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Breaking: Intl. Criminal Court Targets Taliban, Sidelines U.S. Investigation

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
September 27, 2021 1:00 pm

Breaking: Intl. Criminal Court Targets Taliban, Sidelines U.S. Investigation

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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September 27, 2021 1:00 pm

In breaking news, the International Criminal Court (ICC) just announced that they will shelve the investigation of the U.S. and conduct an investigation of the Taliban. This is what we argued for before the ICC. But do these latest actions confirm the fear that the ICC has regressed to political theater and become merely a political court? Jay, Logan, and the rest of the Sekulow team discuss this and more today on Sekulow .

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Breaking news, this is Jay Sekulow.

The International Criminal Court goes after the Taliban and sidelines the investigation of the United States that the ACLJ was involved in. Keeping you informed and engaged, now more than ever, this is Sekulow. We want to hear from you.

Share and post your comments or call 1-800-684-3110. And now, your host, Jay Sekulow. Hey everybody, welcome to the broadcast. We've got some interesting breaking news, and this is something that the ACLJ is intimately familiar with because our team, in fact, Andy and I, and I'm trying to think, we had about how many, Miles Terry, Jordan of course? We had about six or seven lawyers.

We had about seven lawyers from the ACLJ. We had David Benjamin from our office in Jerusalem at the International Criminal Court in the hang of December of 2020. The issue there was this whole matter of an investigation of the United States' actions in Afghanistan. Well, of course, subsequent events have taken over, and that subsequent event has been now the Taliban is in charge, so the ICC prosecutor today announced that they were, in fact, going to shelve, put on the side, the U.S. investigation, which we argued the entire time should not have been taking place, and they are going to look at the Taliban. Now, here's the reality.

They can spend the resources to do it. The Taliban are not going to let them in the country to investigate, so they're not going to get witnesses, so what they're going to do is making the International Criminal Court again, which we've been complaining about, a political court. It's supposed to be a court of justice, but it turns into a political court, Andy, and we argued that, by the way, when we were at the ICC.

I'm going to play a clip from that in a moment, but go ahead, Andy. Well, it does become a political court, and in fact, it is a political court because what they're doing is playing politics with the United States, playing politics with other nations, trying to insert themselves into areas where they do not have a jurisdiction to insert themselves. And you made a very good argument and a compelling argument regarding various issues before that court when I was present with you at the Hague in December when we did the argument. We were turned down, and the prosecutor was allowed to proceed, but we now have a new prosecutor, Karim Khan, who is an Afghan, who is from Pakistan, English train. He's there for nine years, and he is, as you said, focusing his attention away from the United States. That's why you have to make the argument.

Logan, we often talk about this. You make the argument, you may or may not win, but you know what? 12 months later, 14 months later, you're glad you made the argument because ultimately you won. Yeah, it's hard to sometimes put in time into perspective for a lot of people that these things don't move fast when it comes to the law or when it comes to politics or when it comes to international relations. A lot of times you want instant results and simply it just doesn't happen that way.

Unfortunately, you think with modern technology and things like that that we've been able to expedite a lot of these processes, but unfortunately, some of it's still stuck a little bit in its ways. Oh, you're not kidding. But you do this and you're prepped for the future. You'll see this in the next segment. I mean, this is old school litigation. I mean, Harry, this is a return.

You would like this. This was a return to the colonial times. You wore a robe with a... not a handkerchief, but it was like a... Like a frilly collar. Yeah, it was all... And we didn't wear it was a wig. Like a pirate puff. Yeah, like a pirate puff.

And I would say, Jay, you've never looked better. Yeah, well, it's not exactly a flattering shot. Let me just say that. It looks very Star Wars or like post-apocalyptic. You're like walking in there with the robes. The court looks that way.

Oh, yeah. Everything is very cold. Looks like a... It was cold. No, like cold.

I mean like visually cold. Well, it's just... Like an Apple store, but without the employees. I have to say, it was an honor to be there and present the arguments on behalf of my country, although the United States was not a member. We did as the ACLJ, but it was arguing for the United States eight weeks before I did the impeachment. Right. It was a busy... You'll see probably clips. I'm sure we'll show them.

You've seen them before. Yeah, we're going to do that in the next segment. All right, so share this feed with your friends, and we're going to be right back. We'll take your calls on all this.

We've got a lot to talk about today, a lot of issues. Yeah, give us a call. 1-800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. Check out the work of the ACLJ, all our current blogs, news, and events on ACLJ.org. Like, share, subscribe, do all those things, comment, and we'll be back with a lot more coming up in the next segment.

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But here's the bottom line. We could not do our work without your support. We remain committed to protecting your religious and constitutional freedoms.

That remains our top priority, especially now during these challenging times. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life-changing work.

Become a member today. ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. If you're just joining us now, we're talking about the situation, which is a good development, although I'm thinking through the whole process now and realize that this is kind of preposterous. We argued in December of 2020 that the United States was not subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. This was involving issues in Afghanistan. And the then prosecutor wanted to commence an investigation, so we fought the jurisdictional issue, saying that the United States has its own system.

