How Do the Abuses of Civil Liberties Under the George W. Bush Administration Compare to the Internments of Japanese Aliens and Japanese-Americans During World War II?
University of Auckland - Faculty of Law
May 16, 2010
William Mitchell Law Review, Vol. 36, p. 5023, 2010
The wholesale removal and internment of Japanese aliens and Japanese-Americans during World War II is widely regarded as a dark chapter in American history. The internment followed the attack on Pearl Harbor, which signaled the entry of the United States into World War II. President Bush declared the beginning of the War on Terror shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Both the internment and the various policies constituting the War on Terror then, were responses to moments of crisis in American national security. Thus, when considering the appropriateness of counterterrorism measures after 9/11, the internment loomed as an obvious historical precedent, or cautionary tale, depending on one’s point of view.
This article looks at how the internment compares to the excesses of the Bush administration’s War on Terror from a civil liberties standpoint. The comparison revolves around three points of reference. The first considers the trigger for the state action in question, whether that be detention or extra security checks. The second considers the scope of the action, both in terms of its duration and how many people it affected. The third looks at the treatment of those detained.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: War on terrorism, civil liberties, Japanese internment, detention, racial profilingAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 16, 2010
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