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. Wesley Clark was radicalized during his indoctrination at West Point and during his thirty plus years of service ending his radicalization as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). He and his academy ilk were trained to view other humans (both soldiers and civilians) as expendable in achieving what ever mission they were ordered to accomplish regardless the collateral damage.

    That is about as radical as it gets.

    Although there are a whole host of other radicals infesting the US government at all levels:

    — Congress — What is more radical than handing out tens of trillions of dollars to bankers and businesses? How about rubber stamping the nation into an elective open ended war based wholly upon lies? Or perhaps rubber stamping the creation of the total surveillance state? Or maybe torture is your type of radical?

    — Executive — What is more radical than rubber stamping elective wars based wholly upon lies? How about the war criminal in chief and his cretinous fractions of American minions holding forth what has become known as “Terror Tuesdays” within the White House where they pick which targets to assassinate via drone strike. Now that’s radical.

    — Department of War — There is nothing more radical than offering up someones son/daughter for sacrifice at the bloodied altar of war profiteering while waging elective wars based wholly upon lies. Heel-clickers, flag-saluters, radicalized yes men beribboned in fruit cocktails and true believers need only apply.

    — CIA (SAD) — The Special Activities Division is where sadist, sociopathic radicals often shunned by general society for their inhumane ways go to prey upon the weak and unsuspecting in the shadows (funded of course with our tax dollars and hidden behind a patina of righteousness provided by presidential finding). It is here that the CIA’s depraved radicals ply their trade in torture, assassination, undeclared war making, human/drug/arms trafficking and many other radical anti-social activities.

    So where do we start Wesley?

  2. 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.

  3. Rick:

    I don’t know whether you are just toying with Annie or whether you truly are ignorant of the Christian dominionist movement in this country. It does not require a great deal of research to learn its scope, and it has been the subject of several comments on this site over the past few years. It is indeed a theocratic movement and has had considerable influence, both academically and legislatively.

  4. forgot:

    “We pass without extended discussion the suggestion that the particular section of the statute of Massachusetts now in question . . . is in derogation of rights secured by the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States. Although that Preamble indicates the general purposes for which the people ordained and established the Constitution, it has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments. Such powers embrace only those expressly granted in the body of the Constitution and such as may be implied from those so granted. Although, therefore, one of the declared objects of the Constitution was to secure the blessings of liberty to all under the sovereign jurisdiction and authority of the United States, no power can be exerted to that end by the United States unless, apart from the Preamble, it be found in some express delegation of power or in some power to be properly implied therefrom.”

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

    I have never argued that the Preamble is without meaning or significance. My point has been and remains that it does not define rights, create powers, legislate limits or otherwise serve as a source citation for any principle of constitutional law. It is not “the essential American context.” It does not set “parameters,” whatever that means. It is not an “unequivocal statement of ‘God-given’ or ‘natural right.’ ” It is an introductory expression of purpose, a description of general aspirational goals for a new nation, but it does not, in and of itself, confer any authority for any purpose.

    I cannot comment on your observations on the Constitution and the Communist Manifesto since they are largely unintelligible.

  5. If you round up all the aliens you will have to include Beldar. I think he needs to chime in on this topic.

  6. MA,

    The Preamble is the essential American CONTEXT.

    The Preamble sets the parameters within which the Constitution provides for governance.

    It is the philosophy of governance of men who had recently thrown off the yoke of subjugation under a monarchy.

    The Preamble is precisely how the Founders practiced governance in 1789.

    Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto because the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights severely limited government. The Communist Manifesto was written because of its differences, not because of its similarities.

    Marx proposed Central Planning, Control of the Means of Production, Redistribution of Wealth, Social Engineering, etc. precisely because those principles did not exist and were. specifically and in particular, excluded by the Preamble which limited government to security and infrastructure as Justice, Tranquility, Common Defence, Promote General Welfare, leaving the “blessings of liberty” as freedom and free enterprise without interference by government.

    The Founders presented the example that the Indians had a “God-given” or “natural right” to “moveable” or personal property as nomads. The Founders expected citizens and readers to begin with certain “self-evident” “understandings” such as “natural” rights and rights “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,…”

    To wit,

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–”

    The Preamble is the unequivocal statement of the “God-given” or “natural right” of post-revolution Americans to severely limited government.

    Your deliberate misunderstanding of the nature and function of the Preamble is reminiscent of the recent Supreme Court misunderstanding of the very English language itself.

    Your deliberate misunderstanding of the nature and function of the Preamble is your “waiver” to allow you to implement the principles of Marxism which your philosophy of governance is precisely aligned with.

  7. @David

    Great link! I haven’t finished it yet, but the “Interpretive Preamble” part is excellent. My BFF, Fabia Sheen, Esq., an attorney, aka Penelope Dreadful, says that students are not taught how to think original thoughts in law school, but instead “how to think like a lawyer.” She says there is a subtle difference, and the result is that lawyers often miss the obvious.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  8. Jill, I’m always puzzled as to why you take swipes at liberals, sometimes exclusively, in every one of these sorts of threads, assuming they blame conservatives only in every single instance. I said nothing that could’ve made you think I was blaming only conservatives, you just seemed to assume that from my comments directed to forgotwhoiam.

    Rick, wake up.

