To the Honorable Edward J. Markey:

According to an AP wire artice, one of your colleagues, Rep. Howard Coble, recently called a talk show to respond to a caller's support of keeping Arab-Americans effectively imprisoned. In doing so he made the following statement:

"We were at war. They (Japanese-Americans) were an endangered species. For many of these Japanese-Americans, it wasn't safe for them to be on the street."

In saying this, he implied that the imprisoned Japanese-Americans were put in internment camps for their own safety. He is attempting to revise history by doing so. The historical truth of the situation is that Japanese-Americans were imprisoned because the government was afraid of possible Japanese agents who were American citizens or legal immigrants, and did not bother to try to figure out who was loyal and who was not.

Because of his statements, Rep. Coble should be stripped of his chairmanship and censured by the entire House of Representatives.

Despite the administration's claims to the contrary, the bulk (if not all) of Arab-Americans who remain imprisoned are being held for exactly the same reason as Japanese-Americans were held during World War II. You should take whatever actions are appropriate to see that all of these Arab-Americans who have not been charged are freed, immediately. They have been held for far too long.

Michael J. Bauer