US embassy cable - 02VATICAN298 (original version)

VATICAN REPORTS EYES ON GUANTANAMO (original version)

Identifier: 02VATICAN298
Wikileaks: View 02VATICAN298 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Vatican
Created: 2002-01-18 16:30:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: AG CU MOPS PHUM PREL VT
Redacted: This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


 
C O N F I D E N T I A L VATICAN 000298 
 
SIPDIS 
 
HAVANA FOR NIGRO, EUR/WE FOR MENNUTI, 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/19/2012 
TAGS: AG, CU, MOPS, PHUM, PREL, VT 
SUBJECT: VATICAN REPORTS EYES ON GUANTANAMO 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR R. JAMES NICHOLSON REASONS 1.5 (B,D) 
 
1.  (C)  THE VATICAN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN DESK OFFICER 
ADVISED POLOFF 1/16 THAT U.S. TREATMENT OF DETAINEES AT THE 
GUANTANAMO BASE AND ELSEWHERE HAD BECOME A SALIENT QUESTION 
IN HIS VATICAN MEETINGS, BOTH IN-HOUSE AND WITH FOREIGN 
DIPLOMATS.  IN PARTICULAR, MSGR. LUIS MARIANO DE MONTEMAYOR, 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  00298  190706Z 
THE VATICAN DESK OFFICER, SPOKE REPEATEDLY OF CONVERSATIONS 
WITH A RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT AND REPUTED INTELLIGENCE ELEMENT, 
DMITRY SHTODIN.  MSGR. MONTEMAYOR RECOUNTED THAT THE RUSSIAN 
FEDERATION IS CAREFULLY STUDYING U.S. TREATMENT OF DETAINEES 
IN SEARCH OF USEFUL PRECEDENTS TO JUSTIFY ITS TREATMENT OF 
CHECHNYA PRISONERS. 
 
2.  (C)  MONTEMAYOR STATED THE ISSUE OF DETAINEE TREATMENT 
COULD ALSO GAIN PROMINENCE WITHIN THE VATICAN, WHERE A HEATED 
INTERNAL DEBATE ENDED IN SOLID VATICAN SUPPORT, WITH SOME 
RESERVATIONS, FOR THE U.S.-LED CAMPAIGN. MONTEMAYOR REPEATED 
EARLIER COMMENTS TO POLOFF THAT CERTAIN VATICAN VOICES, 
FEARING A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER IN THE MAKING, HAD LOBBIED 
FOR A VATICAN STANCE LESS AMENABLE TO THE U.S.  HE NOTED WITH 
SATISFACTION THAT, CONTRARY TO THE NAYSAYERS' EXPECTATIONS, 
THE U.S. INTERVENTION HAD CLEARLY AMELIORATED HUMANITARIAN 
CIRCUMSTANCES IN AFGHANISTAN.  HOW THE USG RESOLVES TO TREAT 
THE GUANTANAMO DETAINEES MAY PROVE THE NEXT HURDLE FOR THE 
CURRENT CONSENSUS OF SUPPORT WITHIN THE VATICAN. (NOTE: 
MONTEMAYOR WAS PROBABLY REFERRING TO PEOPLE IN THE VATICAN'S 
ASSISTANCE ARM -- COR UNUM -- WHICH HAS TRADITIONALLY BEEN 
CRITICAL OF U.S. "UNILATERALISM"). 
 
3.  (C)  COMMENT: THE SON OF A SENIOR ARGENTINIAN NAVAL 
OFFICER, MONTEMAYOR HAS SAID IN THE PAST THAT HE AND HIS 
FAMILY LIVED UNDER THREAT AND WITH A PROTECTIVE POLICE 
DETAIL.  HIS ARGENTINE BACKGROUND APPEARS ESSENTIAL IN HIS 
HARSH JUDGMENTS OF EL-QAEDA TERRORISM.  INDEED, MONTEMAYOR 
RELATED HOW HIS RUSSIAN INTERLOCUTOR WAS TAKEN ABACK AT HIS 
QUOTE LACK OF TENDER FEELINGS END QUOTE TOWARD THE GUANTANAMO 
DETAINEES.  AS AN ARGENTINE, MONTEMAYOR FINDS THE U.S. TO BE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  00298  190706Z 
IN FAMILIAR WATERS, LEGALLY AND ETHICALLY, IN ITS EVOLVING 
APPROACH TO THE GUANTANAMO DETAINEES AS WELL AS THE JOHN 
WALKER CASE.  WOULD ARGENTINA'S ERSTWHILE MILITARY TRIBUNALS 
SOON SEE THEIR U.S. EQUIVALENT, HE WONDERED. 
NICHOLSON 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 
 

 2002VATICA00298 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL 


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