The Holocaust Historiography Project

Not Just Japanese Americans: The Untold Story of U.S. Repression During 'The Good War'

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel

I. Pre-Pearl Harbor

The sad saga of civil liberties in the United States during the Second World War begins well before Pearl Harbor. The popular impression is that the Japanese surprise attack in December 1941 caught the U.S. government totally unaware. In an effort to counter this impression, countless Revisionist historians have raked over the diplomatic events that proceeded the attack.1 Yet, prior domestic developments within the U.S. probably belie the impression of U.S. unpreparedness much more forcefully. For the U.S. government was, without a doubt, better prepared to fight World War II than any previous war in its history.

This unprecedented military preparedness resulted from a massive prewar mobilization that involved

  1. the U.S.’ first large peacetime foreign aid program: lend-lease;
  2. an emergency peacetime military buildup;
  3. the first peacetime draft in U.S. history to support that buildup;
  4. an array of new and heavy emergency taxes to pay for the buildup;
  5. the creation of a new and broad regulatory bureaucracy, supplementing New Deal agencies, to direct the economy toward war production;
  6. the use of troops to enforce labor settlements within critical defense industries; and finally
  7. the adoption of a peacetime sedition law to suppress disloyalty.2

This last is what concerns us. The pre-Pearl Harbor sedition law, the Smith Act, is more generally known for its postwar enforcement, in a period of tense U.S. relations with the Soviet Union. In fact, it was just the most glaring manifestation of the growing precariousness of civil liberties as the nation went on a war footing prior to its intervention in World War II. The deteriorating international situation brought a rash of related legislation, Congressional inquiries, executive harassment, and state government repression, all aimed at so-called subversive activities.3

Because of disillusionment with the First World War, Americans initially wished to stay out of the Second. An early generation of Revisionist historians had successfully debunked the official justifications for U.S. participation in World War I, and had overturned the judgment of exclusive German war guilt. In 1934 and 1935, a Senate committee, under the chairmanship of Gerald P. Nye, a progressive Republican, investigated the munitions industry. It concluded that American financiers and arms merchants had maneuvered the U.S. into the previous European conflict for their own profit. AU of these trends coalesced into a powerful isolationist movement, opposed to any future U.S. involvement in European quarrels.

The debate between the isolationists and interventionists became intense and bitter with the onset of war in Europe. By 1940, a broad-based coalition of noninterventionists had joined together in the America First Committee. Among the committee’s luminaries, supporters, and sympathizers were Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, the aviator hero of the twenties; General Robert E. Wood, chairman of the board of Sears, Roebuck; Colonel Robert R. McCormick, publisher of the conservative Chicago Tribune; ex-President Herbert Hoover, labor leader John L. Lewis, who had co-founded the militant Congress of Industrial Organizations as a rival to the American Federation of Labor, Norman Thomas, Socialist Party candidate for President; and progressive Democratic Senator Burton K. Wheeler from Montana.4

Although the isolationists were influential enough to prevent President Franklin D. Roosevelt from dragging the nation overtly into the war before Pearl Harbor, they were unable to prevent the prewar mobilization. Eventually their loyalty came under question, and the government subjected them to increasing harassment. But before that transpired, the State had already honed its repressive instruments upon much less prominent targets on the extreme Right and extreme Left.

Numerous American fascist groups, nearly an minuscule, had sprouted in the Great Depression’s fertile soil. The two most vocal were the German-American Bund and the Legion of Silver Shirts. Both groups were violently anti-Jewish, with paramilitary trappings, and both received public attention grotesquely out of proportion to their numbers. The German-American Bund, virulently but not officially a U.S. branch of Germany’s National Socialist Party, drew its fewer than 25,000 and probably closer to 8,500 members from among recent German immigrants. At its peak, the Bund packed Madison Square Garden in New York with 22,000 sympathizers for a George Washington’s birthday rally in 1939. The Silver Shirts was an independent organization, headed by mystic William Dudley Pelley. Its membership may have reached 15,000 in 1934, but thereafter it declined to less than 5,000. None of the native fascist organizations, separately or in combination, ever approached the influence of the Ku Klux Klan in the twenties.5

The U.S. Communist Party had likewise experienced a surge during the depression decade, growing from 7,500 in 1930 to 30,000 in 1935. By the mid-thirties, the party had adopted the strategy of joining thousands of non-communists in popular front organizations, such as the American League for Peace and Democracy. Many party members found employment in the burgeoning bureaus of the New Deal. With the signing of the German-Soviet nonaggression pact in August 1939, the Communist Party also indirectly arrived at an isolationist foreign policy stance.6

Very early in the depression the House’s Fish Committee had briefly looked into Communist propaganda. With this one lone exception, the precedent established during the post-World War I Red Scare of Congressional investigation into subversive activity had lain dormant until the German Reichstag granted absolute power to Adolf Hitler in March 1933, the same month as F.D.R.’s inauguration. Immediately, the internal threat to this country from the right received equal billing with the internal threat from the left, in what one historian has recently dubbed the “Brown Scare.” The House established a new special committee to investigate these twin “foreign” dangers, with John W. McCormack as chairman and Samuel Dickstein as vice-chairman. The committee released a report in 1935 that branded the Communist Party, the Silver Shirts, and several other organizations as subversive.

The ultimate results of the committee’s efforts was enactment in 1938, while events were reaching the boiling point in Europe, of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. This first of the pre-World War II repressive laws provided a maximum penalty of two years and $1000 (later increased to five years and $10,000) for anyone whom the U.S. government deemed a “foreign agent” but who failed to register as such with the Secretary of State.

At the time that the Foreign Agents Registration Act passed, the most significant loyalty legislation already on the books was the World War I Espionage Act. The Espionage Act had combined three features: 1 a true espionage law, which punished spying and wartime sabotage, 2 a neutrality law, which restricted the non-neutral acts of private citizens in foreign conflicts, and 3 a sedition law, providing up to twenty years in jail and a $10,000 fine for aiding the enemy with “false reports or false statements,” for obstructing recruiting, or for causing insubordination, disloyalty, or mutiny in the U.S. armed forces. The act also empowered the Postmaster General to exclude from the mail issues of newspapers and periodicals that he felt were subversive.

The sedition portions of the Espionage Act, however, were inoperative in peacetime. During the infamous Red Scare, the Wilson Administration had sought a peacetime sedition act, but had failed. The Foreign Agents Registration Act represented a minor step toward closing that loophole.

Congress also implemented a second of the McCormack-Dickstein Committee’s recommendations: an extension of the Congressional subpoena power beyond the District of Columbia A new Special House Committee to Investigate Un-American Activities, created in 1938 with Martin Dies of Texas as chairman, put this added power to effective use. Like its predecessor, the Dies Committee went after both domestic fascists and Communists. It paid greater attention to the latter, however, as Dies, an arch-foe of the New Deal, attempted to taint the Roosevelt Administration with Communist associations. Each succeeding House faithfully renewed the committee, and several states copied it, with their own “little Dies” committees.7

While the Dies Committee’s spectacular hearings and voluminous reports gathered headlines, Congress approved an array of additional security laws: the Hatch Act of 1939, which generally restricted the political freedom of government employees and specifically prohibited Communists from working for the national government; an amendment of March 1940 to the Espionage Act, increasing the act’s penalties for spying, neutrality violations, and other infractions that applied during peacetime; and finally the Smith Act of June 1940.

The Smith Act bore the somewhat misleading official title of Alien Registration Act. To be sure, provisions of the act affected the 3.5 million immigrants in this country who had not attained citizenship. It required their registration and fingerprinting, and it made deportation for revolutionary activities and beliefs easier. Several states had already foreshadowed these moves. With the outbreak of war in Europe, Georgia and Pennsylvania had both required aliens to register, and Pennsylvania had also forbidden them to hunt, fish, or own dogs.

The Smith Act’s most far-reaching provisions, however, established a penalty of up to ten years in jail and a $10,000 fine for encouraging insubordination in the military, for advocating, in speech or writing, the forceful overthrow of the U.S. government, or for joining any organization that so advocated. Thus, the Smith Act was, in fact, a true peacetime sedition law of the same sort that had previously failed to pass at the height of the Red Scare. It took the approach of World War II to secure enactment.

Following the Smith Act, Congress added still more “security” legislation. The Selective Service Act of September 1940, which gave the U.S. its first peacetime draft, also carried penalties for urging resistance to the draft. The Nationality Act of October 1940 facilitated divesting naturalized immigrants of their citizenship for radical political beliefs. The Voorhis Act, passed later the same month, required registration with the Attorney General of all organizations subject to “foreign control,” if involved in civilian-military activities or if advocating the overthrow of the government. (the previous Foreign Agents Registration Act applied to individuals.) The fact that the Voorhis Act could require members of the radical organizations to incriminate themselves under the Smith Act did not faze Congress. Just before the Pearl Harbor attack, another amendment to the Espionage Act made sabotage a national crime during peacetime as well as wartime. In short, the pre-Pearl Harbor period witnessed the most sustained outburst of repressive legislation in the nation’s history.8

Executive-branch harassment of government opponents kept pace with Congress’s steady prewar infringement of people’s political liberty. At the van of this harassment was the national government’s police force: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). To fully appreciate the FBI’s prewar politicization, we must take a brief retrospective look at that agency’s evolution during the interwar years.9

In the midst of the Red Scare, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer had established within what was then called the Bureau of Investigation (it got its current name in 1935) a special section to investigate radicals: the General Intelligence Division, with the young J. Edgar Hoover at its head. The Bureau’s subsequent raids and deportations had left it, however, with a severely tarnished reputation. As a result of further revelations that the Bureau had even spied upon Congressmen in order to suppress the Teapot Dome scandal, the supposedly reactionary Coolidge Administration ordered an abrupt halt to all the Bureau’s political activities and abolished the General Intelligence Division.

