Monday, November 01, 2004

How Do We Fight Terror Internally? Ask the French!

France has long been ridiculed by American critics (including USANow) as militarily weak, a nation quick to avoid a fight and even quicker to surrender. However, it is becoming clear that France is setting the pace with respect to combating terrorism within their own borders.

Specifically, France has implemented counter-terrorism laws which which would be considered tantamount to marshall law in your local ACLU office. Specifically:
  • Suspects can be preemptively arrested
  • Ethnic profiling is allowed
  • Law enforcement officials are able to interrogate suspects for days without involvement of a defense attorney.
  • A law was passed this year which allows for the deportation of non-citizens who preach "discrimination, hatred, or violence" against any group. A dozen Islamic clerics have been deported as a result of this law.
  • Detainees released from Guantanamo Bay by the United States are publicly blasting the US across Europe. Four detainees who arrived in France after their release recently were immediately detained. Under French law, they could be detained for up to 3 years while their fate is determined.

    More details are available here, in an article from Washington Post's website. The bottom line is that the United States has not cornered the market on being tough on terror. Clearly, we could learn a thing or two from the French. Although implementing a model similar to the French would be challenged at every level by liberals in congress as well as the ACLU, the power and flexibility that our intelligence services would gain make this a battle well worth fighting
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