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University of North Carolina law professor Eric Muller has been guest-blogging about my new book this week over at The Volokh Conspiracy. He enlisted the aid of his friend and author Greg Robinson in his endeavor. I welcome the debate from the Eric-Greg tag team and others who have actually read the book and are willing to engage its arguments–as opposed to this MTV bubble-headed pablum.

Part 1: Eric complains that he didn’t receive a review copy from my publisher, but other bloggers did.

I am sorry if Eric feels slighted that Regnery did not send him a review copy. As he notes (and as I pointed out earlier), I do indeed mention him a few times in the book. I would have liked to have Regnery send a review copy to every scholar and public figure mentioned in the book and every blogger who has ever blogged on the subject, but any penny-pinching publisher (and which for-profit publisher isn’t?) would have balked at such a request.

In addition to sending it to obvious high-traffic blog celebrities such as Instapundit and to other bloggers who solicited the book, Regnery did send the book to prominent folks in the academic and lobbying world who disagree with me on this issue, such as Tetsuden Kashima of the University of Washington and John Tateishi of the Japanese American Citizens League. I await their responses with interest.

Part 2: Eric doesn’t like the cover.

On his own blog, Muller suggested it was outrageous to compare “a Japanese-American man” to Mohammed Atta. It wasn’t just any Japanese-American man, as I pointed out to him. After reading in my book about the admittedly disloyal Richard Kotoshirodo, whose betrayal of the country of his birth helped lead to the mass murder of some 2,400 of his fellow American citizens at Pearl Harbor, Muller is still outraged that Kotoshirodo and Atta are side-by-side: “I still say that the cover is scandalous.”

Further, he asserts:

[N]obody who looks at this cover in a bookstore is going to have the faintest idea who the Japanese American face is; nearly everyone, it’s safe to say, will recognize Mohammad Atta. Coupled with the book’s title (“In Defense of Internment”) and its subtitle (“The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror”), which sits directly between the two photographs, this cover will, I think, suggest to the ordinary person that American citizens of Japanese ancestry presented World War II America with the same sorts of risks as al Qaeda does today. If that’s not a scandalous aspersion on the loyalty and character of Japanese Americans, I don’t know what is.

As Eric notes, hardly anybody knows who Kotoshirodo is. That’s exactly the point. Hopefully, I will have changed that by putting his face on the cover, highlighting his treacherous actions, and placing them in their proper national security context. (Eric, by the way, sent me a cordial e-mail soliciting the FBI files I used in my research of the Kotoshirodo case. I pointed him in the right direction and have offered to copy and send the files to him myself if need be. Perhaps after he reads them, he will come to a different conclusion about Kotoshirodo. But I doubt it.)

Now, do I suggest that some American citizens of Japanese ancestry presented WWII America with the same sorts of risks as al Qaeda in America today? Absolutely. That’s the painstaking argument at the heart of my book. Kotoshirodo was not the lone example. He was emblematic, just as Atta is. Do I suggest that all American citizens of Japanese ancestry were disloyal? Of course not. Do I suggest that all American Muslims are disloyal? Again, of course not.

One difference between Atta and Kotoshirodo that Eric neglects to mention, by the way: Atta did not receive an apology or $20,000 reparations check from the U.S. government for his actions, as every evacuee, relocatee, excludee, and internee of Japanese descent was entitled to under the 1988 Civil Liberties Act.

Talk about scandalous.

[Correction (8/27): I should not have said that Kotoshirodo received a reparations check. He was eligible to receive a check, but I was unable to verify whether he actually received one.]

Spoons’ and LibertyPost’s reactions to Eric’s comments about the cover, with which I concur, are worth reading.

Part 3: Eric challenges my book’s goal and research methods because I couldn’t possibly have read everything that has ever been written about evacuation/relocation/internment. The implication is that I have omitted relevant evidence and cannot therefore claim to “correct the record.”

Eric writes:

I can’t imagine how Michelle–or, indeed, anyone–could have done the primary research necessary to understand the record, let alone “correct” it in the manner the book attempts to do, in five or six years, let alone in one. Especially while doing anything at all in addition to researching the book (such as writing a nationally syndicated newspaper column).

Guess what? I had my second child while I was writing this book and the columns, and celebrated my 11th wedding anniversary, and baked cookies every now and then, and managed to go fishing every once in a while. Impossible? Not when you have made a living in daily journalism the past 12 years and are used to real-world deadlines.

Eric lectures:

To tell the story correctly, a person would need to sift through thousands and thousands of pages of archival material from all over the country and then piece bits together into a coherent story.

I have a hard time believing that Michelle did anything of the sort. I suspect that she derived much of the information that supports her account from secondary sources, and relies primarily on primary research done (or perhaps not done) by others. (I do not doubt, by the way, that the documents to which Michelle cites actually exist; I’m not suggesting she’s making them up. What I suspect–indeed, what I know from my own experience–is that there must be thousands of additional documents in the archives that are relevant to a full understanding of the government’s wartime decisions, and that massively complicate the simple story she narrates.


As a matter of fact, I did in fact personally sift through thousands of pages of archival material—from court documents obtained from NARA in Seattle, to War Relocation Authority records stored at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, to stacks of primary documents from the National Archives in College Park, Md. Other scholars and researchers such as Robert Stinnett, Burl Burlingame, Arthur Jacobs, and Col. Lee Allen, were generous enough to share their FOIA treasure troves and personal archival materials with me. I especially recommend Col. Allen’s invaluable website here, which contains some 400 documents related to the evacuation/location. Most are primary documents.

I make my research methods and sources clear in an explanatory note preceding my endnotes, pp. 313-314. I name every library I used, supply the website addresses of major online sources I used, and provide helpful tips on how to obtain rare and out-of-print books that I acquired for my research, including the memoirs of Francis Biddle, Henry Stimson, Milton Eisenhower, Edward Layton, Dillon Myer, and Frank Rowlett. I also have a selected bibliography (which is just a very small sample of sources I used), as well as an errata list online.

More than one third of my book reprints primary documents so readers can see the evidence I relied upon for themselves. My web site includes even more documents. Virtually all of these documents have been ignored by critics of FDR’s policies. It seems to me that they are the ones who are guilty of overlooking relevant evidence in order to avoid complicating the “simple story” of internment-as-racism-and-wartime-hysteria.

Part 4(a): Many modern opponents of FDR’s homeland security measures, including Eric himself, insist on calling the relocation centers “concentration camps,” which invokes undeniable imagery of the Holocaust. Eric takes me to task for suggesting that anyone has compared Japanese relocation camps to Nazi death camps.

