The young detainee held at Guantanamo for throwing a hand grenade that wounded two US troops has been ordered released by a judge.
Mohammed Jawad, whose case has generated intense support from human rights groups, might have been as young as 12 when he was arrested by Afghan authorities and turned over to the U.S. military.
He has challenged his confinement in a federal lawsuit being heard by U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle under habeas corpus, a legal doctrine that allows prisoners to contest their confinements before independent arbiters.
Last week, under pressure from Huvelle and Jawad's lawyers, the Justice Department dropped its defense of the detainee's challenge, but said it might still charge him with a crime in a U.S. courtroom.
Our descent back into a law enforcement mindset in fighting terrorism is in full effect and we can expect to see many more rulings similar to this. The problem w/ applying habeas rights to terrorists is that they are often apprehended in situations that make gathering of the type of evidence that will stand up in US courts impossible. It is argued that the lack of American judicial quality calls for the release of many detainees. That logic flies in the face of our entire history of wartime detention of legitimate POWs and the need to have a way to hold, try and or simply detain those who manifestly wish to do us harm. The status quo is untenable as I have long argued. Let's hope that expediency forces the Obama team to generate military tribunals to put some stamp of US justice on these folks prior to putting them in the deep freeze or returning them to room temp.