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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Goldstone going for career advancement on Israel's back again

Richard Goldstone, the author of the discredited Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead, has inserted himself as Chairman of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), an organization that is helping to select judges for the International Criminal Court (ICC). Both the CICC and its advisory council are filled with a collection of UN hacks that should raise some eyebrows. And although Israel, the 'Palestinians' and the United States are not members of the ICC, the 'Palestinians' are seeking to have Israel hauled before the court (which could theoretically happen were a determination made that Israel's judicial system is not competent to investigate the behavior of - for example - the IDF), and that effort is likely to become more intense if the 'Palestinians' are granted full membership in the United Nations. George Soros also has a hand in this....
Officially, Goldstone’s panel has no power to dictate anything regarding the ICC; it can only advise. But at the CICC, Goldstone has embedded himself amid a clique of former U.N. officials well versed in working the system, and in some cases used to working together. For instance, the CICC’s 14-member advisory board includes one of Goldstone’s three co-authors of the Goldstone Report, Pakistani lawyer Hina Jilani. Following Goldstone’s walk-back in April, she defended the report as an important document that nothing can invalidate.

The advisory board also includes Goldstone himself, and former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour — who in 2006 used her U.N. pulpit to protest the execution of Saddam Hussein, and in 2008 welcomed an anti-Semitic Arab-rights charter, before waffling away from it under public criticism.

The five-member “Independent Panel on ICC Judicial Elections” includes a Chilean former judge, Cecilia Medina Quiroga. She’s a veteran of a pre-Goldstone U.N. fact-finding mission dispatched by the Human Rights Council to Gaza which also included a British lawyer who later was another co-author of the Goldstone Report, Christine Chinkin.

Two other panel members have served as judges for the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where Goldstone in the mid-1990s was chief prosecutor. They are South Korean former justice O-Gon Kwon (still serving on the near-eternal Yugoslavia tribunal) and an American former judge, Patricia Wald, former chair and current member of the board of George Soros’s Open Society Justice Initiative.

The fifth panel member is a Swedish lawyer, Hans Corell, who served as legal counsel to the U.N. from 1994 to 2004. Under former secretary-general Kofi Annan, Corell was heavily involved in the creation of the ICC. He also had a hand in the creation and management of the U.N.’s Oil-for-Food Program, a relief plan so badly designed, so mismanaged, and so globally corrupt that Annan was finally forced in 2004 to call for a special inquiry — in which Goldstone served as a member of a three-man panel, led by former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. The committee exonerated Annan of deliberate wrongdoing, but not of a “cumulative management performance” that “fell short of the standards that the United Nations Organization should strive to maintain.” Today, Kofi Annan chairs the CICC advisory board.

And what, exactly, is the CICC, which has gathered all these folks together? Funded by donors such as George Soros’s Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the European Union, it is a program run by a nonprofit organization called the World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy. Registered in New York, with another office in The Hague, the World Federalist Movement enjoys consultative status with the U.N., and campaigns for “World Federalist government.”

A spokesman for the CICC, reached by phone, says Goldstone’s report on the ICC judicial candidates will probably be released sometime next month. Nothing here precludes the possibility that Goldstone might have learned from his self-confessed mistakes. Nonetheless, there’s something in this CICC welter of old U.N. hacks and fresh presumption that gives added heft to the obvious question: Does the world really need another Goldstone Report?
What could go wrong?

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