1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

What really happened

Reader comment on item: Why the Japanese Internment Still Matters

Submitted by A. Mark Ratner, PhD, PE (United States), Dec 30, 2004 at 12:57

Dear Sir:
Back in the mid 1980's I read an article (which I am currently trying to track down) by Samuel Eliot Morison concerning the WWII internment of Japanese and Nisei. I found it extremely interesting.
According to this article the actual decision to intern all Japanese and Nisei on the west coast was made by two LtCols who were rabid haters of the Japanese. Dr. Morison said that the General commanding the west coast (whose name I have forgotten) submitted his recommendations on internment, which did not include interning all Japanese (but did recommement interning many), let alone the Nisei, and the two LtCols were outraged. Since they were War Dept. staff (the Defense Dept. was formed after WWII) they were responsible for processing the paperwork, and they altered it! They left the general's signature block, but changed the body of the document.
When it got to General Marshal (the Chief of Staff) and Secretary Stimson (Secretary of War, a direct subordinate of President Roosevelt) the reaction was "well, I don't know if this is necessary, but he is the man on the spot, if he thinks it is, we won't second guess him. Approved."
Going back down the line, the same two officers changed the document again, so that it read that the War Dept. was ordering the mass internment. The general commanding the west coast didn't agree with that, but he followed orders, and did it.
It was a year later before this was discovered, and by then the government would not admit a mistake had been made.
As I said, I am currently trying to track down the actual article. But personally I find it believable.
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to What really happened by A. Mark Ratner, PhD, PE

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)