Finally: ICC issues arrest warrant for Gaddafi

posted at 12:15 pm on May 16, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

For the past several weeks, NATO has dropped bombs on his head and his own people have risen up in revolt against his dictatorship — but now Moammar Gaddafi really has a problem.  The Washington Post reports that the International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and Gaddafi’s spymaster Abdullah Senussi for “crimes against humanity”:

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court requested arrest warrants Monday for Moammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, saying all three had committed crimes against humanity in the killings of Libyan protesters over the past three months.

The request, accompanied by a 74-page dossier detailing the alleged crimes, was bolstered by information from “high-level officials in Gaddafi’s regime” who contacted The Hague in the past week, prosecutors said.

“The evidence shows that Moammar Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians,” chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said. “We have such strong evidence, direct evidence of their involvement in the crimes,” he said of Gaddafi, his son and the intelligence chief. He called Senussi an “executioner.”

This demonstrates the absurdity of the Western approach to conflict.  First, the NATO forces that have been attacking Gaddafi have been doing so by bombing civilian areas of Tripoli, as well as the front lines of Gaddafi’s armies in Misrata and Ajdabiya.  Will the ICC charge NATO commanders, too?  I’m not sticking up for Gaddafi on this point, but demonstrating the hypocrisy of the “arrest warrant” approach to warfare.  NATO’s mission was to protect civilian populations from Gaddafi attacks, but Tripoli wasn’t getting attacked at all at that time, except by NATO. NATO has acted to decapitate Gaddafi’s regime, a perfectly legitimate strategy for war, but NATO claims it’s not at war with Gaddafi but an independent guardian against potential genocidal attacks from both sides.

However illegitimate Gaddafi’s rule might have been in the moral sense, the governments of the world recognized it as the legitimate government of Libya when rebels took up arms against Gaddafi and based themselves in cities like Misrata.  Legitimate governments have the right to defend themselves from rebellions.  If Gaddafi wasn’t the legitimate leader of Libya, why did the world recognize him as such until after the rebellion started?  One word: oil.

Next, the ICC “arrest warrant” requires the use of force somewhere to properly execute it.  Even traveling outside of Libya wouldn’t mean an arrest for Gaddafi or his goons.  As the Post points out, Sudan’s Omar Bashir has an outstanding ICC warrant, but Bashir travels freely in the region even to ICC signatory nations and has never been detained.  If the West wanted to “arrest” Gaddafi in Libya, then they should have staged an invasion in force to topple him in Tripoli. They’re not going to do that now just because the ICC issued its arrest warrant.

In fact, the warrant might make it more difficult to oust Gaddafi in a negotiated settlement.  Despite Bashir’s experience, Gaddafi might face arrest if he accepted exile to a nation that later became less friendly to a former murderous tyrant.  Gaddafi hasn’t shown any signs of leaning towards exile in wealth and comfort, but this won’t help move the conflict in that direction. And if he survives the rebellion, the oil that made him indispensable to Europe will keep him from having to ever worry about the ICC.

If Gaddafi is a criminal — and there’s really no doubt on that score — then the proper venue for adjudication is in Libya itself.  If the West wants Gaddafi out of power, they’re going to have to do better than an arrest warrant.


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Comments

Oh shoot. I bet this really terrifies him.

Southernblogger on May 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Did they skip the sternly worded letter?

cthulhu on May 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Ooooo!! And who are the cops that will get this guy?

ajacksonian on May 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM

How about an arrest warrant for Barack Obama?

HalJordan on May 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM

ajacksonian on May 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Marshal Obama will go kick in his door and take him into custody.

Southernblogger on May 16, 2011 at 12:20 PM

If the West wants Gaddafi out of power, they’re going to have to do better than an arrest warrant.

well, Obama did say that Gaddafi “must go” and further qualified it with the word “now.”

doing better.

ted c on May 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Maybe he will die laughing. Give it a chance.

Christien on May 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM

“…they’re going to have to do better than an arrest warrant.”

I am sure that a STRONGLY worded letter of intent to formulate a potential committee to explore possible sanctions at a yet-to-be-determined date will follow in a year or so.

heldmyw on May 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

This is stupid. The ICC doesn’t have any authority to arrest Gaddafi. That’s like the ICC trying to arrest George W. Bush for any perceived war crimes.

taney71 on May 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Lotsa luck serving the warrant!

pilamaye on May 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

“You’ll nevah take me alive, coppahs!”

