Fred Korematsu, RIP

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Michelle Malkin can breathe a little easier today. Fred Korematsu, the twentieth century's greatest threat to the U.S. government's constitutional authority to keep American citizens in concentration camps, has died at the age of 86. Although the case Korematsu v. United States was decided in favor of the government and Korematsu himself kept a low profile in the postwar years, his challenge to the policy of interning Japanese-Americans received new attention as historians and activists began to take a closer look at this shameful piece of American history. President Reagan issued an official apology and reparations in 1988, and Korematsu received a Medal of Freedom from President Clinton in 1998.

Like all bad ideas, internment seems destined for periodic revivals. Malkin, the meretricious bigmouth and self-described "first-generation American," has led the effort to burnish the sordid legacy of internment in recent years—all the more reason to remember the lives, the fortunes, and the sacred honor that get destroyed when the government responds to (and helps to lead) a public panic.

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  1. Internment of civilians is out–internment of “enemy combatants” is in–get it?

  2. Well, if there’s anything we learn from history, it’s that we don’t learn anything from history…

  3. “History sighs, repeats itself.” – The Onion.

  4. Internment of civilians is a great idea!!!

    (if you’re a power hungry tyrant.)

  5. From the dissent:

    Mr. Justice MURPHY, dissenting.

    This exclusion of ‘all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non-alien,’ from the Pacific Coast area on a plea of military necessity in the absence of martial law ought not to be approved. Such exclusion goes over ‘the very brink of constitutional power’ and falls into the ugly abyss of racism….In dealing with matters relating to the prosecution and progress of a war, . . . it is essential that there be definite limits to military discretion, especially where martial law has not been declared. Individuals must not be left impoverished of their constitutional rights on a plea of military necessity that has neither substance nor support.”

    Full decision here:

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=323&invol=214

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=323&invol=214

  6. I think Michelle Malkin is prettier than Ann Coulter.

  7. Does Ms. Malkin at least have a nice chest, so that I might have something to stare at while she’s talking?

    Ann Coulter: No boobs = can’t even fake interest in her reactionary agenda.

  8. SPD,

    Boobs don’t do it for me. I’m not a boob guy. Legs UMMM. The turn-off, for me, on Anne Coulter’s body, is her pasty-white, caderver-like skin tone.

  9. DR,

    True, Coulter does look as if she’s been dead for several weeks.

  10. I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

  11. I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

    The lack of excellence in journalism .

    I have become a big fan a Laura Ingle here in LA.

  12. SPD & Drooling Richard,

    As someone once said in a similar thread (I think it was Joe [probably one of the few times that I’ve agreed with him])…Michelle Malkin has been a naughty girl and needs to be punished…We should hold some sort of lottery to determine who gets the honor of performing such a noble and selfless task…

  13. Malkin is way dummer than Coulter, although I can’t stand either of them.

    Great shot of Malkin engaging in rational discourse:
    http://www.gisleson.com/norwegianity/images/malkin.jpg

  14. MayDay72,

    In the spirit of democracy we shall hold an election to determine which of us gets to punish naughty Ms. Malkin. A puff of white smoke will declare that a winner has been chosen.

    For the good of all rational and free-minded individuals everywhere, I nominate myself for this thankless task.

  15. As good as Justice Murphy’s dissent was, I like that of Justice Roberts even better (written a mere year before he became the chief US prosecuror at Nurmemberg.

    It should be noted that all 3 of the dissents are worthwhile reading for our times–especially when one considers that thousands of US troops were being killed EVERY WEEK as these words were written. Also, note that the majority opinion was written by the “great liberal” Hugo Black (and joined by the other “great liberal”, William O. Douglas). Funny how things change, huh?

  16. Ann Coulter: No boobs = can’t even fake interest in her reactionary agenda.

    I think you may be confused. Considering that Coulter is skeletally thin, she has a substantial rack.

    For God’s sake, when a woman is talking, pay attention!

  17. Stevo,

    I had to do a prompt Google images search in order to research your claim. A prompt search, mind you. I stand semi-corrected.

    By the way, how many political commentators actually have a freakin’ picture gallery on their home page? http://www.anncoulter.com... softcore porn for people who hate freedom.

  18. “Considering that Coulter is skeletally thin, she has a substantial rack.

    Pro, Stevo, pro. 🙂

    (Sorry I’m feeling a little silly today – I start a new job on Monday and so I don’t feel like being too serious today!)

  19. Congrats on the new job, Lowdog.

    Today is my birthday, and I don’t feel like being overly serious, either.

  20. Happy birthday, Stevo!

  21. Wasn’t old Hugo Black a former KKK guy, like Byrd?

  22. Today is my birthday,…

    One day, like me, you’ll stop having those; they only make you older.

    Happy Birthday.

  23. Not feeling overly serious guys?
    Welcome to my world.

    and congratulations, Stevo BirthdayBoy

  24. Happy birthday, Stevo.

    Isaac, I’ll take all the birthdays I can get!

  25. Unless I’m in a PVS…

  26. Guys, if you want to see a good looking conservative woman you must see Laura Ingraham.

    http://www.lauraingraham.com/freephotos?action=viewPhotoSet&photoSetID=19

    To see her in a picture with a nice big rack check out the fourth picture down.

  27. NoStar,

    Eh, nothing special. She kind of looks like Ann Coulter.

  28. Yes, but wasn’t the rack spectacular?

  29. NoStar

    God, am I dense? I finally got it. No bull. 🙂

  30. So what would a “pragmatic libertarian” say about the Korematsu case? Or internment in general?

  31. Mr. Darkly,

    Happy birthday! I’m exactly one month behind you…

    NoStar,

    Wow! That IS a big rack…

    Everyone:

    Enough about hot-or-not right-wing statists…Now lets talk about the leftist femmes! Does anyone else fantasize about seeing Naomi Klein dressed up as a Japanese schoolgirl?

  32. “Nice rack” indeed, NoStar!