We could do it ourselves. We didn't need this help of the ICC to have their prosecutor looking in on us. That's number one. Number two, we said there are other things to focus on in Afghanistan if you want to look at abuses. And, of course, now you've got the Taliban as the government.

So three things are going to happen here. Number one, the Taliban are not going to participate with the ICC. They'll probably pull out of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. That'll divest them of jurisdiction. Number two, what we argued was that the United States had its own system and that this was a waste of resources for the International Criminal Court. Now, the court rejected that argument, but, as Andy just said, a new prosecutor came in and changed that.

That's right. Since we have argued the case, the prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, finished her term. And today the new prosecutor filed an application seeking authorization to resume the investigation in Afghanistan in light of recent events and the turnover of power. He also announced he will be focusing on crimes committed by the Taliban and the Islamic State Khorasan Province and deprioritize the United States. Which was what we argued, which should have been the case. But what's interesting, Wes, Colonel Smith, is the fact that the Taliban are not going to participate with the ICC because their violations of international law are legendary.

Yeah, absolutely. They do not want the ICC to investigate. And, of course, the previous Afghan government, you know, wanted to be a part of the ICC.

The Taliban definitely does not. And, of course, you look back at the history of the International Criminal Court, it was designed for countries that don't have a judicial system that will investigate and prosecute their own people. And that's why so many countries, including the United States, have not signed that treaty about the ICC. Yeah, and the United States hasn't signed it. Harry, again, you know, from a policy standpoint, I argue this was such a waste of resources of the International Criminal Court. And, you know, of course, new prosecutor, new change, which is good. But the Taliban's not going to participate in this.

I think you're precisely correct. So on one hand, the ICC, at least in its former iteration, claimed that it had jurisdiction to investigate the United States, despite the fact that the United States has an effective juris- judiciary and it has an effective prosecutorial arm to look at alleged crimes. The United States is a non-party. Now, at least, the new prosecutor, Mr. Khan, wishes to institute an investigation of the Taliban.

Why? Because there is simply no prospect of an effective investigation going forward within Afghanistan. But the problem is, how does the ICC get its investigators' access to the evidence on which it could then judge or determine whether or not there is a criminal offense? So is this mind-numbing to most people? I think a lot of people maybe don't understand even the process. But these International Criminal Courts are serious. They're serious, but I think there's just not enough attention being brought to it. I think a lot of people don't know. We talked about it in the radio meeting today. You know, when we do titles, we have to create a title that people will understand.

We said, can we just say ICC? It's like, well, no. Because I don't even think a lot of people know that this exists. You know, like I said, you look at the visual of it. It's very bizarre. You're going to see that in a minute.

But it's a real powerful entity. And you said only a handful of people have ever really argued there? Argued, yeah. Oh, yeah, no. Listen, it was an honor and a privilege that the court allowed us to participate. I want to say that. I mean, we disagreed with their holding.

And ultimately, obviously, the new prosecutor. We said, you don't have the resources to do this. And you're wasting them on the United States, which now they come back and say, you'll see in a moment, we don't have the resources to do this.

So we're going to focus on the Taliban until the Taliban pulls out of the ICC. Here's the thing that's so fascinating and important about this, folks, and that is we were defending the United States military. Our men and women who were doing everything they could to defend freedom and liberty. So that is what we were doing there. And that's why I was in court. That's why I said it was an honor to represent.

I kept thinking about those men and women that we were really defending the United States Army. Because this court has individual jurisdiction over people, not just states. I mean, they will pull in an individual. They have a prison system, right?

Oh, they have a prison? Yeah. I mean, yes. The whole process is a bit eerie when you go into it. Because you're going to see this in a moment, folks. If you're watching on any of our social media platforms, I'm going to encourage you to share this with your friends.

Because you're going to see something you don't normally see. And that's going to be inside, literally, the ICC. The courtroom is in the basement level, I believe.

Yes, it was. The courtroom is in the basement level. It's very futuristic. There's probably 30 lawyers there on both sides of the case. I mean, you're going to see it. So let's go inside the ICC right now. The European Center for Law and Justice. You have 10 minutes.

Please proceed. Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honors, and may it please the Chamber. I'm here today on behalf of the European Center for Law and Justice. The first question before this Chamber is whether the pretrial Chamber's assessments under Article 53.1c are jurisdictional for the purpose of Article 82.1a.

The answer to that question is yes. The availability of a separate appeal procedure on preliminary issues, such as jurisdiction and admissibility, as distinct from appeals on convictions or acquittals, is, in our view, crucial to the efficient functioning of this Court, as well as the interest of justice as highlighted in this very case. The prosecutor here was attempting to press ahead against nationals of a non-cooperative, non-State party, ex parte, without any opportunity for that State's legitimate objections to jurisdiction to be considered. And the pretrial Chamber reached the impugned decision on relevant matters under Article 15, including the interest of justice, without fully considering the critical information about jurisdiction and admissibility.

