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Editorial Response to: Let’s start earlier to stop falling behind
(May 5th, 2006)

We can’t afford Full-Day Kindergarten
(May 5th, 2006)

The Truth About ANWAR
(March 19, 2005)

A Whale of a Restart for New Zealand
(August 13, 2004)

Wasted Money on Education
Indianapolis Star
(July 8th, 2004)

“we’re (the United States) bad team players”
Indianapolis Star
(July 17, 2004)

Where are the Replacements?
(March 28, 2004)

My Day in the Senate
(February 11, 2004)

An Interesting Quotation
(January 22, 2004)

The edRoundtable
(January 15, 2004)

Response to "Catching up to do on education front"
(November 11, 2003)





15 July 2004

To the Editor
Indianapolis Star Newspaper
307 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, In. 46204


Dear Sir:

I was very surprised that you allowed an intern in the editorial page department, Tran Kim, to address the important issue of whether the United States should or should not become a member of the International Criminal Court.

Ms. Kim starts her article by quoting Helen Thomas as posing the question “as to how the United States has gone from one of the most admired nations in the world to the most disliked”. Kim then answers the question by stating “we’re (the United States) bad team players” and justified her statement by stating it is evident by our refusal to become a member of the International Criminal Court.

What Kim evidently fails to understand is that the United States is a unique country. Of all the countries in the world it is the only one whose governmental powers are limited by its citizens. Over two hundred years ago our constitution was written by a group of people who clearly understood that true freedom came only from a limited government and our constitution, as a result, clearly limits the powers of the central government. Our central government was not given and does not possess the power to place the rights of its citizens under the control or auspices of the ICC or any other international private body or corporation.

In this instance we do not care if we are disliked by other countries. It is the right and freedom of our own citizens that Kim is writing about. We do not care whether or not the ICC would bring bogus or frivolous charges against U.S. citizens. Our government is set up so that no international court can bring any charges against any U.S. citizen. The U.S. is the most free, sovereign nation on earth. Our founders ensured we would remain that way when they wrote our federal constitution and only delegated certain powers to the central government. All other powers were retained by the states or by the citizens. Our founders did not delegate the power to the central government to allow it to subjugate its citizens to the ICC.

In 1920 a similar court was formed, the International Court of Justice under the League of Nations, which the United States initially rejected but eventually joined in 1946. But in order to do so the Senate added a short disclaimer to Article 36, paragraph 2 which stated “as determined by the United States” (this addition is known as the Connally reservation). This addition indicated that the United States Senate would determine whether a question was within its own domestic jurisdiction and beyond the jurisdiction of the ICJ. (This Article 36 declaration was withdrawn by executive order, under President Reagan, in April 1986.) In May 1960 the Senate considered an Optional Protocol that would have provided for compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ in certain disputes. The Senate rejected the Optional Protocol. Clearly these actions set the precedent for our non-participation in the ICC.

As the strongest nation on earth our not joining the ICC clearly sends the message to every other nation that we value the freedom of our citizens beyond that of any other nation on this earth. Let them rise to our level. We will never sink to theirs.

We are a sovereign nation and as such we must never place our freedom in the hands of a foreign, non-elected entity, no matter what slippery excuse is offered.

My compliments to Ms. Tran Kim. I hope this little exercise will encourage her to study a bit more history and to familiarize herself with the Constitution of the United States, the most important document ever created.


Ed Sparks

Note: In my previous letter sent to you I misspoke and said the ICJ was formed under the United Nations. It was formed under the League of Nations.