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Sunday, July 1, 2007

One little word

SCOTUSblog reports that a military judge at Guantanamo Bay has refused to reconsider his earlier ruling that a military commission does not have the authority to hold a war crimes trial of a young Canadian detainee, Omar Ahmed Khadr.

The detainee was certified by the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) as an "enemy combatant." The problem is that the military commission has jurisdiction only over cases involving "unlawful enemy combatants," and the CSRT left the unlawful bit out.

The Military Commission Act defines "unlawful enemy combatants" to include members of al Qaeda. According to prosecutors, the CSRT did find that Khadr was a member of al Qaeda but -- for whatever reason -- did not give him the unlawful designation.