The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Japanese internment by the U.S. during WW2 was justified

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,291 times Debate No: 92342
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (48)
Votes (1)




Danielle please read round one again before accepting. Let me know if anything is unfair to either of us so it can be amended.

I hate FDR and I like using this as an example of how horrible of a human being he was, but I have a confession. As bad as his policies were, the policy in question was justified. It was not a result of racism or hysteria, but the most logical course of action given the available information.

Democrats, please do a better job defending your savior in the future, so I don't have to step in and do it for you.


Justified-".having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason."

This is not to say there were not more perfect ways to deal with the situation at hand, but that there was good and sufficient reasoning. Hindsight is 20/20 in other words, and a judgement of good does not depend on a perfect judgement.

U.S. referes to the United States Federal government. The United States has various local governments whose decisions sometimes override the decisions of the federal government. The decision to put the Japanese in internment camps is one that was made by the federal government.

edit: Danielle has requested the following definition for justified, so we will use it. "to prove or show (something) to be just, right, or reasonable"


I'd like to thank Wylted for this challenge.

By accepting the definition of justified, Pro must do more than prove there was "good and sufficient reasoning" to detain 110K+ people, but that it was just, right and reasonable for the government to do so.

I look forward to an interesting discussion with my esteemed opponent.
Debate Round No. 1


"Pro must do more than prove there was "good and sufficient reasoning" to detain 110K+ people, but that it was just, right and reasonable"

Tthe definition con provided used the word or. Just, right or reasonable. I'm focusing on the reasonable part of the, though voters may find it meets the other parts as well. Also common sense tells us that good and sufficient reasoning makes an action reasonable. Voters should disregard con's attempt to manipulate the debate.


Before we get to the internment, we have to go back. Decisions do not occur in a vacuum. They are made in intense moments, with lack of complete information and with knowledge of the past. It may seem out of the ordinary now, but before WW2 it was common practice for countries to detain foreign nationals during times of war in order to negate the ability of enemies to spy. America would likely do that again in the event of a major war where an invasion of the homeland was possible, but it has been about 75 years since we have faced that sort of situation, and we may never face it again. Though the Japanese were the most effected by internment (for reasons to be discussed later), the United States government also put Italians and Germans in these "camps".

The Niihau Incident

Sometimes people underestimate people's attachment to their own race. It is not just whites who can be racist(favor their own race), but anybody. Maybe it was this attachment to race that lead to the next incident. Maybe it was some sort of misplaced national pride, but whatever the reason it had occurred. The attack on Pearl Harbor had happened on December 7, 1942. All of the pilots in the first wave of attacks on Pearl Harbor pretty much got away without a scratch, but during the 2nd wave of attacks when the U.S. was a little more prepared, this was not the case.

Shigenori Nishikaichi was a Japanese airman who participated in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, unfortunately for him his plane sustained a ton of damage. His aircraft an A6M2 Zero fighter had taken too much damage to get back to it's aircraft carrier. The pilot was forced to land on what he thought was an abandoned Island, but Niihau though cut off from the outside world mostly was very much inhabited. The inhabitants were unaware of the attack on Pearl Harbor but aware of the tensions between Japan and America, so they confiscated his gun and indentification.

However in typical Hawaiian fashion he was treated to a feast and some dancing. It wasn't long before residents caught wind of what happened to Pearl Harbor and had the Japanese couple detain him. It should be noted that the Japanese couple was American born, and there should have been no doubt where their loyalty laid. Sometime over the next 5 days the pilot must have sweet talked the couple, appealing to their Japanese pride. I can not sum up what happened better than the article I am citing so:

five days after the attack, Shintani approached Kaleohano with a large sum of money to try to buy the pilot's papers, but once again Kaleohano refused. At around the same time, Harada and Nishikaichi overpowered the guard, locked him in a storage shed and, armed with a shotgun and pistol, headed off to Kaleohano's house, bringing along a 16-year old boy they met along the way as a hostage. Kaleohano hid from them, ran to the village to warn the residents, then left with five others in a rowboat on the ten-hour trip to Kauai to notify the authorities.

Nishikaichi and Harada, meanwhile, went to the crashed Zero where they tried to contact someone on the plane's radio, then torched the Zero to destroy it.

The next morning, the pair went to the village and captured several islanders, including Ben Kanahele and his wife Ella. When Kanahele made a grab for the pilot's gun, a fight broke out. Nishikaichi shot Kanahele three times, but, using his hunting knife, Kanahele still managed to kill Nishikaichi, and Harada then killed himself with the shotgun."

So we know that president Roosevelt was aware of this situation where a lone pilot managed to practically take over an island with the help of the Japanese residents of the island 2 out of the 3 which were American born. It is an alarming fact to know that if a Japanese invasion were to occur, then they would potentially have the help of 100,000 people who were Japanese or of Japanese descent. The help wouldn't have to be in the form of actual fighting to be devestating either. They could engage in sabotage of military bases and personnel, aid in hiding soldiers or just provide some good spying.


The west coast of the United States could easily become a war zone if the Japanese invaded, though intelligence gathering even without the invasion could prove harmful to the war effort. Milton Eisenhower says:

"First attention was given to the problems of sabotage and espionage. Now, here at San Francisco, for example, convoys were being made up within sight of possible Axis agents. There were more Japanese in Los Angeles than in any other area. In nearby San Pedro, houses and hotels, occupied almost exclusively by Japanese, were within a stone’s throw of a naval air base, shipyards, oil wells. Japanese fishermen had every opportunity to watch the movement of our ships. Japanese farmers were living close to vital aircraft plants. So, as a first step, all Japanese were required to move from critical areas such as these.

But, of course, this limited evacuation was a solution to only part of the problem. The larger problem, the uncertainty of what would happen among these people in case of a Japanese invasion, still remained. That is why the commanding General of the Western Defense Command determined that all Japanese within the coastal areas should move inland."

There was plenty of reason to suspect many Japanese citizens were a threat to national security as well. What is known to us now, but only known to individuals with the highest top secret security clearance then (FDR being one of the people wih the highest clearance seeing as how he was Commander in Chief), was that The military had intercepted a bunch of Japanese top secret messages and had decrypted them. These decrypted messages became known as the "MAGIC" decrypts for God knows what reason. What the decrypted messages told us was that The Japanese government had a huge network of spies in the United States of Japanese descent or origin.

Messages from the decrypts include but or nowhere near limited to:

A cable from the Tokyo Government to its Washington embassy, dated Jan. 30, 1941, asked the embassy and Japanese consulates to arrange for 'utilization of our 'second generations' and our resident nationals.'

On May 9, 1941, the Los Angeles consulate sent Tokyo a message marked 'strictly secret' that seemed to assert that cooperation was being obtained from some ethnic Japanese.

The cable said strong efforts were being made to recruit white and black agents 'through Japanese persons whom we can trust completely.'

'We have already established contacts with absolutely reliable Japanese in the San Pedro and San Diego area, who will keep a close watch on all shipments of airplanes and other war materials, and report the amounts and destinations of such shipments,' the message said. 'We shall maintain connection with our second generations who are in the army, to keep us informed of various developments in the army. We also have connections with our second generations working in airplane plants for intelligence purposes.'

A cable from the Seattle consulate dated May 11 told Tokyo that intelligence would be collected on United States naval ships in the Bremerton, Wash., Naval shipyard; on mercantile shipping; on aircraft manufacturing, and on troop and ship movements.

It added, 'For the future we have made arrangements to collect intelligence from second-generation Japanese draftees on matters dealing with the troops as well as troop speech and behavior.'

The score is that we have one incident in Niihau that shows the willingness of Japanese citizens American born or not to help the enemy, and now we have decrypted messages hinting at a pretty big network of Japanese spies in America.

Departing Statements

The Japanese threat very real. The have response was reasonable and legitimate. Looking back at past events we have the advantage of 20/20 vision, and of missing small details. For example many people get confused by the Secret Service's theft of JFK's body, from Dallas. There seems to be no motive, but we have the advantage of knowing JFK was shot by a lone gunman, the Secret Service was still in a fog. They knew that an attack happened and that the first lady was refusing to leave the side of JFK's body. For her protection in the case of a coup or worse they stole the body so they could get her to safety.

