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France Cracks Down on Civil Liberties, Sometimes Exceeding US's Post-9/11 Response

Warrantless raids, house arrests, limits on freedom of speech and assembly are just some of the measures used in the name of security.

Last Friday, France's parliament overwhelmingly passed a three-month extension ofWhere's LeBeef?Youtube/Islamotion the national state of emergency, granting broad powers to law enforcement and significantly curtailing civil liberties. 

The Guardian summarizes some of the new security measures:

  • Expanded powers to immediately place under house arrest any person if there are “serious reasons to think their behaviour is a threat to security or public order”.
  • More scope to dissolve groups or associations that participate in, facilitate or incite acts that are a threat to public order. Members of these groups can be placed under house arrest.
  • Extended ability to carry out searches without warrants and to copy data from any system found. MPs, lawyers, magistrates and journalists will be exempt.
  • Increased capacity to block websites that “encourage” terrorism.

The move was approved by a vote of 551-6 with 6 abstentions, and a recent poll indicates "84 percent of the French people (are) willing to give up some freedoms to guarantee their security."

These measures expand upon the authorities granted to the government by what's been called the "French Patriot Act," passed in the wake of the massacre at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last January. Former Reasoner J.D. Tuccille described that law as allowing for "surveillance creep beyond specific targets, to acquaintances who may have nothing to do with any alleged transgressions, terroristic, economic, or otherwise." 

France's reaction to the terrorist attacks of two weeks ago, which left 130 dead, is playing out similarly to the US's response after the 9/11/01 attacks which left 2,977 dead, but in some ways goes even further.  

A little more than a month after 9/11, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (aka the PATRIOT Act) was passed in the Senate by a vote of 98-1 and 356-66 in the House. A Pew Research poll conducted around that time found only 55% support among Americans for curtailing civil liberties in the name of increased security from terrorism, meaning even after the profound psychic and emotional trauma of 9/11, Americans were far more protective of their civil liberties than the French.

In an interesting article examining the similarities and differences between the French and American responses to their most deadly terror attacks, Mother Jones' Josh Harkinson writes:

The differences boil down to governing philosophies, says Jonah Levy, a France expert who teaches comparative politics at the University of California-Berkeley. "We have checks and balances and try to create a system in which the government does no harm," he says. "France has a system that is designed to centralize power in the presidency and have an elected monarch, basically. And the French in general have a more positive view of the state, and government intervention."

MoJo's roundup notes these major differences between the French and US responses:

SPEECH AND THE PRESS

United States: The constitutional right to free speech in the United States remained in full effect in the aftermath of 9/11. Disturbing images of people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center led the front pages of newspapers around the country.

France: The state of emergency law authorizes the government to "control the press" by placing restrictions on everything from radio broadcasts to movies and plays. Just after the Paris attacks, the French police prevented journalists from interviewing witnesses. In the following days, France's Interior Ministry asked social media networks such as Twitter to censor photographs of the killings and to remove keywords and posts it deemed to be pro-ISIS. Under France's expansive hate speech laws, it is a crime to insult people based on their race, religion, or sex; to deny the Holocaust; or to advocate terrorism.

The expanded powers approved on Friday give police officers an increased capacity to block websites that "encourage" terrorism. But in extending the state of emergency, parliament removed the restrictions on journalists. Lawmakers are also reportedly considering a law that makes it easier to deport radical imams.

FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY

United States: The US Constitution guarantees "the right of people to peaceably assemble"—a right that was generally respected even after 9/11. However, a 2010 Supreme Court ruling upheld a federal law that makes it illegal to offer "material support," including training and expert advice, to US-designated terrorist groups. Courts have also allowed the police to curtail the assembly rights of criminal gangs using "gang injunctions."

France: The declared state of emergency allows French authorities to close any public meeting place, including public theaters. The expanded powers approved on Friday permit police to dissolve groups or associations they believe participate in, facilitate, or incite acts that are a threat to public order. Members of these groups can be placed under house arrest.

The government has invoked the state of emergency to cancel protests and marches that were planned to coincide with the COP21 climate conference.

