Via America’s Lawyer: Judges with the International Criminal Court, say there’s enough reason to believe US armed forces and the CIA committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Mike Papantonio is joined by Mollye Barrows to discuss.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Judges with the International Criminal Court, say there’s enough reason to believe US armed forces and the CIA committed war crimes in Afghanistan, but they declined to investigate the allegations. Legal journalist Mollye Barrows with the national Trial Lawyer Magazine has more. Tell me about this story.

Mollye Barrows:                Well, it’s interesting. Basically the International Criminal Court, a prosecutor was bringing some 20,000 pages of documentation showing that a number of groups, including the Afghan, the Taliban Afghan forces as well as US personnel, including the CIA, had committed a series of war crimes dating back to 2003. So they wanted permission from the ICC to investigate these and basically the ICC took a look at it and said, it’s not that we don’t think that there’s grounds to investigate, but we simply don’t see that this is going to produce any kind of successful result as far as an investigation.

We’re getting no cooperation from the U S or any other parties that you want to investigate. There’s still a war going on in Afghanistan. So due to the circumstances of this case, we’re not going to pursue an investigation. And of course you have human rights groups reacting saying we should be, this is sending the wrong message. It’s basically saying if you’re out of reach and uncooperative, then you can get away with committing atrocities. And a, and the United States of course is thrilled because they don’t feel like that they should be held accountable to the ICC. They never have.

Mike Papantonio:             Well that’s what, that’s why they are, they’re so down on Julian Assange. I mean Julian Assange right now is being victimized in the worst kind of way and the American journalism process thinks it’s wonderful. Yeah, let’s, let’s attack Julian Assange cause he’s, he’s one of the, he’s one of the vehicles that actually told some of these stories. And so, you know, it’s almost, it’s almost like saying, you know, Nierenberg really wasn’t all that important. We really couldn’t get any convictions. If you take a look at some of these crimes, they are horrendous.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             And, and so, so you have the, you have an international cabal that says, yeah, this is really bad. Genocide is really bad. We hate that we killed all these…

Mollye Barrows:                We sure hate it.

Mike Papantonio:             We hate it, but by golly, we can’t have a trial because France won’t participate. Italy won’t participate. The US won’t participate and they won’t give us enough information. So I’m just wondering is that worth police work in ends because you don’t get cooperation and what do you do?

Mollye Barrows:                Well, apparently so, and that’s exactly what some of these other foreign entities are saying. Is the United States essentially bullying or throwing its weight around so that they’re never held responsible? But according to the United States, they feel like that in the White House issued a statement on this in particular welcoming this decision and saying that, you know, we hold ourselves and our citizens to the highest ethical standards as well. But we certainly know that that is not the case. I mean, we are, it’s blurry why we’re still in Yemen. Which is the Saudi led, you know, conflict. So it, it, it, it, it, if we’re going to take this stance just saying we didn’t do it, doesn’t really come across like we’re being a good neighbor.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, let me, let me tell, let me, let me take you back in time. Let me take you when the UK and the US and France and we all, everybody understood that Henry Kissinger had was, was the little freak behind Cambodia. He was the little freak who assassinated, you know, had the assassination of Allende and the same thing flared up then. It was, shouldn’t we, shouldn’t we take a look at this? Shouldn’t we at least even if we’re not going to prosecute the little character, shouldn’t we take a look at it? And it all died and the only people that were right, I mean, the only people that really preserve that history are people like Howard Zinn and Chalmers Johnson because there was no hearing.

Mollye Barrows:                Right.

Mike Papantonio:             You see, you begin by putting, you might lose the conviction. Chances are you can’t make it happen, but you tell the story. And so that’s what that little freak Henry Kissinger got away with. You know, there’s no quick, no question. He had Allende murdered and replaced with Pinochet. They had all the information. If they would’ve just said, maybe we can’t convict him, but we’re going to put a trial on anyway. We’re going to show the, show the world what happened here.

Mollye Barrows:                Right and in this case, we did the exact opposite. Instead of saying we’re going to have some form of transparency to show that we’re at least going to be good neighbors and part of the process, the White House even stripped the US visa credentials basically of the prosecutor who was looking into this war crime.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s what I’m talking

Mollye Barrows:                That’s just retribution. You know, we’re bigger than you.

Mike Papantonio:             Don’t look into this. Don’t look into this. We’ve seen it with human trafficking and we think we’ve seen it with international drug trade. Don’t look into this and the prosecutors disappear. There’s not, don’t disappear, but they take them out of their job. They never have the hearing, and nobody ever hears the facts. This is just more of the same here Mollye.

Mollye Barrows:                You’re exactly right Pap.

Mike Papantonio:             Thanks for joining me. Okay.

Mollye Barrows:                Thanks.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.