Letter to the Editor

U.S. has good reasons to stay out of the ICC

Saturday, May 11, 2002

To the editor:

In response to the May 9 letter from Jeanne Sharp Wells that criticized the current U.S. opposition to the International Criminal Court, I'd like to point out some serious flaws in the ICC.

First, while it is true that the stated purpose of the International Criminal Court is to "prosecute war crimes, genocide and wars against humanity," the process used by the ICC to achieve this justice would be far different from the judicial process we enjoy as U.S. citizens. In this international court there are no guarantees for such basic protections as trial by jury, presumption of innocence and the right to a speedy trial.

Second, the International Criminal Court claims jurisdiction over individuals of every nation. This means U.S. citizens would be subject to this international system of justice. This is why Congress is so concerned about supporting the ICC without some provision of immunity for U.S. military forces. The idea is that the ICC could prosecute U.S. service members for participating in a war that the ICC interprets as "aggressive."

Taking this into consideration, I think it is completely understandable that the Bush administration is opposed to the ICC. And far from signaling that "his commitment to universal justice is wavering," I believe that by opposing the ICC treaty President Bush has taken a definite step toward world justice.


Daisy, Mo.