In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror

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Everything you've been taught about the World War II "internment camps" in America is wrong:

  • They were not created primarily because of racism or wartime hysteria
  • They did not target only those of Japanese descent
  • They were not Nazi-style death camps

In her latest investigative tour-de-force, New York Times best-selling author Michelle Malkin sets the historical record straight-and debunks radical ethnic alarmists who distort history to undermine common-sense, national security profiling. The need for this myth-shattering book is vital. President Bush's opponents have attacked every homeland defense policy as tantamount to the "racist" and "unjustified" World War II internment. Bush's own transportation secretary, Norm Mineta, continues to milk his childhood experience at a relocation camp as an excuse to ban profiling at airports. Misguided guilt about the past continues to hamper our ability to prevent future terrorist attacks.

In Defense of Internment shows that the detention of enemy aliens, and the mass evacuation and relocation of ethnic Japanese from the West Coast were not the result of irrational hatred or conspiratorial bigotry. This document-packed book highlights the vast amount of intelligence, including top-secret "MAGIC" messages, which revealed the Japanese espionage threat on the West Coast.
Malkin also tells the truth about:

  • who resided in enemy alien internment camps (nearly half were of European ancestry)
  • what the West Coast relocation centers were really like (tens of thousands of ethnic Japanese were allowed to leave; hundreds voluntarily chose to move in)
  • why the $1.65 billion federal reparations law for Japanese internees and evacuees was a bipartisan disaster
  • how both Japanese American and Arab/Muslim American leaders have united to undermine America's safety

With trademark fearlessness, Malkin adds desperately needed perspective to the ongoing debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security. In Defense of Internment will outrage, enlighten, and radically change the way you view the past-and the present.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895260512
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc., An Eagle Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 802,407
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : a time to discriminate
Ch. 1 The turncoats on Niihau Island 1
Ch. 2 The threat of the Rising Sun 7
Ch. 3 Sympathizers and subversives 17
Ch. 4 Spies like us 27
Ch. 5 The MAGIC revelations 37
Ch. 6 The internment of enemy aliens 53
Ch. 7 The rationale for evacuation 65
Ch. 8 Executive order 9066 81
Ch. 9 The myth of the American "concentration camp" 95
Ch. 10 Reparations, revisionism, and the race card 113
Ch. 11 The "puffery" defense 129
Ch. 12 Damning America 143
Conclusion : 12/7, 9/11, and beyond 149
App. A Richard Kotoshirodo 167
App. B MAGIC cables 175
App. C Intelligence memos 209
App. D The Kenji Ito case 271
App. E The Coram Nobis cases 273
App. F The camps and centers 281
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2004

    Must Read

    Even if you disagree with Malkin's conclusion--that internment was justified under the circumstances--you will learn a lot of extremely interesting and undisputed facts about the period. I, for one, had no idea that Japanese submarines had attacked an oil refinery off the coast of Santa Barbara California, that scores of boats were sunk up and down the West coast (Mendocino, Monterey Bay etc.), that Japanese planes firebombed forests in Oregon. Because of Malkin's aims, she devotes time to many aspects of the period that are generally ignored by those seeking to downplay justifications for the internment. As Radio Tokyo boasted at the time: ¿Sensible Americans know that the submarine shelling of the Pacific Coast was a warning to the nation that the Paradise created by George Washington is on the verge of destruction.¿ The threat was real and large.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    In Defense of Internment - A surprise

    My family are Japanese Americans. There were in the camps. When I heard about the book I was all geared up to write the author a multipage NastyGram. I was all set to take her and her arguement apart. But then I read page after page of reserch, and I had to ask myself "what would I do, if I was in power at the time and my country was fighting for its life?"

    My conclusion is that the Japanease Americans who were sent to the camps were part of the tragidy of war. More, even though they were prisioners, I veiw thier imprisionment as a service to out nation, just as those in uniform served. This is not to say there was not a great National shame in the way these brave, patriotic, and honorable people were ignored for so many decades. So much was taken from them and for too long thier sacrifices were ignored. Malkin's book does not go into that part of history but it does answere the larger question of what happened and why.

