Wesley Clark Calls For New American Internment Camps

220px-General_Wesley_Clark_official_photograph,_editedRetired general and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark has caused a stir with an interview with MSNBC in which he appeared to call for the establishment of World War II-style internment camps to be revived for “disloyal Americans.” Clark used the infamous American internment camps for Japanese, German, and Italian Americans as a model: “if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war.”

Clark offered little insight into how he would designate certain people as disloyal for purposes of internment. He simply said “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.”

It is not clear how Clark rationalizes his recognition of a protected right with internment for exercise of that right. He seemed to go further in stating that “We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning. I do think on a national policy level we need to look at what self-radicalization means because we are at war with this group of terrorists.” He also seemed to encourage the same measures throughout the West: “not only the United States but our allied nations like Britain, Germany and France are going to have to look at their domestic law procedures.”

Photograph_of_Members_of_the_Mochida_Family_Awaiting_Evacuation_-_NARA_-_537505A_young_evacuee_of_Japanese_ancestry_waits_with_the_family_baggage_before_leaving_by_bus_for_an_assembly_center..._-_NARA_-_539959Clark’s chilling comments bring back painful memories of the internment camps and the shameful role of the Supreme Court in allowing such internment in Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944). The Justices voted 6-3 to allow the internment of these citizens.

As always, in this concurrent, Justice Felix Frankfurter seemed eager to surrender authority of the judiciary:

According to my reading of Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34, it was an offense for Korematsu to be found in Military Area No. 1, the territory wherein he was previously living, except within the bounds of the established Assembly Center of that area. Even though the various orders issued by General DeWitt be deemed a comprehensive code of instructions, their tenor is clear, and not contradictory. They put upon Korematsu the obligation to leave Military Area No. 1, but only by the method prescribed in the instructions, i.e., by reporting to the Assembly Center . . .

The provisions of the Constitution which confer on the Congress and the President powers to enable this country to wage war are as much part of the Constitution as provisions looking to a nation at peace. . . . Therefore, the validity of action under the war power must be judged wholly in the context of war. That action is not to be stigmatized as lawless because like action in times of peace would be lawless. To talk about a military order that expresses an allowable judgment of war needs by those entrusted with the duty of conducting war as “an unconstitutional order” is to suffuse a part of the Constitution with an atmosphere of unconstitutionality. The respective spheres of action of military authorities and of judges are, of course, very different. . . . If a military order such as that under review does not transcend the means appropriate for conducting war, such action by the military is as constitutional as would be any authorized action by the Interstate Commerce Commission within the limits of the constitutional power to regulate commerce. And, being an exercise of the war power explicitly granted by the Constitution for safeguarding the national life by prosecuting war effectively, I find nothing in the Constitution which denies to Congress the power to enforce such a valid military order by making its violation an offense triable in the civil courts. . . . To find that the Constitution does not forbid the military measures now complained of does not carry with it approval of that which Congress and the Executive did. That is their business, not ours.

It was Justice Murphy who correctly called the camps as part of “the ugly abyss of racism,” and an example of “the abhorrent and despicable treatment of minority groups by the dictatorial tyrannies which this nation is now pledged to destroy.”

225px-BrandeislClark seems to view this history as worth repeating even though we would be interning people for what he calls the exercise of their rights. The “disloyalty” shown in the exercise of free speech would presumably be the basis for internment since any actual disloyal acts would likely be crimes punishable in their own right. It is an unsettling recognition of how extremists like those in ISIS can radicalize those who fear or hate them. The sad truth is that our greatest wounds as a nation have been self-inflicted. It is the very danger described most famously by Justice Louis Brandeis in Olmstead:

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.

129 thoughts on “Wesley Clark Calls For New American Internment Camps”

  1. The Roosevelt internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry was litigated all the way up to the US Supreme Court where it lost. That loss is now casting its nasty shadows on the issue raised by Clark because another internment of US citizens or legal residents by Presidential decree, if done, must be litigated again through federal courts and, presumably, up to the US Supreme Court again.