In the case of the United States, for example, these threshold objections would include, first, the principle of customary international law, second, the existence of specific treaties between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, giving the United States exclusive jurisdiction over its personnel, and finally, the principle of complementarity, because the United States is demonstrably both willing and able to investigate and prosecute its own cases. So that was, I mean, Logan, that's a very unique thing. That's inside the ICC. And that happened December of 2019? Yeah. And you were talking about looking at how long these things take.

Oh yeah, and now you come full back around. We get the decision and now there's a change. You know, Thanh, you deal with the, of course, as our representative of the UN, and the ICC is a creature of the United Nations. But, you know, we argued very aggressively for this not to be a situation where the court would be wasting resources and going after the United States was preposterous, was totally political, which obviously this prosecutor has a better understanding of. Well, I think the part of this that communicates to people on such a deep level, Jay, is they know that our men and women in uniform must be protected from having to appear before international tribunals. So just on that level to what Logan was talking about, I think that communicates the importance of being there. But Jay, this is why you show up and defend U.S. service members. Even if you don't agree with an interim ruling, Jay, essentially what we have here is what we asked for.

And look, it may or may not have been that they ultimately agreed with the argument. I hope they do agree with the argument that they shouldn't spend the resources on it, but here's what I'm so glad they recognize, Jay. They know that if they go there and they try to prosecute U.S. service members, it's going to take resources.

And why is it going to take resources? Because we're going to show up. We're going to show up each and every time, and we're going to make them defend against those arguments. So you know what?

They just say it's easier to leave it to the side. But, you know, remember this, Thanh, and this is where we got to keep an eye on this, folks. It was, I think it was President Obama and Bill Clinton, and I think it was President Obama that wanted to join the ICC.

Do you remember that? So we've got to keep an eye on the Biden administration here. That's something your office, Thanh, needs to be on top of. No question about it, Jay, and I would just tell you they have started with sort of the low-hanging fruit. They're starting to rejoin the Human Rights Council. They're trying to rejoin other institutions at the United Nations that aren't serving a process.

Jay, if they're successful in this, the ICC will certainly be in that line. Well, you know, that's why, Andy, that's why we show up, folks, at these proceedings. That's why we have the Ministry of Presence.

We go there and do it. Because I didn't know in 2019, like Logan, what you said, that actually in 2021 we would be vindicated or in a position that this wasn't right. But we now have a change of administrations. There was no way the previous administration was going to join the ICC. This one scares me a little bit, the Biden administration.

It frightens me a great deal. It certainly does because of all this universal joining of hands and detente supposedly with Europe and NATO, which seems to have backfired, by the way, President Biden. But the idea of internationalism and globalism and the failure to recognize the sovereignty of the United States as a sovereign power that can try its own cases, defend its own military, prosecute its own military if we have committed crimes, and do those kinds of things makes us a country that has the concept of what we call complementarity. In other words, you don't have to look at us to see that we have a judicial system that can prosecute wrongdoers, stay out of our business.

The United States doesn't need to be part of the ICC. All right. We'll be back in just a moment with more on secular. We do have some phone lines open if you have any questions about the International Criminal Court proceedings. People might.

Military. It's interesting. I'd like to hear from that.

Yeah. Or how this even works and how America plays into it. We'd love to hear from you. 1-800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. A lot of comments are coming in about it and just a lot of questions. We'll take some of those as well. If you're watching online, make sure you share this with your friends. If you're on Facebook, click share. If you're on YouTube, hit the thumbs up and click the subscribe button. And always you can also hit the bell so you get alerted every day when we do our shows every day.

If you're new to the program, we do this every weekday, Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. Central. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. The challenges facing Americans are substantial at a time when our values, our freedoms, our constitutional rights are under attack. It's more important than ever to stand with the American Center for Law and Justice. For decades now, the ACLJ has been on the front lines protecting your freedoms, defending your rights, in courts, in Congress, and in the public arena. And we have an exceptional track record of success.

But here's the bottom line. We could not do our work without your support. We remain committed to protecting your religious and constitutional freedoms.

That remains our top priority, especially now during these challenging times. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life-changing work.

Become a member today. ACLJ.org. Hey, so if you're just joining us, here's what's happened, and this is a good development for the United States. We argued back in 2019 at the International Criminal Court in The Hague that the court had no jurisdiction over U.S. soldiers.

They were trying to investigate U.S. activities in Afghanistan, and they hold individual soldiers accountable. So it was a big case, and it was an honor for me to represent the interests of my country before the ICC. It's a court that doesn't often get a lot of attention. It's a big institution.

When we got there, it had a lot of attention, I will tell you that. The media was all over it because the President's lawyer was – that was what the hook was. The President's lawyer was coming to do this. I was doing this in my capacity as the ACLJ. I wasn't representing the United States government. I was representing our interests at the ACLJ, the European Center for Law and Justice, and the position of the United States. But the media was there, obviously, to cover this.

And I'm going to tell you something important here. Sometimes you don't get the initial victory you want, but you're very glad you made the argument because ultimately what happened here was the court said no, the prosecutor could investigate. And then the prosecutor came out and said, when they got a new prosecutor, we're not going to do that.

