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Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:19 AM

EXCLUSIVE: FBI's War Crimes Unit and the International Human Rights Unit on the Chopping Block



EXCLUSIVE: FBI’s War Crimes Unit on the Chopping Block


https://www.justsecurity.org/62548/exclusive-fbis-war-crimes-unit-chopping-block/

A special unit within the Federal Bureau of Investigation that handles war crimes may be shut down imminently, according to officials familiar with the administration’s decision-making process. The FBI’s International Human Rights Unit takes the lead on investigating individuals within the United States who have been accused of committing international crimes, including war crimes, torture, genocide, female genital mutilation, and the recruitment of child soldiers. It also investigates international crimes committed against or by U.S. citizens abroad and enforces immigration statutes that can be invoked against abusers who cannot be prosecuted for their underlying crimes for whatever reason. The rationale for suddenly scaling back the United States’ commitment to investigating and prosecuting war criminals is unclear. President Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy recognizes the importance of the United States taking the lead on this imperative policy objective


-snip-

Together, these entities work to prevent the United States from becoming a safe haven for individuals who commit serious human rights abuses. In addition to focusing on perpetrators who make their way here, the FBI component also investigates situations in which Americans are either the victims or the perpetrators of atrocities overseas. In so doing, it leverages the FBI’s intelligence capabilities, vast network of field agents and analysts, and contacts within diaspora communities. It has also cultivated international partnerships with foreign law enforcement entities (such as Interpol), nongovernmental organizations, and others to research and build cases. Once developed, these dossiers can be handed off to domestic FBI field offices and the Justice Department for indictment and prosecution. The reality is that the Justice Department cannot succeed in its prosecutorial work without skilled and dedicated investigators to identify perpetrators, witnesses, and evidence within their fields of operation around the country.

The timing of this potential closure is surprising. This team of specialized units, working in conjunction with FBI field offices and state prosecutors, recently won a significant victory with the conviction of “Jungle Jabbah,” a ruthless warlord who committed atrocities—including cannibalism—in Liberia and was later found living comfortably in Pennsylvania. (See Just Security’s prior coverage here and here). Numerous other perpetrators of atrocities from Guatemala and the former Yugoslavia have also been successfully prosecuted based upon this Unit’s investigations. What’s more, attesting to his support for this work, President Trump finally succeeded in deporting Jakiw Palij, who is believed to be the last Nazi living in the United States—a diplomatic feat that Presidents Obama and Bush were not able to accomplish.

-snip-

If the FBI’s International Human Rights Unit is disbanded, its portfolio (but not the majority of the staff) will apparently shift to other Civil Rights Unit staff. The Civil Rights Unit is already fully engaged in their day jobs, pursuing violations of the federal civil rights statutes, particularly on behalf of vulnerable members of American communities. Saddling it with this additional responsibility threatens to jeopardize its core civil rights mission and deemphasize new war crimes cases. In addition, removing expertise from within the Bureau will undermine operations in the field when it comes to these most specialized of cases. Individual FBI field agents, however talented, rarely confront international cases in which crime scenes, physical evidence, and potential witnesses may all be overseas. Experts within the FBI’s International Human Rights Unit work up the cases and then, after handing them off, continue to provide support to investigators and prosecutors in the field, helping to link them with foreign counterparts, enable witness interviews, and connect to additional lead and background sources. New investigations will inevitably suffer absent this dedicated team of war crimes investigators.


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Reply EXCLUSIVE: FBI's War Crimes Unit and the International Human Rights Unit on the Chopping Block (Original post)
KelleyKramer Monday OP
Tanuki Monday #1
LiberalLovinLug Monday #2
Volaris Monday #3
watoos Monday #5
TheBlackAdder Monday #4
sinkingfeeling Monday #6
democrank Monday #7

Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:38 AM

1. Seems consistent with John Bolton's hostility toward the International Criminal Court

and thus administration's unwillingness to be held accountable for anything it might perpetrate.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/10/john-bolton-castigate-icc-washington-speech

"John Bolton, the hawkish US national security adviser, has threatened the international criminal court (ICC) with sanctions and made an excoriating attack on the institution in a speech in Washington.

Bolton pushed for sanctions over an ICC investigation into alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan. He also announced on Monday the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington because of its calls for an ICC inquiry into Israel.

“The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court,” Bolton said.
.........

David Scheffer, who established the ICC on behalf of the US and served as the country’s ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, said: “The Bolton speech today isolates the United States from international criminal justice and severely undermines our leadership in bringing perpetrators of atrocity crimes to justice elsewhere in the world.

“The double standard set forth in his speech will likely play well with authoritarian regimes, which will resist accountability for atrocity crimes and ignore international efforts to advance the rule of law. This was a speech soaked in fear and Bolton sounded the message, once again, that the United States is intimidated by international law and multilateral organizations. I saw not strength but weakness conveyed today by the Trump Administration.”

(More at link)

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Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:50 AM

2. this is just appalling and will get swept under the carpet.

Just another day. Next news cycle please!

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Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:04 AM

3. The worthless thugs of the world have to have somewhere to live out their days...

Where better then renting apartments at Trump tower, with all the money they've stolen from their own people...wouldn't want the deep state FBI monkeying around with those rent payments.

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Response to Volaris (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:28 AM

5. Our new Democratic president,

is going to have a lot of repair work to do.

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Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:27 AM

4. Trump's getting ready to start a conflict.

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Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:55 AM

6. Wouldn't want investigations into the Orange Pig's friends and idols! I'm

so outraged by this mis-administration's damage to our country!

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Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 08:27 AM

7. By the time Trump leaves office

he will have destroyed every last shred of who we are.

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