Happy Anniversary! (A day or so belated)
On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 granting the War Department broad powers to create military exclusion areas (internment camps, or prison camps; whichever you prefer). Although the order did not identify any particular group, in practice it was used mostly to imprison Americans of Japanese descent. However, to a lesser extent, both Germans & Italians were detained. By 1943, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans had been forced at gun point from their homes and moved to camps in inland areas of the United States.
The FDR sicofant historians say that due to the shock of Pearl Harbor and of Japanese atrocities in the Philippines fueling already tense race relations on America’s West Coast and in the face of political, military, and public pressure, Roosevelt accepted the relocation proposal.
Was there pressure? You bet there was.
This letter from Sen. Harley Kilgore, a Democrat (you know, the party of the people & of immigrants) member of the powerful Senate Committee on Military Affairs, is an example of the political pressure to deal with the issue of Japanese-Americans on the West Coast that Roosevelt was receiving. It was sent to the President the same day he signed the order of internment.
The following is the text of the order signed by Roosevelt:
Executive Order No. 9066
Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas
Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104);
Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, 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. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.
I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.
I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.
This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
The White House,
February 19, 1942.
So the President, by virtue of no authority I can find in the Constitution, duly authorized the Secretary of War & military commanders to pretty much do whatever they want, whenever they want & however they want.
Rather than stand up for what was right and Constitutional, FDR bowed to political pressure, just As all great Presidents have done.
I always leaders were supposed to lead.
So, Happy Anniversary everyone. By the way; don’t think this could never happen again.
With the recently minted National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the President has now the authority to arrest & detain any person, citizen or not, for virtually any reason.
The provisions also apply to any person who supports or aids “belligerent” acts against the United States, whether the person is apprehended beyond our borders or on domestic soil.
Of course it doesn’t define a “belligerant” act.
Soon we may have to change that whole “Land of the Free” thing.
Attribution: Roosevelt Archives