That's exactly what happened. Prosecutor Ben Suta, who was determined to investigate the United States, had an axe to grind against the United States. And our military was replaced by the prosecutor Khan, who's Pakistani, English trained, and who today has announced that I'm going to resume the investigation of Afghanistan. But I'm going to deprioritize, which means I'm going to put aside the investigation of the United States, and I'm going to look at the human rights crimes and infractions of the Taliban and of ISIS-K.

I'm going to play a question and answer response because I want to take you inside that courtroom, but I want to also go to Wes and to Harry here. Wes, from a military standpoint, the idea that our men and women, your colleagues, would be subject to this court raised a lot of concern for our military. Not just concern, alarms.

I mean, absolutely. And that's the thing our listeners need to remember. You were there really defending the United States military that they were intent on investigating and prosecuting. You know, the ICC, like the U.N. as a whole, is very inept, very left-leaning, and tends to be biased against the United States and against Israel. And so going forward, and this is a victory for us today, but he is not saying they would never do it again. He's saying they're not doing it for now because of resources, and plus they can't get into Afghanistan to investigate. But going forward, we really need to continue to argue, and you will probably have to do this again, that A, they do not have jurisdiction, period, in the Senate. And secondly, as Thanh mentioned, we need to watch the Biden administration because previous Democratic administrations really want to sign the Rome statute and be a part of this. Which is really dangerous, and I'll tell you, that's why Thanh's got to be on the line.

I know he is. Harry, it's interesting, as a professor, there was a lot of academics that also, lawyers that participated in this, and I don't, I'm trying to think, were there any on the side of the United States? And I think there was one.

I think everybody else, and there must have been 20 of them, were on the other side. I think you're right, and this idea proceeds from deep-seated anti-American hatred within the elite academies, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. So instead of embracing the United States Constitution, instead of embracing principle, they have embraced a globalist agenda, which is grounded in openness and tolerance to all sorts of ideas, however transgressive they may be.

And so I think at the end of the day, Wesley's absolutely correct. We need to keep an eye on the Biden administration, because more likely than not, they will take advantage of virtually every opportunity to sell out the United States and to sell out American interest. I'm going to go to you after this, but I want you to be thinking about this, because the ICC, I am worried about, we need to find out what the Biden administration's thoughts are on this, but let me go ahead and take you inside the court. They actually asked questions. Everybody said, I don't think you'll get any questions.

I got a lot of questions. You were there representing the United States in the sense of the position you were taking. I was then the President's lawyer.

It had a lot of attention. I think, Andy, I was right. There was one professor that was also on our side. I can't even remember.

I think it was from an international university. And then we made the argument, but I got a question. I got a series of questions, and I want you to listen to this closely, because remember, English is not the first language of these judges.

So she asked a question either unintentionally or intentionally misspoke, and I have to very carefully, politely, and judiciously respond. But take a listen. I'm taking you back inside the International Criminal Court in The Hague. And in light that the prohibition of torture is a just conscience norm, which under the provisions of the Vienna Convention and treaties has the highest hierarchy, and it's mandatory for all the countries, and these kind of norms cannot be disregarded. That said, do you think it is possible to reconcile this hierarchy-positioned norm, just coherence to prohibition of torture, with the so-called principle of noncooperation of the states? What we're saying, first of all, is that it's not a principle of noncooperation.

It's principled noncooperation. In other words, that the United States, through its many administrations, through its policy statements, through the issues that have been raised even recently, have expressed consistently concern over jurisdiction of this court over nonmember states. The United States has a very comprehensive military justice system and a very comprehensive criminal justice system.

And these cases that do arise from time to time, and it's interesting because the office of the prosecutor relied primarily on published documents from the Senate Oversight Committee, House Oversights Committee, that have reviewed when there's been issues. So I'm not saying that the United States or any other country is immune from something not going as planned, or for something to take place that would be a violation of international law. But I'm not willing to concede that the only way to handle that would be for jurisdiction of this court for a non-party state. There you go. So that was a very complex question, and then I had to deconstruct, so to speak, the response to make sure it was answering what the legal theory is. Now, Thane, I want to go back to this because I want to put this on the radar screen for our audience, for ACLJ members, for people watching around the country. The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute, but there have been previous democratic administrations that have wanted that to happen.

How does that look now? Do we know? And I'm very concerned that this is because, as you said, they're already starting with the Human Rights Council, that this would be an easy next move. Yeah, you're correct to be concerned about it. You're correct to be concerned about it, Jay, because you've got to look at the political dynamics, both internationally and domestic. Internationally, we know, Jay, the ICC is always looking for jurisdiction over the United States, and the United States could certainly grant at least some of that jurisdiction by ratifying the Rome Statute, Jay. I think if you look back at the end of the Obama administration, it wasn't just the participation and apparatus like the Human Rights Council, but, Jay, the drive towards consensus, as our buddy Rick calls it, by walking away from the veto power at the Security Council, Jay, what is that? That's giving, that's delegating authority to the United Nations. I think the Biden administration is probably predisposed in that same direction.

I wouldn't be surprised at all for this issue to arise. I'll tell you this, folks. Let me tell you what this shows you. The American Center for Law and Justice are European affiliates.

