The Obama administration has announced that it will appeal a recent Federal District Court decision, which held that three captives at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan could challenge their status as "enemy combatants" in United States courts. The District Court held that the Supreme Court's ruling in Boumediene v. Bush, which allows Guantanamo Bay detainees to file habeas corpus petitions, also gives Bagram detainees access to United States courts. The Obama administration opposes the petitions and has announced that it will appeal the District Court's ruling.
Civil liberties advocates blasted the Bush administration for subjecting Guantanamo Bay captives to indefinite detention and for denying them access to federal courts. The outrage over Guantanamo Bay among President Obama's liberal base and among the populations of certain United States allies (particularly in Europe) probably explains why President Obama's first set of executive orders included a provision directing the closure of the controversial detention facility.
The Obama administration, however, has taken the position that Supreme Court's reasoning in Boumediene does not confer habeas rights to Bagram detainees. This is the same argument that the Bush administration made.
This logic, however, could support the capture and transfer of individuals to Bagram, where they could face prolonged and indefinite detention and denial of access to United States courts. Bagram could become the functional equivalent of Guantanamo Bay.
Even though Bagram differs from Guantanamo Bay because Afghanistan (unlike Cuba) is the site of a war, the particular detainees subject to the District Court's ruling were allegedly captured outside of Afghanistan and taken there for detention. Supreme Court precedent, however, has allowed the government to deny habeas rights to individuals detained in the "theater of war." The District Court, however, held that the government could not prevail under this exception because its own conduct and decisions placed the petitioners within the vicinity of a war.
The Constitutional Law Blog has more coverage of the legal issues.