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US government threatens families of Int’l Criminal Court staff if they try Americans for war crimes

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US government threatens families of Int’l Criminal Court staff if they try Americans for war crimes

ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGE: Hussein Malla/AP

Written by Ben Norton; Originally appeared at The Gray Zone

The International Criminal Court approved an investigation into US war crimes in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded by threatening to punish family members of ICC staff.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened the family members of International Criminal Court staff, vowing that Washington will take punitive action against them if the court tries American soldiers for war crimes.

Pompeo also announced an intensification of unilateral US sanctions on Iran and Syria, which are illegal under international law, and which are undermining the countries’ attempts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

In March 2019, the Pompeo State Department threatened to revoke or deny visas to any International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel investigating crimes committed by American forces.

A year later, on March 5, 2020, the ICC took a defiant step forward, officially approving an investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the US military and CIA in Afghanistan.

Pompeo responded by angrily condemning the court and its proceedings. His broadside was an apparent attempt at discrediting the institution, which the US government is not a party to.

In a subsequent State Department press briefing on March 17, Pompeo launched another tirade against the ICC, belittling it as a “so-called court,” a “nakedly political body,” and an “embarrassment.”

Pompeo, who previously served as director of the CIA, took the denunciations a step further, threatening the family members of ICC staff.

“We want to identify those responsible for this partisan investigation and their family members who may want to travel to the United States or engage in activity that’s inconsistent with making sure we protect Americans,” Pompeo said, according to the US State Department’s official transcript.

Sarah Leah Whitson, the managing director for research and policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, drew attention to the “shocking attack” on Twitter.

“This isn’t just unlawful collective punishment against family members; it’s not just a disturbing attack on staff of a judiciary — where the US has voted to refer other nations for prosecution; it’s abuse of federal authority to use sanctions against actual wrongdoers,” said Whitson, who previously directed the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch.

Whitson called on Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to “condemn this US State Department assault on the staff and FAMILIES of ICC – abuse of sanctions authority in flagrant attack on judicial independence, unlawful collective punishment.”

Long history of US threatening multilateral institutions

This blatant US threat against the family members of International Criminal Court prosecutors is part of a longer historical pattern of Washington attacking multilateral institutions.

At the beginning of the George W. Bush administration’s so-called war on terror, in 2002, the US Congress passed a bill called the American Service-Members’ Protection Act — more commonly known as the “Hague Invasion Act.”

This unprecedented piece of legislation, which has no precedent anywhere else in the world, declares that the US government unilaterally grants itself the right to militarily invade the Hague if a citizen of the United States or any allied country is tried at the court.

Nor are Secretary of State Pompeo’s threats the first time US government officials have targeted the family members of international organizations.

José Bustani, the former director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said hardline neoconservative John Bolton, a former under secretary of state for George W. Bush and national security adviser for Donald Trump, threatened him and his family when Bustani negotiated with the Iraqi government to allow in OPCW weapons inspectors.

“You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you,” Bolton reportedly told Bustani, according to his recollection. “We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”

US State Department imposes new sanctions on Iran and Syria as deadly coronavirus spreads

Denigrating the Iranian government as “terrorists” in his State Department press briefing, Mike Pompeo declared new sanctions on the social security investment company of Iran’s military, along with five Iranian nuclear scientists.

Moreover, Pompeo announced State Department sanctions on nine more entities, in South Africa, Hong Kong, and China, for doing business with Iran.

He also unveiled new sanctions on Syria’s minister of defense, citing the Syrian army’s battle to retake Idlib, the last remaining insurgent-held territory in the country, which is occupied by a rebranded al-Qaeda affiliate and other extremist Salafi-jihadists, backed by NATO member Turkey.

US sanctions on Iran have devastated the country’s health infrastructure, greatly exacerbating the coronavirus pandemic.

A new study by researchers at the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran warned that millions of people could die due to Covid-19 — which Pompeo repeatedly referred to as the “Wuhan virus” in his press briefing.

An article by German state broadcaster DW concisely explained how US sanctions have set the stage for mass death in Iran: “Iran’s government applied for a $5 billion (€4.6 billion) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fight the epidemic — the first time it has asked the IMF for assistance in over 50 years. Yet, even if it gets the loan, the administration won’t be able to shop for much-needed medical supplies: US sanctions make the banking transactions required to secure even medical supplies and humanitarian goods virtually impossible.”

