I Spy An Eye in the Sky

On the same ironic day, Dec. 2, 1941 that the Office of Naval Intelligence stopped spying on the Japanese consulate, Admiral Yamamoto send his fleet to attack the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor.  Yamamoto had taken a commercial flight over the island snapped photos of the base, and the positions of the aircraft carriers as well as battleships and buildings.

At least that’s what Pearl Harbor Conspiracy Theorists believe.  While it’s true that this is the date the Japanese fleet set sail for Pearl Harbor, the advanced-knowledge conspiracy theory is the idea that American officials had advance knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Ever since the attack, there has been considerable debate as to how and why the United States had been caught off guard and how much and when American officials knew of Japanese plans for an attack.

Several writers, including journalist Robert Stinnett and former United States Navy Rear Admiral Robert A. Theobald have argued that various parties high in the U.S. and British governments knew of the attack in advance and may even have let it happen or encouraged it in order to force America into war via the “back door.” Evidence supporting this view is taken from quotations and source documents from the time and the release of newer materials.  People of the times believed Roosevelt needed the war manufacturing to get the country out of the Great Depression.

The U.S. government made nine official inquiries into the attack between 1941 and 1946, and a tenth in 1995. They included an inquiry by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox (1941); the Roberts Commission (1941–42); the Hart Inquiry (1944); the Army Pearl Harbor Board (1944); the Naval Court of Inquiry (1944); the Hewitt investigation; the Clarke investigation; the Congressional Inquiry (1945–46); a top-secret inquiry by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, authorized by Congress and carried out by Henry Clausen (the Clausen Inquiry; 1946); and the Thurmond-Spence hearing, in April 1995, which produced the Dorn Report. The inquiries reported incompetence, underestimation, and misapprehension of Japanese capabilities and intentions; problems resulting from excessive secrecy about cryptography; division of responsibility between Army and Navy (and lack of consultation between them); and lack of adequate manpower for intelligence (analysis, collection, processing).

Some things never change

Allegedly, investigators prior to Clausen did not have the security clearance necessary to receive the most sensitive information. Clausen claimed that, in spite of Secretary Stimson having given him a letter informing witnesses that he had the necessary clearances to require their cooperation, he was repeatedly lied to until he produced copies of top secret decrypts, thus proving he indeed had the proper clearance.

Stimson’s report to Congress, based on Clausen’s work, was limited due to secrecy concerns, largely about cryptography. A more complete account was not made publicly available until the mid-1980s, and not published until 1992.  Reaction to the 1992 publication has varied. Some regard it as a valuable addition to understanding the events, while one historian noted Clausen did not speak to Gen. Walter Short, Army commander at Pearl Harbor during the attack, and called Clausen’s investigation “notoriously unreliable” in several aspects.

U.S. signals intelligence in 1941 was both impressively advanced and uneven.  In the past, the U.S. MI-8 cryptographic operation in New York City had been shut down by Henry Stimson (Hoover’s newly appointed Secretary of State), citing “ethical considerations”, which inspired its now broke former director, Herbert Yardly, to write a 1931 book, The American Black Chamber, about its successes in breaking other nations’ crypto traffic. Most countries responded promptly by changing (and generally improving) their ciphers and codes, forcing other nations to start over in reading their signals. The Japanese were no exception.

Nevertheless, U.S. cryptanalytic work continued after Stimson’s action in two separate efforts: the Army’s Signal Intelligence Service (SIS) and the Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) crypto group, OP-20-G.  Cryptanalytic work was kept secret to such an extent, however, commands such as the 14th Naval District at Pearl Harbor were prohibited from working on code breaking by Admiral Kelly Turner as a consequence of the bureaucratic infighting in Washington.

By late 1941, those organizations had broken several Japanese ciphers, such as J19 and PA-K2, called Tsu and Oite respectively by the Japanese. The highest security diplomatic code, dubbed Purple by the U.S., had been broken, but American cryptanalysts had made little progress against the IJN’s current Kaigun Ango Sho D (Naval Code D, called AN-1 by the U.S.; JN-25 after March 1942).

