The Secretary of State is “very concerned” about the International Criminal Court investigation into alleged war crimes by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and said America would “push back.”
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was going to “push back” against the International Criminal Court (ICC) for pursuing an investigation of alleged war crimes by American troops in Afghanistan, Politico reported Monday.
“You’ll see in the coming days a series of announcements not just from the State Department, [but] from all across the United States government that attempt to push back against what the ICC is up to,” Pompeo said during a guest appearance on the “What the Hell Is Going On?” podcast.
America’s top diplomat said he is “very concerned” about the investigating by the ICC, which is headquartered in the Dutch city of The Hague. Earlier this year the ICC gave the go-ahead for an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan they claim were perpetrated by American troops as well as other war crimes by Afghan government forces, the radical Taliban, and U.S. foreign intelligence operatives.
Neither the U.S. nor Israel is a signatory of the Rome Statute, the international agreement that set up the ICC. Earlier this month Pompeo lashed out at the ICC for opening an investigation into Israel based on Palestinian claims that building Jewish settlements constitutes a “war crime.”
“The International Criminal Court is a political body, not a judicial institution,” said Pompeo in the statement. “This unfortunate reality has been confirmed yet again by the ICC Prosecutor’s attempt to assert jurisdiction over Israel, which, like the United States, is not a party to the Rome Statute.”
On Monday Pompeo said the court was acting on behalf of anti-American groups and the ICC had “stumbled into a sorry affirmation of every denunciation made by its harshest critics over the past three decades.”
He said the ICC was attempting to target the “young men and women of the United States of America who fought so hard … under the rule of law in the most civilized nation in the world.” Pompeo said the U.S. would never let the ICC “haul these young men and women in.”
Although the ICC has prosecuted some war criminals, it has capitulated to demands from anti-Israel groups and the Palestinians themselves, who are not a state and are not full members of the ICC. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the ICC as “a breeding ground for modern anti-Semitism. It encourages terror.”
“We will fight terror as if there is no Hague, and fight The Hague as if there is no terror,” he said.
Former national security chief John Bolton has described the ICC as a threat to “American sovereignty and U.S. national security.”