Wesley Clark Calls for Internment of 'Disloyal' Americans
Last Friday during an MSNBC interview retired General Wesley Clark called for “disloyal” Americans to be put into internment camps according to Thomas Gaist.
Apparently this was prompted by the recent “lone wolf” Chattanooga, TN shooting at a recruiting station.
Wesley Clark on MSNBC:
We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning,
On a national policy level, we need to look at what self-radicalization means, because we are at war with this group of terrorists,
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.
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.
Clark is advocating massive “round ups” of politically radicalized citizens.
During WW II in America German and Japanese Americans were interned. This was a very shameful, anti-democratic period in our history.
Clark is advocating internment for people who have committed no crime, but who ideologically are at odds with the policies of the US government.
Clark was the Supreme Commander of NATO. He was a candidate for US President in 2004 and 2008. He backed Hillary Clinton rather than Obama in 2008, and is a strong advocate for her in this election. One would expect him to achieve some serious position of authority if Hillary Clinton becomes our next president.
He is a Democratic Party high flyer who may be in a position to implement his program of what Gaist labels a “mass segregation of dissidents”.
If one starts to connect the dots of US military units conducting drills across seven states in the US right now, probable military detainment of dissident civilians is not a hard reach.
Gaist emphasizes that after Clark’s stunning statements there has been almost total silence from corporate media, including The New York Times, WAPO, and The Wall Street Journal.
This silence in the face of an open call for internment of domestic political opponents, issued by one of the country’s leading political generals, underscores the fact that the entire political and media establishment has decisively broken with centuries-old bourgeois democratic norms. The media silence will no doubt serve to encourage forces within the US military and intelligence apparatus to intensify the drive toward dictatorship.
The George W. Bush administration made further preparations for new prison camps in 2006, signing a $400 million contract with KBR to build up the Department of Homeland Security’s “detention and processing capabilities.”
The Obama administration has expanded the authoritarian legal and policy framework developed under previous administrations. Since taking office, Obama has issued annual decrees renewing the state of emergency declared by the Bush administration after 9/11 and further entrenching emergency powers granted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
In a series of annual National Defense Authorization Acts, the Obama administration has codified the anti-democratic measures implemented under Bush, asserting unlimited power to indefinitely detain or kill individuals without trial.
Gaist points out the imposition of “de facto martial law” in Boston following the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Also that last year Ferguson, Missouri, was "locked down" after the murder by police of Michael Brown.
Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved legislation granting the US government new powers to demand regular reporting from social media platforms about individuals suspected of ties to “terrorist activity."
Bill Van Auken also addresses Clark’s disturbing statements:
If Clark’s proposal were implemented, such “sting” operations and subsequent frame-up trials could be dispensed with, as the “self-radicalized” were identified by their thoughts, statements or Internet postings and summarily thrown into concentration camps.
The scale of his proposed response is so disproportionate to the actual threat—which has claimed far fewer victims than mass shootings carried out by individuals who have shown no sign of being “radicalized”—that it is impossible not to conclude that there are deeper and hidden motives and processes at work.
If one takes Clark’s statements at their face value, the term “Orwellian” does not do them justice. “We have got to identify people who are most likely to be radicalized,” he said in his television interview. “We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning.” In other words, the massive and ongoing surveillance of the American population must be intensified to identify potential radicals and jail them based on their alleged thoughts or expressions.
“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,” he added.
People are to be imprisoned in camps for the “duration” of the never-ending “war on terrorism” for being deemed “disloyal” or insufficiently supportive of the United States, a charge that could be leveled against anyone expressing opposition to US imperialist war abroad, police repression at home or even the profit interests of US corporations and banks.
Van Auken observes that the internment of 110,000 mostly Japanese-Americans during World War II was anti-democratically based solely on nationality and not crimes committed.
Van Auken maintains that Clark’s proposal is more in line with the actions of the Nazis in 1933 when they suspended democratic rights and habeas corpus. Germany then opened its first concentration camp in Dachau to hold political prisoners which included socialists, trade unionists and others labeled “disloyal” to the Third Reich.
Wesley Clark, explains Van Auken, is an investment banker who heads Wesley K. Clark & Associates, an international consulting firm that aids big oil companies, defense contractors and investment banks.
I'm sure these entities have a strong and wide take on "disloyal" American citizens supported by General Clark.
Van Auken stresses that this advocacy of a mass internment of dissidents is being made not by a right-wing media big mouth like Rush Limbaugh but by a man well-respected by so-called progressives. Also, again, someone tightly cronied with the corporatist elites.
According to Van Auken Justice Clarence Thomas last month after the legalization of same-sex marriage and the contention that the court had granted gay Americans "dignity" remarked on how Japanese Americans interned during World War II did not lose their dignity despite having been locked up. There was a flutter of outrage over Thomas's chilling reference.
After Clark's bald-faced pronouncement? Crickets!
Van Auken also reveals that Justice Antonin Scalia last year made reference to the Supreme Court’s 1944 decision upholding the legality of mass internment camps during WW II, which decision was never overturned. Scalia had declared, “... you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.”
Van Auken notes that while the NYT and other mainstream media outlets are making fun of “paranoid” citizens distressed by the Jade Helm 15 military operation across the country which happens to involve exercises for detention and internment, it is silent on this gobsmacking suggestion from Wesley Clark.
The War on Terror has certainly come home. The Patriot Act keeps on diabolically giving and giving -- that is, giving horror upon horror. The militarization of our police leading to a slow genocide of blacks and Latinos in the US or their colossally massive incarceration. The lockdowns of American cities. The incredible levels of social and economic inequality in the US due to a government captured by and serving corporatists who sociopathically put profits over humanity, even to a lethal degree.
The ruling class is preparing to even further diminish, devastate and control a citizenry that is being pushed into justified rebelliousness.
Will the majority of Americans continue to squeeze tightly into the faux-progressive bubble of evil “lesser evilism” denial -- cling to the “it could be worse, it could be happening directly to me” unspoken mantra of narcissism and authoritarian-following complacency -- and let the Orwellian unravelling of American democracy escalate to full out fascism?
After all, we big-mouthed lefties calling out the betrayals of past administrations and this one sure have been asking for it.