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  • Zionism = EVIL

    What a bunch of low life loser thug criminals cunts. Americunts are lowest of the low life trash.

    • vlad the impaler

      fuck you you piece of filthy liberal dogshit…..there were no war crimes you prick.

      • LR captain

        yes there are, opium trafficking
        detaining civilian without warrants
        forcing women
        firing on civilians
        kidnapping people
        weapon smuggling
        support authoritarian regimes
        Making and use bio weapons
        hell things the US are actually done worse than what you can Israel of by a long shot.
        https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fqph.fs.quoracdn.net%2Fmain-qimg-ae628dbc4533f5d9967dcd31830cd683-c&f=1&nofb=1

      • Zionism = EVIL

        Fuck you too Jew shithead :) did I strike a butthurt point. You cowards have been killing women and children for decades and people have had enough.

      • JIMI JAMES

        We will see cia/dogsht,who’s the neo-liberal and who is the coward and who does time!

        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-18/former-defence-chief-shocked-at-vision-of-soldier-killing-man/12064044

        • Zionism = EVIL

          Let’s hope the shithead Slomo does take some action. Which I doubt.

        • Habib

          So many soldiers came back with PTSD and seen weird shadows ending up killing themselves. I dont believe in bullshit court or corrupt judges but I believe the coronovirus will destroy the USA and show us their true love for each other when they start their own “Purge”, happy hunting bitches CIA agent 100 points , FBI 80 points, Hillary Clinton Priceless

          • Ivan Freely

            Clinton is living in Ireland; working as a Chancellor for some Irish university.

      • Concrete Mike

        No war crimes in Iraq or afghanistan you say?

        Well there is the war crime of AGGRESSION!!!!! The supreme war crime, according to the nuremburg trials. Fighting terror is not a good enough justification, so please, do realise that 2 immense war crimes have been commited by american in 2001 and 2003, that of aggression. Unforgivable, unacceptable.

  • John Wallace

    Now you know why Americans are exceptional. Everyone in the world can be held too account by the International Criminal Court for war crimes EXCEPT Americans . Is that because Americans don’t commit war crimes .

    • vlad the impaler

      youre god damned right.and people who don’t support our military need to move somewhere else.

      • LR captain

        and you need to find a different website

      • JIMI JAMES

        fk off grot, don’t respect constituates nor civil liberties + military laws you don’t belong!

      • John Wallace

        Well we would if we could but everywhere we go the US quickly invades. But we understand that as we know the US OWNS the world so have every right to tell the rest of us what we must do. I am not sure why you can though because looking at your name ?? and comment I just see a complete dumbarsed dickhead. Why would you name yourself after a car . Vlad the Impala.

      • Concrete Mike

        Hah your funny, i aint cheering these wall street goons. Nor should you, soon enough they will be shooting at you and your family !

      • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

        You’re god damned right too: those people ought to be thrown in jail and the keys into the sea.

    • cechas vodobenikov

      little girl impaler expresses her insecurity and functional illiteracy—the US loses all wars—due to the insecurity, obesity, stupidity of murikans…the US military is populated by uneducated unemployable lower primates—apparently 80% of military aged amerikans r not qualified—either too stupid or too obese

    • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

      And except “israelis”.

  • vlad the impaler

    fuck you you fucking traitor,nobody will be tried for jack shit,you liberal scum.

    • Ashok Varma

      Are you a Serbian war criminal? Shameful cowards too,

    • Concrete Mike

      You dont want to see mike pompeo go on trial.for war crimes.

      Your telling me you dont want to see John sabotage the president Bolton go on trial for war crimes?

      Wtf is wrong with you? Go out and play on the beach today, its your last chance for a while.

  • Ivan Freely

    “Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity”

    – Tacitus

  • cechas vodobenikov

    the concept amerikan exceptionalism derives from 2 individuals:
    Tocqueville:”amerikans really are different from other peoples”
    and Joseph Stalin who observed that the US frequently and routinely violates international law and convention…these barbaric cowards r the only nation never to ratify the UN ban on anti-personnel weapons
    “the state always reflects the values and desires of its people”. Durkheim
    amerikans r so childish that adults read comic books–the only other nation populated by children Japan
    as Boorstin observed only amerikans purchase products by celebrities that don’t use the products—the only exception Japan where amerikan celebrities convince these automaton “worker ants” per the French minister of culture, to purchase consumer trash…Japan is the most consumerist nation after the USA and as Durkheim demonstrated consumerism produces a shallow national character—obsequious worker ants, shallow automatons can only consume—stupidity, burgers, comic books