No, I did not quote anyone making a specific comparison of “Manzanar to Auschwitz” or “Manzanar to Buchenwald.” The analogizers are a little more slippery than that. Those who use modern “concentration camp” rhetoric when discussing the evacuation/relocation/internment measures meekly disavow a direct moral equivalence between relocation camps and death camps, but then proceed to indulge in the offensive moral equivalence that they say they reject.

Want a concrete example? Here is a quote from one of the most prominent concentration camp invokers, academic Roger Daniels, who I quote in the book (which Eric conveniently neglects to mention):

The American camps were not death camps, but they were surrounded by barbed wire and by troops whose guns were pointed at the inmates. Almost all the 1,862 Japanese Americans who died in them died of natural causes, and they were outnumbered by the 5,918 American citizens who were born in the concentration camps. But the few Japanese Americans who were killed “accidentally” by their American guards were just as dead as the millions of Jews and others who were killed deliberately by their German, Soviet, or Japanese guards.

As I note in the book (and Eric helpfully cites the page number), it is true that many politicians and public officials, including President Roosevelt himself, used the phrase “concentration camps” to describe the relocation centers. But, as I also point out in the book, it wasn’t until the liberation of the Nazi death camps beginning in 1945 that the phrase took on the popular meaning that it retains today–that is, places of barbaric cruelty and torture on the order of what the Jews and others suffered under Hitler.

Even the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, a panel stacked with fierce critics of the relocation camps, noted: “To use the phrase ‘concentration camps’ summons up images and ideas which are inaccurate and unfair.” (Personal Justice Denied, 27 fn.)

As for the evacuation/eviction distinction, Eric completely dismisses the protective argument for removing ethnic Japanese from the West Coast. What he doesn’t reveal is the evidence I cite that some Japanese-American leaders themselves–and not just allegedly bigoted military and political officials–made that very argument. Here is footnote 21 from my introduction:

In testimony before the House Select Committee Investigating National Defense Migration on February 23, 1942, [Japanese American Citizens League leader Mike] Masaoka had the following exchange with Rep. John J. Sparkman (R-Ala.):

REP. SPARKMAN: But in the event the evacuation is deemed necessary by those having charge of the defenses, as loyal Americans you are willing to prove your loyalty by cooperating?

MR. MASAOKA: Yes. I think it should be…

REP. SPARKMAN (interposing): Even at a sacrifice?

MR. MASAOKA: Oh, yes; definitely. I think that all of us are called upon to make sacrifices. I think that we will be called upon to make greater sacrifices than any others. But I think sincerely, if the military say “Move Out,” we will be glad to move, because we recognize that even behind evacuation there is not just national security but also a thought as to our own welfare and security because we may be subject to mob violence and otherwise if we are permitted to remain.

Available online at:

I cite Masaoka’s concerns again on p. 87. Eric might have argued that Masaoka, a decorated WWII hero who went on to advocate for Japanese-Americans until his death in 1991, was serving as a government dupe and didn’t believe what he was saying. Eric doesn’t make that argument. He just ignores this passage.

He also ignores what else I reported on p. 87:

(In some cases, hostility came not from white nativists, but from other Japanese Americans who protested that an influx of evacuees in their area would “disturb and disrupt” their established reputation. ) In a Feb. 25, 1942, memo updating the “Japanese situation,” ONI officer Kenneth Ringle noted with alarm that California was “tending toward civil strife” because of animosity by Caucasians towards ethnic Japanese, the vast majority of whom had not yet left the state. He also blamed the “failure of the federal government to apprehend or control any of the Kibei … the most dangerous element of the Japanese population.” A little over a week later, Ringle reported that unless the federal government took positive steps, “there will be uprisings, riots, lynchings, and vigilante committees active in California in 30 days.” A telegram from the San Francisco representative of the Office of Government Reports on March 5 echoed that warning, noting that there was a “serious possibility of mob violence and vigilante committees.”

And he ignores what I reported on p. 100 with regard to internees threatened by outside mob violence in Santa Fe, New Mexico:

At the Santa Fe, N.M., site, Japanese enemy alien internees actually demanded that the barbed wire fence surrounding the compound be made at least a foot taller after the camp received threats from an outside mob angered by a spring 1942 defeat by the Japanese in the Philippines. Antagonism was “so great,” according to historian Richard Melzer, “that most internees believed they were much safer within their fenced-off compound.”

If Eric wants to keep quibbling about the terms “eviction” and “evacuation,” he should address the ample evidence I cite that the protection of Japanese-Americans–while not at all the primary reason for evacuation/relocation–was a concern.


Most disturbingly, Eric outrageously asserts that I “come very close” to comparing relocation camps to “Boy Scout camps.” This is a tried-and-true tactic of the “internment-as-racist” acolytes. Report that anything other than abject misery and terror prevailed in the camps, and you are guilty of whitewashing history.

In fact, I provide a fair and balanced snapshot of life in the assembly centers, relocation camps, and internment camps. Rather than excerpt from my book, I am posting Chapter 9, “The Myth of the American ‘Concentration Camp,’ ” in its entirety so you can judge for yourselves. Please click here. (This is the final version of the chapter I submitted to my publisher; it may differ slightly from the published version due to last-minute edits during the production process.)

Finally, Eric says some Jews were released from Nazi death camps in the 1930s. I thank him for pointing this out; it is now noted on my errata page.

Part 4(b): Eric begins to challenge my analysis of the MAGIC decrypts. Or rather, he relies on his “friend Greg Robinson of the University of Quebec at Montreal, whose book By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans is the definitive scholarly account of the genesis of the Administration’s decision to evict and detain all of the West Coast’s Issei and Nisei,” to strike the first blow.

I quote Greg many times in my book. Though he does not agree with me about the reasons for the evacuation, he is a well-regarded scholar, and I am grateful that he took the time to respond to my book.

Greg makes three main arguments. I will address each in turn:

1. The MAGIC cables do not present the image of a Japanese American spy network… Most of the cables discussed (a tiny handful of the thousands of messages decrypted) come from Tokyo or Mexico City and refer to areas outside the United States.. Those cables that do speak of the United States detail various efforts by Japan to build networks, and list hopes or intentions rather than actions or results.”

Greg’s assertion that most of the cables discussed “come from Tokyo or Mexico City and refer to areas outside the United States” is flatly untrue. The bulk of Chapter 5 on the MAGIC revelations (pp. 37-51) is devoted to a discussion of messages sent from Japan’s Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Honolulu consulates regarding areas within the United States or the territory of Hawaii. This should be obvious to anyone who actually reads the chapter.

