When I first heard the accusation that FDR had deliberately allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor, on this day in 1941, I thought it impossible. That would be like saying we did it to ourselves. But it turned out that I was wrong. All that it meant was that some individuals did it to others. In this case, Roosevelt and his closest advisors, along with some cooperative officers in the US military, worked to provoke the attack and make sure that Admiral Kimmel and General Short remained in the dark. For certain, as every year around this time, we will have to put up with a bunch of crap about how “military hobbyists and crusty Roosevelt-haters are propounding far-flung theories about presidential treachery,” while in fact the man who proved the case is no Roosevelt-hater, but the furthest thing from it. His name is Robert Stinnett, he’s a veteran of the pacific war and biographer of his fellow veteran George H.W. Bush. Though he proves beyond doubt the case for Roosevelt’s treachery in his book Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, Stinnett remarkably justifies this action as necessary to get us into the war in Europe.
For just one piece of his smoking gun evidence, take a look at the McCollum memo, which lays out the eight point plan to provoke Japan into attacking first, which was implemented step by step by Roosevelt. See #9 A-H.
US involvement in the so-called “good war,” which laid the foundations of American Empire and has served as the founding myth of the inherent right of the US government to travel around murdering people for their own good was, in fact, begun by the most despicable act of treason against the American people – an act worthy of Adolf Hitler himself.
Update: Wednesday afternoon I received an email from Patrick D. Weadon, curator of the National Cryptologic Museum, disputing Mr. Stinnett’s claims, and have received a response from Mr. Stinnett to his objections:
Patrick D. Weadon:
Please be advised that Mr. Stinett’s [sic] book is based on faulty evidence. The book claims that the Allies broke the top Japanese naval code(JN25) prior to December 7th 1941. This is nonsense. Small parts of JN25 were cracked in the early 40s but JN25-B ( the upgraded code which was used by the Japanese Navy in days and months leading up to Pearl Harbor) was not cracked until the spring of 1942. If Stinett’s theory is correct it would mean that the United States had forewarning of Japanese naval operations prior to Pearl Harbor but failed to act on the information until June of 1942. This is absurd. In the days and months after Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Army and Navy conquered over a tenth of the earth’s surface. The Allies took it on the chin in places like Wake Island, the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong. To think that we sat on the information for months and did nothing with it is crazy.
Stinett is right that the information was being collected prior to Pearl, but he is wrong to assert that it was being read. Some years later the JN25 intercepts were deciphered after the fact. They provided strong evidence, that had it been known at the time may have led to our being prepared for the attack.
I am not alone in pointing out just how wrong Stinett [sic] is in his assertions. Many prominent historians such as David Kahn, Stephen Budiansky, and the late Gordon Prange all agreed that the U.S. myopic focus on Japanese diplomatic traffic, along with the inability to read JN25-B and a general underestimation of Japanese capabilities were the main elements that led to the debacle at Pearl Harbor.
Patrick D. Weadon
National Cryptologic Museum
Robert Stinnett responds:
Mr. Weadon is relying on 1950 information for his observations. I am surprised he regards the US Navy’s brilliant cryptographic reports of 1941 as “faulty evidence.” Apparently he had not read my book or even consulted the US navy crypto records.
The person putting forth the faulty evidence is Mr. Weadon himself. He quotes the JN-25-B Hoax. Neither the Japanese Navy nor the US Navy used such a code designator in the pre Pearl Harbor period of 1939 to December 1941. Japan’s Naval Operation code was known as Code Book D. Random Number Table Seven in fall of 1941; the USN used the designator “Five Number Code.” The JN-25-B designator originated sometime in early 1943.
The proper question is: When did the US Navy solve Code Book D, Table Seven? The answer is provided by Lieutenant John Lietwiler, commanding officer of Station CAST on Corregidor. Leitwiler, head of 65 naval radio cryptographers on Corregidor reported to Washington that his staff was “current in intercepting, decoding and translating” Japan’s operations code as of November 16, 1941, Manila time. On the same day (November 15 EST) in Washington, DC, General George Marshall chief of Staff of the US Army, called Washington bureau chiefs of major newspapers and magazines to his office, swore them to secrecy and revealed the US had broken the Japanese codes and expected the danger period would be the first week in December 1941.
Mr. Weadon sources are not to be trusted. David Kahn in reviewing my book, Day of Deceit for the New York Review of Books, rewrote the Hawaiian Communication Summary of November 25, 1941, which reported the Commander Carriers of the Japanese fleet was in extensive radio communications with the Japanese admirals leading the submarine attack on Hawaii and invasion forces of Wake and Guam. Mr. Kahn was attempting to cover up reports by Pulitzer Prize winner, John Toland, that the Twelfth Naval District in San Francisco also intercepted the “extensive communications’ with radio direction finders. These reports placed the Commander Carriers, north of Hawaii. Naval intelligence officers who were stationed in San Francisco in 1941, call Mr. Kahn’s report a “journalistic crime.” I have refuted Mr. Kahn’s violation of journalistic ethics in the NYROB and also the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Weadon should get into the 21st century and drop the 1950 nonsense.