Though hundreds of Muslims in the US were detained without charges in the weeks after 9/11, more than 1,000 police searches have been conducted in France since the Paris attacks, using tactics described by the New York Times as "breaking down doors, conducting searches without warrants, aggressively questioning residents, hauling suspects to police stations and putting others under house arrest." But since only 117 people have reportedly been arrested, much of the noise and fury have yielded little in the way of tangible results. 

France's "Fiche S" (or "S-file") tracks individuals deemed security risks and allows for increased surveillance on said individuals and the people they interact with. The Times spoke with Xavier Nogueras, a Paris civil rights lawyer who represents a number of Muslims on the S-file watch list, many of whom have been placed under arrest. 

Mr. Nogueras says his clients, under the house-arrest procedure, are shouldering an intolerable burden that they do not deserve. Simple attendance at a mosque under surveillance can land someone in the S-files, he noted. The result has been a catastrophe for his clients, he said.

Under the house-arrest rules, they must report to the local police station up to four times a day. “That is totally excessive,” said Mr. Nogueras. “These measures threaten individual liberties. For most of them who have a normal work life, they can’t even work any longer.

“They are taking it extremely badly,” he continued, ”because mostly they have nothing to reproach themselves for. They are living a Western lifestyle.”

It's important to note that some of the more aggressive searches by French authorities have led to hundreds of weapons (including a rocket launcher) being confiscated. But like the Patriot Act, which by a wide margin was used more to bust drug dealers than terrorists, a spokesman for the French Interior Ministry boasted of 77 "discoveries of narcotics" as evidence that the new powers granted by the state of emergency were proving successful.

Not every raid has yielded drugs or weapons, as was the case this past weekend at the Pepper Grill, a Halal-Mexican burger joint in Paris which was raided by upwards of 40 police armed with rifles and clad in body armor, helmets, and riot shields. After terrifying the diners, who were ordered to sit still and not touch their phones, the officers proceeded to the basement, where they smashed several doors with battering rams, reportedly in search of a "hidden prayer room." 

Ivan Agac, the 28 year-old owner of the restaurant, told the French newspaper Liberation that he begged the officers not break down doors because he would simply unlock them, but that he was ordered to lay on the floor and stay silent.

After the 30-minute raid yielded nothing in the way of "people, weapons or objects linked to terrorist activities" that were the pretext of the search, the officers reportedly wished Agac a good night and left. 

It's safe to say France has not been this on edge regarding its security since World War II, and there's no doubt they face legitimate violent threats from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists in their midst. But it will be interesting to see if more heavy-handed and ultimately fruitless raids like the one suffered by the employees and customers of the Pepper Grill will swing the pendulum of public opinion back in favor of civil liberties.

A French-language Wiki devoted to identifying "articles that speak of possible abuses / excesses related to the state of emergency" already has dozens of entries.

You can watch video of the Pepper Grill raid, as recorded by the restaurant's security cameras below (via Islamotion):

Photo Credit: Youtube/Islamotion

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  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Alt text win.

  • Reverend Draco||

    Shouldn't it be, "LeBoeuf?"

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The move was approved by a vote of 551-6 with 6 abstentions, and a recent poll indicates "84 percent of the French people (are) willing to give up some freedoms to guarantee their security."

    Funny that.

  • DesigNate||

    Too bad it won't.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If it saves one diaper...

  • Inigo Montoya, Micro-Aggressor||

    I wonder which is less damaging to the environment: the extra laundry that is required after pants-shitting or the extra landfill space necessitated by disposable adult diapers.

  • Drake||

    Welcome to the new Europe.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Same as the Old Europe.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Exempting journalists is a nice touch

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    As the French scream for Syrian blood, is it our turn to sneer now? Can we call them "les Cowboys" now? Can we flood our cities with protests against "Franchimp McHolliter"? Can we cluck our tongues about Europe's soon-to-be-constructed "apartheid wall"?

    "Plus ça change..." and all that jazz.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Non!

  • Drake||

    Little of what is going on has anything to do with Syria. The Muslim population is at 10% and rising. There are big swaths of Paris they have lost control over and can no longer police - which is where the terrorist attacks were planned.

