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BREAKING GREAT FABULOUS NEWS! Trump Administration Calls the International Criminal Court “Illegitimate”!

This is a Day of Victory!  A day of a Victory Lap in the Office!  A Day that I did not think would happen.  Ever.  And you can bet President Hillary Clinton would not have done anything like this.  Praise Jesus for this moment!

And I was actually (along with thousands of others) invited to attend!  I knew Ambassador John Bolton, now the National Security Adviser for President Trump, was speaking in DC to a Federalist Society (the conservative lawyers’ organization that vetted the judicial candidates for Trump, including Judge Brett Kavanaugh) meeting on Monday, September 10 at noon.

I wanted to go.  Really did.  Maybe I had a hunch about it.  And I’ve met Amb. Bolton (Ambassador is one of those terms you keep after you finish service) and supported him for the top office in the land!  (And took heat for it, too!  Nice to get the last laugh perhaps today!)  But I didn’t go.  That decision is right up there with not leaving early enough in SC for the 2017 eclipse!

So what did Amb. Bolton do today?  Well, let’s start with the Hill:

Bolton threatens sanctions against International Criminal Court

Man was I excited!  Here’s more from the Hill:

The Trump administration on Monday threatened to impose sanctions on International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel if it continues with an investigation into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, a move that could raise questions about the future of the court.

All this blogger can say about the future of the ICC in a negative manner is what I say every time someone writes about the death of the European Union:  Give me a no later than date!  But it gets better:

“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 told members of the conservative Federalist Society gathered at a Washington, D.C., hotel.

The top security official argued the court poses a threat to U.S. sovereignty, is ineffective in prosecuting war crimes and too often targets American allies, such as Israel.

So I went to a hostile source:  CNN

Bolton blasted the ICC as “ineffective, unaccountable,” “outright dangerous” and “contrary to American principles,” and said the US “would respond against the ICC and its personnel to the extent permitted by US law.”

“We will ban its 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,” said Bolton, a former ambassador to the UN.
Sandy the blogger is about to find out if you can get drunk on sweet tea!  But not done yet – Bolton adopted a wonderful idea:
Bolton said the US would “take note” of other countries’ cooperation with the ICC and “will remember that cooperation when settling US foreign assistance, military assistance, and intelligence sharing levels.”
Should have been done years ago.  Here is (I am not crazy about the source) the full text of the Bolton speech.  Here is a video, too.
Ambassador Bolton talked about national sovereignty:
First, the International Criminal Court threatens American sovereignty and US national security interests unacceptably. The prosecutor in the Hague claims unfettered discretion to research essentially, charge, and prosecute individuals, of whether their countries have acceded to the Rome Statute regardless.
Bolton cited this memo from the President:
  • On November 3, 2017, the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC released a statement regarding her request to begin an investigation into the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
  • The Chief Prosecutor indicated this investigation would focus on Afghan National Security Forces, the Taliban, and the Haqqani network, alongside war crimes allegedly committed by United States service members and intelligence professionals during the war in Afghanistan since May 1, 2003.
  • If the ICC formally proceeds with opening an investigation, the Trump Administration will consider the following steps:
    • We will negotiate even more binding, bilateral agreements to prohibit nations from surrendering United States persons to the ICC.
    • To the extent permitted by United States law, we will ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, sanction their funds in the United States financial system, and, prosecute them in the United States criminal system.
    • We will consider taking steps in the United Nations Security Council to constrain the Court’s sweeping powers, including to ensure that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and the nationals of our allies that have not ratified the Rome Statute.
  • This Administration will fight back to protect American constitutionalism, our sovereignty, and our citizens. As always, in every decision we make, we will put the interests of the American People first.
This is a wonderful comment that echoes the Declaration:
It is antithetical to our nation’s ideals. Indeed, this organization may be the founders’ worst nightmare become more active: a stylish workplace in a faraway country that determines the guilt or innocence of Americans.
Blogger’s note from the Declaration:

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:


For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

In the years ahead, the court is probable and then expand its jurisdiction to prosecute ambiguously defined crimes further. Actually, a side event at the Assembly of States Parties recently included a panel discussion on the chance of adding “ecocide”, climate-related and environmental crimes, to the set of offenses within the court’s jurisdiction.
I talked about an International Climate Court!  Delegates discussed this very thing at the Waste of Time several terms ago!
I love the idea that Africans feel the ICC is more colonial imperialism:
Several African nations have withdrawn or threatened to withdraw their membership recently, citing the disproportionate amount of arrest warrants against Africans. In their mind, the ICC is merely the most recent European neocolonial enterprise to infringe upon their sovereign rights.
Here is a beautiful summing up:
Americans can be confident that America won’t provide any type of legitimacy or support to the body. We shall not cooperate, engage, fund, or assist the ICC in virtually any real way. This elected president won’t allow Americans to be prosecuted by foreign bureaucrats, and he shall not allow other nations to dictate our method of self-defense.
  • We will negotiate a lot more binding, bilateral agreements to prohibit nations from surrendering US persons to the ICC. And we’ll make sure that those we’ve entered are honoured by our counterpart governments already.

  • We will respond contrary to the ICC and its own personnel to the extent permitted by US law. We shall ban its prosecutors and judges from entering America. We will sanction their funds in America financial system, and we will prosecute them in America criminal system. We shall do exactly the same for just about any ongoing company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.

  • We will need note if any countries cooperate with ICC investigations of America and its own allies, and we will understand that cooperation when setting US foreign assistance, military assistance, and intelligence sharing levels.

  • We will consider taking steps in the UN Security Council to constrain the court’s sweeping powers, including making certain the ICC will not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and the nationals of our allies which have not ratified the Rome Statute.

I am almost hoarse in excitement!  Even more:
No committee of foreign nations shall reveal how exactly to govern ourselves and defend our freedom. We shall operate for the United States Constitution abroad, once we do in the home just.
This is a wonderful speech.  (The Q and A is great too!)  I am sincerely sorry I missed it.  But it was said.  In the name of the President.  And I am once again proud that Donald J. Trump is my President.  It’s a long time coming.  To paraphrase Cato:  International Criminal Court est delenda!
Blogger’s note:  I do not agree with economic sanctions and that has not changed.  I cannot officially support that.  However, the attempt to target individuals and the clear threat to the USA and its officials/military is a positive aspect of this sanctions regime.  I am not endorsing it at time time.  I do agree with the intent behind it.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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