Guess where we were? In court. And coming up next, talking about Afghanistan, you're going to see Jordan before the United Nations on issue of Afghanistan. Because of your support of the ACLJ, we can do all of this. This broadcast comes to you five days a week, and our lawyers dispatched around the world, our policy people around the world, our government affairs teams around the world. Support the work of the ACLJ, ACLJ.org.

Back with more in just a moment. For decades now, the ACLJ has been on the front lines, protecting your freedoms, defending your rights, in courts, in Congress, and in the public arena. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life-changing work. Become a member today.

ACLJ.org. I'm talking about freedom. I'm talking about freedom.

We will fight for the right to live in freedom. Keeping you informed and engaged. Now more than ever, this is Sekulow. And now your host, Jay Sekulow. Hey everybody, welcome to part two of the broadcast. We are talking about, this is a good development. It's breaking news for us. It's not going to make big news on the networks, but it is for, the United States is a good decision. I went to the, with our team, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague in December of 1990, December of 2019.

I've been doing this a long time, but not at the ICC that long. So in 2019 in December, we went there arguing the US's position that the International Criminal Court in The Hague had no, and the prosecutor had no basis upon which they had jurisdiction over the United States for the purposes of a criminal ICC investigation of American soldiers. And that's who was at stake here, American soldiers. So here's what's interesting. The initial panel of the court said, yes, the court could, the prosecutor could proceed. New prosecutor comes in and guess what? That prosecutor says, the United States is not a priority here.

I'll tell you that, at all. That's not a priority. The priority is the Taliban.

So, Andy, quick, that was the right move. I mean, but the Taliban are not going to allow an investigation here. It's going to be meaningless, but at least the focus is right. The right, the new prosecutor, Khan, made the right decision, ultimately reversing what Bensouda, his predecessor, had decided. So we didn't win the first match, but we won ultimately with a new prosecutor who takes a new and I think correct perspective, and that is that the United States military, okay, and the United States of America, not signatories to the Rome Statute. That is, that's the statute that created, for those of you who don't know, that's the statute that created the International Criminal Court, that the United States has the capability within its own judicial system to prosecute wrongdoers of human rights and doesn't need to be subordinate to any international tribunal. So the fact that we go to these international tribunals, some of which are hostile, is the reason why we're effective. Now, I'm going to take you now to Jordan's presentation to the United Nations, just this morning, to the Human Rights Council on Afghanistan. ICC, 24 months ago, Human Rights Council, not friendly, Harry's going to talk about that when we come back from the break. Here's Jordan. And I give the floor to the European Center for Law and Justice.

Thank you, Madam President. The ECLJ would like to address the extremely dangerous situation, especially for Christians, other religious minorities, and women in Afghanistan now that the Taliban has seized control of the country and ISIS is resurging. Christians in Afghanistan fear the same genocidal persecution suffered by Christians in Iraq and Syria, that they will be hunted down, abused, and even killed because of their faith. Christian organizations have even warned believers not to leave their homes for fear of what the Taliban will do to them. The Taliban has a demonstrated history of violence and human rights abuses against Christians and women. The Taliban has oppressed religious minorities, denied education to girls over the age of 10, and treated women as property.

Refugees, U.S. citizens, and other foreign nationals are now trapped, unable to flee. The Taliban is going door to door throughout the region looking for Christians to kill and unmarried women to take captive. The Taliban is not a peaceful government body and should not be treated as such.

It is a dangerous, radical militia that places no value on human rights and poses a legitimate threat to Christians, other non-Muslims, and women. Swift international intervention is imperative. Therefore, the ECLJ respectfully calls upon the Council to take whatever action is necessary to protect Christians, religious minorities, and women in Afghanistan, and to stave off any impending human rights abuses and bloodshed now before it's too late. So that was Jordan at the United Nations this morning, okay? At the Human Rights Council, making the presentation at the Human Rights Council about abuse of Christians and women and minorities in Afghanistan. And like I said, 24 months ago, the European Center for Law and Justice and our team right here went to The Hague, to the International Criminal Court, to defend American military soldiers.

You talk about being front and center. This is an institution, by God's grace, and your generous support of the ACLJ, which I need to say thank you over and over again, that has allowed all of this to happen. We're able to bring it to you on TV and radio and on a lot of different social media platforms. We're able to go there and do the legal work. We're able to do the government affairs work and the policy work. Because of your support of the ACLJ and our support of these institutions around the globe, when we come back, why do we go to hostile institutions?

More when we come back. The challenges facing Americans are substantial at a time when our values, our freedoms, our constitutional rights are under attack. It's more important than ever to stand with the American Center for Law and Justice. For decades now, the ACLJ has been on the front lines protecting your freedoms, defending your rights, in courts, in Congress, and in the public arena. And we have an exceptional track record of success.

But here's the bottom line. We could not do our work without your support. We remain committed to protecting your religious and constitutional freedoms.

That remains our top priority, especially now during these challenging times. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life-changing work.

Become a member today. ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. So, Jordan today was before the Human Rights Council at the United Nations on behalf of Christian minorities and women and other minorities in Afghanistan, now being, of course, tortured and abused by the Taliban. We were at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, also a UN creation. It's generally a hostile territory.

