DOS Memo re: Talking Points on Guantanamo Detainees

This is a State department Talking points and press guidance memo concerning the legal basis for the U.S. holding detainees at Guantanamo. The talking points highlight that the detainees are "enemy Combatants" and not Prisoners of War (POWs) and as such the customary law of armed conflict gives the U.S. the right to detain these combatants at least until the conclusion of hostilities. Finally the memo states that the detainees are being treated humanely and in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions.

Doc_type: 
Non-legal Memo
Doc_date: 
Wednesday, February 27, 2002
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Doc_text: 

UNCLASSIFIED

L Press Guidance RELEASED IN FULL
February 27, 2002
STATUS OF DETAINEES IN GUANTANAMO
Q: What is the international legal basis for the U.S. holding the detainees from the Afghanistan conflict at Guantanamo Bay?
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THE DETAINEES ARE BEING HELD ON THE BASIS OF THEIR HAVING BEEN PART OF AN OPPOSING FORCE IN AN ARMED CONFLICT IN WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS ENGAGED. THUS, THEY ARE BEING HELD BECAUSE THEY ARE ENEMY COMBATANTS.

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THE CUSTOMARY LAWS OF ARMED CONFLICT GIVE THE

U.S. THE RIGHT TO DETAIN THESE COMBATANTS AT LEAST UNTIL THE CONCLUSION OF HOSTILITIES. THESE ACTIONS ARE ENTIRELY CONSISTENT WITH THE 1949 GENEVA CONVENTIONS.
-- THE PRESIDENT HAS DETERMINED THAT THE THIRD
GENEVA CONVENTION ON PRISONERS OF WAR DOES NOT
APPLY TO THE AL QAEDA DETAINEES. THEREFORE, THEY
.
ARE NOT ENTITLED TO PRISONER OF WAR STATUS. IN
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVIEW AUTHORITY: WILLIAM J GEHRON
DOS-001706
DATE/CASE ID: 06 DEC 2004 200303827

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED

ADDITION, THE PRESIDENT HAS DETERMINED THAT THE THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION DOES APPLY TO THE CONFLICT WITH THE TALIBAN. HOWEVER, THE TALIBAN DO NOT QUALIFY FOR PRISONER OF WAR STATUS.
-- IT IS FIRMLY ESTABLISHED IN DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL LAW THAT COMBATANTS MAY BE CAPTURED AND DETAINED. THIS WAS STATED EXPLICITLY BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. (EX PARTE QUIRIN)
— THE INDIVIDUALS BEING DETAINED AT GUANTANAMO ARE BEING TREATED HUMANELY CONSISTENT WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS.
Drafted:WL — E Bloom x71694 Doc 100812 2/25/02 Cleared:WL: W Taft (ok) . J Thessin (ok)
L: J Schwartz (ok)
L/NP: E Cummings (ok)
L/PM: D Bowker (ok)
S/WCI - MNewton (ok)
PA —
S/CT — M Wong (ok)

DOS-001707
UNCLASSIFIED UNCLASSIFIED
NSC — J Bellinger (ok) DoD/OGC — E Davidson (ok) DOJ — M Incontro/ D Collins (ok)
DOS-001708
UNCLASSIFIED

Doc_nid: 
6420
Doc_type_num: 
63