US government threatens families of International Criminal Court staff if they try Americans for war crimes
The International Criminal Court approved an investigation into US war crimes in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded by threatening to punish family members of ICC staff.
by Ben Norton
Part 2 - Long history of US threatening multilateral institutions
This blatant US threat against the family members of International Criminal Court prosecutors is part of a longer historical pattern of Washington attacking multilateral institutions.
At the beginning of the George W. Bush administration’s so-called war on terror, in 2002, the US Congress passed a bill called the American Service-Members’ Protection Act — more commonly known as the “Hague Invasion Act.”
This unprecedented piece of legislation, which has no precedent anywhere else in the world, declares that the US government unilaterally grants itself the right to militarily invade the Hague if a citizen of the United States or any allied country is tried at the court.
Nor are Secretary of State Pompeo’s threats the first time US government officials have targeted the family members of international organizations.
José Bustani, the former director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said hardline neoconservative John Bolton, a former under secretary of state for George W. Bush and national security adviser for Donald Trump, threatened him and his family when Bustani negotiated with the Iraqi government to allow in OPCW weapons inspectors.
“You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you,” Bolton reportedly told Bustani, according to his recollection. “We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”
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