I was surprised to see in the picture published with the New York Times obit that, although Korematsu sat out the war in perfect safety in an internment camp in the United States, he was wearing a medal. [Fred Korematsu, 86, Dies; Lost Key Suit on Internment, By Richard Goldstein, April 1, 2005]
Korematsu was "vindicated" in 1985, when Judge Marilyn Hall Patel second-guessed the Roosevelt Administration 43 years later, and declared that the Japanese were really no danger. (I doubt if she was exposed to much of the evidence in Michelle Malkin`s book, In Defense of Internment.)
Korematsu was just a fugitive, but is it any wonder that when he was arrested across the bay, the headline read "Jap Spy Arrested in San Leandro"?
This was all public knowledge. I`d just never heard it. (Occasionally the press will actually suppress this kind of thing—see PBS`s description of his behavior: " Korematsu refused to relinquish his freedom and tried to remain unnoticed, to no avail.")
What it was is this; instead of defying the government, or standing up for his rights, he tried to either hide, or run.
There was a Japanese-American who stood on his civil rights, and simply refused to obey the curfew; his name was Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi.
He`d be a better candidate, as such, for the Medal of Freedom, because he stood on principle.
Of course, one of his principles was pacifism, which I think is a very bad principle, and he`s spent most of his life since the war outside the US. So no medal for him. And of course, what Korematsu was really being decorated for was finally-successful litigation.
(Some Japanese-Americans were disloyal, but of course many Japanese-Americans fought on the American side in WWII. Volunteering seems to have never occurred to either Korematsu or Hirabayashi, but while Gordon Hirabayashi was sitting Gandhi-like in an internment camp, a man named Grant Hirabayashi was an MIS linguist with Merril`s Marauders.)
That`s the ACLU, for you. Loaded with integrity—oh and, in their own words, "dangerous for the survival" of the United States.