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A Community Built on WordsThe Constitution in History and Politics$
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H. Jefferson Powell

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226677231

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226677224.001.0001

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1944: Constitutional Injustice

1944: Constitutional Injustice

XXI. 1944: Constitutional Injustice
A Community Built on Words
University of Chicago Press

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II, three federal agencies—the FBI, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and Army Intelligence—were engaged in surveillance of, and investigation into the loyalty of, residents of the United States who were of Japanese origin or descent. These investigations focused on Japanese Americans living on the West Coast and in Hawaii, but did not differentiate between citizens and resident aliens. As a result of their work, the agencies were “confident that they had identified all potential subversives,” and within three weeks of Pearl Harbor, the majority of these suspects had been arrested. “With the completion of these arrests, the FBI and the Justice Department were satisfied that Japanese-Americans no longer posed any threat to national security.”

Keywords:   Pearl Harbor, arrests, federal agencies, Japanese-Americans, national security, resident aliens, West Coast

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