We all regret the necessity of Britain having to defend itself from the excesses of the IRA extremists, but she must. Thatcher has to balance the fundamental civil right against self-incrimination against the experience of suspects learning what their alibi is considerably after the fact. She has chosen a course that couldn't happen here (as you imply).
Before you get too high and mighty, consider the plight of the Americans in California who were interned during World War II simply because of their Japanese parentage. How about those Cubans today who are interned because of their unsavory reputations (sent courtesy of Fidel Castro several years ago)? How about the abominable conduct of the Immigration and Naturalization Service with respect to suspected unlawful immigrants? And the U.S. is not being attacked by armed guerrillas attempting to kill ingeniously and succeeding.
I suggest that we have a long way to go in this country with respect to civil rights before we need look at Britain, or any other Western democracy.
Marina del Rey