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The International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate the U.S. is fair

The International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate the U.S. is fair

The International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate the U.S. is fair
March 26
09:34 2020

The International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) is a court of last resorts that only opens investigations if national authorities are unwilling or unable to conduct genuine national proceedings. Recently, it has been announced that the I.C.C will proceed with investigating the U.S. armed forces and the CIA. The I.C.C. was established in 2002 and was designed to be able to prosecute crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression. Earlier this month, judges from the I.C.C. announced they will allow prosecution to investigate the U.S. armed forces and the CIA on possible charges of war crimes of torture and cruel treatment, rape and sexual violence pursuant to policy approved by U.S. authorities. The prosecution will investigate these possible actions that date back to May 2003.  

The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, called the decision “a breathtaking action by an accountable political institution, masquerading as a legal body.” Pompeo’s statement demonstrates that the U.S. is not willing to cooperate with the I.C.C. during this investigation. In fact, the U.S. has imposed visa bans on I.C.C. staff in efforts to try and bully the court and to deter scrutiny of U.S. conduct, according to NPR.  In April of 2019, the U.N. released a report that found that the U.S. and Afghan forces had killed more civilians in the first three months of 2019 than the Taliban did, according to the New York Times. This report also prompted the I.C.C. into pursuing an investigation against the U.S., as well as Afghan forces. 

The fact that the I.C.C. has decided to investigate the U.S. is a big win for civil rights organizations like the ACLU and is one I personally agree with. The U.S. has had tendencies to get involved in foreign affairs and they usually do so based on how it will benefit them. A prime example of this would be when during the 9/11 attacks the U.S. decided to go to war with Iraq, yet the country that was more directly involved with the attack was Saudi Arabia. It is said that the U.S. went to war with Iraq due to the amount of oil they had. This can lead us to conclude that the U.S. is willing and able to go to extreme lengths to get what they want and is likely to not hesitate in approving heinous acts that affect innocent citizens.

The United States needs to be kept accountable for these actions because they are affecting the lives of many innocent people. If U.S. senior officials are abusing their power and allowing these acts of personal indignity, then they will continue assuming that they are above the law. These individuals that are causing harm and violating the law do not see the true damage they do to the innocent families residing in these countries.

The U.S. must be held accountable by the I.C.C. so it can stop the practice of thinking they can get away with anything they want. The U.S. prides itself in protecting American citizens and promoting democracy, but to me, it seems almost hypocritical for them to promote this methodology yet continue to harm other innocent citizens from other countries which is exactly why I am in agreement with the I.C.C. in proceeding with their investigation. 

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Eunice Hernandez

Eunice Hernandez

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