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UNITED NATIONS — The US government is quietly threatening to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign aid aimed at combating terrorism, resolving conflicts, and building democracy unless countries agree to shield Americans from prosecution at the UN permanent war crimes tribunal.

An amendment to the 3,000-page budget bill before the House of Representatives would punish countries, even close allies in the war on terrorism, that have joined the International Criminal Court and have declined to promise they would not send American citizens to the court without US permission.

This is kind of like if the Federal Government withheld funding for local education unless the school board agreed never to press charges for child molestation against any employee of the Federal Government.

Since they have already committed a sizable number of war crimes, seeking immunity from prosecution for more is outrageous.