I've never understood the distress of the American and international Left over the detention of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, but I expect the recent Supreme Court ruling denying the legitimacy of the military tribunals President Bush established to try the prisoners will lead to further angst from those with bleeding hearts (only figuratively bleeding, thanks in part to Guantanamo Bay).

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The ruling, a rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti- terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and international Geneva conventions.

Even though there doesn't appear to be agreement over whether or not the Geneva Conventions apply to terrorists who don't abide by the convetions themselves. (And this issue isn't really up to the Supreme Court to decide.) Anyway, the key point of this ruling is naturally buried in the last two paragraphs.

In his own opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer said, "Congress has not issued the executive a 'blank check.'"

"Indeed, Congress has denied the president the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary," Breyer wrote.

So there's a pretty simple solution available. There's no way we're going to reduce the number of prisoners at Guantanamo if we can't definitively win the War on Terror (how?) or have trials. Hopefully Congress will step into this gap and resolve the issue. If not, hopefully some Senator or Representative will offer up his district as an alternative prison site that's more agreeable to the Left.



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