Unfortunately, to clean up the Bureau, the Coolidge Administration made none other than J. Edgar Hoover its new director. Defenders of Hoover cite this as proof that his role in the Red Scare had been merely perfunctory. Detractors on the other hand speculated that Hoover got the promotion because, in the words of intelligence expert William Corson, “there was enough in his files to effectively sink the Republican Party in the upcoming Presidential election.” Whichever the case may be, recent documents secured by historians under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that Hoover secretly defied the Coolidge Directive against political surveillance and sporadically monitored such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), even to the point of illegal break-ins.

Nonetheless, the Bureau’s low political profile coupled with its emphasis on catching criminals transformed its public image during the next decade. An extremely significant but oft-neglected feature of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal was a “war with the organized forces of crime,” involving a new deal for the Bureau. Congress passed nine major anti-crime bills in 1934. These gave Bureau agents full arrest power and the authority to carry any kind of firearm, and they put a variety of crimes under its jurisdiction: robbing any bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, fleeing across state lines to avoid prosecution or subpena, extorting money by phone or mail, or transporting stolen property valued at $5,000 or more across state lines. Among these new laws was the National Rearms Act of 1934, the first federal gun control law.

In his war on crime, as in most other respects, F.D.R. was fully anticipated by President Herbert Hoover. Hoover had appointed the national Wickersham Commission to study the problems of law enforcement. In his zest for increased bureaucratic efficiency in national crime control, he had created a separate Bureau of Prisons and a separate Bureau of Narcotics. He also had signed the bill that established the Bureau of Investigation’s fingerprinting division in 1930 and the Lindbergh Bill, which made kidnapping a national crime, in 1932.

Most important for the future of civil liberties, Hoover was the first U.S. President to request formally that the Bureau of Investigation collect political intelligence. We have already observed that under J. Edgar Hoover, the Bureau continued throughout the twenties to monitor radical activities on its own. But President Hoover legitimized these transgressions by requesting Bureau reports on groups as diverse as the Sentinels of the Republic (a minor far right organization), the Navy League, the ACLU, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Foreign Policy Association.

Roosevelt, upon assuming the Presidency, expanded the Bureau’s political surveillance. While continuing Hoover’s precedent of soliciting PBI reports on his political adversaries, he secretly ordered the Bureau to look into the American Nazi movement in 1934, and he widened that general mandate to include all potentially subversive groups in 1936. In June of 1939, with concern about foreign spies and “fifth columnists” on the rise, Roosevelt centralized responsibility over all “espionage, counter-espionage, and sabotage matters” into the FBI’s hands, with Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence playing supporting roles. This directive became public and was broadened to include “subversive activities and violations of neutrality laws,” when the European war erupted later that year.

J. Edgar Hoover thereupon reactivated the dreaded General Intelligence Division and compiled a secret Custodial Detention list of persons to be jailed summarily during wartime. FBI officials opened first-class mail and regularly practiced, with Roosevelt’s explicit blessing, wiretapping, despite the 1939 Supreme Court ruling that the Federal Communications Act of 1934 proscribed government wiretapping. The executive branch instituted a loyalty program for federal job holders, with FBI checks, to help implement the Hatch Act, and the Attorney General drew up his first list of subversive organizations.

At the same time, Roosevelt prepared other sections of the executive branch for the suppression of dissent. In the spring of 1940 he transferred the Immigration and Naturalization Service from the Labor to the Justice Department. Roosevelt thought the Labor Department too lenient; it was the Labor Department which in 1920 had initially called a halt to the Red Scare by refusing to deport the aliens that the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation had rounded up. Also within the Justice Department, a newly established Neutrality Laws Unit (which would become the Special War Policies Unit once the U.S. entered the war) assumed responsibility for sedition prosecutions. The Post Office invoked a strained interpretation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act to reinstitute its World War I practice of mail censorship. It seized and destroyed over fifteen tons of alleged foreign propaganda mailed to the U.S. from Japan, Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union.

The FBI invariably serviced White House requests for derogatory information on critics of Roosevelt’s foreign policy. Roosevelt’s press secretary, in May of 1940, turned over to J. Edgar Hoover for checking the names of persons who had sent telegrams critical of a Presidential fireside chat on national defense. The FBI furnished the President with reports on leading isolationists, including Senators Nye and Wheeler. After the America First Committee was organized, Roosevelt subjected it to the meticulous scrutiny of first the FBI and later the Internal Revenue Service. In an ironic twist of fate, F.D.R. even ordered ex-President Hoover put under FBI observation.

The Dies Committee, while continuing to harass the Roosevelt administration, also started a probe of the America First Committee, one month before Pearl Harbor. F.D.R., however, fully reciprocated Dies’s enmity and ordered the FBI to investigate Dies and his supporters for election fraud and then, after Pearl Harbor, for fascist links. J. Edgar Hoover skillfully played both political foes off against each other. While investigating Dies for the President, he confidentially cooperated with the Dies Committee, feeding it FBI tips. This tactic generally induced Roosevelt to give Hoover wider leeway, so that the FBI could preempt the exposes of the Dies Committee.

The hardest hit victims of this labyrinth of political ploys and government intrigue were not major political figures, but usually less influential and sometimes insignificant dissidents. During the opening months of 1940, the FBI conducted two sets of widely publicized raids. The first picked up seventeen members of the Christian Front Sports Club in Brooklyn, New York-young rightists, unemployed or very poor, who were supposedly plotting to overthrow the government. The second, in Detroit, swooped down upon a dozen veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, all leftists who had fought against General Franco in the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and 1937 and were therefore charged with neutrality law infractions. The trial of the Christian Fronters resulted in an acquittal after revelations that the defendants had received drunken encouragement from an FBI agent provocateur, while the Justice Department, facing a public outcry, dipped its three-year-late charges against the Abraham Lincoln Brigade veterans.

The Justice Department was successful, however, in convicting Earl Browder, the Communist Party’s General Secretary, of passport fraud in January, 1940, after his testimony before the Dies Committee. He received the ridiculously long and obviously political sentence of four years in prison and a $2,000 fine. (Another person convicted of the same offense shortly thereafter received merely a $500 fine.) The government also initiated denaturalization proceedings against William Schneiderman, leader of the California Communist Party, and deportation proceedings against Harry Bridges, the left-wing leader of the west coast longshoremen.

A federal grand jury in October 1941 indicted pro-German publicist George Sylvester Viereck for infringement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Viereck was on the German government’s payroll and was among the four hundred persons who had by March of 1940 dutifully registered under the act’s provisions. But he was also involved in a Congressional scandal in which he had solicited isolationist writings for insertion by various legislators into the Congressional Record so that he could distribute them through mass mailings under Congressional franking privileges. The State’s indictment charged him with not filling out his registration forms fully and properly. His was only the most noteworthy of a whole slew of cases brought against both leftists and rightists under the same act.11

The first to fall prey to the Smith Act was the Socialist Workers Party. The Socialist Workers Party was a Trotskyite splinter from the Communist Party. It was also one of the few leftwing groups still opposed to U.S. involvement in the war after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The Trotskyites committed the additional political sin of gaining control over Teamster locals in Minnesota and challenging the leadership of union president Dan Tobias, a Roosevelt ally. Federal marshals raided the Minneapolis headquarters of the Socialist Workers Party on June 28, 1941, and indicted twenty-nine leaders. Eighteen were convicted and jailed for from one to one and a half years.

The national government did devote some effort to the persecution of genuine spies. Thus, the FBI cracked the two major German rings in 1941 and set in motion the process that would put their members behind bars. It also began, under F.D.R.’s direct orders, secretly collaborating with British Intelligence, in violation of U.S. neutrality laws. Although designed to keep the State out of war, neutrality laws ended up more often in practice being used by the State to harass private citizens.12

A most unusual prewar espionage case involved a code clerk at the U.S. Embassy in Great Britain: Tyler Kent. Kent was presumably responsible for a leak of embassy communications to the Axis. The U.S. government, in an unheard-of diplomatic irregularity, waived Kent’s diplomatic immunity so that the British could apprehend him. It then pressured the British into trying Kent, rather than deporting him to the U.S. An American trial would have disclosed the existence of the major documents that Kent had purloined-the clandestine personal correspondence between President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, carried on prior to Churchill’s becoming British Prime Minister, while he was still only a cabinet member in Chamberlain’s war government. Such a patent exposure of F.D.R.’s unneutral designs would probably have outraged the American people and damaged F.D.R.’s bid for a third term in the 1940 Presidential race. The British trial, on the other hand, was conducted behind closed doors, under harsher statutes. Kent received a seven-year sentence, and the American public heard absolutely nothing about the case until four years later, long after the U.S. was fully committed to the war.13

Finding a legal basis for suppressing the German-American Bund before Pearl Harbor proved more difficult for the U.S. government. Back in 1933, it had indicted Spanknoebel, then Bund leader, for violating an obscure notification clause in the Espionage Act. But Spanknoebel fled to Germany, and after that, the Justice Department could find no grounds for further prosecution, despite all the new repressive laws. Not until June of 1941 did Roosevelt order the seizure of Bund assets as part of his general order freezing all Axis assets in the United States. Soon afterward, the government filed tax liens against the Bund.

