Retired Army four-star General Wesley Clark says that we should consider internment camps for those who exercise their free speech rights to not support, or in other words to be "disloyal" to, the government of the United States. He mentions that in the 1940s we did this very thing, putting Americans into concentration camps, and says that we need to look into our domestic law procedures to implement this again today.
General Clark says on the MSNBC video above:
We have 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 to those people 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 II 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.
So, 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. And I think we’re going to have to increasingly get tough on this, not only in the United States but our allied nations like Britain, Germany and France are going to have to look at their domestic law procedures.
It bears remembering that in the 1940s, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, our nation's armed forces were commanded by presidential order, to fix bayonets and go door to door in parts of the United States and round up 70,000 American citizen men, women, and children and force them onto trains to take to concentration camps. The Fifth Amendment rights of these Americans to not have their liberty taken without due process of law, were flatly ignored by the government. There were no trials, no court rooms, no evidence supplied. Those few who brought suit found that the Supreme Court of the United States was also consistently unwilling to protect their due process rights.
Anecdotally, I have had many conversations with current military personnel about this time in our history and have asked whether or not individuals would disobey the unlawful order FDR gave to the United States Army in the 1940s. In my conversations, the overwhelming majority of military members today would obey such an order should it be issued again.
Some may think such concerns are simply paranoid due to the abundance of clowns and court jesters who talk about this serious topic to sell entertainment. As a result, those folks might think all such talk of concentration camps comes from crackpots and may believe that such internment camps cannot happen in America again. Justice Antonin Scalia, senior justice of the Supreme Court of the United States disagrees. Justice Scalia, in a discussion of the topic with law students in early 2014 said, "you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again," and added:
That’s what was going on - the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot. That’s what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It’s no justification, but it is the reality...
Of course, today our government assassinates Americans without charge or trial, going way beyond the Fifth Amendment violations of the 1940s. And our government had lawyers on the payroll travel around to provide their "expert" opinion on why killing Americans without due process of law is "legal." One such lawyer, Jeh Johnson, was then promoted to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS is in charge of the Border Patrol, which sets up checkpoints well inside the nation and seizes and detains innocent American citizens without suspicion of any crime, and the DHS also owns the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agency, among others.
We should also remember that just a few years ago, Congress passed legislation, and the President signed it into law, allowing the American military to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans on American soil, locking them up without charge or trial. The President issued a signing statement saying that despite this law now being passed, "...my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens." Signing statements are, of course, no more legally binding than campaign promises and certainly do not affect future presidents.
This blatantly unconstitutional claimed power was challenged in the judiciary, and a district court found it to be unconstitutional. However the finding of the district court was reversed at the appeals court level, and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case. As it stands now, all three branches of federal government have institutionalized the blatantly unconstitutional power to order the military to arrest Americans, on American soil, and put them in prison forever, without trial and the due process of law.
Meanwhile, beyond the contribution of General Clark above, others also today spread propaganda showing a desire to institutionalize such denial of American liberty on a greater scale. To some in this nation, Americans simply have no inviolate rights.
These topics are not academic. All public servants, who have taken the oath of office to support and defend, and bear true faith and allegiance to the Fifth Amendment rights of Americans, should be preparing for a time when they may need to make good on their oath by refusing an unlawful order.
We need to stand ready to protect America from domestic enemies who wish to turn government tools of violence against the American people.
We do this by taking the time to read the Constitution we swore to defend, so that we can refuse unlawful orders on the spot.
Those who can't be counted on to protect America as they swore they would do, should leave service immediately and find employment elsewhere. We do not need cowards who wear a uniform simply to receive the adulation from a public that doesn't know any better. We need actual defenders of America, who actually make good on their oath of office, and who will defend Americans at risk to themselves, their careers, and their convenience.
America is in a very dark place. It is a far different country than what was founded. Like Germany, even free countries fall into despotism once fascists take control from the inside.
That tragic fact does not relieve public servants of their duty to stand tall for the America that no longer exists.