10 Sep John Bolton, Unplugged – and Unhinged — About the ICC
Much has been made of how relations between the ICC have improved since the second term of Bush the Younger. I think we all expected that to change in the wake of Trump’s election, particularly after the OTP announced its intention to investigate detention-related abuses in Afghanistan and in CIA black sites in Eastern Europe For a while, nothing much of note happened…
Enter John Bolton, comic-book villain, stage right:
Mr. Bolton also planned to threaten to impose sanctions against the International Criminal Court if it moves ahead with investigations of the U.S. and Israel.
“If the court comes after us, Israel or other allies, we will not sit quietly,” Mr. Bolton planned to say, according to his prepared remarks.
Among the responses, Mr. Bolton says, the U.S. would ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the country.
“We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system,” Mr. Bolton adds. “We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.”
I am not going to bother taking these statements seriously, other than to note my curiosity about what provision in the US Code criminalises working with an international tribunal properly exercising its jurisdiction. Suffice it to say that the statements are completely unhinged and should be met with a hardy guffaw by the OTP.
I’m old enough to remember when Bolton’s patented brand of ridiculous sabre-rattling would have met with astonishment, if not outrage, in the US and elsewhere. In the age of Trump, though, we are just delighted to see a senior Trump administration official make threats in complete sentences — and without random capitalization.