Bolton threatens sanctions against ICC judges who probe US war crimes
Iran Press TV
Mon Sep 10, 2018 01:03PM
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton has threatened sanctions against International Criminal Court (ICC) judges who plan to probe alleged war crimes committed by Americans in Afghanistan, saying it constitutes an assault on US sovereignty.
Bolton on Monday branded the ICC in The Hague "outright dangerous" in an attempt to pressure the court which is planning to investigate the alleged US war crimes.
"The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," Bolton told members of the conservative Federalist Society gathered at a Washington, DC, hotel.
He argued the court poses a threat to US sovereignty.
"In theory, the ICC holds perpetrators of the most egregious atrocities accountable for their crimes, provides justice to the victims, and deters future abuses," Bolton said.
"In practice, however, the court has been ineffective, unaccountable, and indeed, outright dangerous," he said.
The chief prosecutor of the ICC has called for a formal investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan following the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
"Following a meticulous preliminary examination of the situation, I have come to the conclusion that all legal criteria required to commence an investigation have been met", said Fatou Bensouda in a statement last year.
"There is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed," Bensouda added.
She said US forces and CIA agents might have committed war crimes by torturing detainees in Afghanistan under a system of approved torture techniques, which included simulated drowning.
Human Rights Watch has welcomed the possibility of holding perpetrators to account for what it called horrendous human rights abuses against Afghans.
The United States -- under Republican George W. Bush's presidency -- and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington's so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban regime from power, but after more than one and a half decades, the foreign troops are still deployed to the country.
After becoming president in January 2009, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, vowed to end the Afghan war -- one of the longest conflicts in US history – but he failed to keep his promise.
Trump, who has spoken against the Afghan war, has dubbed the 2001 invasion and following occupation of Afghanistan as "Obama's war."
But Trump has also announced to deploy thousands of more troops to the war-torn country. Trump has said that his views have changed since entering the White House and that he would continue the military intervention "as long as we see determination and progress" in Afghanistan.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|