    Hey, that first picture has Laura with Buyer’s Guide To Comics Fandom founder Alan Light! He sold out to Krause years ago, of course, but once a fanboy….

    Laura I is cute, but the Polling Co.’s Kellyanne (Fitzpatrick) Conway is an uberbabe.

    Kevin

  33. I really want some libertarian cheesecake. Did Rachel Mills put out a calendar for 2005?

  34. I guess trying to start a conversation about internment would be a waste of time, huh?

    Sheesh. Men.

  35. Jennifer,
    For months now, I have had a fantasy about being interred with you.

    See? that wasn’t hard at all.

  36. Comments like NoStar’s make me more befuddled than ever about one of the great mysteries of human history–MY gender has all the pussy, yet YOUR gender rules the world.

  37. Jennifer, the reason we focus on the way right wing pundit chicks look is that they have nothing remotely interesting to say. Rounding up citizens and imprisoning them based solely on ethnicity is bad, and Coulter and Malkin are dead wrong when they claim otherwise, so there’s nothing interesting to say about that.

    But Coulter and Malkin are nonetheless hot, so we still have that to talk about!

  38. Speaking of fantasies: If only Michelle Malkin could be interred with Fred Korematsu.

  39. Feliz Cumpleanos Stevo!

    Jennifer, why do you think men have treated women like chattel for centuries. If y’all ever got wise to the power you have, we’d be in trouble. That is why I find the sexy feminists more frightening than the man-haters. The man-haters have a more frightening agenda, the sexy ones can convince men to implement their ideas.

  40. My Con Law prof. gives a lecture on this case that is simply stunning. There is no doubt that this case is one of the most important in all American jurisprudence, because it goes deeply into the heart of the limits of the Constitution and the unbelievable burden that justices sometimes face when they think the law disagrees with their own moral convictions even in the face of what they consider to be atrocities. Roll in some gross violations of the standards that the court usually holds to (such as the justices conferring with Roosavelt to find out if particular decisions would be to his approval!), and the painfully tragic case of Fred Korematsu himself (a man who litterally mutilated his face for all time in an effort to try and rid himself of his Japanese appearance), and you have one of the greatest American stories ever told.

    Shame on a vacuous twit like Malkin trying to milk it for her the benefit of her screechy politics.

  41. You are forgetting Laura Ingraham, who is not only prettier and better built than either Coulter or Malkin, but seems to be hipper and nicer, too. (So much for my contribution to this very intellectual discussion.)

  42. I’ll repeat:

    So what would a “pragmatic libertarian” say about the Korematsu case? Or internment in general?

  43. So what would a “pragmatic libertarian” say about the Korematsu case? Or internment in general?

    That the Korematsu case wasn’t about internment. There would never have been a Korematsu case if it had been.

  44. My favorite comment about Ann Coulter was in that Boondocks comic, where the boys decided she was actually a man, because she has a huge Adam’s apple, considered by some a masculine trait.

    Think about it. Conservative chix with dicks.

    What’s that do for your mental image of Ann and Laura and Michelle???

  45. Thanks, everyone!

    Speaking of magnificent racks … this Japanese Web page shows an incredible specimen. (It’s actually work safe, if you don’t stare at the photo too long.)

    Does anyone else fantasize about seeing Naomi Klein dressed up as a Japanese schoolgirl?

    I do now, thank you.

    I’ll repeat:

    So what would a “pragmatic libertarian” say about the Korematsu case? Or internment in general?

    Dude! What are you … gay? 🙂

    OK. Y’all can go back to talkig about boring stuff like interning hot Asian women.

  46. D Angelphone,

    Yes, we’re all aware of your demarcation. But you’re avoiding the question.

    Stevo Darkly,

    Only on Tuesdays.

  47. That the Korematsu case wasn’t about internment. There would never have been a Korematsu case if it had been.

    D Anghelone, you keep harping on this point every time it comes up. As far as I can figure out, you’re basically saying that the correct legalese definition of “internment” only refers to the detention/imprisonment/relocation/insert-favorite-description-here of foreign citizens, and that this is perfectly consistent with the Constitution, as well as various duly ratified treaties on the conduct of war.

    Not being a legal scholar I’ll accept that, at least for the sake of argument. No doubt Gary or others can find some holes in it. But I’m going to advance an argument that doesn’t depend on any such holes. I think it’s possible to discuss this issue without getting bogged down in arcana, so I’ll freely grant D Anghelone whatever arcana he wants.

    Anyway, the event in question involved the forcible removal of US citizens from their homes without due process. For all I know some non-citizens may have been handled in the same way as well, but the point is that most of the people involved were US citizens, and they were forcibly removed from their homes without due process. And I think we can all agree that this was morally wrong as well as unconstitutional.

    Still with me? OK, good. Now, colloquially the practice in question has come to be referred to as “internment”. I know, I know, that’s not what the legal dictionaries would say. Well, as any good lawyer could tell you, there’s a difference between standard English and legal jargon. Hell, there’s a difference between standard English and almost any type of professional jargon.

    Do I, a physicist, get upset when somebody says that an idea or business has momentum, even though it doesn’t involve actual objects moving through space? No. Do I get upset when somebody makes a table or chart, fills in the blanks with words, and refers to it as a “matrix” (usually in a retreat or seminar), even though it isn’t a mathematical operator that describes a linear mapping? No. Do I get upset when somebody is at an amusement park and says that he could really feel strong centrifugal force on a ride that was spinning? No.

    So, is there any non-dictionary point that you’d like to make about the treatment of US citizens of Japanese descent during WWII?

  48. I think I’m going to save that last post to my hard drive and use it again the next time this matter comes up, since no doubt D Anghelone will again make his dictionary point.

    I still wonder why he’s so determined to harp on this. It could just be a matter of linguistic precision, but he’s so determined to go after Malkin’s critics with this ultimately irrelevant cudgel that I have to wonder whether he actually agrees with her larger point.

