Friday, August 06, 2004

JAPANESE INTERNMENT CAMPS AND PROFILING

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Back during my first year in law school (and a few months after 9/11) I wrote a law review article entitled Rational Profiling in America's Airports which was published in the Journal of Public Law, a law journal at BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School. My basic thesis is that age, gender and race should be incorporated as profiling factors (among others, such as when the ticked was purchased, how it was purchased, etc.) currently in use at airports.

One point I addressed briefly was the Japanese internment camps during World War II. I admittedly didn't do a huge amount of research on this topic as it was not central to the paper. However, I read enough to make me think that the conventional wisdom that the internment camps were bad, bad, bad and totally without foundation is not necessarily true.

It appears that I am not alone. Michelle Malkin has published a book entitled In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Malkin purports to debunk the common historical view that the internment was largely driven by wartime hysteria and racism. She maintains that historians and federal panels have played down information showing that Japan had established an extensive espionage network on the West Coast."

It's come under some criticism, to which Ms. Malkin has responded. Interesting stuff. I'll try to blog more on this as time permits.