U.S. General: Military should round up ‘disloyal’ Americans, ‘radicals’ in internment camps

Gen. Wesley Clark, U.S. Army, Ret. (Photo: MSNBC)

In a stunning interview, General Wesley Clark (U.S. Army, Retired) called for the revival of military internment camps in the United States as a solution for peace and security for the duration of the “War on Terror.”

The interview took place on MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts Show.  Gen. Clark related the current conflict to World War 2, and said that the U.S. Government should work to determine which citizens might be “likely to be radicalized,” and detain them before they have the opportunity to act.  Clark’s disturbing proposal even included using unemployment and relationship break-ups as an indicator of radicalization potential.

Listen to Gen. Clark in his own words:

Here is the transcript from the interview.

ROBERTS: So, how do we fix self-radicalized lone wolves, domestically?

CLARK:  Well, we’ve got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning.  There are always a certain number of young people who are alienated — they don’t get a job; they lost a girlfriend; their family doesn’t feel happy here — and we can watch the signs of that and there are members of the community who can reach out and bring them back in and encourage them to look at their blessings here.  But 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.  They do have an ideology.  In World War 2, if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put them in a camp.  They were prisoners of war.  So, if these people are radicalized, and they don’t support the United States, and they’re disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine, that’s their right.  Its our right and our obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.  And I think we’re going to have to get increasingly tough on this; not only in the United States but our allied nations like Britain and Germany and France are going to have to look at their domestic law procedures.

Gen. Clark is actually quite correct that President Franklin Roosevelt wasted no time to deprive Americans of their freedom for the slightest perceived sign of disloyalty during World War 2.  FDR declared martial law in the United States and imprisoned approximately 110,000 people — many who were American citizens — in military prison camps without a trial. The vast majority of those imprisoned were labeled “enemies” and rounded up simply because of their ancestry: Japanese, German, and Italian.

Roosevelt’s injustices were notorious, but Clark’s proposal is even more alarming for a number of reasons.  One is that there is no clear indication of when the “Global War on Terror” will end, if ever.  The conflict appears more likely designed to continue in perpetuity.  The “duration of the conflict” may be the rest of our natural lives. Why?  Because no amount of money spent — or freedoms lost — will completely end all forms of terrorism in all parts of the world.  There have always been radicals and there will always be radicals. The U.S. Government cannot alter human nature across the globe.

Even the official U.S.-Afghan security deal agreed that U.S. troops would occupy Afghanistan “through 2024 and beyond.”  If we consider official U.S. projections, then Clark’s internment camp proposal would imprison American citizens for the better part of a decade, at a minimum.

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