The Facts Behind The FictionBy James Perloff
The New American,
June 4, 2001
Shortly after 8.00 AM, on Sunday, December 7, 1941 Japanese aircraft launched an attack on the US Pacific
fleet berthed in Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor. To the soldiers, sailors and airmen there it came as a complete surprise but
some in the US Government had prior knowledge of the attack and they had their own reasons for wanting to see it happen. Ed.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Disney released Pearl Harbor, a film granted the largest pre-production budget ($145 million)
in cinema history. The lavish production will, no doubt, be viewed by many moviegoers as an accurate portrayal of the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor. Even the movie’s leading man has bought into this notion. “I really believe the film will
be the definitive piece on the attack,” said actor Ben Affleck. This is unfortunate, because the movie’s producer,
Jerry Bruckheimer, proclaimed in an interview last year: “There’s a book that just came out which claims [President
Franklin D.] Roosevelt knew about the attack. That’s all b***s***. He didn’t know about the attack!”
comprehensive research has not only shown Washington knew in advance of the attack, but deliberately withheld its foreknowledge
from our commanders in Hawaii in the hope that the “surprise” attack would catapult the U.S. into World War II.
Oliver Lyttleton, British Minister of Production, stated in 1944: “Japan was provoked into attacking America at Pearl
Harbor. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into the war.”
Although FDR desired to directly
involve the United States in the Second World War, his intentions sharply contradicted his public pronouncements. A pre-war
Gallup poll showed 88 percent of Americans opposed U.S. involvement in the European war. Citizens realized that U.S. participation
in World War I had not made a better world, and in a 1940 (election-year) speech, Roosevelt typically stated: “I have
said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”
But privately, the president planned the opposite. Roosevelt dispatched his closest advisor, Harry Hopkins, to meet
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in January 1941. Hopkins told Churchill: “The President is determined that
we [the United States and England] shall win the war together. Make no mistake about it. He has sent me here to tell you that
at all costs and by all means he will carry you through, no matter what happens to him — there is nothing he will not
do so far as he has human power.” William Stevenson noted in A Man Called Intrepid that American-British military staff
talks began that same month under “utmost secrecy,” which, he clarified, “meant preventing disclosure to
the American public.” Even Robert Sherwood, the president’s friendly biographer, said: “If the isolationists
had known the full extent of the secret alliance between the United States and Britain, their demands for impeachment would
have rumbled like thunder throughout the land.”
BACKGROUND TO BETRAYEL
Roosevelt’s intentions were nearly exposed in 1940 when Tyler Kent, a code clerk at the U.S. embassy in London,
discovered secret dispatches between Roosevelt and Churchill. These revealed that FDR — despite contrary campaign promises
— was determined to engage America in the war. Kent smuggled some of the documents out of the embassy, hoping to alert
the American public — but was caught. With U.S. government approval, he was tried in a secret British court and confined
to a British prison until the war’s end.
During World War II’s early days, the president offered numerous
provocations to Germany: freezing its assets; shipping 50 destroyers to Britain; and depth-charging U-boats. The Germans did
not retaliate, however. They knew America’s entry into World War I had shifted the balance of power against them, and
they shunned a repeat of that scenario. FDR therefore switched his focus to Japan. Japan had signed a mutual defense pact
with Germany and Italy (the Tripartite Treaty). Roosevelt knew that if Japan went to war with the United States, Germany and
Italy would be compelled to declare war on America — thus entangling us in the European conflict by the back door. As
Harold Ickes, secretary of the Interior, said in October 1941: “For a long time I have believed that our best entrance
into the war would be by way of Japan.”
