View Poll Results: Do you obey the order to force Americans at gunpoint into concentration camps?

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  • Yes, I will obey the order.

    12 36.36%
  • No, I will refuse the order.

    16 48.48%
  • I Don't Know

    5 15.15%
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Thread: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s?

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    Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s?

    I believe this is the most important discussion facing the military today, because our government is trending in this same direction now with the NDAA legislation. But we're not talking about the NDAA here, we're talking about the situation in the 1940s. Please feel free to study up on President Franklin Roosevelt's order to have the military force 70,000 American citizen men, women, and children into concentration camps absent charge or trial and then put yourself in that situation, and indicate whether you would have obeyed the order or not had you been told to fix bayonets and go door to door rounding up Americans to put on buses to take them to the camps. I will provide some information as a starting point.

    Please note, the reason a third option (I Don't Know) has been included is because from previous discussions, it's clear that some have taken that position, stating that they don't know if they would have forced their American neighbors and their children into concentration camps in that situation. Some have said they don't know what they would have done. Of course, they have the full weight of history as a benefit, so based on that information, they should know what they would do if put into that exact same situation today. Some want to punt on the question, however, just as I assume by the same logic they would also punt if I asked them if they would rape somebody this weekend (they apparently can't know anything about what they would do until put in that situation, a position I hope they tell the investigator during their next security clearance investigation).

    So here are some facts about the military forcing Americans into concentration camps in the 1940s:

    1. The military took an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

    2. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution states, "No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."

    3. The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution states, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

    4. Article Three, Section Three of the Constitution states, "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

    5. The government did not charge any of these Americans with a crime as a pretext to their incarceration, and they were not provided a trial and were not sentenced by a jury of their peers prior to being imprisoned in the camps.

    6. At the point of the President's order, the judiciary had not ruled on whether such an order was lawful or not. Similarly, if you were to get an order today to go into Wal-mart and shoot every person wearing a hat, that order would also have not been ruled upon by the judiciary (ie, whether or not it's lawful for the military to shoot every hat wearer in a Wally World).

    So you're given the order to force American citizens at gunpoint into concentration camps, absent charge or trial. Do you obey the order, or do you refuse it as an unlawful order in accordance with the oath you took to our Constitution?

    COURAGE!

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Well, you aren't going to like this answer either, but yes [I would follow an unlawful order to round up innocent Americans by force and throw them into concentration camps]. ...I probably would have obeyed the order for self preservation purposes.

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    Senior Member BRUWIN's Avatar
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by PickYourBattles View Post
    I believe this is the most important discussion facing the military today, because our government is trending in this same direction now with the NDAA legislation. But we're not talking about the NDAA here, we're talking about the situation in the 1940s. Please feel free to study up on President Franklin Roosevelt's order to have the military force 70,000 American citizen men, women, and children into concentration camps absent charge or trial and then put yourself in that situation, and indicate whether you would have obeyed the order or not had you been told to fix bayonets and go door to door rounding up Americans to put on buses to take them to the camps.
    Loaded question that's just begging for argument. I think it's entirely situational.
    "Respect My Authoritah!" - Eric Cartman

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    Senior Member BRUWIN's Avatar
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by PickYourBattles View Post
    I believe this is the most important discussion facing the military today, because our government is trending in this same direction now with the NDAA legislation. But we're not talking about the NDAA here, we're talking about the situation in the 1940s. Please feel free to study up on President Franklin Roosevelt's order to have the military force 70,000 American citizen men, women, and children into concentration camps absent charge or trial and then put yourself in that situation, and indicate whether you would have obeyed the order or not had you been told to fix bayonets and go door to door rounding up Americans to put on buses to take them to the camps.
    Loaded question that's just begging for argument. I think it's entirely situational.
    "Respect My Authoritah!" - Eric Cartman

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    Senior Member Robert F. Dorr's Avatar
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    You can argue whether Roosevelt's decision was justified.

    Many of the Japanese who were rounded up were not American citizens.

    Some were active supporters of the Japanese government and cheered when Japanese forces achieved victories early in the war.

    These were not concentration camps. These people were detained, not exterminated.

    This of course, as Bru writes, is what you're asking for.

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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by BRUWIN View Post
    Loaded question that's just begging for argument. I think it's entirely situational.
    Loaded question maybe... but no... its NOT situational.

    Any time you are ordered to commit a crime, the answer should be "NO". The situation is irrelevant... ESPECIALLY if American citizens are involved.

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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by BRUWIN View Post
    Loaded question that's just begging for argument. I think it's entirely situational.
    Loaded question maybe... but no... its NOT situational.

    Any time you are ordered to commit a crime, the answer should be "NO". The situation is irrelevant... ESPECIALLY if American citizens are involved.

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    Senior Member BRUWIN's Avatar
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Bonham View Post
    Loaded question maybe... but no... its NOT situational.

    Any time you are ordered to commit a crime, the answer should be "NO". The situation is irrelevant... ESPECIALLY if American citizens are involved.
    But doesn't the new proposed law make it not a crime?
    "Respect My Authoritah!" - Eric Cartman

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    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    In the context of the events of 1941 and early 1942 I'm sure I would have followed that order. Not saying that is the right choice but thinking from the perspective of a soldier and imagining the biases the average American Joe would have been operating under I think yes, I would have followed the order.

    No one briefed those soldiers on the constitution before they were sent out to round those people up. Fear, uncertainty, and our own propaganda played a big factor on the minds of those young men back in 1942.

    PYB,

    I think that you made this thread to spur thought on an issue you believe our nation may wrestle with again. But the way you framed the question made me answer yes.

    It might be better if you came up with a "what if" scenario in a contemporary setting.

    I'd like to think that I wouldn't ignore the constitution or deprive a fellow American of their liberty.

    I'm just being honest when I say that I could be blinded by anger, fear or a string of events that could lead me into making the wrong choice.

    If you say that couldn't happen to you; well, I question how honest you are being with yourself.

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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Agree with AA, back then no one questioned authority. Look at those studies where they put people in a room and were told they were shocking the shit out of someone and because someone told them to, they kept upping the juice and hitting them again. People back then didn't question authority like they do today.

    But even today, we're still involved in a bunch of shady stuff that could qualify as unconstitutional, but because we're ordered to do it, we do. Guantanamo is a perfect example... while they aren't Americans (most of them? Are we still holding anyone that is?), we are still holding people without due process, but the military follows orders and keeps on guarding them.

    Sure, it would be different if we rolled in to the town off base and started rounding people up... no doubt there would be a lot of resistance. No doubt I'd have followed the order in 1942; today, who knows. I'd like to think we'd never be placed in that situation, given the differences the last 70 years have brought about. I just don't see it happening in the near future.
    "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the street so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. "

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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Makes you wonder what the US purchased that prison in Illinois for.

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