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ICC threat grows.

ITEM: On June 23, the United States announced that it would not continue its effort to claim immunity for its military personnel from prosecution by the UN's International Criminal Court (ICC). Claiming that U.S. forces in Iraq will not be affected by the Bush administration's cave-in because our nation is not an official "member of the tribunal," the New York Times reported on June 24 that the 1CC's "jurisdiction is limited to countries that do not themselves prosecute crimes by their military." Its article noted that members of the Security Council that had previously granted an exemption for U.S. personnel were reluctant to extend the exemption "because of the prison scandal in Iraq and strong opposition from Secretary-General Kofi Annan."

The Times subsequently published law professor Pamela S. Falk's letter pointing to "wider powers" of the Security Council that enable it to punish crimes if a country is shielding someone from prosecution. Falk claimed that the ICC possessed these wider powers and that it could indeed bring "war crimes charges against American forces" even though our nation had never become an ICC member. Also, she raised the possibility that the newly formed "sovereign government of Iraq" could itself initiate a process that would result in American military personnel being charged by the ICC.

AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Our July 3, 2000 issue stated: "According to the UN glubocrats, once the treaty is ratified by 60 nations, it will become binding upon every individual on earth [with] jurisdiction over all individuals--including Americans--accused of the 'core crimes' of 'genocide,' 'war crimes,' ... and any additional crimes that may be added in the future." In April 2002, the ICC gained the 60 ratifications it had arbitrarily decided were all it needed to begin functioning.

Commenting on the Bush administration's claim of immunity from ICC prosecution for the U.S. military, our August 12, 2002 issue noted that "the word 'immunity' does not appear in the relevant Security Council resolution.... In principle, the threat of eventual ICC prosecution effectively holds hostage U.S. servicemen abroad." In other words, according to the UN, the supposed grant of immunity for U.S. service personnel never really existed in the first place.

Then, in our May 31, 2004 issue, we reported that the ICC "may soon be back in the limelight, propelled by sensational stories and photos indicating that some U.S. military personnel and civilian contractors grossly abused prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison."

The bottom line here is that the only way to protect American military personnel from being dragged before the ICC for any reason is for our nation to withdraw from the UN and all its agencies.
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Title Annotation:Ahead Of The Curve
Author:McManus, John F.
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 26, 2004
Words:445
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