DOS Cable re: Parliamentry Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Describes Guantanamo as a "Legal Black Hole"

State Department cable summarizing the deliberations by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) which led to the passing of a resolution calling for improved treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan and Guantanamo. The meeting was described as "sparse" and the resolution used lighter and less biting language than previous resolutions and debates. In the end the resolution described the U.S. maintenance of Guantanamo as "Out-of-Character" with U.S. values and legal system and a departure from international law.

Doc_type: 
Cable
Doc_date: 
Friday, June 27, 2003
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Doc_text: 

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Document Number: 2003STRASB00093 Channel: n/a

RELEASED IN FULL
ACTION SCT-00

INFO LOG-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CCO-00

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AC-01 NRCE-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OCS-03 OIC-02 DHS-00 TFBI-00 PM-00
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00
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7CB5FE 271555Z /38
P 271740Z JUN 03
FM AMCONSUL STRASBOURG
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2038
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USDOJ WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
USMISSION GENEVA "
USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN

UNCLAS STRASBOURG 0093

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR S/WCI, DRL, IO, EUR/ERA, EUR/RPM, PM

JUSTICE FOR OIA KEN HARRIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER, PGOV, PHUM, MARR, KJUS, COE, XG, MX
SUBJECT: "LEGAL BLACK HOLE" OF GUANTANAMO DEBATED IN STRASBOURG

REF: STRASBOURG 73 (NOTAL)
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: ON JUNE 26, THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE (PACE) PASSED, AS EXPECTED, A RESOLUTION CALLING FOR IMPROVED TREATMENT OF PRISONERS IN AFGHANISTAN AND GUANTANAMO, AND FOR THEIR BEING BROUGHT TO JUSTICE IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENEVA CONVENTIONS (REFTEL). WHILE THE TURN-OUT WAS RELATIVELY SPARSE AND THE RHETORIC LACKED THE BITE OF DELIBERATIONS ON THE U.S. EARLIER THIS YEAR, THE HEAD OF THE VISITING MEXICAN PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION TOLD THE CG AFTERWARDS THAT THERE WAS SINCERE CONCERN ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS FOR AMERICAN RULE OF LAW POSED BY THIS QUESTION. END
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVIEW AUTHORITY: ARCHIE M BOLSTER DATE/CASE ID: 04 NOV 2004 200303827
DOS-002693

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SUMMARY

2. (SBU) THE VOTE ON THE RESOLUTION WAS 36-1-2. ALL OF THE 15
SPEAKERS WERE CRITICAL OF THE USG'S PERCEIVED "OUT-OF-CHARACTER"
DEPARTURE FROM INTERNATIONAL LAW, SAVE ONE. HE WAS MARCIN LIBICKI
FROM POLAND, WHO SAID A TERRORIST WAR AGAINST WESTERN CIVILIZATION
CALLED FOR SPECIAL MEASURES. PRISONERS HELD AT GTMO OR IN
AFGHANISTAN, LIBICKI SAID, WERE NOT POWS WHO COULD FIT GENEVA
CONVENTION DEFINITIONS. MOREOVER, THEY PROVIDED INTELLIGENCE AGAINST
FUTURE TERRORIST ATTACKS. LIBICKI WONDERED WHY THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
WAS DEBATING THIS ISSUE TO BEGIN WITH. ONE SPEAKER REMINDED HIM THAT
THE OBSERVER STATUS OF THE U.S. TO THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE (NB: WHICH
DOES NOT EXTEND TO THE PACE, PER SE, HOWEVER) ALLOWED THE PACE TO

DEBATE THIS ISSUE WHEN COE PRINCIPLES WERE AT STAKE. ANOTHER SPEAKER
ACCUSED LIBICKI OF HAVING ALREADY TRIED AND CONVICTED ALL THE
PRISONERS.

3. (SBU) LORD JUDD EVOKED THE GREAT DEBT EUROPE OWED THE UNITED
STATES IN ITS DEFENSE OF FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, AND HUMAN RIGHTS, TO
WHICH LIBICKI APPLAUDED DEMONSTRABLY. BUT LORD JUDD SAID HE FEARED
THE U.S. RISKED UNDERMINING THESE SAME VALUES BY HOLDING THESE
PRISONERS WITHOUT CHARGE. JUDD EVOKED A RECURRENT THEME OF HIS;
NAMELY, THAT THE WORLD WAS IN A "PRE-REVOLUTIONARY" STAGE OF
DISAFFECTED INTELLECTUALS MANIPULATING MILLIONS TRAPPED IN POVERTY.
THE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM GTMO (OF HOODED AND SEEMINGLY. HUMILIATED
PRISONERS) WERE RECRUITMENT POSTERS FOR THESE POTENTIAL TERRORISTS,

' JUDD SAID. OTHERS LAMENTED THE IMPACT OF THESE PHOTOGRAPHS AS-WELL.

4.
(SBU) SEVERAL PARLIAMENTARIANS MENTIONED SPECIFIC CASES. GORAN
MAGNUSSON OF THE LARGEST SOCIALIST GROUP SAID THE SWEDISH PRISONER AT
GTMO HAS HAD ONLY TWO VISITS IN 18 MONTHS, BOTH TIMES BY GOVERNMENT
OFFICIALS; A VISIT BY HIS LAWYER HAS BEEN REFUSED. MS. LALONDE OF
THE OBSERVER CANADIAN DELEGATION SAID THERE ARE TWO CANADIANS HELD IN
GTMO, ONE A MINOR, AND ONLY ONE HAS BEEN VISITED BY A CANADIAN
OFFICIAL. LABOUR MP TONY LLOYD, HEAD OF THE UK PARLIAMENTARIAN
DELEGATION, SAID THAT HIS CONSTITUENT (FIDDLER, AKA YAMAL HUDINE, AS
HEARD) WAS, IN EFFECT, A POLITICAL PRISONER AS LONG AS NO CHARGES
WERE BROUGHT AGAINST HIM.

5.
(SBU) LLOYD SAID THE "RULE OF POWER" BY THE U.S. WAS REPLACING
THE RULE OF LAW, A THEME ECHOED BY COMMITTEE RAPPORTEUR KEVIN
MCNAMARA (LABOUR MP), WHO SAID THE RULE OF POWER WAS SYNONYMOUS WITH
ARBITRARINESS AND DICTATORSHIP. MCNAMARA SAID THE HIGH COURT OF
LONDON HAD TERMED GTMO "A LEGAL BLACK HOLE," WHOSE ONLY ISSUE,

MCNAMARA ADDED, WAS SEEMINGLY VIA KANGAROO COURTS. SOEREN
SOENDERGAARD (DENMARK) LAMENTED REPORTS OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF
EXECUTION FACILITIES AT GTMO, WHICH INDICATED THE U.S. WAS "PLANNING
THE OUTCOME" BEFORE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.

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6.
(SBU) A MEMBER OF THE OBSERVER PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION FROM
MEXICO TOLD THE CG LATER THAT EVENING THAT, ALTHOUGH NO MEXICAN
DELEGATE SPOKE DURING THE DEBATE, THERE WAS SINCERE CONCERN THAT GTMO
WAS UNDERMINING AMERICAN RULE OF LAW.

7.
(SBU) COMMENT: THIS PACE RESOLUTION ON THE "RIGHTS OF PERSONS
HELD IN THE CUSTODY OF THE UNITES STATES IN AFGHANISTAN OR GUANTANAMO
BAY" REQUIRES NO ACTION BY THE INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE OF
MINISTERS OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE.

DAVIS

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Doc_nid: 
6687
Doc_type_num: 
68