Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who once worked as Osama bin Laden's driver, isn't the worst of the accused terrorists the United States is holding at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military compound.
Even the Pentagon doesn't argue that he is.
So, why does it appear that the Bush administration intends to hold Hamdan interminably, even after he's served the sentence that a panel of six senior military officers decided is appropriate?
Could be a way of claiming unlimited presidential powers in an unconventional war; of sending a message of "toughness" toward anyone who might associate with terrorists; of refusing to acknowledge that a process the administration fought to curtail produced a fair result despite its shortcomings.
Whatever the administration's motivation, it would be unjust and another blow to U.S. credibility to subvert the findings of the military commission that tried and convicted Hamdan.
Read the full editorial at star-telegram.com.