The US State Department has issued a statement criticizing the International Criminal Court (ICC) for yesterday‘s report indicating that an ongoing preliminary probe had found considerable evidence of US war crimes in Afghanistan, centering on torture of detainees by the CIA and US troops.
The State Department insisted it was “inappropriate” of the ICC to even carry out such a probe, saying that the US is “committed to complying with the law of war,” but mostly just arguing that the US had never agreed to be under ICC jurisdiction.
That doesn’t ultimately matter in this case, however, as Afghanistan’s territory is under the jurisdiction of the ICC, and by extension anything US occupation forces do while they are there is subject to potential ICC review. Indeed, the US is facing four ICC probes in four different nations that are ICC members, all related to CIA torture.
The ICC has yet to decide if it will escalate the probe to a formal investigation, despite the evidence. The ICC has exclusively operated in Africa so far in its existence, and might be reluctant to try to take on something as big as US torture, particularly with US laws on the books authorizing a military invasion of the Netherlands to prevent ICC cases against US personnel.