In addition, there was a perennial shortage of manpower, thanks to penury on one hand and the perception of intelligence as a low-value career path on the other. Translators were over-worked, cryptanalysts were in short supply, and staffs were generally stressed. Furthermore, there were difficulties retaining good intelligence officers and trained linguists; most did not remain on the job for the extended periods necessary to become truly professional. For career reasons, nearly all wanted to return to more standard assignments.

However, concerning the manning levels, “… just prior to World War II, [the US] had some 700 people engaged in the effort and [was], in fact, obviously having some successes.”   Of these, 85 percent were tasked to decryption and 50 percent to translation efforts against IJN codes.  The nature and degree of these successes has led to great confusion among non-specialists. Furthermore, OP-20-GY “analysts relied as much on summary reports as on the actual intercepted messages.”

The U.S. was also given decrypted messages by Dutch (NEI) intelligence who, like the others in the British-Dutch-U.S. agreement to share the cryptographic load, shared information with allies. The U.S. refused to do likewise.   This was, at least in part, due to fears of compromise; sharing even between Navy and Army was restricted.  The eventual flow of intercepted and decrypted information was tightly and capriciously controlled. At times, even President Roosevelt did not receive all information from code-breaking activities. There were fears of compromise as a result of poor security after a memo dealing with Magic was tossed in the wastebasket of Brigadier General Edwin M. (Pa), the President’s military aide.  (Fans of the film, Tora! Tora! Tora! now know what the film was referring to.)

The break into Purple was a considerable cryptographic triumph, and proved quite useful later in the War.  It was the highest security Japanese Foreign Office system, but prior to Pearl Harbor carried little information about Japanese plans; the military, who were essentially determining foreign policy for Japan, distrusted the Foreign Office and left it “out of the loop.”  Unfortunately for the U.S., the two U.S. crypto groups generally competed rather than cooperated, and distribution of intelligence from the military to U.S. civilian policy-level officials was poorly done (e.g., capriciously selected for distribution) by both the Army and Navy, who handled the traffic on alternate days, and furthermore in a way preventing any of its recipients from developing a larger sense of the meaning of the decrypts.  Along with the obsession with security, there was little or no analysis done for recipients.  Decrypts were typically provided raw, completely without context, and without much taking into account the needs of the recipients.  As well, recipients were not permitted to retain them, or notes made from them, again for security reasons.

Most unfortunately, to date not all Purple messages have been released. This was noted as long ago as the Joint Congressional Hearings during the “Magic” testimony. This known fact is often missed, as well as other curious items, for example, the Hearing’s questions regarding the missing 25 pages from the Roberts Commission report.  Blanket or un-qualified statements on what decoded “Magic” messages revealed are, therefore, premature.

The JN-25 super encrypted code is one of the most debated portions of Pearl Harbor lore. JN-25 is the U.S. Navy’s final term for the cryptosystem the Imperial Japanese Navy sometimes referred to as Naval Code D.  Other names used for it include five-numeral, 5Num, five-digit, five-figure, AN (JN-25 Able), and AN-1 (JN-25 Baker), and so on.

Super enciphered codes of this sort were widely used and were the state of the art in practical cryptography at the time.  JN-25 was very similar in principle to the British “Naval Cypher No. 3,” known to have been broken by Germany during World War II.

Once it was realized what sort of cryptosystem JN-25 was, the cryptanalytic approach was known. Stinnett, in fact, notes the existence of a USN handbook for attacks on such a system, produced by OP-20-G.  Even so, breaking it was not easy in actual practice. It took much effort and time, not least in accumulating sufficient depth in intercepted messages prior to the outbreak of hostilities when IJN radio traffic increased abruptly and substantially;  prior to Dec. 7, 1941, IJN radio traffic was limited, since the IJN played only a minor role in the war against China and therefore was only rarely required to send radio messages in their highest level crypto system. (As well, interception of IJN traffic off China would have been at best spotty.) Rather

Rather oddly however, the official history of GYP-1 shows nearly 45,000 IJN messages intercepted during the period from June 1, 1941 until Dec. 4, 1941. Thus, most Japanese encrypted broadcast military radio traffic was Army traffic associated with the land operations in China.