It is the same way in this story. We know the Japanese never invaded, but the United States had just watched them bring the war to American soil. Anything could happen at any time. Internment was the most humane option and also frequently worked to the benefit of Japanese American citizens. Though the United States government acted reasonably, American citizens did suffer from racism and hysteria. As well as the internment camps protecting America herself from the negative consequences that would come from an invasion, they would often protect the Japanese themselves from the hysteria. There are reports of Japanese requesting the barbed wire fences be higher to protect them from angry mobs. They were likely safer in the camps.




I highly doubt that myself nor Wylted intend to argue semantics in this debate. However, the value for this debate - justified - is an integral part of my position.

Ultimately the government is held to a different or higher standard than individual citizenry. His definition does not account for this. Justice at the hands of the government is different than justice at the hands of a private company for instance, especially as it concerns taking actions against people based on nationality/race.

Acts of the government must not violate the Constitution whereas acts of private companies can (for the most part). This is especially relevant as it concerns the period in question, because at the time of Japanese internment, the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Constitution were in existence, but the Civil Rights Act was not. So the government cannot simply justify racism by having a "good or legitimate reason."

My definition includes the terms "just" and "right" which implicates the constitutional obligations of the government, and more readily accounts for the fact that they're held to a higher standard. "Good and legitimate reason" does not account for that. In fact in constitutional jurisprudence, the term "legitimate" relates to rational basis review, which is the lowest level of scrutiny for government action. But race based laws are subject to strict scrutiny, the highest level of scrutiny.


My opponent begins by rightfully pointing out that decisions do not occur in a vacuum. Indeed there is relevant and important history to explain the hysteria and racism that led to the violation of almost 127,000 Americans in 1942. In this round, I will explain my case against the resolution, which primarily revolves around a constitutional context.

For now, some background on the events that led up to the camps.

With severe labor shortage in the agricultural industry, a wave of Japanese immigrants came to the U.S. in the late 1800s. "Although their skills and hard labor in the agricultural fields were welcomed, as soon as they showed any signs of initiative or a desire to better their economic conditions, they were seen as a threat to the white population. Led by the Hearts newspaper chain, after the Russo-Japanese War, other publications including the New York Times saw the prosperity of California threatened and a conflict between the United States and Japan as inevitable.

By 1913 labor unions feared that the Japanese workers would undermine union progress. They pressured California legislators and finally, in 1924, the Federal Government to pass various Anti-Japanese legislation. At no time during this period did any of the media-radio, the press or motion pictures, remind the general public that many of those with Japanese ancestry were American citizens" [1].

Racism against the Japanese was alive and well during this time; my opponent cannot contest this [2].

Civil Rights Violations

The Supreme Court did not rule that the removal and forced internment of Japanese-Americans was unconstitutional; however, historians and legal analysts can easily identify the violations that have occurred.

First Amendment
Freedom of Religion
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Press
Right to Assemble

The Japanese religion of Shinto was prohibited in the camps, as was Buddhism while Christianity was promoted [3]. The Japanese were not allowed to use the Japanese language in public without censorship, which violated their right to free speech [4]. The right to hold mass meetings (assemble) was violated, as was their right to petition. When some people demanded due process from the government, they were sent to isolation camps via the War Relocation Authority [5].

Fourth Amendment
Freedom from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
Right to an Indictment or to be Informed of the Charges
Right to Life, Liberty and Property
Right to Confront and Call Witnesses

The FBI tore apart Japanese-American's homes without warrants and confiscated "questionable" items like radios. These people were not given the opportunity to defend themselves or call witnesses. They did not have access to a speedy trial, and were not even told what the charges were against them. Furthermore they were not given legal representation.

Fifth Amendment
Right to a Speedy and Public Trial

Eighth Amendment
Right to Reasonable Bail
Freedom From Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Fifteenth Amendment
Right to Vote

And those are just violations of constitutional amendments.

Violations of constitutional articles include: the right to Habeas Corpus (to be brought before a court); freedom from bills of attainer and ex post facto laws; rights against involuntary servitude; and the right to equal protection under the law.

The Niihau Incident

Pro brings up The Niihau Incident and argues that the potential for such disloyalty is the (only) reason to disregard the constitutional rights of Japanese Americans. However it would be significantly misguided to use this one example as the basis for sweeping legal action - especially since it involved the actions of a small few.

Comparatively, suppose the race or ethnic background of a shooter or terrorist was used to lock up everyone of the same background. By that standard, the vast majority of Americans would have no rights, as people from every background (color, creed, country of national origin, etc.) have committed heinous crimes in this country. Indeed there are even "homegrown terrorists" who are born and raised in the U.S., but then join terrorist organizations that fight against the U.S. and are deadlier than jihadists [6]. By Pro's logic, everyone from the country of these terrorists should be locked up... but wait, that would be all of us Americans.

Another thing. Just 1/16 of Japanese blood was sufficient to make the bearer subject to deportation [7]. This means that having just one great-great-grandparent of Japanese ancestry would be enough to get you locked up -- ancestors that were not even alive when you were born. This is a far stretch to claim the potential for disloyalty.

Moreover, how could this be an argument for locking up children, the elderly and mentally ill?

Pro claims people would be more loyal to their race (Asian) than nationality (American). But given there were hundreds of thousands of Asians, including Japanese, in the U.S. then why wouldn't Japanese-Americans feel loyal to their Asian-American peers? Again you cannot use one incident as the standard of judging hundreds of thousands of people.

The loyalty of those that were locked up was never tested. While locked up, the overwhelming majority of them signed loyalty agreements to the U.S.; some refused based on the way they had been treated. However these people were never put on trial or not selected for any specific reason other than their bloodline. Even Eleanor Roosevelt said, "These people were not convicted of any crime but emotions ran too high, too many people wanted to wreak vengeance on Oriental looking people."


Pro argues that the threat of Japanese spying was significant, yet there is little proof to back up this claim. There is no convincing evidence that the national security threat posed by Japanese Americans was a sufficient reason for the draconian nature of the deportations. Instead, Pro suggests we simply trust President Roosevelt's knowledge -- as if the president at that time could not be misinformed, racist or misguided.

Examination of Japanese archives after the war revealed no evidence that Japanese Americans provided useful intelligence prior to the internment. This will likely be a point of contention next round. However unless Pro can single out the specific compelling evidence, we have no reason to assume it exists. I will highlight research showing that such compelling information does not exist.

Counter Plan and Conclusion

The U.S. was fighting a war against not only Japan, but Germany and Italy as well. Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Thailand, Finland and other countries were all associated with the Axis powers. Operation Pastorius was a failed German intelligence plan for sabotage inside the United States during World War II [8] yet German-Americans were not detained in camps. Evidence has shown that Germany and Italy also were unsuccessful in getting valuable intel from Americans of those ancestries [9]. Just because treason was requested doesn't mean it would be done.

Pro claims the threat of the Japanese was very real, but he does not prove the threat of 127,000 Japanese Americans was very real. He also claims that detainment protected them from racism and mass hysteria. I doubt the judges need emphasized convincing on why most would choose to be free and experience racism, than be locked in camps under pretty terrible conditions. I'll expand on those harsh conditions in the next round.

But it comes down to this: during wartime, the Bill of Rights has often become less important to Americans than the need for national security. According to Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the goal is to achieve “a proper balance” between civil liberties and protection. Once again, the government is held to a different standard and must comply with the Constitution in all of its actions.

Instead of uprooting 127,000 men, women, and children from their homes, the government could have simply barred them from specific military and industrial sites. At this time, the Civil Rights Act was not yet in place. This means the government could have easily kept Japanese-Americans out of significant positions of power - especially in roles of military and government by firing or not hiring them. This would have inhibited the vast majority of relevant information any potential spy could have obtained. Any other information (like monitoring shipments) was readily available by all citizens and all U.S. travelers alike.

Debate Round No. 2


No, we don't need to argue semantics. I think me and con are on the same page now, unless I misunderstood something. I am using Danielles sources. Numbers will refer back to those, while links will be new one. I also am disappointed by the use of citations outside of the debate, as doing that destroys some of the point of character limitations, but she can continue to do so.


