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In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror Hardcover – July 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Everything you've been taught about the World War II "internment camps" in America is wrong: - They were not created primarily because of racism or wartime hysteria
- They did not target only those of Japanese descent
- They were not Nazi-style death camps In her latest investigative tour-de-force, New York Times best-selling author Michelle Malkin sets the historical record straight-and debunks radical ethnic alarmists who distort history to undermine common-sense, national security profiling. The need for this myth-shattering book is vital. President Bush's opponents have attacked every homeland defense policy as tantamount to the "racist" and "unjustified" World War II internment. Bush's own transportation secretary, Norm Mineta, continues to milk his childhood experience at a relocation camp as an excuse to ban profiling at airports. Misguided guilt about the past continues to hamper our ability to prevent future terrorist attacks. In Defense of Internment shows that the detention of enemy aliens, and the mass evacuation and relocation of ethnic Japanese from the West Coast were not the result of irrational hatred or conspiratorial bigotry. This document-packed book highlights the vast amount of intelligence, including top-secret "MAGIC" messages, which revealed the Japanese espionage threat on the West Coast. Malkin also tells the truth about:
- who resided in enemy alien internment camps (nearly half were of European ancestry)
- what the West Coast relocation centers were really like (tens of thousands of ethnic Japanese were allowed to leave; hundreds voluntarily chose to move in)
- why the $1.65 billion federal reparations law for Japanese internees and evacuees

was a bipartisan disaster
- and how both Japanese American and Arab/Muslim American leaders have united

to undermine America's safety. With trademark fearlessness, Malkin adds desperately needed perspective to the ongoing debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security. In Defense of Internment will outrage, enlighten, and radically change the way you view the past-and the present.

About the Author

Michelle Malkin is author of the New York Times best-seller, Invasion, which ignited debate on immigration and national security in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America. Her nationally syndicated newspaper column, celebrating its fifth year with Creators Syndicate, is published in nearly 200 newspapers across the country. Malkin is a FOX News Channel contributor and former editorial writer and columnist for the Seattle Times and the Los Angeles Daily News. Malkin lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; First edition. edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895260514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895260512
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michelle Malkin is a New York Times best-selling author, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, and FOX News Channel contributor. Malkin lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

She has never cried over an election, marched naked in Berkeley, thrown a pie, or tackled a liberal heckler. Yet.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

406 of 473 people found the following review helpful By FDb77 on September 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Do we really need to relearn the lessons of Japanese American internment?

Fred Korematsu

In 1942, I was arrested and convicted for being a Japanese American trying to live here in the Bay Area. The day after my arrest a newspaper headline declared, "Jap Spy Arrested in San Leandro."

Of course, I was no spy. The government never charged me with being a spy. I was a U.S. citizen born and raised in Oakland. I even tried to enlist in the Coast Guard (they didn't take me because of my race). But my citizenship and my loyalty did not matter to the federal government. On Feb. 19, 1942, anyone of Japanese heritage was ordered excluded from the West Coast. I was charged and convicted of being a Japanese American living in an area in which all people of my ancestry had been ordered to be interned.

I fought my conviction at that time. My case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, but in 1944 my efforts to seek protection under the Constitution were rejected.

After I was released in 1945, my criminal record continued to affect my life. It was hard to find work. I was considered to be a criminal. It took almost 40 years and the efforts of many people to reopen my case. In 1983, a federal court judge found that the government had hidden evidence and lied to the Supreme Court during my appeal. The judge found that Japanese Americans were not the threat that the government publicly claimed. My criminal record was removed.

As my case was being reconsidered by the courts, again as a result of the efforts of many people across the country, Congress created a commission to study the exclusion and incarceration of Japanese Americans.
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217 of 257 people found the following review helpful By Emil Sinclair on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Michelle Malkin conducted absolutely no scholarly research in the writing of this ridiculous book. She argued that Japan controlled the entire Pacific Ocean, maintained a vast network of spies in the US, and planned to invade the West Coast. Through subterfuge and falsification of information, she thus concluded that internment camps were not morally reprehensible because they were of military necessity and because, in her mind, racism did not exist during the 1940s.

Fortunately, Eric Muller, a law professor at UNC -- Chapel Hill, revealed that Malkin's arguments were entirely unsubstantiated and willfully falsified. As historian Greg Robinson observed, "there were no reports of sabotage or espionage" following Pearl Harbor or before Japanese-Americans were unlawfully imprisoned. Allied forces maintained a Germany-first strategy because they considered Japan to be a lesser threat, in part because it did not have absolute control of the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, internment camps were established in June 1942, after the Battle of Midway, in which Japan's defeat greatly diminished its threat to the US mainland.

Despite the great deal of criticism she received, Malkin refused to budge from her position that MAGIC cables established the military necessity of internment camps. She underscored how important MAGIC was to her argument by dedicating her book to David Lowman, whose "research" on MAGIC she borrowed extensively from. However, James C. McNaughton, Command Historian of the US Army, Pacific, declared that Lowman's work on MAGIC to be of no merit and dismissed Lowman's "polemics ... as symptomatic of the lingering bitterness stemming from Pearl Harbor and the emotions raised by apologies and compensation.
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259 of 315 people found the following review helpful By Brian Tada on September 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As a conservative, pro-life, "traditional family values" Republican third generation American of Japanese ancestry, I was shocked and saddened by the gross inaccuracies in Malkin's book.

For example, the book purports one of the basic, underlying reasons for internment was the Japanese espionage "threat" on the West Coast. However, Japanese Americans during WWII were among the most loyal to America, and many served valiantly for the U.S. during the war.

According to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians in a report entitled, "Personal Justice Denied", it stated that "not a single documented act of espionage, sabatoge or fifth column activity on the mainland was committed by an American citizen of Japanese ancestry or by a resident Japanese alien on the West Coast." This view has been substantiated consistently by independent scholars and researchers for almost 50 years since WWII.

Two of my uncles, although interned, volunteered to enlist in the U.S. Army in the 442nd Regimental Combat Unit. One of my uncles in the unit earned a REAL Purple Heart after he sustained extensive damage to his ear when an enemy grenade exploded near his head while fighting for the U.S. in Europe during the war.

The 442nd suffered huge numbers of casualties and is the most decorated combat unit in American history. They were credited for saving a Texas unit trapped behind Nazi lines, although a significantly larger number of Japanese American U.S. soldiers lost their lives rescuing them than the total number of soldiers that were in the Texas unit.

My mom, a U.S.-born American citizen, was also interned during the war. She felt as if she were without a country.
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