Much new light has been shed on Pearl Harbor through the recent work
of Robert B. Stinnett, a World War II Navy veteran. Stinnett has obtained numerous relevant documents through the Freedom
of Information Act. In Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor (2000), the book so brusquely dismissed by director
Bruckheimer, Stinnett reveals that Roosevelt’s plan to provoke Japan began with a memorandum from Lieutenant Commander
Arthur H. McCollum, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence. The memorandum advocated eight actions
predicted to lead Japan into attacking the United States. McCollum wrote: “If by these means Japan could be led to commit
an overt act of war, so much the better.” FDR enacted all eight of McCollum’s provocative steps — and more.
While no one can excuse Japan’s belligerence in those days, it is also true that our government provoked that
country in various ways — freezing her assets in America; closing the Panama Canal to her shipping; progressively halting
vital exports to Japan until we finally joined Britain in an all-out embargo; sending a hostile note to the Japanese ambassador
implying military threats if Tokyo did not alter its Pacific policies; and on November 26th — just 11 days before the
Japanese attack — delivering an ultimatum that demanded, as prerequisites to resumed trade, that Japan withdraw all
troops from China and Indochina, and in effect abrogate her Tripartite Treaty with Germany and Italy.
with President Roosevelt on October 16, 1941, Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote in his diary: “We face the delicate
question of the diplomatic fencing to be done so as to be sure Japan is put into the wrong and makes the first bad move —
overt move.” On November 25th, the day before the ultimatum was sent to Japan’s ambassadors, Stimson wrote in
his diary: “The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot....”
The bait offered Japan was our Pacific Fleet. In 1940, Admiral J.O. Richardson, the fleet’s commander, flew
to Washington to protest FDR’s decision to permanently base the fleet in Hawaii instead of its normal berthing on the
U.S. West Coast. The admiral had sound reasons: Pearl Harbor was vulnerable to attack, being approachable from any direction;
it could not be effectively rigged with nets and baffles to defend against torpedo planes; and in Hawaii it would be hard
to supply and train crews for his undermanned vessels. Pearl Harbor also lacked adequate fuel supplies and dry docks, and
keeping men far from their families would create morale problems. The argument became heated. Said Richardson: “I came
away with the impression that, despite his spoken word, the President was fully determined to put the United States into the
war if Great Britain could hold out until he was re-elected.”
Richardson was quickly relieved of command. Replacing
him was Admiral Husband E. Kimmel. Kimmel also informed Roosevelt of Pearl Harbor’s deficiencies, but accepted placement
there, trusting that Washington would notify him of any intelligence pointing to attack. This proved to be misplaced trust.
As Washington watched Japan preparing to assault Pearl Harbor, Admiral Kimmel, as well as his Army counterpart in Hawaii,
General Walter C. Short, were completely sealed off from the information pipeline.
One of the most important elements in America’s foreknowledge of Japan’s intentions was our government’s
success in cracking Japan’s secret diplomatic code known as “Purple.” Tokyo used it to communicate to its
embassies and consulates, including those in Washington and Hawaii. The code was so complex that it was enciphered and deciphered
by machine. A talented group of American cryptoanalysts broke the code in 1940 and devised a facsimile of the Japanese machine.
These, utilized by the intelligence sections of both the War and Navy departments, swiftly revealed Japan’s diplomatic
messages. The deciphered texts were nicknamed “Magic.”
Copies of Magic were always promptly delivered
in locked pouches to President Roosevelt, and the secretaries of State, War, and Navy. They also went to Army Chief of Staff
General George Marshall and to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold Stark. However, although three Purple decoding
machines were allotted to Britain, none were sent to Pearl Harbor. Intercepts of ciphered messages radioed between Tokyo and
its Honolulu consulate had to be forwarded to Washington for decrypting. Thus Kimmel and Short, the Hawaiian commanders, were
at the mercy of Washington for feedback. A request for their own decoding machine was rebuffed on the grounds that diplomatic
traffic was of insufficient interest to soldiers.
How untrue that was! On October 9, 1941, the War Department decoded
a Tokyo-to-Honolulu dispatch instructing the Consul General to divide Pearl Harbor into five specified areas and to report
the exact locations of American ships therein.