The most telling blows against the Bund came from state and local governments. New Jersey passed an anti-Bund law, forbidding the wearing of foreign uniforms, as early as mid-1938, and several years later, confiscated the Bund’s Camp Nordland. New York City’s mayor, Fiorello La Guardia, bent upon imprisoning Bund leaders under any pretext, established an antisubversive squad in the city’s police department and launched an investigation into Bund finances. The young and aggressive New York District Attorney, Thomas Dewey, secured a conviction of Fritz Kuhn, head of the Bund, for misuse of Bund funds, and sent him to Sing Sing Prison for two and a half years in December, 1939. By the summer of 1941, California had a comprehensive Subversive Organization Registration Law aimed at the Bund, while Florida had made membership in any “anarchistic, communistic, Naziistic or fascistic organization” a felony.

The Bund was not the only fringe organization to feel the sting of state and local repression. Pelley of the Silver Shirts, to give just one more example from the right, was constantly in trouble with North Carolina authorities from 1935 on. Several states made libel of racial, religious, and ethnic groups a criminal offense. To drive the Communist Party off the ballot, many states made their ballot requirements more stringent during the 1940 election or immediately thereafter. Four states, at the instigation of the Dies Committee, indicted over a hundred Communist petition circulators for election fraud. Oklahoma handed down sentences of ten years to four Communist leaders under the state’s criminal syndicalism laws, while the Washington legislature refused to seat an elected state senator who was a former party member.

But it was neither fascists nor Communists who suffered most during the pre-Pearl Harbor hysteria. According to the ACLU’s annual report for 1940-41, “the most numberous attacks on civil liberties of any single minority were directed against the Jehovah’s Witnesses."14 The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a millenialist Protestant sect, founded in the last third of the nineteenth century and numbering a quarter of a million American adherents. Their theology is extremely anti-Statist, and it even opposes flag salutes. This opposition so enraged local authorities, the American Legion, and other protectors of patriotism that the Witnesses were the only group during the World War II period to endure the kind of vigilante violence that had been so prevalent during World War I. Mob attacks upon Witnesses occurred in 335 communities in 44 different states in the six months running from May to October 1940 alone. Many of the injured were women and children.

The Supreme Court defended the Witnesses' First Amendment right to distribute religious literature without restrictions from local ordinances beginning in 1938. But in the 1940 Gobitis case, the Court held that children could legally be expelled from government schools for not saluting the flag. “National Unity is the basis of national security,” wrote Justice Felix Frankfurter in the majority opinion.15 Massive expulsions were the result, followed sometimes by state prosecutions of Witness parents for violating compulsory attendance laws. A few attempts were made to take children from their Jehovah’s Witness parents but were unsuccessful. Indiana, under its state sedition law, sentenced two elderly Witness women who refused to salute the flag to prison terms of two to ten years, although their convictions were later overturned on appeal.

II. Post-Pearl Harbor

All the aforementioned events, entailing enormous gains for State power, occurred, we should stress, at a time when the United States was technically at peace. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor merely accelerated the civil liberties trends already in motion. The awesome repressive machinery constructed by Congress and the President during the prewar period now became fully operational. The only well-known World War II civil liberties outrage is the internment of Japanese-Americans. Actually, the U.S. government amplified its harassment of aliens from all enemy nations at the first news of the Japanese attack. Within seventy-two hours of the attack, the FBI had 3,846 Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants in custody. A grand total of sixteen thousand were seized throughout the war and about four thousand of them were held for the duration. This was done under authority of the old Alien Enemies Act, which permitted alien internment during wartime. It was one of the four notorious Alien and Sedition Acts passed by the Federalists in 1798, and the only one of the four that President Jefferson had left on the books.16

The “enemy” aliens who were parched or who remained at large suffered numerous other infringements of their liberty. The national government forced more than ten thousand to leave their homes near defense installations, and it imposed rigid curfews upon others. They all needed permission to travel or move and could not possess firearms or short-wave radios. The Justice Department’s only leniencies were to exempt Italian aliens from these restrictions after Columbus Day, 1942, and west coast Germans two months later.

Unlike the policies already mentioned, the State’s treatment of the west coast Japanese made no distinction between native-born citizens (Nisei) and foreign-born aliens (Issei).17 (None of the foreign-born Japanese were naturalized American citizens because they were legally ineligible.) As U.S. defeats in the Pacific mounted during the war’s early days, west coast leaders intensified their demands that all Japanese be singled out for special treatment. These demands arose out of the area’s deep-rooted racism, as well as from resentment at economic competition with this industrious minority. Many people were more than anxious to accept columnist Walter Lippmann’s strained explanation for the complete absence of any act of sabotage by Japanese-Americans. According to Lippmann, this merely indicated that they were waiting with Oriental patience for the propitious moment to commit some massive coordinated atrocity.18

Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, empowering the army to exclude “any or all persons” from designated military zones. One month later, he signed a Congressional measure stipulating criminal penalties for disobeying this order. The War Department had already declared the western parts of California, Oregon, and Washington and the southern part of Arizona a “prohibited zone.” No one was ordered to leave yet, but about nine thousand Japanese-Americans saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to move inland on their own. They encountered a very chilly reception. Officials from other western states objected to being made, in the words of the Governor of Arizona, “a dumping ground for enemy aliens,” and violence threatened.19

The Army therefore forbade any more voluntary evacuation. Instead, it forcibly collected at race tracks, fairgrounds, and other makeshift assembly points all persons of Japanese ancestry residing not only within the original restricted zone but anywhere within California, Washington, Oregon, southern Arizona, and Alaska. Evacuees could only take clothing, bedding and utensils. The government offered to store their remaining personal property, but would assume no liability for it. So most evacuees sold their property on five-days' notice for what they could get. After they left, their leases expired and their farms were generally confiscated. Japanese-Americans suffered an estimated $350 million loss in property and income.20

The War Relocation Agency (WRA), a civilian agency created in mid-March, erected ten semi-permanent relocation centers in inhospitable regions of seven western states. By September, the army had turned over 110,000 Japanese-Americans to these camps. Nearly two-thirds of that total were native-born American citizens. Anyone with simply one Japanese great grandparent qualified for internment, although this rule was later relaxed. The relocation centers were, as F.D.R. admitted in a slip of the tongue, “concentration camps,"21 ringed with barbed wire and armed guards. In at least one instance, a sentry shot and killed an elderly internee who wandered too close to the outer fence, in violation of camp regulations.

The WRA began granting leaves to those inmates who could prove that they were not disloyal, that they had a job waiting, and that the community would accept them. But only 35,000, mostly young Nisei, left the camps under this dispensation. Meanwhile, the War Department sought to register male internees for the drafts following Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson’s announcement of the “inherent right of every faithful citizen regardless of ancestry, to bear arms in the nation’s battle."22 Of the 75,000 who were asked whether they would renounce allegiance to the Japanese emperor, however, 8,700 either refused or equivocated. Many of these were Issei who, being forbidden American citizenship, were afraid to put themselves in limbo, without any formal nationality. Riots also erupted in some of the camps. The worst took place at Camp Manzanar in California, where soldiers fired into unarmed crowds, killing two and wounding ten.

Congressional critics thought the WRA was too lenient, and forced the agency, beginning in the summer of 1943, to isolate those inmates who would not swear loyalty or who were troublemakers. The WRA consequently transferred about 18,500 to a special camp in Tule Lake, California. The Tule Lake inmates organized a campaign of passive resistance which turned into rioting, with the result that the government put the camp under military rule for two months and put two hundred internees in the stockade. After Congress passed the Denationalization Act of 1944, making it easier for Americans to renounce their citizenship, some eight thousand Japanese-Americans were eventually returned to Japan.23

The Roosevelt Administration conceded that, whatever the military justification for evacuation, it no longer applied in the spring of 1944. Roosevelt, however, continued Japanese internment to avoid any political repercussions from west coast voters. Only after he was safely reelected to a fourth term that November did he permit the inmates to leave the camps and return home. Some, their lives disrupted and fearing racist attacks, were reluctant to leave the camps. But the WRA all of a sudden became concerned about the $250 million that the camps had already cost taxpayers, and it booted out the last of the internees at the end of 1945.