    General George S. Patton said "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking!" Machelle Malkin has dared to think. History is better for it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2008

    Well researched

    Michelle again makes her point with facts. The liberals and 'Woodstock type people,' who want to just love everyone, just don't get her and the danger America faces. Thanks Michelle for a great read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2007

    Well researched

    Malkin's book is not an easy read, partly due to its main strength, which is the in depth research that she has obviously done, returning to WWII documents to support her conclusions. If you struggle through the turgid prose of the supporting documents, you will not be entertained, but you certainly will be informed. Worth the effort, but only for those who want to get out of their comfort zone and risk having their comfortable opinions jolted a bit by undigested facts.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2006


    Annotate your bibliography all you want, link Mohammed Atta with a Japanese American noting the movement of ships in Honalulu (an act the man thought was legal, and it was, and which he never dreamed would lead to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Juxtapose that with Atta who quite deliberately and directly killed over two thousand people) it doesn't change the fact that not a single one of the over 100,000 Americans and Japanese national interned was ever tried or convicted of treason or aiding the enemy in any way. Oh, and as a matter of fact, the most highly decorated regimine in the entire American armed forces during world war 2 was composed entirely of japanese americans. This book is discredited by every scholarly acount of the internment. It is sad that this book was written and sold so well because it does such diservice to the truth. Japanese Americans were citizens of this country before, during and after the war. Their treatment in the camps was nothing short of criminal, which is why the U.S. congress paid every single surving internee and or the families of deceased internees reparations of thousands of dollars. They also received a formal apology from the president. Does Malkin mention any of this? No. Should a fairminded and thoughtful piece of scholarship do so? If it wants to get at the truth it should. But that does not appear to be her goal. Instead her goal appears to be to create schock value and sell books. Histroy is full of attempts at revisionism because history is such a useful weapon. That is why one must always be on guard for people who are willing to subvert the truth for their own narrow gain. Read this book at your own perril. I don't care how big her biliography is this book is a complete misrepresentation of the facts. Considder this logical exercise: if the Japanese Americans within the U.S. posed such a grave threat to the U.S., why were they all so willing to go to the 'relocation camps' without a fight? Would not an insurectionist group, a '5th collum', try to launch an attack against America, or at least engage in protest in order to make it harder for them to be subdued? Yet this never happened. Furthermore, why did so many of them fight for the U.S. military, and so valiantly in fact, if they had no loyalty to the U.S.? Malkin has no answer. Oh the deafining sounds of silence.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2005

    This is piece of CRAP!!!

    My/Your time would be better spent doing NOTHING than reading this book !!!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2004

    Find Terrorists Faster: Focus on the Most Likely Suspects First

    Everyone must read In Defense of Internment. Our lives are at risk from the most insidious enemy we have ever fought and we must use every possible strategy to find and destroy our enemies before they kill more of us. In Defense of Internment discusses a strategy that can save lives, but our politicians have feared to discuss it because the leftist media would crucify them. Historically, Ms. Malkin fills the chasm that politically correct textbooks and histories have made in our understanding of what actually happened in World War II America and why it was justified. For this reason too, everyone should read it--especially teachers of American History and Government.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2004

    Excellent Read

    What an eye opener!! Now I know why the Japanese were asked to leave certain areas and moved from other areas. I figured FDR had a reason for his actions!! Thanks Michelle.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2004

    The Bravest Woman in America

    Michelle Malkin is without doubt the bravest woman in America today. She tells it like it is, like it was and like it should be. Her book reviews how once again history is repeating itself but the because of political correctness is endangering our Republic. She correctly explains the laws that permit profiling and internment of those who would destroy the American way of life. For those who are seriously ignorant, if not stupid, about how America should be protected against those who would do us harm, I recommend this book to open your eyes to the truth and to the necessity of keeping our eye on those who would do us harm.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2005