Most (not all) of these messages provided sensitive information not about Japanese “intentions,” but about specific intelligence gathered about specific U.S. ports, military bases, and airfields, including specific ship and airplane movements, hangar construction, and cargo loads–information that in at least two instances was explicitly attributed to Japan’s spies.

Don’t take my word for it. Read the assessments of intelligence officials who were privy to MAGIC at the time. A December 24, 1941, Office of Naval Intelligence memo says the Japanese espionage network “continues in operation” (see page 246 of my book); A January 3, 1942, Military Intelligence Division memo warned that there “an be no doubt that most of the leaders” of Japan’s intelligence network “still continue to function as key operatives for the Japanese government along the West Coast” (see page 247); a January 21, 1942, Army G-2 memo stated that the Japanese espionage network “is now thoroughly organized and working underground” (see page 255). Clearly, the best, brightest, and most informed intelligence officials of the day who were reading the MAGIC messages did not share Robinson’s view that the Japanese espionage network was only about “hopes and intentions rather than actions or results.”

2. The people who pushed the case for evacuation would not have had access to the MAGIC excerpts in any case….[T]he record amply demonstrates that West Coast Defense Commander General John DeWitt (and his assistant Karl Bendetsen) were largely responsible for making the case for evacuation, and that their judgment of the situation and their recommendation for mass evacuation overcame the initial opposition of McCloy and Stimson.. DeWitt’s motivations for urging evacuation–notably his comment to McCloy that “a Jap is a Jap,” and his reliance on arguments about the “racial strains” of the Japanese in his Final Report–indicate that his conduct was informed by racism.

Greg ignores my discussion of this issue (see pages 76-77), where I cite Army documents demonstrating that DeWitt was following the lead of McCloy, not vice versa. As for DeWitt, I point out that the use of the term “Jap” was common at the time, even among those who opposed the evacuation and relocation of ethnic Japanese (see page 337). Too much has been made of DeWitt’s Final Report, which is basically a cover story. The most important reason for the evacuation—MAGIC—was classified at the time and so could not be disclosed until after the war ended.

3. Those who did have access to MAGIC did not base their decision on it…. [T]here is no direct evidence to support the contention that the MAGIC excerpts played a decisive role in the decision of the figures who did have access to them to authorize mass evacuation, and considerable evidence that leads to a contrary inference. Throughout all the confidential memoranda and conversations taking place within the War Department at the time of the decision on evacuation, transcripts which show people speaking extremely freely, the MAGIC excerpts are not mentioned a single time. In particular, there is no evidence that President Roosevelt ever saw or was briefed on the MAGIC excerpts the author mentions, let alone that he was decisively influenced by them.

It is clear that several actions taken by the Roosevelt administration were directly influenced by MAGIC, including the decision to initiate the evacuation in Bainbridge Island and Terminal Island, which MAGIC messages had identified as high-risk areas. Similarly, there is no obvious explanation for the decision to evacuate southern Arizona other than the May 9, 1941, MAGIC message (sent by Japan’s Los Angeles consulate) which showed that Japanese operatives intended to monitor cross-border traffic.


Unfortunately, Roosevelt died more than 30 years before MAGIC was declassified, so we will never know which MAGIC messages, if any, played a role in his decision to sign Executive Order 9066. We do know, however, that Roosevelt was an intense and avid consumer of intelligence, including MAGIC. Indeed, as I write in the book on p. 40, he kept the top-secret decrypts in what he called “The Magic Book,” tucked away in the tightly-guarded Map Room of the White House.

As Greg well knows, FDR had longstanding concerns about the threat of subversion and sabotage by ethnic Japanese. On p. 67, I mention a personal note he dashed off to Secretary of War Stimson relating his concerns about sabotage on the West Coast. We also know that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover sent at least one intelligence report warning about the threat posed by the Japanese espionage network to Roosevelt via his secretary, Major General Edwin Watson, in June 1941. The report was derived almost verbatim from MAGIC, though Hoover didn’t know it at the time.

I am not alone in concluding that FDR incorporated MAGIC in his decision to evacuate the West Coast. On p. 37, I cite acclaimed military historian John Costello (The Pacific War, p. 211), who wrote: “The rising current of fear on the West Coast and the evidence from the Magic intercepts were important factors in the President’s decision to sign Executive Order 9066 (emphasis added).” (Yes, it’s true, as Greg later points out, that Costello believes the evacuation/relocation was a grievous wrong, but that does not nullify his view that MAGIC was a significant factor in the decision.)

Assistant Secretary of War McCloy was the highest-ranking Roosevelt-era War Department official alive when MAGIC was declassified in 1977. In 1984, he told Congress that during the war he had read the MAGIC messages every day and every night, and affirmed that the MAGIC cables were a “very important” factor in the decision to order the evacuation.

MAGIC wasn’t mentioned in the documents of the time because it was, of course, top secret and limited to a select few officials who took pains not to mention it in written documents that could fall into the wrong hands.

Two more quick points:

1. Curiously, Robinson doesn’t even try to defend the analysis of MAGIC in his book, By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans. As I point out in my book (pages 137-8), he mentions MAGIC in just two brief sentences related to prewar negotiations with Japan and in a single footnote that tersely asserts that “The MAGIC excerpts do not reveal conclusive evidence of any espionage activities by Japanese Americans.” “Definitive scholarly account”? You be the judge.

2. If Robinson thinks I am “gratuitously nasty towards all others” for simply pointing out vested interests, he should take a look at some of the invective that has been hurled toward me. See, in particular, these photoshopped covers of my book, which include my photo with the title “In Defense of Lead Barrels” and the subtitle “The Case for Dropping Subhuman Racist F*cknuts to the Bottom of the Sea.” (This link, curiously enough, was genially cited in Part 2 of Eric the academician’s blog posts.)

Part 5: Eric writes:

“[T]he historical record tells us absolutely nothing more than that Roosevelt, the Secretary of War (Stimson), and his top assistant (McCloy) generally had access to the thousands of messages of which these concerning potential Issei and Nisei spies were a tiny few. The record tells us nothing about who actually reviewed which of the intercepts, or when, or what any reader understood them to mean. The record is just silent on these issues–reflecting, in a way, the silence of the actors themselves on MAGIC at the time. One might well say (and Michelle does), “but they couldn’t talk or write about the MAGIC decrypts; they were ultra-secret and everybody was keen to keep them that way.” That may well be so. But that doesn’t mean we can fill in the silence in the record with our own suppositions about what they must have read and what they must have thought about what they read. In short, Michelle’s book presents no evidence–because, apparently, there is none–to show that MAGIC actually led anybody to think or do anything.”

