Discover more from Wonkette
BIG F*CKIN' DEAL ALERT: Biden Will Help The Hague Hold Russia Accountable For Vile War Crimes In Ukraine
Joe Biden doing the right thing, who the hell does he think he is?
There are these odd quirks of US foreign policy. Like for instance we have troops stationed all over the world and we build bases and people let us because we say they have to let us. Haha, quirky America!
For our money one of the weirdest has always been how we are Mr. Team Player and Mr. Lead A Coalition, Mr. You’re Gonna Eat Freedom Fries And You’re Gonna Love It, but the second there’s any kind of treaty about international law or the International Criminal Court (ICC), we clam up like NOPE! And when you look to see who else refuses to sign the thing, it’s like us and Sudan and some group of warlords who didn’t even know they were invited to sign the birthday card.
The stated reasons have always been that we’re worried the ICC or some other governing body could be used to prosecute US troops for war crimes. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s the essence.
But oh hey, there might be a teeny change on that! (Joe Biden with his teeny changes, like actually ending the war in Afghanistan.)
Wonkette is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Biden has ordered the US to start sharing evidence on Russian war crimes in Ukraine to the ICC. This is actually a huge fuckin’ deal, and not a teeny shift.
President Biden has quietly ordered the U.S. government to begin sharing evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, according to officials familiar with the matter, signaling a major shift in American policy.
The decision, made by Mr. Biden in recent days, overrides months of resistance by the Pentagon, which had argued that it could pave the way for the court to prosecute American troops, according to the officials.
What’s interesting here is that he’s being pushed by factions all over Congress, so clearly, thinking is changing on the subject all over Washington. The Times reports that “Last week, for example, a Senate committee approved a government funding bill that had a provision stating that the president ‘shall provide information’ to the court to assist with its investigations into war crimes in Ukraine.”
Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, respectively, are bipartisanly on board, and they emphasize that they’ve been pushing Biden on this for months. This is their statement:
“Ensuring that the United States is doing all that it can to hold the perpetrators of atrocities in Ukraine accountable is essential to help our Ukrainian friends and to send a clear message to Putin: The United States will not tolerate these horrific crimes,” they said. “After pressing the administration for months, we are pleased that the administration is finally supporting the I.C.C.’s investigation.”
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, is on board. The Times notes that he specifically has been encouraging the administration to work with the ICC on holding Russia accountable, specifically on the issue of the thousands upon thousands of children Russian has stolen from Ukraine and deported to Russia.
Here’s a letter he sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Samantha Power at USAID on the subject, which says the number of children could be in the hundreds of thousands and notes that in these situations, “children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, sexual exploitation, abduction, and illegal adoption.” You’d think the QAnon Sound Of Freedom humpers might be curious to look into this, but just kidding no you wouldn’t. They’re not serious people who care about real things.
But aside from that, Russia has committed so many more atrocities and war crimes in Ukraine. A United Nations panel found last year that Russia had raped and tortured children and executed untold numbers. There are reports of Russia deliberately attacking civilian infrastructure, and so much more.
Truly you have to be a monster to even think about defending Russia in this war. (Robert F. Kennedy Jr., how’s your sick conscience?) It’s beyond overdue that US foreign policy is changing to seek true accountability for Russians who commit these kinds of atrocities.
The Times says it’s specifically been this war that’s fixed American politicians’ wagons when it comes to the ICC:
After the war began, American officials applauded the court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, for his investigation into possible war crimes in Ukraine. In December, Congress eased restrictions that barred it from providing aid to the court for its investigation into Russian atrocities. And the Biden administration expressed support for the court when it issued arrest warrants in March for top Russian officials, like President Vladimir V. Putin, accusing them of orchestrating the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children.
Reportedly there have been holdups, and those holdups, as mentioned above, have come from the Pentagon. (It is still very scared this will set a precedent that allows for the court to go after American troops.) And there haven’t been any big announcements on this. Check out the full article for all the behind-the-scenes details. But clearly the White House is moving forward on this.
Just Security has a very good piece from back in March, with detailed refreshers on why the US has opposed the ICC in the first place, and all the machinations that have led to this moment. But it does seem to be a good moment.
Like we said, Joe Biden with his teeny tiny changes and course corrections and doing the right thing sometimes just because it’s the right thing to do.
Who the hell does he think he is?
Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter right here.
@evanjosephhurst on Threads!
I have profiles those other places but I think I forgot how to log on.