    They are using this crisis as an opportunity to try to take back the Muslim ghettos.

  • Rhywun||

    This "can't police" meme is bullshit. The words you are looking for are "won't police".

  • John||

    Exactly.

  • Homple||

    But what happens when they try to police? Lots of PC shrieking about profiling and such. Something had to give and it just did.

  • sarcasmic||

    This "can't police" meme is bullshit. The words you are looking for are "won't police".

    How exactly are the cops expected to do their job in a community that refuses to cooperate with them? Crimes need to be reported and investigated to be solved. If they are never reported in the first place, or if victims and witnesses refuse to cooperate, then the task of solving the crime can become impossible. Not that cops really give a shit about crimes with actual victims since there is no revenue in it, but they do need community support to solve them.

  • kinnath||

    Well, if the French hadn't shuffled off all the undesirables into ghettos, they wouldn't have unpoliceable neighborhoods.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, if you don't have that, you have an occupying army rather than police in the sense that most somewhat free countries understand them.

  • Rhywun||

    What crimes are not being reported? I can understand the "not cooperating" part because we have a lot of that in the US.

    "Not policing" also implies refusing to even enter an area to, say, patrol. Not buying it.

  • Homple||

    Spent much time there, have you?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What crimes are not being reported?

    Rape, usually.

  • Inigo Montoya, Micro-Aggressor||

    So the solution would appear to be having Rolling Stone magazine establish a Paris bureau. Then every rape would be reported, including the imaginary ones.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • sarcasmic||

    What crimes are not being reported?

    Crimes against people who don't trust the police and/or have reason to fear reprisal from the community for involving the cops.

    Also, what's the point of patrolling an area where the people are hostile to you? They're not going to report crimes, and they're not going to cooperate. Just leave them alone.

  • Inigo Montoya, Micro-Aggressor||

    "Also, what's the point of patrolling an area where the people are hostile to you?"

    I don't know... How about target practice? Baton beat-down training? Shooting pets? Flash-bomb baby-burning?

    Oh wait, we're talking about French police! I guess they probably beat suspects over their heads with their own baguettes and pretentiously sneer at them for being "gauche," but otherwise they are probably more gentle than their U.S. counterparts.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Rhywun, google compstat reporting abuse. Or lies. You'll get something like this HuffPo article that explains further.

    Basically, large police departments went to a metrics-driven model for policing. Some officers found that it was easier to cook the books on the stats---through things like assigning crimes to different municipalities, undercharging people initially, classifying acts as not even crimes, etc...---than it was to actually lower crime.

    As far as no-go zones in the U.S., they may not be like that anymore, but wasn't it the rule for those giant public housing blocks that cops weren't to go into them unless four or more of them were present? A la the famous lyric from Amos Moses,

    Well the Sheriff got wind that Amos
    Was in the swamp tracking alligator skin.
    So he snuck in the swamp, gonna get the boy,
    But he never come out again.

    FWIW, Daniel Pipes, one of the originators of translating ZUS (Zone urbaine sensible) into "No-go zones" has backed off his original characterization. See his post on them at his site for more.

  • Cytotoxic||

    For the millionth time, the no-go zones are a myth.

  • Illocust||

    Bullshit, we have no-go zones in fucking America and we are a million times better at integrating our 'others'. France not having no-go zones would be big fucking news.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Cyto can't believe in no-go zones, or else he might have to question his stance of importation of hominid labor units.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Well that and it's a complete fiction.

  • HolgerDanske||

    Well that and it's a complete fiction.

    There are practical no-go zones in Denmark. In fact here is one described in the Danish police union's own paper, in an article from 2013:

    http://www.dansk-politi.dk/art.....rligt.aspx

    I'm sure you can parse it through google translate yourself if you don't speak Danish, but the English term "no go" is used in the original article.

    There are several other areas, and while maybe not officially branded "no-go", the police and fire department just don't show up there except in rare cases and in large numbers. If they do show up with insufficient force or without some kind of truce, the result is usually destruction of their vehicles and rocks, fireworks, or bullets aimed at their personnel.

  • Inigo Montoya, Micro-Aggressor||

    Hey, what's with the hating on hominids?

