I’ve read and re-read your July 1 editorial titled “International justice needs American support” and find your advocating support for an international justice court, without incorporating the requested changes proposed by the Clinton and Bush Administrations, without merit. Adequate evidence exists that the United States would not be able to protect our soldiers, diplomatic corps and private people from court prosecution without Washington’s proposed changes. Your proposal that we should accept this court as currently configured and subsequently jeopardize our constitutional privileges just to promote the notion of globalism should be discarded in the ash can along with President Wilson’s rejected global League of Nations. Your naivete as to the courts “intention” would interfere with our national sovereignty.
In a June 20 essay by William Safire, “Enter the Globocourt” that appeared in The New York Times, the writer described an American reporter that was requested to testify to his source of a Bosnian official who advocated the expulsion of non-Serbs from northwest Bosnia. That Serb official is now being tried in The Hague for war crimes. The reporter resisted the request to testify because it would collectively put journalistic professional lives at risk, not for protecting the source, but being able to courageously report witness to murder and rape.
Recently, The Washington Times reported that “the Balkans war crimes tribunal is examining whether charges are warranted against former President Clinton and his aides for supporting a 1995 military offensive by Croatia that recaptured territory then held by rebel Serbian forces.” Also named in the complaint are former National Security Adviser Anthony Lake, former Deputy National Security Adviser Samuel Berger, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith.
Granted this is not the same international criminal court but a similar U.N. tribunal. Both courts are based in The Hague. Two years ago, this Balkans court angered U.S. officials when it acknowledged it was looking into a similar complaint against NATO commanders for their role in the 1999 U.S. led bombing campaign in Yugoslavia. It was subsequently dropped after preliminary investigation.
Incidentally, Congress has passed a law forbidding Americans at all levels from cooperating with the court.
Individually these incidents don’t appear as threats to our Constitution, but taken as a whole, could one not conclude that maybe, just maybe, the intentions of the International Criminal Court are not as pure as some want us to believe? Based on all these documented incidents would The Herald like to rethink its editorial until some resemblance of a meaningful written agreement is made? However, based on what I read this will be a long time coming.