Con says: "Racism against the Japanese was alive and well during this time; my opponent cannot contest this"

I can't nor would I try to contest it. Unlike the rest of the world, America is ashamed of it's racist history and admits to it, as it should. Maybe the president, and his generals were racist. There may have been some good racist reasons to support Japanese internment. However, being racist does not mean you cannot act for national security concerns. To use an analogy, because I suck at explaining things. I can be the most amish hating person on the planet, and an Amish person could come up and put a gun in my fiance's face, and I would blow his brains out. That would not make the action racist against the Amish. Having people of Japanese descent becoming a serious national security concern can happen in both a racist America, and a non racist America. The beliefs of a person does not make an action racist, only the motivations of a person can do that.

Internment Camps

FDR did initially request that the Japanese just moved inland, no camps or anything. However the racism of state governments (not federal) made that plan blow up, and so FDR ordered relocation centers to accomodate those of Japanese ancestry.(5)

We have been conflating the term internment camp (WCCA) with relocation center (WRA), but the two are quite different though both are fair game for this debate. The relocation centers were for Japanese American citizens who could not relocate any other way from the west coast in a timely manner. The internment camps were for non American citizens or captured spies and patrolled by border agents. The constitution only applies to American citizens, and not to aliens. We also have less rights once we are arrested and have either been convicted of or are awaiting a trial for crime. These camps were also the ones used to house German and Italian spies.

When my opponent brings up the suppression of speech, or religion she is specifically referring to the Tulle Lake facility (3). The people in the Tule Lake facility when that suppression began were either aliens or those who vulontarily chose to renounce their citizenship. according to the other source she uses (5), the people in relocation centers (Ones the constitution protects) were treated better. Here is what her source says: "Meanwhile, WRA officials developed center regulations. On the one hand, compared to the WCCA, these were considerably less invasive. Inmates enjoyed the right of free assembly, and were not restricted in their use of the Japanese language in camp. Furthermore, inmates were detailed to police themselves inside camp—soldiers were not called in except in case of emergencies—and were free from arbitrary searches of their barracks. Unlike in the assembly centers, there was no prior restraint by official censors on camp publications."

We can see that the ones actually entitled to constitutional protections, received them. There were some restrictions on freedom, like requiring passes to come and go for security reasons, but those restrictions were mild. I grew up in some hurrican prone areas, and when the government has forced me and my family to relocate, I have been in some relocation centers that had similar restricions if not worse. Nobody said the government was rounding up Floridians and putting them in concentration camps. It is unfortunate but occasionally temporary measures need to be taken to ensure the security of people. My opponent has not made the case that people who asked for due process were relocated. Her source does not back that up, if I missed it, I ask she quote the part for me. I see no souces for anything after the 2nd amendment, but assume my opponent is once again conflating the relocation camps and internment facilities.


Con says there is no specific compelling reason to think that the Japanese provided useful intelligence before the war. I am not going to contest that, that is the case now. It was the intelligence they would likely provide after the war that is concerning. There is a such thing as sleeper agents, or just highly valuable people they thought they could flip to their cause like they did in Niiahau, just through some sweet talking and racial sympathy. There was no doubt Japanese spying, which is why the attack on Pearl Harbor was perfectly timed. Takeo Yoshikawa, is the one who provided that intel.;

Not that what was discovered in the Japanese archives after their surrender matters. The United States did not have access to the Japanes archives, prior to their surrender. The only thing FDR could rely on was the events in Niiahu and the Magic decrypts. If the Magic decrypts stated that there were Japanese-American spies, then that is what The U.S. had to believe. It was war time, and decisions needed to be made fast. FDR only had those Magic decrypts to rely on, not the Japanese archives. Had the Japanese given him access to the archives, I'm sure his decision would have been different.

My opponent is using her perfect vision from the future to judge events in the past. We should put ourselves in FDR's shoes. He saw that the Japanese on Niiahau island betrayed their country with very little prodding. He couldn't exactly test that condition on every island to see if it would repeat. He had access to the Magic decrypts where the Japanes boasted of their extensive spy networks of 2nd and 3rd generation (1/16) Japanese Americans. When you're listening into the Japanese internal communications, and they are bragging to each other about all the spies they have in America which are 2nd and 3rd generation citizens, you should take their word for it and take precautions. That is what FDR did. He took precautions. I know I am repeating myself, but FDR did not have access to Japanese archives, he had access to a bit of their inside communication, and had no reason to think that the intel was false. Some historians now think that the Japanese over estimated the loyalty of Japanese Americans, but the United States at the time had no reason to think they were over estimating.


My opponent mentions children and the mentally ill being interned. Let me be lear that the Japanese whose father's and husbands were sent to internment camps were given the option to join them there, something they could have refused. The relocation camps and their reasoning were already discussed.

The Niihau incident though a small sample size was the only available information we had on what would occur in a Japanese invasion. We couldn't exactly let them invade to see if what percentage of Japanese Americans would assist them either passively or actively. Both which are dangerous. It may have been a small sample size but it was the only one we had.

Con says I can not use one incident to judge hundreds of thousands of people, but it isn't judging. After 9/11 300 million people had to go through increased airport security. We were not judging 100 million people on the action of a few hijackers. This isn't judging the 100 million airplane travellers. We did not restrict them because they were worse than the 200 million non airport travellers. The air travellers posed a higher risk of crashing planes into buildings, so we took some precautions. The Japanese had actually attacked America, so their descendents were asked to move away from the West Coast.


"the government could have simply barred them from specific military and industrial sites"

That is precisely what caused the internment and relocation though. Executive order 9066, is what caused large portions of California to be called sensitive military and industrial sites.;

Though obviously picking up and leaving causes the need for relocation camps to accomodate the newly created refugees, especially when the inner states were doing everything in their power to discourage relocation there. My opponent's counter plan would have the same results as executive order 9066, because her C/P is executive order 9066.

Germans and Italians were also put in internment camps when they were not American citizens or when they were captured spies, they were just not put into relocation camps. Japan was the only one of those countries to actually bring the fight to the U.S., so they were less of a threat. We also had no decrypts at the time of Germany or Italy bragging about a large network of spies.


The federal government attempted to move citizens in land, but state governments did not cooperate, and even if they did the government should still provide thome some free shelter. This isn't much different to the times my family was ordered to temporarily relocate during and after a hurricane. Like many of the Japanese we had nowhere to go, so we went to a government run facility for food and shelter. We had rules, once we were there we could not leave whenever we felt like, we had rations. we had crowded conditions. In times of emergency civil liberties have to be restricted a bit, especially for those of us who have to go to a government run facility, and make no mistake somebody coming to your country and dropping bombs is a special circumstance.

FDR made the correct decision given the facts he had or he thought he had. He had the Magic Decrypts and Niiahau, no access to google or Japanese archives. Don't use the goggles of the present to judge the past.



Wylted begins by pointing out that just because someone is racist, does not automatically mean that their actions are not justified. Indeed I intend to argue that the government's agents were both racist AND unjustified. In his analogy, he suggests it would be acceptable to shoot an Amish person for putting a gun in his fiance's face, even if he is racist against the Amish. This analogy is obviously flawed as he specifically presents a reason other than race for blowing out the Amish person's brains. Yet with the internment camps, the fact that people had 1/16th Japanese blood alone was enough of a factor to lock up people like prisoners and violate a ton of their civil rights. The difference is clear. Wylted gives an example where he has a reason to commit violence against someone of a particular race (their specific, individual aggressive behavior), whereas race alone was sufficient for oppressing hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans, who committed no violence whatsoever.

Internment Camps

Pro states that FDR originally intended to move the Japanese inland; however, "the racism of state governments (not federal) made that plan blow up, and so FDR ordered relocation centers." This has essentially lost Pro the debate, or at the very least proves that racism was the primary factor in the creation of the camps, and would therefore be unjustified. It doesn't matter if it was the state or federal governments that gave really God-awful reasoning -- the reasoning is still God-awful.

"On the West Coast, a hysteria of fear against Japanese Americans as 'the Fifth Column' and 'the enemy within' was created by inflammatory journalism, pressure groups, politicians, and the U.S. Army. A profound suspicion of Japanese Americans quickly led to cries for their expulsion" [1].

