Obama Amends Executive Order, Threatens U.S. Sovereignty?
On December 17, 2009 President Obama amended Executive Order 12425 which effectively allows INTERPOL (the International Criminal Police Agency), to operate within the United States without any potential U.S. oversight.
The Amendment grants a new level of full diplomatic immunity to the international agency which is usually afforded to foreign embassies and other international organizations.
Obama’s Amendment removes language from the original Executive Order, which was first passed by Ronald Reagan in 1983, that effectively allows the agency to operate freely on American soil beyond the reach of the FBI and Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA).
Many commentators believe that this was done in order prepare the United States to eventually join the International Criminal Court (ICC) which would make U.S. nationals, especially diplomats and military personnel, vulnerable to international prosecution under the Rome Statute, which the U.S. presently is not a signatory to. (Obama would have to sign the Rome Statute and Congress ratify it for the U.S. to become a full member.)
Some have pointed out that Obama never explicity rejected the idea of the U.S. joining the ICC during his 2008 presidential campaign, rather he pronounced that it was “premature” for the U.S. to join the Court. What he meant by that was clarified by his then chief foreign policy advisor, Samantha Power, who said during the campaign:
Until we’ve closed Guantánamo, gotten out of Iraq responsibly, renounced torture and rendition, shown a different face for America, American membership of the ICC is going to make countries around the world think the ICC is a tool of American hegemony.
If Barack Obama ratified the ICC or announced his support for it on day one, two things would happen. One, it would have the chance of discrediting the ICC in the short term, and two, he would so strain his relations with the U.S. military that it would actually be very hard to recover. There’s a whole lot of internal diplomacy, internal conversations about sovereignty and so forth that have to be had before you can think about that.”
So, it is clear that Obama is not averse to the U.S. joining the ICC and is only opposed to it because the U.S. has too much international influence and there would be too much domestic dissent if he committed the country too early. Perhaps by giving Interpol such unprecedented freedom to operate within the U.S. he is getting the country ready for the ICC.
In 2001, George W. Bush unsigned the Rome Statute (which was signed by Bill Clinton during his last days in office) and as John Bolton recalled in his book, Surrender is Not an Option, unsigning the Rome Statute “was [his] happiest moment at the State Department.”
Bolton was Bush’s Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and was responsible for drafting the letter that unsigned the U.S. from the Rome Statute. Thereafter, Bolton was the main architect of the State Department’s successful “Article 98” campaign around the world.
The Article 98 Campaign protects U.S. diplomats, service members, and other government officials from being turned over to the ICC by those countries that have ratified the Rome Statute. It does this through a series of international bi-lateral agreements the U.S. pursued with pro-Rome countries. To date, the U.S. has signed over 100 Article 98 Agreements.
Oh, you never heard of it? You only heard that John Bolton was evil and in service to the illuminati or something?
Sorry, in that case you missed a lot.