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    "body": "<html><body><br/>\n<div class=\"floatright\"></div>\n<p>Report by the commission that conducted the first inquiry into the attack on Pearl Harbor that was released on January 24, 1942. The Roberts Commission was appointed by the president and chaired by Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts. Despite containing only a vague passage of spying by \"Japanese consular agents and other... persons having no open relations with the Japanese foreign service,\" the report was widely believed to implicate local Japanese Americans and was a turning point in public opinion in favor of mass removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.\n</p><p>After the devastation of the attack on Pearl Harbor (see <a href=\"/wiki/December_7,_1941\" title=\"December 7, 1941\">December 7, 1941</a>), President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed a fact-finding commission on December 18 to be chaired by Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts. The other members of the committee were all active or retired military officials: Admiral William H. Standley, Admiral Joseph M. Reeves, General Frank R. McCoy, and General Joseph T. McNarney. The committee met in Washington, D.C. and then proceeded to Honolulu to continue its investigation from December 22 to January 10. In all, the commission interviewed 127 witnesses.\n</p><p>The Roberts Commission issued its report on January 23, 1942, and it was released to the public the following day. Its key finding was its assignment of much of the blame for the devastation caused by the attack to General Walter C. Short and Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, the top army and navy commanders, charging them with \"dereliction of duty\" for their lack of preparedness.\n</p><p>The report did not specifically mention the Japanese American community in Hawai'i at all but did contain a passage about \"Japanese spies\":\n</p>\n<blockquote>There were, prior to December 7, 1941, Japanese spies on the island of Oahu. Some were Japanese consular agents and other [sic] were persons having no open relations with the Japanese foreign service. These spies collected and, through various channels transmitted, information to the Japanese Empire respecting the military and naval establishments and dispositions on the island....<sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\"><a href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">[1]</a></sup></blockquote>\n<p>Despite the vagueness of this passage—the \"spies\" could be anyone from Caucasians working for the Japanese to Japanese spies brought in under the guise of being diplomats—the national and West Coast media vilified the local Japanese community as if they had been implicated in espionage. In combination with other factors, the timing of the report proved to be a turning point in public opinion concerning the mass removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast. When General <a href=\"/wiki/John_DeWitt\" title=\"John DeWitt\">John L. DeWitt</a>, head of the <a href=\"/wiki/Western_Defense_Command\" title=\"Western Defense Command\">Western Defense Command</a>, met the California governor <a href=\"/wiki/Culbert_Olson\" title=\"Culbert Olson\">Culbert Olson</a> shortly after the report came out, Olson reported \"Since the publication of the Roberts Report, they [the people of California] feel they are living in the midst of enemies. They don't trust the Japanese, none of them.\"<sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\"><a href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\">[2]</a></sup>\n</p><p>In addition to inflaming the public opinion, the report may also have had a specific impact on General DeWitt. The blame placed on his Hawai'i counterparts Short and Kimmel for their lack of preparedness no doubt influenced him not to be caught in the same way and may have had an impact on his willingness to remove all Japanese Americans from the West Coast.\n</p><p>In 1943, the President appointed Justice Roberts to chair the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas, also known as the Roberts Commission. This second Roberts Commission worked with the U.S. Army to protect cultural and artistic treasures captured by the Axis Powers and had nothing to do with the first Roberts Commission or with Japanese Americans.\n</p>\n<div id=\"authorByline\"><b>Authored by <a href=\"/wiki/Brian_Niiya\" title=\"Brian Niiya\">Brian Niiya</a>, Densho</b></div>\n<div id=\"citationAuthor\" style=\"display:none;\">Niiya, Brian</div>\n<h2><span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"For_More_Information\">For More Information</span></h2>\n<p>Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. <i>Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians</i>. Foreword by Tetsuden Kashima. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997.\n</p><p>Robinson, Greg. <i>By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans</i>. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001.\n</p><p>U.S. Congress. Senate. \"Attack upon Pearl Harbor by Japanese Armed Forces\" or \"The Roberts Commission Report.\" <a class=\"external free\" href=\"http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/roberts/roberts.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/roberts/roberts.html</a>.\n</p>\n<h2><span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Footnotes\">Footnotes</span></h2>\n<div class=\"reflist\" style=\"list-style-type: decimal;\">\n<ol class=\"references\">\n<li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\"><span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\"><a href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">↑</a></span> <span class=\"reference-text\">Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, <i>Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians</i> (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997), 57.</span>\n</li>\n<li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\"><span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\"><a href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\">↑</a></span> <span class=\"reference-text\">Greg Robinson, <i>By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans</i> (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), 96.</span>\n</li>\n</ol></div>\n<!-- \nNewPP limit report\nCPU time usage: 0.060 seconds\nReal time usage: 0.061 seconds\nPreprocessor visited node count: 98/1000000\nPreprocessor generated node count: 539/1000000\nPost‐expand include size: 532/2097152 bytes\nTemplate argument size: 58/2097152 bytes\nHighest expansion depth: 4/40\nExpensive parser function count: 0/100\nExtLoops count: 0/100\n-->\n<!-- Saved in parser cache with key mediawiki:pcache:idhash:298-0!*!0!!*!5!* and timestamp 20170309214359 and revision id 8896\n -->\n<div class=\"toplink\"><a href=\"#top\"><i class=\"icon-chevron-up\"></i> Top</a></div></body></html>",
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    "url_title": "Roberts Commission report",
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    "title": "Roberts Commission report",
    "url": "http://encyclopedia.densho.org/api/0.1/articles/Roberts%20Commission%20report/",
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    "title_sort": "Roberts Commission report",
    "modified": "2013-03-19T21:19:13",
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