"The constitution only applies to American citizens, and not to aliens." -- PRO

The Bill of Rights applies to everyone, even illegal immigrants. So an immigrant, legal or illegal, prosecuted under the criminal code has the right to due process, a speedy and public trial, and other rights protected by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments that were all completely violated [2]. Moreover, 62% of the people locked in camps were American citizens, so this is a moot point entirely [3].

"We also have less rights once we are arrested and have either been convicted of or are awaiting a trial for crime." -- PRO

We have rights that are specifically related to our arrests. In fact, false arrest is a common law tort where a plaintiff alleges he or she was held in custody without probable cause [4]. The entire concept of the camps was an unjustifiable arrest. In fact the very amendments I was referring to all have to do with one's rights while they are awaiting trial. These people weren't even put on trial. Please extend all of my legal arguments.

In this section of the debate, Pro tries to argue that the camps weren't that bad and that those deserving of Constitutional rights received them. Both of those claims are false. He manipulatively tries to downplay the camp's conditions though they are well documented. For example Ralph Smeltzer, a member of the Brethren Church, worked within the camps and produced his own reports documenting the condition of the internees. "His reports present a group of people confined to almost unbearable situations. Smeltzer describes how bathing facilities were quite inadequate, running water was late in being made available, and two weeks elapsed before hot water was available... In the second report, a lack of plumbing supplies creates a serious lack of sanitary facilities leading to widespread dysentery” [5].

More on Camp Conditions

"Detainees were housed in livestock stalls or windowless shacks that were crowded and lacked sufficient ventilation, electricity, and sanitation facilities. Food was often spoiled. There was a shortage of food and medicine... These camps were located in remote, uninhabitable areas. In the desert camps, daytime temperatures often reached 100 degrees or more. Sub-zero winters were common in the northern camps... The internment camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers. Armed guards patrolled the perimeter and were instructed to shoot anyone attempting to leave. The barracks consisted of tar paper over two-by-sixes and no insulation. Many families were assigned to one barracks and lived together with no privacy. Meals were taken communally in mess halls and required a long wait in line. A demonstration in Manzanar over the theft of food by personnel led to violence in which two died and many were injured" [1].

After-Effects on Japanese Americans

Through the relocation program the Japanese Americans suffered greatly. First they were essentially sent to prison. Then they lost their homes and businesses. "Their educations and careers were interrupted and their possessions lost. Many lost sons who fought for the country that imprisoned their parents. They suffered the loss of faith in the government and the humiliation of being confined as traitors in their own country... Relocation after incarceration was difficult, especially since prejudice still ran high in the West Coast. Many Issei (first generation Japanese Americans) never regained their losses, living out their lives in poverty and poor health" [1].

Back to Rights

You'll notice that Wylted comments on the Tulelake facility in attempting to defend the vast amount of civil rights that were violated. He also goes back to quote my source, suggesting that the WRA officials did not treat the inmates that badly (because they were treated better than the WCAA). This is an interesting tactic considering the very next line/s following Wylted's posted excerpt reads, "However, the essential liberties of Japanese Americans remained restricted. They required a pass to enter or leave camp; some visiting Nisei soldiers subsequently had to sneak in and out in order to visit their families. Armed sentries in guard towers patrolled the perimeter fences, and shot at inmates who came too close. In two well-documented cases, inmates were shot and killed by perimeter guards. The inmates also were initially denied permission to use cameras or shortwave radios. Both the center regulations established at WRA headquarters in Washington and their enforcement at the various camps were gradually relaxed over time" [6].

Again: the majority of people in these camps were American citizens. All of their rights were completely violated.


I've asked Pro for evidence - any evidence - that the government had for locking up these people. Pro was unable to provide the evidence (because it doesn't exist) and suggests this doesn't matter. Obviously that is false. Please extend my arguments regarding the government's very specific responsibility to abide by the Constitutional rights of people in this country. Once again, the government is held to a much higher legal standard when it comes to arbitrating justice. It is imperative that the government be held to this higher standard.

"Throughout the course of World War II, not a single incident of espionage or treason was found to be committed by Japanese Americans. The difficulty of committing treason while incarcerated cannot alone explain this absence of wrongdoing; Japanese Americans living in Hawaii were spared relocation because of the logistical difficulty of transporting a third of the state's population to the mainland. With their numbers exceeding the entire Japanese population on the mainland, Japanese Americans in Hawaii proved an essential part of the state's labor force and defense" [1].

In 1980, the U.S. Congress appointed The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) to conduct an official governmental study of Executive Order 9066. They concluded a "grave injustice" and unanimously agreed the move was motivated by 'racial prejudice, war hysteria and failure of political leadership,' and not by military considerations [7]. Pro says we should put ourselves in FDR's shoes when thinking about his decision, but that would be hard since I'm not racist against the Japanese...

The point here is clear. MAGIC did not provide any information that was sufficient for FDR to go through with this.


Pro writes, "The Niihau incident though a small sample size was the only available information we had on what would occur in a Japanese invasion." This is precisely my point and precisely why the resolution has been negated. This was the ONLY available information we had -- in Pro's very own words -- so clearly FDR's motivation was insufficient and the move was unjustified.

Wylted mentions that after 9/11, everyone had to go through increased security measures despite the actions of a small few. This is a weak analogy. One could argue that increased security measures are justified while not ALL increased security measures are justified. Obviously.

Let's go back to my point about the fear of disloyalty. I asked how this is a valid argument in defense of locking up children and the mentally ill. Pro explains (something about) how people could join their parents in the camps...? Whatever he's talking about, he didn't answer my question or address the point. These people could not have realistically been suspected of treason.

Wylted dropped my point on most internees signing loyalty agreements, he dropped my argument about criminalizing everyone that shares a nationality with a bad guy, and he dropped my point that pro-Asian Americans should still have loyalty to their fellow Asian-Americans. But most importantly, extend my 1/16th Japanese blood argument here, since this helps exemplify the hysterical (and irrational, i.e. unjustifiable) nature of the camp policy.


I'm out of character space, but since I have 2 more rounds, there will be time to defend my Counter Plan.

Debate Round No. 3


The debate needs to be brought back on track. Con is obfuscating some things because she realizes she lost and needs to throw a Hail Mary. I have been sucked in a bit, but it's human nature to follow red herrings. Let's retrain our focus on what the debate is actually about.

Resolution:Japanese internment by the U.S. during WW2 was justified.

JAPANESE- People of Japanese ancestry who are up to 1/16 Japanese. The MAGIC decrypts specifically mention recruiting spies who are 2nd and 3rd generation Japanese. 1/16 Japanese blood means one grand parent was Japanese. It also means 3rd generation. This is not a dropped point, it does not prove that the internment was racist, maybe if it was greater than 1/16, but since the decrypts specifically mention 3rd generation (AKA 1/16) Japanese were recruited in heavy numbers to spy for Japan, and we knew from the Niihau incident that a large number of non recruited ones would side with the Japanese in an invasion. 1/16 is a good number to make sure that the 3rd generation Japanese in the Magic decrypts were taken into account, and it accounted for 3rd generation Japanese that were arguably an exception to the rule of 1/8 0r less. In practice most people asked to relocate and put into shelters when they couldn't were atleast 50% Japanese. Though 1/16 was written down as something that could be enforced, anything over 1/2 was extremely rare. I don't even think a recorded case of somebody who was oly 1/16 Japanese being asked to relocate exists. I couldn't find a case of it, and I don't think Danielle or any historian can either. In practice it just did not happen.

Internment- For the purposes of this debate we have also discussed relocation centers as well as internment camps, and though the resolution conflates the internment with the relocation centers for the Japanese, the arguments themselves should not, though my opponent needs the judges to be dumb enough to conflate the two to win. Unfortunately for her, most the people reading this are smarter than she gives them credit for. internment and relocation centers are different an justifiably so. Comparing the 2 is like comparing my times in a Hurricane shelter, and my times in prison. A lot of my opponent's arguments are not only weak and irrelevant because they conflate the conditions in internment and relocation centers, but because the debate is not about whether these places could have operated better. It is about whether the actual internment and relocation of Japanese was justified, not whether or not the government did a horrible job of implementing it.

