Trump's sanctions on ICC is because US record in Afghanistan is not ‘clean’: ex-CIA officer

TEHRAN, Jun. 21 (MNA) – Philip Giraldi, a former CIA intelligence officer, says Donald Trump’s sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) is because the US does not have a “clean” record in Afghanistan.

“The killing of Afghan men using drones based on a profile, i.e. any man on the ground carrying a gun, which is fairly normal in parts of Afghanistan, is itself a war crime,” Giraldi tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview.

This is the text of the interview:

Why is Washington afraid of an investigation by the ICC into possible war crimes by US troops in Afghanistan and has introduced sanctions against the court?

The United States has in fact committed numerous war crimes in Afghanistan, to include killing civilians and prisoners. Washington is using sanctions as a means to make more difficult for investigators to proceed in learning the details of American actions. To do so, they would have to travel to the United States and interview individual soldiers with knowledge of the incidents. Now they will be unable to do that.

If the US has really a clean record in Afghanistan, why should it resort to such a policy?

See above. The record is not clean. The killing of Afghan men using drones based on a profile, i.e. any man on the ground carrying a gun, which is fairly normal in parts of Afghanistan, is itself a war crime.

What sense does this measure by the Trump administration send to the world?

The message is that the US will punish anyone who tries to investigate either the US or Israel regime.

Actually, a country that claims it is a defender of human rights and accuses other countries, sometimes correctly, of committing war crimes, why should itself feel unsettled by investigation into its performance in Afghanistan?

Because the investigation would demonstrate that the US record is not "clean." It would be very bad publicity for the government in an election year.

Pompeo has called the ICC a “kangaroo court”. Isn’t such a description an insult against the world body that would consequently undermine its performance in the world?

No one takes what Pompeo says seriously. Everyone in the international community understands that Washington and Tel Aviv are out to destroy the ICC.

What messages such actions and descriptions send to US allies and friends around the world if there is still any real friend except Netanyahu and some others?

The United States under Donald Trump is not trusted by anyone, not even by the Israelis. Pompeo and Trump gave Netanyahu a green light to annex the West Bank and now they are telling him to delay the process even though he has already announced that it would start next month.

Don’t you think that such a measure would embolden certain countries to commit war crimes without facing consequences?

Not necessarily. If they are signatories to the ICC, which the US is not, they would be required to appear in court if they are being charged with possible crimes.

The new US decision comes after Washington has withdrawn from a string of international agreements including the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal. It has also ended cooperation with the WHO and pulled out of the UN Human Rights Council. Don’t you think that the current rulers at the White House don’t care about anything other than their own self-centered interests?

The Trump Administration does not believe in international agreements. It believes that only activities that directly support American interests are acceptable. This is why the rest of the world thinks Trump is a joke and why no one trusts him.

Some analysts and politicians argue that such unilateral steps are pushing the US toward a pariah state that would finally diminish the US leadership in the world. What is your view?

Many already consider the US to be a pariah state. If it continues with four more years of Trump, it is likely that the entire world will think so. By pariah it means breaking all the rules to suit oneself, which is precisely what is happening.

Interview by by M.A. Saki

First Published in Tehran Times 

News Code 159979


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