    Care to comment, D Anghelone?

  49. I think the internment issue is a worthy one, but since that conversation is clearly not possible let me say this. I wouldn’t give a hoot whether a rightwing, bs spewing, nauseating talking head was the hottest thing on the planet. With a mindset like that he wouldn’t do a damn thing for me. What a bummer! How come guys are so easily taken off topic by the most idiotic members of the opposite sex as long as they have a nice perky chest standing at attention? Perhaps I need to begin looking in the direction of the waist more often when Coulter’s male counterparts start yakking? Nawww…I don’t care how many angles from which I attempt to view Tucker Carlson…there is simply NOTHING that would prevent me from being disgusted.

    Now, if you want to see the hottest person on television…take a gander at Anderson Cooper…..Holy Smokes! You can lock me up with that combo of beauty and brains anytime! The only problem with him is that he’s getting way too famous these days which seems to screw with people’s objectivity. I’m choosing to remain optimistic in Cooper’s case, though.

  50. Wow. That was a brilliant post Thoreau. I’d say you handled that as well or better than any scholar. I think I’ll save it, too.

  51. when someone is known for polemicism bordering on insanity – bombing, killing, converting a la coulter – what ideas are there to focus on?

    if anything, they’re good for the side of liberty because they are so absolutely, positively, 100% looney.

    then again, i have never met a malkin or coulter fan in the flesh (though i like defending coulter at parties just to make people mad) so perhaps i am misunderestimating their genuine appeal.

  52. Combining the diverse themes of this thread, here is a high school lesson plan which uses the usual oppression-studies format to teach about the internment. I’ve jazzed up the lesson plan a little bit by adding the parts in italics.

    “Imagine you are a Japanese American high school student in May, 1942. Today you saw this poster and learned you and your family will have to leave your school, your home and all your belongings. Write a diary entry describing your feelings, questions, and fears. Continue with your diary to describe your adventures when you’re sent to Tule Lake High School in one of the detention camps. The headmistress of the school likes to inflict corporal punishment on unruly schoolgirls. Are you able to end the headmistress’ reign of terror? Use pictorial illustrations. We’ll be waiting in the teachers’ lounge to carefully examine and grade your work.

  53. When you start drooling over Malkin et al, you know you’ve been interned way too long in your apartment. My suggestion: move to Miami Beach.

  54. Education Reformer,

    He he he. 🙂

    Deus Ex Machina,

    Yeah, I just don’t see what their is to lust after.

  55. I consider myself a “pragmatic libertarian” and have no problem saying that the internment of Japanese-Americans in WW2 was atrocious and unjustifiable, with no excuses acceptable. The people who decided upon or supported the internment knew better, but decided to take a page from the Nazi playbook.

    That said, every time this comes up lately, it gets used in one of two ways. On one extreme, people all but liken the fact American soldiers don’t Mirandize the enemy before returning fire to committing war crimes. At the other extreme, people want a moral blank check to commit war crimes.

    I’m guessing the more reasonable folks are just tired of the “debate”.

  56. And back on topic, Michelle Malkin looks good in some photos I’ve seen. Fox News has a few pretty newsreaders. The Scary Gaunt Conservative Glamor Queens…eeegh.

  57. GG,

    Why do you keep asking an irrelevant question? Other than Coulter, Malkin, and a handful of very stupid conservatives, I pretty sure that very few people–certainly a minority–think that the internment was justified. The rest of us folks think it was stupid, but not surprizing considering the racism of that time. I doubt you’ll find a “real” pragmatic libertarian that supports the internment. No offense intended, but I really don’t see the point.

    Malkin and Coulter are morons and Coulter is not hot. Malkin’s somewhat physically attractive, but Coulter looks like a gutter snipe.

  58. Coulter looks like a gutter snipe

    Coulter looks in desperate need of pie.

  59. thoreau,

    We’re not talking “dictionary points” but why we’re still talking about what was done. When do you see discussed the internment of WWI, for instance? When do you see introduced to the discussion the internments done worldwide during WWII? Is there any good reason for refusing to take the thing in perspective? That perspective is needed to see why the Relocation program was something beyond what is normally done with internment. That perspective is likely needed to understand, for instance, why Gitmo was this time chosen as a detention site.

  60. huh?

    Look, I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed, so just spell it out for me. Instead of encouraging me to consider the complexities, just tell me which lessons you draw from an episode where US citizens were forcibly removed from their homes without due process solely because of their ethnic origin.

  61. D Anghelone-
    Are you saying that, when looked at in “perspective,” it was in fact acceptable to lock up the Japanese? Seriously, what is your argument here?

  62. I think that in a situation like World War II. Some perspective is important. In 1942 the US rounded up a bunch of Japanese citizens, locked them up for several years and confiscated their property.

    During the same period of time 250,000 American men were drafted into infantry and sent to beaches where they were machine gunned to death by fascist armies.

    Who had the “good war”?

    I think it is really wrong that internee?s property was taken from them and not returned after the war. But looking at everything that went on globally during the period that these people were interned, the internees did not have such a bad time of it.

  63. Are you saying that, when looked at in “perspective,” it was in fact acceptable to lock up the Japanese?

    No.

    Seriously, what is your argument here?

    That that situation didn’t just spring from the ground. That the precedents were set in WWI and after. That any comparisons to current events should consider what actually occurred.

  64. …just tell me which lessons you draw from an episode where US citizens were forcibly removed from their homes without due process solely because of their ethnic origin.

    Neither am I the sharpest tool. Do you mean the Germans and Italians who were forcibly removed from their homes in the US? Or who were forcibly removed from their Latin-American homes to the US? The Aleuts who were forcibly removed from their homes?

    Please be more specific for we slow ones.

  65. Precedent is not always a good justification. It takes the argument out of the hands of people in the here and now as to whether something is right, and supplants logic with “they did it this way before, we should too.”

    World wide internments are not a good comparison, because other countries are not the US. Do we really want to follow their examples?