Akzed on May 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Obama is doing so poorly on so many fronts that the only two cats that he’s gotten to bounce in the last year were the two times he used Navy SEALs to open some Muslims head. First, them somali pirates, then UBL. Maybe he’s looking for the frogmen to see if they can drill a hole into Qaddafi?

ted c on May 16, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Does this mean gaddafi has been kicked off the un human rights committee also?
L

letget on May 16, 2011 at 12:24 PM

do you hear that???

it’s the sound of Saddam Hussein and Milosevic laughing from hell…..

ted c on May 16, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Moammar Gaddafi to the ICC:

“You cross dis line, I keeel you.”

Roy Rogers on May 16, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Good, once they arrest him, they can send him to multiculturalism counseling.

petefrt on May 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM

With War Powers authority expiring, Barry must request Congress to authorize the Bolton doctrine.

First, we must reverse course now and declare regime change to be our objective… Second, because Libya’s opposition leadership is still inchoate at best, we must identify anti-Gadhafi figures who are pro-Western and find ways, overt or covert, to strengthen their hands.”

Kaddafi has publicly VOWED to resume targeting civilian airliners.

Does any serious person doubt the sincerity of Kaddafi’s vow? Do you honestly imagine he’s NOT going to try to “settle scores“? Are you willing to put innocent Americans’ lives at risk on some conceit that Kaddafi isn’t as evil as al-Qaedist like al-Awlaki?

Wake up, hand-wringers. The clock is now ticking, again.

If Americans learned anything from 9/11, it’s that we can’t afford to wait for terrorists to follow through on their threats.

America now has a duty to bring Kaddafi to justice; or justice to Kaddafi.

I don’t much care whether Kaddafi meets a Predator drone or Mussolini’s fate on a meat-hook. But Kaddafi (personally) must answer for his actions.

Mark these words: Anything short of a Kaddafi dirt-nap will be a grave mistake.

Terp Mole on May 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Even Dog The Bounty Hunter wouldn’t touch serving this warrant!

pilamaye on May 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Don’t need that….just send the Indiana State Police.

They don’t need a warrant.

BobMbx on May 16, 2011 at 12:35 PM

If the West wants Gaddafi out of power, they’re going to have to do better than an arrest warrant.

“Do better”= “days, not weeks”????

ted c on May 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Don’t need that….just send the Indiana State Police.

They don’t need a warrant.

BobMbx on May 16, 2011 at 12:35 PM

November Sierra!

Roy Rogers on May 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM

The Fashion Police have a better chance of nabbing him.

Christien on May 16, 2011 at 12:37 PM

The evidence shows that Moammar Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians,”

wait…didn’t our guy just do that in Pakistan?

BobMbx on May 16, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Don’t need that….just send the Indiana State Police.

They don’t need a warrant.

BobMbx on May 16, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Thread-winner… +100

HomeoftheBrave on May 16, 2011 at 12:39 PM

If they issued a warrant for every mope as bad or worse than Qaddafi, entire forests would need to be cut down.

Including the so-called rebels: did we forget that it’s being lead by al queda terrorists, or the videos of prisoners being tortured and murdered?

Rebar on May 16, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Too bad he doesn’t didn’t have a 4th Amendment to protect him as we do did.

KMC1 on May 16, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Liberals will eat this sh*t up for breakfast and congratulate themselves all day long over it.

Wanderlust on May 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Liberals will eat this sh*t up for breakfast and congratulate themselves all day long over it.

Wanderlust on May 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM

this

cmsinaz on May 16, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Rule of Law=international lip service

action not necessary

ted c on May 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM

TRUMP IS A NO-GO REPEAT TRUMP WON’T RUN FOR PRESIDENT PER STATEMENT FROM TRUMP —>PALIN, MAKE UP YOUR MIND I AM READY! :D

ProudPalinFan on May 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM

We interrupt this thread with a Fox News Alert: Trump is out!

cartooner on May 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I vote we send in Sherriff Joe Biden to serve the warrant!

pilamaye on May 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Ruh roh

cya trumpie

cmsinaz on May 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM

we need someone with the cajones to go up against dear leader and the lsm…

who do we have?????

cmsinaz on May 16, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Trump is out!

cartooner on May 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM

So 0bama released his birth certificate for nothing?

Delicious.

Rebar on May 16, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Wow, K-Daffy is going to be shaking in his boots now! He’ll be shaking in his boots, because he’s laughing so hard that globs of green snot are coming out of his nose! This is getting really pathetic, what a bunch of freaking clowns!

bigmike on May 16, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Anyone that is a conservative and supports the Constitution does not recognize the ICC, no matter who they go after. It is a one world government organization and has no basis in law or providence

georgealbert on May 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Don’t need that….just send the Indiana State Police.

They don’t need a warrant.

BobMbx on May 16, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Heh.

But maybe Plugs was hinting at this when he said it’s time for the SEALs to go back to work.

davidk on May 16, 2011 at 1:01 PM

“KDaffyDuck EKIA.”

davidk on May 16, 2011 at 1:02 PM

I am on Twitter and it’s going boinkers. Open a column on Deck with trump as a search. I tweeted Allah to pls open a thread with 600+ comments guaranteed.

