Washington lawmakers want the US court to be the new Hague
New evidence is emerging that the US Establishment is using the window of opportunity to further destabilize the multilateral world through the public response to the conflict in Ukraine. Members of the U.S. Senate have revived an old draft bill since 1996 that would give American officials jurisdiction over foreigners who decide to indict U.S. officials on war crimes charges in a foreign justice system, the New York Times reports.
Washington’s problem with dealing with war crimes is that a fair trial is needed in The Hague to ensure that anyone has in fact violated international law of war. But Washington has not previously passed a law (The Hague Invasion Act) that would allow the Pentagon to take any action necessary to rescue any American citizen for trial for alleged atrocities – or convictions – nor does it officially recognize the authorities. Of the court
When court officials left in 2020 to investigate the activities of American troops in Afghanistan, then-President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on court officials. And while those sanctions have been lifted under President Joe Biden, there is still no evidence that his administration is keen to claim that the ICC should hold Americans to the standards they demand from the rest of the world. In the latest example of such hypocrisy, Washington officials have called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to respond to the Ukraine conflict in The Hague.
No one really has any idea at the moment where this line is considered to be ‘conventional’ wartime atrocities and exceptional and punishable. Nor should conclusions be drawn on the basis of propaganda. The wheel of justice is slowly turning.
But who has time for this? Of course not Washington! Who needs slow and erratic international law when you can one day wake up and decide that you are the new Hague?
What the US senators are proposing is a kangaroo court of questionable proof of validity, in terms of the complexity that time, distance and fog of war will enter into the chain of evidence. According to the NYT report, such procedures will be imposed on foreigners targeted by war crimes suspects by U.S. authorities if they move to U.S. soil.
If you wonder what it might look like, just ask Frederick Pierreux, a French national, a former senior manager of the French multinational Alstom, who was arrested by the FBI at New York’s JFK airport in 2013 on charges of business-related bribery in the United States. Two years in prison in Indonesia, and in the United States. Pierucci, a foreigner working for a foreign company, pleaded guilty in 2017 to an Indonesian case in a Connecticut court. But the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practice Act allows the long arm of American justice to claim global jurisdiction if any aspect of the U.S. financial or financial system is touched in any way, albeit slightly.
The case of Meng Wenzhou, the executive of Huawei, the daughter of the founder of a Chinese telecommunications multinational, also highlights how far the United States can go judiciously to protect its competitive advantage.
During transit at Vancouver International Airport, Canadian authorities arrested their American counterparts, demanding that the executive – who was not even on American soil – be charged with violating US sanctions against Iran with which Canada has nothing to do. After Meng was placed under house arrest in his Vancouver home after Canada was dragged into a four-year diplomatic standoff with China, the United States reached an agreement to extradite him to China in exchange for a delayed trial. It is not hard to imagine that, like Pierreki, who was released after General Electric acquired Alstom in record-breaking corruption fines amounting to $ 772 million, Meng could serve as a favorable economic hostage to America’s ultimate competitive advantage.
Athletic competition is also not free from judicial exploitation. In December 2020, U.S. lawmakers passed the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, which allows authorities to arrest or extradite foreign athletes to the United States to face suspected doping charges – even if the affected competitions do not take place on U.S. soil. “In order to justify greater U.S. jurisdiction over global competition, the House Bill calls on the United States to contribute to the World Anti-Doping Agency.“According to the New York Times.
Washington has unilaterally defined itself globally as to who can do business with whom through its sanctions regime, who is convicted of doping, who selectively pursues corruption in the world business arena – and now the United States alone wants to define who will get it. Will be identified as a war criminal.
Is everyone else in the world really okay with this? And if not, where is the anger?