Redundant. This is essentially the same point that Robinson made, which I address above. Saying the same thing twice doesn’t make the argument any stronger.

Next, Eric points out that once the decision was made to evacuate ethnic Japanese from the West Coast, many ancillary decisions were made-and MAGIC doesn’t explain all or even most of them. True, but beside the point. My book focuses primarily on the policies formed in early spring 1942, when the decision was made to evacuate all ethnic Japanese from the West Coast.

Next, Eric writes:

“What does Michelle offer to discredit the copiously documented influences of nativism, economic jealousy, racial stereotyping, rumor-mongering, and hysteria on the series of decisions that constituted the program Michelle defends? Nothing. Literally not one single thing. Not a sentence.”

Umm, as I write in the very first paragraph of the introduction to my book on p. xiii:

“If you want to read a book decrying the loss of personal freedom in wartime America, this is the wrong book. If you want to read a book about the history of institutional discrimination against minorities in America, you’re out of luck again. Bookstores, library shelves, and classroom are already filled with pedantic tomes, legal analysis, and educational propaganda along these conventional lines.”

I don’t think Eric gets it. My whole book is devoted to debunking the myth that the evacuation policy was borne of such factors rather than bona fide national security concerns. I am well aware that there were nativists and racists on the West Coast, but as I argue in the book, the decision was made by Roosevelt and his closest military advisors in Washington DC, where knowledge of MAGIC resided and where homeland defense, not “nativism, economic jealousy, racial stereotyping, rumor-mongering, and hysteria” was the paramount concern.

Part 6: Eric is unimpressed by my explanation for the disparate treatment of ethnic Germans and ethnic Japanese. Let’s break this down:

Item: “Japan was the only Axis country with the capability of launching a major attack on the United States?” Here Michelle contradicts herself, because the book emphasizes repeatedly that Roosevelt, Stimson, and McCloy had good reason (from MAGIC) to worry about potential Nisei involvement not just in a full-blown Japanese attack on the West Coast, but in more ordinary kinds of domestic spying, disruptions of war production, and the like. So why would it appropriately have mattered (if it were true) to the MAGIC-reading trio of Roosevelt, McCloy, and Stimson that Japan could mount a full-blown assault on the West Coast but Germany could not mount a full-blown assault on the East Coast?

What on earth is he talking about? There is no contradiction in what I argue. The West Coast, where the vast majority of ethnic Japanese were concentrated, was uniquely vulnerable to attack, invasion, spot raids, sabotage, and surveillance that could potentially cripple the war effort. As I write:

The West Coast was home to many strategic army and naval installations, aircraft factories, shipyards, and other war plants and vital defense resources and utilities. The region was home to one-fourth of the nation’s aircraft production and one-third of its shipbuilding capacity. Through the three major ports of Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, vast quantities of men and material were being shipped to the war zones of the Pacific. Immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack, Gen. George Marshall and his staff “worked feverishly to strengthen the west coast defenses as rapidly as they could,” according to Army historian Stetson Conn.

Spies on the West Coast, where the movements of our aircraft carriers could be easily monitored and where the risk of hit-and-run attacks like the one at Pearl Harbor was substantial, posed a greater threat than spies on the East Coast, where there were no aircraft carriers and no risk of a major attack. This lesson was underscored by the pre-Pearl Harbor activities of Richard Kotoshirodo and other Japanese agents in Honolulu, who gathered intelligence for Japan that was used to design the attack on Oahu.

The increased vulnerability of the West Coast to espionage seems obvious, as does the strategic value of moving ethnic Japanese to the interior to reduce the threat–a measure taken not only by the U.S., by the way, but by Canada and Mexico.

Next, Eric writes:

What’s more, it was not true after early June of 1942–before a single Japanese American was transferred for indefinite detention in a “relocation center”–that Japan had the capability of launching a major attack on the United States.

Straw man. I made no such argument. The decision to evacuate the West Coast was made in February 1942, and within two months all ethnic Japanese had either left the West Coast or had been moved to temporary assembly centers. Again, that time frame—early spring of 1942–is the primary focus of my book. I note myself that an attack on the West Coast declined sharply after the Battle of Midway. I also note the following on p. 88:

Initial planning of the evacuation was poor. Leaders in Washington underestimated the scope of the task. Secretary of War Stimson wrote in his diary: “There was general confusion around the table arising from the fact that nobody had realized how bad it was, nobody wanted to take care of the evacuees, and the general weight and complication of the project.” Critical historians looking back on this underestimation of the problems associated with evacuation could fairly accuse the planners of poor foresight. But to equate poor foresight with “racism” and “hysteria” is ridiculous. By mid-March it was becoming clear that “voluntary” evacuation was not working. On March 18, Executive Order No. 9012 established the War Relocation Authority “in order to provide for the removal from designated areas of persons whose removal is necessary in the interests of national security.” A week later, DeWitt issued Public Proclamation No. 3 establishing a dusk-to-dawn curfew for all enemy aliens and persons of Japanese ancestry in Military Area No. 1. On March 29, Public Proclamation No. 4 (the “freeze” order) forbade ethnic Japanese residents from leaving the area and required them to evacuate, assemble, and relocate under Army supervision.

In the meantime, the White House continued to worry about Japanese attacks on the West Coast. After the daring Halsey-Doolittle raid in Tokyo in April, “[e]ight Japanese carriers had returned from their operations around southeastern Asia and the Japanese could release at least three of the eight for a retaliatory attack on the west coast without jeopardizing successes already achieved,” Army historian Stetson Conn recounted. Secretary of War Stimson “called in General Marshall and had a few earnest words with him about the danger of a Jap attack on the West Coast.” Stimson confessed that he was “very much impressed with the danger that the Japanese, having terribly lost face by this recent attack on them … , will make a counterattack on us with carriers.” General DeWitt’s superiors warned him to be on guard against a carrier attack at any time after May 10 and was informed that two more antiaircraft regiments were being sent to bolster the Los Angeles and San Francisco defenses.