The U.S. State extended its deprivations against people of Japanese ancestry beyond the borders. It pressured more than a dozen Latin American nations to implement similar policies and even interned two thousand of their Japanese residents right here in U.S. relocation centers.24 Curiously, the Japanese in Hawaii, who numbered 250,000, one-third of the islands' population, were untouched by the internment program, except for about two thousand who were shipped to the mainland. Extensive internment would have disrupted Hawaii’s economy. The government did, however, put Hawaii under strict martial law for the three years following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, suspending trial by jury, habeas corpus, and other procedural safeguards. Out of the over 22,000 military trials of civilians on the islands during 1942, 99 percent resulted in convictions.25

Internment was not the only consequence of F.D.R.’s Executive Order 9066, nor Japanese the only class of U.S. citizens affected. The vague phrasing of the order would have permitted the army to evacuate or incarcerate any American anywhere in the country, had it so chosen. Thus, even after the Japanese were free to leave the relocation centers, five thousand still faced individual exclusion from the west coast. The military also forcibly ejected, after secret deliberations, 250 citizens not of Japanese ancestry from the west coast, and an additional fifty from the east coast.26

Most historical accounts of the World War II homefront report that, except for Japanese-American internment, the U.S. civil liberties record was relatively clean. It never approached, this view argues, the repressive heights of World War I. The first observation we can make about this view is that Japanese-American internment is a pretty glaring exception. Even one of the early defenders of the Second World War civil liberties record, legal scholar Edward S. Corwin, has rated the treatment of the Japanese as “the most drastic invasion of the rights of citizens of the United States by their own government that has thus far occurred in the history of our nation.”27 During the First World War, the total number of victims of the Espionage and Sedition Acts, of alien internment and deportation, of state prosecutions, and of mob violence could not have exceeded fifteen thousand. Contrast that figure with 110,000 interned Japanese-Americans.

Then there is the internment and imprisonment of conscientious objectors during the Second World War. True, the options available to conscientious objectors were slightly improved over the First World War. About 25,000 accepted noncombatant military duty. Another 11,950 worked in civilian public service camps at tasks mainly involving conservation, forestry, and public health. The pacifist churches and organizations agreed to fund these camps, at an eventual cost of over $7 million.

But rigid military discipline prevailed, making the camps nothing more than outdoor prisons. The objectors in the camps received no pay for fifty hours per week of generally arduous and sometimes dangerous work. In the rare case where an objector was allowed to work outside the camps, the State confiscated his wages. About five hundred objectors volunteered for medical experiments in which they were infected with lice, bitten by mosquitoes to test typhus and malaria cures, or subjected to other potentially disabling or fatal procedures. Not until two years after the war ended did the government release the last of the objectors from these camps. Then, to add insult to injury, several states barred objectors from licensed professions, and the Supreme Court upheld these bars.

Whether one received conscientious objector status at all depended upon the vagaries of local boards. In any case, only religious objectors qualified under the Selective Service Act, and Selective Service Director General Louis B. Hershey ordered this provision interpreted strictly. Of the sixteen thousand men convicted for draft resistance of one kind or another during the war, six thousand were conscientious objectors whose status was not recognized, and three quarters of those were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although opposed to the war on religious grounds, the Witnesses were not consistent pacifists-they declared their willingness to fight in the battle of Armageddon-and draft boards routinely denied their requests for ministerial exemptions.

The Selective Service Act provided a maximum prison term of five years. This applied not only for refusal to serve but also for failure to register, which in World War I had been just a misdemeanor. In a few cases, objectors faced the World War I procedure of being forcibly inducted and then court-martialed, with much sterner penalties. The most severe case was that of Henry Weber, a conscientious objector who was married and the father of three children. He also belonged to the Socialist Labor Party, another Marxist splinter group. The army initially sentenced him to hang, then reconsidered, and changed that to life imprisonment. Only as the war drew to a close, after several appeals, was his sentence reduced to five years and a dishonorable discharge. Overall, the jailings of conscientious objectors during World War II, not counting those interned in civilian public service camps, ran at three times the World War I rate, even in proportion to the total drafted.28

If we somehow overlook Japanese-Americans and conscientious objectors, we still must appraise the State’s respect for personal liberty during World War II in light of the virtual nonexistence of antiwar sentiment. After Pearl Harbor, Americans endorsed U.S. intervention with an eruption of patriotic unity unmatched in any previous war. The prewar isolationists universally abandoned their cause, closed up shop, and threw their hearts into the war. The country’s organized peace movement disintegrated.29 And on the extreme left, the Communist Party tried to outdo all others in its new-found American nationalism. In contrast, two powerful leftwing organizations, the Socialist Party and the Industrial Workers of the World, had opposed World War I.

Despite the Second World War’s unprecedented popularity, the national government still went out of its way to conduct sedition trials, initiate denaturalizations and deportations, and practice censorship. Sometimes, as the case of the Japanese-Americans amply illustrates, it created disloyalty out of thin air, where none initially existed. In other instances, it would prosecute the same individuals in several different proceedings under several different laws, because of the paucity of eligible scapegoats. Relative to the amount of dissent, there was clearly more repression during the Second World War then during the First. But since many of the victims were viewed as pathetic rightists with odious ideas, America’s dominant liberals hardly noticed.

Repression of groups other than the Japanese-Americans during World War II required no new legislation. The prewar period provided all the necessary tools. A mass prosecution conducted under the Smith Act was to be the Roosevelt Administration’s show trial. Attorney General Francis Biddle, facing constant prodding from F.D.R., indicted a heterogenous assortment of two dozen alleged native fascists in July, 1942. The faulty indictment had to be rewritten twice, however, so that the actual trial did not begin for almost another two years. The defendants, dragged from all corners of the country to stand trial in Washington, D.C., now numbered thirty. Most of them had never met each other. They were not even all overtly anti-Jewish; all they had in common was a hatred of President Roosevelt.30

The most prominent defendant was Harvard-educated Laurence Dennis, a former diplomat and author of The Coming American Fascism. Dennis’s book was more prediction than prescription, and when told of his indictment, he exclaimed, “My prophecy is coming true. This is fascism.” 31 Viereck, the German publicist indicted before Pearl Harbor under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, was also among the defendants, and while he stood trial, his son died in action with U.S. forces in North Africa. Other defendants included Elizabeth Dilling, author of The Red Network, a book that charged many liberals with being Communists; Pelley of the Silver Shirts; and four leaders of the German-American Bund.

The government’s indictment charged the defendants with participating in a fantastic international Nazi conspiracy, dating from 1933, to establish a fascist regime in the U.S. by subverting morale in the armed forces. The defendants had purportedly assert- ed, among other scurrilous and dangerous doctrines, that “President Roosevelt is reprehensible, a war-monger, liar, unscrupulous, and a pawn of the Jews, Communists and Plutocrats” and that “[t]he Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was deliberately invited by the public officials of the United States, in order to involve the United States in a foreign war.” The indictment named as co-conspirators forty-two books and publications and thirty-five organizations, including the German-American Bund, the Silver Shirts, the German Embassy in the U.S., and the National Socialist Party of Germany. The first indictment had even named the America First Committee, but that organization did not appear in the final document.

The defendants engaged twenty-two different lawyers, two-thirds of whom were court appointed to represent the indigent. The trial quickly degenerated into a circus. The defendants and their lawyers bickered among themselves, separately raised every conceivable objection, and regularly disrupted the proceedings. One lawyer concluded most of his objections with the exclamation “Your Honor, this is just another New Deal trick!” which invariably brought snickers from the jury. The presiding judge, in his efforts to maintain order, issued so many contempt citations that the cited lawyers and defendants formed a “contempt club,” with badges. Some of the defendants wore masks to court and signs saying, “I am a Spy,” until dissuaded by their lawyers. The judge finally kicked one lawyer off the case, while another resigned. The number of defendants fell by four, with one dying, two being severed from the case for illness, and one for unruly behavior.

After an eight-month marathon, and a trial record of 18,000 pages, the presiding judge died, and a mistrial was declared. The prosecution had still presented less than half its case, which failed to charge any overt acts, but relied solely on guilt by association and similarities between the defendants' prewar opinions and the Nazi “party line.” The poorer defendants, having to either raise bail and support themselves in wartime Washington or remain in jail during the trial, suffered extreme hardships. The Justice Department pressed for a new trial for the next two years, until November of 1946, after the war was long over, when the courts at last dismissed the case, ruling that a retrial would be “a travesty of justice.” Nevertheless, as Biddle coyly admits in his memoirs, “the propaganda had long since ceased.” “In that sense, at least, the prosecution had accomplished the purpose the President had in mind.”32

At the time that the mass sedition trial commenced, two of the defendants were already incarcerated without trial as dangerous enemy aliens, three more had suffered involuntary psychiatric commitment, and six were serving sentences arising out of other war-related prosecutions. Among the latter group were Viereck and Pelley. Viereck’s indictment under the Foreign Agents Registration Act had resulted in a conviction, encouraging the government to use the act with telling effect upon several others who had been on the fringes of the isolationist movement. Pelley, in one of the first post- Pearl Harbor cases, had received a fifteen-year sentence, while his press was fined $5,000, for articles critical of the U.S. war effort The national government had tried him under the sedition provisions of the Espionage Act, which had become operative with the declaration of war. All of this was on top of having his parole revoked in North Carolina.

Two other defendants in the mass sedition trial were leaders of the Friends of Progress, a group which had conducted a mock impeachment of Roosevelt and then found themselves facing no fewer than four wartime prosecutions. In addition to being entangled in the mass sedition trial, they had been convicted under both the national Espionage Act and California’s Subversive Organization Registration Law (the state conviction was overturned on appeal) and charged with criminal libel in California for critical remarks about General Douglas MacArthur.

