A group of German and American do-gooders is urging German prosecutors to bring a war crimes indictment against Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and General Ricardo Sanchez. The effort is being led by the Center for Constitutional Rights which accuses the Bush administration of engaging in torture. Among those on whose behalf the claim is being made is Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “20th hijacker.”
This suit is made possible because Germany’s current laws allow for the prosecution of suspected war criminals without regard to citizenship and regardless of where the crimes were committed. However, this is the second go-round for this sort of thing, as a German court dismissed a similar complaint two years ago.
Perhaps unwittingly, the good folks at the Center for Constitutional Rights are exposing the wisdom of the American government’s opposition to the International Criminal Court. Americans have long complained that this court would become a tool for those with a political axe to grind. As a result, the United States has steadfastly refused to participate. Our government has routinely warned that an unfettered ICC would subject individual American soldiers or government officials to expensive and lengthy show trials.
This latest crusade proves that America’s fears are justified. Far from being an impartial forum for the adjudication of international crimes, American participation in the ICC would quickly transform that body into a circus where all manner of absurd grievances against the Great Satan would be on display. We already have that in the UN General Assembly, so why would any sane president want to repeat the experience?
For this object lesson alone, the Center for Constitutional Rights deserves our thanks.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here