January 23, 2008

In Which PG Tries to Explain Many Things

by PG

This is an overgrown response to commenter Bob, one of several people defending the Japanese internment in the comments to this post. In the following, I will endeavor to explain

- the difference between a "military area" and a "combat zone";
- the seemingly mysterious ability of Japanese people to evade prosecution for spying even while whites are being convicted;
- why putting adults in an area that they are shot for leaving without permission is usually deemed a loss of liberty and not a mere "relocation";
- U.S. immigration and naturalization law;
- racism against Asians as shown in other laws;
- and why someone who immigrated to the U.S. after 1954 couldn't have become a naturalized citizen by 1960 no matter how much he wanted to be.

Bob,

The west cost was a military combat zone at the time. Due process is irrelevent in a military combat zone so that point is moot.

I'd be interested to see whether the West Coast was "a military combat zone" beyond the single aspect of making due process "irrelevant" for the Japanese. For example, were soldiers posted to the West Coast paid combat pay?

FDR's Executive Order 9066 authorized the Secretary of War and other military commanders "to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion."

Nothing in this order stated that due process was "irrelevant" for such military areas; the civilian courts remained open on the West Coast. This distinguishes the Coast from Hawaii, where habeas was suspended for all -- not just the Japanese -- and civilian courts were replaced with military ones. A "military area" is not a "combat zone."

After the Pearl Harbor attack, the governor of Hawaii declared martial law, suspending habeas corpus and arresting specific Japanese suspected of subversion. The Japanese consul's employees, priests who preached obedience to the Emperor, former members of the Japanese military and certain others were legitimately suspicious persons. Yet in Hawaii, the Japanese were not relocated or interned wholesale, despite this being the one area that actually was attacked by Japan and that was a non-civilian, military-run zone.

If there was no question that Tachibana headed an espionage ring on the West Coast that enlisted a number of Japanese Americans, both aliens and citizens (sic), nor that the government knew the identities of its members, then why didn't the government arrest these members whose identities they knew? The Espionage Act is quite far reaching: it is illegal to supply any defense-related information, classified or unclassified, to a foreign nation so long as the person has the intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the detriment of the United States. Why not arrest and try for treason members of the Japanese Ex-Service Men's Organization that pledged to do sabotage? If the military had evidence that the organization as a whole was disloyal, it could get a warrant for the membership lists and then charge them with conspiracy against the U.S. based on that membership (as is done today for members of Al Qaeda and other organizations deemed adverse to U.S. interests).

I understand that the U.S. couldn't take action based on the MAGIC cables during the war because then Japan would realize that the U.S. had decoded its system, but no commenter on this post has explained why the U.S. didn't prosecute at the end of the war. It's not as though wartime or postwar juries were reluctant to convict persons accused of espionage. Moreover, Americans who were willing to commit sabotage against the U.S. could hardly be deemed harmless just because the war was over, and should have been punished.

I'm not sure how I can make this point any clearer: I have no problem arresting persons whom the government has reason to think are threats to national security based on those persons' behavior. I have a very big problem with detaining people because their race has made them suspect persons. Indeed, part of the problem with racial profiling is that it often blinds law enforcement to people who don't fit their profile. Of the 19 people charged with spying for Japan, 18 were Caucasians. Moreover, many were Caucasians acting outside the designated military areas (e.g. Kuehn family in Hawaii, Dickinson in NYC), so if Japanese were freely roaming the U.S. outside the West Coast, they should have been equally able as the Caucasians to engage in spying -- if they wanted to do so. So they had the ability to commit the crime, and youíre claiming they had the intent to commit the crime, which gets us halfway through this Law & Order episode. Is there just something about being Japanese that makes it so difficult to find evidence against them and use it for a prosecution?

Ethnic Japanese were not forced into camps, they were forced out of the military combat zone. At no point was the government interested in "locking up" the evacuated Japanese.

Again, it was not a "combat zone." If it was a real combat zone, why weren't all non-military persons evacuated from it? When the British identified areas particularly subject to attack such as London, they did their best to move children out of them. Did the U.S. government actually care more about the Japanese than non-Japanese, to be so considerate in evacuating only them from a "combat zone"?

Moreover, Executive Order 9095 created the Office of the Alien Property Custodian with authority over all alien property interests. With Japanese assets frozen, it was rather difficult for their owners to relocate on their own out of the exclusion zones. And if the Japanese were always free to leave the relocation camps whenever they wanted so long as they stayed away from the exclusion zones, why were multiple Japanese (Ichiro Shimoda, Hikoji Takeuchi, Toshiro Kobata, Hirota Isomura, James Hatsuki Wakasa) shot and sometimes killed if guards thought they were trying to escape the camps? How can one be trying to escape a place that one has freedom to leave?

The issei were illegal aliens.

First, your claim that the Gentlemen's Agreements were treaties is wrong; they were informal agreements between executive branches (hence the name Gentlemen's Agreements). Second, many Issei immigrated before there was any government policy opposed to their admission to the U.S. After the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Japanese were actively recruited to fill the place of the Chinese as unskilled laborers on the West Coast. The Treaty of 1894 -- the real treaty between Japan and the U.S., the one that went through all those crazy Constitutional formalities like getting approved by the Senate -- was supposed to guarantee equal rights for Japanese persons and was a basis for protesting Japanese segregation from white schools, which began in San Francisco in 1906.

I don't mean to be rude, but do you know any of the history of U.S. immigration and naturalization law? The Constitution federalized such matters and put them under Congressional authority. The first naturalization law (of 1790) limited naturalization to white people. At that time, there was no treaty nor law prohibiting non-whites from immigrating to the U.S., and of course the slave trade was still active at that point, so plenty of non-whites were being involuntarily immigrated to the U.S. The naturalization law of 1870 then expanded who could be naturalized, allowing persons of African descent as well as whites to be naturalized. At that time, persons we now consider Latino were categorized as white, as were in some cases Middle Easterners. Thus the main racial group that could not be naturalized was Asian.

There still was nothing to prohibit, for example, Indians (then living in a British colony) from immigrating to the U.S., but they were unable to become naturalized citizens if they were deemed non-white. One Indian immigrant even tried to establish himself as white so he could become a citizen, and the Supreme Court came to the peculiar conclusion that Indians -- or at least the high caste ones -- are "Caucasian" but not "white." To claim that only illegal aliens were prohibited from naturalization shows ignorance of the applicable law. One could immigrate without violation of any law or treaty, join the U.S. military in WWI, and still be denied naturalization because of one's race.

