Purported Army memo on intelligence

August 24, 2004

Here are excerpts from the memo supplied by Paul Bergrin, attorney for Sgt. Javal S. Davis, a member of the 372nd Military Police Company charged in the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.


Just wanted to make sure we are all clear on the task at hand.

1 - A list identifying individuals who we have in detention that fall under the category of "unlawful combatants":

In order to properly address your request for a legal definition of the term "unlawful combatant," I must first provide you with a framework of definitions with which to work. According to the Law of Land Warfare, the term "combatant" is defined as anyone engaging in hostilities in an armed conflict on behalf of a party to the conflict. Combatants are lawful targets, unless out of combat. With that said, "lawful combatants" receive protections of the Geneva Conventions and gain combat immunity for their warlike acts, as well as become prisoners of war if captured. In comparison, "unprivileged belligerents," commonly referred to as "unlawful combatants," may be treated as criminals under the domestic law of the captor. Unprivileged belligerents may include spies, saboteurs, or civilians who are participating in the hostilities. The term "unlawful combatant" is not referenced, nor is it defined. The term that properly describes these type of individuals is "unprivileged belligerents," and as stated before they may be treated as criminals under domestic law.

2 - An additional list identifying who we have detained who are "Islamic extremist"

3 - Immediately seek input from interrogation elements (Division/Corps) concerning what their special interrogation knowledge base is and more importantly, what techniques would they feel would be effective techniques that SJA could review. (basically provide a list). Provide interrogation techniques "wish list" by 17 AUG 03.

The gloves are coming off gentleman regarding these detainees. Col. Boltz has made it clear that we want these individuals broken. Casualties are mounting and we need to start gathering info to help protect our fellow soldiers from any further attacks. I thank you for your hard work and your dedication.

William Ponce Jr. CPT (P), MI, USA

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.