Barney Frank has no idea what he is talking about.
I'm not quite certain where the House Rep (D-MA) has been the last several years, but his remarks yesterday regarding civil liberties in this country reveal just how little he knows about the human rights transgressions currently shouldered by American citizens branded as sex offenders by our government.
Frank's remarks during discussion of House Resolution 134--an apology for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans--sounds good to those who are not currently interned in camps fenced by ex post facto laws, passed to "protect the children" at every level of our government.
I suggest Frank read "America's Dirty Little Secret" before proclaiming how "we haven't done today anything like that....", a statement made in attempt to dispel guilty doubts held by our government regarding the civil liberties and freedom status of our nation's countrymen, past and present.
I suggest Congress take a second look because you guys and gals HAVE done something like that.
The CSPAN video archive can be viewed here, beginning at 15:45.
"I had the distinct honor of standing on this floor of standing on this floor..."on behalf of the nation Congress apologizes..the ability to admit a mistake is a sign of greatness" and I felt privileged then than we did it. People have talked about the lessons and they are the important and we should draw some of them ...one is that abandoning your principles in the face of a threat is a temptation which ought not be resisted....its easier for us today than it was in 1988 to be very critical of those who locked up our colleagues...and many many other totally innocent Americans, Americans of Japanese descent but we are talking about Americans, people born in this country--American citizens but at the time the notion the security of the nation trumped everything else looked like a pretty good argument ...very few elected officials stood up against that...and that's one of the lesson we ought to draw...it is much too easy to give in to the temptation to say, well, we're in trouble--protection of individual rights civil liberties--they're for the good times--and obviously there are some analogies today...but things are much better today...we haven't done today anything like that but there are lessons still we have to look at...another is that if you are going to try and protect yourself as you have a right to do, don't do it en masse... don't say, there's this whole group of people and we are not not going to stop and decide whether this or that individual did something wrong we are going to look at some essential characteristic of their being and on that basis, we're going to penalize them, we're going to restrict them, we're going to segregate them...now obviously being locked up in a camp for years is far far wrong than not being able to fly in a ride in an airplane because of the ethnic group they belong to or because of some sort of mass fear.....let's leave a little energy for resolving that we don't do it again. Let's-- as we talk about the folly of 1943... be very determined not to repeat it, even in a smaller measure to fewer people."
Easier said than done, Barney.