Until 1924, it was not even possible for Germans, Italians, Hungarians and Romanians to come to the U.S. "illegally," because there were no quotas or other limits on their immigration. Europeans could get on a boat, arrive at Ellis Island, and if they were disease-free, were sent on their way into America. The U.S. government sought to limit Asian immigration only -- not that of other groups. These "droves" of Japanese were a fraction of the "droves" of Italians. Kindly explain the non-racial reason the U.S. government somehow was staggering under the weight of Asian immigrants but had plenty of room for European ones. You can hardly make the same "oh, they just come for the welfare!" arguments that anti-Latino forces do now, considering that the welfare state didn't exist before the Great Depression. The racism toward Asians largely was driven by their economic success, a feeling that white farmers on the West Coast frankly admitted and could indulge by buying up the Japanese internees' property at rock bottom prices.

A friend who has been reading this blog discussion made the argument that the Japanese, unlike Germans and Italians, were less assimilated, and he used as an example the fact that Germans and Italians were much more intermarried with other ethnic groups than were the Japanese. What this leaves out, of course, is that Asians in many states were prohibited from marrying whites, under the miscegenation laws that also prohibited interracial marriage between whites and blacks. Itís rather difficult for Japanese to have become assimilated through intermarriage when such marriage was impossible in states like California.

The idea that U.S. law at both the federal and state levels from roughly the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s was not racist toward Asians is ludicrous. Chinese were not allowed to attend white schools in Mississippi; the 1913 Alien Land Law prohibited "aliens ineligible to citizenship" -- which is to say, Asians -- from owning land in California; legally immigrated Indians could not be naturalized. If you do not see these as examples of racism, then we clearly don't speak the same language.

According to the U.S.Census, in 1940 there were approx 84,000 Issei in the U.S. and Hawaii, the bulk of them were under 50 years of age. By 1960 there were approx 101,000, no doubt including some war brides. According to INS publication "Persons Naturalized by Former Allegiance" only 32,168 Japanese-born became naturalized U.S.citizens between 1952-1960. That's only 32%.

Very nice playing with the numbers there. If 101,000 Issei were present in 1960, how is it logical to use that as your numerator in determining the percentage who would eventually become naturalized, when your denominator comes from the 1952-1960 era? As you might discover upon investigating naturalization law, in 1952 one had to be a legal U.S. resident for five years in order to become naturalized. Someone who immigrated to the U.S. in 1955 and immediately declared an intention to become a citizen (which would be unusual, as many immigrants canít know right away whether they will be able to succeed in the U.S.) still couldnít have become naturalized by 1960, but you include such a person in your 1960 total of 101,000 Issei in order to declare that ďonly 32%Ē had wanted to become citizens.

As for the Issei's slowness to take advantage of naturalization once the U.S. government was kind enough to offer it to Asians, it strikes me as psychologically sound: they had seen that even citizenship status was not enough to protect them from legalized racism, so for many it probably didnít seem to be worth the effort. I completely understand why people dispossessed of everything they had worked to gain in a country would be mistrustful of that nation and not feel a great inclination to swear allegiance to it.

My parents are naturalized citizens, and if the government forced my father to sell off his medical practice of 25 years to the first taker, as well as all their other hard-gained assets, then relocated him to be a farmer or whatever use the government had for him, he might be just a little bitter. Yet right now he is as patriotic an American as you will find, probably even more so than his U.S. born children, because of his gratitude for the opportunities America has given him, which many U.S. natives take for granted.

In the internment and relocation of the Japanese, the U.S. threw away these peopleís accumulated goodwill for what America had made possible for them. This makes the internment not only morally wrong; it shows its practical stupidity. Instead of saying that loyal Japanese were with the U.S. in opposing the disloyal Japanese and the warmongering Japanese government, the U.S. pushed the Japanese to the other side of the line, effectively declaring that there could not be such a thing as a U.S-loyal Japanese person. Thankfully many Japanese-Americans were stubborn in their loyalty and determined to prove it, and we benefited from that. But how much more help might we have gotten from Japanese people had the government not treated them as traitors by their race?

January 23, 2008 10:15 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Okay, PG I'd be happy to respond to your questions.

A "military area" is not a "combat zone."

This is incorrect. The west coast military zones (not area) were routinely refered to as combat zones and as you provide yourself 9066 states, "...the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion."

The fact that civilian courts were still open is irrelevent. You're suggesting the military should have spent time dealing with civilian crimes unrelated to the war effort? The military was given the authority to make whatever decisions necessary for the successful prosection of the war and the west coast was on a combat footing, hence the evacuation of those deemed a threat, blackouts, increased security by local law enforcement and the military around vital infastructure, etc.

In such a situation military authority takes precedent over political or legal authority. That's what a military zone is.

The military could have imposed martial law as in Hawaii but didn't believe the west coast warrented such an extreme measure.

Yet in Hawaii, the Japanese were not relocated or interned wholesale, despite this being the one area that actually was attacked by Japan and that was a non-civilian, military-run zone.

According to the 1940 census, ethnic Japanese made up 40% of the population of Hawaii. In California, the population was 1.6%. Military authorities had considered moving all ethnic Japanese to Molokai or the West Coast but moving 40% of the population was logistically and indeed financially impossible.

That said, there was an internment camp in Hawaii at Sand Harbor and others. Further, ethnic Japanese were not "interned wholesale" in the continental United States, either.

If the the authorities could have evacuated all ethnic Japanese from Hawaii they would have. They could not so they did not.

As an aside, Japan had a battle plan in place for the invasion of Hawaii that intended to utilize ethnic Japanese during the occupation. It was called "Eastern Operation". The plan was scrapped after Japan's defeat at Midway.

...then why didn't the government arrest these members whose identities they knew?

It was simply more efficient to intern or evacuate all ethnic Japanese. Such measures ensured against revealing sensitive intelligence in civilian courts and was 100% effective in ending espionage and the potential for sabatage from ethnic Japanese on the west coast.

If those known had been arrested how does that solve the problem with those not known? Certainly the ethnic Japanese community on the west coast was not assisting in revealing such people, unlike the ethnic Germans and Italians.

"...but no commenter on this post has explained why the U.S. didn't prosecute at the end of the war.

Some were prosecuted, but one can only speculate. I would suggest people were tired of the war, Japan was soundly defeated, the threat was over and they wanted to get on with their lives.

"...I have a very big problem with detaining people because their race has made them suspect persons.

You're convoluting terms. Ethnic Japanese were evacuated from the combat zones. Those outside the combat zones were not affected at all. They were evacuated because the United States was at war and the military determined they were a security risk.