    If you need any job done that requires the use of tools, a homo habilis or two can do the work of 10-15 modern humans. You don't even have to give them any equipment, as they're perfectly able to make their own tools our of any rocks and sticks they find lying about.

    And the best part is you don't need to pay them any money -- they're happy to work for a few slabs of roasted bison meat and dry cave to sleep in.

  • kinnath||

    Back in the 90s, I traveled to Moscow many times on business. Someone asked me if I was ever worried about walking around Moscow, day or night. I said that I wasn't worried about going anywhere in Moscow, but I couldn't say the same thing about Chicago.

  • Cytotoxic||

    How many times am I going to have to link to this?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....-zone-myth

    YOU ARE WRONG. End of story. Finito.

  • ant1sthenes||

  • Rhywun||

    we have no-go zones in fucking America

    Where?

  • Illocust||

    Read Kinnath's post. They are getting rarer with all the gentrification going on in our big cities, but there are still a few places you don't want to be a well dressed white boy during the day, much less at night.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    a few places you don't want to be a well dressed white boy during the day, much less at night.

    That's not how people are using the term "no-go zone" here. In recent times, "no-go zone" refers to the purported policies of some European metropolises refusing to send police and emergency services into certain neighborhoods, usually majority-Muslim and poor.

  • Rhywun||

    Yes, I am specifically denying that there is a neighborhood in America where police "refuse to go". I am also highly dubious of claims that the phenomenon exists in Europe either. I have no trouble believing that policing such areas is more difficult but I think people are exaggerating.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Gray Ghost||

    Your link's busted HM, but were you talking about Kowloon Walled City? Crazy documentary on same here.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yes. Closest thing we've had to one of those SimCity arcologies.

  • Muzzled Woodchipper||

    Favelas in Brazil are definitely no-go zones except those immediately adjacent to World Cup stadiums.

  • kinnath||

    Note, the fact that I (a short fat white dude) could not walk or drive safely through many neighborhoods in some majors cities, does not prove that the neighborhoods had become unpoliceable.

    There is no doubt that there have been many neighborhoods in major cities (black or hispanic or other) where the police have been largely ineffective (or just don't give a shit). That is not actually the same thing as the police halting all activities as implied by "no-go zones".

  • Rhywun||

    Note, the fact that I (a short fat white dude) could not walk or drive safely through many neighborhoods in some majors cities

    As HM noted, I was discussing a different phenomenon.

    I absolutely agree that there are neighborhoods in America that are "no-go" to me.

  • kinnath||

    I thought I was replying to Illocust, but it's hard to tell when you hit the wall on the comment nesting.

    I was straddling the fence on "no-go". I sure every country has major cities with ghettos that "outsiders" would be unwise to visit. But I doubt that any 1st world countries have cities that have neighborhoods that are totally ungovernable by the city administration.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    That place where Denzel lived in Training Day is a no-go zone for police. So, there.

  • BigT||

    we have no-go zones in fucking America

    We call them gated communities. Feel safe there?

  • ||

    Name some. There's nowhere that cops refuse to go.

  • Illocust||

    There are definitely places cops won't go without back up. There used to be one in Midland. I'd have to check with my Dad to get the details unfortunately. It's been a while since I heard the story that went with it.

  • Illocust||

    Actually now that I think about it, that might have been in Houston. I moved around a ridiculous amount in my childhood. It's hard to remember what town what happened in.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Nowhere that cops-as-peace-officers refuse to go, or nowhere that cops-as-stormtroopers refuse to go?

  • Illocust||

    Cops as storm troopers are only for drug busts and hostage situations. If you can't get cops-as-peace-officers you essentially don't have police.

  • ant1sthenes||

    That's my point. If the only time cops head in is with ten buddies and full riot gear, it's basically a no-go zone.

  • Homple||

    Spent much time there, have you?

  • Zeb||

    Maybe when they invade a country that had nothing to do with the attacks.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's coming.

  • Loki||

    You never let us have any fun! *kicks rock*

  • SIV||

    The Frogs can gorge themselves on buckets of poulet frit ala liberte to show their disdain for our cosmopolitan limp-wristed pacifism

  • Zeb||

    Nice.

