Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

April 26, 2014

Fact Check: Email claims Obama wants U.S. to join ICC

A reader recently sent us an email that had a meandering — but strongly critical — message of opposition to President Barack Obama.

The email, which ... urges veterans and their families to vote in the 2014 midterm elections in order to send Obama a message. Here are excerpts:

“The President, the Commander in Chief, has made the Rules of Engagement (ROE) so difficult, that our troops are often killed before they can even get permission to fight. Nothing has been done to stop our troops from being murdered by the Afghanis they are training, either.

“Now, the President wants the US to sign on to the UNs International Criminal Court (ICC), which would allow the UN’s ICC to arrest and try US troops for War Crimes, without the legal protections guaranteed under US Law, and from which there is no appeal. The President, with his Democratic control of the Senate, has nearly all the power. If the Non-Establishment Republicans, and Conservatives, can take back the Senate in 2014, our troops can once again be protected from unnecessary danger. Please consider this, and send it on to your mailing lists.”

We will be checking a few claims from this email, but in this report, we’ll look at the claim that “the President wants the U.S. to sign on to the U.N.’s International Criminal Court.”

First, some background on the International Criminal Court and its relationship to the United States.

The ICC is a permanent, independent court headquartered in the Hague that investigates and brings to justice individuals who commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, according to the Congressional Research Service. Cases may be referred to the ICC either by a member state, the court’s own prosecutor, or the U.N. Security Council. The court only investigates or prosecutes serious crimes by individuals (not organizations or governments), and then, only when national judicial systems are unwilling or unable to handle them.

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