  2. Since 1848, collectivists have insidiously and incrementally nullified every word in the Preamble.

    Entitled and parasitic collectivists proclaim the Preamble devoid of “substantive” law.

    They are correct. Substantive law is in the Constitution.

    The parameters of substantive law are in the Preamble.

    The Constitution provides for governance within the parameters set by the Preamble.

    As the essential American context, the Preamble, has eroded, America has failed.

    Ben Franklin, 1789, we gave you “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

    Ben Franklin, 2015, we gave you “…a republic, if you can take it back.”

  3. MA,

    In the link and passage below, William Blackstone referred to preambles as

    intended “to help the construction of an act of parliament.”

    Help is defined as anything from mere moral support to accomplishing a task in its entirety. Help is multi-faceted. The American Preamble “helps” Blackstone by limiting categories of government purview and placing remaining categories of endeavor in the private sector as the “pursuit of happiness” through the conduct of free enterprise without interference by the previously limited government.

    Lincoln, Blackstone, et al. obviously believe that constituent individuals and groups may “interpret” however they choose and do whatever they choose. Blackstone voiced his belief that preambles exist “to help the construction of an act of parliament.”

    Clearly the only veracious and reliable method is to implement the literal meaning of the words. Begin where the words begin, Include what the words include. Exclude what the words exclude. And end where the words end.

    Justice, Tranquility, Common Defence, Promote General Welfare.

    Then, “the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” as freedom and free enterprise without interference by the previously limited government.

    There is no ambiguity in this clear delineation.



    Davidm 2575
    © The Author 2010. Oxford University Press and New York University School of Law.
    “The preamble in constitutional interpretation”
    Liav Orgad*

    4.2. Interpretive preamble

    “The interpretive role of preambles is rooted in the common law tradition. Edward Coke asserted that preambles to an act of parliament are a “good mean to find out the meaning of the statute” and “the key to open understanding thereof”;63 they are “the key to the statute and the key to the makers.”64 William Blackstone referred to preambles as intended “to help the construction of an act of parliament.”65 Blackstone noted that whenever the statute is dubious, “the proem, or preamble, is often called in to help the construction of an act of parliament.”66 However, in a case of conflict between the preamble and the body of the act, the body of the act prevails.67 This is still considered good law in common law states.68 Some have a specific clause indicating the significant role of preambles in statutory interpretation.”

  4. Mr.Forgot, not one person said all Christians were Dominionists. Not one. I’m a Christian, I’m certainly not a Dominionist. That was sort of kooky.

  5. “Mike Appleton
    1, July 22, 2015 at 12:53 am


    Take a deep breath. Now repeat after me, slowly:

    The Preamble is not a statement of substantive law.
    The Preamble is not a statement of substantive law.
    The Preamble is not a statement of substantive law.”



    Thank you.

    I very much appreciate your ad hominem attack.

    When one loses the debate, one is left with little else.

    I accept your concession.


  6. On a previous post:

    “Mike A,
    I believe he is being purposefully obtuse. How could any well informed person not have heard of this religious movement inside and outside of our government? Evangelicals and mainstream conservatives close their eyes to such things, at their own peril. I don’t think mainstream Christians want a Theocracy, but anyone who has learned even the most cursory thing about Dominionists will see almost immediately that their belief system hinges on the dominion of the church over the state.”


    The radical extremist, “the sky is falling,” organ-selling abortionist, anthropogenic global warming, parasitic

    collectivist ” kook fringe, refers to Christians as “Dominionists.”

    The very American concept of the “separation between church and state unequivocally precludes any form of “theocracy.” The Founders held various positions on religion and belief. A dose of truth is indicated.

    To wit,

    Ben Franklin, we gave you “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

    Thomas Jefferson, 1802 –

    “…thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”


    By contrast, Islam must and shall rule all.

    To wit,

    Qur’an:8:39 “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”

    Qur’an:8:39 “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).”

