Shortly before Christmas, President Obama signed an executive order designating
Interpol as an International Police Force, above the law, above the Constitution, and immune from legal and constitutional restraints.
Interpol was started in 1923. It operates in 188 countries. President Reagan under Executive Order 12425 in 1983 gave Interpol the immunity accorded foreign diplomats, which is limited. President Obama’s Executive Order 13524 removes those limitations, giving Interpol complete immunity.
Executive Order 13524 is short. It was issued on December 16 without explanation. It is entitled “Amending Executive Order 12425 designating Interpol as a Public International Organization entitled to Enjoy Certain Privileges, Exemptions, and Immunities.” It provides that property and assets of Interpol shall be immune from prosecution, its officers shall be free of certain taxes and customs duties, and its archives shall be closed to requests by law enforcement agencies and under the Freedom of Information Act. It gives Interpol elevation above the Constitution.
“This international police force will be unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution and American law while it operates in the United States and affects both Americans and American interests outside the United States,” announced former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy in National Review Online. McCarthy is author of Willful Blindness. He prosecuted the blind sheik who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993.
The Obama Administration told the New York Times that the Executive Order is not “newsworthy,” which may account for why it has not been much discussed.
Interpol stands for International Criminal Police Organization. Its functions include seizure of property and assets. Assets could include human beings who could be arrested by Interpol officers. Just as the FBI provides enforcement for the Department of Justice, Interpol provides enforcement for the International Criminal Court. There is the danger of our armed forces in an unpopular war being arrested by Interpol and turned over to the International Criminal Court.
In that way, through Interpol, we could come under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, which President Bush explicitly rejected. Interpol works closely with foreign officials in Europe who are now investigating Bush administration officials for purported war crimes (i.e., their actions taken in defense of America).
Not only did President Bush reject the International Criminal Court, but he sought and secured agreement from other countries that they will not detain or turn over any members of our armed forces to the International Criminal Court.
To further minimize that risk, President Bush removed the name of the U.S. as a signatory to the U.N. law that set up the International Criminal Court.
President Obama has not yet taken a final position on the International Criminal Court, saying in 2008 that it is “premature to commit” to signing on the U.S. His former foreign policy assistant, Samantha Power, in an interview with The Irish Times in March, 2008, laid out the Obama roadmap: “Until we’ve closed Guantánamo, gotten out of Iraq responsibly, renounced torture and rendition, shown a different face for America, American membership of the ICC is going to make countries around the world think is a tool of American hegemony.” President Obama has praised the ICC for conducting its trials “in America’s interests.”
Andrew McCarthy asserts that Interpol can seize and confiscate property on the soil of the U.S. Ronald Noble, Secretary General of Interpol, disagrees. McCarthy commented in a recent radio interview that Interpol can do nearly anything: “Use your imagination.”
Ronald Noble says not to worry. That would never happen. Mr. Noble works in Lyon, France, but Interpol—the U.S. branch of it—works in the U.S. Department of Justice. Our justice officials work for it.
Sympathetic to Mr. Noble’s view is Senator Tom Coburn (R. Oklahoma). He told a recent Oklahoma town meeting, “We have not given up any sovereignty to Interpol. We use them. [But] I may be wrong to not be worried.”
Senator Coburn speaks of the present. Attorney McCarthy speaks of the future. They may both be right.
Could it be that Interpol is a precursor of the civilian national police force President Obama has stated and reiterated that he wants and that should be financed as well as the U.S. military?
By Natalie Sirkin