By The U.S.- This portion of the resolution was already explained in round 1. Here is what I said in R1:"U.S. refers to the United States Federal government. The United States has various local governments whose decisions sometimes override the decisions of the federal government. The decision to put the Japanese in internment camps is one that was made by the federal government"

Danielle may think that the racist unjust actions of State governments has some bearing on this debate, but other than using it to explain why certain actions were taken by the federal government, it has no weight.

The rest of the title will not be taken piece by piece, because it has been settled or is being settled.I am going to spend a lot of time quoting and responding to the rest of Danielle's arguments last round, because it is my best shot of being thorough because of extreme tiredness, a short time remaining to post my round and just a general brain fogginess that has overcome me for some reason. Luckily for me this debate is all but won, so that is unlikely to matter. If that isn't clear by the end of this round, it certainly will by the end of next round.


I mean my opponent's resonse is so inadequate that there really is no reason to even respond to it, judges should know who won that battle without me needing to physically put the nail in the coffin, but so be it.

Con: "This analogy is obviously flawed as he specifically presents a reason other than race for blowing out the Amish person's brains."

My analogy is not flawed. There was a reason given other than race to relocate Japanese people away from the sensitive West Coast. The reason was mainly the Magic decrypts that showed the Japanese had a large network of spies (2nd and 3rd generation) people of Japanese descent another reason is because a Japanese land invasion was feasible and the events on Niihau showed that a certain number of Japanese were willing to pick up arms and help their cultural ancestors. Hell even if only 5% wanted to pick up arms, that is still incredibly dangerous, and that is without accounting for the fact they can offer support to the Japanese military in non combative more passive ways.

I presented a reason other than race for relocation. Hell my opponent even offered a counterplan in R2 for relocating the Japanese. A counterplan that is really no different than executive order 9066, the one that FDR released that caused the internment to start with. The fact my opponent's counter plan is in fact the exact same as executive order 9066 which I am defending in this debate, should be enough for her to lose.

Internment Camps

Con says:"The Bill of Rights applies to everyone, even illegal immigrants. So an immigrant, legal or illegal, prosecuted under the criminal code has the right to due process, a speedy and public trial, and other rights protected by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments that were all completely violated"

When I say aliens, I do not mean illegal immigrants or legal immigrants in the United States. I mean aliens, Canadian citizens, Mexican citizens and Central American citizens who were suspected of spying. Each of those countries sent a tiny portion of their Japanese immigrants they suspected of spying to the United States, so they could be detained in a secure environment.

No, contrary to popular belief aliens do not have the same rights as citizens. We can't waterboard American citizens, we can't send drones to take out targets in America whether a person immigrated their illegally or not. We can only do that to aliens who do not reside in the United States. This was done to aliens not immigrants. They were detained in internment camps. Now days that may be illegal, and we would send them to Guantanamo bay, but at the time we were allowed to detain aliens by bringing them to the United States and putting them into detainment facilities.

Concerning the conditions of the camps, it is outside the scope of the debate as well, though I am happy to talk about it. The debate is about whether it was appropriate to put Japanese spies in internment camps or to accomodate citizens with housing when they could not relocate away from sensitive areas. It is not about whether the government did a bad job at that.

The condition of relocation camps are exxagerated, none of the reports coming from the WRA agree with what Smeltzer says, besides he sounds like a baby. Obviously living in a relocation facility is not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it is not as bad as he says. While the government struggled to accomodate 100,000 people, it did make an honest effort to create good living conditions. Sure sometimes things went wrong. Occasionally a plumbing problem would occur like my opponent mentioned, and snce so many people were at war, it was hard to get a plumber out their to fix things. Hell maybe there was a thunderstorm and they would lose power from time to time as a result of that, maybe sometimes somebody farted in some crowded room and the smell was pure hell, but it wasn't prison. It was more like a shelter. Like a shelter the government set for people when a hurricane hit Florida and a relocation program was implemented for the local populace.

The food in that shelter sucked, I had to obey the rules of the shelter, I was not allowed to leave once I agreed to enter. Certainly my freedoms were restricted, but not my rights. My rights were not restricted. Neither were the rights of the Japanese in internment facilities.

My opponent does post some quote about inmates in the end of her section by the same title. Inmates is the key word in that quote. That is a referance to the internment camps which actually held inmates, while the quote I provided was the one about relocation facilities.


Con:"MAGIC did not provide any information that was sufficient"

It's sufficient. Maybe con doesn't think decryptians of internal communications of Japan are not a sufficient to take action against a credible threat, but I don't believe it. Communications between high level Japanese officials should clearly be taken serious. Especially since the Japanese thought they were private and had no reason to lie to each other.

I ask the voters this. Maybe Danielle does not think decrypts are a reason to force the relocation of people, but if the U.S. decrypts North Korea communications tomorrow that shows they intend to nuke the West coast in less than 24 hours should the government start evacuating the area? according to my opponent the answer is no, decrypts are not trustworthy and we should not decrypt at all, but do the judges think it is enough information to attempt to forcibly relocate people (remember some innocent children are in this group). I suspect the judges in a position of power would not wait around for more evidence before restricting some rights. The internment is no different. If the invasion happened, millions of lives would potentially be saved.

The point about children. There were some situations where men went to internment camps, but women and children were not required to. They could and did choose to go, to be closer to family. My opponent saying any children or mentally ill were ever forced to go to internment facilities is false. They resided their voluntarily, which if anything, shows how nice the conditions were inside of them.


I assume the readers, like myself, are smart enough to not be manipulated by Pro's rhetoric to "get back on track" or buy into his bare assertion criticisms. Indeed this entire debate has stayed focused on the resolution; there have been no red herrings on my end which is why Pro has only dropped the term... without actually being able to specify one.


Pro says that 1/16th = third generation, when in fact it is the fourth. Nonetheless, Pro claims that MAGIC intercepts say these people pose a threat. David D. Lowman is a former high ranking intelligence officer with the National Security Agency, a specialist on World War II signal intelligence, and a participant in the congressional hearing and court cases relating to Japanese internment. According to this internment sympathizer (whom agrees with Pro), "the loyalty to the United States of about a fifth of the Japanese population could not be trusted" per MAGIC intel [1].

This means that 80% of the Japanese could be trusted, even according to pro-internment strategists. Not only does that mean 4/5 Japanese-Americans were imprisoned with no legitimate reason, i.e. not committing a crime or planning to, but the (alleged) 20% that did pose a threat were never charged with any formal crime, not given legal representation, and were never put on trial to face their accusers.

Instead, an entire race (nationality) of people were treated as guilty until proven innocent, which is a complete violation of U.S. legal standards. Moreover these people were not even given the chance to prove themselves innocent. Their race alone determined their presumed guilt and subsequent punishment which is racist. Their only crime was looking like the enemy.


A concentration camp is “a camp where persons (as prisoners of war, political prisoners, or refugees) are detained or confined.” The definition of a concentration camp describes exactly what happened to the Japanese Americans during WWII, where they were political prisoners confined in a camp [2]. The Japanese were literally held in a concentration camp, though the term "internment" camp is preferred by government officials to distinguish the treatment of the Japanese vs. the treatment of Jews in Hitler's concentration camps [3].

Still, I've outlined the inhumane treatment of people in these camps, and Pro wants to focus on semantics. That's because he knows it is 100% false that the camps were pleasurable or even tolerable. Pro has not (can not) deny that the conditions of the camps were horrid, so he attempts to distract the readers by suggesting the term "internment" is relevant. This, ladies and gentleman, is a blatant example of a red herring.

But the truth is that these camps could have been 5-star hotels with every amenity possible and the resolution would still be negated. Pro can call these camps whatever he wants. Regardless of the name of the camps or even the conditions, every single one of my arguments regarding the legal rights of citizens and responsibilities of government on due process still applies.


I've asked Pro to single out which part of the encrypts, specifically, outlined a significant threat. He has repeatedly failed to do so and simply states "I don't believe it [doesn't exist]" as if his beliefs are meaningful evidence. They are not.

Once again, the Congress conducted a serious investigation into this move and ruled in favor of the Japanese-Americans who sued them for their unlawful behavior. If the government had a legitimate reason to not pay reparations, they would have made that information public to justify their claims. To this day, the only reasoning they have found -- by Pro's own admission -- is the intercepts calling to utilize Japanese-Americans in favor of Japan's interests.

