Religion of Peace, 1
United States of America, 0
Ali al-Marii, a former Bradley University student, got a win from the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, stating that the government must charge the Qatari citizen (and legal U.S. resident) or release him from military custody. The three-judge panel opined that the Military Commissions Act does not strip al-Marii of his rights; and, in a 2-1 ruling, noted that "...the Constitution does not allow the President to order the military to seize civilians residing within the United States and then detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them 'enemy combatants.'"
The case of al-Marii is interesting, in that all that he did was have credit card numbers on his computer, along with ties to al-Qaida. As such, his case was transferred to the military courts, given that the government did not care so much about the fact that he might use your credit card to buy goat food at Agway as they did about him using your credit card to buy fertiliser and diesel fuel.
The great irony, of course, is that for all of the supposed trampling of the rights of ordinary citizens by the Bush Administration, the steps taken by Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States) to preserve the Union were far worse. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, imprisoned dissenters, and had the military put down rioters. All President Bush did was have a guy with a mullet arrested for ties to a terrorist organisation.
As a final aside, think about this in terms of the amnesty proposed to the millions of illegal immigrants. Once they are in possession of their Z-Visas, they will get the same rights as al-Marii, so don't even think about detaining these guys if they are arrested for acts of terror against the United States (or, the planning of such acts).
The government has asked the full Fourth Circuit to hear the case, with a possible appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Lifeguard will be watching this one closely.