In a second mass trial, this one using the Selective Service Act, the Justice Department charged twenty-four members of the German-American Bund with counseling draft evasion. The two mass trials had much in common, including several of the defendants and many of the prosecution witnesses. The major difference was that the mass trial of the German-Americans resulted in a conviction.33

In all, more than two hundred different persons went through such sedition prosecutions under either the Espionage Act, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the Smith Act, or the Selective Service Act during the course of the war. The largest number of them were, interestingly enough, blacks. The FBI arrested about one hundred Black Muslims and members of other more ephemeral black religious cults that identified with the Japanese as kindred victims of white oppression. Robert Jackson, for example, the founder of the Ethiopian Pacific League, who had told a Harlem audience that the Japanese “wanted to help you and give you back your culture,” received ten years' imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.34

After blacks, the German-American Bund provided the next largest number of sedition defendants. In addition, Biddle launched a crusade to revoke the citizenship of Bund members. This crusade had denaturalized forty-two by December 1940, three hundred suits were pending, and thousands of cases were under investigation. The courts, however, restrained the Justice Department, so that ultimately a total of only 180 Americans lost their citizenship.

Among them was Fritz Kuhn, the Bund leader jailed in New York before the war. His tale demonstrates the vindictive lengths to which the State carried its persecution of the Bund. Stripped of his citizenship, Kuhn was no sooner paroled by New York than he was put in a federal internment camp for enemy aliens. The U.S. deported him to Germany at the war’s close, where the U.S. occupation government promptly arrested him again and finally sentenced him to ten years hard labor for associations with Hitler which Kuhn had, in fact, fabricated in order to increase his stature within the Bund. Kuhn was finally freed on appeal in 1950, and a year later, he died.

One clear difference between repression in the two world wars was the greater degree of centralization during the Second. The Roosevelt Administration, in conferences with state officials both before and after U.S. entry, reached an unpublicized gentleman’s agreement that left state sedition laws nearly unenforced. Biddle, unlike Wilson’s Attorney General during World War I, kept a tight reign on U.S. attorneys, who could not undertake sedition prosecutions without his approval. The national government also discouraged vigilantes and refused to revive any private loyalty organizations like the American Protective League.

Private violence and local repression did transpire, however. As in the prewar period, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were the most frequent objects of mob attacks, being the only war opponents with any visibility. Mississippi arrested over fifty Witnesses for violating its new sedition law. Brutality against Witnesses did not recede until mid-1942, when the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division began to come to their aid. In one case, it secured a conviction of two West Virginia police officers for releasing several Witnesses into the eager hands of American Legionnaires, who had then forced the Witnesses to drink castor oil, tied them together with police department rope, and marched them out of town. The Supreme Court also succored the Witnesses. Although it upheld local peddlers' taxes, no matter how exorbitant, on the distribution of their literature, it overturned their Mississippi conviction and, in June 1943, reversed its previous mandatory flag-salute decision.

The Second World War also saw another upsurge in violence directed at racial minorities. The war boom and the market demand for labor, far more than the government’s Fair Employment Practices Committee, opened up new economic opportunities for minorities. As blacks poured into industrial centers, north and south, racial antagonism intensified. Disorders first appeared on southern military posts, where white residents clashed with northern black soldiers, who did not proffer the customary subservience. But the most severe race riots occurred in the cities: Harlem; Philadelphia; Mobile, Alabama; El Paso and Port Arthur, Texas; Springfield, Massachusetts; Hubbard, Ohio. A two-day guerrilla war between blacks and whites in Detroit during the summer of 1943 left twenty-five blacks and nine whites dead, seven hundred of both races injured, and $2 million property damage.35 The riot only ceased when six thousand troops occupied the city. Two weeks later, during the famous zoot-suit riots in Los Angeles, white servicemen terrorized the city’s Mexican-American sections for four days as the city police, the Military Police, and the Shore Patrol all looked the other way.36 The only factor which kept violence against Japanese-Americans at such a low ebb was their forcible removal.

As in World War I, the national government had an official propaganda agency. Roosevelt created the Office of Facts and Figures before Pearl Harbor and then replaced it in mid-1942 with the Office of War Information (OWI), under Elmer Davis from the New York Times. The OWI’s first-year appropriation was nearly $40 million, but, from the outset, it had to be more circumspect than its World War I counterpart, the Committee on Public Information. It was continuously beset with controversy, emanating both from within the agency and from Congressional critics. Congress cut off practically all funding for the OWI’s domestic operations in 1943, but expanded its overseas activities.37

More robust was the Office of Censorship, created by the First War Powers Act. It examined all forms of communication entering or leaving the country-letters, cables, telephone calls, even films. It went so far as to suppress private letters that painted a gloomy picture of the war. By 1944, it had detained 500,000 pieces of mail, occupying 10,000 square feet of storage space. The Office also drew up an ostensibly voluntary Code of Wartime Practices that applied to press and radio news reporting.38 The military engaged in its own independent censorship covering the news it released, the mail sent and received by U.S. troops, the dispatches of war correspondents, and all media within conquered territories. When the isolationist Chicago Tribune innocently published too many details about the Battle of Midway, the Justice Department tried to prosecute. The grand jury refused to indict, however.

The Post Office banned single issues of domestic publications it judged subversive and then used that as justification for revoking their second-class mailing privileges altogether just as freely as it had in the first World War. This affected over seventy publications, ranging from the Trotskyite Militant to the Christian Pacifist Boise Valley Herald. The most important publication denied use of the mails was Father James Coughlin’s Social Justice, with 200,000 subscribers. Father Coughlin was a radio priest from Michigan and probably the most influential native radical rightist. Biddle was afraid that a sedition trial would make Coughlin a martyr, so he persuaded the Catholic hierarchy to silence Coughlin instead. Social Justice, meanwhile, ceased publication in the face of the postal ban.39 The Post Office also took advantage of the war to mount a fresh assault on obscenity. It barred about sixty additional publications from the mails for this reason, including Esquire magazine.

The government did not rely solely upon postal censorship, as in the previous war, to intimidate the domestic press. It confiscated outright publications put out by American citizens if it could even tenuously argue that they were financed by enemy funds. This is what befell all publications of the German-American Bund, as well as a few domestic Japanese newspapers. The Enemy Alien Property Division of the Treasury Department handled these seizures as part of its general takeover of enemy property.

Prosecutions for actual spying and treason, as opposed to sedition, made their first widespread appearance in this country during the Second World War. The national government convicted ninety-one persons of these offenses between 1938 and 1945, sixty-four of them U.S. citizens. Many of the sentences were blatantly excessive.

For instance, one of the earliest espionage prosecutions subsequent to Pearl Harbor ensnared one Max Stephen, an inconsequential Detroit tavern keeper who gave sanctuary to a German prisoner-of-war escaped from Canada. The State dusted off its until-then rarely used treason statute and sentenced Stephen to hang. Roosevelt commuted the sentence to life imprisonment.

The State dealt even more summarily with eight German saboteurs dropped off on U.S. shores by submarines in the summer of 1942. The Coast Guard and FBI quickly apprehended all eight. Since they had not yet committed sabotage, and since attempted sabotage was a minor felony, difficult to prove, the Roosevelt Administration decided against a civilian trial. In flagrant disregard of the Supreme Court’s Ex Parte Milligan Civil War precedent, a military commission, even less bound by judicial safeguards than a court martial, tried the saboteurs in secret. Six were electrocuted within a month and a half of their apprehension, while the two who turned State’s evidence received long sentences.40

In 1943, the U.S. secured treason indictments against eleven Americans making broadcasts from German, Italian, or Japanese radio stations. At the end of the war, when the government finally caught up with these renegade broadcasters, it convicted five. Probably the most egregious among these cases was that of Iva Ikuko Toguri d'Aquino. She was a native-born American of Japanese ancestry caught in Japan at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. She went to work for Radio Tokyo under duress, was only one of several women broadcasters known by the generic name “Tokyo Rose,” and made mostly routine broadcasts devoid of political or military overtones. But she had the misfortune to be tried in California before an all-white jury, and was sentenced to 10 years and $10,000. Not until the Presidency of Gerald Ford did she receive a retroactive full pardon.41

Another of those broadcasters was Ezra Pound, the renowned poet. He had worked for Radio Rome. The government did not even bother formally to convict him. Instead, it incarcerated him without a trial in a mental hospital for thirteen years.42

Concomitant with the State’s new attention to the crime of espionage was the birth of the U.S. intelligence community, with its ubiquitous influence upon policy. The number of FBI special agents swelled from 851 in 1939 to 5a~72 in 1944. The Bureau also moved into other countries, gaining responsibility for intelligence and counter-espionage in Latin America. To carry on covert actions elsewhere, Roosevelt created the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in July 1941, with the flamboyant General William “Wild Bill” Donovan at its helm. The OSS originated from the Coordinator of Information’s office, created five months prior to Pearl Harbor. It grew prodigiously during the war and afterwards blossomed into the Central Intelligence Agency.43

The military intelligence services expanded their activities as well. Their most notable operation was the worldwide interception, decoding, and analysis of radio communications. Conducted primarily by the army’s Signal Security Agency, this electromagnetic eavesdropping contributed significantly to many Allied military victories. It also sometimes provided sensitive information about American citizens. It did not cease with the war’s end, but rather beginning in 1952 fell under the auspices of the National Security Agency, today the U.S.’s largest and most secret intelligence agency.44

Concern for loyalty within the State apparatus itself reached new levels. In this one area, Congress pushed the Roosevelt Administration further than the administration wished to go. The Communist Party’s enthusiasm for the war brought a rapprochement with the administration, symbolized by F.D.R.’s pardon of Browder, tile party leader convicted before Pearl Harbor of passport fraud. Other Communists convicted under state law also received pardons. But the Dies Committee did not go along with this rapprochement and continued to attack the administration for harboring subversives. This induced the executive branch to augment its own loyalty program and lengthen the Attorney General’s list of subversive organizations. As the war drew to a close, the House voted to convert the Committee on Un-American Activities from a special committee, requiring yearly renewal, to a permanent standing committee.

