Two opposing views on Boumedienne vs. Bush: One posits that the rule of law shouldn’t be extended to Guantanamo detainees, who are all hardened terrorists anyway; the other, that actual combatants were never properly sifted from innocent bystanders.
There should be crowds of people protesting outside the Supreme Court building with placards demanding ‘Never Again, Never Forget.’ There should be pundits in every newspaper and every television channel denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision. There should be calls for the impeachment of the Supreme Court justices in the majority who made this ruling. But for the most part, with the exception of few outraged commentators, there is a deafening, sickening silence, even a defeated, resigned acquiescence. Much of the nation is already accepting such defeats, and moving on with the mundane aspects of life. After all, there is nothing they can do about it. It is ‘somebody else’s problem.’
Applied to battlefield captures in wartime, this claim may have seemed unremarkable. But the Guantanamo detentions broke new ground in two important ways. First, the administration declined to use battlefield screening hearings to sift actual combatants from innocent bystanders. In the diffuse and wide-ranging Afghan conflict, this inevitably led to erroneous detentions.
Second, Guantanamo was not limited to battlefield detentions. Some, like the petitioner Boumediene himself, were snatched from the peaceful streets of countries like Bosnia and Gambia, where there was no active war.
There’s also the view that the Gitmo guys should not get a fair trial simply because bin Laden and his crew will just use it to bash America, but I’m not even going to link to that bullshit.