Tuesday, March 17, 2020

John Yoo, as Usual, is Wrong

Yoo at National Review:

Last week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) authorized an investigation of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by U.S., Afghan, and Taliban troops in Afghanistan, as well as by CIA black sites operated in Poland, Lithuania, and Romania. While the prosecution will likely fail, it represents another effort by a global elite -- consisting of European governments, international organizations, and their supporting interest groups, academics, and activists -- to threaten American sovereignty.

Exactly backward.

The decision by a government to ratify (or not ratify) the Rome Statute and put its territory and its people under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (or not do so) is an exercise of "national sovereignty."

For the US to send personnel into Afghanistan, Poland, Lithuania, or Romania, and to deny that those countries' rules, including ICC jurisdiction, apply to those personnel, is a denial of those countries' "national sovereignties."

The ICC has no jurisdiction over US personnel in the US. If it claims such jurisdiction absent US ratification of the Rome Statute, then there will be a "US national sovereignty" issue. Investigating the actions of US actors in ICC jurisdictions is no more at threat to "US national sovereignty" than is an Egyptian cop arresting an American tourist for drunk and disorderly at the Great Pyramid.

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