The one bright spot in the U.S. civil liberties record during World War II was the courts. They ultimately upheld convictions against only about one-fourth of all the seditionists prosecuted. The Supreme Court, in particular, thwarted many civil liberties transgressions, beginning in 1943, when the tide of battle shifted toward the Allies. Even so, nearly all the Court’s favorable decisions turned on narrow procedural grounds. Only in protecting such victims of the state governments as Jehovah’s Witnesses did it strike down any repressive laws.

Thus, the Court overturned Viereck’s first conviction under the Alien Registration Act, but when the Roosevelt Administration retried him under the same act, the Court let his second conviction stand. In Hartzel v. U.S., it reversed the wartime Espionage Act conviction of a native fascist for distributing antiwar literature, and in Keegan v. U.S., it reversed the mass Selective Service Act conviction of German-American Bund members, but it refused to re- view the Smith Act conviction of the Socialist Workers Party, and later, in 1951, it upheld that act’s constitutionality. It blocked the deportation of Harry Bridges, and the denaturalization of both a Communist and a Bundist in the Schneiderman and Baumgarter cases, but it sustained the denaturalization of another Bund member in the Knauer case.

It reinstated Esquire’s second-class mailing privileges, but it left the Post Office’s power to exclude single issues of publications intact. It also approved FBI wiretapping in two 1942 decisions. It overruled the treason conviction of one German-American who had sheltered the U-boat saboteurs, but in a related case, it sustained a treason conviction for the first time in its history, and in Ex Parte Quinn, it certified the extralegal railroading of the saboteurs. It conceded that aliens had some constitutional rights in Ex Parte Kuwate, but it upheld the Federalist Alien Enemies Act in Ludecke v. Watkins. It ruled that the military should not have closed the civilian courts in Hawaii, but only two years after marital law there had already ended.45

On the most grievous civil liberties violation of the war, the internment of Japanese-American citizens, the Court refused to rule at all. It skirted the issue, finding in the Endo case, on the one hand, that the government could not detain citizens who had proven their loyalty (and this only on the day after the government had opened the relocation centers). On the other hand, in Hirabayshi v. U.S. and Kormatsu v. U.S., the Court avowed the government to impose special curfews upon citizens of Japanese ancestry and to exclude them from certain areas.46

The Second World War is still today widely regarded as the U.S. State’s last “good war.”47 The partiality of establishment liberals for Franklin D. Roosevelt is notorious, but amazingly, even his Attorney General, Biddle, has a reputation as a staunch advocate of civil liberties. The internment of Japanese-Americans is treated as an anomaly within an otherwise commendable performance.

The internment of Japanese-Americans was not an anomaly. It was representative of a wartime administration that respected civil liberties only so far as political expediency required. The repression of others whose enthusiasm for American participation in the Second World War was even slightly suspect differed in scale, not in degree. Furthermore, the repressive instruments established during this period would again be put to effective use during the McCarthy Era and the Vietnam War. The Roosevelt Administration established virtually all the precedents for Cold War political harassment.

If this is what we can expect from a “good war,” we can only tremble at the thought of what the next “bad wart” might bring.


