Leadership: February 4, 2001

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Virtually the first order given by new Secretary of State Powell was for State Department Lawyers to look into ways to back the US out of the Clinton Administration commitment to the International Criminal Court. Conservatives and the military fear that this court could eventually charge US military personnel with the crime of not being perfect. For example, pilots might be charged with war crimes if precision-guided bombs go off course or dumb luck into civilian-filled targets (e.g., a passenger train crossing a key bridge at the moment of impact). Commanders could be charged with war crimes if they ordered "dumb" rather than "smart" weapons to be used.--Stephen V Cole

 


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