  • MSimon||

    Ho litter?

    Clean up in aisle 7.

  • Raven Nation||

    The US Constitution guarantees "the right of people to peaceably assemble"—a right that was generally respected even after 9/11. However, a 2010 Supreme Court ruling upheld a federal law that makes it illegal to offer "material support," including training and expert advice, to US-designated terrorist groups. Courts have also allowed the police to curtail the assembly rights of criminal gangs using "gang injunctions."

    Without endorsing or critiquing the SC ruling, I'm not clear on how the law trangresses the right to peaceable assembly in allowing the feds to prohibit material support to terror groups. Is it the subsequent extension of that prohibition by police to criminal gangs that is the problem?

  • tarran||

    The "material support" in question was the plaintiff's program to give seminars and training to terrorist groups on how to use non-violent means to pursue their political goals.

    So, if I were to lecture the leadership of the PKK on how to advocate for a Kurdish homeland within the borders of Turkey, and on how to work within the Turkish legal and political system to achieve the sovereignty they desire, I would be committing a crime.

    It's the same argument used to claim Milton Friedman committed a crime by lecturing people in Chile that Pinochet should liberalize the economy.

  • Raven Nation||

    Cool - appreciate the info.

  • GamerFromJump||

    "The "material support" in question was the plaintiff's program to give seminars and training to terrorist groups on how to use non-violent means to pursue their political goals."

    Guess it depends on if the goal is inherently terroristic, which the goal of instituting Sharia is.

  • Zeb||

    I'd say it's more to do with free speech and free association. As long as you aren't engaging in criminal conspiracy or treason you should be able to talk and offer advice to anyone.

  • sarcasmic||

    Offering advice is aiding the conspiracy.

  • Zeb||

    I suppose that's the reasoning. Though if the advice is "maybe murdering people isn't the most effective strategy", I'm not sure how that contributes to a criminal conspiracy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...a recent poll indicates "84 percent of the French people (are) willing to give up some freedoms to guarantee their security."

    Obviously there should be a few more words inserted there.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Donald Trump should run for President of France.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Would he have to be a natural born citizen?

  • UnCivilServant||

    The French are overdue for a new consitution anyway.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    It'll be YUGE!!

  • Inigo Montoya, Micro-Aggressor||

    Making France great again...uhhh -- for the first time!!

  • waffles||

    Napoleon made France great once.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Wait a minute. Tuccille doesn't write for Reason anymore? I swear I just read something from him here.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Who?

  • Swiss Servator||

    DON'T TALK ABOUT 2CHILLI!!!!

  • Idle Hands||

    His last post I think was either an am or pm links so you should remember.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Wait... where did the article say what'shisface doesn't work here anymore?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Former Reasoner J.D. Tuccille...

    This article was how they informed him he'd been let go!

  • SIV||

    Did 2chili say something slightly negative about the TPP?

  • UnCivilServant||

    I donno, maybe he let slip that it had nothing to do with free trade as was all about cronyism and "progressive" politics.

  • SIV||

    I think I've found it:

    The prescient commenters called it

  • ||

    He left a while ago now.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

  • Idle Hands||

    good god it;s like he never left.

    Ban Encryption? It’s an Impossible Idea Whose Time Will Never Come
    J.D. Tuccille
    November 24, 2015
    Business Licenses Are Still an Effective Tool—For Crushing Entrepreneurship
    J.D. Tuccille
    November 17, 2015
    When Prohibitions Fail in Prison, How Can They Work in the World Outside?
    J.D. Tuccille
    November 10, 2015
    Drone Registration: A Stupid Solution in Search of a Problem It Might Actually Fix
    J.D. Tuccille
    November 3, 2015
    When Governments Offer Empty Health Care Promises, Black Markets Deliver the Goods
    J.D. Tuccille
    October 27, 2015
    New York’s Unlicensed Cabbies, and Their Passengers, Get a Long Overdue Break
    J.D. Tuccille
    October 13, 2015
    With 3D-Printed Guns Beyond Control, DIY Nukes Are the Chic New Concern
    J.D. Tuccille
    October 6, 2015
  • Raven Nation||

    From the 11/24 tag line:

    J.D. Tuccille is a former managing editor of Reason.com and current contributing editor.