Perhaps you missed this in my initial post so I'll repeat it:

At no point was the government interested in "locking up" the evacuated Japanese. From the beginning if the evacuation should occur the plan was to relocate them to areas in the interior with suitable farmland where the majority being in agriculture could continue producing for the war effort. From the begining religious, social service and even the JACL demanded that if the evacuation should occur the Japanese shouldn't just be "kicked out" of the combat zones.

The government should be responsible for feeding, housing, providing employment and medical care for the evacuated people - and assiting them in re-establishing themselves in the interior - in as humane an environment as could be provided. That is just what the government did with the Relocation Centers.

"Of the 19 people charged with spying for Japan, 18 were Caucasians.

Causasians weren't evacuated from the west coast combat zones. If you dig a little deeper you will also find the majority of these people had very close ties to Japanese, many being employed by Japanese.

"...so if Japanese were freely roaming the U.S. outside the West Coast, they should have been equally able as the Caucasians to engage in spying -- if they wanted to do so."

This is true but there wasn't a heck of a lot to spy on outside the west coast combat zones that would have been a threat to the west coast. The west coast was vital to the war effort in terms of weapons production, ship movements, troop movements - this type of spying is what the military needed to prevent.

Again, it was not a "combat zone." If it was a real combat zone, why weren't all non-military persons evacuated from it?

The west coast was on a war footing, ready for combat and called a combat zone. The military decided the evacuation of all non-military was not necessary, but they certainly had the authority to do so. If the course of the war had gone against the United States, perhaps they would have.

"Moreover, Executive Order 9095 created the Office of the Alien Property Custodian with authority over all alien property interests. With Japanese assets frozen, it was rather difficult for their owners to relocate on their own out of the exclusion zones."

I'm not sure you understand the definition of "Alien Property Custodian", it was created to protect evacuee property. Certainly some accounts through the San Francisco branch of the Yokohama Specie Bank through which Japanese Americans were funneling money back to Japan to support the war effort were frozen.

Henry Morgenthau, secretary of the treasury, reacted promptly to Congressman Tolan's appeal for action to protect evacuee property...The Federal Reserve Bank through its branches was enjoined to do all in its power 'to assist evacuees with the problem of liquidation...and protecting them against those seeking to take unfair advantage...to put evacuees in a position to obtain buyers, lessees, and other users of their property on fair terms...' (and) where the evacuee was 'unable to select his own agent...the Federal Reserve will be prepared to act as agent for the evacuee under a power of attorney.

As early as May of 1942, the Federal Reserve had established an "Evacuee Property Department" with 184 employees in five branch offices to assist evacuees with property problems and take the necessary steps to protect the evacuee from unjust losses.

"if the Japanese were always free to leave the relocation camps whenever they wanted so long as they stayed away from the exclusion zones, why were multiple Japanese (Ichiro Shimoda, Hikoji Takeuchi, Toshiro Kobata, Hirota Isomura, James Hatsuki Wakasa) shot and sometimes killed if guards thought they were trying to escape the camps? How can one be trying to escape a place that one has freedom to leave?"

"James" Hatsuaki Wakasa was not an American citizen, he was a Japanese national, an ENEMY-ALIEN, and he was still allowed to reside in a relocation center and not a DOJ internment camp.

He was shot and killed by a military police guard while attempting to leave camp without a pass. He had made two previous attempts to leave the center without a pass and was warned by the guards on each occasion. He was shot while making his third attempt to cross the barb wire enclosure between sentry stations. This occured on April 11, 1943. You may recall their were numerous riots and disturbances at Topaz by fanatical pro-Japan militants at this time which is why the guards were there in first place. Wakasa was a known troublemaker.

In the case of the Manzanar riots, those men were shot for commandeering a car and attempting to run down soldiers (who had been brought in from the outside) to quell the riot.

The freedom to leave the Relocation Centers hinged on having a job, a place to stay, and a loyalty oath - not being a pro-Japanese fanatic.

"First, your claim that the Gentlemen's Agreements were treaties is wrong; they were informal agreements between executive branches (hence the name Gentlemen's Agreements).

Okay, I concede. A "treaty" is a formal agreement and an "agrerement" is an informal agreement. However like a treaty, the Gentlemen's Agreements were terms between two countries with a document embodying this - and Japan willfully violated both agreements. Nothing wrong with being precise, though.

More importantly the second agreement stated that if Japan continued to violate the agreement it would be replaced with an exclusion law. Japan did continue to violate the agreement and the exclusion law was enacted in 1924.

" Second, many Issei immigrated before there was any government policy opposed to their admission to the U.S. After the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882...

According to the U.S. Census, Japanese population in the continental United States is as follows:

1880 - 148
1890 - 2,039
1900 - 24,326
1910 - 72,157
1920 - 111,010

However the actual population in 1920 was 150,000 - 100,000 in California and 50,000 in other states.

" don't mean to be rude, but do you know any of the history of U.S. immigration and naturalization law?

I know a little bit, but certianly not as much as the history of the evacuation and Japanese culture, language and history in general. What is your Japanese knowledge?

"Thus the main racial group that could not be naturalized was Asian.

Well, I doubt multi-culturalism was as popular 110 years ago as it seems to be today. The belief at the time was that it was in the best interests of the United States to keep the ethnic demographics as consistent as possible and that was white northern European being the majority. Southern Europeans, Jews and eastern Europeans were affected by anti-immigration laws after WW1 also.

Now by today's standards this might be considered "racist". If that's the case then the Japanese are racist, too. What do you think Japan would do if 150,000 Indian tech works entered the country illegaly? What did Japan do when thousands of Vietnamese boat people landed on their shores in the mid-70s? They booted them out immediately. Heck, Koreans brought to Japan before and during the war are still not allowed to become citizens, nor are their children. Korean families who have been in Japan six generations still are required to carry Korean passports. This today.

So comparitively speaking, the U.S. was pretty lenient in giving issei permanent resident status.

"Itís rather difficult for Japanese to have become assimilated through intermarriage when such marriage was impossible in states like California."

What's makes you think Japanese were falling over themselves to marry white people? In California the Japanese had effectively developed a state within a state where every issei and nisei was forced to register with some kind of organization with ties to Japan.

"If you do not see these as examples of racism, then we clearly don't speak the same language."

Getting back on topic, I don't know of anyone who has studied the issue and concluded that the so-called "internment" was justified who denies that there was racial prejudice against resident Japanese aliens and Japanese Americans other Asians before and at the time of Pearl Harbor.

But the fact that racism existed doesn't mean that racism was the reason for the "internment.