Grizzly mama bears roaring right now. ;)

ProudPalinFan on May 16, 2011 at 1:02 PM

However illegitimate Gaddafi’s rule might have been in the moral sense, the governments of the world recognized it as the legitimate government of Libya when rebels took up arms against Gaddafi and based themselves in cities like Misrata. Legitimate governments have the right to defend themselves from rebellions. If Gaddafi wasn’t the legitimate leader of Libya, why did the world recognize him as such until after the rebellion started? One word: oil.

Exactly. That’s the thing in all this…every other country on the planet would defend itself against rebellion, too, so why the hell involve ourselves when the Libyans do it? Especially when Qaddafi was being called a friend by the likes of John McCain just a couple years ago.

changer1701 on May 16, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Anything short of a Kaddafi dirt-nap will be a grave mistake. Terp Mole on May 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Punintended?

Akzed on May 16, 2011 at 1:04 PM

This is dangerous for Gaddafi. He might die from laughter.

rbj on May 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM

“I’m not sticking up for Gaddafi on this point, but demonstrating the hypocrisy of the “arrest warrant” approach to warfare.”

This is the Left’s wet dream…

… There is nothing like tortious interference to generate never ending billable hours while the beauty of warfare is left free to destroy, rape, and brutalize the innocent.

Good intentions are filed with the clerk before the statement to the media…

… then it’s off to the ruling elite’s cocktail party, where if you weren’t invited, you’re not part of the club.

Seven Percent Solution on May 16, 2011 at 1:08 PM

If I read Rumsfeld’s book correctly, isn’t this the same organization that issued warrants for U.S. military personnel who participated in the “unwarranted invasion” of Iraq and Afghanistan? Rummy goes into great lengths about these Global Kangaroo Courts.

VastRightWingConspirator on May 16, 2011 at 1:08 PM

International Criminal Court

Who?

moonsbreath on May 16, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Maybe [Obama's] looking for the frogmen to see if they can drill a hole into Qaddafi?

If he did something like that he’d have to explain why the ICC is a valid authority for an act of assassination when Congress has rejected recognition of the ICC as having jurisdiction over the US.

That’s not to say that he isn’t stupid enough to do exactly that.

Socratease on May 16, 2011 at 1:30 PM

What might really scare him: Obama saying, “Remember what happened to bin Laden? It was done without congressional or international approval. Just saying.”

shick on May 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Bomb first – issue arrest warrant later.

Bush is such a warmonger.

cane_loader on May 16, 2011 at 1:42 PM

So WHO is going to execute the “warrant”?

Please don’t tell me, fresh off his latest conquest, Barry might be thinking about sending in a Seal Team.

No one can be that stupid. Can they?

GarandFan on May 16, 2011 at 2:17 PM

ICC: Or else we will be very angry with you… and we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are.
Gaddafi Jong Il: OK, ICC. I’ll show you. Stand to your reft.

Roy Rogers on May 16, 2011 at 2:19 PM

“How many divisions hath the ICC”, to borrow a phrase?

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 16, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Marshal Obama will go kick in his door and take him into custody.

Southernblogger on May 16, 2011 at 12:20 PM

But… but… Sheriff JOE!!!

No-go slow-Joe mojo?

ajacksonian on May 16, 2011 at 2:28 PM

What a crock. After 40 years, now the ICC wants him behind bars. What have they been waiting for? The U.S. needs to officially announce that we will not abide these ridiculous international tribunals. We can ‘play’ at the U.N., but why not at least kick it out of the U.S. or just not belong at all. It has become a complete absurdity, as is the ICC.

JimP on May 16, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Actually, this is really a problem. If we participate in this in any way, we’re acquiescing to the legitimacy of the ICC.

And allowing the ICC to be legitimate is a very bad idea for sovereignty.

CrazyGene on May 16, 2011 at 3:17 PM

And allowing the ICC to be legitimate is a very bad idea for sovereignty.

CrazyGene on May 16, 2011 at 3:17 PM

DingDingDingDingDing! We have a WINNER, folks!

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 16, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Lotsa luck serving the warrant!

pilamaye on May 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

No worries–we’ll send in Jesse Jackson.

Steve Z on May 16, 2011 at 4:05 PM

The Hague; what a freakin’ joke. I fart in your general direction, sissies.

Big John on May 16, 2011 at 4:37 PM

See… if he reeeeaaaaaaaallly wanted to be helpful… he’d surrender dircectly to obama during a presser. That way Barry could take full credit…/lol
-

RalphyBoy on May 16, 2011 at 7:22 PM