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But was it truly necessary?

Reader comment on item: Why the Japanese Internment Still Matters

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (Taiwan), Dec 28, 2004 at 20:28

I have very mixed feelings about the Japanese-American internment. Maybe some non-citizens should have been interned, but the bulk of interned "Japanese" (unlike those European Axis nationals interned) were US-born and knew no other home. As an archive assistant in grad school, I had access to records on a lot of European immigrants in the Midwest who were investigated and deemed harmless in the same time. The Japanese immigrants should've been given the same benefit of the doubt and looked at case by case, too.

Dr. Pipes has told us before that a number of Muslim organizations in the USA have squawked for years about radicals taking over. Steve Emerson's book on Jihad in America points out that many Muslims in the USA have been key players in thwarting terrorism; and I understand that those thugs in the Buffalo area a few years back were fingered by fellow Yemeni immigrants. Hence, while we should investigate Muslim immigrants, we should also be prepared to find that some are loyal to the USA.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's a travesty that Sheikh Abdul Rahman (the blind Egyptian sheikh who masterminded the first WTC bombing) and Ramzi Yousef aren't dead by lethal injection yet, and if his lawyer Lynne Stewart really is guilty of helping him pass information to and from his fellow terrorists, she should get the shaft but good, even if she is a grandmother. But there are times when government power can and should restrain itself--even in wartime.
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