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United States Executive Order 9066 was a presidential executive order issued during World War II by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, using his authority as Commander-in-Chief to exercise war powers to send ethnic groups to internment camps.
This order authorized the Secretary of War and U.S. armed forces commanders to declare areas of the United States as military areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded," although it did not name any nationality or ethnic group. It was eventually applied to one-third of the land area of the U.S. (mostly in the West) and was used against those with "Foreign Enemy Ancestry" — Japanese, Italians, and Germans.
The order led to the Japanese American internment in which some 120,000 ethnic Japanese people were held in internment camps for the duration of the war. Of the Japanese interned, 62 percent were Nisei (American-born, second-generation Japanese American) or Sansei (third-generation Japanese American) and the rest were Issei (Japanese immigrants and resident aliens, first-generation Japanese American).
In addition, 11,000 people of German ancestry were also interned as were 3,000 people of Italian ancestry, along wtih some Jewish refugees. The Jewish refugees who were interned came out of Germany and the U.S. Government didn't differentiate between ethnic Jew and ethnic German. Some of these internees of European descent were interned for a brief time and others were interned for several years beyond the War's end. Like the Japanese internees, these smaller groups had American born Citizens in their numbers, especially children. It is also reported that a few members of ethnicities of minor Axis countries were interned, but documentation is limited on that aspect.
According to Stephen Fox's Uncivil Liberties, Executive Order 9066 also forced uncounted thousand of Italian permanent residents and American Citizens to have to leave their homes through relocation.
Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson was to assist those residents of such an area who were excluded with transport, food, shelter, and other accommodations.
Americans of Japanese ancestry were by far the most widely-affected, as all persons with Japanese ancestry were removed from the West Coast and southern Arizona, including orphan infants. In Hawaii, however, where there were 140,000 Japanese nationals (constituting 37 percent of the population), only selected individuals of heightened perceived risk were interned. Even though such actions would have appeared even more congruent with strategic concerns, the political and economic implications of such a move would have been overwhelming. The Japanese were only vulnerable on the mainland. Americans of Italian and German ancestry were also targeted by these restrictions, including internment. As then California Attorney General Earl Warren put it, "When we are dealing with the Caucasian race we have methods that will test the loyalty of them. But when we deal with the Japanese, we are on an entirely different field."
Robert Michael Gates (born September 25, 1943) is currently serving as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense. He took office on December 18, 2006. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W. Bush as Director of Central Intelligence. Before he joined the CIA, he served with the United States Air Force (USAF).
After leaving the CIA, Gates became president of Texas A&M University and was a member of several corporate boards. Gates also served as a member of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan commission co-chaired by James A. Baker III and Lee Hamilton, that has studied the Iraq War. He was also the first pick to serve as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security when it was created following the September 11, 2001 attacks, but he declined the appointment in order to remain President of Texas A&M University.