Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold NATO responsible for any violations of international law amid reports that Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi is a legitimate target in NATO’s ongoing operations.
“Just as the President has written himself a blank check to go to war in Libya without approval from Congress, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is using U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973 as a blank check to cover mission creep, which now includes a policy of outright assassination,” he said in a statement.
The White House has been under increasing pressuring from Congress to outline the goals in Libya. The House of Representatives last week passed a resolution by a 268 to 145 vote that rebuked Obama for failing to obtain congressional approval before intervening militarily in the country. Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have introduced a similar resolution that requires Obama to provide a detailed justification of U.S. operations in Libya.
In a letter (PDF) to the ICC, Kucinich said that targeting Gaddafi “clearly” exceeded the mandate of UNSCR 1973, which allowed NATO to intervene in Libya to protect civilians.
“Now that the conflict in Libya is dragging on, and support for the war continues to wane, NATO is getting desperate to break the stalemate they have entrenched,” Kucinich added. “The true intent of NATO was finally revealed when we learned that Gaddafi would be a military target.”
“The escalation of the conflict, the calls for regime change and now the unabashed targeting of Gaddafi comprise the mission creep that has come to be expected after a war is initially sold as quick, bloodless, and surgical. NATO’s recent announcement of a 90-day extension to the war in Libya and the deployment of Apache attack helicopters by the United Kingdom and France constitutes a further escalation of the NATO campaign. “