  • JIMI JAMES

    The evidence against some ozi sas forces in 2012 where instead of protecting civilians they were ever so bravely shooting them dead and from point blank range overwhelms such facts,insomuch where there is compelling evidence,they whom orchestrated the murders must be held accountable because as the world knows the cia set up iraq and afghanistan to operate illegal operations including the great opium trade tyrade why they whoms government at the time were particularly complicit and no I don’y need to leave my country but I would stab the lowlfe gitless wonder in its eye if it assumed I don’t belong with the might og god allmighty as my witness,either way blackmail is just another typical cia coward play

    Its one thing to defend the constitution but another to go pro nazi against the innocent peoples,either way justice will find a way,always a way and when it really hits the fan,then they ought arrest the vermin,
    This is not a case of race,colour and political narratives,but rather who backs down when justice quests
    There is the ukrainan scam too that must be addressed,either one is a noble patriot or a cia/nazi flog!
    One or the other,should bush get away with the lies,like hitlary/odummer in benganzi? fk the maggots,
    who needs them? LET THEM EAT ONE ANOTHER BETTER YET,ARGHH,FEED THEM TO THE LIONS!

    • Zionism = EVIL

      Well at least the ABC had the decency to expose the war crimes by SAS cowardly faggots despite punitive AFP raids on their offices. Decent people all over the world are fed up with these murderous cowards.

  • Bobby Twoshoes

    Why would you want to travel to the US? You can try them in absentia anyway, then they can’t travel outside the US so I don’t really see the teeth of this “threat”.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      They get on global wanted list for war crimes, the Americunts are too chicken and ignorant to travel anyway, but just the fact that their war crimes are exposed scares them as the Jew media can not save them anymore.

      • JIMI JAMES

        Even the abc and present govenment are abhored by unjust actions of certain cowards!

        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-18/former-defence-chief-shocked-at-vision-of-soldier-killing-man/12064044

        • Zionism = EVIL

          No human being with even a iota of decency can condone the wanton murder of civilians by low life armed cowards. These war criminals should be hung.

          • roland

            Do you realise that our military will play a major role in defeating the illuminati pedos that run this country so we really shouldn’t be turning against them at a time like this but thats what that article was designed to do discredit our military in the eyes of the public so they are not as much of a threat to those pedos that control our government.

        • roland

          I don’t think that guy that shot that unarmed man should be called a coward he’s special forces for fucks sake you couldn’t do that job if you were a coward,he may be an asshole and maybe a psychopath but a coward no

      • Concrete Mike

        Of course pompeo would complain of the ICC, his fat ass is definitly in the top 10 most wanted right now.

        Dont worry lardo we will get you one way or the other !

    • JIMI JAMES

      Good point!

    • Xoli Xoli

      Very true simple as that and to the point.You are real twoshoes man.Not like this Idlip rebels who sabotage and flee to Erdogan with one sandal.

    • Pave Way IV

      “Why would you want to travel to the US?”

      The ICC wants to investigate and document Afghani war crimes first. They would necessarily want to talk to U.S. citizens involved or with knowledge of those crimes. The Khazar Mafia-controlled CIA and SOCOM leadership needs to prevent that an any cost, because a lot of U.S. citizens, particularly ordinary U.S. military in the National Guard and Reserve who served in Afghanistan, would rat those homicidal psychopaths out in a heartbeat (along with their contractors and mercs). Even Pompeo would have a hard time belittling the testimony of an Afghan vet, much less a hundred of them.

      “You can try them in absentia anyway”

      That’s kind of a gamble. I don’t think the American Service-Members’ Protection Act (Hague Invasion Act) specifies that U.S. soldiers need to be in the Hague – they only need to be tried there. Pompeo might not invade Hague for a trial in absentia, but then again he just might convince Trump to nuke it… because they’re crazy like that. OK, maybe not that extreme, but one shouldn’t underestimate the resolve of someone as warped as Pompeo and his neocon cabal cronies that hijacked the U.S. government. The easiest way to make a psyco go full-retard is to expose their secrets – Pompeo spent his entire career guarding those state secrets for his neocon Khazar clansters. He’s damn sure not going to let outsiders openly discuss the, er… ‘extreme freedomization’ techniques… we just had to use in Afghanistan – because it was worth it!

