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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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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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Malkin begins her anecdotal journey by telling the reader of her distaste for the broad-brush strokes when she claims that alarmists make "no distinction" between foreign visitors, suspected terrorist and U.S. citizens; or when no distinction is made between an `interment camp' and a `concentration camp'. Malkin presents the reader with the little known story of Niihau Island. "In case of emergency, the Japanese planned to use the island as a submarine pickup point for stranded pilots", and this is exactly what was Nishikaichi, a downed Japanese pilot hoped for when he crashed landed on Niihau.
The anecdotes continue for 12 chapters and 164 pages. Supported mostly by secondary sources Malkin's book raises some interesting, and provocative points about the defense, security, and the right of any country to endure through a national crisis.
Malkin's book provides a wealth of information that can be used, analyzed and rebutted. She makes her distaste clear for the absolutists who have, "distorted history" and "obscured valuable lessons" from the past. It is unfortunate however that Malkin does not heed her own rhetoric when she brings her book to a close.
In her conclusion Malkin creates straw men, false dilemmas, and rings in the same absolutism (this time from the `right') that she claims to disdain. In conclusion Malkin seem to be more perturbed by people's opinions rather than public policy. Malkin, states that people wish to, "[...] prosecuting suspected terrorist the way we would prosecute burglars or drug dealers". Malkin states that, "If the court strikes down the policy [presidential authority to designate anyone an enemy combatant" then "Padilla and other suspected al Qaida agents are likely to go free". Malkin mentions that Thomas Kean wanted ALL intelligence relating to September 11th, "Anything that has to do with 9/11, we have to see it--anything"
We of course know that The Sept 11th commission was not privy to `everything' despite Mr. Kean's demands--and, the courts have made it clear that there are more choices available between holding a citizen indefinitely and without representation, and setting them `free'--and, we are not treating terrorists like common burglars and drug dealers.
Regarding WWII internment camps Malkin presents the valuable nuances of history, and many little known and unreported facts. However, she dismisses the nuances, details, and facts in order to present a sensational conclusion worthy of cable news networks.
Malkin's, "Defense of Internment" presents a valid rebuttal to our historical footnotes regarding WWI. But, arguments `for' internment during WWII provide little support for the public policy of today. Yet, just like her liberal targets, Malkin does not hesitate to leap this large chasm albeit from the reverse direction, and "warps the yardstick" once again.
In Defense of Internment does a good job of pointing out just how much a threat, to the US, Japan's Intelligence Network was during the first couple of years of World War II. I also had the great honor of taking an Industrial Psychology class in college with a retired Army Colonel who told me that when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor if they would have attacked the west coast of the United States our first line of defense would have been the Rocky Mountains. The US could not defend the West Coast. So Malkin just doesn't point out the threat to make a point about our post 9/11 world. And, there is nothing like facts, and the book has a great appendix of Intelligence reports from World War II, to make ACLU types howl. Japan had an intricate and well organized intelligence service in the United States prior to WW II. And, that service included Japanese Americans those with and those without US Citizenship. To deny this fact, is to deny history.
But, where this book fails is that Ms. Malkin never explains why most Americans of German or Italian descent, like my family, were not even bothered during WW II? Also, she pooh poohs the loss of private property, especially in the Imperial Valley of California, of Japanese Americans. Their land and other items were, for all intents and purposes, stolen from them. And, she fails to explain why military government wouldn't have worked on the west coast of the US like it did in Hawaii. This probably would have avoided internment.
Don't get all in a huff. The book is an easy read, has good documentation by the author and just presents a point of view. In the final analysis Ms. Malkin's equivocation of the threat of WW II Japan and modern day terror falls flat.