Breaking a super encrypted cipher like JN-25 was a three-step process: (a) determining the “indicator” method to establish the starting point within the additive cipher, (b) stripping away the super encryption to expose the bare code, and then (c) breaking the code itself.  When JN-25 was first detected and recognized, such intercepted messages as were interceptable were collected (at assorted intercept stations around the Pacific by the Navy) in an attempt to accumulate sufficient depth to attempt to strip away the super encryption.  Success at doing so was termed by the cryptographers as a “break” into the system. Such a break did not produce a cleartext version of the intercepted message; only after breaking the underlying code (another difficult process) would the message be available, and even then its meaning—in an intelligence sense—might be less than fully clear.

When a new edition was released, the cryptographers were forced to start again. The original JN-25A system replaced the “Blue” code (as Americans called it), and used five-digit numbers, each divisible by three (and so usable as a quick, and somewhat reliable, error check, as well as something of a ‘crib’ to cryptanalysts), giving a total of 33,334 legal code values. To make it harder to crack a code value, meaningless additives (from a large table or book of five-digit numbers) were added arithmetically to each five-digit cipher. JN-25B superseded the first release of JN-25 at the start of December 1940.  JN-25B had 55,000 valid words, and while it initially used the same additive list, this was soon changed and the cryptanalysts found themselves entirely blacked out again.

Over the years, various claims have been made as to the progress made decrypting this system, and arguments made over when it was readable (in whole or part).  Lt. “Honest John” Leitwiler, Commander of Station CAST, the Philippines, stated in November 1941 that his staff could “walk right across” the number columns of the coded messages. He is frequently quoted in support of claims JN-25 was then mostly readable. This comment, however, refers not to the message itself but to the super enciphering additives and referred to the ease of attacking the code using a new method for discovery of additive values.

The Nov. 16 1941 letter to L.W. Parks (OP-20-GY) sent by Leitwiler states, “We have stopped work on the period 1 February to 31 July as we have all we can do to keep up with the current period. We are reading enough current traffic to keep two translators very busy.” Another document, Exhibit No. 151 (Memoranda from Captain L. F. Safford) from the Hewitt Inquiry has a copy of the U.S. Navy message OPNAV-242239 “Evaluation of Messages of 26 Nov. 26, 1941” which has in part: ‘1. Reference (a) advised that Com 16 intercepts were considered most reliable and requested Com 16 to evaluate reports on Japanese naval movements and send dispatch to OPNAV, info CINCPAC. Com 16’s estimates were more reliable than Com 14’s, not only because of better radio interception, but because Com 16 was currently reading messages in the Japanese Fleet Cryptographic System (“5-number code” or “JN25”) and was exchanging technical information and Japanese-to-English translations with the British C. I. Unit at Singapore.  Lt. Cdr. Arthur H. McCollum knew this and gave it due consideration when he drafted the McCollum. Duane L. Whitlock, traffic analyst at CAST, was not aware before the attack IJN movement traffic code was being read.  “Reading”, in this context, means being able to see the underlying code groups, not breaking out the messages into plaintext.  The Hewitt Inquiry document also states, “The ‘5 numeral system’ (JN-25B) yielded no information which would arouse even a suspicion of the Pearl Harbor raid, either before or afterward.”

The claim no pre-attack IJN message expressly mentioned Pearl Harbor is perhaps true. Similar are the claims no Purple traffic likewise pointed to Pearl Harbor. It is also possible any such intercepts were not translated until after the attack, or indeed, after the war ended. In both instances, all traffic from these pre-attack intercepts has not yet been declassified and released to the public domain. Hence, any such claims are now indeterminate, pending a fuller accounting.