Preceding the pivotal Battle of Midway, which the U.S. was alerted to thanks to another extraordinary communications intelligence operation that partially cracked JN-25, the Japanese navy’s operational code, the West Coast again prepared for the worst. Gen. Marshall informed General DeWitt that a Japanese attack with a chemical weapon might be expected; in mid-May, 350,000 gas masks (the entire available supply), protective clothing, and decontamination supplies were hastily shipped to the west coast. MID concurred with the Navy that a strong Japanese attack on American territory was in the offing before the end of the month, but it forecast that the “first priority” target of the attack would be “hit and run raids on West Coast cities of the continental United States supported by heavy naval forces.” Army intelligence held that such action was entirely within Japanese capabilities, considering the weakness of American naval power, and urged the concentration on the Pacific coast of all available continental air power to meet the threat.


Even after America’s triumphant but narrowly won victory at Midway, the Army continued to be apprehensive of West Coast raids. The Japanese invasion and occupation of the Aleutian Islands in June 1942 did not help allay the public’s concerns. Nor did the torpedoing of a Canadian lumber schooner off of Cape Flattery; the shelling of a Canadian radio compass station on Vancouver Island; the shelling of the Fort Stevens military reservation at the mouth of the Columbia River; and the attempted torpedoing of a tanker off the southern coast of Oregon in late June. In July, Assistant Chief of Staff G-2 (Intelligence) Col. John Weckerling of the Western Defense Command advised General DeWitt that he still was concerned about “sabotage or attempted sabotage on a mass scale.”

Two months later, Japan’s I-25 submarine—on orders from the imperial general’s staff still smarting from the Halsey-Doolitte raid—carried a small plane with folded wings fitted for bombing out to the unprotected Oregon coast. On September 9, pilot Nobuo Fujita and his crew man Shoji Okuda catapulted from the sub on the first of three incendiary bombing runs on a forested mountain slope near Brookings, Oregon. While the fires caused by the air raid were quickly extinguished and no widespread panic ensued, they were a reminder of Japan’s continuing menace. In Tokyo, the air raid was touted as heroic. A front-page headline run by the Asahi newspaper read: “Incendiary Bomb Dropped on Oregon State. First Air Raid on Mainland America. Big Shock to Americans.” The I-25 returned in October to torpedo and sink two tankers off the southern Oregon coast.

Eric completely ignores this critical historical and military context.

Next, Eric writes:

Item: “There was no evidence that Germany or Italy had organized a large-scale espionage network akin to the one described by Japan’s diplomats in the MAGIC messages,” says Michelle. Huh? This claim is so easily refuted that it’s not worth the effort to spell it out. The only difference between the Japanese espionage operations and the Nazi ones was that we didn’t have to decypher (sic) intercerpted cables to get a hint of the Nazi ones.

Our top intelligence officials knew from MAGIC that Japan had organized a vast espionage network spanning more than a dozen cities across the Western hemisphere. MAGIC also revealed that this network was operational in Honolulu and on the West Coast prior to December 7. And these officials stated unequivocally in numerous memos, cited in my book, that they believed the espionage network remained in place after Pearl Harbor.

Eric provides what he considers QED links to an apparent Google search on German espionage that highlight the existence of the German-American bund, the Duqusne spy ring, the Ludwig spy ring, and a few other individual German spies who were prosecuted before we went to war with Germany. He could have added a link to Otto and Ruth Kuehn, German spies who aided the Honolulu espionage cell and whom I mention on p. 29 of my book.

So, duh. There were German spies operating in the U.S.

Where is the evidence that in early 1942 Germany controlled a spy network as large or as ambitious or as successful as Japan’s? Where are the intelligence memos written in late 1941 or early 1942 warning about the grave dangers of ethnic German spies? Where are the memos outlining how such a vast network was still operating after we entered the war? Would appreciate it if Eric would find more credible hyperlinks and, even better, citations of primary documents.

(By the way, I find it interesting that while Eric is so skeptical of my sourcing and research, he has no problem linking to middle school pages and secondary sources of dubious origin with no footnotes.)

Next, Eric writes:

Item: “Any attempt to evacuate all ethnic Germans or ethnic Italians from coastal areas would have done more harm than good to the war effort because so many Americans had German or Italian ancestry.” Oh, I see. Because there were so many potential spies and saboteurs along the East Coast, it didn’t make military sense to do anything to them. (Remember: it’s not just that the government didn’t evict and detain Americans of German and Italian ancestry: it’s that the government did absolutely nothing to them!)

“Absolutely nothing”? Absolutely false. Although mass evacuation of all ethnic Germans and ethnic Italians obviously was not feasible, thousands of ethnic Germans and ethnic Italians, including American citizens, were excluded from military areas. More than 52,000 Italians in California were subject to strict curfew restrictions. Moreover, thousands of Germans and Italians (almost half of the total internee population) were interned.

Next, Eric asks:

How, from the alleged MAGIC evidence that Japan had successfully recruited certain Kibei (that is, American-born citizens who had resided and been educated in Japan) into spying, did the government (and does Michelle’s book) justify uprooting tens of thousands of Nisei (American-born citizens who’d never been to Japan) from their homes and forcing them into indefinite (sic) detention in barren (sic) camps?

I have no idea what Eric is talking about here. The MAGIC messages stated that both Issei (permanent resident Japanese aliens) and Nisei (U.S.-born American citizens of Japanese descent) were being utilized as Japanese agents, but the messages I cited make no distinction between Kibei (U.S.-born American citizens who were educated in Japan) and non-Kibei Nisei (e.g., Nisei who had never been to Japan). As I note in my book, some intelligence officials indeed regarded the Kibei as a particularly grave threat. Kenneth Ringle, the oft-cited opponent of mass evacuation, for example, favored detaining thousands of Kibei without trial (sort of like what is being done to Jose Padilla today). But Ringle did not have access to MAGIC. If Eric has a particular MAGIC message in mind, he should say which one.

Finally, Eric throws in another reference to Gen. DeWitt, always a good way to score points on this issue:

“Here’s how General John DeWitt justified suspicion of all Nisei in February of 1942: “The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have become ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.”

I’ll say it one more time: I show in my book that the decision to evacuate

was instigated by Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy and his superiors in Washington DC, not DeWitt or others on the West Coast. Eric does not challenge my research on this point. He ignores it.

Even if DeWitt had been a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan (which he was not), that would have had no bearing on McCloy’s motivations.

