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Information / Links to other websites
Links to articles in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of
Sept. 11, 2001.
We condemn all terrorist attacks on innocent people. But scapegoating innocent, uninvolved people just because
they come from the same ethnic group, and attacking them physically and legally in group retaliation for acts done
by a few extremists, will only serve to justify the claims of the terrorists. Instead, we must
work together with the communities under suspicion, supporting and sustaining the moderate and democratic voices
within them rather than embittering them with displays of American racism and bigotry.
In World War II Japanese Americans in Hawaii were not interned and therefore willingly volunteered in large numbers
to join the US Military, anxious to show their loyalty to the US. On the contrary, the mainland Japanese Americans, larger by far in numbers
but held prisoner with their families in desolate internment camps, were understandably bitter about being asked to defend
a country that dispossed them and locked them up solely for being of Japanese ancestry. The 442nd all Japanese American
Regimental Combat Team became the most decorated in World War II, even helping to free the Dachau sub-camps in Germany as their own
families languished behind barbed wire in American internment camps.
(See Chang, Thelma. "I Can Never Forget: Men of the
100th/442nd," Sigi Productions, 1991)
June 28, 2004 Supreme Court rulings on detentions without trial:
"Supreme Court Backs Civil Liberties in Terror Cases", Fred Barbash, Washington Post
On June 28, 2004, in two crucial decisions on the scope of
presidential wartime powers, the Supreme Court rejected the Bush administration's claim
that it can hold suspected terrorists or "enemy combatants" on American soil without
access to the courts.
"Resisting arrest", by Gary Kamiya, Salon's executive editor
(Click through an add to get a day pass for the salon website)
In October, 2003, Fred Korematsu joined a friend-of-the-court brief to the Supreme Court,
arguing that the extended executive detentions of "enemy combatants" are unconstitutional. His
words bore the moral weight of authority of a man who had taken the internment of his own ethnic
group to the Supreme Court in the 1940s. He lost then, but the internment was subsequently
declared "not justified" when in the 1980s a document was found "from one of the
Justice Department lawyers to the Solicitor General of the United States saying we are telling
lies to the Supreme Court."
Personal reactions to 911 from the two of us:
Other articles on the Internet:
Bay Prisoners Plant Seeds of Hope in Secret Garden,"
Andrew Buncombe, The Independent. (April 29, 2006)
"With their bare hands and the most basic of tools, prisoners
at Guantanamo Bay have fashioned a secret garden where they have grown
plants from seeds recovered from their meals. For some of the detainees
- held without charge for more than four years and who the US say
are now cleared for release - the garden apparently offers a diversion
from the monotony and injustice of their imprisonment."
- "Caught in the Backlash," ACLU
report (pdf file) on post-9/11 backlash against people perceived
to be from the Middle East (November 13, 2002)
SILENCE ON TERRORISM Michelle Chihara, AlterNet
Everyone professes to love free speech, just not in their backyard.
While the debate rages over exactly when and where speech should be
free, the bigger questions are going un-discussed.
LOVE Michelle Chihara, AlterNet
Dissent in the war against terrorism is being labeled as unpatriotic.
But love of country doesn't have to be uncritical, or bumper-sticker
ready. The daughter of a Japanese American interned in the camps during
WW II explains why.
the CIA and the roots of terrorism" Michael Moore, AlterNet
Let's mourn and grieve, but let's also examine our own contribution
to our unsafe world -- be it lax airport security or the CIA training
the terrorists who attack us.
"Anti-Arab passions sweep the U.S." Janelle Brown, Salon.
Despite Bush's calls for tolerance, firebombings, shootings and other
acts of violence strike Islamic worshippers.
"Hiding in Brooklyn: Afgan American fears for safety" Fariba Nawa,
Pacific News Service
An Afghan-American writer living in Brooklyn wonders what might happen
when officers sent to prevent a racial backlash against Arabs leave
Time for Peace, Not Retaliation" Elijah Wald, TomPaine.com
If there is one lesson in today's World Trade Center tragedy, it is
that tougher security measures will not prevent future terrorist acts.