Additionally, no decrypts have come to light of JN-25B traffic, and importantly identified as such, with any intelligence value prior to Pearl Harbor. Such breaks as recorded by authors W.J. Holmes and Clay Blair, Jr., were into the additive tables, which was a required first step of two. The first 100 JN-25 decrypts from all sources in date/time order of translation have been released, and are available in the National Archives. The first JN-25B decrypt was in fact by HYPO (Hawaii) on Jan. 8. 1942 (numbered #1 up JN-25B RG38 CNSG Library, Box 22, 3222/82 NA CP). The first 25 decrypts were very short messages or partial decrypts of marginal intelligence value. As Whitlock stated, “The reason that not one single JN-25 decrypt made prior to Pearl Harbor has ever been found or declassified is not due to any insidious cover-up… it is due quite simply to the fact that no such decrypt ever existed. It simply was not within the realm of our combined cryptologic capability to produce a usable decrypt at that particular juncture.”

Detailed month by month progress reports have shown no reason to believe any JN-25B messages were fully decrypted before the start of the war. Tallied results for September, October, and November reveal roughly 3,800 code groups (out of 55,000, about 7%) had been recovered by the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

There are claims that as the Kido Butai (the Striking Force), steamed toward Hawaii, radio signals were detected that alerted U.S. intelligence to the imminent attack. For instance, the Matson liner SS Lurline, heading from San Francisco to Hawaii on its regular route, is said to have heard and plotted via “relative bearings” unusual radio traffic, in a telegraphic code very different from International Morse, which persisted for several days, and came from signal source(s) moving in an easterly direction, not shore stations – presumably the approaching Japanese fleet. There are numerous Morse Code standards including those for Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, and Greek. To the experienced radio operator, each has a unique and identifiable pattern. For example, kana, International Morse, and “Continental” Morse all have a specific rhythmic sound to the “dit” and “daht” combinations. This is how Lurline‘s radioman, Leslie Grogan, a U.S. Navy reserve officer in naval communications, and with decades of maritime service in the Pacific identified the mooted signal source as Japanese and not, say, Russian.

There are several problems with this analysis. Surviving officers from the Japanese ships state there was no radio traffic to have been overheard by anyone: their radio operators had been left in Japan to send fake traffic, and all radio transmitters aboard the ships (even those in the airplanes) were physically disabled to prevent any inadvertent or unauthorized broadcast.

The Kido Butai was constantly receiving intelligence and diplomatic updates.  Regardless of whether Kido Butai broke radio silence and transmitted, there was a great deal of radio traffic picked up by its antennas. In that time period, it was not unknown for a radio antenna to reflect the energy of an incoming signal back to the ionosphere, where ionosopheric skip could result in its reception hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Since the Kido Butai contained a large number of possible reflectors, it thus is conceivable the task force did not break radio silence but was detected anyway.

Such detection would not have helped the Americans track the Japanese fleet. A radio direction finder (DF or RDF) from that time period reported compass direction without reference to distance.  (Moreover, it was common for the receiving stations to generate erroneous reciprocal bearings.)  To locate the source, a plotter needed two such detections taken from two separate stations to triangulate and find the target. If the target was moving, the detections must be close to one another in time. To plot the task force’s course with certainty, at least four such detections must have been made in proper time-pairs, and the information analyzed in light of further information received by other means. This complex set of requirements did not occur; if the Kido Butai was detected, it was not tracked.

According to a 1942 Japanese after action report, “In order to keep strict radio silence, steps such as taking off fuses in the circuit, and holding and sealing the keys were taken. During the operation, the strict radio silence was perfectly carried out… The Kido Butai used the radio instruments for the first time on the day of the attack since they had been fixed at the base approximately twenty days before and proved they worked well. Paper flaps had been inserted between key points of some transmitters on board the Akagi to keep the strictest radio silence…” Commander Gender, who helped plan the attack, stated, “We kept absolute Radio Silence.”

For two weeks before the attack, the ships of Kido Butai used flag and light signals (semaphore and blinker), which were sufficient since task force members remained in line of sight. Kazuiyoshi Koichi, the Communications Officer for the Hiei, dismantled vital transmitter parts and kept them in a box that he used as a pillow to prevent Hiei from making any radio transmissions until the attack commenced.

