Friday, November 20, 2015

New York Times has amnesia

On Wednesday, the French authorities said they had carried out more than 414 raids across the country, arrested 64 people and placed another 118 under house arrest.

Under the emergency, the authorities are permitted to conduct raids and make arrests without first obtaining a warrant. But as soon as someone is arrested or property is seized, the regular legal system kicks in. Suspects in terrorism cases are already allowed to be held without charge for up to six days.

In the United States, even in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, raids on that scale would have created a storm of criticism, but the French, only 10 months after Islamist radicals attacked the newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, have generally accepted the crackdown as necessary.

November 20, 2015

Actually, by November 2001, the Times was reporting that somewhere between 500 and 1000 miscellaneous Muslim males, of varying immigration statuses, had been picked and held, largely incommunicado, mostly without charges or lawyers.

Then as now, this wasn't law enforcement; it was a panic attack. Like the French, few in the U.S. objected to this blanket racial and religious profiling. None of those swept up in this dragnet were ever charged with terrorism. Perhaps the French can undercover some real perps? That doesn't seem to be what dragnets do.

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