The Times, The Post, and the Fake News of Internment Camps

November 20th, 2016 5:54 PM

So the latest round of sheer nuttiness from the mainstream media?

The idea that President-elect Trump intends to resurrect the infamous and quite decidedly racist “internment camps” established for Japanese-American citizens in 1942. How did this start?

It started last week on FNC’s The Kelly File during a segment with Trump surrogate and former Navy Seal Carl Higbie (whom I know). Kelly cited this story from Reuters: “Immigration hardliner says Trump preparing plans for wall, mulling Muslim registry”

The story goes on to say that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach informs Trump advisers “had discussed drafting a proposal for his (Trump’s) consideration to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.” 

The specific program mentioned was the Bush administration’s National Security Entry-Exit Registration System or, in the vernacular of government, NSEERS. NSEERS was “abandoned” in the Obama era after protests from civil rights groups and others.  

That was the story. That was it. That was all.

Returning to Higbie, Kelly referred to the story and Higbie replies as follows: “It is legal. They say it’ll hold constitutional muster. I know the ACLU is going to challenge it, but I think it’ll pass… We did it during World War II with Japanese, which, you know, call it what you will, maybe —“

Kelly then replied: “Come on. You’re not — you’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope.”

Higbie immediately shot back: “I’m not proposing that at all. But I’m just saying there is precedent for it.” He also accurately reminded viewers that he was not “proposing that at all” but that there was precedent for a registry.

My fellow Trump supporter confirmed personally to me the following night that he most assuredly was not proposing internment camps, but the hysteria was already kicked into high gear with the liberal media pouncing with help from ultra-liberal celebrity George Takei leading the way by relaying the story of he and his family be interned back in WWII (to somehow hint that history would repeat itself under Trump).

From The New York Times came this headline: “Trump Camp’s Talk of Registry and Japanese Internment Raises Muslims’ Fears”

The story began this way:

A prominent supporter of Donald J. Trump drew concern and condemnation from advocates for Muslims’ rights on Wednesday after he cited World War II-era Japanese-American internment camps as a “precedent” for an immigrant registry suggested by a member of the president-elect’s transition team.

This was, of course, a flat-out lie. Higbie never mentioned the Japanese internment camps.

The Washington Post followed suit, but of course, headlining this way: “Japanese American internment is ‘precedent’ for national Muslim registry, prominent Trump backer says”

Said The Post:

A former spokesman for a major super PAC backing Donald Trump said Wednesday that the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was a “precedent” for the president-elect’s plans to create a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.

Again, another flat out lie. Out on the West Coast, The Los Angeles Times headlined: “Trump supporter cites Japanese American internment to justify registering Muslim immigrants”

Began the LA Times: “A prominent supporter of President-elect Donald Trump cited the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II as a legal justification for creating a national registration list ‘for immigrants from Muslim countries.’”

Yet again a lie. All of this flowing from a wildly erroneous assumption.

One can only ask. Well aside from the flat-out liberal bias against Trump from the three named papers, they all seem utterly clueless to the real precedent for a registry of immigrants from terrorist countries that has absolutely zero — say again zero — to do with the despicable Japanese-American internment camps. Internment camps that were upheld in the Supreme Court by progressive Democrats on the Court — the lone Republican Justice, Owen Roberts, opposing them. 

With the opinion saying the internment camps were constitutional written by a liberal (Justice Hugo Black) who also had a “gold passport” lifetime membership in the Ku Klux Klan. Which is to say a racist organization infamous for judging their fellow Americans by race.

The real precedent has nothing whatsoever to do with the internment camps. It has to do with the Alien Enemies Act….of 1798. Signed into law by, yes, President John Adams. The target? Unnaturalized French immigrants in the new United States who were sympathetic to the violence of the French Revolution and were suspected of plotting a French-style revolution against the US government. 

Moving on, President James Madison — the “Father of the Constitution” — invoked the law against British immigrants who were not naturalized American citizens when they were suspected of support for the invading British army in the War of 1812. 

On December 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt invoked the law again, this time targeting 
unnaturalized Japanese, German and Italian immigrants in the US who were suspected of aiding their respective native countries in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler and Mussolini’s declaration of war against the United States. 

The three presidential proclamations numbered presidential proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527 were named successively “Aliens: Japanese”, “Aliens: Germans” and “Aliens: Italians.” They had nothing — zero — to do with internment camps, an idea that came later from the leaders of the same party that had previously supported slavery and was still, in the 1940’s actively supporting segregation, lynching and the Klan.

What did the presidential proclamations do? Here’s a sample, all three proclamations saying:

…all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation or government, being of the age of fourteen years and upward, who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed as alien enemies. The President is authorized in any such event, by his proclamation thereof, or other public act, to direct the conduct to be observed, on the part of the United States, toward the aliens who become so liable; the manner and degree of the restraint to which they shall be subject and in what cases, and upon what security their residence shall be permitted, and to provide for the removal of those who, not being permitted to reside within the United States, refuse or neglect to depart therefrom; and to establish any other regulations which are found necessary in the premises and for the public safety.

As the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles notes in part of the effect this had on unnaturalized Italian immigrants in the US: 

Nationwide, approximately 600,000 Italian-born residents of the United States were declared enemy aliens. The term “enemy alien” was not unique to World War II. The classification traces its roots to the Alien Enemies Act of 1798, which stated that if the United States was at war with a country then any “natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation” residing in the United States who were not naturalized citizens were considered “enemy aliens.” In the weeks following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, enemy aliens were ordered to surrender cameras, short-wave radios and radio transmitters. Other contraband items were flashlights, boats, binoculars and weapons, including hunting rifles. Enemy aliens were prohibited from traveling outside of a five-mile radius of their homes, even for employment, and were banned from entering “strategic areas” such as power stations and airports. In San Francisco, Giuseppe DiMaggio, father of baseball great Joe DiMaggio, could not visit his son’s restaurant because it was located in a prohibited zone.

In other words? In other words this is called precedent. And it is a precedent that dates to 1798 — when it was signed into law by the nation’s second president, a “Founding Father” which has nothing whatsoever to do with Japanese Internment camps.

In all the conversation about “fake news” it is crystal clear that The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post dished exactly that to their readers. These “news” stories that a Trump surrogate — Carl Higbie — was citing Japanese internment camps as a precedent was false. Not to mention the implication that the Trump administration is planning internment camps for Muslims is fake. From beginning to end.

But bet on this in the course of the next four years when it comes to “fake news” stories about the Trump administration.  Expect more of them — from the mainstream liberal media.