  9. Annie, I am an old fashioned liberal. This means that I am for universal, single payer health care, social security, guaranteed income, environmental and social justice. You already know that I feel this way so I don’t see why you took a swipe at me for asking you a question. I said I could be misreading you.

    Paul, I agree that both left and right are capable of this reprehensible behavior. It is up to every citizen, whether they are on the left or right to immediately speak against Wes’ camps and every breakdown of the rule of law.

  10. I. Annie

    Sorry Rick, I’m a Christian Presbyterian. I do not dislike or even comment on other Christians, unless they are advocating for a Theocracy, like some Fundamentalists tend to do.

    Since there are no Christians advocating a Theocracy this would have to mean you never discuss them, which is an obvious falsehood.

  11. forgot:

    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.

    1. Mike – I would not be too hasty about saying the Preamble is not a statement of substantive law. The current Supreme Court has decided that up is down, so why not make the Preamble substantive law.

    2. Mike Appleton wrote: “The Preamble is not a statement of substantive law.”

      Mike, I read this article recently regarding the subject of Constitutional Preambles. It considers our preamble to be a neglected subject in the study of American constitutional theory. It compares other countries and how they treat preambles, and it suggests that our Preamble has more meaning than the force given to it by most law schools. It is published by Oxford University Press and New York University School of Law. You might find it an interesting read.

      http://icon.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/4/714.full.pdf

  12. Barking Dog, are you serious? You mean the absolute, bar none first individuals to be rounded up would NOT be illegal aliens? When the Round-up takes place and illegal aliens aren’t interred first, you’ll know you’re in the “goofy factory.”

    You’ll have to take that case to the Extreme Court.

  13. Try this logic cognition exercise.

    Did Karl Marx enumerate and promulgate the principles of communism in the Communist Manifesto, 59 years later, because those principles DID NOT exist in the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights or because they DID exist in those documents?

    Heeerres the answer!

    Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto because the principles of communism

    DID NOT exist in the Preamble, Constitution or Bill of Rights and, in fact, were precluded by those

    documents.

    Karl Marx called for elimination of individual freedom and the promotion of the collective.

    Karl Marx called for elimination of the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Karl Marx called for the enslavement of people under the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

    Here’s the bad news, folks, You’re in America.

    Look around. What do you see? So many programs effecting redistribution you can’t follow them all.
    The Federal Reserve Board manipulating markets.
    The government removing the “utility of the currency” by floating the dollar and removing the gold-standard.
    Regulation of industry is precluded by the Preamble and severely limited by the Constitution.
    Arbitrary, totalitarian and dictatorial “social engineering” which is antithetical to and terminal for freedom.
    American freedom and “social engineering” are diametrically opposed, contradictions in terms and mutually mortal. Affirmative action, welfare, social services and “Fair Housing” are examples of egregious and destructive attacks on freedom – nullification of the freedom intended and provided by the Founders.

    There is no such thing as a taxpayer funded, governmental “safety net” in the American thesis or mandated by its founding documents. The American thesis of freedom and self-reliance provides the “safety net” of opening a business or helping in another’s business. There is no such thing as “Fair Housing” except that the owner of private property shall dispose of that property without interference by the government.

    The “burden of freedom” is to adapt to and live with the consequences of freedom. Limitation of freedom is unconstitutional, tyrannical dictatorship.

    The “blessings of liberty” allow for vigorous prosecution of the charity industry as free enterprise in the private sector.

    Sorry. The Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights limit government and preclude Marxist principles:

    NO Control of the Means of Production
    NO Central Planning
    NO Redistribution of Wealth
    NO Social Engineering

    For those of you in Rio Linda, that means the government stays out of people’s lives and

    people cope with their station in life, adapt to the characteristics nature assigned them and “pursue

    happiness” by taking advantage of their own individual freedom.

    The monarchy enslaved Americans.

    The founding documents freed Americans.

  14. Ok. So, all you Wesley Kanne Clark fans. Who? Who is going to make the list of those whom “We” Americans intern? What groups do you start with? Convicted felons who were convicted of some act of subversion or terror? Suspected Muslims who were Burkas in public? All persons who emigrated from Stan countries? All persons who emigrated from the Middle East? Exempt some who were screened by the FBI, CIA, MI5, MI6? Have them pass a lie detector quiz? Under age 12?
    What countries? Belarus? That was Wesley Kanne Clark’s family home. Even though his mom moved him to Little Rock, I think Wesley is suspect. Dad is from Belarus, fake name change on Wesley’s birth certificate at age 16 to hide the Kanne name. Forget the Communists you guys. We gotta go after the ISIS guys. Chechnia and those places where the Tsarboys came from are suspect.
    I agree with Trump that we need to close the borders but I would go further and just close them completely. If we need some doctors for our hospitals just elevate some veternarians who already were born here. No more migrants for ten years. Build a Wall between us and Mexico, between the U.S and Canada. Halt all boats a hundred miles out and sink them. Make Texas one big Gitmos and start locking up anyone who is suspect. Think about those offspring of the Japanese whom we locked up in WWII. They may have grudges.
    Go all the way.

  15. Why thank you, Inga.

    I thought everyone was ignoring me.

    But you read me.

    Should I even ask; would you like to have dinner some time?

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