"FRED" is the new "enemy combatant"
Our go-to guy for all things GTMO, the Talking Dog, reacts to yesterday's announcement that the prisoners at Guantanamo will no longer be designated "enemy combatants."
No more enemy combatants means no more holding people indefinitely without legal rights or trials based on scant evidence of tenuous connections to terrorism, right? Sadly, no.
But no... instead, as Scotusblog reports here, the main effect of the change(TM) is to change the nomenclature, and the hypothetical doctrinal bases ("derived from international law rather than from inherent Presidential power")... but ... the policy is... largely the same as that in the Bush Administration. And that policy is, quite literally, an "enemy combatant" (now to be called... something else) is anyone we say had any relation to anyone whatsoever that we say is bad. And the truly sad thing is... I'm not even making that up!
The old Bush administration legal theory said that the president had constitutional power to designate people as enemy combatants. That theory has been rejected.
Luckily for fans of indefinite detention, there's another theory whereby international law can designate people as some other thing, using more or less the same criteria as the president used to designate enemy combatants.
The Talking Dog estimates that 100% of the people who used to be enemy combatants will end up being called some other thing--with no substantive change in their legal rights. If they're looking for a snappy new name, TD suggests "Foreign Renditioned Enemy Detainee," or "FRED."