Part 7: Greg revisits the concentration camp issue and notes: “I am dubious about any campaign among scholars to equate the camps with concentration camps of Nazi Germany.” He cites his own family history as a reason not to do so. Well, good on Greg. But please let’s not be so clueless about the concentration camp analogizers. They honestly do see WWII ethnic Japanese as grievously wronged victims on par with Holocaust survivors. On p. 116, I cite one of the most prominent and critically acclaimed anti-evacuation researchers, Japanese-American author Michi Weglyn, who championed reparations for WWII ethnic Japanese “similar to one offered by the German government which allowed ‘a sizable number of former victims of Nazi-ism [to] continue to collect lifelong annuities,” regardless of where they lived in the world.”

Lifelong annuities?!

Greg suggests I am “paranoid.” Address my evidence, not my state of mind.

Next, Greg writes:

Stimson went on to say that, more than the danger of disloyal activity, the anti-Japanese hysteria on the West Coast was so strong that Japanese Americans needed to be moved to protect them from illegal violence, a

statement which throws into doubt Ms. Malkin’s insistence that racial bigotry played no factor in the evacuation[.]

I do not insist that “racial bigotry played no factor in the evacuation.” Eric accurately quotes what I do argue: “it should be obvious to any fair-minded person that the decisions made were not based primarily on racism and wartime hysteria” (page 80).

But never mind.

In any case, as Eric seems to agree in part, the protection of Japanese-Americans from mob violence was not the primary reason for the evacuation—but a secondary or even tertiary one. This is discussed at length in the book and above.

Next, Greg explains why he thinks I distort the facts about the relocation camps, notwithstanding his failure to identify any major factual error.

Indeed, while pointing out my “many distortions” he actually confirms all of the major points I made in this chapter: ethnic Japanese were, for a few weeks in March 1942, permitted to relocate away from the West Coast voluntarily; thousands of ethnic Japanese did indeed move East; many could not do so because of limited resources and hostility toward evacuees by inland communities; people were free to enter the camps and hundreds did so; ethnic Japanese who were adjudged loyal by the government were able to leave the camps beginning in July 1942.

So what did I do wrong? At one point I mentioned in passing that some Japanese-Americans who tried to move inland faced hostility from other Japanese-Americans who resided in the inland communities. He says this is “overkill” but does not question the accuracy of the statement.

He says the decision of some people to voluntarily enter the camps is “true but irrelevant.” He argues, “As with people who volunteer to be jailed for their beliefs, such actions are a result of (or protest against) injustice and not a denial of it.” It may be irrelevant to Greg and Eric, but I think many people who have been taught to believe that the relocation camps were places of unadulterated abject misery would consider this fact quite relevant. By the way, not everyone who voluntarily chose to enter the camps did so as a political statement. A number of people who applied for admission were ethnic Japanese who had left the West Coast before the camps were opened. They applied to assembly centers so they could live with family and friends (p. 99).

Finally, Greg says that the fact that some residents were able to leave the camps must be “placed in context”:

The Japanese Americans were held for months without individual trials, hearings, or charges. Until individuals were able to arrange to get paroled through the long, cumbersome and inevitably arbitrary loyalty and sponsorship procedure, they had no way to escape being confined against their will. The WRA, for a number of reasons, was unable to accommodate all those who sought resettlement, and some three quarters of Japanese Americans remained in the camps throughout the war.

None of this “context” refutes the point I made at the outset—namely, that large numbers of evacuees applied for and received permission to leave the camps for school or work outside the West Coast.

There is an unspoken rule about the relocation camps, and that rule is this: You are not supposed to mention that most evacuees were free to leave the camps without also providing a long list of reasons why the camps were unjust hellholes akin to Abu Ghraib. My book breaks the rule, thus subjecting me to empty allegations of “overkill,” “paranoia,” and “distortion.”

Part 8: Greg “further disassembles Michelle’s assertion of a supposed military necessity to evict and detain all Japanese Americans (but not all German or Italian Americans),” according to Eric.

First, Greg nitpicks with my characterization of the Goleta shelling as “the first foreign attack on the U.S. mainland since the War of 1812.” He points to Pancho Villa’s raid into Columbus, New Mexico. Oooh, ok. I will add a clarification to my errata list that Japan’s attack on the oil fields was the first foreign attack on the U.S. mainland by a foreign power on the U.S. mainland. I’m sure this niggling distinction wouldn’t have made a difference to the American citizens who were under attack by the Japanese Navy.

Greg then notes that since the shelling took place four days after EO 9066 was signed, “it could not have played a factor in any of the decisions.” Greg apparently skipped pp. 90-92 of my book, which demonstrates how the Goleta shelling and the famous “Battle of Los Angeles” air raid scare a few days later precipitated the forced evacuation of Terminal Island in Los Angeles harbor, which, by the way, had been singled out in MAGIC messages as a hotbed of Japanese espionage activity.

Not satisfied with describing this single (rather minor) incident, the author tries to disguise the lack of concrete military threat by claiming that this incident “was just one of many long forgotten (or deliberately ignored) attacks”(p.9). Long forgotten? Then where are the incident reports and media accounts at the time, when it was well remembered? Deliberately ignored? By whom?

One example is right in my book. Here is footnote 20 to Chapter 2:

Milton Eisenhower wrote in his autobiography that the historian Stetson Conn “reports that there had been no Japanese submarine attacks or surface vessels anywhere near the West Coast during the preceding months”(p. 103), referring to the time period prior to January 1941. In fact, Conn said there had been no Japanese submarine attacks during the preceding month, meaning the month between late December and late January. See Milton Eisenhower, The President Is Calling (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1974) and Stetson Conn, “The Decision to Evacuate the Japanese from the Pacific Coast” in Guarding the United States and Its Outposts (Washington DC: U.S. Army Center of History). The Conn report is available online at

Greg continues:

“The author finishes with stories of Japanese submarines roaming free around Hawaiian waters, and mentions two sinkings of boats in the mid-Pacific. How then was the West Coast under siege?”

I briefly mentioned the Hawaii sinkings to show that the Japanese subs were roaming free all over the Pacific, not just off the West Coast.

Next, Greg writes:

“As the author confesses by omission, there were then no sinkings of ships by Japanese subs around the area of the West Coast. And if such sinkings in Hawaiian waters did not change the situation in Hawaii, they should not have been responsible for arbitrary action on the West Coast.”

Ah, the Hawaii card. Greg’s fatally flawed argument here is that if sinkings did not lead to mass evacuation in Hawaii, they shouldn’t have been a factor in evacuating the West Coast. Ergo, the decision to evacuate the West Coast was arbitrary, racist, and without any basis in military necessity at all. Here is what I wrote in Chapter 8:

Navy Secretary Frank Knox initially urged Roosevelt to evacuate ethnic Japanese from Oahu (the largest Hawaiian island, which contains Pearl Harbor). Roosevelt concurred with Knox and directed him and Stimson to proceed. In the end, however, mass evacuation was deemed impractical. Ships weren’t available, and evacuation would have caused severe shortages of skilled workers. Instead, the entire territory of Hawaii was placed under martial law, giving military authorities unchecked power to root out suspected subversive citizens and confine them.

