The US and the International Criminal Court

June 7, 2010

The International Criminal Court is in the midst of its 2010 review conference. One of the topics of discussion is the possibility of increased U.S. cooperation with the Court in The Hague. Recent developments in Spain have further complicated the picture, European Affairs editor Bill Marmon writes in a detailed analysis:

So the U.S. position remains that only the Security Council, where the U.S. has a veto, should initiate international sanctions for war crimes. U.S. concerns about the ICC have been exacerbated by the unilateral actions of prosecuting magistrates in other nations to seek legal action against U.S. officials for alleged war crimes. Particularly nettlesome has been Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon. Last year he publicly weighed whether Spain should allow charges to be filed against six former Bush officials for offering justifications for torture. Garzon has repeatedly sought to subpoena Henry Kissinger in connection with the former secretary of state’s alleged implication in Operation Condor, an assassination and political destabilization plot in several Latin American nations in the 1970s. Recently Judge Garzon himself was suspended from his position in Spain for exceeding his authority by investigating crimes by the Franco regime that were covered by an amnesty. The day after his suspension, the ICC announced that it hired Garzon for seven months as a consultant — an appointment not likely to be viewed happily by the U.S. administration.

More here.