On the contrary, had "racism" been the reason for the "internment" why was it that the thousands of ethnic Japanese not living in the West Coast military areas were not bothered at all?

Racism exists everywhere. Have you been to Asia? If you think that racism is limited to white people then I agree, we don't speak the same language.

"If 101,000 Issei were present in 1960, how is it logical to use that as your numerator in determining the percentage who would eventually become naturalized, when your denominator comes from the 1952-1960 era?"

The point is 32% is a low percentage. If the the percentage was low in 1960, what makes you think it would have been high in 1930 or 1940? Issei weren't falling over themselves to become American citizens.

"As you might discover upon investigating naturalization law, in 1952 one had to be a legal U.S. resident for five years in order to become naturalized."

Issei held permanent resident status until Pearl Harbor even though they were illegal aliens. The point is moot.

But here are some more number for you regarding dual citizenship.

Nisei born before December 1, 1924 could nullify thier Japanee citizenship by submitting formal notification to the Home Minister. Those born afterwards would lose their Japanese citizenship within two weeks of birth unless their parents registered them with the Japanese Consulate.

Thus, after 1924, older Nisei could renounce their Japanese citizenship while the parents of those born after 1924 needed only to do nothing, and their children would have no legal ties with Japan.

However by 1933, only 8% of Nisei born before 1924 had renounced their Japanese citizenship, and by then, also, some 40% of Nisei born after 1924 had been registered at the Japanese Consulate so as to acquire Japanese citizenship.

Further, in 1938, it was announced that children of dual citizens (Sansei) were eligiable for registration as Japanese subjects.

The point is many Japanese in America had no intention of cutting ties with Japan.

"...they had seen that even citizenship status was not enough to protect them from legalized racism, so for many it probably didnít seem to be worth the effort."

Okay, now you're bordering on the absurd. Even if they didn't feel it to be worth the effort because of "legalized racism", that didn't make them any less of a threat during the war, did it?

" My parents are naturalized citizens, and if the government forced my father to sell off his medical practice of 25 years to the first taker, as well as all their other hard-gained assets, then relocated him to be a farmer or whatever use the government had for him, he might be just a little bitter."

Boo-Hoo.

Here is an interesting quote from the Tolan Commission on National Defense Migration made by Representative Carl Curtis of Nebraska March 7, 1942.

Mr. Curtis: May I say something right here. I don't believe anything will be gained by assuming that everyone who has to be evacuated is disloyal. These military decisions must be made upon the basis of the best judgement of those military authorities who are in charge. The rest of us will have to comply. It will be tuff, it will be cruel and there will be hardships.

Sherman had an old idea of what was war, but that was a long time ago and it is old-fashioned. But that is going to fall upon every American.

I live in a little town of 1,700 people. One of the car dealers there sells automobiles. He did sell automobiles, radios, washing machines and tires. His Government at Washington says, "You can't sell any of those things. You can't even buy them."

It so happens that that family has two sons in the armed forces and a third one about to go. Well, now, they are not sitting down at their supper table and talking about their liberties and their precious rights to do business and their precious things being taken away. It is one of those things that all of us are just going to have to take on the chin and like it.

"Thankfully many Japanese-Americans were stubborn in their loyalty and determined to prove it, and we benefited from that. But how much more help might we have gotten from Japanese people had the government not treated them as traitors by their race?"

No kidding? How many?

Selective Service Special Monograph Number 10 which was published after the war (1953):

This publication covered "Special Groups" who served during WWII and Chapter IX was titled "Japanese Americans." In that chapter on page 122 was the following statement:

"In the continental United States, fewer than 1500 Japanese Americans volunteered although there were 19,000 citizens of military age within the War Relocation Authority Centers and approximately 4,000 outside the centers."

That would be a total of 23,000 of whom only 7% (1500)volunteered.

On the other hand, the WRA publication "The Evacuated People" (1946) mentions only 1208 volunteers from the ten relocation centers (of whom only 805 were actually selected to serve) plus "several hundred" voluteers from outside the centers. Estimating a total of about 1100 (805 plus an estimated 300 from outside the centers) out of a total 23,000 of military age, comes to 5%.

So, I would say the percentage of JA volunteers was somewhere between 5 and 7% of those of military age in the continental U.S., in and outside the centers.

Japanese Americans need to fess up to some of the darker chapters of their own history rather than lobbying politicans to make laws stating some of our best wartime leaders were a bunchg of hysterical racists.

Posted by: Bob at January 24, 2008 01:50 PM

Executive Order 9066 at no point refers to the West Coast as a combat zone. I am confused as to where in the document you are finding that phrase. 9066 says there are to be "military areas." You decided to replace the part of my quote where it said "to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he" with an ellipsis, but your decision to omit the phrase doesn't erase it from the document. If you think law is irrelevant, the actual words FDR used in his executive order can be ignored, but as someone to whom legality is important, I am sticking to the actual words of the Order. As one might guess from the name, a "combat zone" is one in which combat is taking place or is likely to do so. One doesn't leave children in a combat zone if it can be avoided. In Iraq, for example, Americans in the military and diplomatic services cannot have their children with them there, because it's a combat zone.

This is true but there wasn't a heck of a lot to spy on outside the west coast combat zones that would have been a threat to the west coast. The west coast was vital to the war effort in terms of weapons production, ship movements, troop movements - this type of spying is what the military needed to prevent.

If the Kuehn family could spy for the Axis powers while in Hawaii, what prevented the 40% of the Hawaiian population that was Japanese from doing the same? If Dickinson could work as a spy for Japan in NYC, why couldn't the East Coast Japanese do the same? Your implication that the East Coast was unimportant in the war effort ignores what every 7th grader knows, which is that Germany, Japan and Italy had been working together since the 1930s. This is why Goebbels sent the Kuehn family to Hawaii. The East Coast was the deployment site for the European front, and Japanese there could have been working on Germany's and Italy's behalf just as the German Kuehns were working for Japan. Certainly Germany expended a great deal of effort to engage in espionage in the U.S., and there seems to be much better documentation of this than of all your claimed Japanese espionage.

The freedom to leave the Relocation Centers hinged on having a job, a place to stay, and a loyalty oath - not being a pro-Japanese fanatic.

So unlike Germans and Italians on the East Coast, Japanese people from the West Coast had to swear a loyalty oath and take other steps in order to have freedom of movement even outside the West Coast. An attempt to behave like a free person who could come and go as she pleased would result in getting shot. You're not making a good case for this being a mere evacuation/ relocation rather than an internment, so I will continue to use the latter term.

