The New York Times has a long (and excellent) article up today detailing the International Criminal Court’s failed effort to prosecute Kenya’s leaders for the 2007-2008 election violence. I didn’t want to read it, but then DID read it. Join me, as I recap that exciting journey:
9:00am: Did the world really need another photo of this dude staring into the middle distance and thinking about the victims?
9:01am: I am not reading this.
10:08am: No, seriously. I’m. Not. Reading. This.
2:15pm: FINE, Mark Kersten, I’ll read it.
2:18pm: This is a horrifying story. And if this man is only in his late 20s now, he must have been barely out of his teens when he was tortured and mutilated.
2:21pm: Has a complex ever been more white savior-y than “he also believed Kenyatta’s crimes emerged from a tradition of impunity in Africa, one that would continue unless he stepped in”.
2:23pm: Why would you do this to me, Mark?
2:24pm: Is anyone surprised to learn that LMO is the sort of person who would loudly watch a YouTube video in the middle of a bar, regardless of the other patrons’ desire to enjoy their cocktails in peace?
2:27pm: I never quite know what to make of statements like this: “In a moment of collective insanity, Kenyan society had turned on itself.” Feels like an accurate description of cataclysmic violence, but also elides the fact that perpetrators make rational, strategic decisions to participate.
2:31pm: O hai, Alex Whiting.
2:32pm: This sounds right: “One investigator I spoke with said Moreno-Ocampo seemed to see the I.C.C. not as a forensic body so much as a ‘naming and shaming’ organization, like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International.”
2:34pm: I appreciate the #RealTalk about the absurdity of the Congo and Darfur investigations.
2:35pm: This Njenga stuff is pretty interesting, given that one of the recurrent complaints about international criminal prosecutions is that they fail to build cases against complex criminal organizations the way functional domestic systems do.
2:37pm: LOL at “Moreno-Ocampo, whose political guile was undercut by his political tone-deafness”.
2:40pm: The failure to take seriously and account for the potential risks and consequences for the witnesses here is just maddening. Here’s hoping everyone’s learned a valuable lesson…
2:42pm: So the unexpected takeaway here seems to be that we should all be assigning LMO much more personal blame for the ICC’s terrible relationship with African countries, rather than attributing it to the structural constraints on the Court’s jurisdiction and wretched PR. Huh.