  7. MA, you dismiss and disparage what I write but you don’t simply ignore it; you are compelled to address it.

    “Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905)”

    “Here’s a quarter. Call someone who cares.”

    If I need another incoherent, arbitrary ruling from a “judge,” illicitly and subjectively “legislating from the bench,” I’ll revisit the preposterous utterance of the Extreme Court 3 weeks ago; and the previous upholding of the ACA, usurping authority and arbitrarily modifying the defective law from a “commerce” violation into a tax.

    And how about that historically successful case of adjudicated governance when Chief Justice Taney told Abraham Lincoln that he had no Constitutional authority to suspend Habeas Corpus and Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus in the face of that admonition?

    At some point, people have to agree to disagree.

    “You see what you want to see
    And you hear what you want to hear.
    You dig.”

    Harry Nilsson, The Point, 1971

    I’ll take the literal words of the Founders over your citations of whim and nonsense any day. I believe King George was issuing “findings and rulings” in 1776, wasn’t he?

    The judicial branch was not created to rule or otherwise cogitate, it was created to simply assure that actions comport with the literal law.

    The Founders wrote in clear words and phrases, of the English language, that were understandable to all men, your protestations of misunderstanding aside.

    Your introduction of exponential complexity is simply a strategy of obfuscation and usurpation – unfounded cavalier arrogance.

    The Founders told us what they did. They used action words – past tense. A “done deal.” NO MORE. NO LESS. It is all there. The Founders left nothing out and were eminently succinct:

    Justice, Tranquility, Common Defence, Promote General Welfare.

    The Founders delineated the categorical limitations of government and “secured” the “blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” as freedom and free enterprise. They established limited government and secured freedom and free enterprise for individuals. Government got the security and infrastructure. The People got all other endeavors. There is no ambiguity in the Preamble.

    Government was established to facilitate the freedom of individuals, “ourselves and our posterity,” not to dictate and rule.

    It is possible for endeavors to be pursued in the government or private sector. The Preamble limits government to a supporting role while all endeavors are pursued as free enterprise in the private sector. You might appreciate the example of Private Charity rather than Governmental Welfare. The Founders did not establish a welfare state but they allowed private individuals to vigorously operate the charity industry.

    There is law and there is the spirit of the law. Clearly delineated is the “spirit of the law” in the case of the Preamble describing what should be accomplished as governance under the Constitution – security and infrastructure.

    The Founders did not write the Preamble to be ignored. They wrote in the Preamble the policies they put into practice in 1789. People can read what the Founders wrote and observe how they lived contemporarily. People can also ignore what the Founders wrote and how they put governance into practice if they choose.

    The Founders wrote the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights to stand in perpetuity.

  8. Mike Appleton
    It is indeed a theocratic movement and has had considerable influence, both academically and legislatively.

    The best you can point to is a few people pushing back against secular efforts banish them from public life, and you think this proves Theocracy supporters have “influence”? How ridiculous.

    Take for example the “explosion in public support” you identified in your link to yourself. These are institutions who perform the same charitable functions as non-religious NGOs, but somehow you conclude money for those charitable purposes are in fact religious support.

    You anti-religious bigots need to drop the conspiracy nuttery and rejoin planet earth.

  9. LOL! Thanks MikeA, for some more informative articles for people who are inquisitive.

  10. Squeeky,

    You are a homophobic, racist, and once I get back on my feet and find some blog that will take me I will eviscerate you with my bombastic, narcissistic fascist wit. So, be forewarned you squeaky woman.

  11. As long as we are discussing Dominionists, here are the excellent articles written by some former and some current weekend bloggers. These are some serious people who have done some great research about Dominionists and their role in our government and society.


  12. Not a very nice thing to say about Rick who brought religion into the conversation. But yes, how dare he change the subject of the thread.

    1, July 21, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    “Not nearly as often as the ranting about religious believers and supposed conservatives who want to lock up political opponents.”

  13. Notice how vapid trolls change the topic from a Dem, Wesley Clark, to a Republican and “dominionists.” Could the Duggars, Palin, and W be far behind?

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