If the the percentage was low in 1960, what makes you think it would have been high in 1930 or 1940

The fact that in 1930 and 1940, citizenship probably looked like a way to be seen as American instead of as Japanese. The internment put an end to the illusion that citizenship could protect one from being viewed as Japanese first and American second -- if at all.

The point is many Japanese in America had no intention of cutting ties with Japan.

As of 1940, I am sure that was true. Why would they want to cut ties with Japan? That might be where their children would be able to find spouses, particularly considering that they couldn't marry the majority of Americans. Dual citizenship status can be quite advantageous. I have a friend who was born to a U.S. mother and a British father, and born in the UK. She has both British and American citizenship. If she had only American citizenship, she would have much more trouble working in the EU because EU laws requires giving first preference in any job search to EU citizens. I don't assume that she is disloyal to America because she hasn't chosen to rescind her useful British citizenship, nor that her U.S. mother was disloyal in not disavowing the British citizenship.

We seem to be having serious timeline problems in this discussion. I point out that postwar, post-internment Japanese were justifiably distrustful of the U.S. and of whether citizenship would help them. You then say, Even if they didn't feel it to be worth the effort because of "legalized racism", that didn't make them any less of a threat during the war, did it?

What a Japanese person thought of the U.S. and the opportunity for naturalization in 1940, in my opinion, could reasonably have been quite different from what that same person thought in 1952. I have no idea what this has to do with being a threat during the war. Because the U.S. treated Asians differently from whites, we can't know how many Japanese would have sought naturalization before the internment. Treating the fact that they weren't lined up to become citizens after the war, as a great justification for having interned them in the first place, makes no sense.

The citation to Sherman as knowing what war was is rather amusing if the intent is to point out how we all have to sacrifice in war. To my knowledge, Sherman never made demands on Union citizens; he's best known for destroying the enemy South. Are you comparing the Japanese-Americans to Confederates?

There is a big difference between requiring everyone to "pull together" and make sacrifices in wartime, and separating out one group and telling them that they are not "pulling together" with the rest -- that they are, in fact, suspects who simply because of their race are to be separated from the rest -- and that they must be deprived of their liberty and property. I'm sure Morgenthau meant well with his Federal Reserve group, but the fact remains that Japanese were selling their property at rock bottom prices in order to get any money for it at all. It was not held in trust for them.

To get an accurate sense of the patriotism of nisei had they not been interned, look at the number from Hawaii who volunteered for the military. Those on the mainland were first relocated and interned, then asked to risk their lives for their country. In contrast, those from Hawaii were treated no differently than other Hawaiians. The Hawaiian nisei thus were happy to answer the call, and 10,000 volunteered, with 3,000 eventually inducted. I don't understand why you only use the number of Japanese from the mainland, unless it is to provide as small a number as possible of nisei who volunteered. What was the big difference between Hawaiian nisei and mainland nisei? Were the Hawaiians somehow less Japanese than the mainland residents? Or was the difference in how they were treated and their resulting willingness to fight for America?

I don't think Japanese culture is the most relevant subject for determining whether the U.S. government should have forced all Japanese from the West Coast. This is primarily a legal and political issue; the culture that is relevant is American, not Japanese. But I have been learning a little about Japan for the last few years, albeit in a kind of secondhand oral manner, because my fiance has a degree in Japanese studies, lived in Japan and worked for a Japanese company.

As you would have known if you'd read my comments on the prior post, I am familiar with reports of the racism of the Japanese government and society, and I stated that I find very troubling how people defending the American government do so not on objective grounds, but on comparative ones. I am not the kind of person who says, "My country (whatever country I happen to be in), right or wrong"; I am proud to be an American because America is special among the nations of the earth. It is unique in its pursuit of justice and legal equality. Because this is the source of my pride in being American, I am shamed by the instances in which America has fallen short.

For people who would be proud to be in whatever country they happen to inhabit, whether it is Japan, U.S. etc., this kind of specific love for the Constitution and the U.S. history of progressing toward equal justice is meaningless. Their reaction to situations in which the U.S. falls short is not to urge the U.S. to do better, but to try to find an excuse for the behavior.

My fiance asked me if I would be willing to move to Japan, and I said no because I am uncomfortable with not only the racism toward non-Japanese, but the social condemnation in Japanese culture toward those who are seen as disrupting the general harmony in order to assert their own rights. I prefer American culture, in which people like MLK Jr. are now revered as heroes instead of dismissed as troublemakers. I get the impression from your annoyance with the Japanese-Americans who protest the internment, however, that you are more like the Japanese in your attitude toward minority groups' assertion of their rights.

Posted by: PG at January 24, 2008 04:15 PM

Well, look...Im not out to convince the unconvincable. All I can do is provide as much historical knowledge as possible.

As the distinguished British Diplomat turned historian George Samson once wrote such attitudes towards history, "...belonged to that class of historical work, all too common in the last few decades, of which the purpose is not to discover or expound truth but to promote one of those perversions of systematic thought which are known by the suitably ill-sounding name of "ideologies"."

Suffice to say that fits the "history" regarding the ethnic Japanese evacuation that has been spoon-fed the American people since the 1980's.

I prefer to discover or expound on truth rather than write legal briefs and call it history.

"Executive Order 9066 at no point refers to the West Coast as a combat zone."

Irrelevent. You can call it a combat zone, a militarized zone a military area or whatever. The fact is the military was given authority over the west coast and had the power to do whatever it felt was necessary for the succesful prosecuation of the war. There is plenty of testimony that refers to the west coast as a combat zone because that is what it was.

"...a "combat zone" is one in which combat is taking place or is likely to do so. One doesn't leave children in a combat zone if it can be avoided."

Exactly, and the military had the power to remove everybody if and when they felt it was necessary. They also could have declared martial law.

"Your implication that the East Coast was unimportant in the war effort ignores what every 7th grader knows, which is that Germany, Japan and Italy had been working together since the 1930s."

Now you're putting words in my mouth that I never said. The concern was the security of the west coast due to knowledge of Japanese fifth column activities.

Neither Germany nor Italy had a navy that could sufficiently project enough power to invade the East Coast of the United States. Japan had developed such a force that had succeeded in developing the largest empire in the history of mankind in a matter of months. One reason for the lack of preparedness that led to Pearl Harbor was the belief Japan could not project forces so far to the east.

You may recall when the Japanese Imperial Army arrived in the city of Davao in the Phillipines on December 23, 1941 the colony of 18,000 ethnic Japanese living there (as long as ethnic Japanese in the West Coast) welcomed them with open arms. Many volunteered their services as scouts and translators for the invading forces.

