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Biden Spokesman Ned Price Defends Hypocrisy On War Crime Investigations Because The US Can Investigate Itself

(Screenshot/State Department)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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State Department spokesman Ned Price defended America’s hypocrisy regarding the International Criminal Court during a press briefing Thursday.

Price responded to a question from the Associated Press’ Matt Lee about recent comments by various U.S government officials and entities accusing Russia of committing war crimes during its invasion of Ukraine. Price said the Biden administration welcomes the investigation of Russia by the International Criminal Court (ICC), despite the fact that none of the United States, Russia or Ukraine are official parties to the ICC.

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Lee pointed out that under the administration of former President Donald Trump, the United States sanctioned some ICC staff over attempts to investigate alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, and that the U.S. has repeatedly warned the ICC not to investigate Israel. He also raised that in order for the ICC to investigate a non-party state, it would require a vote to do so by the United Nations (UN) Security Council, a vote Russia would certainly veto.

“Where exactly do you think that justice is gonna come from here?” Lee asked.

“The concerns we have over the ICC as a certain of jurisdiction, in certain circumstances, those remain,” Price began to answer. “Those have not gone away.”

“So those concerns relate only when the U.S. is being, you have those concerns only if the U.S. is being investigated? Or Israel?” Lee fired back.

“The United States, as we’ve spoken to, has the capability, has the wherewithal, to conduct independent, thorough investigations,” Price said. “So our concerns over the ICC’s assertion of jurisdiction in some areas, those do remain.” (RELATED: Russia Admits To Using Thermobaric Bombs In Ukraine, Sucking Oxygen From Air, UK Says)

The United States signed onto the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, under former President Bill Clinton in 2000. However, Clinton never sent the treaty to the U.S. Senate for ratification, and advised against his successor President George W. Bush doing so. The ICC and the U.S. government have historically had disputes over alleged U.S. war crimes in the middle east across multiple presidential administrations.

Various foreign leaders, government agencies and human rights groups have suggested or outright accused Russia of committing war crimes during its invasion of Ukraine. Russian forces have killed unknown sums of civilians, and have committed acts including the bombing of a children’s hospital this week.