The territorial governor declared over 150 “defense act rules;” the territorial director of civilian defense and military governor issued hundreds of separate directives and regulations. Mail and newspapers were censored. Phone calls were monitored. Liquor sales were banned. Every civilian over the age of six was registered, fingerprinted, and required to carry identification at all times. Americans of German, Italian, or Japanese ancestry were prohibited from assembling in groups, and owning firearms, cameras, and radio receivers. The writ of habeas corpus was suspended, and hundreds of U.S. citizens considered potentially subversive, almost all of them Nisei, were confined without trial—an option that was unavailable to military and law enforcement officials on the mainland where civilian courts were still operative.


These aggressive measures enabled Hawaii’s military authorities to keep subversion in check without resorting to mass evacuation. It is ironic that those who are so critical of evacuation and relocation are so blasé about civil liberties infringements that took place in Hawaii—infringements that were arguably more sweeping than those adopted on the West Coast.

Next, Greg’s comments suggest that I did not address the danger of German subs on the East Coast. Well, here is what I wrote on p. 10:

The Japanese submarine attacks along the West Coast caused far less damage and claimed far fewer lives than German U-Boat attacks along the East Coast, but were psychologically damaging because they highlighted the vulnerability of the West Coast to Japan’s powerful naval forces. There was no analogous threat on the East Coast, since neither Germany nor Italy had any aircraft carriers. As for Biddle’s observations about decisions being driven by racial prejudice, they must be considered in light of the fact that he was not privy to the top-secret intelligence being consumed by Assistant Secretary of War McCloy, Secretary of War Stimson, and President Roosevelt, who endorsed the military rationale for evacuating the West Coast.

Finally, in knocking down my argument for the Roosevelt administration’s military rationale, Greg focuses on a few of my points and ignores the rest of the evidence of bona fide security threats that I present to readers, including:

– the Niihau incident, in which a Japanese-American couple and a Japanese permanent resident alien sided with a downed Japanese pilot in a violent effort to take over a tiny Hawaiian island;

– Japan’s ascendance throughout the Southeast Asia, and the efforts of ethnic Japanese residents throughout southeast Asia to assist Japan’s conquering troops;

– the numerous attacks on U.S. ships by Japanese submarines just off the West Coast;

– the thousands of ethnic Japanese in Hawaii and the West Coast who were members of pro-Japan groups considered subversive;

– the Honolulu spy ring that Richard Kotoshirodo assisted, which provided critical information to Japan that was used to design the Pearl Harbor attack;

– the Los Angeles-based spy ring led by Itaru Tachibana, which included numerous ethnic Japanese residents; and

– the thousands of U.S.-born Japanese-Americans who served in the Japanese military.

Most important of all, neither Greg nor Eric dispute my characterization of the intelligence memos of late 1941 and early 1942 from the FBI, ONI, and MID, which stated repeatedly and unequivocally that ethnic Japanese posed a bona fide national security threat. Maybe my critics think the results were “cooked” by FDR, just as some critics of George W. Bush allege about the current CIA’s pre-war intelligence. I don’t know because Eric and Greg didn’t say one word about the intelligence memos, which have been reprinted in my book for every lay person to read for himself/herself.

Taken in totality, rather than in selective slivers, my defense of Roosevelt’s homeland security measures remains unrefuted.

Next, please.

Part 9:

Greg Robinson notes that he is American, not Canadian as I described him. I will add this on my errata page.

He then tries to undermine my credibility by suggesting that I am guilty of shoddy footnoting and of plaigiarism.

Many of the author’s contentions, and particularly her generalizations about popular perceptions (such as that the government confiscated Japanese American property), are barren of footnotes.

This is a funny charge coming from someone who, as I noted earlier, seems to have ignored my footnotes when they provide inconvenient evidence.

This is a funny charge coming from someone who, as I noted earlier, in his own “definitive scholarly account” of the evacuation/relocation decision-making process mentions MAGIC in just two brief sentences related to prewar negotiations with Japan and in a single footnote that asserts that “the MAGIC excerpts do not reveal conclusive evidence of any espionage activities by Japanese Americans”—but provides no explanations or citations to back this popular, general assertion up.

“Barren of footnotes?” There are a total of 664 extensively and meticulously notes to back up my claims in both the body of the manuscript as well as the extensive appendices. The only specific complaint Greg can lodge about my sourcing is that I failed to footnote this sentence: “The popular perception is that the majority of [evacuees’] assets, from household goods to vast commercial and agricultural holdings, were confiscated by the government.” From this he leaps to the claim that “many” unspecified contentions in my book are “barren of footnotes.” Well, spell them out.

Next, Greg writes: “In her section on the MAGIC intercepts, the author takes over David Lowman’s work to the point of plagiarism. Not only does she cite the same MAGIC cables, she even indulges in the same selective quotation of sources such as Roberta Wohlstetter and John Costello in which Lowman indulged.”

This is a completely specious and shameful allegation. Indeed, I drew heavily on Lowman’s ground breaking work. I dedicated the book to him (along with John McCloy) and give him extensive credit, both in the text and with thorough footnotes, for his original and brave critique of conventional “internment” wisdom. The publisher of Lowman’s book, Lee Allen, reviewed my manuscript prior to publication, and enthusiastically embraced my effort to add new insights to Lowman’s original analysis. Indeed, I cite some of the same MAGIC cables as Lowman did, as does Greg (in Part 4b) and virtually everyone else who has written about the relationship between MAGIC and evacuation/relocation. That’s because several cables are particularly important and relevant. In addition, after reviewing my own collection of the eight-volume MAGIC set, I discussed many cables (see pages 48-49) that Lowman did not address. As for quoting eminent intelligence and military historians Roberta Wohlstetter and John Costello, both of whose seminal works I read with keen interest, why is it considered “indulging” to rely on their carefully considered opinions about the role intelligence played in key WWII decisions?

Greg then writes:

Indeed, if I have been able to reply so quickly to Malkin’s contentions, it is because ALL the information she presents on MAGIC was featured in Lowman’s Congressional testimony twenty years ago.

False. See pages 48 and 49 of my book. I cite many cables that Lowman did not cite.

