WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court, in major defeat for President George W. Bush's administration, blocked the U.S. military's current terrorism tribunal system, ruling 5-3 the commission's "structure and procedures" violate both military rules and the Geneva Conventions.
Justice John Paul Stevens, in a decision that drew five votes on significant points, said the military must revamp the system. "We conclude that the military commission convened to try Hamdan lacks power to proceed because its structure and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions," Justice Stevens wrote.
In hearing the case of detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the high court was reviewing several matters, including the ability of the U.S. military to try terrorism suspects held in Guantanamo Bay outside prisoner-of-war procedures and the legality of a 2005 congressional act restricting Supreme Court review of those cases.
The as per the Geneva Convention, PoW cannot be put on trial by their captors. This stands to reason as there can only be one outcome of any such trials: Guilty! We should treat the Guantanamo detainees the same way. As we cannot and should not put the detainees on trial, and we should not and must not release them to commit more acts of terrorism, they should be detained until the War on Terror is won, or until their State of origin requests their return.
From the WSJ
The Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, invalidating for now the use of military commissions to try al Qaeda and associated detainees, may be a setback for U.S. policy in the war on terror. But it is a setback with a sterling silver lining. All eight of the justices participating in this case agreed that military commissions are a legitimate part of the American legal tradition that can, in appropriate circumstances, be used to try and punish individuals captured in the war on terror. Moreover, nothing in the decision suggests that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay must, or should, be closed.
Indeed, none of the justices questioned the government's right to detain Salim Ahmed Hamdan (once Osama bin Laden's driver), or other Guantanamo prisoners, while hostilities continue. Nor did any of them suggest that Mr. Hamdan, or any other Guantanamo detainee, must be treated as civilians and accorded a speedy trial in the civilian courts. Precisely because opponents of the Bush administration's detention policies have advanced these, or substantially similar claims, Hamdan has dealt them a decisive defeat. Together with the Supreme Court's 2004 decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld -- directly affirming the government's right to capture and detain, without criminal charge or trial, al Qaeda and allied operatives until hostilities are concluded -- Hamdan vindicates the basic legal architecture relied upon by the administration in prosecuting this war.
As I suggested, we should just keep them as detainees without trials, military or civilian.