The United States has threatened to arrest judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes.
The White House National Security Adviser John Bolton has called the ICC”unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the United States, Israel and other allies, saying that any probe of US service members would be “an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation.”
In addition he said, “If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly.”
“We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system, We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.” Bolton said
He also pointed to an ICC prosecutor’s request in November 2017 to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the US military and intelligence officials in Afghanistan, especially over the abuse of detainees.
Neither Afghanistan nor any other government party to the ICC’s Rome Statute has requested an investigation, Bolton said.
He said the ICC could formally open the investigation “any day now.”
He also cited a recent move by Palestinian leaders to have Israeli officials prosecuted at the ICC for human rights violations.
“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 said.
“We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We certainly will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own.”