Extend my argument that just because the Japanese government might have wanted this, doesn't mean that it was likely to happen or be effective. Islamic extremists call for Muslims to kill others in an act of jihad, yet we do not assume or behave as if the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world are guilty or will be guilty per this request. Even if we violate some of their rights (spying) we do not detain them like prisoners, violating a bunch more of their civil rights. That would not be justifiable.

In an intercept dated January 30, 1941 and noted as translated 2-7-41 Numbered #44, there was a call by the Japanese for "Utilization of our 'Second Generations' and our resident nationals [4]. Of course 'second generations' does not necessarily include 3rd and 4th generations, but I digress. The same intercept also called for "Utilization of U.S. citizens of foreign extraction (other than Japanese), aliens (other than Japanese), communists, Negroes, labor union members, and anti-Semites."

Yet non-Japanese aliens or citizens, including communists, blacks or unionized Americans were not put in camps. Therefore, Pro's single justification for locking up the Japanese as per these encrypts also incriminates other entire groups... yet none of those groups were locked in camps, and neither were any other Americans with national ties to the Axis Powers.

My opponent straw mans my position on the intercepts by providing another terrible analogy. First, I never suggested ignoring intel. Second, unlike Pro's example the intercepts did not specify a particular target but said the Japanese would ASK for help from a huge group of people who MIGHT be sympathetic to their cause. You can act on reasonable intelligence without violating the rights of citizens. It would be permissible to evacuate the west coast in Pro's example, but it would be impermissible to lock up every American of North Korean descent.


Pro is completely wrong about the rights of non-citizens. This can easily be looked up which is why I sourced my claims in the last round. Pro has not. The U.S. Supreme Court settled this issue well over a century ago, and founding father James Madison wrote "that as they [aliens], owe, on the one hand, a temporary obedience, they are entitled, in return, to their [constitutional] protection and advantage" [5].

In Wong Win v. United States (1896), the court ruled that: It must be concluded that all persons within the territory of the United States are entitled to the protection by those amendments [Fifth and Sixth] and that even aliens shall not be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury, nor deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law [6].

I have no idea why Pro thinks he is correct.

Furthermore, Pro is incorrect in that you cannot drone American citizens which is exactly why Rand Paul staged a 13 hour filibuster against this in the Senate [7]. Of course this is irrelevant to the debate, but I felt compelled to point out how wrong Pro is because his arrogance is unwarranted. Perhaps one should look up the laws before making bold claims about them.

Counter Plan and Conclusion

I said instead of uprooting 127,000 men, women, and children from their homes, the government could have simply barred them from specific military and industrial sites. Pro responded, "That is precisely what caused the internment and relocation though. Executive order 9066 is what caused large portions of California to be called sensitive military and industrial sites." He links to the Wikipedia page of this order which absolutely nowhere confirms Pro's claim. You can also read the Executive Order in its full context, and nowhere does it even mention the state of California [8].

The declaration of "military areas" per the Order cannot realistically apply to entire states... even though Japanese-Americans were locked up whom were not located in California or anywhere near a coast. And moreover, I've outlined in the last round that Japanese Americans living in Hawaii were spared relocation because of the logistical difficulty of transporting a third of the state's population to the mainland.

With their numbers exceeding the entire Japanese population on the mainland, Japanese Americans in Hawaii proved an essential part of the state's labor force and defense. This means that even in Hawaii... the closest state to Japan and the most vulnerable, evidenced by the attack on Pearl Harbor... was swarming with Japanese-Americans who theoretically should have been a threat. And yet these people played a vital role in fighting on America's behalf despite their ancestry and their location.

MAGIC intercepts note, "These men [that the Japanese wanted for help] moreover, should have access to governmental establishments, laboratories, governmental organizations of various characters, factories, and transportation facilities" [4]. This gives credence to my point that the government could have easily kept Japanese-Americans out of significant positions of power - especially in roles of military and government by firing or not hiring them, which would reasonably protect sensitive information. This would have inhibited the vast majority of relevant information. Any other information was readily available by all citizens and all U.S. travelers alike.

My plan would protect the interest of American security to the same extent that locking up the Japanese in camps would. Since the Japanese knew that Japanese-Americans were being locked up, they would have to find new strategy to implement their goals which could just as easily have involved non-Japanese. In fact, the MAGIC intercepts specifically called for using other people!

My plan would also have abided by the constitutional rights of the American citizens that were locked up (which was 62% of them) even though non-Americans had other due process rights as well. In the final round, I will focus heavily on the standard of judicial review used by U.S. courts to demonstrate how this act was blatantly unjustifiable.


Debate Round No. 4


Thank you Danielle for participating in this debate.

The facts are on my side in this debate. The term "Back On Track" in the way I use it, simply means to properly frame the debate. That's what this round is about.

It is important that the judges understand the proper way to frame this debate. In that spirit, let's proceed.

Resolution Analysis

Resolution analysis was discussed at length last round, but is worth bringing up again, partially because the interpretation of the resolution we went through was not challenged. We've determined that The Japanese internment refers to the act of interning the Japanese. The act is what we are focusing on, not the failures of the act to be perfect. The government could have and should have done a better job of internment and relocation. The United States government needed to be willing to spend a ton more money on food and accomodations, but none of that is relevant to whether the act of relocation and internment should have taken place. Yes it should have happened given the available information. FDR did not have access to the information we do. He didn't know a Japanese invasion wasn't going to happen. Reread the resolution, reread the last round. We are debating that the act of internment and relocation was justified, not that it was carried out well. Let that sink in. Let the fact that my opponent didn't challenge that interpretation sink in.

The U.S. government refers to the federal government as stated in round 1, and restated in round 4. It is being restated now. FDR wanted to move the Japanese inland. This has been discussed, nothing I bring up is new. The problem is that there was a lot of racism towards the Japanese in the heartland. These states that the Japanese were moving to should have been more accomodating. They should have set up shelters, housing and jobs for these folks. However they acted in a racist fashion. The U.S. having to move the Japanes inland, but the Japanese having nowhere to go forced them to build relocation centers to house them. My opponent's counter plan would have had the same results. She may claim that her plan would've not made practically all of California off limits, but look at the wording of that and executive order 9066. The wording is eerily similar. Even if not all of California was off limits in her C/P, we would still need somewhere for these people to go. If the states in the heartland were not taking them, we would still have to set up relocation facilities. (Not to be confused with the internment camps, though con hopes they're confused). So even with the C/P we are back to the same problem.

Earlier we learned that internment camps and relocation facilities are different, but it is worth restating. The internment centers were for suspected spies, many of who were from Canada, Mexico and Central America and needed to be in a secure facility to insure that they did not harm the war efforts. People in relocation facilities could come and go with passes. The passes may be inconvenient, but nothing was forcing these individuals to stay. They practiced their religions, played games, watched TV. It is basically what the hurricane shelters I have been to were like. They sucked to be there no doubt. It sucked worse then a hurricane shelter, but there was an honest effort to make the inhabitants happy, as evidenced from the round 3 arguments. We have the government on one side showing these shelters as a paradise and their opponent's showing it as a living hell, but I think anyone looking into it, knows it was neither.


One question that keeps coming up in the debate is when is it justified to act on decryptions of enemy communications. In round 2 what exactly was said in the Magic cables was clearly stated. Here is a refresher for those who do not feel like scrolling back.

A cable from the Tokyo Government to its Washington embassy, dated Jan. 30, 1941, asked the embassy and Japanese consulates to arrange for 'utilization of our 'second generations' and our resident nationals.'

Clearly insinuating that they already had 2 generation and 1st generation Japanese on board to spy.

'We have already established contacts with absolutely reliable Japanese in the San Pedro and San Diego area, who will keep a close watch on all shipments of airplanes and other war materials, and report the amounts and destinations of such shipments,' the message said. 'We shall maintain connection with our second generations who are in the army, to keep us informed of various developments in the army. We also have connections with our second generations working in airplane plants for intelligence purposes.'

Not we hope to make contacts, not we will try to recruit spys, but we "Absolutely, reliably" have Japanese who will keep a close watch on shipments. Not we hope, but "We have" not wish to have but "have" connections with our "second generation....for intelligence purposes"

A cable from the Seattle consulate dated May 11 told Tokyo that intelligence would be collected on United States naval ships in the Bremerton, Wash., Naval shipyard; on mercantile shipping; on aircraft manufacturing, and on troop and ship movements.

