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NATO May Face War Crimes Probe For Libya

From the Associated Press, of all places:

AP Exclusive: NATO may face posible [sic] ICC probe

By MIKE CORDER and SLOBODAN LEKIC – Associated Press
November 11, 2011

BRUSSELS (AP) — Some NATO members are worried that their organization may be investigated by the International Criminal Court after its prosecutor said allegations of crimes committed by NATO in Libya would be examined "impartially and independently," according to diplomats accredited to NATO headquarters.

The diplomats said action to pre-empt a war crimes investigation would likely include an immediate internal legal review of all incidents in which NATO bombing or other actions caused civilian casualties.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The alliance has always maintained that its operations in Libya were carried out strictly in keeping with a U.N. Security Council resolution that authorized member states "to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack" in the North African country.

Which is clearly all they ever did. Killing Gadhafi and his supporters was just their way of protecting civilians.

NATO leaders have repeatedly hailed the precision with which the mission was carried out, citing the small number of civilian deaths caused by the bombing as evidence of its success.

If this had been a ‘kinetic action’ in the interests of the United States, we would heard endlessly about every single civilian death.

Still, in a briefing to the Security Council on Nov. 2, International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said "there are allegations of crimes committed by NATO forces (and) these allegations will be examined impartially and independently."

Moreno-Ocampo did not elaborate further on the accusations against NATO forces, or who was making them

NATO has said it was confident its actions were in compliance with international law and that the alliance is not worried by the possibility of a war crimes probe. "In the event we receive a request for information, NATO is prepared to assist in any way it can," said an official who could not be identified under standing rules.

Officials from the alliance say that between March and October NATO warplanes flew 26,000 sorties, including more than 9,600 strike missions, destroying more than 1,000 tanks, vehicles, and guns, as well as buildings claimed to have housed "command and control" centers

And not a single civilian was harmed. Unlike in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we apparently only target civilians, at least according to the news media.

Lest we forget, NATO originally claimed they (we) were just going in to enforce a ‘no fly zone’ to protect Libyan civilians from Gadhafi’s air force.

These included facilities such as Moammar Gadhafi’s heavily fortified compound in Tripoli, but also residential homes of his supporters — targets which could be considered outside the UN mandate.


NATO is already involved in a civil suit in Belgium that accuses the alliance of killing 13 civilians in the bombing of a residential compound near Libya’s capital, Tripoli. Attorneys for the plaintiffs say that, although NATO and other international organizations enjoy diplomatic immunity in criminal cases, they fall under Belgian jurisdiction in civil suits.

The immunity applies only to those holding diplomatic status.

You don’t get diplomatic immunity for bombings? Who knew?

The definition of war crimes, as described by international conventions on the laws of war, includes any destruction of civilian targets not justified by military necessity

Given that there was no military necessity to overthrow Gadhafi, that would seem to include all of the destruction caused by NATO in Libya.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, November 11th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “NATO May Face War Crimes Probe For Libya”

  1. Right of the People says:

    Maybe they’ll arrest Barry athe Bungler for his part in this clusterf**k.

    We can only hope.

    • canary says:

      Maybe they’ll arrest all the politicians who did nothing will be arrested. Perhaps some deal making. Or if Obama was impeached another Democrat would end up running. Maybe they are waiting if Obama wins to impeach him.

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