Greg also states that Lowman’s arguments ” were addressed in detail at that time.” Yes they were addressed, but they were not refuted.

Greg is able to reply so quickly to my contentions because those responses been recycled by every major historian who has embraced the conclusions of the federal Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, which I thoroughly deconstruct in Chapters 10 and 11 of my book.

Greg then says, “The author also has a tendency to contradict herself. For example, she states that the opinion of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on the Japanese Americans was not reliable or relied upon, since he had no access to the MAGIC intercepts that she claims demonstrated spying by Japanese Americans.”

False. I never said that Hoover’s opinion was not reliable or relied upon. I merely pointed out that he was not privy to MAGIC.

Greg then writes, “In fact, Hoover received detailed summaries of MAGIC information from the Office of Naval Intelligence, whose members likewise opposed mass evacuation.”

Yes, Hoover received summaries, but he did not know that the summaries were based on decrypted communications sent by Japan’s own diplomats. Thus it would have been hard for him to fully appreciate just how reliable this information was. There is no evidence that the Office of Naval Intelligence opposed mass evacuation, though Kenneth Ringle (a low-level official who did not have access to MAGIC) did. ONI never took a position on mass evacuation, but it did state in no uncertain terms that the Japanese espionage network was real and continued to operate after Pearl Harbor.

Next: “On the other hand, she is quick to quote any negative comment on Japanese Americans by the FBI or the ONI. Similarly, she implies on pages 77 and 126 that the push for evacuation came from President Roosevelt, since McCloy told DeWitt that he had specifically authorized the evacuation of citizens. Yet on page 81 she states that FDR was too busy with directing the war effort to think of such matters, and properly delegated all decisions to Stimson.”

I never said or implied that the primary push for evacuation came from FDR and not McCloy, only that FDR authorized evacuation. Nor did I say that he delegated all decisions to Secretary of War Henry Stimson. Obviously, FDR was the one who signed Executive Order 9066. On the other hand, virtually all the implementation decisions were made by his subordinates. Where is the contradiction?

“[T]here are certain basic facts that Malkin dares not even touch. She does not explain why the Canadian government, whose leaders did not have the benefit of the MAGIC cables which “proved” the existence of Nisei espionage networks, nonetheless went through the process of relocating and incarcerating their ethnic Japanese residents.”

Eh?! I address exactly this point on pp. 70-71: “Did intelligence derived from MAGIC influence Canada and Mexico’s decision to undertake evacuations? It is worth noting that the United States had delivered components to construct a copy of the PURPLE-encoding machine to the British in February 1941 in exchange for some Allied code-breaking secrets, and that Roosevelt was in regular contact with Canadian Premier Mackenzie King. Whether the U.S. or Britain shared MAGIC intelligence with Canada or Mexico, possibly influencing their decisions to evacuate ethnic Japanese from their coasts, has not been reported in the extensive literature I have reviewed.”

Next: “Furthermore, she does not explain why immediate loyalty hearings were not granted to people of Japanese ancestry.”

I address this point as well, on page 79:

“A fourth option, favored by ONI analyst Kenneth Ringle, was to et up some kind of quasi-judicial military tribunal to determine which Nisei could be locked up without a trial. This may have been unconstitutional-witness the current controversy regarding the detention of Jose Padilla and other enemy combatants-and had drawbacks from a military standpoint, both because of the time required to implement it and because it would not have resulted in the confinement of Japanese agents or sympathizers whose ties to Japan could not be unearthed by military authorities.”

Next: “Most of all, the author does not deal at all with the long, extensive, and very well documented history of anti-Japanese-American racism on the West Coast. This absence is so glaring as to constitute bad faith on the part of the author.”

As I explain above and in the book, there have been hundreds of books and dissertations on this topic. Why repeat what has already been said hundreds of times?

“Malkin tries desperately to get around the question of racism by locating the entire decision in the White House.”

The facts I unearthed in an Army historian’s report leave little doubt that the decision to evacuate was made by top officials in Washington DC, where knowledge of MAGIC resided, not by Earl Warren or John DeWitt or congressmen eager to please racist constituents. The only desperation I smell is coming from those who can’t explain away these facts.

Part 10: Eric concludes with his intended knockout punch:

Michelle’s purpose in writing the book, you’ll recall, was to “offer a defen[se] of the most reviled wartime policies in American history: the evacuation, relocation, and internment of people of Japanese descent during World War II.” (p. xiii) “Even with the benefit of hindsight,” she argues on page 80, “it is not at all clear that mass evacuation [of all people of Japanese ancestry, including U.S. citizens] was unwarranted.” Why? Because information (especially from the MAGIC decrypts) about subversive activities by Japanese Americans (which, she notes, happen to be just like the sorts of subversive activities that Arabs and Muslims are engaging in) provided a “solid rationale for evacuation.” (p. 141.)

So here’s what I don’t get.

On page xxx of the book’s Introduction (“A Time To Discriminate”), Michelle tells us to “[m]ake no mistake”: she is “not advocating rounding up all Arabs or Muslims and tossing them into camps.”

She’s not?

Um, no, I’m not. As I make plainly and thoroughly clear in both the lengthy introduction and conclusion, I am advocating narrowly-tailored and eminently reasonable profiling measures such as:

p. xxiii. The post-September 11 monitoring of Arab and Muslim foreign students on temporary visas.


p. xxv: Airport and travel screening measures that subject individuals of certain nationalities to heightened scrutiny; preventive detention of known illegal aliens, suspected terrorists, or enemy combatants; immediate deportation of illegal aliens from terror-sponsoring and terror-supporting nations; a moratorium on temporary visas to countries with large al Qaeda presences.

p. xxviii: Heightened scrutiny of Muslim chaplains and soldiers (p. 152) serving in the military and in prisons.

In addition, on p.159, I discuss the need for “structural reforms that allow our country to better meet the potential threat posed by future Kenji Itos (he was a suspected intelligence agent for Japan who was acquitted of federal charges because prosecutors couldn’t introduce MAGIC into a civilian court), Jose Padillas, and Zacarias Moussaouis but that also allow enemy combatant designations to be reviewed by an independent board or court.” I also draw lessons from the need to protect MAGIC during WWII and apply them to the current need for more secrecy in some vital national security matters today (pp. 160-163).

Above all, I am advocating that every citizen who wishes to engage in a meaningful discussion of the civil liberties/national security debate take the time to read my book and not simply depend on the anointed experts and academics for their interpretation of WWII history.

What’s so hard to get about that?

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Eric Muller, George W. Bush, Internment, Wonkette