The UN Security Council unanimously passed broad sanctions on the nearly ousted Gadhafi regime in Libya, but in a bizarre twist the council also granted broad immunity from war crimes prosecution for the mercenaries responsible for many of the bloodiest massacres against the pro-democracy protesters.
The sanctions call on the ICC to investigate top Libyan officials for their roles in crimes against humanity at the Hague, but the US insisted that an additional clause be inserted that would forbid the ICC from prosecution of people from non-ICC member nations.
The move appears to have centered on long-standing US hostility to the ICC, and the Bush Administration’s concerns that it could be used to prosecute US soldiers and officials over war crimes.
It is particularly bizarre in this case, however, because there is no indication any US citizen is involved at all in the Libyan massacres, and the US apparently threatened to kill the entire resolution if the immunity clause wasn’t inserted.
Now that the clause is in place and publicized, it will be doubly concerning to see how the mercenaries react in their violent crackdowns, knowing that the US has their back with blanket immunity for whatever crimes they commit.