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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Guantanamo Iraq - Camp David Talks

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - Guantanamo Iraq - Camp David Talks
Latin America - Chavez's Limitations
PARIS - Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Iraq - Camp David Talks
Latin America - Chavez's Limitations


Domestic stories dominate today's front pages, with the government's
budget for 2007 prominently featured in Le Figaro and the
announcement of 15,000 job cuts projected in the public sector.

In international news, the aftermath of the Guantanamo suicides
leads afternoon left-of-center paper Le Monde to publish an
editorial calling for the "closing of the detention camp," and
commenting about the U.S., "which remains deaf to all arguments
supporting the decision." La Croix's Gilles Biassette revisits
Guantanamo's legal standing, the conditions of detention and the
possible closing of the prison in an article entitled: "Guantanamo
Embarrasses the Bush Administration." For Jean-Christophe Ploquin,
Guantanamo is "one symbol too many." Liberation calls Guantanamo "A
legal black hole." (See Part C) Liberation also interviews former
U.S. Air Force legal advisor Scott Silliman who says "Washington
does not know what to do with its detainees... It would like to have
assurances from governments if they release them into their custody,
but these claim they have no legal stand to keep them in prison..."
He also believes Washington should close Guantanamo because "it is
of little value to the U.S. government in terms of intelligence

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The Middle East, with Israeli PM Olmert's visit to Europe, including
today's visit to Paris, and the latest violence in the Palestinian
territories are major international stories.
PM Olmert's interview with Le Figaro is entitled: "Putting an End to
the Hamas Government." On Europe: "I want to develop a much closer
relationship with Europe..." On Hamas and Abbas: "I hope for Abbas's
sake he will be able to impose himself and force Hamas to adopt the
proposals set by the Quartet... If he accomplishes all of this, then
we can talk long-term strategy... I will do everything I can to
strengthen Abbas's position... " On Jerusalem: "Jerusalem has been
the capital of one nation throughout history. It will always remain
so..." On the security wall: "The security wall will adapt to the
boundaries..." On Iran: "The diplomatic initiative is a necessary
step to find an answer. We are determined to keep Iran from
acquiring the nuclear bomb... But we are not the main players in
this issue. It is the responsibility of the major powers and the

Le Figaro reports on the Camp David talks on Iraq (See Part C) and
on Turkey's new step towards EU membership as talks began yesterday
in Luxembourg: "This is the first and least contentious round of
discussions, on science and research... But the question of the
official recognition Cyprus is pending... and the EU is pressing
Ankara to open its ports to Cypriot ships by the end of 2006 which
would be a de facto recognition of the Republic by Turkey."



"Closing Guantanamo"
Left-of-center Le Monde in its editorial (06/13): "The reaction of
Rear Admiral Harris to the three suicides illustrates the gap that
separates American officials and the rest of the world on
Guantanamo. The same goes for Colleen Graffy's reaction when she
said it was 'a publicity stunt...' We do not want to cover our face
when it comes to what needs to be done to deal with terrorism, but
we would like to make the U.S. understand that Guantanamo has become
a black stain in the democratic world... America's blindness when it
comes to the detainees... exposes all democracies to Islamic
propaganda and radicalization... It was not enough to clamor that
Guantanamo is a legal absurdity, that it is a violation of human
rights... It was not enough to underscore the errors of History in
matters of detention, from Japanese war camps... to Thatcher's
stubbornness over the IRA hunger strikers. The U.S. remains deaf to
all our arguments. The least that European leaders can do is, every
time they attend a high level meeting with American officers, demand
the closing of Guantanamo. Angela Merkel recently showed the way.
The French must follow."

"One Symbol Too Many"
Jean-Christophe Ploquin in Catholic La Croix (06/13): "Gunatanamo
has become the tip of the iceberg. Visible but secret, the prison
stands as a symbol to a state of mind which ignores international
and American law. It is the symbol of an excessive fight which has
gone too far, as witnessed by what went on at Abu Ghraib... It is
impossible to say whether the detention of the hundreds of
individuals at Guantanamo has prevented other terrorist attacks or
enabled terrorist networks to be dismantled. But it seems obvious
that after four years, either the information has been collected, or
it has lost pertinence... The question is what to do with these
prisoners who may have become more dangerous since their captivity?
The only way out is to get out of the legal no man's land that they
are in. As for Europe, a willing partner in the fight against
terrorism, it should not turn away from this time bomb that
continues to fuel the fires of hatred towards the West inside the
Muslim world. Several European countries have shown themselves to be
shamefully weak by authorizing the CIA rendition flights."

"A Legal Black Hole"
Pascal Riche in left-of-center Liberation (06/13): "The
international community is calling for the closing of the detention
center...Meanwhile American authorities at Guantanamo have not shone
with humanity in their comments... A State Department official,
Colleen Graffy, stood out when she said that the suicides were a
'good PR move.'"

Iraq - Camp David Talks

"American War Council on Iraq"
Philippe Gelie in right-of-center Le Figaro (06/13): "It is truly a
war council that George W. Bush has been holding at Camp David since
yesterday... One noteworthy addition to these meetings is the
presence of independent experts... The difficulties in controlling
the militia and the slowness of reconstruction are the two dark
shadows that Washington and Baghdad are hoping to work out,
especially since the disappearance of Zarkawi... For Bush, the
possibility of pulling American troops from Iraq is considered a
tangential outcome of the talks, even if officially, the topic is
not on the agenda."

Latin America - Chavez's Limitations

"Chavez's Proselytism Has Limitations"
Pierre Rousselin in right-of-center Le Figaro (06/13): "The
unleashed Chavez wave has crashed in Peru. Despite his oil dollars,
Chavez was not able to get his man elected... In Nicaragua, his
money may not suffice either in next fall's elections... Chavez
claims to want to rid Latin America of American imperialism. But
asking Latin America to give up agreements, which open up the North
American market, in exchange for a revolutionary mirage makes no
sense... While there is no love lost between the Latin Americans and
the U.S., the former know where their interests lie... American
diplomacy, which is otherwise engaged with Iraq, Iran, the Middle
East and Russia, has no other choice but to let things be in Latin
America. Especially as long as Chavez's rhetoric does not keep him
from supplying oil to the U.S. ... Humala's victory in Peru would
have created an anti-American block. This has now been compromised.
And the U.S. can feel relieved, especially considering the support
Caracas has given Iran on its nuclear program." STAPLETON

© Scoop Media

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