by lalochezia at 6:37 PM on September 2 [12 favorites]


The Wikipedia page for Dr Bensouda gives her background, and a video presentation she gave on the importance of international criminal justice is here. Seems like she is (not surprisingly) an advocate for true international criminal justice.

I mean I guess the SoS would (probably) have taken the same actions if the prosecutor was a white male from North West Europe, but I’m guessing the decision was made even easier given Dr Bensouda is a black woman from The Gambia.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:51 PM on September 2 [8 favorites]


interesting.
Does the United States Really Prosecute Its Service Members for War Crimes? Implications for Complementarity before the International Criminal Court

"US policy and practice is to maximize US jurisdiction, not refuse foreign jurisdiction. Every year hundreds of US service members are tried in foreign criminal courts.

3. Yapp v. Reno, 26 F.3d 1562, 1565 (11th Cir. 1994); Extradition of Charles Philip Smith, 82 F.3d 964, 965 (10th Cir. 1996).

4. Statutory exceptions exist. There are approximately 30 categories of criminal offences under US federal law with extraterritorial application, set forth in Title 18, United States Code (USC). The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, 18 USC § 3261 et seq., does not (despite its name) apply to active-duty service members, but to persons
..."


2019: Hague Court Abandons Afghanistan War Crimes Inquiry.

posted by clavdivs at 7:44 PM on September 2 [5 favorites]


It's also part of a broader rejection of the international community daring to inspect American conduct: US halts cooperation with UN on potential human rights violations. (Guardian)

from CONAHEC:
Not only has the U.S. government failed to extend official invitations to any U.N. experts to visit the country since President Donald Trump took office, according to an analysis Dakwar submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, but at least 22 requests from U.N. special rapporteurs have gone ignored by the Trump administration, with the last response from Trump officials having come in May 2018.

In his analysis, Dakwar accused the Trump administration of having "escalated its hostility toward human rights bodies, including the apparent severing of relationships with independent experts appointed to monitor and report on human rights violations."

The U.S. withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council last year. Among the ignored requests are repeated appeals from González Morales, the U.N. monitor on the human rights of migrants, to be allowed to make an official visit to the U.S.-Mexico border to address widespread concerns over the treatment of asylum seekers and immigrants.
posted by trig at 11:58 PM on September 2 [7 favorites]


I mean I guess the SoS would (probably) have taken the same actions if the prosecutor was a white male from North West Europe, but I’m guessing the decision was made even easier given Dr Bensouda is a black woman from The Gambia.

The ICC has historically concentrated on going after African dictators and other non-Western, relatively non-powerful actors, which has led to a lot of resentment and criticism (imperialism, double standards). This investigation of US war crimes, and things like the ICC's potential investigation of Israel, are a serious change of pace, and it remains to be seen whether the ICC will continue looking at Western rights violations and whether other Western countries that theoretically respect human rights will accept being subject to investigation and judgment or will prefer to destroy the court.
posted by trig at 12:14 AM on September 3 [9 favorites]


I will take that at minimum, as an admission from Pompeo that he knows that American forces have committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

And as expression of an intent to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity in the future.
posted by XMLicious at 1:01 PM on September 3 [4 favorites]


From the Canadian government:

“Canada is disappointed by the US announcement and is worried about personnel of the International Criminal Court being targeted for the important work that they do.

“Canada values the important role played by the ICC in investigating and prosecuting the most serious international crimes.

“Canada will continue to respect the independence of both the judges of the court and of the Prosecutor of the ICC and her office.”

posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:44 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Human rights lawyers sue Trump administration for 'silencing' them (guardian)
As a result of the order in June threatening “serious consequences” for anyone giving support to the work of the international criminal court (ICC) in The Hague, the lawyers say they have had to cancel speeches and presentations, end research, abandon writing ICC-related articles and dispensing advice and assistance to victims of atrocities.

The effect, according to the plaintiffs, has been an unprecedented infringement of their constitutional right to free speech and a chill that has pervaded the world of international humanitarian law.

[...]The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday morning in a federal court in New York
posted by trig at 2:38 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


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