Ethics: An Apology to Japanese Americans

The Senate says they were wrongly interned during World War II

Like many historic mistakes, Executive Order 9066 won approval almost offhandedly. On Feb. 11, 1942, preoccupied by a two-front war, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided not to bother with a meeting on the subject and simply said yes in a phone call to his Secretary of War, adding the bland advice, "Be as reasonable as you can." Signed a week later, the order led to the roundup and internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans for the duration of World War II, an action that Hawaii Senator Spark Matsunaga calls the "one great blot on the Constitution." Last week the nation moved a...

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