The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Gitmo detainees have the right to haebeus corpus petition. It was a strongly divided decision, 5 to 4, and there are core beliefs in this decision that appear irreconcilable; and a thoughtful person acknowledges them. The decision will have a huge impact on the prosecution of the Global War on Terror; according to a report on Gitmo by General McCafferty a large fraction of the detainees are considered extremely dangerous, a portion of these combatants will likely be released and undoubtedly return to their efforts to kill Americans and some will be successful. Those that are cheering the Court's decision are deluding themselves if they do not acknowledge this likelihood.
The candidates have made statements about the decision. One statement respresented a thoughtful, balanced and mature view, the other statement was puerile politics. From the Washington Post:
McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, told reporters in Boston that he had not yet read the opinion, but he expressed concerns about the rights it might impart to the people being held there. "These are unlawful combatants, they are not American citizens and I think we should pay attention to Justice [John] Roberts's opinion in this decision," he said, referring to the chief justice's dissent. "But it is a decision that the Supreme Court has made. Now we need to move forward. As you know, I always favored closing Guantanamo Bay and I still think we ought to do that."
Obama issued a statement expressing support for the decision, saying it strikes the proper balance between fighting terrorism and "protecting our core values." The Illinois Democrat said that "the court's decision is a rejection of the Bush administration's attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo -- yet another failed policy supported by John McCain. This is an important step toward reestablishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law."
Mr. Obama's statement is yet another example of his tendency to unilaterally find fault with his own country's actions to protect its citizenry while failing to acknowledge the realities in dealing with a foe that uses the shield of civilization to pursue the annihilation of that civilization.