9/27/2005

FDR Had Foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor?:


Interview

Do Freedom of Information Act Files Prove FDR Had Foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor?
March 11, 2002
Robert B. Stinnett, Douglas Cirignano

An Interview with Robert B. Stinnett by Douglas Cirignano

On November 25, 1941 Japan’s Admiral Yamamoto sent a radio message to the group of Japanese warships that would attack Pearl Harbor on December 7. Newly released naval records prove that from November 17 to 25 the United States Navy intercepted eighty-three messages that Yamamoto sent to his carriers. Part of the November 25 message read: “…the task force, keeping its movements 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 in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow…”

One might wonder if the theory that President Franklin Roosevelt had a foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack would have been alluded to in this summer’s movie, Pearl Harbor. Since World War II many people have suspected that Washington knew the attack was coming. When Thomas Dewey was running for president against Roosevelt in 1944 he found out about America’s ability to intercept Japan’s radio messages, and thought this knowledge would enable him to defeat the popular FDR. In the fall of that year, Dewey planned a series of speeches charging FDR with foreknowledge of the attack. Ultimately, General George Marshall, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, persuaded Dewey not to make the speeches. Japan’s naval leaders did not realize America had cracked their codes, and Dewey’s speeches could have sacrificed America’s code-breaking advantage. So, Dewey said nothing, and in November FDR was elected president for the fourth time.

Now, though, according to Robert Stinnett, author of Simon & Schuster’s Day Of Deceit, we have the proof. Stinnett’s book is dedicated to Congressman John Moss, the author of America’s Freedom of Information Act. According to Stinnett, the answers to the mysteries of Pearl Harbor can be found in the extraordinary number of documents he was able to attain through Freedom of Information Act requests. Cable after cable of decryptions, scores of military messages that America was intercepting, clearly showed that Japanese ships were preparing for war and heading straight for Hawaii. Stinnett, an author, journalist, and World War II veteran, spent sixteen years delving into the National Archives. He poured over more than 200,000 documents, and conducted dozens of interviews. This meticulous research led Stinnet to a firmly held conclusion: FDR knew.

“Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars,” was Roosevelt’s famous campaign statement of 1940. He wasn’t being ingenuous. FDR’s military and State Department leaders were agreeing that a victorious Nazi Germany would threaten the national security of the United States. In White House meetings the strong feeling was that America needed a call to action. This is not what the public wanted, though. Eighty to ninety percent of the American people wanted nothing to do with Europe’s war. So, according to Stinnett, Roosevelt provoked Japan to attack us, let it happen at Pearl Harbor, and thus galvanized the country to war. Many who came into contact with Roosevelt during that time hinted that FDR wasn’t being forthright about his intentions in Europe. After the attack, on the Sunday evening of December 7, 1941, Roosevelt had a brief meeting in the White House with Edward R. Murrow, the famed journalist, and William Donovan, the founder of the Office of Strategic Services. Later Donovan told an assistant the he believed FDR welcomed the attack and didn’t seem surprised. The only thing Roosevelt seemed to care about, Donovan felt, was if the public would now support a declaration of war. According to Day Of Deceit, in October 1940 FDR adopted a specific strategy to incite Japan to commit an overt act of war. Part of the strategy was to move America’s Pacific fleet out of California and anchor it in Pearl Harbor. Admiral James Richardson, the commander of the Pacific fleet, strongly opposed keeping the ships in harm’s way in Hawaii. He expressed this to Roosevelt, and so the President relieved him of his command. Later Richardson quoted Roosevelt as saying: “Sooner or later the Japanese will commit an overt act against the United States and the nation will be willing to enter the war.”

To those who believe that government conspiracies can’t possibly happen, Day Of Deceit could prove to them otherwise. Stinnett’s well-documented book makes a convincing case that the highest officials of the government—including the highest official—fooled and deceived millions of Americans about one of the most important days in the history of the country. It now has to be considered one of the most definitive—if not the definitive—book on the subject. Gore Vidal has said, “…Robert Stinnet has come up with most of the smoking guns. Day Of Deceit shows that the famous ‘surprise’ attack was no surprise to our war-minded rulers…” And John Toland, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Pearl Harbor book, Infamy, said, “Step by step, Stinnett goes through the prelude to war, using new documents to reveal the terrible secrets that have never been disclosed to the public. It is disturbing that eleven presidents, including those I admired, kept the truth from the public until Stinnett’s Freedom of Information Act requests finally persuaded the Navy to release the evidence.”

Do Freedom of Information Act Files Prove FDR Had Foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor?: Newsroom: The Independent Institute

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