The Supreme Court is hearing two cases that relate to the Bush administration’s assertion that it has the legal power to define individuals as enemy combatants and then hold them, indefinitely. In these cases (one person captured in the U.S., one abroad, both U.S. citizens), the ECs are being held without access to lawyers (until after more than two years) or courts and without the right to challenge their legal/war status.
On one hand, the hell with them. Terrorists don’t deserve the same rights as those who abide by society’s laws. But, of course, one could argue the same thing about serial killers and child molesters. I see the need to view those involved in terror-related activities differently under the law. But how can we create another class of defendants without at least giving those defendants the opportunity to prove that they don’t belong in that class? As it stands now, the categorization of individuals as enemy combatants ignores the possibility of mistakes and/or corruption among those with the power to make the determination. How can that possibly be right?