[Up] [Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Europe Violates Civil Rights More than US

In reply to Sinclair, I wrote a few days ago: 

"I happen also to think that detention without access to attorney, without 
recourse to a writ of habeas corpus, without speedy trial are all wrong, 
especially for US citizens or aliens in the US. There are wartime precedents 
to the contrary but not in an open ended undeclared war when it will be hard 
to say when or what the end is.  These rights are in the US Constitution and 
when the appeals in the US federal courts are completed I am certain that the 
US Constitution in all its grandeur will be upheld."

I did not, however, expect to be vindicated so soon.  Perhaps I would be a 
better prophet than Sherlock Holmes----although I did note in Ann's telling 
us all about her husband that she said nothing of the national origin of his 
mother or where all he spent his childhood, but I digress.

The lead article in the Outlook section of the Washington Post, Sunday, Sept. 
15, 2002, on US and European violations of civil rights was written by 
Jeffrey Rosen, an associate professor of Geo Wash Univ Law School and legal 
affairs editor of the New Republic.  He is coming out with a book on liberty 
and security after 9\11 that will be published by Random House.  I shall 
quote excerpts of the article.

"In the course of researching the state of liberty and security after 9\11, 
I've been especially struck by how restrained America's legal response 
appears when constrasted witih that of our European allies.  Although they 
weren't attacked, the countries of the European Union passed anti-terrorism 
measures during the past year that are far more sweeping than anything 
adopted in the U.S. In Oct., France expanded the powers of the police to 
search private property without a warrant. Germany has engaged in religious 
profiling of suspected terrorists, a practice that was unheld in a 
court....In Britain...Parliament passed a sweeping anti-terrorism law in Dec. 
that authorized a central govt authority to record and store all 
communications data generated by e-mail, Internet borwsing or other 
electronic communications and to make the data available to law enforcement 
without a court order.  In May the European Union authorized all of its 
members to pass similar laws requiring data retention."

"The new British anti-terrorism law...gives the home sec'y unilateral power 
to designate as an 'international terrorist' anyone whom he perceives as a 
'risk to national security' and to indefinitely detain the person without 
charge if the individual can't be deported."

"What distinguishes America from Europe, however, is how quickly all three of 
these three extreme positions [of the Bush Admin] met with opposition from 
the other two branches of the govt."

The article concluded in re US: "The executive branch tried to increase its 
own authority across the board, but the courts and Congress are insisting on 
a more reasoned balance beween liberty and security.  Of all the lessons 
about America' s strength that have emerged since the attacks, this is one of 
the most assuring."

Comment:  I would add that historically Americans have been the least 
deferential to authority of about any European or European off-shoot country.

Jean Paul