Jeff is demanding that the Wall Street Journal apologize to Donald Trump for having the nerve to criticize him. How dare they do such a thing.
To be precise, Jeff objects to the WSJ’s reporting on Trump’s defense of his proposed moratorium on Muslim travel and immigration to the United States. The WSJ stated, “He defended it Tuesday, comparing his proposal to FDR’s decision to intern Japanese-Americans in World War II.”
Jeff says this is not so arguing that Trump was simply reiterating the points of his own piece here at TAS on Monday titled “FDR Was Trump on Steroids”. He claims that he was referring to FDR’s presidential proclamations 2525, 2526 & 2527 which deemed Japanese, Germans and Italians to be enemy aliens rather than FDR’s Executive Order 9066 which established the Japanese internment camps. Jeff characterizes Executive Order 9066 characterizing as “a blatantly racist and unconstitutional action.”
At best, Jeff is splitting a very, very fine hair. For his edification, I draw his attention to Michelle Malkin’s 2004 book In Defense of Internment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror. Her book defends the FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans. Here is what Malkin writes with regard to presidential proclamations 2525, 2526 & 2527 on page 56 of In Defense of Internment:
Following the Pearl Harbor attack and pursuant to the Alien Enemies Act, Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527, designating Japanese, German, and Italian nationals respectively as enemy aliens. A blanket presidential warrant authorized U.S Attorney General Francis Biddle to have the FBI arrest enemy aliens identified on the Custodial Detention Index and ABC lists, as well as all other enemy aliens deemed dangerous to the public peace and safety of the country. The West Coast – with its vast number of military installations, airplane production plants, agricultural resources, and other strategic facilities and industries – was declared a theater of war. The Western Defense Command was established with Lieutenant General John L. De Witt as commander. The enemy alien proclamations authorized not only internment, but also property ownership restrictions and travel bans in these sensitive areas. (Italics mine) As in World War I, enemy aliens were prohibited from owning guns and radios; they could not fly without permission; and their presence was barred from railroads, waterways, and utilities.
So there you have it. While it was a separate executive order which formally established the Japanese-American internment camps, those facilities would not have been possible without first designating the Japanese, Germans and Italians as enemy aliens. Indeed, Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527 states that such persons “shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed as alien enemies.” The internment camps established for Japanese, German and Italian-Americans would simply have not been possible without Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527.
Let me put it this way. If FDR’s establishment of internment camps for Japanese, German and Italian Americans was, as Jeff put its “a blatantly racist and unconstitutional action”, then surely the same can be said of Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527. If Trump is prepared to defend FDR’s Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527 then it is more than reasonable to conclude that he would also support FDR’s establishment of internment camps for Japanese, German and Italian Americans.
The Wall Street Journal owes no apology to Donald Trump.