July 23, 2015 By Nichi Bei Weekly Staff
A retired general and former Democratic presidential candidate called for reinstituting World War II-era concentration camps for “disloyal” Americans, Wesley Clark said in a July 17 interview with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts.
Clark advocated in the interview — which followed the July 16 mass shooting in Chattanooga, Tenn. that left five people dead — for using concentration camps to help fight Muslim extremism. Multiple news outlets have described Muhammed Youssef Abdulazeez as the shooter.
“If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine. It’s their right and it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict,” Clark said.
“We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized,” Clark said.
The Japanese American Citizens League, a national civil rights organization, issued a statement calling Clark’s comments “troubling.”
“The true character of a nation is evident during troubling times when our security, real or imagined, is threatened. In 1942, the threat of an internal enemy was made to appear real when our government knew otherwise through findings from the FBI and other intelligence agencies,” the JACL said, citing the mass hysteria during World War II, which led the U.S. government to imprison some 120,000 persons of Japanese descent in American concentration camps.
“This action ignored due process and equal protection, rights guaranteed by our Constitution,” the statement said.
The group went on to add that, “the threat of terrorism is real, but we must remain circumspect about the solutions we pursue. The apology to Japanese Americans says that we owe it to ourselves, to our own sense of honor that we do not go down a path that jeopardizes the rights of Americans. A response of mass segregation was wrong in 1942, and is no more right today.”