Be advised that I am hardly an attorney, but I do have some limited sea lawyering experience which is unlikely to make my assessments of the Hamdan case anymore coherent than usual. Nevertheless...
Contrary to several hystrionic media reports, AQ detainees were NOT afforded all the privileges of POWs in Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. On the narrow issue of the composition of the courts used to try them for war crimes, the Court ruled that the President didn't have the authority to create the parameters for military commissions without the consent of Congress. Interestingly, the Court also ruled that the detainees, instead of being subject to military commissions where they could conceivably prevail and be freed, could simply be held incommunicado without any charges at all indefinitely or until hostilities in the conflict have ended.
I find this a very interesting paradox that has been completely lost on the media as usual. Let me pose a question. Would you rather have a shot at a trial where it is at least possible that you could win or would it be better to simply rot in prison indefinitely without any chance of leaving or even making a case on your own behalf? The answer depends upon who is sitting in judgement on your case. If you were in Turkey caught smuggling heroin, you might as well get comfy in your new home, but with professional US military officers deciding your fate, you'd have to take a shot. Anyway, it is amusing that the President, in essence (not by intent), was trying to give the detainees a chance at freedom and now liberals on the Court and in the media are cheering the Courts decision to remove that possibility.
So the Congress is now starting to put together a template for military commissions which provides the GOP with another (as if it was necessary) opportunity to show liberals as the terrorist apologists that they are. I can see Nancy Pelosi et al bending over backwards to defend the "rights" of detained terrorists on the airwaves while Americans marvel at their willingness to run from a fight AND pander to CAIR at the same time.
One more thing. This post by Oak Leaf is something of a stretch in my opinion:
I wasted 12 months of my life in Afgahnistan for this.Support by the military in the GWOT is going to collapse.
UPDATE: This opinion will go from a ripple to a wave throughout the uniformed military. We were slapped by John McCain last December. Today, we are slapped by the Supreme Court. This afternoon, I am removing myself from the volunteer list at Human Resources Command-St. Louis to re-deploy. I will not be the only one.
UPDATE: I have received three e mails so far from guys in Afgahnistan on my “.mil” e mail. The sentiment is as follows:
$%^& the supreme court. They have no idea what we are going through. Major xxxxxxxxx
My third tour for what? SHIT!!! Captain xxxxxxxxxx
I want to go home to my family now. Master Sergeant xxxxxxxxx
I don't know Oak Leaf and he is certainly entitled to his opinions, but I just don't see the people who joined the military after witnessing the horror of 9/11 are simply going to pack it in after some bizarre SCOTUS ruling. I suppose some of the senior officer types might get their panties in a bunch, but the operators aren't going to even give this issue the time of day except to remark for the 10,000th time how disgusted they are by liberals in the States.
UPDATE: A quick perusal of the comments on Oak Leaf's post provides a disturbing look into how some conservatives can also become unhinged. It is a demonstration of one of the most unproductive debates I have seen on a conservative site in quite some time. It goes to show you that when you allow your emotions to direct your rhetoric, you end up sounding like a moonbat liberal. Conservatives in general and veterans in particular are all about dealing with problems, not whining about them. The decision yesterday is a setback to be sure, but let's not cry over spilt milk, let's come up with a constructive solution and advocate it.