  66. Precedent is not always a good justification.

    Who is justifying what?

    World wide internments are not a good comparison, because other countries are not the US. Do we really want to follow their examples?

    No.

  67. D Anghelone,

    That that situation didn’t just spring from the ground. That the precedents were set in WWI and after. That any comparisons to current events should consider what actually occurred.

    So what’s the point of all that? Are you saying it can’t happen again because the circumstances are different now? Or are you just making casual observations, like “the sky is blue”?

  68. Are you saying it can’t happen again because the circumstances are different now?

    How about that it can happen again? We may not see again something like the Relocation program but internment is still accepted worldwide.

    How about that internment was practiced During WWI and so was the dehumanizing of the enemy? Germans were The Hun.

    How about that signalling and receiving devices (flashlights and radios) were confiscated from people’s during WWII? What would be the equivalent of such devices today?

    How about that people derived from Axis nations were abducted from Latin-American nations to detention centers in the US?

    Are there any government tendencies that thread from WWI to the present time? Detentions of people deemed dangerous, HUAC, the Smith Act, the Palmer Raids, whatever. Is what’s going on today unique or is there a whole lotta that precedent stuff?

  69. D Anghelone-

    Yeah, I agree, there are some scary threads connecting the past to the present.

    Seems like we need to remain vigilant.

    So, what exactly is your point about internment? I will grant that, in legalese, “internment” may not the the best word to describe the way that citizens were rounded up from their homes based on ethnicity during WWII. But I’m not interested in legalese. I’m interested in the lesson that when people are scared and angry they’ll do all sorts of awful things to their fellow citizens and persuade themselves that it’s OK.

  70. Buck Smith-
    Your statement sounds suspiciously like this: “If you suffer an injustice, you have no right to complain if anyone, anywhere in the world, is suffering worse than you are.” Which, in turn, is pretty much the attitude currently used by Super-Patriotic Americans (TM) to explain why Iraqis shouldn’t complain about being tortured in our prisons–after all, Hussein was worse. And at least they’re not in North Korea. Et cetera.

  71. D Angelhone,

    Regarding your first paragraph, agreed. I think that’s the POV of most everyone here. Why do you take such a confrontational tone with people with whom you agree? Or am I misunderstanding something?

    Regarding your second through fourth paragraphs, all very interesting, but I still don’t know what the upshot of it all supposed to be. And evidently no one else here can tell either. Are you trying to confound us? If so, you’re apparently succeeding. Congratulations.

    Regarding your last paragraph, yes I’m sure there’s precedent to what’s going on today, and that’s a major reason why we’re all concerned. And you are too, right?

  72. Lots of RIPs this week! Maybe those superstitions about Easter Week have a kernel of truth…

    Anyway, RIP JP2!

  73. Re this “perspective” thing, I think it’s worth pointing out how other injustices compare to this one if one’s point is that America is not the most evil nation in history or that too much attention has been paid to this particular injustice to the exclusion of others more deserving of our attention.

    But if one intends to use the fact of other injustices to belittle concern over this one or to dismiss its relevance, then I don’t see the logic.

    To Buck Smith, I understand that you’ve clearly stated that the internment was wrong. But what’s your point in bringing up other injustices? There’s been a zillion other injustices throughout history, so fricken what? I’m not saying you’re necessarily saying what Jennifer thinks you’re saying, but hopefully you realize that that’s how comes across in lieu of there being anything else we can clearly take from your comparing this injustice to others.

  74. Back to the beginning – the Korematsu case was about Relocation and not internment. No Relocation, no Korematsu case.

    105,000 Japanese-Americans were were placed into camps because of the Relocation program. No Relocation program, no 105,000 Japanese-Americans in camps.

    No meaningful difference between internment and Relocation? Tell that to the 105,000 Japanese-Americans.

    Some 5,000 Japanese-Americans were able to relocate and find jobs without going into the camps. How could that be? That could be because Relocation was about relocation and not about camps. Internment was about camps because internment is about detention.

    Internment accounted for some 15,000 or 16,000 Japanese detained (such a mild word) and a roughly equal number of Europeans detained.

    Some Italian-Americans were also relocated but in small numbers and for a short period of time and without camps as camps were not needed. Some greater number were subject to Exclusion which was like Relocation but which involved not being within a few miles of the west coast. They couldn’t live, work or be inside of the excluded zone along the coast. They had to move, abandon their jobs and their fishing boats and so on.

    So, Relocation/Exclusion was about being relocated from or excluded from the coast with Relocation Camps being a consequence of that policy.

    Internment was about detention and so about camps or centers or whatever they were called. Ellis Island, for instance, was a detention center or internment camp or what you care to call it.

  75. OK, fine, not every relocated American citizen of Japanese descent lived in a camp. About 5% of them were able to find employment and live a life outside of the camps.

    So I guess one could argue that relocation was a slightly lesser evil relative to internment (as defined in the appropriate legalese, yadda yadda). And I want to emphasize slightly because apparently 95% of the relocatees found themselves in circumstances where they could not build new lives for themselves.

    No great surprise: Take people away from their homes (which, if they own rather than rent, is a significant loss of assets, and a huge violation of liberty and either case) and job. Force them to move to a place where they have no friends or family, and a place which may not be all that economically viable. Restrict their ability to move about and seek new opportunities. Label them as untrustworthy in the middle of a war (when patriotic sentiment is pretty intense). Lo and behold 95% of them are unable to find work. Gee, who’d’ve thunk?

    I think (hope?) that we could all still agree that there was no excuse for coercing US citizens to leave their homes without due process and go to some other locale dictated by the government. What are the lessons you would draw from this distinction?

