5 July 2010: When a state resorts to extra-legal methods to counter terrorism or sub-nationalism, there may be short-term advantages. But in the long run, the state so deeply damages its credibility that it becomes harder for it to fight terrorism and sub-nationalism and consequently weakens itself. The second impairment is to the state security instruments like the police and intelligence agencies. By going extra-legal, they prevent their own sophistication in such areas as tracking and hunting terrorists and sub-nationalists, in interrogation methods and tactics, and in making strong prosecution cases with nil scope of acquittal. These points have been made in earlier commentaries under the rubric of "integrity principles" but they need to be reiterated in view of two recent developments.