It added, 'For the future we have made arrangements to collect intelligence from second-generation Japanese draftees on matters dealing with the troops as well as troop speech and behavior.'

Not hope to make in this sentence, but "Have made arrangements to collect intelligence".

The cables also bragged about 3rd generation spies. They had no incentive to lie to each other in what they thought were private communications. This type of intelligence should be treated as fact or close to it. I used the atomic bomb example, and my opponent agreed it was enough to move off the information to save lives, though she said Koreans should not be arrested, which is obvious because the hypothetical cables did not mention any Korean nationals being spies, and North Korea will never had the ability to invade. My opponent admits it is okay to mandate the movement of people to save lives, and I agree.

The 1/16 argument keeps appearing but I have proven that only the ability to mandate their relocation was granted, we do not find any cases of it actually happening, and honestly the amount of geneologists needed to pull that off would be absurd.It wasn't enforced.

Before voting reread the portions on differentiating between war relocation camps and internment camps. Ttreatment of the people residing in both was very different. One was to keep potential spies, the other was to house Japanese that could not easily relocate to the fly over states.

Concerning the West coast relocation vs Hawaii. voters should note that the west coast was deemed an invasion threat not Hawaii, and that Hawaii was under martial law.

Constitutional Authority

Con argues that the internment of immigrants was unconstitutional, I pointed out that we were talking mostly about aliens from Central America and Canada which were threats. She responds with some stuff that is just flat out wrong, and this is my first opportunity to respond to the round 4 arguments.

A partial summary of the Wong WIng supreme court case is as follows. "The United States can forbid aliens from coming within their borders, and expel them from their territory, and can devolve the power and duty of identifying and arresting such persons upon executive or subordinate officials"

The case is very specific to this one instance where the gentleman owned property in the U.S. and was a former resident, but the summary mentioned that the government still has the right to arrest such people without due process.

The right of Habeus Corpus is basically what my opponent is referring to. All citizens and non citizens residing in the United States have the right to due process, however exceptions exist. Lincoln suspended Habeus corpus in the civil war, some of his suspensions were upheld by the supreme court, some weren't. It was suspended during the war of 1812, in 1892, in 1914, in 1934, during WW2, and as late as 2005 for Hurricane Katrina. Like I was telling my opponent it was suspended for people in internment camps "aliens" during WW2. I have stated repeatedly it did not apply to them, and have never backed down from it, and the supreme court also agrees it was justified in those circumstances. In Korematsu vs United States the supreme court ruled: "The Court sided with the government and held that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Korematsu's rights. Justice Black argued that compulsory exclusion, though constitutionally suspect, is justified during circumstances of "emergency and peril.";

This case was in direct referance to Japanese internment and has never been overturned. Exceptions for war and other extremes was also mentioned directly in the constitution. Section 3 of the 14th amndment mentions exceptions for espionage, insurrection and rebellion, so we know the right to Habeus Corpus is not an absolute.


The Magic cables were reason enough to Relocate japanes. Con agreed with the North Korea scenario showing she supports the forced movement of people if it saves lives. Denying an invading army spies and sympathizers, would no doubt save lives. My opponent estimated that up to 1/5 of the Japanese were a threat, relocation and internment by her numbers prevented the Japanese from being able to use 25,000 extra men on American soil.

Con argues that camp conditions were harsh, but as stated and never challenged. The act of internment is what we are debating. Besides that the conditions were being exxagerated by both sides of that. It was neither heaven or hell.

The only real argument my opponent has is the constitutional one, but as I have been saying this whole debate, the writ of Habeus Corpus does not get applied the same in times of war or emergency. It doesn't apply to aliens in this instance. Vote Pro


Resolution Analysis

My opponent repeats that this debate is about the internment of the Japanese. He says that it's not about the execution of the internment (basically admitting that the conditions were horrible) which is fine. I've said in the last round that the USFG could have rounded up the Japanese-Americans and put them in 5-star hotels... and yet the resolution is still FIRMLY negated.

The very simple, blatantly obvious point remains: these people were held captive and incarcerated against their will, unconstitutionally, and against every single standard of constitutional jurisprudence and judicial review that this country has/had in place -- which the government is legally obligated to abide by.

Yet Pro continuously tries to differentiate between the term internment camp (WCCA) and relocation center (WRA), though he admits both are fair game for this debate. Relocation Centers are generally referred to as "internment camps," but scholars have urged dropping such euphemisms and refer to them as concentration camps and the people within them as incarcerated [1].

Earlier, Pro said that the people at one of the WRA facilities did suffer horrible conditions (such as regular beatings, overcrowding, curfews, unannounced searches, shoddy medical care and restrictions on work and recreational activities) but these people renounced their citizenship so that was fine. Those people didn't give up their citizenship until the Renunciation Act was passed in 1944, after they were already held captive. And why wouldn't they? Their status as U.S. citizens meant absolutely nothing in terms of their legal rights [2].

The people in camps were given loyalty questionnaires asking if they would be willing to fight and die for America (most said yes) or forswear any allegiance to Japan. WRA Director, Dillon S. Myer, later admitted "A bad mistake was made in the loyalty question... question #28 forced them into an untenable position: they had not been allowed U.S. citizenship, and now they were being asked to renounce allegiance to the only country of which they were citizens" [3]. Still the vast majority of those locked in camps did swear allegiance to the U.S. despite 38% of them not being allowed to attain citizenship, and 62% of them being locked up despite their citizenship. As I mentioned, tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans that weren't locked up in Hawaii did, in fact, fight on America's behalf.


Intercepts from MAGIC show the Japanese government calling to 'utilize' Japanese-Americans. David Lowman, a retired special assistant to the director of the National Security Agency said 'Today we know that the Japanese Government misjudged the loyalty of Japanese Americans completely. But at that time no one knew for certain" [4]. This gives credibility to my claim, not Pro's. This country holds the legal standard of innocent until PROVEN guilty.

As Peter Irons (civil rights attorney and scholar on constitutional litigation) noted, the government knew that its actions were unconstitutional and needed to find justification for the exclusion. The argument of military necessity was concocted as a defense of the program, and documents that contradicted the argument were either ignored or altered [5].

Wylted again straw mans my position in his analogy. He writes, "My opponent admits it is okay to mandate the movement of people to save lives" which is not what I said. I said evacuation of the west coast was permissible; not the FORCED evacuation. Moreover, you can force evacuations without mandating incarceration, which is yet another reason this analogy is not remotely applicable.

The Law

"The presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, and it is also regarded as an international human right under the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 11. The burden of proof is thus on the prosecution, which has to collect and present enough compelling evidence to convince the trier of fact, who is restrained and ordered by law to consider only actual evidence and testimony that is legally admissible, and in most cases lawfully obtained, that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If reasonable doubt remains, the accused is to be acquitted. Under the Justinian Codes and English common law, the accused is presumed innocent in criminal proceedings, and in civil proceedings (like breach of contract) both sides must issue proof" [6].

This means that punishing *possibly* guilty parties with absolutely no proof beyond race is illegal.

The Constitution

Habeas Corpus

Pro brings up Habeas Corpus which I've addressed in R2. Under Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, the privilege of the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it. "Japanese Americans were denied the right as detainees to be brought before a court at a stated time and place to challenge the legality of their imprisonment. Not only was the right violated, but the government attempted to suspend habeas corpus through legislation in response to Mitsuye Endo's petition for freedom under habeas corpus. U.S. Intelligence reports showed no indication that Japanese Americans posed a threat to the U.S. defense or public safety" [7].

Pro then cites the SCOTUS case ruling against the Japanese-Americans. This appeal to authority is also fallacious in that it is circular: the entire purpose of this debate is to prove the Supreme Court was wrong here (as it has been many times throughout history). Indeed almost half of the Supreme Court Justices at the time dissented from the majority opinion.

Strict Scrutiny

In conclusion, I'd like to repeat my first round (R2) assertion and the most winningest point in my favor. Pro has not contested the standard of Strict Scrutiny even though I have singled it out as the basis of my argument. I'll repeat: the agreed upon definition of justified includes the terms "just" and "right" which implicates the constitutional obligations of the government, and more readily accounts for the fact that they're held to a higher standard.