    I’ll grant that accuracy is important for its own sake, so we should note that not every relocatee was kept in a camp, but:

    1) Why did you take so long to make this point? You just kept telling us that we’re missing the big picture without clarifying explaining what’s being omitted.
    2) While it’s always important to correct errors, some errors are less significant than others when it comes to drawing lessons that can be applied in the present. The fact remains that US citizens had their liberty grossly violated without due process based solely on their ethnic background, because the country was in the grips of fear. The details should be corrected lest sloppy habits take root, but the conclusions remain the same: We need to be wary about mistrusting fellow citizens based solely on ethnicity, because that can quickly lead to deplorable measures.

  76. D Angelhone

    Okay, replace whenever I said “internment” with “forced relocation.” Fine.

    But I still don’t know what your point is. Primarily because you won’t say. (Also I guess because I lack clairvoyance.)

  77. So I guess one could argue that relocation was a slightly lesser evil relative to internment…

    Do you know what the problem is, thoreau? The problem is that anyone not chanting the prescribed mantras is assumed to be trying to minimize what was done to the Japanese-Americans. I haven’t done that, guy.

    1) Why did you take so long to make this point?

    I haven’t. You said above that I harp on this. I make the point but it never penetrates.

    And it ain’t that difficult. 105,000 Japanese-Americans were placed into camps because Relocation was not internment. How many ways can that be said and how many times need it be said?

  78. The problem is that anyone not chanting the prescribed mantras is assumed to be trying to minimize what was done to the Japanese-Americans. I haven’t done that, guy.

    No, the problem is that anybody who keeps arguing without saying what his point is will be presumed to disagree with the people that he’s arguing with. And if he doesn’t make the nature of the disagreement clear, the others will fill in the blanks with their best guesses.

    Basically, you want to clarify something: The difference between internment and relocation. Fair enough. Rather than just clarifying it, you make cryptic comments and keep dancing around the point until enough people ask what the hell you’re talking about. Then you clarify it and say “geez, why does everybody think I support what happened to Japanese-Americans?”

    Gosh, I wonder why.

  79. For the record, I don’t think that you approve of what was done.

    But I also don’t think that you have anybody to blame for the misunderstanding other than yourself. You did everything possible to be cryptic and incomprehensible.

  80. thoreau,

    Its a game of charades. 🙂

  81. Its a game of charades.

    Ah, the historian weighs in. Maybe you can help with a question. The question is why the Peruvian government was willing to send its Japanese to the US. Opportunism (booty)? Fear of the US? Fear of the Japanese sweeping across the Pacific?

  82. thoreau,

    Notice how the target moved. 🙂

  83. I gotta admit I’m confused here. If all you want to do is clear the record, well, more power to you. I have to admit that I didn’t realize the relocatees were (at least under some circumstances) allowed to leave the camps. Now I know. It may not change the bigger lessons to be learned, but it does sharpen the image, and that’s always a good thing.

    But you keep hinting that the distinction between relocation and internment should significantly affect the conclusions that we draw. How so?

    One conclusion that I can draw from the distinction: On the surface, relocation might seem better than internment if it means that people still have some freedom of movement. But the fact that 95% of relocatees were unable to start new lives should drive home the fact that any loss of liberty can be worse than it might look on paper. It sounds all well and good to say that relocatees are allowed to work and live outside the camps. But when a person is forcibly taken away from his job, his property, and his network of friends and professional associates, is labeled disloyal in a time of intense patriotic fervor (i.e. war), and is given only limited options for where he can go (otherwise the relocatee would catch the first train back home), starting over is not easy. In time of war, a lot of people won’t trust a person who’s been labeled disloyal by the government. This would be especially crippling in WWII, where so much of the economy was reoriented towards the war. It’s not like non-defense jobs were abundant in a time of rationing.

    So I guess I have learned something from the distinction between internment and relocation. Thanks.

  84. thoreau,

    Well, there is also the fact that relocatees were poorly compensated or not at all for their loss of property (which in many instances included significant going concerns). In many instances properties were sold at rock bottom prices to non-Japanese-Americans and the original were not compensated; which is clearly a violation of the 5th Amendment.

  85. thoreau,
    D Anghelone is really just offering the standard government propaganda line of the time. Here is a link to a press release from the “War Relocation Authority” in ’43.
    Here are the conditions for leaving…

    Before any evacuee is permitted to leave a relocation center for the purpose of taking a job or establishing normal residence, however, certain requirements must be met:

    1. A careful check is made of the evacuee’s behavior record at the relocation center and of other information in the hands of the WRA. In all questionable cases, any information in the possession of the federal investigative agencies is requested and studied. If there is any evidence from any source that the evacuee might endanger the security of the Nation, permission for indefinite leave is denied.
    2. There must be reasonable assurance from responsible officials or citizens regarding local sentiment in the community where the evacuee plans to settle. If community sentiment appears so hostile to all persons of Japanese descent that the presence of the evacuee seems likely to cause trouble, the evacuee is so advised and discouraged from relocating in that particular area.
    3. Indefinite leave is granted only to evacuees who have a definite place to go and some means of support.
    4. Each evacuee going out on indefinite leave must agree to keep the WRA informed of any change of job or address.

    Here is a link to some pics.

    No, all in all, it wasn’t as bad, not even near it, as something Germany might have done. But since when did not being a murderous thug mean that you still couldn’t be a dangerous thug?

    What D A doesn’t want to confront is the honest possibility that someone who knows all the facts, might still call this “Internment”.

    But if you use Charles Manson as a median, well, hell, a whole lot of behaviours become attractive in comparison.

  86. Oh…I meant to point to this one…nothing drives home the point quite as well as barbed wire….dunno, it’s only one pic, sure as shinola looks like internment to me.

  87. Well, then, I clearly need to be more skeptical of D A. You are aptly named, Skeptikos.

    D A, care to comment?

  88. Well, then, I clearly need to be more skeptical of D A. You are aptly named, Skeptikos.

    For what reason? I’m covering for FDR? Note that Skeptikos is reading into things what he/she will. I said nothing about the nature of the camps.

    They couldn’t legally intern those people and so neutralized any threat they might pose by moving them. The camps were a consequence of that policy. That’s not an important point? Is that not like what was done with Native Americans? Are Indian Reservations a purpose or a consequence?