Only peaceful policies will.
"The End of Video Game Wars" Naomi Klein, AlterNet.
War is most emphatically not a game, but until September 11, most
Americans treated it like it was. Perhaps Tuesday's attacks finally
ended the era of the video game war.
Japanese American issues
In 1984 the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled that the military
justification for the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2 was "not justified."
In fact it was a lie, perpetrated
by the government and the military at high levels up to and including President
As then Representative Norman Mineta (now Secretary of Transportation in the George W. Bush administration)
remarked as he introduced H.R. 442, The Civil Liberties Act of 1985, "... documents recently discovered under the Freedom of
Information act revealed that government attorneys suppressed key evidence and authoritative
reports from the Office of Naval Intelligence, the F.B.I., the Federal Communications Commission,
and Army intelligence which flatly contradicted the government claim that Japanese Americans were
a threat to security. ."
See also page 29 (online - p21 internal numbering) of National Security Archive amicus curiae brief, 2005:
The court ruling applies to this specific instance only and left standing the
principle of mass internment of an entire group without due process "in cases
of military necessity" - and no legal action was taken against the people or
institutions that ordered the internment under false pretenses. Ethnic groups
whose countries of origin are considered rogue states by the American government
can legally be interned without trial.
For more information see:
Robinson, Greg. By Order of the President: FDR and the
Internment of Japanese Americans, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2001
Personal Justice Denied - Report of the U.S. Commission on Wartime
Relocation and Internment of Civilians, University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA, 1996.
For the text of the ruling see: http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cases/pp/korematsu_II.htm.
Further sources of information:
- "Rabbit in the Moon," award-winning documentary film by Emiko Omori,
provides an excellent overview of the human cost of the Internment.
There is an extensive PBS
companion website and the film can be ordered
"Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American
Relocation Sites ", National Park Service covering all internment
- CLPEF Website,
(Civil Liberties Public Education Fund), created to educate the public
about the internment.
- CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION, a film about
the 85 Nisei who refused to be drafted out of the concentration
camp until their rights were restored and their families released.
The government prosecuted them as criminals, and Japanese American
leaders ostracized them as traitors.
- "Internment and Evacuation of San Francisco
Japanese" , newspaper articles from the The San Francisco News, 1942.
Website of the Museum of the City of San Francisco
- American Concentration Camps,
collage panorama photos of Internment camps by Masumi Hayashi.
- Further collection of links to "Stories and Images of Japanese-American Internment."
Shinto, the ancient indigenous religion of
Japan. Much of the Japanese reverence towards nature comes from
- Overview of Japanese garden design, by Marc
Keane. His book "Japanese Garden Design," Charles Tuttle 1996, is the
best overview of the historic and cultural development and symbology of
Japanese gardens that we have found, and was a primary source in the construction of
our Japanese paradise garden.
Iranian American issues
- Flying between film festivals in Hong Kong and
South America, Filmmaker Jafar Panahi refused to submit
to fingerprinting and mug shots while in transit at JFK Airport (required of all Iranian citizens.)
He was kept chained to a bench for 10 hours while
his film "The Circle" was screening in New York to applause and acclaim. See article in
A filmmaker feels the circle tighten / Iran's Panahi put in chains -- in U.S.
For current concerns, see www.antidiscrimination.org/
Misrepresentation: Persephobia and the press.
Study by Genevieve New on Iran's representation in the British Press.
No solidarity: Iranians in the U.S. by Mehdi
Bozorgmehr, Associate Professor of Sociology at the City University of
- "The Struggle for Iran", educational radio program from the Stanley Foundation and NPR,
hosted by Walter Cronkite, deals with the hostage ordeal in Iran.
Window of Opportunity: Images of Iranians in the
U.S. Media, review of a book by Yahya R. Kamalipour
American Iranian Anti-Discrimination Center
(AIADC), website fighting discrimination against Iranians in the
- American-Iranian Council, Inc. (AIC),