Then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Russia’s alleged use of cluster munitions a potential “war crime” in the early days of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Biden administration announced plans to primarily send M864 155-millimeter artillery shells, known as Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) and commonly called cluster munitions, which dispense smaller explosive weapons over an area to attack personnel and vehicles. Cluster munitions are controversial due to the risk posed by “dud” submunitions that could cause harm to civilians long after a conflict is over and were last manufactured in the 1990s, The Washington Post reported.
“There are reports of illegal cluster bombs and vacuum bombs being used by the Russians. If that’s true, what is the next step of this administration?” a reporter asked Psaki during the Feb. 28, 2022 press briefing. “And is there a red line for how much violence will be tolerated against civilians in this manner that’s illegal and potentially a war crime?” (RELATED: RFK Jr. Torches Biden For Handing ‘Horrific’ Cluster Munitions To Ukraine)
“It is — it would be. I don’t have any confirmation of that,” Psaki responded. “We have seen the reports. If that were true, it would potentially be a war crime.”
Over 100 countries have banned the usage of cluster munitions, including the U.K., France and Germany, CNN reported.
Fox News host Pete Hegseth, substituting for “Jesse Watters Primetime” host Jesse Watters, replayed the clip Friday evening for former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii while the two discussed the Biden administration’s decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions, reversing a previous policy of withholding the weapons.
“It was a war crime for Vladimir Putin, but it is okay for us to send it to the Ukrainians,” Hegseth said.
“This is exactly what I’m talking about, Pete. The hypocrisy of rules that apply to others, but not to them, making decisions based on their own selfish decisions for power, and their political decisions,” Gabbard said.
Both Hegseth and Gabbard have a history of military service, including deployments to Iraq.
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