After three years of rotting in prison with no charges as an 'enemy combatant', American citizen, Jose Padilla, arrested on American soil, has finally been charged with a crime and transfered from military to civilian authority. Lawyer's on Padilla's behalf had appealed his status as an 'enemy combatant' leading to a variety of legal cases including a Supreme Court Decision and a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a sense I'm almost sorry that the George Bush decided to back down and not continue to assert the government's line that it could hold anyone, anywhere, for however long it thought appropriate. It would have been useful to have had a Supreme Court ruling reminding Mr. Bush that he is President, not Emperor. Of course given the new Justices that Mr. Bush is appointing I suppose I should be happy the case ended now before the new Supreme Court had a chance to rule that we have no rights other than the ones that Mr. Bush decides to give us.
In any case Mr. Bush has demonstrated that the U.S. government can steal three years of a citizen's life without any charges, judicial review, nothing. That alone is scary enough.