  89. Well, there is also the fact that relocatees were poorly compensated or not at all for their loss of property (which in many instances included significant going concerns). In many instances properties were sold at rock bottom prices to non-Japanese-Americans and the original were not compensated; which is clearly a violation of the 5th Amendment.

    I haven’t any lawyerly details but there was some compensation in 1948.

  90. This discussion does shed some light on why so many men are willing to check their Constitutional rights at the door when they get married–or even when they just move in…

    …There are so many guys I know who can’t watch what they want on television, can’t say what they think, can’t assemble at the poker game, are subjected to unreasonable searches and are often compelled to testify against themselves…

    …And when someone points out that guys “can” do anything they wants, some guys just “won’t”, so many of them get so defensive.

    Women run social circles around men. When women look into the social universe, they see a wonderland full of possibilities complete with chutes and ladders. When most men look into the same universe they see a dark, eternal abyss, and they’re terrified–I don’t know why.

    …But I know that this is what so many guys do…they end up subjecting themselves to an authoritarian if not totalitarian dictator at home anyway, so it doesn’t surprise me to see libertarian guys panting after these right wing retards.

    …Many of them are going to end up living under a domestic dictator anyway, at least for a while, and I suspect they already know it.

  91. Ken-
    As I sit here on the couch surfing the Internet while my boyfriend puts away the groceries and starts the dishwasher, let me just say that I REALLY resent that comment o’ yours. Heh heh heh.

  92. They couldn’t legally intern those people and so neutralized any threat they might pose by moving them. The camps were a consequence of that policy. That’s not an important point?

    Let me see if I understand. The government couldn’t legally intern them. But they wanted to intern them. So they came up with a “relocation” policy that technically allowed people to leave the camps, but in practice only 5% were able to do so successfully, for a variety of reasons.

    The lesson? I guess that the gov’t can always find a way to do what it wants.

    But here’s what confuses me: I get that the gov’t couldn’t legally or constitutionally intern the Japanese-Americans. But how was this relocation scheme constitutional? I know, I know, the Supremes ruled in favor of it. But the Supremes aren’t infallible. There are plenty of instances where the Supremes have found dubious exceptions to the Constitution.

    Anyway, I’m still trying to figure out what your point is. You insist that you don’t condone what was done, but I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what other point you’re trying to make. Could you stop being so deliberately obscure?

  93. Jennifer, Fyodor,

    I think I can make my point of view clearer than I have. Let me try. First I believe this:

    1. As country the US cannot completely control or always avoid being in a war. Indeed, an affluent country is attractive target for aggression. There is more to plunder, as it were.
    2. In US history, we have a good record of reining in civil rights abuses that occur in wartime. They happened in the Civil War, in WWI, II, in the cold war, and they are happening in the war on terror.
    3. Civil rights abuses during war time do not make us no better than our enemies. If fact in every conflict I mention, we have fought on the right side. Full disclosure – most of my male ancestors in the 1860s were probably Confederate soldiers. Personally, I am quite glad the Union won. Further to the point I am an admirer of Gen. W T Sherman who created and distilled a uniquely American brand of whip-ass which has served our country well during desperate times, and may yet be needed again in the present conflict.
    4. Exigencies of war may cause reasonable governing officials to violate constitutional protections of civil rights. I have sympathy for the government officials both politicians and soldiers who must make difficult, existential decisions under intense pressure with limited information. What protects freedom is a judiciary system that makes judgments (including judgments not to hear cases) about these actions as complaints are filed by citizens and law enforcement officials.

    More specifically regarding Japanese internment, in my judgment, the interment was justified based on information known at the time about Japanese government plans to recruit spies from the Japanese American population. It was very wrong to seize property permanently from the internees and almost certainly wrong to keep them interned past say, the liberation of the Philippines and maybe even Guadacanal.

    More specifically regarding torture in war on terror, in my judgment, the Bush Admin was wrong to loosen the definition of torture, mainly because of the negative publicity for the US created as a result. I do not think anyone should be punished for that decision, even though a reasonable case can be made that it violated the US constitution, international law, etc.

  94. More specifically regarding Japanese internment

    Buck-

    Didn’t you get the memo? They weren’t interned. They were relocated!

    Seriously, though, I may disagree with you, but at least you’ve come out and made your point clear. I’m still struggling to figure out what D Anghelone’s point is. He insists that it isn’t the point you’re making, but he won’t tell me what it is. He just hints at it with “Don’t you think this matters?”

  95. But they wanted to intern them.

    No. They wanted to move them away from the coast.

    So they came up with a “relocation” policy that technically allowed people to leave the camps, but in practice only 5% were able to do so successfully, for a variety of reasons.

    No. Some were able to relocate without going into the camps. As with the relocated Italians, they were able to find jobs away from the coast.

    The lesson? I guess that the gov’t can always find a way to do what it wants.

    The government can’t always get what it wants. It wanted those J-As away from the coast but working productively so as to support the war effort. Instead, it had to build camps to hold the majority of the J-As who couldn’t find work.

    But here’s what confuses me: I get that the gov’t couldn’t legally or constitutionally intern the Japanese-Americans. But how was this relocation scheme constitutional?

    Beats me.

    I know, I know, the Supremes ruled in favor of it. But the Supremes aren’t infallible. There are plenty of instances where the Supremes have found dubious exceptions to the Constitution.

    Should I write that one down?

    Anyway, I’m still trying to figure out what your point is. You insist that you don’t condone what was done, but I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what other point you’re trying to make. Could you stop being so deliberately obscure?

    I’m not being deliberately obscure. In fact, I am less apparently obscure than I was several years ago when I couldn’t speak at all of this matter to the libertarian herd or to any herd.

  96. OK, so now your point is that they “only” wanted relocation without camps, but many of the relocatees couldn’t earn a living, so the gov’t had to build camps to support them?

