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EUROPE'S COUNTER-TERRORISM EFFORT VS AMERICA'S

Reader comment on item: How Europe's Counterterrorism Laws Differ from America's

Submitted by DANIEL REDMOND (United States), Oct 24, 2008 at 02:10

I've never lived in Europe and claim no great familiarity with their legal system but it is my understanding that the extreme liberalism and rather ubiquitous socialistic values of many European nations has led to a huge migration of Muslims to their shores. This, of course, compounds the problem of dealing with Islamic terrorism. It may have proven necessary for Europeans to interrogate many more people than they ultimately choose to incarcerate for lengthy periods of time---hence, the 'catch and release' policies they have adopted.

Unlike most Americans, I have actually read the infamous document now known as "the Patriot Act" and it impressed me as being a very rational and fair attempt at improving our law enforcement agencies' ability to cope with terrorists, both domestic and foreign. While explicitly protecting the rights of Muslim citizens---and making it a crime to specifically persecute them---it establishes greater communication between federal, state and local law enforcement and allows for innovative surveillance techniques applicable to our modern society, such as an enhanced ability to utilize electronic tracking methods against an increasingly sophisticated 21st Century enemy.

To my knowledge, there have been precious few abuses of these expanded capabilities for surveillance by our law enforcement agencies and wire taps, etc. still require judicial authorization prior to being implemented during an investigation. Had the Patriot Act been in place prior to Sept. 11, 2001 it is quite likely that Mohammad Atta and his accomplices would have been picked up and deported before they could carry out their hideous plan.

As an ancillary note I should make brief reference to our military detention center at Guantanamo Bay known as GITMO. Housing those classed as "enemy combatants" on foreign soil has allowed the United States to "play hardball" with the worst-of-the-worst affiliates of al-Queda and other terror organizations. While much of the world has condemned the United States for maintaining such a facility, it has proven to be an expedient way of protecting our citizens against another catastrophic attack on our shores; this assertion being evidenced by the lack of any further attacks in the past seven years. GITMO is what one might call a "necessary evil" in today's increasingly dangerous world.

Submitting....

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