A congressman who heads a homeland security subcommittee said on a radio call-in program that he agreed with the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Doesn't that sound horrible? That must have happened a long time ago, right? Wrong.
Read more below!
Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., made the remark Tuesday (Feb.3,2003 - added for clarification by lc.) on WKZL-FM when a caller suggested Arabs in the United States should be confined.
Coble, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, said that he didn't agree with the caller but did agree with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who established the internment camps.
"We were at war. They (Japanese-Americans) were an endangered species," Coble said. "For many of these Japanese-Americans, it wasn't safe for them to be on the street."
Coble allowed that the world had changed some since the 40's, and even though "some Arab-Americans" may be wishing us harm, he didn't think that they should be interred in detention camps.
However, in 2005, Coble, as chairman of the subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, personally supported and helped passed HR 2360, Homeland Security Department FY 2006 Appropriations Act
The language embedded in this law is disturbing. It allows for the government "to plan, construct, renovate, equip, and maintain buildings and facilities necessary for the administration and enforcement of the laws relating to customs and immigration". Once the "camps" are built, they can be used by any government agency, in any emergency. Ostensibly, they could be used by FEMA to shelter citizens displaced by a Katrina-like natural disaster.
However, when combined with the recent erosions the Administration has made to the Constitution, those same camps could be used by the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, or whoever, to detain American citizens without recourse, without being charged, without access to an attorney, without the civil rights we take for granted.
All of this was supported, promoted, and voted for by Rep. Howard Coble, (R-NC 06). His pattern of racism, thoughtlessness, and mindless lockstep with the administration should earn him his place in the sun - at a retirement home.
By the way -
Among the billions of tax dollars appropriated by this law is a $385 million contract to:
build the centers for the Homeland Security Department for an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space
The contract was awarded to KBR, a subsidary of Haliburton. KBR is the subsidary of Haliburton that has been criticized for so over-charging the US government on contracts in Iraq.