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Cablegate: Vatican Reports Eyes On Guantanamo

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 NICHOLSO...

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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