  • Idle Hands||

    Well that must be it, I know I remember him saying goodbye. So he's not here on an official capacity he just freelances but even so it looks like the koch brothers still have their hooks in him.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yeah I remember that too.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Lies, we all know that reason doesn't have an editor.

  • Rhywun||

    Everyone is right. I think he is "gone" in the sense that he doesn't work for Reason any more. And he is "not gone" in the sense that he still contributes articles - which like all contributors' seem to get swept under the rug because I haven't seen any of these.

  • SIV||

    The failure of 24/7 didn't help.

  • Rhywun||

    Of what?

    /JK

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I accept everyone's apology.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Some people have criticized the Bill of Rights for encoraging the political class to think that the people's rights are limited to those enumerated in those ten amendments. I suspect, though, that without The BOR standing as a shield for those rights, the political class would be completely unrestrained by the passions of the moment.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I never bought the argument that we'd have been better without the BOR. Governments are by nature inclined to push the limits of their power. Without any codification of basic rights, it would have been much worse. How long did it take for congress to just ignore the 1st amendment with the Alien and Sedition Acts?

  • kbolino||

    The interesting thing is that the French do have a codification of basic rights, it's called Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen (Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen). However, it is much weaker than our own BOR with regards to individual rights, essentially qualifying most expressions of freedom with "except as prohibited by law". It balances this with some greater procedural protections, mostly about officials and processes being transparent and unbiased.

  • Win Bear||

    The problem is that the French don't have a government of enumerated powers. That is, their Déclaration is all they have. For the US, the Bill of Rights is a backup to the strict limits implied by a constitution of enumerated powers.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So, people in a crisis tend to overreact in favor of ending the crisis.

    No offense, but this should hardly come as a surprise. Maybe the best answer is to impose a 6-week moratorium on any legislation after a major terrorist attack.

  • BigT||

    a 6-week moratorium on any legislation after a major terrorist attack

    Write in sunset procedures - after 6 months or whatever. And add that the re-confirmation of the law needs a super majority.

  • Win Bear||

    So, people in a crisis tend to overreact in favor of ending the crisis.

    A "crisis" implies something ongoing. There was a tragic attack, but what exactly is the "crisis" supposed to be?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    So we know how the right would deal with this situation-- how would the left deal with it if they were in power?

  • UnCivilServant||

    I thought the government in France was controlled by the socialist party this year.

  • sarcasmic||

    Your sarcometer needs re-calibrating.

  • John||

    A lot of grovelling until the public outrage started to threaten their hold on power and then with unimaginable brutality.

  • Loki||

    Is anyone actually stupid enough to be surprised by this?

  • ||

    Probably.

  • Hugh Akston||

  • paranoid android||

    What surprises me is that we're now looking back fondly on the fucking PATRIOT Act as a sober, measured response to terrorism.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Did you just call me stupid?

  • tarran||

  • Loki||

    Perhaps you know Russian epic of Cinderella... /jk

  • sarcasmic||

    The Constitution can be suspended during war, and we're in a war with terrorism that will never end. I figure we're one or two terrorist attacks away from tossing the whole thing into the chipper.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, it is like a hundred years old or something.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    And written by SLAVEHOLDERS!!!

    BLM!
    BLM!!
    BLM!!!

  • ATXChappy||

    Not sure President Trump is going to wait for a terrorist attack. He's already gassing up the chipper.

  • Gray Ghost||

    "Boston Strong"™

  • sarcasmic||

    That's what came to mind.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    This is what freedom looked like in Boston.

    Not pictured: the old guy who went out for a cigarette and found the asshole.

  • Rhywun||

    Y'know, I don't recall anything like this after 9/11. Eventually, these types were posted at train stations and such, but in the immediate aftermath? There were no lockdowns, no curfews, no massive raids of hundreds of houses.

  • tarran||

    They had to condition the populace first, and wait for a significant number of World War II vets die.