  • Ashok Varma

    Since world war 2, the US and Israel have accounted for the bulk of global war crimes against civilians. Britain was the most prolific war criminal before that, in India alone over 7,000 documented war crimes and genocide. The occupation of North America is the largest war crime in history.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8d54311ea641a47dfea778674ec50907526cf902dd9015c562de893b0e98757f.jpg

    • <>

      Shut up muslim.

      • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

        Yeah, the truth hurts, doesn’t it.

    • Lars

      While you’re busy pointing fingers, remember to name all State sponsorers of Muslim brotherhood terrorism, genocide, ethnocide & ethnic cleansing – chances are you are in that same bed with your us friends. You are not flower children. BTW the UN and ICC and other kangaroo courts are whore houses where anything can be pushed through if it serves an agenda.

  • Lone Ranger

    Terror state USA…

  • Lone Ranger

    “We lied, we stole, we cheated”
    Mike”dirtbag” Pompeo -2018

  • Simon Ndiritu

    so much for ‘rule-based order’. When those promoting such order are lawless criminal protection gang.

  • Xoli Xoli

    Gay bafoon baboon Pompeo abuses USA taxpayers money with his incompetence. His advised to Trump is just hopeless it only promotes hatred,suffering of humans and creates unemployment worldwide with his war advise.Pompeo is rogue secretary gay sodomy.

  • Peter Jennings

    The US state and its shadow gov’t is the biggest threat mankind faces today. It’s a shame that most american people cannot see the monster in their midst.
    Millions will not die from of the virus, but they will from US foreign policy. It’s not hard to see that the shyster state and its shadow gov’t are alienating themselves out of any relevance with the rest of the world. Europe is looking east. That will only continue along with US empty threats.
    Good luck with invading the Hague. Europeans have a long history.

  • John

    He is headed for a very nasty finish. Don’t worry about him.

  • <>

    The ICC has no legitmacy against the U.S nor Israel, we don’t recognize them and we don’t cooperate with those scumbags. They are funded by dirty Arab’s money, so the U.S should tell them too – go fuck yourselves. A good decision by Trump’s Administration, don’t feed the trolls. Next Gaza operation they will have alot of stuff to cry about.

    • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

      Yep, the truth definitely hurts for ziofascist scum and their supporters. In any case the ICC keeps guys like you on the run. LOL.

      • <>

        I’m not on the run you filthy muslim, I’m waiting to chop down your friends by order.

        • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

          You’re on the run, baby, because you’re scared stiff of the ICC. If you would have nothing to hide you’d have no trouble facing the law, only outlaws fear the law.

          You can run, but you people cannot hide. Keep fuming, though, I like that, you’re just confirming your fear. ROFLMAO. 🤣

          • <>

            Whatever you say, your corrupted ICC has zero affect on us. We don’t obey some fake judges that get their paycheck from hostile entities towards Israel. Soon we will hunt down Hamas and PIJ rats, then we will hear the regular crying from EU institutions “Poor Palis, unproportional response from the IDF”. If the EU decides to sanction us, we will stop helping them against terrorism, let’s see how long it takes them before they ask our help again.

          • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

            Your beloved ziofascist garbage dump does not help the EU, it only extracts financial benefits out of the EU.

            Anyway, thanks for confirming your are scared stiff of being held accountable for your war crimes and crimes against humanity. As usual, ziofascists are nothing more than a bunch of lowly cowards who only dare to take on defenceless civilians because against a real opponent your revered IOF bog rats get whipped, just like they did in 2006 in Lebanon by none other than Hezbollah.

            Keep running, baby, you can’t hide. ROFLMAO. 🤣

          • <>

            Let me say it clearly to you since you have an understanding problem – I AM NOT AFRAID NOT FROM YOUR ICC, NOT FROM ANY OF YOUR TERRORISTIC SCUMS AND NOT FROM YOUR FAKE EU HUMAN RIGHTS GARBAGE. Having said that, I am very much waiting for us to start our military operations, you can watch it on your TV and enjoy when we BBQ them.

          • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

            Posting with capital letters does not change any facts, kiddo, you are obviously afraid otherwise you would not deny it so frantically. You people have a lot to answer for, just like your role models in Nuremberg did after WW2. And, like them, justice will catch up with you.

