DOS Memo re:Talking Points on the The Geneva Conventions: Applicability in Guantanamo Bay and Iraq

This State Department memo gives the State Dept.'s official position on the question of detainees/ Geneva Conventions: the Geneva Conventions apply to the conflict w/ Al Qaeda but not with the Taliban; Neither Al-Qaeda nor Taliban detainees have POW status; all Iraqis are protected by the Geneva Conventions/ POW status.

Doc_type: 
Non-legal Memo
Doc_date: 
Monday, May 17, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Doc_text: 

UNCLASSIFIED LILA RELEASED IN FULL
L Press Guidance
May 17, 2004

THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS: APPLICABILITY IN
GUANTANAMO BAY AND IRAQ

Question: WHAT IS THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S POSITION OF THE
. APPLICABILITY OF THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS TO DETAINEES IN GUANTANAMO AND IRAQ? .
Answer: ON FEBRUARY 7, 2002, THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY ISSUED A STATEMENT DESCRIBING THE ADMINISTRATION'S CONCLUSIONS ON THE APPLICABILITY OF THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS TO DETAINEES IN GUANTANMO BAY.
THE CONCLUSION WAS THAT THE GENEVA CONVENTION DID NOT APPLY TO THE CONFLICT WITH AL QAEDA BUT THAT IT DID APPLY TO THE CONFLICT WITH THE TAL IBAN IN AFGANISTAN.
THE PRESIDENT. ALSO CONCLUDED THAT NEITHER AL-QAEDA NOR
• THE TALIBAN DETAINEES WERE ENTITLED TO PRISONER OF WAR .
STATUS. THE PRESIDENT CONCLUDED THAT THE TALIBAN DID NOT MEET THE EXPLICIT CRITERIA SET FORTH IN THE CONVENTION FOR POW STATUS.
THE WHITE HOUSE STATED THAT "THE UNITED STATES IS TREATING AND WILL CONTINUE TO TREAT ALL OF THE INDIVIDUALS DETAINED AT GUANTANAMO HUMANELY AND, TO THE EXTENT APPROPRIATE
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
REVIEW AUTHORITY: SHARON E AHMAD DOS-001398
DATE/CASE ID: 16 DEC 2004 200303827
UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED

AND CONSISTENT WITH MILITARY NECESSITY, IN A MANNER -CONSISTENT WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION?'
IRAQ
OUR POSITION ON IRAQ HAS BEEN CLEAR FROM THE BEGINNING. THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS APPLY IN IRAQ. THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL, JUDGE ALBERTO GONZALEZ, STATED THIS UNAMBIGUOUSLY IN AN OP-ED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES ON SATURDAY, MAY 15, AND SECRETARY RUMSFELD INDICATED THAT THIS WAS THE CASE IN HIS TESTIMONY BEFORE THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE ON MAY 7TH.
ALL IRAQIS ARE ENTITLED TO THE PROTECTIONS OF EITHER THE THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION ON PRISONERS OF WAR OR THE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION ON CIVILIANS.
Question: IS THE STATE DEPARTMENT COMFORTABLE WITH THE FINAL DECISION NOT TO APPLY THE GENEVA CONVENTION [TO DETAINEES AT GUANTANAMO BAY]?
Answer: THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SUPPORTS THE POSITION ANNOUNCED
BY THE WHITE HOUSE IN FEBRUARY 2002.

DOS-001399

, UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED

Question: DO WE BELIEVE THAT THERE HAVE VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL NORMS AT GITMO AS A RESULT OF THIS DECISION?
Answer: AS WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS, WE TAKE ANY REPORTS OF VIOLATIONS OF THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS SERIOUSLY AND THEY ARE INVESTIGATED BY APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES.

(IF PRESSED]
Question: DID THE SECRETARY "HIT THE ROOF" WHEN HE LEARNED THE WHITE HOUSE WAS PLANNING ON NOT APPLYING THE CONVENTIONS TO GUANTANAMO DETAINEES?
DID TAFT ARGUE AGAINST THIS IN A MEMO TO THE WHITE HOUSE?
Answer: WE DO NOT COMMENT ON INTERNAL DELIBERATIONS.
DOS-001400

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED

Drafted: UN?: ECurnmings 7-1294 May 17, 2004 Doc.
Cleared: L - W Taft ok S/WCI - Crock, IM ok S/WCI - Sagor, AE ok PRM - McKinley, P Michael ok NEA/PPD — Shore, R (info) P - Brink, Bridget A ok D- Beecroft, Robert S ok
DOS-001401
UNCLASSIFIED

Doc_nid: 
6282
Doc_type_num: 
63