If Japanese-Filipinos with a history in the Philippines as long that of Japanese-Americans in America could so quickly side with the invading forces in Davao, who's to say the same thing wouldn't have happened on the West Coast?

Can you name one country invaded by Japan where ethnic Japanese already living there as long as those on the west coast rose up against the invaders? They immediately started collaborating with the Japanese Imperial Army.

"So unlike Germans and Italians on the East Coast, Japanese people from the West Coast had to swear a loyalty oath and take other steps in order to have freedom of movement even outside the West Coast."

German Americans on the east coast and throughout the country were arrested, interned, and in some cases deported.

Almost 11,000 German Americans were interned in the U.S. during World War II. Many German Americans sat, worked, played and went to school in the same camps as their Japanese American counterparts.

Furthermore even before the first person was interned, 600,000 Italian Americans and 300,000 German Americans were deprived of their civil liberties when they (all persons, male and female, age 14 and older) were required to register as "Alien Enemies."

This registration entailed photographing, fingerprinting and the issuance of identification cards which the Alien Enemies had to have on their possession at all times.

In addition they were forbidden to fly; to leave their neighborhoods; to possess cameras, short-wave radio receivers, and firearms. Finally, these persons were required to report any change of employment or address to the Department of Justice.

Why were they not evacuated off the coast? There was no evidence they posed a threat to the extent the ethnic Japanese on the West Coast posed a threat.

Why were ethnic Japanese outside the military exclusion zones not evacuated?

Same reason.

To argue there must be some kind of proportionality between Germans and Japanese because they both happen to be the enemy without acknowledging the extent of the security threat from ethnic Germans compared to ethnic Japanese is questionable logic....

"An attempt to behave like a free person who could come and go as she pleased would result in getting shot."

I don't consider an enemy alien rioting in the name of the emperor a free person, no.

"The fact that in 1930 and 1940, citizenship probably looked like a way to be seen as American instead of as Japanese. The internment put an end to the illusion that citizenship could protect one from being viewed as Japanese first and American second -- if at all."

I notice you like to use the word "probably". The fact is many Japanese in America went out of their way to ensure the nisei also had dual citizenship. Thousands were sent back to Japan for their education.

Your comment cleary shows a lack of understanding of Japanese thinking. Issei didn't want to be seen as American. They were Japanese and proud of it. That's one reason so many of their kids also received dual citizenship.

You think Americans living in Japan at the time thought of themselves as Japanese?

"As of 1940, I am sure that was true.

Of course it was true. Thousands of picture brides were sent to America for marriage. Again, your suggestion that Japanese were falling over themselves to marry white people shows a lack of understanding. P.S. We haven't been at war with Britian since 1812, I believe.

"I point out that postwar, post-internment Japanese were justifiably distrustful of the U.S. and of whether citizenship would help them."

You have evidence of that or that just your theory? The fact is between when 1952 when Japanese could become American citizens and 1960, only 32% chose to do so. That's a fact, not a theory.

"Treating the fact that they weren't lined up to become citizens after the war, as a great justification for having interned them in the first place, makes no sense.",/i>

Sure it does. I haven't even mentioned the over 16,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestory who petitioned to renounce their American citizenship and asked to be returned to Japan to support the enemy during the war.

Give me some examples of issei protesting the fact they couldn't become citizens before the war. Were they marching around with Japanese flags the illegal Mexicans do today?

"Are you comparing the Japanese-Americans to Confederates?"

Considering your parents are naturalized citizens I doubt you have any ancestors who fought in the American Civil War. I have ancestors who fought and died for the Union during that war. I'd say that's a heck of a demand.

Not all people in the south supported the Confederacy during the American Civil war and not all Japanese Americans supported the United States during WW2.

But the point the congressman was making is we all make sacrfices in war, including ethnic Japanese in America who suffered a heck of a lot less than other Americans.

(P.S. The congressman was made the comment to memebers of the JACL who speaking much as you are now. He more or less told them to quit whining.)

"...make sacrifices in wartime, and separating out one group and telling them that they are not "pulling together" with the rest -- that they are, in fact, suspects who simply because of their race are to be separated from the rest -- and that they must be deprived of their liberty and property."

You didn't read the congressman's first line very carefully then. He said, "May I say something right here. I don't believe anything will be gained by assuming that everyone who has to be evacuated is disloyal. These military decisions must be made upon the basis of the best judgement of those military authorities who are in charge. The rest of us will have to comply. It will be tuff, it will be cruel and there will be hardships."

Japanese weren't evacuated because of their race. They were evacuated because we were at war with Japan, known fifth colum activity existed and military determined it was necessary to do so.

"I'm sure Morgenthau meant well with his Federal Reserve group, but the fact remains that Japanese were selling their property at rock bottom prices in order to get any money for it at all. It was not held in trust for them."

Who told you that? It's a false statement.

As stated by Col. Karl Bendetsen in a 1972 interview long before this history became politicized...

"First, about their assets, their lands (Nisei could own land), their possessions, their bank accounts and other assets, their household goods, their growing crops--nothing was confiscated. Their accounts were left intact. Their household goods were inventoried and stored. Warehouse receipts were issued to the owners. Much of it was later shipped to them at Government expense, particularly in the case of those families who relocated themselves in the interior, accepted employment and established new homes.

Lands were farmed, crops harvested, accounts kept of sales at market and proceeds deposited to the respective accounts of the owners.

Whenever desired, Shinto and other religious shrines were moved to the centers.

Second, it was never intended by Executive Order 9066 and certainly not by the Army that the Japanese themselves be held in Relocation Centers. The sole objective was to bring relocation anywhere in the interior--east of the Cascades and Sierras Nevada and north of the southern halves of Arizona and New Mexico. Japanese were urged to relocate voluntarily on their own recognizance and extensive steps were taken to this end. The desire was to relocate them so that they could usefully and gainfully continue raising their families and educate their children while heads of families and young adults became gainfully employed. They were to be free to lease or buy land, raise and harvest crops, go into businesses. They were not to be restricted for the "duration" so long as they did not seek to remain or seek to return to the war "frontier" during hostilities.

In furtherance, from the very beginning I initiated diligent measures to urge the Japanese families to leave with the help and funding (whenever needed) of the WCCA (Wartime Civil Control Administration) on their own recognizance and resettle east of the mountains. To this end, I conferred with the Governors of the seven contiguous states east of the mountains. I called a Governors・Conference at Salt Lake City. I invited them to urge attendance by members of their cabinets, by members of their legislatures and by the mayors of their communities. It was a large and successful conference. I advised them in full, sought their full cooperation, asked them to inform their citizens and to welcome and help the evacuees to feel welcome without restrictions, to become members of their inland communities and schools and to help them find employment and housing. I told them that these people would become a most constructive segment of their respective populations. These who resettled certainly did. Where needed I told them that the WCCA would provide financial support for a limited period.

