The Japanese Internment and the Betrayal of the ‘Progressives’
FDR’s wartime dictatorship: lessons for today
by Justin Raimondo
As libertarians know, and most of the rest of us suspect, government lies are as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, and the higher up we go the bigger the deception. Most of the time, we get the truth – if we get it – from whistleblowers, or renegade journalists, but the most recent case of truth-telling comes from Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, as the Los Angeles Times reports:
“In an extraordinary admission of misconduct, [Katyal] took to task one of his predecessors for hiding evidence and deceiving the Supreme Court in two of the major cases in its history: the World War II rulings that upheld the detention of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans.
“Katyal said Tuesday that Charles Fahy, an appointee of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, deliberately hid from the court a report from the Office of Naval Intelligence that concluded the Japanese Americans on the West Coast did not pose a military threat. The report indicated there was no evidence Japanese Americans were disloyal, were acting as spies or were signaling enemy submarines, as some at the time had suggested.”
Fahy suppressed a report from the Office of Naval Intelligence which denied Japanese-Americans represented a security threat, and maintained that those who did were either already in custody or else known to the authorities. Fahy, on the other hand, believed there was no way to differentiate between the loyal and the disloyal, and said Japanese living in the US were motivated by “racial solidarity.” This comment clearly characterizes Fahy as an inveterate racist, a reactionary, and a Very Bad Person with nativist inclinations – except that Fahy was hardly a know-nothing type. In fact, he was one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s legal liberals, a former head of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) legal department, whose reputation as a “legal craftsman” – i.e. one who stuck to the letter of the law, and avoided broader policy questions – was well-established.