Obama Administration tried to impede UN Investigation into Israeli War Crimes

Recently published cables (thanks Wikileaks) show the Obama Administrations efforts to block attempts to investigate possible Israeli War Crimes during the Gaza Massacre (aka “Operation Caste Lead).

The first cable shows a number of conversations which took place between Rice and UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon. In this cable, Rice is reported to have contacted the Secretary General and asked that  recommendations 10 and 11, made by the Board of Inquiry, not be included in a summary of the report that the Secretary General submits to the Security Council.

So, what are these recommendations?

From the Report:

“Recommendation 10: The board recommended that the Secretary General, in consultation with the Commissioner- General of UNRWA, should ensure the timely investigation of other incidents involving death or injury to UNRWA personnel, on or off duty, and/or physical damage to UNRWA that were not included with the board’s terms of reference”

Recommendation 11: This is rather lengthy, so I suggest looking at the document, but it basically recommends that other incidents, outside the 9 specified in the Board’s Terms of reference, should be investigated as part of an impartial inquiry. The board also noted that:

“Where civilians have been killed and where there are allegations of violations of International Humanitarian Law, there should be thorough investigations, full explanations, and ,where required, accountability.”

Moon said the board was independent, so he did not have the power to remove those recommendations. After further dialog, Rice asked Moon to make it clear in the reports cover letter that would be submitted to the Security Council, that those recommendations exceeded the scope of the board’s Terms of Reference.Ban said that he was “working with an Israeli Delegation” on the cover letter and that he thought she would find it satisfactory.

It went a little something like this:

“As for the board’s recommendations number 10 and 11, which relate to matters that largely did not fall within the Board’s Terms of Reference, I do not plan any further inquiry.”

Rice and Moon at the UN

The second cable shows conversations which took place between Rice and President of the International Criminal Court,  Sang-Hyung Song (another Korean) In this cable, Rice can be seen to make, what I think can be accurately construed as a threat to the ICC President, albeit in a passive-aggressive kind of way.

According to the cable:

“Ambassador Rice also said that how the ICC hands issues concerning the Goldstone Report will be perceived by many in the US as a test for the ICC, as this is a very sensitive matter.”

ICC President, Sang-Hyun Song

It’s disgusting to read, but when one considers the lengths to which the United States goes in order to assure Israel’s impunity from International Law, this is just a drop in the ocean.