David Neiwert is writing a great series of posts called “Slouching Towards Manzanar” (the reference is to the Manzanar War Relocation Center). The most recent contribution to the (magnificent) American Street, The Cloud Over the Law is especially worth your time. As it notes,
What the Japanese-American internment revealed for the first time was a hole in the traditional checks and balances of constitutional powers. In wartime, the total deference to the executive branch would lend it nearly comprehensive powers. The post-Sept. 11 response has opened another dimension to this: If wartime — as in the “War on Terror” — becomes itself a never-ending enterprise, then the executive branch's power becomes potentially illimitable.