Lieutenant Commander Chuichi Yoshoka, communications officer of the flagship, Akagi, said he did not recall any ship sending a radio message before the attack.  Furthermore, Captain Kijiro, in charge of the Kido Butai‘s three screening submarines, stated nothing of interest happened on the way to Hawaii. Vice Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka stated, “It is needless to say that the strictest radio silence was ordered to be maintained in every ship of the Task Force. To keep radio silence was easy to say, but not so easy to maintain.”  There is nothing in the Japanese logs or after action report indicating that radio silence was broken until after the attack. Kusaka worried about this when it was briefly broken on the way home.

The appendix to the war-initiating operational order is also often debated. The message of 25 November 1941 from CinC Combined Fleet (Yamamoto) to All Flagships stated, “Ships of the Combined Fleet will observe radio communications procedure as follows: 1. Except in extreme emergency the Main Force and its attached force will cease communicating. 2. Other forces are at the discretion of their respective commanders. 3. Supply ships, repair ships, hospital ships, etc., will report directly to parties concerned.” Furthermore, “In accordance with this Imperial Operational Order, the CinC of the Combined Fleet issued his operational order … The Task Force then drew up its own operational order, which was given for the first time to the whole force at Hitokappu Bay… In paragraph four of the appendix to that document, the especially secret Strike Force was specifically directed to ‘maintain strict radio silence from the time of their departure from the Inland Sea. Their communications will be handled entirely on the general broadcast communications net.’  In addition, Genda recalled, in a 1947 interview, Kido Butai‘s communications officer issuing this order, with the task force to rely (as might be expected) on flag and blinker.

The original records of the Lurline surrendered to Lt. Cmdr. George W. Pease, 14th Naval District in Honolulu, have disappeared. Neither the Lurline‘s log, nor the reports to the Navy or Coast Guard by Grogan in Hawaii can be found. Thus no contemporaneously written evidence of what was recorded aboard Lurline is now available. Grogan commented on a signal source “moving” eastward in the North Pacific over several days as shown via “relative bearings” which then “bunched up” and stopped moving.   However, the directions given by Grogan in a recreation of the logbook for the Matson Line were 18 and 44 degrees off from known strike force positions and instead pointed towards Japan. According to author Jacobsen, Japanese commercial shipping vessels are the likely source. A recently-discovered missing report by Grogan, dated Dec. 10, 1941 and titled “Record for Posterity,” also does not support claims of Kido Butai broadcasting.

The Japanese practiced radio deception. Susumu Ishiguru, intelligence and communications officer for Carrier Division Two, stated, “Every day false communications emanated from Kyushu at the same time and same wavelength as during the training period.”  Because of this, Commander Joseph Rochefort of Hawaii Signals Intelligence concluded that the First Air Fleet remained in home waters for routine training.  The ships left their own regular wireless operators to carry on “routine” radio traffic. Captain Sadatoshi Tomioka stated, “The main force in the Inland Sea and the land-based air units carried out deceptive communications to indicate the carriers were training in the Kyushu area.”  The main Japanese naval bases (Yokosuka, Kure, and Sasebo) all engaged in considerable radio deception. Analysis of the bearings from Navy DF stations account for claimed breaks of radio silence, and when plotted, the bearings point to the Japanese naval bases, not where those ships actually were.