    Full of facts, but the threads aren't woven together

    Malkin's work reminds me so much of certain Jehovah's Witnesses who would knock on the door of my childhood home and gladly offer to show my parents how verses in the Bible supported their religious slant. What they, and Malkin in her work, failed to do was recount other verses in the chapter that provided true context of what the Bible is really trying to tell us. Like any politically charged book, quotes that support her view come from 'eminent', 'respected', and 'acclaimed' sources. Quotes from the other side originate from 'irrational', 'gullible', and 'leftist' individuals. This politicization of the issue hinders Malkin's ability to make a coherent and concise point, and if you are looking to read the book to achieve a higher understanding of the relevant issues, you may be disappointed. Malkin consistently confuses 'politically correct' with 'morally correct', and argues that being politically correct in our post-9/11 world is tantamount to ignoring the threats our nation faces. What she fails to acknowledge is that 'threat profiling' is susceptible to excesses which would infringe on the rights of our citizens. It is a sad fact that works written by neo-cons like Malkin always suffer from a lack of credibility because the author has never had to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. She writes, 'It is unfortunate that well-intentioned Arabs and Muslims might be burdened because of terrorists who share their race, nationality, or religion. But any inconvenience, no matter how bothersome or offensive, is preferable to being incinerated at your office desk by a flaming hijacked plane.' Spare us the drama and stick with the blogging. A historian Malkin is not (which she admits in a lame disclaimer), and her cited research clearly shows that she has highlighted only those verses that appear at first blush to support her narrow point of view. I went to high school with descendants of relocated Japanese, and I am convinced that relocation wasn't a simple inconvience. There is no precedent to be found in internment, and for that reason the book is lacking

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2005

    Well thought out. Great Presentation

    In a nutshell, my understanding of this sensitive subject is deepened. I would recommend this book to anyone, though an open mind is required to appreciate it. Happy reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    In Defense of Racism

    This book is an attempt to defend rather than learn from mistakes that were made in the past. It contradicts all knowledge that exists from this time period. It questions the honor with which many Americans of Japanese ancestory conducted themselves and continues the tradtition of racism and hate in America.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2004

    A jaw dropper

    Although I agree with Malkin's input in the blogosphere, this book lacks a deeper ability to delve into the psyche of the 'enemy' rather than what is the stereotypical majority commercialized version of the 'enemy'. This book takes advantage of our fears rather than look beyond the surface. I admire her attempt at researching and creating a stir, but the book lacks. just lacks. Disappointing read.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2004

    Sounds like a 'Final Solution'

    This rambling polemic is much like the work of a former demagogue who rose to prominent political power in the 1920's and 1930's, Hitler. Hitler also justified profiling as a way to save his country from those he considered outsiders. Hitler's vilification of an entire race of people was based entirely upon the idea that it was the most efficient way to protect his homeland from the Jews. He felt justified in his actions, in his opinion this would save the Aryan nation from Jewish influence by eliminating the issue of Jewish people. No matter that the vast majority of Jews, and people of any group really, would have kept to themselves; Hitler used few concrete examples of Jewish misdeeds and lots of propaganda to influence an entire country. Arab-Americans would do well to watch their backs in this country because of xenophobic literature such as this. Why stop with internment? Is slavery justified because there are numerous black celebrities worth millions of dollars today? Attempting to justify a rather ugly period of our history is eerily similar to Osama Bin Laden's justification that killing innocent Americans is justified as defense of Islam against the west. History has taught us that behavior is a much more accurate indication of criminal activity than race. Terrorism in any form is not limited to Arabs. Racial profiling clearly would not have stopped Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, or Ted Kaczynsky. To simplify, this tripe is not patriotic unless you consider a direct violation of the constitutional rights of due process patriotic.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2004

    Easy to comprehend and worth every penny

    this is an excellent read if you are trying to somehow justify your feelings about past government errors (per a number of presidents), if you are still bitter about the Pacific war, or trying to find comfort without knowledge. Get this book from at a cheaper price bc it is not worth full retail. Even reading this for free, I felt ripped off.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2004

    What an amazing book!

