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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Internment Comment Was Un-American

February 11, 2003

During World War II, my parents, both American citizens, were given 10 days to dispose of all their belongings, pack two bags and be taken from their homes by the United States government. They were not told where they were being sent or how long they would be held.

They were, in fact, held first in horse stalls at Santa Anita racetrack and then sent to barbed-wired camps with machine gun-wielding guards.

The U.S. government (more than 40 years later) admitted this was wrong and apologized, granting reparations to the victims whose only crime was that they happened to be of Japanese descent. Now, Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) has said that he felt those past actions against my parents and 120,000 others were justified ("Internment Remarks by Lawmaker Anger Peers," Feb. 7). Besides being reprehensible and historically ignorant, his comments are also, indeed, un-American.

Coble should be removed immediately from his position as chairman of a House subcommittee that oversees homeland security legislation.

Desmond Nakano

Los Angeles

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