And I want to go to Professor Hutchinson on this because I think this is really important. A lot of people say, ah, the UN, I'm not going to bother with the UN. Ah, the ICC, who cares? You have to care because even though it's hostile territory, we're not called to just go to where it's nice or they agree with you. In fact, I think we're called, report for duty is what happens here.

And the reporting for duty means hostile territories in the Human Rights Council area and the UN, especially in the International Criminal Court, have generally been hostile. Absolutely. So, Jay, I think it's very, very important to commit to principle without the prospect of an immediate victory. A principled commitment to justice, to fairness, to human rights often will prevail in the end. So the ACLJ, at least in my opinion, should continue to go before the ICC, the UN and Human Rights Councils, even when the odds are stacked against us.

I think that's very, very important. We should be prepared to go to the mat. We should be relentless in our pursuit of principled justice. And we should be prepared to exhibit something that is missing in the Biden administration backbone, even when no one else will. In the short run, even if we do not prevail, it gives hope, I think, to the hopeless, courage to those who cower and provides critical momentum for the future. So that is why we actually stay in the fight.

That is why we continue to offer principled counsel going forward. Yeah, Thanh, describe for everybody, I mean, this is hostile territory, but we have a big presence there. Yeah, Jay, and I'm glad that Harry brought this up because I've been, as you have, in the well of the United Nations General Assembly, in the well of the Human Rights Council time and time again. And here's what people need to understand about what takes place in those chambers, Jay. If we're not there pressing the case of the persecuted church around the world, if we're not there pressing the case of the persecuted religious minorities in Afghanistan or India, as we did a couple weeks ago, or in Pakistan or in Burma, as we're doing in the weeks ahead, Jay, if we're not there, those arguments are not heard.

They are absent. These are some of the most hostile. If you want to call them diplomatic chambers, I think that's overly generous. But if you want to call them diplomatic chambers, these are hostile diplomatic chambers and these are arguments that are not heard. So, Jay, there are times when it gets discouraging, there are times where you lose battles, but that message has to be pressed in those chambers. And we at the European Center for Law and Justice, Jay, we're going to take that message to every corner of the globe and in every diplomatic chamber that we can. We're taking your calls and comments to it, 1-800-684-3110, but I want to go over to Colonel Wes Smith for a moment here and talk about the impact on all of this on our military.

Yeah, and let me also emphasize what Tham was just saying. We have to engage and we have to stay engaged. The U.S. takes a stand not only for our own interests, but for freedom and justice and the rule of law for other nations that look to us to take this kind of a stand.

Globalism is a threat and it's specifically illustrated at times in the Human Rights Council, in the ICC, in the Refugee Commission at the United Nations and so forth. Back to the military issue, though, you know, we have illustrated for decades that we hold our own people accountable. You look at our civilian courts that prosecute soldiers who do things that are wrong, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which spells this out. We have our military courts, even when we're dealing with our military, quote unquote, enemies. Look at Guantanamo Bay and the very, very, very measured, intricate, complicated way we even try to make sure that our enemies have justice and counsel and all of those kinds of things. Military counsel. JAG officers.

Yeah, exactly. And private lawyers. We hold our own people accountable, but we also stand up for justice and the rule of law even for our enemies. We've illustrated for decades our ability and our willingness to hold our military people accountable, which is why the ICC, we should never surrender jurisdiction to that court. So we got a great question that came in, a comment from Kathy on Facebook.

I want to give this to Andy. The United States is more than capable of taking care of crimes within our own judicial system, but I'm afraid of the weakness of the Biden administration on this that will give the ICC leverage against us. Kathy sounds like a lawyer, a good lawyer, a good conservative American lawyer, because we are more than capable of taking care of crimes. As we said, we have various systems, we have statutes, we have laws, we have a judiciary, we can take care of our military, and we are not amenable and shouldn't be to international sovereignty over the United States. And it is a fear, a great apprehension I have considering what Rick Grenell has called this rush to consensus, this rush to bringing everybody together internationally as to what the Biden administration is going to attempt to do as far as the ICC and the Rome Statute. I don't think they're going to be successful in it, but I think that they are always going to try to opt to give away American sovereignty, yield American sovereignty to international tribunals like the ICC.

Big mistake. Go there, participate as we did, fight them, but never accede to their jurisdiction. No, I'm going to take you back into the International Criminal Court. Talking about jurisdiction, I actually argued that.

Take a listen. The European Center for Law and Justice. You have 10 minutes.

Please proceed. Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honors, and may it please the Chamber. As early as 2002, the United States Congress passed explicit legislation with wide bipartisan support, the American Servicemembers Protection Act, codifying into law that it will not participate under Section 7423B of the Act. I will quote, no United States court and no agency or entity of state or local government, including any court, may cooperate with the International Criminal Court in response to a request for cooperation submitted by the International Criminal Court pursuant to the Rome Statute.

There is no room to speculate that this will suddenly change. This court's jurisdiction is based on the delegation of authority by state parties. However, there is no customary norm whereby states can delegate their criminal jurisdiction over foreign nationals to a third party.

