Letter from Secretary of State Powell to U.S. Mission in London re: Letter to Edward Davey Member of the UK House of Commons

State Department cable to the London Mission with an attached letter from Sec. Powell to be delivered to Edward Davey Member of the UK House of Commons, briefly explaining U.S. policy regarding access to detainees.

Doc_type: 
Cable
Doc_date: 
Friday, June 13, 2003
Doc_rel_date: 
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Doc_text: 

INITIALS
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DRAFT: RWM ok
CLR 1: JDO ok

CLR 2: BBR ok CLR 3: DPI ... ok
CLR 4: PHE ok
CLR 5: SMO ok
CLR 6: GSU into

RELEASED IN PART
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CLR 7: EHA ok

SI ES0( $/ES -0_
UNCLASSIFIED

(ARID
S/WCI:RMILLER
06/13/03 (202) 647-5093
S/WCI:PPROSPER

L/PM:JADOLAN P:BBRINK D:DPITTMAN EUR/UBI:PHERNANDEZ S/ES:DGRAZE
S/CT:SMOLNAR PM:GSUCHAN S/ES-CR:EHARDY S/ES-0:MJEKPUK

S/WCI, L, P, S/CT, EUR/UBI

IMMEDIATE LONDON

DECAPTIONED
NODIS

E.O. 12958: NA

TAGS: PTER, KAWC, PHUM, PINR, UK

SUBJECT: LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY TO EDWARD DAVEY MP
REGARDING DETENTION OFI (BY US AUTHORITIES B7(C)

1.
(U) This is an action message, see para 2 - 3.

2.
(SBU) Background. On May 23, 2003, Mr. Edward Davey MP,
House of Commons, wrote to the Secretary inquiring about the
health and well-being of two British citizens,)

B7(C)
he claims are 111 U.S.

B7(C)
control ac uuancanamo day, Lulu. Mr. Davey also questions
the underlying basis for their detention, and the fact that
they have been detained without charges or benefit of legal
counsel or consular advice. Request that Post deliver the
Secretary's response in paragraph 3. No signed original
will follow. End Background.

3. (U) Begin Text of Letter:

Dear Mr. Davey:
Thank you for your letter expressing concern regarding' 'who
B7(C

UNCLASSIFIED UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVIEW AUTHORITY: THEODORE SEWN

UNCLASSIFIEDDDOS 002853
DATE/CASE ID: 28 DEC 2004 200303827

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED

are said to be held under U.S. control at the U.S. Naval
Base located at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The United States and its Coalition partners are at

war with the al Qaida network and remnants of the Taliban

who continue to support them. The al Qaida network today

is a multinational enterprise with operations in more

than 60 countries. Active hostilities are ongoing daily

• in Afghanistan and around the world. We continue
and

fight against enemy combatants who are planning and
conducting attacks against us. In this context,
operational and security concerns do not allow me to
confirm or comment on the circumstances of capture,
transfer or detention of specific individuals believed to
be held as enemy combatants in the course of that
conflict.

Let me assure you, however, that President Bush has
affirmed on any number of occasions that al Qaida arid_
Taliban detainees, regardless of their lack of status as
POWs under the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, will be
treated consistent with American values and the
principles of the international law of armed conflict.
He has determined that the United States Armed Forces
will treat enemy. combatants humanely and in a manner
consistent with the principles of the Third Geneva
Convention of 1949.

The authority to detain enemy combatants for the
duration of hostilities exists in law independent of the
civil judicial or criminal justice system. In this war,
as in every war, enemy combatants have no legal right to
counsel or access to courts for the purpose of
challenging their detention while hostilities are
ongoing. While some enemy combatants may face criminal
prosecution before the end of hostilities, nations at war
traditionally have waited until hostilities cease to
bring such charges. If and when an enemy combatant is
charged with a crime, he would then be entitled to legal
counsel and would receive a fair trial.

Regarding visits to Guantanamo, the United States
military authorities only permit visits by foreign
officials that are essential to law enforcement
objectives or intelligence gathering.

Sincerely,

Colin L. Powell

End Text
YY

UNCLASSIFIED

D
DOS 002854
UNCLASSIFIED

Doc_nid: 
6746
Doc_type_num: 
68