In constitutional jurisprudence, race based laws are subject to strict scrutiny - the highest level of scrutiny. The notion of "levels of judicial scrutiny," including strict scrutiny, was introduced in Footnote 4 of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Carolene Products Co. (1938), so it was very much in place at the time of this incarceration. "Strict scrutiny is the most stringent standard of judicial review used by United States courts. It is part of the hierarchy of standards that courts use to determine which is weightier, a constitutional right or principle or the government's interest against observance of the principle" [8].

"It should be noted, to begin with, that all legal restrictions which curtail the civil rights of a single racial group are immediately suspect... It is to say that courts must subject them to the most rigid scrutiny. Pressing public necessity may sometimes justify the existence of such restrictions; racial antagonism never can" [9].

In his dissent, Supreme Court Justice Jackson wrote, "A citizen's presence in the locality, however, was made a crime only if his parents were of Japanese birth. Had [the Japanese] been one of four -- the others being, say, a German alien enemy, an Italian alien enemy, and a citizen of American-born ancestors, convicted of treason but out on parole -- only ... The difference between their innocence and his crime would result, not from anything he did, said, or thought, different than they, but only in that he was born of different racial stock" [9].

Here is where Pro definitively loses the debate.

U.S. courts apply the strict scrutiny standard in two contexts: when a fundamental constitutional right is infringed (which absolutely was the case here), and those the court has deemed a fundamental right protected by the Due Process Clause or "liberty clause" of the 14th Amendment, or when a government action applies to a "suspect classification," such as race or national origin [8].

To pass strict scrutiny, the law or policy must satisfy ALL three tests:

- It must be justified by a compelling governmental interest.

- The law or policy must be narrowly tailored to achieve that goal or interest. If the government action encompasses too much (overbroad) or fails to address essential aspects of the compelling interest, then the rule is not considered narrowly tailored.

- The law or policy must be the least restrictive means for achieving that interest. That is, there cannot be a less restrictive way to effectively achieve the compelling government interest [8].

First, the law was not NARROWLY tailored; it imprisoned over 120K people based on 1-4th generation ties to another country. This was incredibly broad and did not remotely attempt to narrow down or single out the most dangerous targets before incarceration and complete suspending of the constitutional rights of hundred/s of thousands of people. Second, the policy was not anywhere near the "least restrictive" means for achieving the goal.

My counter plan provided a better, less restrictive way to effectively promote security without such a broad violation of people's rights. It did so by restricting the Japanese-Americans from specific places or positions or industries, as opposed to locking up 60 tons of people like caged animals. Pro repeatedly dropped the fact that any other non-Japanese had access to whatever the USFG was trying to prevent the Japanese from seeing.

Furthermore, while Pro says the conditions of the camp don't matter, they do in fact matter (even though they don't need to for the sake of this debate) in terms of the strict scrutiny standards. For if there was a "less restrictive" way to detain or monitor these people -- which I have provided -- it would trump the conditions that they were subjected to, thus also winning me the debate.

Debate Round No. 5
48 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wylted 3 months ago
Thank you for not allowing this to go unvoted
Posted by Udel 3 months ago
part 1

Pro gives two main arguments. He claims the MAGIC intercepts specified the Japanese had civilian intelligence working for their government, and the Niihau Incident proves that Japanese people in the U.S. could not be trusted. Con responded that the 3 individuals involved in the Niihau Incident could not represent all 120,000 people that were locked up. She gave the example of terrorists and other criminals whose actions do not define the legal status of everyone from their race or demographic.

Pro said that because of the intercepts, nobody from Japanese ancestry could be trusted. Con asked how the loyalty of children and the mentally ill could be challenged. Pro did not respond to this, but everyone of Japanese descent was locked up, even if their loyalty could not be questioned or specified as problematic. This proves that people were locked up based on their race even if loyalty could not be a factor.

Pro says race based incarceration is justified. Con argues that when the government takes action based on race, it must be held to the highest standards of judicial scrutiny. She outlined all of the constitutional violations the government committed in locking up the Japs. She then gave the standards for strict judicial scrutiny. Pro did not show how the standards of strict judicial scrutiny WERE met, even though Con outlined that the government must be legally held to that standard starting in round 1 (well round 2).

Con explained how the strictest scrutiny was not met in locking up the Japs. The policy was not narrow, it was broad. The policy was also very restrictive, and the legal obligation of the government was to apply the "least restrictive" action.
Posted by Udel 3 months ago
part 2

Pro did not explain how this option was the least restrictive measure. Con argued that it was not the least restrictive because the camp conditions were bad and incarceration is the most restrictive measure as it restricts liberty and all of those other rights (religion, property, labor, etc.).

Wylted did not deny that it was the most restrictive course of action, he simply said the restriction was justified. He claims the justification came from the Japanese government claiming to have spies. Danielle said that no spies were specified (too broad a policy) and none of the interned people had their rights recognized even when they tried to invoke them or asked for trial and evidence.

Pro said that it's okay that their rights weren't recognized, because they did not legally have any rights (which Con proved wrong, Danielle proved that both citizens and non citizens were supposed to be afforded rights) and because the government was using justifiable security measures. Con said that in order to be justifiable, it must meet the required legal standards including strict scrutiny.

Con proved that the incarceration did not meet the justidiable legal standards, and instead was based on misinformation and assumptions. Pro did not explain how the incarceration met the legal standards of strict scrutiny in particular. He did explain the compelling government interest in national security. He did not explain how the policy was narrowly defined or non-restrictive. Con explained that it was both broadly defined and too restrictive, so she proved it did not meet the test of strict scrutiny, and therefore, it was not justified.
Posted by Wylted 3 months ago
Posted by whiteflame 3 months ago
My bad, wrong debate.
Posted by whiteflame 3 months ago
>Reported vote: missmozart// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: RFD==> Pro's arguments were cleverly written with a good sense of persuasion. He clearly states the brutality of torturing animals and how matadors are not bull specialists regarding health etc. My only criticism to Pro is that he relied too much on one source to back up his points. The website is called 'stopbullfighting' so there could be some slight bias... Con states a good point- "It is not necessary to ban bullfighting because it can be reformed to not cause pain to the bull" but fails to explain how. Overall, I felt that Con's points lacked detail and furthermore, his source in Round 2 did not in any way support his point. His rebuttals in Round 3 were unconvincing (eg. bulls can't feel certain emotions) because of the way (s)he presented them and also because of the fact that they are unsupported. In conclusion, Pro had more convincing arguments and therefore gets my vote.

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter clearly explains their decision using arguments made by both debaters.
Posted by Wylted 3 months ago
That vote was horrible, but it was sufficient
Posted by whiteflame 3 months ago
>Reported vote: evanjfarrar// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: This RFD is simple- Pro stayed true to the resolution. Con tended to consider issues like racism from a present-day perspective. Of course, by present-day social norms, FDR's actions were not justified nor socially acceptable. But the resolution clearly says "was justified" rather than "can be considered justified today". That is an extremely important distinction that Pro considers, and therefore, Pro seemed more convincing.

[*Reason for removal*] The voter is required to assess specific arguments made by both debaters. In this case, the voter only assesses Con's arguments, and never assesses specific points made by Pro.
Posted by Wylted 3 months ago
That would be awesome
Posted by fire_wings 3 months ago
I can't promise a vote, but I'll try.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Udel 3 months ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Voting for the June/July Voters Union --------------- Wylted told us why the Japs were detained. Danielle responds that they had their rights violated. Wylted explained that in war time, it might be necessary to violate people's rights. Danielle says that it was unjustified (not necessary) for that to occur here in this case, because the threat of the Japanese was both exaggerated and not proven with enough evidence. Wylted argues this, but in the last round Danielle brings up the trump card which was judicial strict scrutiny. It was not brought up out of nowhere since she mentioned it in the first discussion round. Danielle proves that it is only necessary (and lawful) to violate citizen's rights if it passes the test of strict scrutiny by judicial review, which this did not, so it was not justifiable, and she argued from a legal standpoint per her round 1 clarification ---------------- Read my full RFD in the comments section for more explanation so this doesn't get deleted.