In the WaPo, "French Push Limits in Fight On Terrorism":
PARIS -- In many countries of Europe, former inmates of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been relishing their freedom. In Spain, Denmark and Britain, recently released detainees have railed in public about their treatment at Guantanamo, winning sympathy from local politicians and newspapers. In Sweden, the government has agreed to help one Guantanamo veteran sue his American captors for damages.
Not so in France, where four prisoners from the U.S. naval base were arrested as soon as they arrived home in July, and haven't been heard from since. Under French law, they could remain locked up for as long as three years while authorities decide whether to put them on trial -- a legal limbo that their attorneys charge is not much different than what they faced at Guantanamo.
The whole article is worth reading. It notes that some of France's anti-terrorism tactics would be illegal in the U.S., and that it "has embraced a law enforcement strategy that relies heavily on preemptive arrests, ethnic profiling and an efficient domestic intelligence-gathering network."
There is even evidence of John Ashcroft's baleful influence in France:
The French anti-terrorism judge overseeing both cases is Bruguiere, an investigating magistrate who under French law is granted great prosecutorial powers, including the ability to sign search warrants, order wiretaps and interrogate suspects.
Over the past decade, Bruguiere has ordered the arrests of more than 500 people on suspicion of "conspiracy in relation to terrorism," a broad charge that gives him leeway to lock up suspects while he carries out investigations.
The French government also has wide powers to deport noncitizens for speech that incites hatred or intolerance against any group.