Rule of Law: Unintended Consequences

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The New York Times is reporting this morning that the U.S. and its allies are quietly seeking a nation that might become a new home for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in exile. There’s just one teeny-tiny complication (beyond the fact that he has shown no willingness to pull up his [tent] stakes and leave):

The effort is complicated by the likelihood that he would be indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988, and atrocities inside Libya. One possibility, according to three administration officials, is to find a country that is not a signatory to the treaty that requires countries to turn over anyone under indictment for trial by the court, perhaps giving Colonel Qaddafi an incentive to abandon his stronghold in Tripoli.

Of course, the U.S. isn’t a signatory to the ICC either, fearing U.S. troops – never mind defense secretaries, vice presidents and other senior leaders – might be prosecuted under its provisions. Maybe Gaddafi could move to Idaho. Is Washington hurting international law by seeking a non-ICC country to take Gaddafi, or just smartly exploiting a legal loophole? And why is it doing anything to help the guy who, according to his ex-justice (!) minister, personally ordered the bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988, killing 270 people, including 189 Americans?