In fact, the customary norm is just the opposite. A state cannot delegate that jurisdiction to another state without the consent of the accused states of nationality. A state also cannot delegate its criminal jurisdiction over foreign nationals to a tribunal whose jurisdiction has been rejected by the accused person's state of nationality. It is not in the interest of justice to ignore customary international norms. It is not in the interest of justice to override explicit agreements between sovereign states. And it is not in the interest of justice to waste the court's resources while ignoring the reality of principled non-cooperation. The very last thing I said was to utilize the court's limited resources.

And what did the prosecutor today say, Andy? That we are going to deprioritize the United States because there are frameworks of complementarity. In other words, there's an American system that can handle these things. We don't need to do it. The Americans have the ability to do it and have done it forever and ever. So we're not going to inject ourselves into the American system.

This is the concern that I have that Biden is not going to heed those words and instead is going to try to accede to the ICC and to these foreign tribunals. We should oppose those things, Jay. Well, you know, we did aggressively, Than. And I think that when you see the fruit of this, and look, this one took a couple of turns to get to the right conclusion, but it got there.

Yeah, there's more than one way to win sometimes, Jay, and you take a win however you can get it. And if for now the United States military members are protected from jurisdiction at the ICC, Jay, we will take that every day of the week. And I would just say one other note on the political component of this. We've referenced the Biden administration and their posture towards this several times. But Jay, if you think back to 2000, when Bill Clinton signed it initially, but did not submit it to the United States Senate for ratification, many suspect it was simply because the votes weren't there. Well, Jay, I suspect the votes aren't there in the United States Senate right now either. And maybe that's why the Biden administration posture continues to be not submitting it. But Jay, how do we keep the United States Senate posture as opposed to signing their own statute? We make sure they know that there would be a political price to pay if they were to do so.

So that's where that dynamic fits in. We would put our men and women in harm's way to an international tribunal. But let me tell you where I'm, and this is interesting, John, YouTube says our system is built on the importance that all receive due process, even bad players.

And that's exactly right. And we watched some of these proceedings, these trials at the ICC. I will tell you, it's not due process.

I will tell you this also though, which Andy pointed out, and I'm going to say it again. When the new prosecutor comes in and said he's going to promote accountability efforts within the framework of the principle of complementarity, that is precisely what I argued to that chamber, that the US had its system in place. And it's the best system in the world on accountability. And this prosecutor got it. So that's why you fight. That's why you continue to fight.

And that's why even when the first decision goes against you, you don't stop. We filed subsequent briefs on all of this. And the end result is we won. The American people won.

The nations won. But let's keep them accountable. Your support of the ACLJ keeps all of this happening. I encourage you to go to ACLJ.org. Coming up the last segment, we'll take calls and comments. 1-800-684-3110.

That's 800-684-3110. Support the work of the ACLJ at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases. How we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists. The ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later.

Play on Parenthood's role in the abortion industry. And what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. The challenges facing Americans are substantial. At a time when our values, our freedoms, our constitutional rights are under attack, it's more important than ever to stand with the American Center for Law and Justice. For decades now, the ACLJ has been on the front lines protecting your freedoms, defending your rights in courts, in Congress, and in the public arena. And we have an exceptional track record of success.

But here's the bottom line. We could not do our work without your support. We remain committed to protecting your religious and constitutional freedoms.

That remains our top priority, especially now during these challenging times. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life-changing work. Become a member today. ACLJ.org. Hey, welcome back to the broadcast, everyone.

If you're just joining us late in the broadcast, we've got some really good news. And that is the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which we went to in December of 2019 to argue that the United States military was not subject to ICC jurisdiction because of the principle of what's called complementarity. And that is if there was some kind of wrongdoing by our military, we have our own internal systems of military justice, as West Smith, Colonel Smith, had pointed out. And initially, the trial chamber ruled against that position. Yet a new prosecutor comes in and says, nope, we're not going to investigate the United States because they have complementarity.

They have a complementarity system, which is precisely what we argued. And I say this because it takes perseverance to win this. But West Smith, Colonel Smith brought up a very troubling aspect of what's going on with the Biden administration and all of this right now with these international tribunals. And this is of serious, serious concern. Now, take a listen to this, Wes.

Yeah, I mean, we were commenting during the break. It was just two months ago in July that the Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, invited the United Nations Human Rights Council to look into the issue of systemic racism in America. He actually invited them to do that. The Human Rights Council, of course, it has Cuba and China, all these great Venezuela on the council itself. But this is why, because of that slant that lefts in our political system have, including in the Biden administration, we have to be on guard against globalism and against surrendering our own sovereignty to an international body. But think about that.

And that issue has not gone away. That invitation, I understand, is still open that somehow or another the Human Rights Council will look into systemic racism in the United States. Why in the world, Andy, would you invite the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to investigate the United States of America? I mean, the Department of Justice can't do that.

