A fundamental aspect of President Donald Trump’s presidency is protecting American interests, as well as those of our closest allies. Part of that includes dealing with international bodies who pursue anti-American agendas, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).
National Security Adviser John Bolton just issued an unmistakable warning to the ICC that they would be wise not to ignore. “If the court comes after us, Israel or other U.S. allies, we will not sit quietly,” Bolton said, warning that the U.S. would ban, sanction and prosecute ICC judges if they attempt to move forward with “unjustifiable” investigations into Americans who served in Afghanistan.
ICC on notice
According to Agence France Presse, Bolton called out the ICC on behalf of the Trump administration during a powerful speech on Monday at the Federalist Society in Washington, D.C.
Bolton decried the ICC as an “unaccountable” body with an agenda that was “outright dangerous” toward the interests of America, Israel and other close U.S. allies.
Specifically addressing rumors the ICC was about to launch investigations against U.S. service members in Afghanistan over alleged war crimes, Bolton called it “an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation.” Interestingly, neither Afghanistan nor any other member nation of the ICC had requested such an investigation.
Should the ICC persist in going after U.S. citizens, or Israelis or other American allies, “We will not sit quietly,” Bolton warned, adding that the court and its judges could face economic sanctions or even arrests on criminal charges if they attempted to enter the U.S.
“We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system,” said Bolton. “We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.”
Threat to sovereignty
Bolton condemned the ICC as a largely ineffective international body that sought to assert its authority as being greater than that of the U.S. Constitution or sovereign governmental documents of other allied nations.
“In secular terms we don’t recognize any higher authority than the U.S. constitution,” said Bolton. “This president will not allow American citizens to be prosecuted by foreign bureaucrats, and he will not allow other nations to dictate our means of self defense.”
As for the effectiveness of the ICC, Bolton noted that since the court came into existence in 2002, and despite spending more than $1.5 billion, it had only obtained eight convictions total while allowing or ignoring blatant atrocities all over the world. Nonetheless, they seem to find time to investigate Americans and Israelis and other allies for alleged 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 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.”
It will be interesting to see if the ICC heeds this blunt warning and back off its anti-American, anti-Israel agenda, or if it will have to be figuratively slapped back into its place with arrests and economic sanctions.