    Maybe she can write a book in defense of profiling all those young and urban black males (such as myself) because we are nothing but trouble, too! (Well actually, that already happens.) I think you know what I am saying about this book. This is just another case of Anglo paranoia toward the 'other'. She talks about profiling the Japanese and Arabs, but does she mention the so-called 'militia' members? You know the ones like 'home-grown' terrorist: McVeigh and Nichols. No. It's too bad, really. You would think in our supposed civilized society, we would put a little more thought into effectively combating what ails us.....a break down of communications. If you don't belive me, then ask yourself? How many times throughout the course of history has subjugation and oppression brought peace to mankind? Make no mistake, the terrorist are Al-Qaeda and they (Al-Qaeda) must be dealt with in the most extreme measures possible. But not every single member of Al-Qaeda is Arab. Nor is every Arab person a member of Al-Qaeda. As long as a stereotypical mode of thought persists within our society, we will never truly have freedom.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2004

    cool book on a topical issue

    i was afraid this would be the normal right-wing nonsense screed about how people with light skin are justified in treating people with dark skin poorly, as we have for thousands of years. however i was delighted to find the author really made the book enjoyable by including a lot of funny one-liners. it just shows that even lunatics can be hilarious!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2004

    Lack of Courage Feeds Into Narrow-Minded Revisionism

    When I finished reading this book, I was aghast for many reasons, amazingly the least of which had to do with her advocacy of limited racial profiling of male Arab-Americans. As a third-generation Japanese-American, I just had to pick up the book once I saw the inflammatory title and side-by-side mug-shots on the cover. As I started reading the book at the store, it started deluding me with cogent, almost matter-of-fact statements. Author Michelle Malkin was compelled to raise a valid debate between national security and civil liberties, but her book is based on a centrally flawed premise - that racial profiling is perfectly acceptable and that limited implementation of such programs is possible and can be quite effective in warding off terrorism. To some degree, I can appreciate her willingness to take on the more politically incorrect position here, and it's good to put the wartime treatment of the Japanese-Americans in perspective. There are certainly enough pages of annotation to make one think she has the evidence to support the courage and integrity of her convictions. However, Malkin's book is not useful as a history lesson, as it remains ignominiously a polemic that relies on overstatement and an unfiltered chain of arguable findings. Much worse though, she exhibits neither the courage nor integrity necessary to address the controversy of this book. Malkin makes it clear that she supports 'narrowly-tailored and eminently reasonable profiling measures'. So why does she take the onerous burden of defending the wholesale eviction and detention of an entire ethnic group from the West Coast during World War II? If the paranoia raised by the Magic intercepts is the basis of her rationale, how reasonable would it be to try segregating suspects from an ethnic group through her recommended profiling measures now? If as Malkin states repeatedly, Japanese-American internment was justified, then she would have far more credibility if she supported the wholesale internment of Arab-Americans now. Instead she weakens her own argument for fear of facing a greater scope of rage. Too bad she is incapable of being consistent on the one pervasive point of the book. Malkin's perspective seems eminently logical but with no sense of historical lessons learned. By identifying facts equally, by carefully selecting statistics that lack a larger context, she manipulates the readers by tapping into their greatest fears of the next terrorist attack and mobilizing the government to take steps too simplistic for such a complex problem. What Malkin fails to acknowledge is that terrorists come in all colors. There would be no end to the type of persecution she advocates. The disturbing core of this book is that Malkin makes a series of findings however arbitrary look as if it poses for historical truth. Malkin claims to set the record straight when in reality she is distorting selected facts to fit her political position. The same can be said for Michael Moore, but at least Moore advocates using the democratic process to rid us of the current administration. Pushing one's agenda would be fine if one can discern a viable course of action to address the wrongs he or she highlights. Instead, her impossible recommendation shows she is not interested in developing a realistic solution but racist paranoia, the same that led to the original decision for the internment camps. I'm sure many - including Malkin - will discount my opinion because I am Japanese-American and apparently incapable of reading this book with objectivity. She just proves the adage that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Sadly she expects us to spend twenty bucks to validate her ignorance. No thanks...I returned the book and instead bought Senator Robert Byrd's 'Losing America', so I could read an author who at least has the courage of his convictions.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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