Retired Army General and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts that he would like to see “radicalized individuals” segregated in camps. Clark made the comments in the wake of a shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that killed three Marines and a sailor. Police said a man named Mohammad Abdulazeez pulled the trigger.
Clark was asked: How do we catch “self-radicalized lone wolfs”?
“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 them in a camp,” Clark told Roberts. “They were prisoners of war. So, if these people are radicalized, and they don’t support the United States, and they’re disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine, that’s their right. It’s our right and our 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 and Germany and France are going to have to look at their domestic law procedures.”
Clark made similar comments on Fox News Radio’s The Alan Colmes Show, although he pushed back against the idea he was backing internment camps.
“I’m saying we’ve got to deal with radicalization in our society…. You’ve got to have a counter-recruitment program,” Clark said on the Colmes program. “If the counter-recruitment program doesn’t work — that is to say: if you don’t know who is looking at these Islamic websites, if you don’t know what their reactions are, if you don’t have anybody who can talk them out of it, if they persist in becoming enemies, and wanting to kill people — you’ve got to set up some milestones along that journey for them. And at some point they either get arrested, get treated as terrorists, or they get put in a prisoner of war camp.”
Clark is not calling for the rounding up of people based on an ethnic or a religious basis, as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt engaged in during World War II. Instead, he wants the government to be able to round up people of certain beliefs – for instance those who sympathize with ISIS.
Neither Colmes nor Roberts told Clark that such a plan would be in violation of the US Constitution. The Fifth Amendment states “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger.”
He said he did not know what “radicalization” would mean.
“You know, Alan, the lawyers and political leaders would have to make those determinations,” Clark told Colmes. During World War II, Roosevelt ordered all people of Japanese descent living in certain areas of the country imprisoned in what was called “relocation camps.”
Clark is a retired army general who served as supreme allied commander of NATO in Europe and commander of Allied Forces during the Kosovo War. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.
World War II internment camps largely were limited to people to Japanese descent, although a few thousand people of German descent were interned.
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