A federal appeals court is comparing a military decision at Guantanamo Bay to a nonsensical 19th-century poem by Lewis Carroll.

In the first court ruling to analyze a decision to hold a detainee as an enemy combatant, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit questioned some of the government logic. It ordered that a Chinese Muslim held for years be released.

Monday's opinion chided the government for insisting that a piece of evidence was valid because it appeared on three documents. The court said all three documents apparently came from the same dubious source.

The judges compared the argument to "The Hunting of the Snark," an 1876 poem that includes the line, "I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true."