"Running down enemy spies is one of the most difficult and unsatisfactory of wartime jobs. Why? Because suspecting them and convicting them are two different things. True, several hundred have been interned for the duration. A few have committed suicide, but not one has been condemned to death. Other warring nations treat spies as military offenders; judgement is swift and final. Until recently we have given them kid-glove treatment, handling them through civil agencies, notablt the FBI, and bending over backward to give them all their legal rights... The first real clamp-down on the spy menace in this area came on February 20 , when the President issued an executive order giving the Army authority to evacuate anyone, alien or citizen, from military areas. Such areas are to be defined by Army officers, and may include the entire West Coast if that is considered advisable. Until this order was issued, the FBI controlled persons of Axis descent who were aliens, but was powerless to deal en masse with those who were citizens."
Click here to read a 1939 article on this topic.
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