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BOOK BUZZ

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 27, 2004 06:43 AM

The latest news on the book front:

* I will be speaking about the book in Houston today, at an event sponsored by The Houston Forum. My next public appearances will be at U.C. Berkeley (145 Dwinelle Hall) at 7 pm on Weds Sep 8th, Borders Books in Puyallup, Wash., at 7 pm on Friday Sep 10th, American University in Washington DC on Monday Sep 13th at 7 pm, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore on Weds Sep 15th at 8 pm.

* Muslim leaders are starting to pay attention. Ahmed Maher wrote an article about the book in Islam Online. Hussein Ibish wrote an article in The Daily Star (a major newspaper in Lebanon and other Arab countries).

* Burl Burlingame, a feature writer for the Honolulu Star Bulletin, writes that “feathers flew” in his newsroom after the paper ran an op-ed by me defending internment. One staffer wrote, “Shame on us!” in a staff e-mail condemning the decision to publish my piece. Burlingame responded:

Apparently, “enlightened thinkers” refuse to allow the opinions of others to be heard? Even in a forum that makes an attempt to be openminded and evenhanded, such as the OpEd page? Should we only quote those we personally agree with? What happened to being objective journalists and having basic standards of fairness? Remember, the “Op” in OpEd stands for opinion.

* There will be no more Malkin opinions in MidWeek, a Honolulu paper that had been a satisfied client of my syndicated column for several years. In an e-mail to a Midweek reader, the editor, Don Chapman, explained his decision to drop my column as follows: “[I]n light of her new book and guest column in the Star-Bulletin justifying the internment of Japanese-American families in WWII, we felt she had become a detriment to our reputation and to our business.” I suppose this sort of thing is to be expected. I hope Chapman did not receive pressure or reprisals, and wish him only the best.

* Cathy Young e-mailed me to ask whether Richard Kotoshirodo actually received a reparations check, as I asserted in Part 2 of my Aug. 6 blog entry. I made a mistake here. What I should have said was that, unlike Atta, Kotoshirodo was eligible for reparations money. The original Aug. 6 entry now includes a correction.

By the way, Kotoshirodo may still be alive (he spoke to Hawaii historian John Stephan in the late 1990s and is currently listed in a Hawaiian telephone directory but did not return my phone call). Any reporter or blogger who is able to nail down an interview would get a great story.

* My book hit #31 on the New York Times bestseller list. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who bought it.

* The Japanese-American Citizens League, which supported evacuation and relocation in 1942, has issued a formal statement denouncing the book. See below.

Statement of the Japanese American Citizens League

Response to Michelle Malkin

August 24, 2004

Contact John Tateishi, National Director

Michelle Malkin’s book “In Defense of Internment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror” is a desperate attempt to impugn the loyalty of Japanese Americans during World War II to justify harsher governmental policies today in the treatment of Arab and Muslim Americans.

Malkin’s thesis depends on World War II intelligence cables for her argument that the Japanese consular offices in the U.S. had successfully recruited Japanese Americans as spies and saboteurs, notwithstanding the fact that those intelligence communiqués had previously been examined by scholars and government researchers for decades and rejected as justification for the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

The Magic cables were reviewed by the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, a fact-finding commission created by the President and Congress in 1980. Following a thorough examination, the commission found no evidence connecting the decision to intern Japanese Americans to any of the information contained in the cables. Furthermore, a finding in the commission report, Personal Justice Denied, stated that “not a single documented act of espionage, sabotage or fifth column activity on the mainland was committed by an American citizen of Japanese ancestry or by a resident Japanese alien on the West Coast,” a view consistently substantiated by independent scholars and researchers for almost half a century since World War II.

The JACL finds it offensive that Malkin would make the judgmental leap that any intent by Japan to form a spy network during World War II somehow implicates the entire population of Japanese Americans, thereby causing the necessity for their mass incarceration. The facts speak for themselves, and President Ronald Reagan concurred when he signed a law in 1988 acknowledging the injustice of the internment.

The JACL’s objection to Malkin’s recent publication is that it purports to present the “truth” about the historical facts of the internment but, in fact, is a regurgitation of old arguments that attempt to justify the decision to imprison Japanese Americans.

In writing the book, Malkin states that her purpose is to debunk the internment as “racist” and “unjustified.” By her own admission, Malkin makes no claim to expertise on the subject, admits that her work is not thorough, fashions conclusions to suit her political views, all the while asking her readers to “reject political correctness…and the ability to view the writing of history as something other than a therapeutic indulgence,” a criticism that fails to escape her own work.

In a recent Op-Ed piece, Malkin states, “Getting the history right is vital to informed debate about the proper balance between civil liberties and national security.” With this we would agree; however, history tells us that intolerance and bigotry played a devastating role in denying Japanese Americans their civil rights during World War II, and it is for this reason that the JACL will continue to be outspoken toward any policy that targets or profiles Arab and Muslim Americans or undermines the civil liberties of any American.

Unlike sixty years ago, when Japanese Americans had few proponents to defend their loyalty and speak up for the American values of fairness and equality, today many have reacted quickly and knowledgeably to Malkin’s outrageous claims. The JACL values and thanks all those individuals whose conscience will not abide distortions of history to suit a political agenda.

BOOK NOTES: THE MCCLOY MEMO

September 18, 2005 11:08 AM by Michelle Malkin

FORBES REVIEWS POLITICAL BLOGS

August 20, 2005 08:49 PM by mmguestblogger

WARD CHURCHILL AND ME

July 20, 2005 09:45 AM by Michelle Malkin

BATTLE ON BAINBRIDGE ISLAND

June 15, 2005 11:37 AM by Michelle Malkin

BOOK NOTES: ERRATA, ETC.

May 18, 2005 06:21 AM by Michelle Malkin


Categories: Internment