Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet
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State terrorism, deceptive organisation and proxy
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The GAL scandal undoubtedly constituted a major departure from accepted liberal democratic constitutional principles of law and order. It was a campaign of violence used in pursuit of a specific diplomatic agenda. The violence used and the victims were instrumentally directed at French authorities with the expectation that they would alter dramatically their attitude towards more police and intelligence co-operation with their close neighbour and new member of the European community. Equally importantly, the perpetrators, recruiters and leaders were either in cahoots with or simply part of Spanish State agencies. For all these reasons it would be quite reasonable to argue that GAL was a form of State terrorism. Yet this chapter argues that the use of the concepts of camouflage, deception and proxy enables a better understanding of the strategies employed by contemporary liberal States to obfuscate their responsibility in the context of controversial actions taken in the name of national security and the fight against terrorism.

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