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A more urgent concern is a case on the detainees' legal rights that the Supreme Court is expected to decide by July. That case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, could determine whether prisoners have the right to be charged in U.S. civilian courts. Any decision in favor of the detainees would mean a defeat for the elaborate legal framework the Administration has developed to hold Gitmo detainees and other prisoners without charges--and often without trial--by classifying them as "enemy combatants."
That legal battle may yet be overshadowed by a bloodier confrontation at Gitmo. Word of the suicides will spread quickly through the prison. Leaders among the inmates could decide to ratchet up the pressure by launching more strikes, more fights or perhaps more suicides. Guantanamo is far from Iraq and Afghanistan, but it could become another front in the war on the war on terrorism.