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David Daniel Lowman (October 11, 1921 – 1999) was the National Security Agency executive responsible for the declassification of the Magic intercepts and the author of the posthumously published book Magic: The Untold Story of U.S. Intelligence and the Evacuation of Japanese Residents from the West Coast during World War II.
Lowman disagreed with the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. He asserted that the U.S. government Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, established to look into the wartime relocation program authorized by Executive Order 9066, published its findings without even examining Magic intelligence. While the internment programs of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) affected Germans, Italians, Hungarians, and Japanese citizens who became "enemy aliens" under U.S. and international law, only those of Japanese ancestry were rounded up based solely on their racial background (including orphans of all ages, even infants). The U.S. government apologized to those who had been interned, and provided $20,000 (USD) checks to the survivors, citing "wartime hysteria" as the reason for their internment.
His book, two-thirds of which Lowman claims to be citation and reproductions of declassified documents from Magic intercepts to FBI reports, argues that the intelligence available to President Roosevelt revealed that disloyalty was widespread among resident alien Japanese and even Japanese Americans during World War II (citing, for instance, the Niihau Incident). These FBI and Office of Naval Intelligence records have been declassified and appear in several other published books, such as Intelligence, Internment and Relocation, and are now freely available in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
In Magic, Lowman argued that there was enough evidence of disloyalty among Japanese Americans to obtain indictments against a few individuals and organizations, but bringing them to trial would have forced the US government to reveal one of its most vital military secrets: that the Japanese naval codes had been partly broken. Roosevelt's military advisers warned that if Japan changed the code, the US might have to go to war against Japan without being able to read the enemy's naval ciphers. Lowman pointed to the strategic placement of the two American aircraft carriers at the Battle of Midway as providing circumstantial evidence of US codebreaking. He also credits American codebreaking with the US's ability to shoot down Admiral Yamamoto's plane.
According to Lowman, the interment camps were not prisons; they were set up to provide housing for Japanese Americans who had been forbidden to live in their homes and had nowhere else to go.
According to his official biography, Lowman was a career intelligence officer for the National Security Agency (NSA), retiring as Special Assistant to the Director. During his service he received numerous commendations and honors including the Exceptional Civilian Service Medal, the NSA's highest award.
A native of Washington State, he served with the Army in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war he attended Stanford University where he met his future wife, Eleanor. After graduation they married and moved to Washington, D.C. where he joined the NSA and studied for a doctor of jurisprudence from George Washington University. His wife joined the CIA while getting a master's degree in Russian history.
During his service with the NSA, Lowman rose rapidly through the ranks fielding a wide variety of assignments as a linguist, educator, negotiator, lecturer, and liaison with U.S. business, Congress and foreign officials and diplomats.
After retirement from the NSA he served as a consultant on the declassification of World War II intelligence documents. He testified as an expert witness on that subject four times before congressional committees and federal courts. He was a speaker and writer on the subject of signal intelligence (SIGINT) and its role in World War II.
Critics of Lowman and his book point out that he was heavily involved in disinformation activities while in the NSA, and that the book was not published until after Lowman's death. This makes it impossible to get clarification of the conclusions presented, or even to verify that Lowman was in fact the author.