There is nothing unusual about spies watching ship movements —
but reporting precise whereabouts of ships in dock has only one implication. Charles Willoughby, Douglas MacArthur’s
chief of intelligence later wrote that the "reports were on a grid system of the inner harbor with coordinate locations of
American men of war … coordinate grid is the classical method for pinpoint target designation; our battleships had suddenly
become targets." This information was never sent to Kimmel or Short.
Additional intercepts were decoded by Washington,
all within one day of their original transmission:
November 5th: Tokyo notified its Washington ambassadors that November
25th was the deadline for an agreement with the U.S.
November 11th: They were warned, “The situation is nearing
a climax, and the time is getting short.”
November 16th: The deadline was pushed up to November 29th. “The
deadline absolutely cannot be changed,” the dispatch said. “After that, things are automatically going to happen.”
November 29th (the U.S. ultimatum had now been received): The ambassadors were told a rupture in negotiations was
“inevitable,” but that Japan’s leaders “do not wish you to give the impression that negotiations are
November 30th: Tokyo ordered its Berlin embassy to inform the Germans that “the breaking
out of war may come quicker than anyone dreams.”
December 1st: The deadline was again moved ahead. “[T]o
prevent the United States from becoming unduly suspicious, we have been advising the press and others that … the negotiations
December 1st-2nd: The Japanese embassies in non-Axis nations around the world were directed
to dispose of their secret documents and all but one copy of their codes. (This was for a reason easy to fathom — when
war breaks out, the diplomatic offices of a hostile state lose their immunity and are normally overtaken. One copy of code
was retained so that final instructions could be received, after which the last code copy would be destroyed.)
additional warning came via the so-called “winds” message. A November 18th intercept indicated that, if a break
in U.S. relations were forthcoming, Tokyo would issue a special radio warning. This would not be in the Purple code, as it
was intended to reach consulates and lesser agencies of Japan not equipped with the code or one of its machines. The message,
to be repeated three times during a weather report, was “Higashi no kaze ame,” meaning “East wind, rain.”
“East wind” signified the United States; “rain” signified diplomatic split — in effect, war.
This prospective message was deemed so significant that U.S. radio monitors were constantly watching for it, and the
Navy Department typed it up on special reminder cards. On December 4th, “Higashi no kaze ame” was indeed broadcast
and picked up by Washington intelligence.
On three different occasions since 1894, Japan had made surprise attacks
coinciding with breaks in diplomatic relations. This history was not lost on President Roosevelt. Secretary Stimson, describing
FDR’s White House conference of November 25th, noted: “The President said the Japanese were notorious for making
an attack without warning and stated that we might be attacked, say next Monday, for example.” Nor was it lost on Washington’s
senior military officers, all of them War College graduates.
As Robert Stinnett has revealed, Washington was not only
deciphering Japanese diplomatic messages, but naval dispatches as well. President Roosevelt had access to these intercepts
via his routing officer, Lieutenant Commander McCollum, who had authored the original eight-point plan of provocation to Japan.
So much secrecy has surrounded these naval dispatches that their existence was not revealed during any of the ten Pearl Harbor
investigations, even the mini-probe Congress conducted in 1995. Most of Stinnett’s requests for documents concerning
Pearl Harbor have been denied as still classified, even under the Freedom of Information Act.
It was long presumed
that as the Japanese fleet approached Pearl Harbor, it maintained complete radio silence. This is untrue. The fleet barely
observed discretion, let alone silence. Naval intelligence intercepted and translated numerous dispatches, some clearly revealing
that Pearl Harbor had been targeted. The most significant was the following, sent by Admiral Yamamoto to the Japanese First
Air Fleet on November 26, 1941:
“The task force, keeping its movement strictly secret and maintaining close
guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters, and upon the very opening of hostilities shall
attack the main force of the United States fleet and deal it a mortal blow. The first air raid is planned for the dawn of
x-day. Exact date to be given by later order.”
