It's disturbing to me that the Supreme Court won't distinguish between mere criminals and enemy combatants captured on the battlefield fighting against American troops.

In a stinging rebuke to President Bush's anti-terror policies, a deeply divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign detainees held for years at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have the right to appeal to U.S. civilian courts to challenge their indefinite imprisonment without charges. ...

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the 5-4 high court majority, acknowledged the terrorism threat the U.S. faces - the administration's justification for the detentions - but he declared, "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times." ...

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his own dissent to Thursday's ruling, criticized the majority for striking down what he called "the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants."

I hate to say it, but the majority opinion is just silly. It may be practical to give the 200 detainees currently imprisoned at Guantanamo an appearance before a civilian judge, but what if in the future we capture 1,000 enemy combatants in the mountains of Afghanistan? We have to fly them all back to America for trials? What if we capture 10,000? What if we get into a major war and capture 100,000 guerrillas? The policy doesn't scale well.

Furthermore, it just isn't logical to treat enemies caught on a battlefield the same way we treat domestic criminals, even murderers. Crime-fighting and war-fighting are very different endeavors, with different objectives and different methods. The Constitution recognizes this by granting the power to prosecute a war to the President. Processing imprisoned enemy combatants while the war is ongoing falls under the President's purview as Commander-in-Chief.

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