Former Democratic presidential candidate and NATO commander Wesley Clark has called for the return of World War II-style internment camps for “disloyal Americans” who support the Islamic State as part of an intensified campaign against Islamic extremism.
The suggestion was a surprise, with pundits saying it was “out of character” for the retired general to make such a call based on his earlier stances against the Bush administration’s excessive response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Clark said the internment camps should be revived, following the mass shooting in Chatanooga, Tennessee.
He recalled that during 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 underlined the potential role internment camps could have in battling Muslim extremism.
“If these people are radicalised 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,” he said.
Observers said the remarks were “shockingly out of character for Clark” as he became known in progressive political circles after his stint as supreme allied commander of NATO.
Since his critique of the way the Bush administration responded to the 9/11 terror attacks during his presidential campaign, Clark has become a critic of measures violating the Geneva Convention. In particular, he said back in 2006 that policies like torture violate “the very values that [we] espouse.”