What has happened, and what still happens, in regards to our generations' "War on Terror," should be a shame on our national conscience as great as that of the Japanese American Internment. I could relate it to many of the historical injustices the people of this nation, through fear or greed, suspended the rights of fellow Americans for purposes that could only be described as illegitimate or lazy. But the Internment is the one that comes to mind the easiest, because that should have been our lesson on fear-based government overreach.
Maybe it would be easier to draw lines to our history if politicians, pundits and cultural harpies didn't spend so much time trying to rewrite or undermine the events and lessons of the past.
For those of you wondering, this is but one of the reasons I will never fully trust the government. I love my country, I respect my government, and I realize that anyone can make mistakes. But I also know that people who make mistakes don't like to admit it, and any human being can make assumptions. If that human being has some form of authority, he can do significant damage with those assumptions if he is able.
If someone in authority thinks you are a threat, and you have limited resources to defend yourself, they will come for you first. Vigilance is always necessary so that such things like this can be called out when the time comes, cynicism is always necessary to make sure you aren't being fed a bunch of bullshit when those in authority tell you about it.
It is also important from a real security standpoint. Behaving badly will always keep them from effectively focusing resources on the more legitimate threats - they will be too busy with the low hanging fruit.
This is one of the reasons I refuse to respond to the politics of fear.
This is also one of the reasons I find it abhorrent and intellectually sloppy to equate all Muslims or Middle Easterners with terrorism in our political discourse, our campaigns, our media and our culture. That helps cover up those in authority who make mistakes, it helps those mistakes make us less secure, and it only increases the ignorance necessary for our population to forget (and thus repeat) the sad lessons of our own history.
This is also one of the reasons I find it ridiculous that interrogations might involve torture, or that individuals can be held by our government for significant periods of time without formal charges being brought. If someone is a prisoner of war, they are a prisoner of war - obey those rules. If someone is suspected of a crime, bring charges against them in a court of law. It really is that simple.