Federal News Service Interview with Ari Fleischer

Interview with White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer concerning the various legal issue involved in the applicability of the Geneva Convention as it pertains to detainees and the Vice President's traveling to Kuwait, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Turkey, Oman, Jordan and Israel from March 10th to March 20th, 2002.

Thursday, February 7, 2002
Wednesday, December 29, 2004

2 of 479 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2002 Federal, News Service, Inc.

Federal News Service

February 7, 2002, Thursday 01:59 PM Eastern Time

LENGTH: 511 words

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the president has held a series of meeting with his
National Security Council and has discussed the various legal issue involved in
the applicability of the Geneva Convention. In all cases, the president will
reflect a policy that is a given with American's traditions of treating military
detainees well, treating them humanely, giving them full rations of food, three
meals a day, medical treatment. All of that will be a given no matter what
decisions the president makes, because that's a reflection of the values of the
United States and the way our military treats people.

The legal issues that are involved in terms of the applicability of the
Geneva Convention, particularly given any distinctions that may or may not be
made between the al Qaeda and the Taliban, are issues that have been a subject
of discussion with the National Security Council, and that's something that you
will hear from at the appropriate time.

Q What role did international pressure play in the deliberations?

MR. FLEISCHER: You know, this has only been a discussion that was centered
around the thoughts of the national security team. And that national security
team, as you know, has always said that these detainees should not be treated as
prisoners of war because they don't conform to the requirements of Article IV of
the Geneva Convention, which details what type of treatment would be given to
people in accordance with POW standards. And that's a very easily understood.
legal doctrine of Article IV. For example, the detainees in Guantanamo do not
wear uniforms. They're not visibly identifiable. They don't belong to a
military hierarchy. All of those are prerequisites under Article IV in the
Geneva Convention, which would be required in order to determine somebydy's a


There's a broader issue about the important principles of the Geneva
Convention and the president's belief in the Geneva Convention as an important
government document. And you will hear more about it.

Q (Off mike.)

Q Ari.

Q Sorry, just one more, if I could. What do you lose if Taliban fighters are
. declared eligible under the full provisions for Article IV of the Geneva
Convention versus the status that they enjoy right now?

MR. FLEISCHER: well, that's not an issue under discussion, John, because the
determination has already' been made that neither the Taliban nor the al Qaeda
are prisoners of war. You've heard that repeatedly from the Department of
Defense, from this podium, so that's not under discussion.

DATE/CASE ID: 23 NOV 2004 200303827


MR. FLEISCHER: Francine.

Q Ari, why is the president sending the vice president to the Mideast?

MR. FLEISCHER: The vice president is going to travel to the Middle East and
other nations from March 10th to March 20th at the president's request. He'll
visit U.S. forces as well as he'll have meetings with heads of state and
governments and foreign ministers in Kuwait, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates,
the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Turkey, Oman, Jordan and

LOAD-DATE: February 7, 2002