ALEX CHADWICK, host:
Two days ago, Madeleine, you spoke with one of the architects of the Military Commissions Act, Senator Lindsey Graham, and now we're going to hear from another person who has pondered the balance between civil liberties and security during wartime. She is Karen Koramatsu-Haigh.
During World War II, her father, Fred, resisted a U.S. government decision to confine Japanese Americans in internment camps. Fred took his case all the way to the Supreme Court. He lost there. Decades later, his case was set aside when a judge ruled that the government had not been truthful in its prosecution of him.
Now, Fred Korematsu died several years ago, but here's his daughter, Karen, on what she learned from her father.
Ms. KAREN KOREMATSU-HAIGH: Well, actually, I learned about my father's case in high school. I was sitting in a social studies class, and my friend was assigned a book about the internment camps. And she was the one that mentioned Korematsu vs. the United States, and Korematsu actually is an unusual Japanese name. And of course then I had 35 pairs of eyes staring at me wondering what this is all about as I was wondering what this is all about, and I thought that this had to be some black sheep of the family that had been involved.
And it wasn't until I went home and first confronted my mother and asked her if this was my father that was involved in this Supreme Court case, and then she said yes.
CHADWICK: He had never mentioned that around the dinner table or told you that?
Ms. KOREMATSU-HAIGH: No. He said he had intended to. I mean, my father was, you know, a very quiet, kind person, and we all had very busy lives and doing what American children do. It just never came up.
CHADWICK: So what do you draw from all this today? Because I think many people would look at this and say, look, these are Japanese-American citizens in one circumstance in their homeland doing nothing to provoke the ire of the government; whereas the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, there is a case against them. Are they really related to your father's case?
Ms. KOREMATSU-HAIGH: Well, yes, because back in 1942, when the Japanese like my grandparents, who were not citizens, and - as well as my father's generation - were rounded up and put in these concentration camps; they never got their day in court. They were never charged with a crime to be put in prison and have their property taken away from them.
And you know, it's a civil rights and a human rights issue. I mean, certainly, you know, one reason why my father wanted to reopen his case was so that this wouldn't happen again to American citizens or people that are here from other countries. So it is related.
CHADWICK: Karen Korematsu-Haigh, the daughter of Fred Korematsu, who was vindicated decades after World War II for resisting the internment of Japanese-Americans.
Karen, thank you.
Ms. KOREMATSU-HAIGH: My pleasure. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
When the U.S. ordered all people of Japanese ancestry to internment camps during World War II, Fred Korematsu was jailed for refusing to comply. He lost his case at the Supreme Court in 1944, but in 1983 the conviction was overturned. His daughter, who's involved in the Supreme Court Guantanamo case, discusses the history of detainees.
When the United States ordered all people of Japanese ancestry to internment camps during WWII, Fred Korematsu was jailed for refusing to comply. He lost his case at the Supreme Court in 1944, but in 1983 the conviction was overturned. Madeleine Brand talks with his daughter, Karen Korematsu-Haigh, who's involved in the Supreme Court hearings of Guantanamo Bay detainees.