Oliver North
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DULLES, Va. -- On Dec. 3, 1969, Bill Clinton wrote to Col. Eugene Holmes, director of the University of Arkansas ROTC program. In that infamous letter, Clinton stated that he "loathed" the military. On Dec. 31, 2000, 31 years later -- almost to the day -- Bill Clinton, as commander in chief, proved how much he still loathes America's military by subjecting them to the "justice" of a rogue international court. On New Year's Eve, just days before boarding Air Force One for the last time with a load of stolen ashtrays and White House towels, Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC), another unaccountable United Nations bureaucracy that became reality this week. The ICC claims jurisdiction over cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and "the crime of aggression," which the U.N. has never defined. Although a permanent international court has been the globalists' dream since the end of World War II, it wasn't until widespread violence broke out in places like the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda in the 1990s that Kofi Annan and his cohorts went to work. In July 1998, the U.N. convened the "United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court" in Rome to form a permanent international tribunal to try individuals for "the most serious offenses of global concern." Once in motion, their court would claim jurisdiction over every person in the world and grant the ICC prosecutor extraordinary powers and ICC officials lifetime immunity. For those who say that the court does not violate national sovereignty, let them look to Slovenia, which ratified the treaty on Dec. 31. Slovenia was forced to amend its constitution, change its penal code, alter its criminal procedure code and conform its law on police forces to adhere to the ICC before the U.N. would accept its ratification. Like many countries, Portugal was forced to adopt a constitutional amendment. And although Poland's criminal code already has provisions dealing with genocide, crimes against humanity, aggression and war crimes, it must conform them to ICC authority. Americans brought before the court will be denied protection against double jeopardy, as the ICC retains the right to review U.S. court decisions and retry individuals if the ICC determines decisions "were not conducted independently or impartially," or were for the purpose of "shielding the person concerned from criminal responsibility." How do ICC proponents square that with Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish"? On issues where it alleges jurisdiction, the ICC treaty will claim authority over the Supreme Court, subjugating its decisions to ICC review. The ICC treaty also lacks constitutional safeguards, like the right to confront one's accusers; due process; trial by jury; and a public and speedy trial by an impartial jury. American diplomats and government officials could be targets of ICC political prosecutions. But those most likely to wind up before this kangaroo court are our men and women in uniform. In addition to Afghanistan, American military personnel are fighting the war on terrorism in at least seven other countries, including Colombia, Yemen and Somalia. Meanwhile, cries for going to war against Iraq grow louder every day. Last week, members of Congress asked the president to send peacekeepers to the Middle East. In a press conference on Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was asked if any of the parties in the Middle East will be brought up on charges before the ICC. He responded that this is a "highly speculative area" and said, "It is a question for the future to answer." With such "reassurances" from the secretary-general, why would members of Congress subject American military personnel to such dangers? On Thursday, Ireland, Jordan, Mongolia, Slovakia and a handful of other countries ratified the treaty "simultaneously," giving the United Nations the 60 ratifications necessary to implement the ICC. The ratifications were made to Hans Corell, the U.N.'s undersecretary general for legal affairs, who said, "A page in the history of humankind is being turned." Corell's declaration received thunderous applause and a standing ovation. In Washington, the One World Caucus of the U.S. Congress chimed in with praise for the court and criticism for the administration. Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont called it an "important milestone" and admonished the Bush administration for "working to undermine the court." Sen. Chris Dodd said the administration's opposition to the ICC was "irresponsible and isolationist." Massachusetts Rep. William Delahunt apparently would like to see Americans brought before the ICC ,arguing that, "No American can be tried by the court unless the United States is a party." Israel, which has signed the treaty but not ratified it, should reconsider its support now that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon knows that Kofi Annan will not rule out prosecuting Israeli Defense Forces at the ICC for protecting their homeland from Yasser Arafat's terrorists. After all, Ariel Sharon does not "loathe" the men and women of the Israeli military.
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Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.