National Security Advisor John Bolton attacked the International Criminal Court in a speech on Monday, criticizing "unjustifiable" investigations into the treatment of detainees after September 11.
& # 39; We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will not provide assistance to the ICC. And we certainly will not join the ICC, "Bolton said Friday in a speech to the conservative Federalist Society in Washington.
& # 39; Let's let the ICC die by itself. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us, "he said.
Bolton chose the international body, from which he helped the United States retire as UN ambassador during the Bush administration, as a "global free competition organization that claims jurisdiction over individuals without their consent."
National Security Adviser John Bolton chose the International Criminal Court on Monday as a "global free movement organization that claims jurisdiction over individuals without his consent" in a speech on Monday
He also announced that the Trump Administration would close an office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, saying it would not remain open until "direct and meaningful" peace talks with Israel are initiated.
"Today, reflecting Congressional concerns about Palestinian attempts to push for an ICC investigation of Israel, the State Department will announce the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office here in Washington, DC," Bolton said. .
"As President Reagan acknowledged in this context, the Executive has" the right to decide the type of foreign relations, if anything, the United States will maintain, "and the Trump Administration will not keep the office open when Palestinians refuse to take action to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel, the United States supports a direct and solid peace process, and we will not allow the ICC or any other organization to constrain Israel's right to self-defense, "Bolton said.
Bolton presented an aggressive stance against the International Criminal Court, threatening sanctions against the judges of the ICC if they proceed with an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Americans in Afghanistan.
"I ask everyone in the room today: would they send the fate of US citizens to a committee of other nations, including Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and entities that are not even states, such as the Palestinian Authority?" Bolton asked the members of the Federalist Society at the luxurious Mayflower hotel during their lunch.
He called the ICC & # 39;The founders' worst nightmare comes alive. "
He broke it like an elegant office building in a distant country that determines the guilt or innocence of American citizens.
"If the ICC had existed during the Second World War, the enemies of the United States would no doubt be anxious to find the United States and its allies guilty of war crimes for the bombing campaigns on Germany and Japan," Bolton said.
He also came armed with a threat: If the court comes after us, Israel or other allies of the United States, we will not sit quietly. We will take the following steps, among others, in accordance with the Law of Protection of the Members of the American Service and our other legal authorities, "said Bolton, before taking several steps.
A threatened response: "We will take note if any country cooperates with the ICC investigations on the United States and its allies, and we will remember that cooperation when we establish foreign assistance, military assistance and US intelligence exchange levels," he said. .
"We will ban your judges and prosecutors from entering the US We will sanction your funds in the US financial system and process them in the US criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that helps a ICC investigation of the Americans, "Bolton threatened.
"Well, I hope that is clear to everyone," he said when they concluded their blistering observations.
Bolton's speech was his first major speech since he joined the Trump White House.
"The United States will use all necessary means to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unfair prosecution by this illegitimate tribunal," Bolton said, according to a draft of his speech seen by Reuters.
Bolton said the State Department will announce the closure of the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington for fear of Palestinian attempts to push an ICC investigation of Israel.
The United States will adopt an aggressive stance against the International Criminal Court on Monday, according to national security adviser John Bolton.
"The United States will always support our friend and ally, Israel," says Bolton's draft text.
The Palestinians said they had no qualms about going to the ICC. They described the planned closure of the PLO mission as the latest pressure tactic of a Trump administration that has cut funds to a UN agency for Palestinian refugees and hospitals in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of a future state .
"We reiterate that the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale, that we will not succumb to the threats and harassment of the United States," Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement.
"Accordingly, we continue to ask the International Criminal Court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes."
There was no immediate response from Israel, where government offices were closed for the Jewish New Year.
The draft of Bolton's speech says that the Trump administration will fight. if the ICC proceeds to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by members of the United States service and intelligence professionals during the war in Afghanistan.
If an investigation of this type is carried out, the Trump administration will consider prohibiting judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, imposing sanctions on funds they have in the US financial system. UU And prosecute them in American courts.
& # 39; We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will not provide assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die by itself. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us, "says Bolton's draft text.
In addition, the United States can negotiate more binding bilateral agreements to prohibit nations from turning over Americans to the Hague-based court, the text says.
The aim of the court is to bring to justice the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The United States did not ratify the Rome treaty that established the ICC in 2002, and then-President George W. Bush opposed the court. Bush's successor, President Barack Obama, took some steps to cooperate with him.
"We will consider taking steps in the UN Security Council to restrict the broad powers of the court, including to ensure that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and citizens of our allies who have not ratified the Rome Statute," he says. the Bolton draft text.
The Palestinians have reacted with dismay at the cuts in US funds. UU., Warning that they could generate more poverty and anger, among the factors that feed their decades of conflict with Israel.
Trump ordered last week that 25 million dollars destined to the attention of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem be destined to other places.
"This decision will create serious cash flow problems in hospitals and will necessarily create delays in salvage treatments and other urgent treatments," Walid Nammour, head of the network of six affected hospitals, told reporters Monday. "In general, the decision puts at risk the health of 5 million Palestinians."