I am pretty surprised this made it through the Supreme Court with the supposed historians and protectors of the Constitution (more detail here). The SCOTUS blog has an entry explaining details of the petition. I am also surprised this was pressed by our current POTUS and his liberal friends. What I find shocking is the push by the admin that torture should be considered ordinary for people who are not persons. This is the same admin that campaigned on the moral superiority of denouncing torture.
I can see why the the admin and SCOTUS were against this or rejected it. These are not citizens, and the persons applying for this are involved in a military conflict, yet are not uniformed military combatants. This is a slippery issue in any war, but especially a war involving jihadists who come from all over. Are they just mercenaries with a sense of religion or are they something else? I'm not sympathetic to jihadists and terrorists, but it's not just them that this could apply to.
The first link up top voices the concern. What happens when a Prez comes into power with a Nixonian view of enemies and is overzealous with naming people enemy combatants. Nixon (and to a lesser degree Clinton) loved using the IRS to harass enemies. Do we fall down the rabbit hole of unpersons (very Soviet) and hiding people away in Gulags because they are not a person, therefore not eligible for Constitutional protection. I'm no legal expert. I'm just a concerned citizen. Part of why I am drawn to limited government is that laws and powers can be used in completely different ways in different hands. If the law is on the books, they can use it. If there is no law, they have no power. Look at the bill of rights and notice how many of those laws are negative powers for the government. It states what the government cannot do.