Further to this end, I conferred with the elders of each major Japanese community along the Pacific Coast, wherever they were and, as well, in Arizona and New Mexico. I carefully explained all this to them. I urged them to persuade their fellow Japanese to leave before the evacuation to assembly centers began and while it was proceeding. I assured them that the WCCA would provide escort, if requested, by those who felt insecure. We organized convoys and shipped to those, who had resettled, their stored possessions."

Those that had losses could have filed claims under he 1948 Evacation Claims Act which was amended several times throughout the 1950s. Claims up to $100,000 were eligible for hearings and when all was concluded there were only 15 appeals to the settlements offered by the government out of more than 26,000 claims filed. How much fairer could that have been?

Of course in the fog of war losses occurred in some cases and that's why the Evacuation Claims Act was passed when the war was over.

No other group in the United States got that kind of special treatment for war losses, and there were plenty of losses other than those by the Japanese.

"I don't understand why you only use the number of Japanese from the mainland, unless it is to provide as small a number as possible of nisei who volunteered."

How about because it's an historical fact? There are only about 16,000 names on the nisei war memorial in Little Tokyo and you know they are sticking every name they can on it. Many of this 16,000 didn't serve during hostilities, they served during the occupation.

As a comparison, 7,000 nisei served in the Imperial Japanese military during the war, but you never hear about that, do you?

" This is primarily a legal and political issue; the culture that is relevant is American, not Japanese."

No it is a military issue. On the west coast the military called the shots. The government provided the opportunity for the JACL, academics and many of their supporters to testify with comments much like yours and they were rejected. Your really saying nothing that wasn't said during the Tolan hearings in early 1942.

"I am proud to be an American because America is special among the nations of the earth. It is unique in its pursuit of justice and legal equality. Because this is the source of my pride in being American, I am shamed by the instances in which America has fallen short."

Gee, that's great. What you're saying is America should be held to a different standard, even when it's fighting for its survival. I wonder how shamed you would be if America had lost WW2.

" My fiance asked me if I would be willing to move to Japan, and I said no because I am uncomfortable with not only the racism toward non-Japanese, but the social condemnation in Japanese culture toward those who are seen as disrupting the general harmony in order to assert their own rights."

By all means go! I worked in Japan for many years and love the place and people.

"... in which people like MLK Jr. are now revered as heroes instead of dismissed as troublemakers.",/i>

MLK and the civil rights movement has nothing to do with the evacuation. Making the comparison is absurd, although hard core activists are attempting to do so to provide legitimacy to their movement and squelch opposing views.

It's easy to hurl accusations of racism to shut the other guy up, just not very effective.

"I get the impression from your annoyance with the Japanese-Americans who protest the internment..."

I'm annoyed with any group that willfully distorts history for their own personal gain.

President Reagan was reluctant to sign the bill and only did so under pressure. He sat on the bill for years and reluctantly signed it in 1988 (an election year) against the advice of his own Department of Justice. There is an excellent scholarly piece by Professor Tim Maga desribing the intense lobbying effort directed at President Reagan by Japanese American ethnic activist lobbiests and their political allies. It was a full court press. It was ugly and it's a perfect example of why politicians should not be in the business of legislating revisionist history.

So yea, I'm annoyed....

"...however, that you are more like the Japanese in your attitude toward minority groups' assertion of their rights."

Again, boo-hoo. The evacuation had nothing to do with minority rights. It had to do with winning the war. If similar circumstances demand such drastic measures again, it'll occur again. The security of the republic takes precedent.

Wait and see.....

Posted by: Bob at January 24, 2008 07:10 PM

I prefer to discover or expound on truth rather than write legal briefs and call it history.

You try to say that FDR's executive order referred to the West Coast as a "combat zone."
You omit the huge number of Hawaiian nisei who volunteered for WWII military service when calculating how many nisei were willing to fight for the U.S.
You continue to claim that 32% of issei became naturalized citizens by using the total number of Japanese-born present in the U.S. in 1960 relative to the number who were naturalized 1952-1960, despite the legal impossibility of someone who arrived in the years 1955-1960 becoming a naturalized citizen.
Your best explanation for why the U.S. didn't prosecute known Japanese subversives after the war is that "people were tired," a tiredness that somehow didn't preclude prosecuting Germans and Japanese abroad for crimes committed during the war. (It's a bizarrely lackadaisical attitude toward treasonous activity that says, "Eh, war's over, whatever.")
You have claimed that there was no internment, yet the Supreme Court in Ex Parte Endo, 323 U.S. 283 (1944), found that the Japanese-American citizens were indeed being detained and that this detainment violated their rights.

If this is truth-telling, it is on par with that of the U.S. government in Hirabayashi, where a federal appeals court later overturned the conviction because of the suppression of evidence. Partial truths are neither legitimate legal briefs nor good history.

Posted by: PG at January 25, 2008 10:51 AM

I never said EO9066 referred to the west coast as a comabat zone. I said the west coast was a combat zone and there is plenty of testimony and actuality to support this.

The number of Hawaiian nisei who volunteered was not huge and the total is inflated to include those who served during the occupation and not hostilities.

Thousands of issei had been in America long before 1952 and were thus eligable to apply for citizenship and they did not.

I said I don't know why more were not prosecuted and could only speculate. Of course, you don't know either. Another speculation is they were deported. As mentioned previously over 16,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestory petitioned to give up their citizenship and be sent to Japan. If this is your argument for condemning the evacuation, it is a weak one.

Regarding Ex Parte Endo, yes, but the Court did not hold that the detention of one whom the
government had not yet conceeded to be loyal, is unlawful. In other words, under the existing circumstances, detention of persons of questionable loyalty is OK until their loyalty has been determined.

Then they can go.

Incidentally, Endo was moot. The exclusion orders were lifted before the decision was released. The lifing of the orders coupled with the announced closing of the centers was a shock to the residents. They didn't want the centers closed and petitioned the government to keep
them open until the end of the war.

Ever hear of a "concentration camp"
where the residents didn't want to leave?

Hirabayashi nor any wartime Supreme Court decision was ever overturned. They are all still good law to this day.