So much official secrecy continues to surround the translations
of the intercepted Japanese naval dispatches that it is not known if the foregoing message was sent to McCollum or seen by
FDR. It is not even known who originally translated the intercept. One thing, however, is certain: The message’s significance
could not have been lost on the translator.
1941 also witnessed the following:
On January 27th, our ambassador
to Japan, Joseph Grew, sent a message to Washington stating: “The Peruvian Minister has informed a member of my staff
that he has heard from many sources, including a Japanese source, that in the event of trouble breaking out between the United
States and Japan, the Japanese intended to make a surprise attack against Pearl Harbor with all their strength....”
On November 3rd, still relying on informants, Grew notified Secretary of State Cordell Hull: “War with the United
States may come with dramatic and dangerous suddenness.” He sent an even stronger warning on November 17th.
Martin Dies would write:
Early in 1941 the Dies Committee came into possession of a strategic map which gave clear proof
of the intentions of the Japanese to make an assault on Pearl Harbor. The strategic map was prepared by the Japanese Imperial
Military Intelligence Department. As soon as I received the document I telephoned Secretary of State Cordell Hull and told
him what I had. Secretary Hull directed me not to let anyone know about the map and stated that he would call me as soon as
he talked to President Roosevelt. In about an hour he telephoned to say that he had talked to Roosevelt and they agreed that
it would be very serious if any information concerning this map reached the news services.... I told him it was a grave responsibility
to withhold such vital information from the public. The Secretary assured me that he and Roosevelt considered it essential
to national defense.
Dusko Popov was a Yugoslav who worked as a double agent for both Germany and Britain. His true
allegiance was to the Allies. In the summer of 1941, the Nazis ordered Popov to Hawaii to make a detailed study of Pearl Harbor
and its nearby airfields. The agent deduced that the mission betokened a surprise attack by the Japanese. In August, he fully
reported this to the FBI in New York. J. Edgar Hoover later bitterly recalled that he had provided warnings to FDR about Pearl
Harbor, but that Roosevelt told him not to pass the information any further and to just leave it in his (the president’s)
Kilsoo Haan, of the Sino-Korean People’s League, received definite word from the Korean underground that
the Japanese were planning to assault Hawaii “before Christmas.” In November, after getting nowhere with the State
Department, Haan convinced Iowa Senator Guy Gillette of his claim’s merit. Gillette briefed the president, who laconically
thanked him and said it would be looked into.
In Java, in early December, the Dutch Army decoded a dispatch from Tokyo
to its Bangkok embassy, forecasting attacks on four sites including Hawaii. The Dutch passed the information to Brigadier
General Elliot Thorpe, the U.S. military observer. Thorpe sent Washington a total of four warnings. The last went to General
Marshall’s intelligence chief. Thorpe was ordered to send no further messages concerning the matter. The Dutch also
had their Washington military attaché, Colonel Weijerman, personally warn General Marshall.
Captain Johann Ranneft,
the Dutch naval attaché in Washington, who was awarded the Legion of Merit for his services to America, recorded revealing
details in his diary. On December 2nd, he visited the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). Ranneft inquired about the Pacific.
An American officer, pointing to a wall map, said, “This is the Japanese Task Force proceeding East.” It was a
spot midway between Japan and Hawaii. On December 6th, Ranneft returned and asked where the Japanese carriers were. He was
shown a position on the map about 300-400 miles northwest of Pearl Harbor. Ranneft wrote: “I ask what is the meaning
of these carriers at this location; whereupon I receive the answer that it is probably in connection with Japanese reports
of eventual American action.... I myself do not think about it because I believe that everyone in Honolulu is 100 percent
on the alert, just like everyone here at O.N.I.”