The FBI can't do that. We have to have the Human Rights Council, the UN, so that Cuba and Venezuela and the countries that are sitting on this panel can tell us how bad we are? This is the Biden effort at globalism, Jay. This is the Biden effort of international governing bodies and agencies taking over supervision of the United States government.

We can't do it ourselves. We've got to reach out and have the UN Human Rights Council, which as Wes pointed out, and you said, Cuba, China, Venezuela telling us about systemic racism allegedly existing in the United States and inviting them. This is the Secretary of State inviting these foreign countries, which are the biggest violators of human rights, to come in and tell us about our alleged systemic racism.

Harry, I think about this, and that's why we've got to stand up and fight, folks. What in the world was the Secretary of State thinking when he did this? Well, I think Anthony Blinken, like many globalists, has learned to deeply hate the United States. And so the whole notion that the United States is systemically racist is grounded in the view that many and perhaps most individuals in the United States are not racist themselves, but the entire system is racist and therefore calls forth a restructuring, a reframing. And so at the end of the day, many of the people in the State Department, many of the people in the Biden administration, what do they truly want?

They want to void the United States Constitution and to reconfigure the country. That is why, at least in part, why our borders are being swapped by illegal immigrants. That is why the United States refuses to apply the same procedures to immigrants that we are now beginning to apply to American citizens. In order to enter the United States from France, if you take a flight, you have to have a vaccination. You may need to have a successful COVID test, but if you walk across our southern border, you are then dispersed throughout the United States. You are given potentially a path towards citizenship and a path towards voting in the next election.

Why? Because as Joe Biden in 2015 said, we want to change the cultural composition of the United States. All right, so Michael on YouTube says the U.S. should remain free and independent of international governing bodies or agencies, which is I agree with. But then that does not mean we can ignore those governing bodies and agencies.

Well, that's why we go there, Jay. I mean, look, the United States has to defend its sovereignty and should, although I got to tell you, I think there is a drive towards international consensus over sovereignty. But either way, Jay, even under the last administration, when the position was the proper one that we are not going to yield our sovereignty to these entities, Jay, we still showed up. We still showed up and pressed the case for those who were persecuted. We also pressed the case for the United States defending our sovereignty.

I would say two quick things as we come to the end here, Jay. First of all, and we've mentioned this before, but we've got to reiterate it. The United States has a long history of holding wrongdoers responsible ourselves. There's no need for these additional bodies who would just be yielding our sovereignty. The second thing that's really important here, Jay, the ICC and these other bodies, yes, they want jurisdiction over the United States. They also want jurisdiction over Israel.

And it's important for the United States to defend our sovereignty and be there for Israel when they come after Israel's sovereignty as well. You know, I want to have Andy explain this to people because I think this is important. That presentation before the International Criminal Court or that hearing trial before the ICC, it's hard for you to understand how many lawyer hours went into doing this.

But even to the night before the hearing, opening day. Yes, we sat together in a room and I'm looking at the room and I can visualize it. And we had about eight or nine lawyers there at the Amsterdam Hilton. I can visualize the room and I can visualize honing every single word that Jay presented the next day.

Even to the point of saying we split an infinitive, don't do that because it's not the appropriate thing to do. From David Benjamin, whose mother was an English teacher in South Africa. So he knew better English than I, who I'm a historian and a grammarian, knew.

But we honed it very carefully. So let me just say this, it is a tribunal that we do not recognize in the United States. Of course, it's jurisdiction. But we attend to it because, and they did, Jay, show us a great deal of respect and deference, didn't they? They did. Even though we disagreed with them, even though we believe they did not have jurisdiction, they showed us great respect and great deference and they treated us very nicely. And we can disagree without being disagreeable, and that's what we did before the ICC.

What happens? We didn't win on March 5, 2020, but we have won today in September of 2021. That's called perseverance. Catherine on YouTube writes, thank you, I'm so proud to be a member of the ACLJ ECLJ. I want to say to Catherine and to so many of you, thank you. Because without your support, none of this happens. And we wake up every morning and say how much we appreciate you all supporting the work of the ACLJ in incredible numbers.

I mean, we've had a phenomenal year so far because of your generosity. We're able to expand our efforts. I want to expand our efforts in other areas.

I want permanent facilities overseas. I mean, like we have in the United States. I mean, we've got big goals and dreams of what we can do. But your support for the ACLJ has made all of this possible. And so while a lot of people on our social media platforms are thanking us, I want to turn that around.

Thank you. And I know that goes for everybody that you see right now on this broadcast. And I tell you, it goes for everybody behind the glass that puts this broadcast together. It goes for all of our people in our social media teams, in our video teams, in our photography teams, our writers, our lawyers.

Pam Bennett's office in Washington, D.C. in government affairs, lawyers in our office in Strasbourg, France and in Jerusalem and around the globe. Your support makes all that possible. So I want to end this broadcast with glad we won this case and to say thank you. Thank you for your support of the ACLJ.

We'll talk to you tomorrow. For decades now, the ACLJ has been on the front lines protecting your freedoms, defending your rights in courts, in Congress and in the public arena. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org where you can learn more about our life changing work. Become a member today. ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-19 06:30:11 / 2023-08-19 06:53:29 / 23

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