You see, lower courts cannot overturn the ruling of higher courts. The Supreme Court had the chance to overturn on October 31, 1988 and they chose not to hear the case.

Hirabayashi had nothing to do with suppression of evidence. That was the re-run of Korematsu.

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga's "newly discovered evidence" refers to a January 26, 1942 memo written by Lt. Commander K.D. Ringle, deputy intelligence officer for 11th Naval District.

You may remember Aiko was the principal researcher for the CWIRC.

So the "newly discovered evidence" that Aiko "found" that was used in the Coram Nobis cases of the 1980's is this Ringle memo the the pro-reparations lawyers submit to the court as exhibit "D" MINUS THE FEBRUARY 14, 1942 ONI COVER MEMO FROM RINGLE'S BOSS, H.E. KEISKER STATING "IT DOES NOT REPRESENT THE FINAL AND OFFICAL OPINION OF THE OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE ON THE SUBJECT."

The memo was also carbon copied for MID and two sections of the FBI.

Thus, the memo was an unoffical document haveing no status whatsoever was not concealed, but on the contrary given wide distribution, did not represent the stated position of the ONI nor anyone else of any status in the military

That's the story on the Ringle memo, and the "newly discovered evidence" the court received in the Corum Nobis cases....

Posted by: Bob at January 25, 2008 01:45 PM

Could you point to an actual government statement that called the West Coast a "combat zone"? The Executive Order, as we've now settled, referred to "military areas." Congress's Act of March 21, 1942, 56 Stat. 173, 18 U.S.C.A. 97a, referred to "military area or military zone." The judiciary does not call it a combat zone in any decision of which I am aware.

So now that we've covered the three branches of the federal government, just who was calling the West Coast a "combat zone"?

The number of Hawaiian nisei who volunteered was not huge and the total is inflated to include those who served during the occupation and not hostilities.
Thousands of issei had been in America long before 1952 and were thus eligable to apply for citizenship and they did not.

On both of these, if you're right, why do you feel the need to try to underestimate numbers you say are so very low? You provide no reason why you keep using the statistic of 32%, which is based on the 1960 population of issei and the 1952-1960 naturalization numbers.
A competent statistician would use the 1960 population of issei and the 1952-1965 naturalization numbers, thus ensuring that all the issei counted in 1960 had had the minimum five years residency before determining whether they had sought naturalization as soon as possible.
If you don't want to do that much work, fine, but then don't expect people to take your 32% statistic seriously.

You also provide no reason why you focus solely on the mainland nissei -- the ones who had been subject to relocation and internment -- in determining whether Japanese-Americans as a whole were willing to fight for the U.S. You say,
In the continental United States, fewer than 1500 Japanese American volunteered, yet give no number for the Japanese American volunteers outside the mainland, saying only that it was "not huge."

Yet the military's own historians cite a letter from FDR that says there were 5000 nisei in the 100th Infantry Battalion (drawn from Hawaii's National Guard) and the Military Intelligence Service. Added to that 5000 in the 100th and MIS were thousands more nisei in the 442nd.
These were the nisei who served during WWII hostilities -- not the postwar occupation -- and are famous for being in combination the most decorated unit in U.S. history. The number of Purple Hearts alone, 9486, is almost 9 times the number of mainland nisei you estimate (1100) as having fought.

If the point you were trying to make is that the mainland nisei were embittered by their treatment, I certainly agree. But the difference between the mainland and Hawaiian nisei's military service only emphasizes MY point, which is that wholesale internment of West Coast Japanese was destructive of their goodwill toward the U.S. In contrast, the arrests in Hawaii, which were based on individualized determinations of disloyalty rather than on race-based ones, did not create such bad feeling in Hawaiian nisei, and those nisei went on to serve in significant numbers and with great distinction.

If you don't have an agenda, why would you give only the number for the mainland nisei rather than doing what every serious historian does: giving the total number of nisei who served? This kind of massive statistical omission doesn't serve the cause of truth.

You also claim that the reason the Japanese were not naturalized citizens at the time of WWII was that they were illegal aliens. By your own statistics, with the first Gentleman's Agreement in 1907, and 1900 Census showing 24,326 Japanese and 1910 Census 72,157 -- at least 50,000 would have been wholly legal entrants to the U.S. before the Gentleman's Agreement, and I assume not all of those had dropped dead by 1941. Why did you talk about "illegal aliens" and not want to mention that NO Asians could be naturalized until 1952? Omission of relevant facts -- like that tens of thousands of Japanese immigrated before the Gentleman's Agreements, and that they were legally barred from citizenship -- doesn't look like the act of someone just seeking the truth.

Regarding Endo, when were these determinations of loyalty going to take place? Even at Guantanamo Bay, where the detainees were picked up off battlefields or turned in by Northern Alliance forces, and were alleged to be actively fighting against the U.S. (not merely not-loyal), the U.S. government established tribunals to determine whether these non-citizens could be detained.
To refresh your memory, these tribunals were deemed necessary by a plurality of the Supreme Court, with conservative Justice Scalia declaring that any U.S. citizen who is held must be given not just a tribunal but a full trial unless habeas has been suspended entirely.

Where was the tribunal that gave individualized hearings to the Japanese held at camps?
Your statement that some Japanese didn't want to leave the camps is irrelevant; some detainees at Gitmo live better there than they would in their home countries. That doesn't make the detainment of those who wish to be free, without an individualized determination, a proper action.

Military lawyers didn't have much to do in the Axis countries until the war was drawing to a close, so why weren't they assigned to the internment camps to perform individual hearings on the Japanese -- especially those who were citizens?

The Attorney General provided individualized loyalty hearings to Italian aliens; he deemed 600,000 Italian aliens to be non-threats within ten months. Why not do the same for the Japanese population?

Hirabayashi had nothing to do with suppression of evidence.

Have you read Hirabayashi's coram nobis case? The appellate opinion states that had "the suppressed material been submitted to the Supreme Court, its decision probably would have been materially affected."

Hirabayashi et al. haven't been overturned because the Supreme Court doesn't take moot cases (this is the "case or controversy" requirement), but the Supreme Court has rather clearly indicated that it considers several WWII cases to have been wrongly decided. For example, in Hamdi, Scalia condemned Ex Parte Quirin, which at least involved known saboteurs rather than race-based determinations.

A case isn't considered "good law" among lawyers when the Court later condemned its holding. See, e.g., Buck v. Bell, which has never been overturned. Yet I'm fairly certain the current Court wouldn't approve forced sterilizations. The fact that no state currently engages in such sterilizations makes it a moot issue.

Posted by: PG at January 25, 2008 05:43 PM
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