‘Cold day in hell before ICC goes after US for committing Afghanistan war crimes’
The ICC prosecutor’s decision to pursue a probe into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan is “completely political” and won't amount to anything, law professor Francis Boyle believes. He said it will be a “cold day in hell” before any Americans are prosecuted.
The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced last week that her request to launch an investigation had been handed over to a pre-trial court. She said that if her request is granted, the probe will focus “upon those most responsible for the most serious crimes committed in connection with the situation in Afghanistan.”
However, Francis Boyle, an international law professor at the University of Illinois, told RT that while Bensouda is likely to get approval for the investigation, the move is simply a “propaganda stunt.” He added that Bensouda has no desire to go after any Americans who committed war crimes.
“You have to understand, this is all political,” said Boyle. He noted that the African country of Burundi has already pulled out of the ICC, and South Africa has voiced the same intention.
“So she's in a position and the court is in a position that almost all of Africa is going to pull out of the ICC because the only people in the dock over there are black, tin-pot dictators from Africa,” Boyle said. He called the court a “Western, racist, imperial tool” which is being used against Africa.
Because of this, the so-called “white man's court” will not be going after Americans, Boyle said. “It will be a cold day in hell” before we see Bensouda doing so, he added. Boyle noted that the ICC has “never gone after the Americans, the NATO states, Britain, Israel, despite clear-cut jurisdiction to do so.”
Boyle went on to accuse the US government of committing a Nuremberg crime against peace by “invading Afghanistan and attacking it and blowing them back to the Stone Age and killing a million Afghans.” He added that “I doubt very seriously Bensouda is going to deal with any of that.”
“The United States illegally and criminally invaded Afghanistan and attacked and destroyed them... and then they set up all these torture campus over there, they've been torturing these poor people forever. And at a minimum, the United States has probably killed a million Afghanis [sic] since October 2001,” he said.
“The Americans should have been investigated a decade ago at least,” said Boyle, who filed an ICC complaint against former US President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, among others, in 2010, over their policy of “extraordinary rendition perpetrated upon about 100 human beings.” He added that “the American government knows full well they'll be able to sabotage her [Bensouda], stop her. Nothing's going to come of it.”
However, Boyle predicted that Bensouda would likely come back with a verdict that it was actually the Taliban who was responsible for crimes. “Or she might apportion blame, but that's ridiculous too...if you read all the United Nations reports of human rights violations coming out of Afghanistan, they all blame the Taliban. And it's a joke.”
Although the ICC statement doesn't name specific parties that would be subject to the investigation, a report released by the prosecutor's office last year said there is “reasonable basis” to believe crimes were committed by US military forces deployed to Afghanistan, and in secret detention facilities operated by the CIA. It also points the finger at the Taliban and Afghan government forces.
Boyle noted that although the US can technically be prosecuted by the court – despite not being a member – the ICC “pretty much do what they're told to do,” citing money received from Europe, Japan, and South Korea, as well as the influence of America.
Meanwhile, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said earlier on Thursday that at least 10 civilians may have been killed in an airstrike in the north city of Kunduz last week, despite a US military investigation stating that no evidence of civilian deaths had been found.
Boyle previously served on the board of Amnesty International USA and drafted legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, which was signed into law after being unanimously approved by both chambers of the US Congress.