On November 29th, Secretary of State Cordell Hull secretly
met with freelance newspaper writer Joseph Leib. Leib had formerly held several posts in the Roosevelt administration. Hull
knew him and felt he was one newsman he could trust. The secretary of state handed him copies of some of the Tokyo intercepts
concerning Pearl Harbor. He said the Japanese were planning to strike the base and that FDR planned to let it happen. Hull
made Leib pledge to keep his name out of it, but hoped he could blow the story sky-high in the newspapers.
to the office of his friend Lyle Wilson, the Washington bureau chief of United Press. While keeping his pledge to Hull, he
told Wilson the details and showed him the intercepts. Wilson replied that the story was ludicrous and refused to run it.
Through connections, Leib managed to get a hurried version onto UP’s foreign cable, but only one newspaper carried any
part of it.
After Pearl Harbor, Lyle Wilson called Leib to his office. He handed him a copy of FDR’s just-released
“day of infamy” speech. The two men wept. Leib recounted his story in the recent History Channel documentary,
“Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor.”
The foregoing represents just a sampling of evidence that Washington knew
in advance of the Pearl Harbor attack. For additional evidences, see Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath by Pulitzer Prize-winning
historian John Toland, and Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor by Robert Stinnett.(1) So certain was the data
that, at a private press briefing in November 1941, General George Marshall confidently predicted that a Japanese-American
war would break out during the “first ten days of December.”
However, none of this information was passed
to our commanders in Hawaii, Kimmel and Short, with the exception of Ambassador Grew’s January warning, a copy of which
reached Kimmel on February 1st. To allay any concerns, Lieutenant Commander McCollum — who originated the plan to incite
Japan to war — wrote Kimmel: “Naval Intelligence places no credence in these rumors. Furthermore, based on known
data regarding the present disposition and deployment of Japanese naval and army forces, no move against Pearl Harbor appears
imminent or planned for in the foreseeable future.”
To ensure a successful Japanese attack — one that would enrage America into joining the war — it was
vital to keep Kimmel and Short out of the intelligence loop. However, Washington did far more than this to facilitate the
On November 25th, approximately one hour after the Japanese attack force left port for Hawaii, the
U.S. Navy issued an order forbidding U.S. and Allied shipping to travel via the North Pacific. All transpacific shipping was
rerouted through the South Pacific. This order was even applied to Russian ships docked on the American west coast. The purpose
is easy to fathom. If any commercial ship accidentally stumbled on the Japanese task force, it might alert Pearl Harbor. As
Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, the Navy’s War Plans officer in 1941, frankly stated: “We were prepared to divert
traffic when we believed war was imminent. We sent the traffic down via the Torres Strait, so that the track of the Japanese
task force would be clear of any traffic.”
The Hawaiian commanders have traditionally been censured for failing
to detect the approaching Japanese carriers. What goes unsaid is that Washington denied them the means to do so. An army marching
overland toward a target is easily spotted. But Hawaii is in the middle of the ocean. Its approaches are limitless and uninhabited.
During the week before December 7th, naval aircraft searched more than two million square miles of the Pacific — but
never saw the Japanese force. This is because Kimmel and Short had only enough planes to survey one-third of the 360-degree
arc around them, and intelligence had advised (incorrectly) that they should concentrate on the Southwest.
too, was insufficient. There were not enough trained surveillance pilots. Many of the reconnaissance craft were old and suffered
from a lack of spare parts. The commanders’ repeated requests to Washington for additional patrol planes were turned
down. Rear Admiral Edward T. Layton, who served at Pearl Harbor, summed it up in his book And I Was There: “There was
never any hint in any intelligence received by the local command of any Japanese threat to Hawaii. Our air defenses were stripped
on orders from the army chief himself. Of the twelve B-17s on the island, only six could be kept in the air by cannibalizing
the others for spare parts.”
The Navy has traditionally followed the rule that, when international relations
are critical, the fleet puts to sea. That is exactly what Admiral Kimmel did. Aware that U.S.-Japanese relations were deteriorating,
he sent 46 warships safely into the North Pacific in late November 1941 — without notifying Washington. He even ordered
the fleet to conduct a mock air raid on Pearl Harbor, clairvoyantly selecting the same launch site Admiral Yamamoto chose
two weeks later.
