My colleague Raj Purohit writes on the Citizens for Global Solutions blog:
A few years ago I was talking to a former high level official from the Clinton Administration about Pol Pot. Specifically we were discussing why he was never brought to trial for his crimes in the weeks before he committed suicide. The official told me that there was a real desire on the part of the Administration to bring Pol Pot to trial in the U.S. but that our criminal code was far too narrow to allow for a prosecution to occur. The official correctly noted that the law as it stood only allowed for the prosecution of individuals who have committed genocide within the U.S.
Raj’s quick post exposes an important and embarrassing gap in U.S. criminal code: genocide can only be prosecuted in the U.S. if it’s committed by a U.S. national or on U.S. soil. That effectively makes the United States a safe haven for genocidaires everywhere.
It’s time to close this loophole. The Senate passed the Genocide Accountability Act earlier this year to do just that. Pelosi & Co. need to move on this and give it the attention it deserves.
— Scott Paul