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The Padilla Case
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From Reuters:

A federal appeals court, in a harsh blow to the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies, ruled on Thursday that the president does not have the power to detain an American citizen seized on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant.

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling, ordered the government to release Jose Padilla, who is being held incommunicado in a Navy brig, from military custody within 30 days.

This is the right decision. I don't know why it took so damned long.

He should of course be arrested on criminal charges, and be given the same access to lawyers as any other criminal, and if there's not enough evidence to hold him he should be let go.

I think the case is less clear with the prisoners down in Guantanamo. We're essentially dealing with stateless enemy combatants, which as far as I know (and I never claimed to be an international legal expert) the guidelines for aren't outlined very well. My inclination would be to say that such people should be able to be held for a relatively short period of time (e.g., less than 3 months), during which time they may be interrogated, and their citizenship determined. It makes most sense to then return them to their country of origin, where they should be tried by whatever local laws apply to any crimes they may have committed. Or perhaps we need an international terrorist tribunal of some sort. least the Padilla case is finally being dealt with in the right way, but the protracted detention of the Guantanamo prisoners is beginning to make me more and more uneasy.

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