When the White House learned of Kimmel’s move it countermanded his orders and ordered all ships
returned to dock, using the dubious excuse that Kimmel’s action might provoke the Japanese. Washington knew that if
the two fleets met at sea, and engaged each other, there might be questions about who fired the first shot.
did not give up, however. With the exercise canceled, his carrier chief, Vice Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, issued plans
for a 25-ship task force to guard against an "enemy air and submarine attack" on Pearl Harbor. The plan never went into effect.
On November 26th, Admiral Stark, Washington’s Chief of Naval Operations, ordered Halsey to use his carriers to transport
fighter planes to Wake and Midway islands — further depleting Pearl Harbor’s air defenses.
It was clear,
of course, that once disaster struck Pearl Harbor, there would be demands for accountability. Washington seemed to artfully
take this into account by sending an ambiguous "war warning" to Kimmel, and a similar one to Short, on November 27th. This
has been used for years by Washington apologists to allege that the commanders should have been ready for the Japanese.
the message began conspicuously: “This dispatch is to be considered a war warning.” But it went on to state: “The
number and equipment of Japanese troops and the organizations of naval task forces indicates an amphibious expedition against
the Philippines, Thai or Kra Peninsula, or possibly Borneo.” None of these areas were closer than 5,000 miles to Hawaii!
No threat to Pearl Harbor was hinted at. It ended with the words: “Continental districts, Guam, Samoa take measures
against sabotage.” The message further stated that "measures should be carried out so as not repeat not to alarm civil
population.” Both commanders reported the actions taken to Washington. Short followed through with sabotage precautions,
bunching his planes together (which hinders saboteurs but makes ideal targets for bombers), and Kimmel stepped up air surveillance
and sub searches. If their response to the “war warning” was insufficient, Washington said nothing. The next day,
a follow-up message from Marshall’s adjutant general to Short warned only: “Initiate forthwith all additional
measures necessary to provide for protection of your establishments, property, and equipment against sabotage, protection
of your personnel against subversive propaganda and protection of all activities against espionage.”
stood as Japan prepared to strike. Using the Purple code, Tokyo sent a formal statement to its Washington ambassadors. It
was to be conveyed to the American Secretary of State on Sunday, December 7th. The statement terminated relations and was
tantamount to a declaration of war. On December 6th, in Washington, the War and Navy departments had already decrypted the
first 13 parts of this 14-part message. Although the final passage officially severing ties had not yet come through, the
fiery wording made its meaning obvious. Later that day, when Lieutenant Lester Schulz delivered to President Roosevelt his
copy of the intercept, Schulz heard FDR say to his advisor, Harry Hopkins, “This means war.”
Pearl Harbor investigations, both General Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, and Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, denied
any recollection of where they had been on the evening of December 6th — despite Marshall’s reputation for a photographic
memory. But James G. Stahlman, a close friend of Navy Secretary Frank Knox, said Knox told him FDR convened a high-level meeting
at the White House that evening. Knox, Marshall, Stark, and War Secretary Stimson attended. Indeed, with the nation on war’s
threshold, such a conference only made sense. That same evening, the Navy Department received a request from Stimson for a
list of the whereabouts of all ships in the Pacific.
On the morning of December 7th, the final portion of Japan’s
lengthy message to the U.S. government was decoded. Tokyo added two special directives to its ambassadors. The first directive,
which the message called "very important," was to deliver the statement at 1 p.m. The second directive ordered that the last
copy of code, and the machine that went with it, be destroyed. The gravity of this was immediately recognized in the Navy
Department: Japan had a long history of synchronizing attacks with breaks in relations; Sunday was an abnormal day to deliver
diplomatic messages — but the best for trying to catch U.S. armed forces at low vigilance; and 1 p.m. in Washington
was shortly after dawn in Hawaii!
