Veteran Rumble Email-Fiction!
Veteran Rumble Email-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:A forwarded “Veteran Rumble” email claims that President Obama plans to join the U.N.’s International Criminal Court and that more than 1,000 U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan in the previous 27 months to encourage veterans to vote in the 2014 mid-term elections.
The Truth:Encouraging veterans to vote is an admirable cause, but this eRumor uses false information to make the case.
U.S. policy regarding the U.N.’s International Criminal Court (ICC) hasn’t changed much since President Bill Clinton left office in 2000. ICC was established in the Hague as a permanent, independent court under the Rome Statute in July 2002. Its stated purpose was to bring individuals who commit war crimes, or crimes against humanity, to justice, the Congressional Research Service reports.
Clinton signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but Congress never ratified U.S. membership. Clinton said he wouldn’t recommend ratification to the Senate due to concern that the ICC could assert jurisdiction over U.S. officials and members of U.S. Armed Forces — even if the U.S. was not a party to the Rome Statute. In 2002, President George W. Bush said the U.S. wouldn’t be a party to the Rome Statute. By the end of Bush’s second term, however, the U.S. “began to treat the ICC as a potentially effective tool for international criminal justice.” The Obama administration officials supported several ICC prosecutions and, in 2010, “reiterated the United States’ intention to provide diplomatic and informational support to ICC prosecutions on a case-by-case basis.” The American Servicemembers Protection Act of 2002 forbids the U.S. government from providing material assistance to the ICC, the Congressional Research Service reports.
Still, there's no proof to the eRumor's claim that Obama plans to ask the Senate to ratify the Rome Statute. Even conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation have said as much.
“The most significant policy change is that the U.S. now attends the meetings of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Court,” Brian Schaefer, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation said.“No wonder conservatives are not paying the ICC much mind. U.S. policy is already largely where they want it to be, and the Obama administration, thankfully, appears uninterested in changing it.”
The eRumor’s claim that more than 1,000 American soldiers had died in Afghanistan in the previous 27 months was also untrue. There were 175 fatalities in Afghanistan from 2013 to mid 2014, the non-profit group icasualties.org reports
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
Whether you’re a veteran or not, please read and forward this to all your e-mail buddies. It needs to go viral. If you are not interested in this message, simply delete it. If you are not a veteran, please send this to those that you know who are or to those who may know veterans. The 2014 United States elections will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested in this election. Get out and VOTE!!!! A movement has been started by our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. They are organizing themselves, but this can also be done by all of us. The President, the Commander in Chief, has made the Rules of Engagement (ROE) so difficult that our troops are often killed before they can even get permission to fight. Nothing has been done to stop our troops from being murdered by the Afghanis they are training either. Now, the President wants the US to sign on to the UN’s International Criminal Court (ICC), which would allow the UN’s ICC to arrest and try US troops for War Crimes without the legal protections guaranteed under US Law and from which there is no appeal. The President, with his Democratic control of the Senate, has nearly all the power. If the Non-Establishment Republicans and Conservatives can take back the Senate in 2014, our troops can once again be protected from unnecessary danger. Please consider this, and send it on to your mailing lists. Thank You Interestingly, when G.W.B. was President you heard about the military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan almost daily. With Obama in the White House, the mainstream media has been strangely quiet. —More than 1,000 American soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan in the last 27 months. This is more than the combined total of the five years before that. Many have died since August, 2013. During the last six months, over 50 additional NATO and US servicemen have been murdered: inside jobs by those who are hired to be a “force for good in Afghanistan.” The commander in chief is AWOL. Not a peep, although he ordered the White House flag flown at half-staff for the Sikhs that were killed. There is a deep disgust, a fury, growing in the ranks of the military against the indifferent incompetence of this president. It has taken on a dangerous tone. No one knows what to do about him, but the anger runs deep as the deaths continue with no strategic end in sight to the idiocy of this war. Obama has had 5 years to end this futile insanity, during which time he has vacationed, golfed, campaigned, and generally ignored the plight of our men and women in uniform. But, there is now a movement afoot in the armed services to launch a massive get out the vote drive against this president’s party. Not just current active duty types but the National Guard, Reserves, the retired, and all other prior service members. This is no small special interest group, but many millions of veterans who can have an enormous impact on the outcome of the November 2014 mid-term election, if they all respond.The one million military retirees in Florida alone could mean an overwhelming victory in that state if they all show up at the polls. It might not keep another one hundred U.S. troops from dying between now and November, but a turnout to vote by the military against this heartbreaking lack of leadership can make a powerful statement that hastens a change to the indifference of this shallow little man who just lets our soldiers die. Veterans: Please forward to your lists. High Priority!