BOSTON (CBS) — There it was last night, a blaring headline on top of the Drudge Report website:
“SCALIA PREDICTS RETURN OF INTERNMENT CAMPS.”
Listen to Jon’s report
A Supreme Court justice, warning of a return to the World War II practice of mass imprisoning of Japanese-Americans citizens?
That is chilling stuff.
And, predictably, the grievance industry sprang into full production mode, with all conspiracy marketers on duty ‘round the clock.
Out on the far right, a commenter on a conservative D.C. website wrote: “Obama is waiting for the moment he can execute martial law and send all Christians, Conservatives and any Obama opponent to the re-education camps.”
Wrote another: “Looks like those FEMA camps aren’t conspiracy theory after all…we are in a perpetual state of war domestically.”
Over on the left, commenters on the Huffington Post essentially agreed. “With people like Scalia on the Supreme Court, any horrifying, unconstitutional reversal of rights and legal precedent is possible.”
This all left me faintly nauseous, the way you feel after a really cheap carnival ride.
But I wondered: did Scalia really say what they say he said?
I reached out to the sponsors of his talk, who say they don’t have a transcript or tape of it. Drudge links to an AP story in which Scalia’s quotes can also be read to mean federal paranoia and abuse of wartime power might someday happen again, not that it will happen anytime soon.
So maybe Justice Scalia didn’t “PREDICT THE RETURN OF INTERNMENT CAMPS” after all.
Oh well. You can’t vandalize the political culture without breaking a few eggs.
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