  • sarcasmic||

    After 9/11 the hijackers were dead. No need for a lock-down / manhunt.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Even sadder is that Boston had a minor bombing campaign before, in 1976. It didn't blow up their marathon, but there were four separate bombs that went off around the Boston area. And that's not including the bomb in April of that year that injured 22 people at the Suffolk County Courthouse.

    They didn't lose their minds, or called upon an occupying army to save them. Instead, they let law enforcement do their work.

    I don't remember either, Rhywun, craziness like curfews or anything beyond seeing the odd National Guardsman at the airport with an M-16 (and no mag in the weapon). But I'll bet it'll happen should a plane go Boom! today or tomorrow. Or worse, Jesus, if the Islamic terror group du jour decides to reenact the Beslan Massacre at someone's middle school here.

  • ant1sthenes||

    If there is a school massacre, I think you'll finally start to see some hate crimes in earnest. Most people sense that the main thing protecting us from Lanza style attacks is that there aren't many Lanza style crazies, but if jihadis decide to go that route, they can pretty much do it at will. You can't realistically protect every school.

  • John||

    ant1sthenes|11.24.15 @ 2:26PM|#

    I think you are right. People have about lost faith in the government's ability to protect them. If there is a bad attack here, you will see them taking matters into their own hands and things will get very bad for Muslims.

    Obama is just amazingly incompetent. I have no doubt he wants to protect US Muslims from revenge crimes. Yet, everything he does is just making that more likely to happen.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    New York is too large for that, I think. But now the NYPD has that strike force, or whatever they call it, so a bunch of a fat guys with M4's can run around being useless.

  • Swiss Servator||

    They borrowed UAE "Special Forces" - I had never seen a tubby commando force before seeing them in 2004. Tried to ride their little French armored cars everywhere - didn't care for walking much.

  • BigT||

    no lockdowns, no curfews, no massive raids

    It was a bitch to get a flight for a few days. That's not a lockdown?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    niting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act

    Goodness.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act

    It looks even worse when whole.

  • Rhywun||

    Someone got a gold star for that.

  • Swiss Servator||

    An Order of Lenin? Sounds about right.

  • Slammer||

    *gaze narrows you*

  • ant1sthenes||

    But it will be interesting to see if more heavy-handed and ultimately fruitless raids like the one suffered by the employees and customers of the Pepper Grill will swing the pendulum of public opinion back in favor of civil liberties.

    I guess the question is whether most people in France see themselves as one united "public" with some bad actors, or two "publics" within one border, in a cold civil war that could easily turn hot.

  • Robert||

    So basically what you got here is that they're maintaining laws against insulting Moslems, while they conduct an official campaign of insult to let them understand they're unwelcome. It's like punching someone in the nose repeatedly while saying, "We love you!"

  • Rhywun||

    They've been unwelcome in France since beginning to arrive decades ago.

  • Citizen X||

  • Rhywun||

    Heh good point.

  • John||

    If they speak French and do something besides sit on their ass and collect welfare, they are actually fairly welcome. There are a lot of French Algerians who do just fine. In many ways the Muslim problem in Europe is a welfare problem. The dependence, lack of assimilation and social decay associated with the welfare state is the real problem. Radical Islam is just taking that problem and making it deadly to the nation at large.

  • Rhywun||

    There are a lot of French Algerians who do just fine.

    Agreed - I knew some in Germany, and lots of Turks too. I respect folks who succeed like that - they put up with a lot more shit than immigrants in the US.

  • John||

    Me too. And I bet if France cut them all off the fucking dole, they would find something better to do than join the jihad.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, assuming that rioting and burning down the city for non-religious reasons is better than jihad.

  • John||

    After you shot a few of them, that wouldn't be so fun anymore either.

  • tarran||

    What's the point of Napoleon's widening the city streets so that the army could shoot down a rioting mob more easily, id you don't actually take advantage of it?!?

  • John||

    Yes, That was after the 1830 revolution. And it was Napoleon III, not the famous general.

  • Swiss Servator||

    +1 whiff of the grape

  • MetalBard||

    And yet they came anyways.