Admiral Stark arrived at his office at 9:25 a.m. He was shown the message and the
important delivery time. One junior officer pointed out the possibility of an attack on Hawaii; another urged that Kimmel
be notified. But Stark refused; he did nothing all morning. Years later, he told the press that his conscience was clear concerning
Pearl Harbor because all his actions had been dictated by a “higher authority.” As Chief of Naval Operations,
Stark had only one higher authority: Roosevelt.
In the War Department, where the 14-part statement had also been decoded,
Colonel Rufus Bratton, head of the Army’s Far Eastern section, discerned the message’s significance. But the chief
of intelligence told him nothing could be done until Marshall arrived. Bratton tried reaching Marshall at home, but was repeatedly
told the general was out horseback riding. The horseback ride turned out to be a long one. When Bratton finally reached Marshall
by phone and told him of the emergency, Marshall said he would come to the War Department. Marshall took 75 minutes to make
the 10-minute drive. He didn’t come to his office until 11:25 a.m. — an extremely late hour with the nation on
the brink of war. He perused the Japanese message and was shown the delivery time. Every officer in Marshall’s office
agreed these indicated an attack in the Pacific at about 1 p.m. EST. The general finally agreed that Hawaii should be alerted,
but time was running out.
Marshall had only to pick up his desk phone to reach Pearl Harbor on the transpacific line.
Doing so would not have averted the attack, but at least our men would have been at their battle stations. Instead, the general
wrote a dispatch. After it was encoded it went to the Washington office of Western Union. From there it was relayed to San
Francisco. From San Francisco it was transmitted via RCA commercial radio to Honolulu. General Short received it six hours
after the attack. Two hours later it reached Kimmel. One can imagine their exasperation on reading it.
the evidence accrued through Magic and other sources during the previous months, Marshall had never warned Hawaii. To historians
— ignorant of that classified evidence — it would appear the general had tried to save Pearl Harbor, “but
alas, too late.” Similarly, FDR sent a last-minute plea for peace to Emperor Hirohito. Although written a week earlier,
he did not send it until the evening of December 6th. It was to be delivered by Ambassador Grew, who would be unable to receive
an audience with the emperor before December 8th. Thus the message could not conceivably have forestalled the attack —
but posterity would think that FDR, too, had made “a valiant, last effort.”
The Japanese strike sank or
heavily damaged 18 naval vessels (including eight battleships), destroyed 188 planes, and left over 2,000 dead. The Roberts
Commission, assigned to investigate the attack, consisted of personal cronies of Roosevelt and Marshall. The Commission fully
absolved Washington and declared that America was caught off guard due to “dereliction of duty” by Kimmel and
Short. The wrath of America for these two was exceeded only by its wrath for Tokyo. To this day, many believe it was negligence
by the Hawaii commanders that made the Pearl Harbor disaster possible. (See "Scapegoating Kimmel and Short," page 20.)
published in New American
1. Though a major exposer of the Pearl Harbor conspiracy, Robert Stinnett is sympathetic
regarding FDR’s motives. He writes in his book: "As a veteran of the Pacific War, I felt a sense of outrage as I uncovered
secrets that had been hidden from Americans for more than fifty years. But I understood the agonizing dilemma faced by President
Roosevelt. He was forced to find circuitous means to persuade an isolationist America to join in a fight for freedom." In
our view, a government that is allowed to operate in such fashion is a government that has embarked on a dangerous, slippery
slope toward dictatorship. Nonetheless, Stinnett’s position on FDR’s motives makes his exposé of FDR’s actions
all the more compelling.
Source:www.thenewamerican.comJames Perloff is the author of The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline
and Tornado in a Junkyard: The Relentless Myth of Darwinism. Both books are available through American Opinion Book Services
View Top Secret Documents:www.devvy.com/pdf/fdr_top_secret.pdfThe McCollum Memo: The Smoking Gun of Pearl Harbor