Rochefort, with Huckins and Williams, states there were no dummy messages used at any time throughout 1941 and no effort by the Japanese to use serious deception. When asked after the attack just how he knew where Akagi was, Rochefort (who commanded HYPO at the time) said he recognized her ‘same ham-fisted’ radio operators. (The Japanese contend that radio operators were left behind as part of the deception operation.)  The critical DF-tracked radio transmissions show bearings that could have not come from the strike force.  Emissions monitored from CAST, or CAST’s report Akagi, was off Okinawa on Dec. 8, 1941, are examples, though some transmissions continue to be debated.  The contention that “low-powered” radio (such as VHF or what the U.S. Navy called TBS, or talk between ships), might have been used, and detected, is contradicted as impossible due to the tremendous distances involved and when contact was lost, it was routinely presumed it was because low-powered radio and land line were being used.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for specific RDF reports remain wanting. “A more critical analysis of the source documentation shows that not one single radio direction finder bearing, much less any locating” “fix,” was obtained on any Kido Butai unit or command during its transit from Saeki Bay, Kyushu to Hitokappu Bay and thence on to Hawaii. By removing this fallacious lynchpin propping up such claims of Kido Butai radio transmissions, the attendant suspected conspiracy tumbles down like a house of cards.”

One suggested example of a Kido Butai transmission is the Nov. 30, 1941 COMSUM14 report in which Rochefort mentioned a “tactical” circuit heard calling “marus” (a term often used for commercial vessels or non-combat units). Further, the perspective of U.S. Naval Intelligence at the time was, “… The significance of the term, ‘tactical circuit’ is that the vessel itself, that is Akagi, was using its own radio to call up the other vessels directly rather than work them through shore stations via the broadcast method, which was the common practice in Japanese communications. The working of the Akagi with the Marus, indicated that she was making arrangements for fuel or some administrative function, since a carrier would rarely address a maru.”

Also, from a U.S. Navy radiomen on duty at STATION AE (STATION Able Easy, Sitka, Alaska) at the time of Pearl Harbor, Elmer H. Frantz, states, “It is inconceivable to me that a force represented by the Kido Butai with 33 ships involved of all different types … and no radio communications, communication black out on orders – I just don’t believe it.”

One story from author Constantine Fitzgibbon claimed that a letter received from V. F. W. Cavendish-Bentinck stated Britain’s JIC met and discussed at length the impending Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. From a Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee session of Dec. 5, 1941 it was stated, “We knew that they changed course. I remember presiding over a J.I.C. meeting and being told that a Japanese fleet was sailing in the direction of Hawaii, asking, ‘Have we informed our transatlantic brethren?’ and receiving an affirmative reply.”  However, the author was incorrect. There was no session on Dec. 5th nor was Pearl Harbor discussed when they did meet on the 3rd.

The conspiracy theory goes on for pages and pages.

One perspective is given by Vice Admiral Frank E. Beatty, who at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack was an aide to Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox and was very close to FDR’s inner circle remarks:

“Prior to Dec. 7, it was evident even to me… that we were pushing Japan into a corner. I believed that it was the desire of President Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Churchill that we get into the war, as they felt the Allies could not win without us and all our efforts to cause the Germans to declare war on us failed; the conditions we imposed upon Japan—to get out of China, for example—were so severe that we knew that nation could not accept them. We were forcing her so severely that we could have known that she would react toward the United States. All her preparations in a military way—and we knew their over-all import—pointed that way.

Another “eye witness viewpoint” akin to Beatty’s is provided by Roosevelt’s administrative assistant at the time of Pearl Harbor, Jonathan Daniels; it is the telling comment about FDR’s reaction to the attack – “The blow was heavier than he had hoped it would necessarily be. … But the risks paid off; even the loss was worth the price. …”

“Ten days before the attack on Pearl Harbor,  Secretary of War Stimson  entered in his diary the famous and much-argued statement – that he had met with President Roosevelt to discuss the evidence of impending hostilities with Japan, and the question was ‘how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.’” However Stimson, in reviewing his diary after the war, recalled that the commanders at Pearl Harbor had been warned of the possibility of attack, and that the poor state of readiness that the attack had revealed was a surprise to him.

“[Yet] General Short had been told the two essential facts: 1) a war with Japan is threatening, 2) hostile action by Japan is possible at any moment. Given these two facts, both of which were stated without equivocation in the message of Nov. 27, the outpost commander should be on the alert to make his fight. . . . To cluster his airplanes in such groups and positions that in an emergency they could not take the air for several hours, and to keep his antiaircraft ammunition so stored that it could not be promptly and immediately available, and to use his best reconnaissance system, the radar, only for a very small fraction of the day and night, in my opinion betrayed a misconception of his real duty which was almost beyond belief. . . .”

