If "enemy combatant" is a term that denotes a captured person as someone to be held indefinitely pending the end of hostilities does that not make this person subject to the international law of war, the law covering prisoners of war?
Prisoners of war are not criminals. Acts of war do not make them criminals Prisoners of war are not tried for anything unless they have violated the law of war or have broken a law after capture, for example, murder of a guard in an attempt to escape. If they are tried for something like that then they have to be tried under the military law of the detaining power and if convicted punished as a member of that country's armed forces would be punished. Such persons could not be tried before anything other than a court-martial.
I hear the mob crying out for the trial of captured terrorists before military commissions. Why not courts-martial or civilian courts? Is it because the mob imagines that military commissions will function as "kangaroo courts" ignoring due process and the rules of evidence? Is that why?
Is it because the mob thinks that the officers who would serve on military commissions would ignore the evidence of coercion of confessions and torture? If the mob thinks that, then they are fools who hope for national disgrace.
Better to treat our enemies as "common criminals" and try them in Article Three courts or to hold them indefinitely without trial as detainees under the law of war. pl