Letter from Senator Joe Biden to Secretary of State Colin Powell

Letter from Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) requesting Sec. State Powell Dept's release several internal Administration documents
regarding the treatment of enemy prisoners and combatants.

Doc_type: 
Letter
Doc_date: 
Friday, July 23, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Doc_text: 

UNCLASSIFIED
01/22/03 00:50 FAX 6172483870
KERRY BOSTON
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
UNCLASSIFIED
REVIEW AUTHORITY: SHARON E AHMAD DATE/CASE ID: 30 SEP 2004 200303827
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United *tams senate NORM COLMAN. 1010•ISOTA JOAN D. M0051101.110 FV. WEST WM?" JOHN I. SUNNY. NEW 0MAPSHIRE JON & CORZIK. NEW AltStY
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
WORN A. MYERS. A. STA7I 000CTOA
macro, J. SUNKEN. DIMOCIWC SUR MEOW
WASHINGTON. DC 20510-6225
July 23, 2004
The Honorable Colin L. Powell
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Washington, DC 20520
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Dear Mr. Secretary: C7

On June 22, 2004, the White House released several internal Administration documents regarding the treatment of enemy prisoners and combatants.
Included among these documents are several memoranda prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice; I have a particular interest in learning the Department's views about two of these memos. The first, dated January 22, 2002, is entitled "Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees"; the second, dated August 1, 2002, is entitled "Standards of Conduct for. Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. 2340-2340A."
I write to pose several questions:
1.
Was the Department of State involved in the preparation of either of these memoranda? If not, when did the Department learn of their existence?

2.
Does the Department of State agree with the conclusion, set forth in the memorandum of January 22, 2002, that the President could have decided to suspend temporarily U.S. obligations under the Third Geneva Convention with regard to Afghanistan? If so, please explain the legal basis for that opinion.

3.
Does the Department of State agree with the analysis of the Convention Against Torture set forth in part II of the memorandum of August 1, 2002, at pages 14-22? Is this analysis consistent with the Department's prior interpretations of the Convention, including any authoritative representations made to the Senate during its consideration of the Convention?

I appreciate your attention to this request.
/
Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Ranking Minority Member
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
UNCLASSIFIED

REVIEW AUTHORITY: SHARON E AHMAD DATE/CASE ID: 30 SEP 2004 200303827
DOS-000423

Doc_nid: 
5967
Doc_type_num: 
69