    So the lesson is that every effort to infringe liberty has unintended and expensive consequences?

    What exactly is your point? I realize that there were at least some differences between relocation and internment, and we should note that for the sake of accuracy. Duly noted. But some details matter more than others when trying to learn the big lessons.

    You keep hinting that

    1) There are big lessons to be drawn from our treatment of US citizens of Japanese descent during WWII. And I agree. But, you also seem to be hinting that…
    2) People today aren’t drawing the right lessons, and
    3) Part of the reason for failing to learn the right lessons stems from an inability to understand the difference between internment and relocation.

  97. D Anghelone,

    Not along the lines of true market value, and not every party was compensated. Furthermore, a four year delay is also unjustified (that by itself was a cost and oppurtunity lost by the deportees) and went uncompensated.

  98. thoreau,

    They couldn’t earn a living because the states they were moved to actively discriminated against them. The state governments didn’t want this influx of Americans of Japanese heritage in their general population, so they worked to keep them out of it. The seething racism of state Governors and state legislators is evident from their remarks on the matter.

  99. It sounds to me like D Anghelone is willing to forgive a lot simply because there’s a war going on.

    …We did this sort of thing to Anarchists and immigrants from eastern Europe during World War I too, but the ultimate predecessor seems to me to be the removal of the Indians. It seems like anytime we cross some invisible threshold of fear, the Constitution goes out the window.

    …and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, which is why this reasoning appears so vague, I suspect. It’s just, when we’re afraid, we should be able to do whatever we want to make ourselves feel safe again.

    P.S. The North would have won without all the pillaging, murdering, and raping of civilians. I will never support targeting civilians, which is what both Sherman and Sheridan did.

    P.P.S. Has anyone else seen the old photos taken of Terminal Island (Long Beach) when it was a Japanese fishing village?

    The government destroyed their culture–how do we compensate them for that?

  100. OK, so now your point is that they “only” wanted relocation without camps, but many of the relocatees couldn’t earn a living, so the gov’t had to build camps to support them?

    What is your mindset? Postmodern or somesuch?

    There was a war on. A world war. A war for survival. The Feds didn’t “only” this or “only” that. They “only” wanted to prosecute the war. If that meant screwing over people then so what? History would sort that out after they were dead.

    It wasn’t that they were trying to screw over the Japanese-Americans but that they didn’t give a shit if they did.

    So the lesson is that every effort to infringe liberty has unintended and expensive consequences?

    Every policy has consequences, intended or unintended, positive or negative.

    And the rest of your post is just more projection.

  101. It sounds to me like D Anghelone is willing to forgive a lot simply because there’s a war going on.

    I haven’t forgiven anything. I haven’t justified anything.

  102. It wasn’t that they were trying to screw over the Japanese-Americans but that they didn’t give a shit if they did.

    That’s a historically inaccurate claim. It is quite clear from the statements of those who were intimately involved in the deportations that animus towards Japanese-Americans was a significant factor in what occurred.

  103. Basically D Anghelone is parroting Michelle Malkin’s ahistorical non-sense regarding the effect of animus towards Japanese-Americans.

  104. They couldn’t earn a living because the states they were moved to actively discriminated against them. The state governments didn’t want this influx of Americans of Japanese heritage in their general population, so they worked to keep them out of it. The seething racism of state Governors and state legislators is evident from their remarks on the matter.

    That is so. But then we all know of the racism, right? We know that there were so few Japanese in the US because they weren’t allowed in. We know that the citizenship rate among Japanese-Americans was low because we wouldn’t allow them citizenship. We all know of the racism so what is your point?

  105. It is quite clear from the statements of those who were intimately involved in the deportations that animus towards Japanese-Americans was a significant factor in what occurred.

    Who are you speaking of and what did they say?

  106. Basically D Anghelone is parroting Michelle Malkin’s ahistorical non-sense regarding the effect of animus towards Japanese-Americans.

    You are an ass, Gunnels.

  107. There was a war on. A world war. A war for survival. The Feds didn’t “only” this or “only” that. They “only” wanted to prosecute the war. If that meant screwing over people then so what? History would sort that out after they were dead.

    Well, now after dozens of posts we get to your point: They did what they did because they thought they were right at the time.

    To which I reply with DUH!!!!

    How many people have done something because they thought they were wrong?

    The problem is that they were dead wrong, and their mistakes were inexcusable.

    You claim that you haven’t excused anything. That may be true in a very literal sense. But everything you are saying seems to point in that direction. If there’s a fine distinction that you’d like to draw to defend yourself, you haven’t done a very good job of articulating that distinction.

    I’m forced to conclude that, at best, you are doing an awful job of articulating a fine point.

  108. You are an ass, Gunnels.

    You know, there are certainly times when I take issue with Gary’s style. But this is not one of those times. D A has done everything possible to obscure whatever fine distinction he’d like to make. He’s made it incredibly difficult to draw any conclusion other than that he’s trying to make excuses for the past.

    That may not be his intent, but it’s how he’s coming across, and he’s passing up every opportunity to correct our (possibly mistaken) impression.

    In my optics class, a student told me that she understood a concept perfectly, but she didn’t know how to articulate it on the test when asked to explain it. I said that her inability to communicate something isn’t going to improve her score.

  109. D Anghelone, you do seem to phase in and out. Are you simply talking about what happened historically?

    …Are you saying that Japanese Internment Camps are defensible? Indefensible? Are you saying that relocation is defensible?

    …If you’re saying that any of these things are defensible, are you saying that what we’ve done to Muslims and Arabs is defensible?

    …’cause I can’t figure out what you’re saying either.

  110. Gary,

    It is quite clear from the statements of those who were intimately involved in the deportations that animus towards Japanese-Americans was a significant factor in what occurred.

    Even if some of the motives were unjustifiable and shameful, the action itself might still be justifiable. Actions like the attack on Pearl Harbor and the entry of the Japanese army into Nanking may produce racist, vengeful and hateful feelings, but they also produce justfiable existential fears. The response to threat of spies in the J-A population should be different after Pearl Harbor to what it was before.

