Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Terrorism, the Government and the Law

There is a very strong temptation...for government forces to act outside the law, the excuses being that the processes of law are too cumbersome, that the normal safeguards in the law for the individual are not designed for an insurgency and that a terrorist deserves to be treated as an outlaw anyway. Not only is this morally wrong, but, over a period, it will create more practical difficulties for a government than it solves. A government which does not act in accordance with the law forfeits the right to be called a government and cannot expect its people to obey the law. Functioning in accordance with the law is a very small price to pay in return for the advantage of being the government.--Sir Robert Granger Ker Thompson, Defeating Communist Insurgency: Experiences from Malaya and Vietnam (1966)

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