  1. The Revisionist interpretation of U.S. entry into World War If was presented in the immediate post-war period in Charles A. Beans, American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940 (New Havens Yale University Press, 1946), and President Roosevelt and the Coming of War, 1941: A Study in Appearances and Reality (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948); George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War (New York Devin-Adair, 1947); William Henry Chamberlin, America’s Second Crusade (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1950); Frederic R. Sanborn, Design for War: A Study of Secret Power Politics, 1937-1941 (New York: Devin-Adair, 1951); Charles Callan Tansill, Back Door to War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1952); Harry Elmer Barnes, ed., Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: A Critical Examination of the Foreign Policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Its Aftermath (Caldwell, ID: Caxton, 1953); and Robert A. Sepaloid, The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor: The Washington Contribution to the Japanese Attack (New York: Devin-Adair, 1954).
    After this initial outpouring, Revisionist scholarship fell dormant. The alleged reason-according to orthodox historiography-was that Revisionism had been discredited. In reality what happened was that the orthodox historians incorporated the salient features of the Revisionist account without admitting the fact The early orthodox accounts of U.S. entry into World War II, such as Basil Rauch, Roosevelt: From Munich to Pearl Harbor (New York Creative Age Press, 1950), endeavored to portray the U.S. government as genuinely surmised by the Pearl Harbor attack. But such later orthodox accounts as William L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The World Crisis and American Foreign Policy, 2v. (New York Harper & Brothels, 1952-3), and Robert A. Divine, The Reluctant Belligerent: American Entry into the Second World War (New York: John Wiley, 1965), in contrast did not dispute the Revisionist factual claim that the Roosevelt administration both strongly desired and fully anticipated U.S. involvement in World War I. They instead merely argued that U.S. involvement was a worthy goal, and some went so far as to criticize Roosevelt for not achieving that goal rapidly enough.
    One of the few recent Revisionist works to challenge the strategic necessity of U.S. intervention into World War II is Bruce M. Russett, No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the US. Entry into World War II (New York Harper & Row, 1972).
  2. On the passage of the Lend-Lease Act, see Warren F. Kimball, The Most Unsordid Act: Lend-Lease, 1939-1941 (Baltimore: John Hopkins Press, 1969). On the peacetime introduction of conscription, see John O'Sullivan; From Voluntarism to Conscription. Congress and Selective Service, 1940-1945 (New York Garland, 1982), which is the published version of a dissertation written ten years earlier. The official overview of prewar mobilization in general is Bureau of the Budget, The United States at War: Development and Administration of the War Program by the Federal Government (Washington Government Printing Office, [1946]). The relevant sections of Paul A.C. Koistinen, The Military Industrial Complex: Historical Perspectives (New York: Praeger, 1980), offer a more critical survey.
  3. Because so many authors have accepted the myth about the relative mildness of U.S. civil liberties' violations during World War II, the treatment of that subject is generally woeful. Even the highly competent and usually meticulous historian Harold M. Hyman, in his otherwise excellent overview of civil liberties in U.S. history, To Try Men’s Souls: Loyally Tests in American History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960), makes the glaring error on p. 329 of finding “only twenty- six” federal indictments under security statutes that “emerged from World War II.” He is apparently counting just the mass sedition trial, in fact, just the initial indictment, and overlooks all the remaining 270 or so prosecutions for both sedition and espionage.
    There are to my knowledge only three works, all devoted to broader subjects, that give reasonably complete pictures of State repression during World War II: 1 Robert Justin Goldstein’s sprawling chronicle of U.S. civil liberties in the twentieth century, Political Repression in Modern America: From 1870 to the Present (Cambridge: Schenkman, 1978). Goldstein tries to be comprehensive, but his work is a somewhat uncritical compilation based on secondary sources, with a heavy emphasis on labor violence, and it ignores such other forms of civil liberty violations as obscenity laws. 2 Geoffrey Perrett’s account of domestic events during World War II, Days of Sadness, Years of Triumph: The American People, 1939-1945 (New York Coward McCann & Geoghegan, 1973). Perrett always presents a provocative slant and forcefully overturns many myths about World War II, but he can sometimes be careless about details. 3 Leo P. Ribuffo’s study of the prewar and wartime far right, The Old Christian Right: The Protestant Far Right froth the Great Depression to the Cold War (Philadelphia Temple University Puss, 1983). It is Ribuffo who coined the term Brown Scare,” and I will have more to say about his work below.
    Two other homefront accounts that look into civil liberties more briefly or more selectively are Richard Polenberg, War and Society: The United States, 1941-1945 (Philadelphia: J.P. Lippincott, 1972), and John Morton Blum, V Was For Victory: Politics and American Culture During World War II (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976). One article devoted specifically to this subject, Richard W. Steele, “Franklin D. Roosevelt and His Foreign Policy Critics,” Political Science Quarterly, 94 (Spring 1979), 15-32, hardly scratches the surface. It is chiefly interesting for the trailing comment (pp. 33-5) by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., who makes a pathetic attempt to salvage the civil liberties reputation of his presidential idol.
    Thus, to get the full story, one must really piece it together from historical accounts of its component parts. A good place to start is with the Annual Reports of the American Civil Liberties Union, which have different titles, but which the N.Y. Times publishing house has compiled into convenient bound volumes. v. 3, July 1937-June 1944, and v. 4, July 1944-December 1950 (New York: Arno Press, 1970), cover the Second World War period. One should also examine In Brief Authority (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1962), the memoirs of Francis Biddl4 F.D.R.’s wartime Attorney General. That alone should be sufficient to deflate Biddle’s exaggerated reputation as a civil libertarian.
  4. On the prewar isolationists, see Wayne S. Cole’s definitive Roosevelt and the Isolationists, 1932-45 (Lincoln University of Nebraska Press, 1983). Cole fully exposes F.D.R.’s civil liberties transgressions during the contest with the isolationists. Cole’s older America First: The Battle against Intervention, 1940-1941 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1953) is the basic work on the America First Committee. An analysis of the battle between isolationists and interventionists in Congress is David L. Porter, The Seventy-Sixth Congress and World War II, 1939-1940 (Columbia University of Missouri Press, 1979). John E. Wiltz, In Search of Peace: The Senate Munitions Inquiry, 1934-36 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963), covers the Nye Committee investigations.
  5. Ribuffo’s Old Christian Right is outstanding not only for its account of State repression, but also because it is one of the few really scholarly and objective studies of the World War II far right. It finally transcends the moral indignation, the pseudo-scientific reliance upon the concept of “extremism,” and the amateurish psychologizing that cloud most of the literature on the subject. Geoffrey S. Smith, To Save a Nation: American Countersubversive, the New Deal, and the Coming of World War II (New York: Basic Books, 1973), is an equally important work that achieves the same level of historical detachment He shows how the far right changed from an anti-immigrant phenomenon at the end of World War I to an anti-Establishment one at the beginning of World War A, and in the process turned the countersubversive propaganda techniques used so effectively by the State during the Red Scare against the State.
    Similarly dispassionate on the German-American Bund is Sander A. Diamonds The Nazi Movement In The United States, 1924-1941 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974). With useful facts on the same subject, but not at all dispassionate, is Leland V. Bell, In Hitler’s Shadow: The Anatomy of American Nazism (Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1973). Two older studies that lean toward the exposé approach, but that have information on organizations and individuals within the far right that more recent studies have not yet gotten to, are Donald S. Strong, Organized Anti-Semitism In America: The Rise of Group Prejudice during the Decade, 1930-1940 (Washington. American Council on Public Affairs, 1941), and Morris Schonbach, “Native Fascism during the 1930s and 1940s: A Study of Its Roots, Its Growth and Its Decline” (Ph.D. dissertation: University of California at Los Angeles, 1958).
  6. The classic account of the growth of Communist influence during the popular-front era remains Eugene Lyons, The Red Decade: The Stalinist Penetration of America Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1941). A more modern study is Earl Latham, The Communist Controversy in Washington: From the New Deal to McCarthy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966). For the twists and turns in Communist Party policy, see Irving Howe and Lewis Closer, The American Communist Party: A Critical History (1919-1957) (Boston: Beacon Press, 1957), and Philip J. Jaffe, The Rise and Fall of American Communism (New York: Horizon Press, 1975).
  7. The Dies Committee and its predecessors are the subject of August Raymond Ogden, The Dies Committee: A Study of the Special House Committee for Investigation of Un-American Activities, 1938-1944 (Washington: Catholic University Press, 1945), and Walter Goodman, The Committee: The Extraordinary Career of the House Committee on Un- American Activities (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1968). The Ogden book, although older and dryer, is more scholarly.
  8. It would be nice to have a book on passage and pre-Cold War enforcement of the Smith Act or one on all the World War II repressive legislation. Until then, we must be satisfied with the account of the Smith Act’s passage contained in the first two chapters of Michal R. Belknap, Cold War Justice: The Smith Act, the Communist Party, and American Civil Liberties (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977). Schonbach, “Native Fascism during the 1930s and 1940s,” is one of the few works to give reasonably complete coverage to the other prewar security laws.
  9. The older works on the FBI, Fred J. Cook, The FBI Nobody Knows (New York: Macmillan, 1964), and Max Lowenthal, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (New York William Sloane Associates, 1950), are still useful for background. The Bureau’s officially authorized history, Don Whitehead, The FBI Story: A Report to the People (New York: Random House, 1957), is less critical and far less informative. A better balanced defense of the Bureau that criticizes both the Cook and Lowenthal books is Harry and Bonaro Overstreet, The FBI. in Our Open Society (New York. W.W. Norton, 1969).
    We have recently found out a lot about the FBI’s operations during the World War II period with the help of the Freedom of Information ACL Of the works incorporating this information, the most important is Kenneth O'Reilly, Hoover arid the Un-Americans: The FBI, HUAC, and the Red Menace (Philadelphia Temple University Press, 1983). It covers the FBI’s relationship with the Dies Committee, and is also the first work to document the FBI’s continued political surveillance of radicals through the twenties.
    Other newer works on the FBI and political surveillance are Athan Theoharis, Spying On Americans: Political Surveillance from Hoover to the Huston Plan (Philadelphia Temple University Press, 1978); Athan G. Theoharis, ed., Beyond the Hiss Case: The FBI, Congress, and the Cold War (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982); and Frank J. Donner, The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America’s Political Intelligence System (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980). Unfortunately, Theoharis and Donner, both being swept up unconsciously in the liberal Roosevelt cult, devote far too much energy to quibbling over whether the FBI went beyond F.D.R.’s prewar mandates in its domestic operations.
    In a class by itself is Richard Gil Powers, G-Men: Hoover’s FBI in American Popular Culture (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1983). This ambitious study links a judicious political history of the FBI with a far-ranging cultural history of American attitudes toward crime and law enforcement. The mass media is, of course, the bridge between the two, and Powers exposes Hoover’s very astute manipulation of the media
  10. William R. Corson, Armies of Ignorance: The Rise of the American Intelligence Empire (New York: Dial, 1977), p. 69. Corson’s book is a massive general history of the U.S. intelligence community with many details not found elsewhere. For instance, although the book was published before the incriminating documents were secured through the Freedom of Information Act, Corson reports the rumor that Assistant Attorney General William J. Donovan (later of OSS fame) informed Coolidge’s Attorney General, Harlan Fisk Stone, about Hoover routinely violating the directive against political surveillance. Donovan’s revelation, however, had no effect.
  11. For a scholarly study of a prominent individual within the antiwar far right who was at the fringes of the isolationist movement and who was a defendant in not only the mass sedition trial but in other wartime sedition cases, see Niel M. Johnson, George Sylvester Viereck. German- American Propagandist (Urbana University of Illinois Press, 1972). Johnson’s book is hostile to its subject, but still reliable. For a sensationalist — almost hysterical — contemporary “expose” of Nazi mail propaganda within the U.S. during World War II, see Henry Hoke, Black Mail (New York: Reader’s Book Service, 1944).