    Ken,

    The North would have won without all the pillaging, murdering, and raping of civilians. I will never support targeting civilians, which is what both Sherman and Sheridan did.

    Yeah, we could have won in Europe in WWII without fire-bombimg Dresden and Hamburg and against Japan without fire-bombing Tokyo and dropping the nukes, too. Do you think Eisenhower, Truman, Macarthur and Curtis Lemay should have been tried as war criminals?

    Or take it to the present. Say the jihadi’s succesfuly launch a series of attacks in the US that kill tens of thousands of American civilians and threaten to continue the attacks until we submit to their rule. Would you support targeting civilians in the population centers of Arabia which produce the jihadis?

  111. In regards to targeting the farmers of the Shenandoah Valley and Georgia, using such tactics to specifically target civilians is the very definition of terrorism, and I won’t support it.

    Hamburg was, and still is, a major industrial center and port; still, the name “Operation Gomorrah” kind of speaks to intent, doesn’t it? Wasn’t the bombing of Dresden done, specifically, to create a fire storm? Hiroshima was a major supply and logistics base for the Japanese Military. Wasn’t the Emperor complicit in the bombing of Nagasaki? Tokyo had industrial targets, but I remember McNamara himself saying in “Fog of War” that if the United States had lost World War II, he would have been tried as a war criminal.

    “Would you support targeting civilians in the population centers of Arabia which produce the jihadis?”

    The problem with hypothetical questions is that you only get hypothetical answers. So I’d rather address what happened in Afghanistan, which seems to suit your hypothetical just as well. Afghanistan was breeding jihadis like so many mice.

    …I think we did a great job of getting rid of the regime in Afghanistan and removing it as a threat to American civilians. We did it, of course, without targeting civilians specifically.

  112. Let’s not forget that the reduction of Dresden was in large part a retaliation for the same treatment given to Coventry. If one side in a conflict doesn’t follow “the laws of war”, one of the few, if not the only way to convince that belligerent to conform to them is to adopt a “tit-for-tat” policy.

    It may surprise some who don’t know much military history (and I’m no expert), but when forces like those of the CSA “live off the land”, denying your enemy food and forage by stealing everything that isn’t nailed down, and destroying what you can’t carry away, was SOP for attacking and defending armies. Neither Sherman nor Sheridan invented the “scorched earth” policy. It was only the fairly recent inventions of canned food and the railroad that allowed troops to have access to enough provender to avoid stripping the lands they marched through – even friendly territory – of food and fuel, and even in the 1860s an army could outmarch its supply train.

    Kevin

  113. D Anghelone,

    You’re an ahistorical git.

    Let’s repeat your stupid remark for effect:

    It wasn’t that they were trying to screw over the Japanese-Americans but that they didn’t give a shit if they did.

    That statement is so wrongheaded in so many ways one can only call it pathetic. American officials were most definately trying to screw them over.

    Who are you speaking of and what did they say?

    American state governors, state legislatures, Congressmen, etc. The whole sad and sordid tale has been told enough that you should know, Michelle. Of course I also know that you know these things because you have specifically read a number of blog entries at the Volohk Conspiracy at the matter and the original author’s website on the matter. We discussed these facts here and you did not claim that they were false then. So quit playing the sophist.

    Buck Smith,

    One wonders if it was justifiable why the Justice Department and other agencies of the U.S. government had to lie about their own findings on the matter. Yes, lie. To be frank, it is the efforts of historians, decades after the war, that touched off the issue again. They dug into the records and discovered that the Justice Department hid from the courts and the American public the true nature of their findings; that many in that agency and the U.S. questioned America’s efforts legally, morally and as a matter of efficacy. By itself, this behavior is a violation of not only American law, but, I dare say, the finer ideals of Western legal sense and culture.

  114. kevrob,

    It was quite common for CSA units to seize free blacks on their raids into the Union and send them down river.

  115. You’re right about the (re-)enslavement of free blacks by CSA units, Gary. It makes a sort of twisted sense, if you have the kind of mind that sees a fellow human being as equivalent to a plow horse. A beast of burden was a beast of burden to those folks.

    As for foraging and scavenging, I expect a few Civil War buffs here know that Lee’s army (Heth’s Division) first poked its nose into Gettysburg because they had heard that the Pennsylvania town was someplace they could get shoes! That was one expensive “shopping trip.”

    Kevin

  116. kevrob,

    Well, the CSA got arrogant at Gettysburg. Still they had a chance to “win” the war in the summer of 1864 when Sherman and Grant’s armies were bogged down or being outmanuevred.

  117. FYI:

    “Meretricious” comes from the Latin “meretrix”, meaning …ahem… prostitute

  118. PaulP,

    I always thought it simply meant specious or or gaudy. I didn’t know about its other meaning.

    He he he. It fits Michelle Malkin certainly. 🙂

  119. Gary:
    Obviously Roman prostitutes were fond of using cosmetics to cover up their lack of good looks so meretricious came to mean ‘looking falsely good on the surface’.

  120. Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the internment thread!

    “In the spirit of democracy we shall hold an election to determine which of us gets to punish naughty Ms. Malkin. A puff of white smoke will declare that a winner has been chosen.

    “For the good of all rational and free-minded individuals everywhere, I nominate myself for this thankless task.”

    In my opinion, the words “Thank You” should feature quite prominently in the operation. But that’s just me.

  121. joe-

    I’ll arm wrestle you for the right to discipline Malkin. And after I win I’ll jello wrestle with Malkin!

  122. No way! You’d pull one of those physicist mind tricks to beat me.

    You know, like saying “This is not the contest you want to win,” then blowing chalk dust in my eye.

  123. Actually, I’d just shine an IR laser in your eye and cook your retina.

  124. thoreau,

    I’d clock you with a copy the The Realms of Memory. 🙂

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