White House Admitted That Weapon Is A “War Crime” Before Arming Ukraine with It

During the initial stages of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the then-White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, denounced Russia’s alleged utilization of cluster munitions as a potential “war crime.”

In response to a reporter’s inquiry about the reported use of vacuum bombs and illegal cluster bombs by the Russians on February 28, 2022, Psaki addressed the concerns. 

The Biden administration had announced its intention to primarily deploy M864 155-millimeter artillery shells, commonly known as Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) or cluster munitions. 

These munitions disperse smaller explosive weapons to target personnel and vehicles across a designated area. 

However, cluster munitions have faced controversy due to the lingering risk posed by unexploded submunitions, known as “duds,” which can potentially harm civilians long after the conflict concludes. 

The manufacturing of cluster munitions ceased in the 1990s, as reported by The Washington Post.

Given the reports of Russia’s alleged use of illegal cluster and vacuum bombs, the reporter questioned Psaki about the administration’s next course of action and whether there existed a red line in terms of the extent of violence that would be tolerated against civilians through these illegal means, which could potentially amount to a war crime.

Psaki responded by saying, “It is—it would be. I don’t have any confirmation of that. We have seen the reports. If that information was accurate, it could be potentially defined to be a war crime.”

According to CNN, over 100 countries, including the U.K., France, and Germany, have banned cluster munitions.

During a segment on Fox News, Pete Hegseth, filling in for “Jesse Watters Primetime” host Jesse Watters, played the clip while discussing the Biden administration’s previous policy of withholding such weapons and now reversing the decision to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine.

Hegseth remarked that if Vladimir Putin was considered a war criminal for using cluster bombs, why would the US authorize sending the formerly banned cluster bombs to the Ukrainians?

In response, former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who was also part of the conversation, highlighted the issue of hypocrisy in applying different standards to different nations. 

She criticized the decision-making process based on the hypocrisy of rules and making decisions based on their own selfish political decisions for a power grab.”

It is worth noting that Hegseth and Gabbard have a history of military service, including deployments to Iraq.