John Bolton vows to punish ICC after court announces probe of alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan
Speaking in Washington, D.C., at a Federalist Society luncheon on Monday, Bolton described the court, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, as "illegitimate," adding: "for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."
He also slammed the organization's decision to formally investigate war crimes allegedly committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants, and U.S. forces and intelligence in Afghanistan dating back to May 2003. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks; the war is ongoing.
The International Criminal Court unacceptably threatens American sovereignty and U.S. national security interests," Bolton said, adding the U.S. "will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court."
Bolton vowed that the U.S. "will not cooperate with the ICC," would sanction the ICC's funds in the U.S. financial system and would prosecute ICC judges and lawyers in U.S. courts.