Blogger Eric Muller, believes it’s time to start “winding the back-and-forth down.” This desire is apparently shared by his co-critic, author Greg Robinson. I can see why.
* His false assertion that most of the [MAGIC] cables discussed in my book came from Tokyo or Mexico City and referred to areas outside the United States;
* His false assertion that those cables that do speak of the United States list Japan’s “hopes” or “intentions” rather than actions or results;
* His incorrect statement that I implied that the primary push for evacuation came from President Roosevelt;
* His false assertion that I failed to explain why immediate loyalty hearings were not granted to people of Japanese ancestry;
* His false assertion that I said that the opinion of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on the Japanese Americans was not reliable or relied upon;
* He false statement that I dared not touch the question of why the Canadian government went through the process of relocating and incarcerating their ethnic Japanese residents; and
* His false assertion that the Office of Naval Intelligence opposed mass evacuation.
It has now been 19 days since I pointed out these errors. Robinson has posted multiple entries about my book on Muller’s site, including his “final word” on the subject, but he has not acknowledged any of the above errors. Not one.
In addition, my entry from yesterday identified more than a half-dozen new factual errors made by Robinson in his more recent posts on Muller’s site:
* He falsely stated that I said that racial bigotry played no factor in the evacuation;
* He falsely stated that there were no shellings or attacks by Japanese submarines on or near the West Coast after December 1941;
* He falsely stated that the U.S. Navy opposed evacuation;
* He falsely accused me of arguing that the decision to sign Executive Order 9066 was based in part on the shelling of the Goleta oil fields (which occurred after EO 9066 was signed);
* He mischaracterized the views of ONI officer Kenneth Ringle;
* He falsely stated that dual citizenship among Nisei was a “canard;” and
* He falsely stated that Japan’s Honolulu spy ring was shut down before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Robinson has not corrected any of these mistakes either.
Robinson has accused me of arguing in “bad faith” and of trying to “elide” his points. But I have corrected every factual error that has been brought to my attention. Robinson has acknowledged virtually none of his.
I wonder, too, what Muller thinks about this. Does he stand by the false statements described above, all of which he posted on his site or on The Volokh Conspiracy blog?
In addition, Muller and Robinson have tossed out baseless charges of “plagiarism” and “slander” against me, only to retreat from those accusations while leaving a pile of falsehoods uncorrected.
The American Historical Association’s statement on standards of professional conduct dictates that historians “must not be indifferent to error or efforts to ignore or conceal it.”
Final words, gentlemen?
Update: Muller’s lame non-response speaks for itself.
Update II: A commenter on Muller’s site accuses me of nitpicking. “[S]he mentioned somewhere before that nit picking facts or goofs should not be the basis of refuting a whole argument, namely that a broad thesis does not simply fal (sic) apart when a handful of factual ianccuracies (sic) happen.”
I am not nitpicking. Some of Robinson’s errors concern major substantive issues. Take his repeated assertion that the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) opposed evacuation and relocation. ONI was the premiere intelligence agency at the time.
Its opinion undoubtedly carried considerable weight. Yet, ONI not only did not oppose evacuation, it actually expressed grave concerns about the Japanese espionage network on the West Coast. In one post-Pearl Harbor memo, ONI cited dozens of ethnic Japanese by name (some of whom were U.S. citizens) who were suspected Japanese agents (see www.michellemalkin.com/docs.htm). Robinson’s mischaracterization of ONI’s views is not a harmless little “goof.” It is a major distortion. His ongoing unwillingness to correct himself is a breach of academic ethics and good reasearch practices.
Update III:Muller still has not addressed the factual inaccuracies outlined above, but he found time to repeat his accusation that I libeled Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga when I wrote in my book that she surreptitiously gave confidential Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians papers to Peter Irons. Muller says the documents were neither classified, secret, private, nor confidential since Irons was allowed to view them.
As I noted, these records, however, had not been cleared for public use, and Iron’s request to copy them had been explicitly denied. By the way, this was not the only time Irons engaged in these sort of shenanigans.
Update IV: I corrected the name of the American Historical Association above. (In my initial post, I incorrectly referred to this organization as the American Historical Society.)
Update V, May 18, 2005: Note correction here.