The Corner

Hamdan Case

It looks like Salim Hamdan — Osama bin Laden’s driver whose case resulted in the Supreme Court invalidating the president’s military commissions only to have Congress reinstate them last year — is finally headed for a military commission trial.  Ditto the Aussie jihadist David Hicks (at least, he’s David Hicks in the sympathetic press accounts since his capture for fighting alongside terrorists; in Australia, he was actually known as Mohammed Dawood) and the Canadian jihadist Omar Khadr (of the Khadr family with longtime ties to bin Laden; Omar, at age 15, is said to have killed an American soldier and wounded several others with a grenade).

Estimates are that perhaps 20 percent of the 400 or so Gitmo combatants will eventually face a commission trial.  The best way to show that they are worthy proceedings is to get on with them.  Convicted combatants will get to have their cases reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  While war critics rail at the purported “legal black hole” that Gitmo supposedly is, this will mark the first time in American history that enemy combatants will have a right of resort to a civilian court of the United States to have their cases reviewed.

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