Stimson omits to mention the “war warning” message expressly told Short not to alarm the civilian population and to be alert for sabotage, which was widely expected to be a precursor to attack.

Robert Stinnett’s Day of Deceit suggests a memo prepared by Commander McCollum was central to U.S. policy in the immediate pre-war period. Stinnett claims the memo suggests only a direct attack on U.S. interests would sway the American public (or Congress) to favor direct involvement in the European war, specifically in support of the British. An attack by Japan would not, could not, aid Britain, as history would prove. Although the memo was passed to Captains Walter Anderson and Dudley Knox, two of Roosevelt’s military advisors, on Oct. 7, 1940, there is no evidence to suggest Roosevelt ever saw it, while Stinnett’s claims of evidence he did is nonexistent.  Moreover, although Anderson and Knox offered eight specific plans to aggrieve the Japanese Empire and added, “If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better,” of the eight “plans” (actions to be taken) offered in the memo, only one was ever implemented in any fashion, and there is considerable doubt the memo was the inspiration. Nonetheless, in Day of Deceit Stinnett claims all action items were implemented.  Yet there were numerous instances of members of the Roosevelt Administration insisting on not provoking Japan. Mark Parillo, in his essay The United States in the Pacific, wrote, “[t]hese theories tend to founder on the logic of the situation. Had Roosevelt and other members of his administration known of the attack in advance, they would have been foolish to sacrifice one of the major instruments needed to win the war just to get the United States into it.”

Furthermore, on Nov. 5, 1941, in a joint memo, Stark, CNO, and Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, warned, “if Japan be defeated and Germany remain undefeated, decision will still not have been reached…. War between the United States and Japan should be avoided….”  Additionally, in a Nov. 21, 1941 memo, Brigadier Leonard T. Gerow, head of Army War Plans, stated, “one of our present major objectives [is] the avoidance of war with Japan…[and to] insure continuance of material assistance to the British.” He concluded, “[I]t is of grave importance to our war effort in Europe…”  Furthermore, Churchill himself, in a May 15, 1940 telegram, said he hoped a U.S. commitment to aid Britain would “quiet” Japan, following with an Oct 4 message requesting a USN courtesy visit to Singapore aimed at “preventing the spreading of the war” and Stark’s own Plan Dog expressly stated, “Any strength that we might send to the Far East would…reduce the force of our blows against Germany…”  Roosevelt could scarcely have been ignorant of Stark’s views, and war with Japan was clearly contrary to Roosevelt’s express wish to aid Britain and with Churchill’s to “quiet” Japan.

At least so says one Pearl Harbor conspiracy theorist.  Some say the Axis Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan made war with Japan inevitable.  Roosevelt had promised Americans he would not engage in any overseas war.  He never promised not to ignore signs of an impending attack from nations threatening war.

Today, Obama vows we will not engage in any nuclear.  Yet he turns a blind eye to Iran’s nuclear build-up, much as the British parliament ignored Churchill’s warning about a Germany military build-up right after World War I ended.  Former Congressman Curt Weldon (Pa.) warned about secret intelligence that indicated Iran was on a nuclear build-up in his 2005 book Countdown to Terror.

But Weldon was silenced by a spurious scandal and never heard from again.  As a consequence of the charges, he lost the next election.  Now we have the NSA scandal, where drones will be spying on American people but apparently not on the Iranians who are devising our physical destruction.  Our Secretary of State is a communist or communist sympathizer who, after receiving a dubiously-awarded Medal of Honor in Vietnam, led a successful public crusade to make sure America lost the war in Vietnam.

The world is upside-down.  Right is wrong and wrong is right.  Our country makes deals with the enemy and spies on its own citizens, especially those who demand that our government uphold the Constitution, as their oaths of office require.

Published in: on December 2, 2013 at 11:26 am  Leave a Comment  

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