Karl Gallagher (libertarianhawk) wrote,
Karl Gallagher
libertarianhawk

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French Counter-Terrorism

I guess I could go along with treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue, if we were working with the Napoleonic Code:
Consider the powers granted to Mr. Bruguiere and his colleagues. Warrantless wiretaps? Not a problem under French law, as long as the Interior Ministry approves. Court-issued search warrants based on probable cause? Not needed to conduct a search. Hearsay evidence? Admissible in court. Habeas corpus? Suspects can be held and questioned by authorities for up to 96 hours without judicial supervision or the notification of third parties. Profiling? French officials commonly boast of having a "spy in every mosque." A wall of separation between intelligence and law enforcement agencies? France's domestic and foreign intelligence bureaus work hand-in-glove. Bail? Authorities can detain suspects in "investigative" detentions for up to a year. Mr. Bruguiere once held 138 suspects on terrorism-related charges. The courts eventually cleared 51 of the suspects -- some of whom had spent four years in preventive detention -- at their 1998 trial.
From a WSJ article on French counter-terrorism czar Jean-Louis Bruguiere.

All things considered, I think I'd rather have a common-law system which gives better protection to citizens under the law, and just deal with outlaws as outlaws.
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