  • Old.Mexican||

    FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY
    United States: The US Constitution guarantees "the right of people to peaceably assemble"—a right that was generally respected even after 9/11.


    Except for cake baking Christians. Freedom of Association is discriminatory and racist when it applies to them.

    Ivan Agac, the 28 year-old owner of the restaurant, told the French newspaper Liberation that he begged the officers not break down doors because he would simply unlock them, but that he was ordered to lay on the floor and stay silent.


    "How dare you rob us of our fun, citizen?"

  • John||

    In fairness to the French cops, they were looking for people with a bad habit of blowing themselves up when the cops arrive. I could understand why they were a bit leery of just having the guy unlock the door.

  • David Wall||

    Fairness and logic doesn't apply to cops in Libertarianland. John, you don't belong here.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The David Wall, resident in Bangkok? Or no?

  • Win Bear||

    Except for cake baking Christians. Freedom of Association is discriminatory and racist when it applies to them.

    You reap what you sow.

  • DaveSs||

    Cagnotte! Nous avons trouvé les fournitures de bureau .

  • ||

    guarantee their security

    So the French are all retards, then.

    Or, ils sont tous attardé

  • John||

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....Syria.html

    If this girl doesn't win the Darwin Award this year, the award has no meaning.

  • SIV||

    Why do you hate the brown jailbait?

  • John||

    She was a white girl. And it is hard to imagine someone not named Cytoxic being that stupid.

  • MetalBard||

    I don't know if Asians are honorary whites then can't white muslims be honorary brown?

  • John||

    They were Vienese not Vietnamese.

  • MetalBard||

    I think you may have misread what I wrote

  • John||

    Sorry about that.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Given their names, we need a tiebreak on Bosnian Muslims.

  • Illocust||

    Wow, talk about motivated morons. I mean room temperature IQs there. I don't even think you can blame the 'imam' who supposedly radicalized them. They would have probably slit there wrists because graffiti in a bathroom stall said it would be cool.

    I feel bad for their parents, though. Even if they completely failed at their job of raising their kids, it still sucks to lose a 16 year old. Especially in such a brutal way. They can't even comfort themselves by saying it was quick.

  • GamerFromJump||

    Were it my kid, I'd shoot them myself, then mourn.

  • Loki||

    Sometimes stupidity turns out to be a terminal condition. What a dipshit.

  • MetalBard||

    I guess the got what they deserved.

  • GamerFromJump||

    Yeppers. Converts lack even the excuse of not being exposed to alternatives. They actively turn against civilization and embrace the savage. Fuck em.

  • some guy||

    Liberty. Equality. Fraternity.

  • ||

    Re the warrantless searches: MPs, lawyers, magistrates and journalists should not be exempt.

  • Alan@.4||

    That's likely correct, but it seems that they are.

  • Alan@.4||

    The following passage excerpted from thre above article strikes meas most interesting.

    "The move was approved by a vote of 551-6 with 6 abstentions, and a recent poll indicates "84 percent of the French people (are) willing to give up some freedoms to guarantee their security."

    Since when does the people "giving up some freedom guarantee their security" or anything other than the aggrandizement of governing apparatus, and those who operate the machinery?

  • salliewilson514||

    I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that's cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,

    www.OnlineCash9.Com

  • jack adams||

    Mr. Fisher can pontificate about the usual Libertarian defense of liberty, as long as he does it from the safety of his living room, protected by thousands of armed police in NY. It would be a great exercise of Libertarian principles if he were to walk around some of the Muslim controlled neighborhoods in Europe where Libertarian views on live and let live have been in effect for decades. And thus Paris and London and countless other death zones can be viewed as the ultimate Libertarian safe zone.

  • Win Bear||

    The Muslim controlled neighborhoods in Europe are the product of European colonialism, European government-mandated post-WWII guilt, and the European welfare state. I don't see what any of that has to do with "libertarian views".

  • Reflections||

    According to Edward Snowden-Surveillance is not about safety, its about power and control. So of course the Old guards Gestapo will use any excuse to spy and data mine. Fear is the enemy of reason. Be afraid be very afraid. Law enforcement must keep fear alive. If you want to protect your rights, then you must protect the rights of others.

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