  12. The most thorough account of German espionage within the U.S. is Ladislas Farago, The Game of the Foxes: The Untold Story of German Espionage in the United States and Great Britain daring World War II (New York: David McKay, 1971), although Farago has a journalistic tendency to exaggerate the overall importance of his subject. There is also some coverage of World War II espionage and treason prosecutions in two books by Nathaniel Weyl: Treason: The Story of Disloyalty and Betrayal in American Wars (Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1950) and The Battle against Disloyalty (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1951). The titles and publication dates give away the McCarthyite bias of these highly colored and unreliable studies. They at least show no favoritism to either the extreme right or extreme left; Weyl heartily endorses government suppression of both.
    Even that virtue eludes a recent work in the same disreputable category: Charles Higham, American Swastika (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1985). Professing to be a history of Nazi penetration of the U.S. up to the present day, the book dredges up and seriously advances the long- discredited allegations about Nazi collusion with respectable isolationists. It is astonishing in this day and age to find a new book that actually bemoans the fact that Roosevelt could not get authority “allowing for the incarceration of known enemy collaborators without trial.” In- deed, Higham makes this complaint on p. 31, with reference to the pre- Pearl Harbor period.
    Another redeeming feature of Weyl’s books is that they are not overly concerned with the somewhat arbitrary distinction between antiwar dissent and espionage. Most civil libertarians still treat espionage, at least during the Second World War, as beyond the pale. As a result, no serious scholar has yet approached World War II espionage prosecutions from a civil liberties perspective. Any historical accounts, like Farago's, focus on the spying and apprehension parts of the story and tell us little or nothing about the actual trials or the precise laws under which the prosecutions were conducted.
  13. The best treatment of the Tyler Kent espionage case is contained in Richard J. Whalen’s biography of the U.S. ambassador to England at the time, The Founding Father: The Story of Joseph P. Kennedy (New York: New American Library, 1964), pp. 309-20. An earlier brief for Kent is John Howland Snow, The Case of Tyler Kent (New York Domestic and Foreign Affairs Press, 1946). Farago, writing more recently than Whalen, finds positive confirmation that the documents stolen by Kent finally did reach German intelligence. Farago, however, also repeats as true some fabrications against Kent concocted by Ambassador Kennedy but exposed by Whalen.
  14. ACLU 1941 annual report, “Liberty’s National Emergency: The Story of Civil Liberty in the Crisis Year, 1940-1941,” p. 27. David R. Manwaring, Render Unto Caesar: The Flag-Salute Controversy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), gives a full account of the war-engendered plight of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  15. Polenberg, War and Society, p. 59.
  16. In contrast to Japanese-American internment, U.S. internment of “enemy” aliens during World War II is wide open for research. It only receives mention in passing from works on other subjects, and the government has still to release the documents on alien internment facilities within its World War II concentration camp system. Although the Justice Department was responsible for alien internment, the camps used for this purpose were run by the military as part of its POW system. For a brief wartime report, see J. Edgar Hoover, “Alien Enemy Control,” Iowa Law Review, 29 (Mar 1944), 396408. Virtually the only scholarly attempt to open up this subject is a recent journal article, John H. Culley, “Trouble at Lordsburg Internment Camp,” New Mexico Historical Review, 60 (Jul 1985), 225 17. Culley investigates the suspicious shooting and killing of two Japanese “enemy” aliens at one of the camps.
  17. Japanese-American internment, of course, has received an inordinate amount of scholarly attention. The best introduction to the subject is Roger Daniels, Concentration Camps USA: Japanese Americans and World War II (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971). See also his collection of documents, The Decision to Relocate the Japanese Americans (Philadelphia J.P. Lippincott, 1975). It has a useful text and bibliographic note.
    Fuller treatments, in order of publications are: Morton Grodzins, Americans Betrayed: Politics and the Japanese Evacuation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949); Jacobus tenBroek Edward N. Barnhard, and Floyd W. Matson, Prejudice, War and the Constitution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1954); Audrie Girdner and Anne Loftis, The Great Betrayal: The Evacuation of the Japanese-Americans During World War II (New York. Macmillan, 1969); Allan R. Bosworth, America’s Concentration Camps (New York: W.W. Norton, 1967); and Michi Weglyn, Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps (New York William Morrow, 1976). The tenBroek Barnhart, and Matson work is best on legalistic details, the Bosworth book is mainly journalistic, and the Weglyn study is the most wide- ranging in its coverage.
  18. Perrett, Days of Sadness, Years of Triumph, pp. 219-220.
  19. Blum, V Was for Victory, p. 160.
  20. The economic cost of internment to Japanese-Americans is evaluated in Leonard Bloom and Ruth Reimer, Removal and Returns The Socio Economic Effect of the War on Japanese Americans (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1949).
  21. Daniels, Concentration Camps USA, p. 154.
  22. Blum, V Was for Victory, p. 164.
  23. Donald E. Collins, Native American Aliens: Disloyalty and the Renunciation of Citizenship by Japanese Americans During World War II (West- port, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985).
  24. Weglyn, Years of Infamy, reveals the U.S. pressure for similar policies with respect to Japanese residents in the Latin American countries.
  25. On martial law in Hawaii, see J. Gamer Anthony, Hawaii Under Army Rule (Stanford. Stanford University Press 1955).
  26. ACLU Annual Report 1942-1943, Freedom in Wartime, pp. 30-32.
  27. Edwin S. Corwin, Total War and the Constitution (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947), p. 91.
  28. The definitive study on World War II conscientious objectors is Mulford Q. Sibley and Philip E. Jacob, Conscription of Conscience: The American State and the Conscientious Objector, 1940-47 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1952). An examination of resistance to the draft is James J. Martin, “A Look at Conscription, Then and Now,” in Revisionist Viewpoints: Essays in a Dissident Historical Tradition (Colorado Springs: Ralph Myles Publisher, Inc., 1971). Martin suggests that resistance to the draft within the military, through AWOL malingering, and other passive techniques, was substantial. So far, no scholar has given this suggestion the serious investigation that it deserves.
  29. Lawrence S. Wittner, Rebels Against War: The American Peace Movement, 1941-1960 (New York Columbia University Press, 1969), shows the devastating impact the war hysteria had on the organized peace movement.
  30. The best account of the mass sedition trial is Leo P. Ribuffo, “United States v. McWilliams: The Roosevelt Administration and the Far Right,” in Michal R. Belknap, ed., American Political Trials (Newport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981), pp. 201-32. Essentially the same account appears in Ribuffo’s book The Old Christian Right. Biddle’s coy summation of the results of the trial is from p. 243 of In Brief Authority. The prosecuting attorney, O. John Rogge, updated and published the government’s ludicrous case against the defendants in The Official German Report: Nazi Penetration, 1924-l942; Pan-Arabism, 1939-Today (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1961). The most prominent defendant and his lawyer meanwhile had published their own account (which reprints the entire government indictment): Lawrence Dennis and Maximilian St. George, A Trial on Trial: The Great Sedition Trial of 1944 ([?]: National Civil Rights Committee, 1945). Eric Scott Royce, “FDR’s Mass Sedition Trial,” New Libertarian Weekly, 3 (30 Nov. 1975), 4-7, offers a competent summary.
  31. As quoted in Perrett, Days of Sadness, Years of Triumph, p. 361. Ronald Radosh, Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism (New York Simon and Schuster, 1975), devotes several chapters to Dennis and finds his reputation as a native fascist, to say the least, greatly exaggerated.
  32. Biddle, In Brief Authority, p. 243.
  33. Because it resulted in a conviction (albeit, one that was overturned by the Supreme Court), the mass trial of the German-American Bund members under the Selective Service Act deserves as much scholarly and journalistic attention as the mass sedition trial. But, alas, it has received very little.
  34. The only places that give much detail about the black antiwar religious cults and about the government prosecutions of their members are chapter twenty-two of Roi Ottley, 'New World A-Coming': Inside Black America (Boston: Houghton Miffllin, 1943), and pp. 103-5 of Neil A. Wynn, The Afro-American and the Second World War (New York Holmes & Meier, 1975). Wynn’s comments are based on more recent research, but he makes an unfounded distinction between prosecutions for sedition and for urging draft resistance. Washburn, A Question of Sedition, also discusses black seditionists on p. 172~ and further reveals that, if not for Biddle, F.D.R. and J. Edgar Hoover probably would have shut down the entire black press during World War II.
  35. Two works on the wartime Detroit race riot are Alfred McClung Lee and Norman D. Humphrey, Race Riot (New York Dryden, 1943), and Robert Shogan and Tom Craig, The Detroit Race Riot: A Study in Violence (Philadelphia Chilton Books, 1964).
  36. The best discussion of the zoot-suit riots in Los Angeles is contained in Blum’s V Was for Victory. Mauncio Mazon, The Zoot Suit Rusts: The Psychology of Symbolic Annihilation (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1984), although a more recent book-length treatment, is marred by its psycho-historic approach, which views the riots as mainly symbolic. Mazon does, however, point out the important fact that the zoot-suit riots generated a fairly tame level of violence, especially relative to the wartime violence directed against blacks.
  37. Allan M. Winkler, The Politics of Propaganda: The Office of War Information, 1942-1945 (New Haven Yale University Press, 1978), is a solid study of that agency. Blum’s V Was for Victory also contains a lengthy section on the Office of War Information.
  38. Theodore Koop, Weapon of Silence (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946), is an older study of the Office of Censorship.
  39. Charles J. Tull, Father Coughlin and the New Deal (Syracuse Syria University Press, 1965). For a more general examination of postal censorship, consult the relevant section of Dorothy Ganfield Fowler, Unmailable: Congress and the Post Office (Athens: University of Georgia Press 1977).
  40. The case of the U-boat saboteurs is the subject of Eugene Rachlis, They Came to Kill: The Story of Eight Nazi Saboteurs in America (New York Random House, 1961).
  41. A Revisionist look at one of the renegade broadcaster cases is provided by James J. Martin, “The Framing of 'Tokyo Rose',” in The Saga of Hog Iska1d: And Other Essays in Inconvenient History (Colorado Springs: Ralph Myles, 1977); pp. 145-80.
  42. Pound’s incarceration is fully treated in E. Fuller Torrey, The Roots of Treason. Ezra Pound and the Secrets of St. Elizabeth’s (New York McGraw-Hill, 1984). Torrey, himself a psychiatrist, believes that Pound was sane-but still a bona fide traitor.
  43. For the emergence of the intelligence community during World War A, see Corson’s The Armies Of Ignorance. There are two good works on the CIA’s forerunner R. Hams Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence Agency (Berkeley: University of California, 1972), and Bradley F. Smith, The Shadow Warriors: The OSS, and the Origins of the CIA. (New York Basic Books, 1983).
  44. On the wartime roots of the National Security Agency, see James Bamford, The Puzzle Palace: A Report On America’s Most Secret Agency, rev. ed., (New York Penguin Books, 1983).
  45. For the ambivalent civil liberties role played by the Supreme Court and the Constitution, see Edwin S. Corwin, Total War And TV Constitution In Crisis Tunes, 1918-1969 (New York Harper & Row, 1972).
  46. Peter Irons, Justice At War: The Story Of The Japanese-American Internment Cases (New York Oxford University Press, 1983), looks at the court cases that internment inspired, showing both that the government suppressed damaging documents and that ACLU lawyers, out of deference to F.DR., were remiss in representing their Japanese- Arnerican clients.
  47. The common notion of World War II as “The Good War” has most recently been reaffirmed in the title of a book by Studs Terláel: “The Good War": An Oral History of World War Two (New York Pantheon 1984).

About the author

JEFFREY ROGERS HUMMEL is a writer who has been published in such journals as New Libertarian, Reason, Libertarian Review, Inquiry, and Strategy and Tactics. He studied American Economic History at the graduate school of the University of Texas. He is a libertarian activist who has served three times on the National Platform Committee of the Libertarian Party. He is currently working on a book about national defense.

Bibliographic information
Author: Hummel, Jeffrey
Title: Not Just Japanese Americans: The Untold Story of U.S. Repression During 'The Good War'
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: Fall 1987
Issue: Volume 7 number 3
Location: Page 285
ISSN: 0195-6752
Attribution: “Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”
Please send a copy of all reprints to the Editor.