            As for your “military” operations, I understand why you look forward to them: you people enjoy slaughtering defenceless civilians, then barbecuing them afterwards. Thanks for that confirmation of what you people eat when you want to have a good time.

            It will be a joy to see your heroic bog rats run for cover when a few flaming kites float across to your filthy garbage dump. Make sure your Iron Dome, F16s and Merkavas are ready so they can show off how efficient they are against the kites, because the last time they tried to take on a real opponent they got their behind whipped so badly by Hezbollah they had to neg for a truce. ROFLMAO 🤣

    • Concrete Mike

      Why do you insist on on digging your own grave. As far as the go fuckthemselves part, i will remind you that these war crimes tribunals have been set up by YOUR ancestors.to try the war crimes of nazi germany.

      The rules were set by our.common ancestors at the nuremburg trials, thus we are obliged to follow these judicial decisions, you cant move the goalpost as you please, neither you or usa can, we will hold you accountable, like you hold whomever you wish accountable for everything else.

      Double standards really bug me dude.

      • <>

        There is no Geneva convention for terrorists or amnesty, only death. The crimes of the Nazis can not even be compared to any other war, it was a pure genocide. The U.S and Israel fight common terrorists, and the ICC is backing them up thanks to the Arab’s money and influence. We will never work with them, or trial any IDF troops.

  • Pompeo isn’t denying US committed war crimes, Pompeo is threatening people for holding guilty parties accountable FOR committing war crimes.

    The US is using the Coronavirus as a military tool to conduct a mass genocide of Iranians by refusing Iran to use money to develop their medical infrastructure. That being the case more Balistic missles being launched on US bases in Iraq is called for. Committing genocide with subtle tactics doesn’t make it any less wrong. Kill these American cowards, f*** em.

  • General Hummus

    sounds like the MAFIA…..

    oh wait….. they are the MAFIA…..

  • verner

    well fatso is doing what he’s supposed to do, lie and cheat and threaten like there is no tomorrow – that I suppose we can live with, but that not one of say europe’s leaders has the guts to stand up and say – that’s truly deplorable and we expect much more from the dysfunctional states of A. but no, they are all quiet as the proverbial mouse, our elected leaders. great shame.

  • Christian S

    With operation europe defender postponed there are still 20k US troops in netherlands stationed , only 50 km from then hague. Invasion force is already there if its up to pyscho pompeo

  • Raptar Driver

    America is a pure gangster state, the purest. See we are #1in something.

  • In Exile

    The Court should run along the lines of the Nuremberg Tribunal, wouldn’t that be ironic.

  • Hide Behind

    At the beginning of Afghan take over
    larvely US and Brit led and armed Northern Front Forces there occurred a massacre of over 4500 Afghan government military prisoners that was well documented by a British Journalist and human rights advocate; and there were three well produced documentaries released to world at large, not a peep out of Hague Court.
    One reason was there were many NATO nations taking part in Northern Front operations.
    For you Russian lovers the NF was being supplied with Russian techs in rebuilding
    left behind Soviet armor, food, small arms and munitions and light artillary and fuels.
    Over 4500 prisoners were jammed into standing room only semi truck containers, driven to a destination where machine guns fired into containers, or else to save ammo they left prisoners to die by starvation and dehudrstion.
    After death they buried them in long shallow pits, so shallow that the US supplied caterpillar spread sand over mouds of bodies.
    Photos take beginning 6 months afterwards by Journalist found piles of sand had blown away revealing decayed human Carcasses.
    Not a peep out of Euro court.
    Pictures of first invasion and second showed thousands of whit flags Iraqi troops who tried to surrender right next to their bodies in foxholes, with once again sloppy caterpillar work revealing, some who were buried en mass without ever firing a shot at Americans.
    All well documented by both American and NATO troop and Iraqi survivors, AND not a peep out of Hague.
    Notice a lot of Europeans gleefully jumping on US atrocities but damn them to you know where because whole they went about like sheep in pastures their Herdmasters in Finance, Military and Government were making the bucks aiding the US war criminals.
    There are multiple European militaries and their military manufacturing owners and employees committing War criminals in Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Africa and Syria.
    Get off your holier than thou self aggrandizing platforms, there is no Court in World without being corrupted by two faced a-holes both on the Courts seats, that hide hipocracy behind gowns,i and in the European_US and worlds jury boxes as well.