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Bolton and the ICC

September 12, 2018

It’s 9/11 again. The dark anniversary which marked the turn of US foreign policy toward a cruel and bizarre vision of power-projection, and the (de-)evolution of the US government itself. How many years ago was that now?

Anyway, Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, couldn’t quite wait until the day itself, even though he had the perfect (/sarc) speech for the occasion, at a Federalist Society luncheon.

Link to BBC story:

SIDEBAR – The Federalist Society is a sortof professional organization for conservative lawyers, whose purpose is political transformation of the US government using the judicial branch. They helped Trump secure the nomination. In exchange, Trump asked the Society to provide him with a list of people he should appoint to Federal Judgeships and the Supreme Court. Politico Article on this.

Back to Bolton and the ICC.

The US foreign policy crew was never really into the ICC, for pretty obvious reasons. The court has this annoying principle that the same rules should apply to everyone. President Clinton signed the treaty creating the ICC, but the Senate never ratified it, and Pres. Bush rescinded Clinton’s signature. Pres. Obama, typical of his style, took some minimal half-measures. Rather than reinstating Clinton’s signature or asking for ratification, Obama’s policy was to “cooperate” with the ICC, but only in cases where the plaintiff is a US ally. Which of course bypasses the whole rule of law concept. I think this is around the time they invented the term “rules-based order” – something I always thought of as analogous to “chicken-based McNuggets”.

At least Obama was polite.

Now under Trump we’re back to neocon’s running the show, so the pile of disturbing self-parody just gets higher and higher. You seriously can’t make this stuff up. Bolton, addressing a group of lawyers, for goodness sake, made various threats to intimidate the judges of the ICC if they should ever agree to hear cases against US defendants. Bolton also said that should the ICC hear cases brought by Palestinians, that too would be a threat to US interests.

Note- if I understand it correctly, jurisdiction for the ICC is determined if the alleged crime happens in a country which is a signatory – the defendant need not be a signatory.


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  1. Based on the lies of Bill Browder and Magnitsky Act laws which those lies birthed, the nations of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and others are part of the effort to establish an alternative Western-protective, global-jurisdiction, private International Criminal Court.

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