"In theory, the ICC holds perpetrators of the most egregious atrocities accountable for their crimes, provides justice to the victims, and deters future abuses. In practice, however, the court has been ineffective, unaccountable, and indeed, outright dangerous," Bolton said. "Moreover, the largely unspoken, but always central, aim of its most vigorous supporters was to constrain the United States.
The objective was not limited to targeting individual U.S. service members, but rather America's senior political leadership, and its relentless determination to keep our country secure."
Bolton said the ICC "was created as a free-wheeling global organization claiming jurisdiction over individuals without their consent" and stressed longstanding concerns that American servicemembers could be indicted by the court.
Last November, the ICC prosecutor requested authorization to investigate war crimes and detainee abuse allegations against U.S. servicemembers and intelligence professionals in Afghanistan.
"Today, on the eve of Sept. 11, I want to deliver a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of the president of the United States. The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," Bolton continued. "We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."