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Historical Perspective: Intelligence and the 1944 Election [Title Not in Original]
U.S.S. Clueless ^ | 11/5/03 | Den Beste

Posted on 11/06/2003 6:17:47 AM PST by TastyManatees

Historical Perspective: Intelligence and the 1944 Election [Title Not in Original]

(On Screen): On December 7 1941, six Japanese aircraft carriers moving under strict radio silence reached a point northwest of Oahu and launched several hundred planes to make a strike against the American fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor. The strike leader radioed back "Tora Tora Tora", a predetermined message which meant that they had achieved surprise and the Americans were not ready. Two major strikes over the course of a couple of hours sank or badly damaged the majority of America's battleships in the Pacific, and caused much other damage. By sheer good luck, the three American big-deck carriers assigned to the Pacific fleet were away at the time. War had come to the United States, whether it liked it or not.

The US had stayed uninvolved during the first two years of the war. Roosevelt had tried to help as much as he could, and indeed he pretty seriously bent some rules and went beyond some constitutional limits. For instance, the US Navy had been involved in a shooting war in the Atlantic for several months before the Japanese attack, and the first Americans to die in combat in World War II were crewmen on an American destroyer which was sunk by a German sub while escorting a convoy, long before December 1941.

But the popular will in the US was to stay the hell out of it, and despite being the closest this nation has ever had to an imperial president, not even Roosevelt could ignore that. So he got funding to build up the US Navy, and he got funding to start increasing the size of the US Army, and to begin to build and acquire the equipment needed to fight a war. He even managed to make a deal to give fifty American destroyers to the British which could be used by them for convoy duty, and got Lend-Lease passed when the UK began to run out of dollars with which to buy vital supplies from the US. What he couldn't do was to actually join the war.

There was little secret that Roosevelt felt that the US should be involved in the war. He feared that the UK and USSR might be defeated, leaving Hitler dominant in Europe. In the summer of 1940 the UK had come within a whisker of defeat, and in the autumn of 1941 the German attack against the USSR had been devastatingly effective, and also came within a whisker of complete victory. It was by no means clear that the war would continue for much longer; one or both of them might be forced to make terms and cease resisting.

Roosevelt was also deeply worried about the ongoing Japanese wars of conquest in SE Asia, as Japan had conquered Korea and Manchuria and Formosa, and had invaded America's ally China. He arranged to provide "unofficial" military support to the Chinese in the form of the "Flying Tigers", a unit of American fighters which was nominally volunteers but which was in practice an American squadron.

But he feared that if the US didn't go to a war footing industrially, and start committing troops, that the Axis might well win. (And in fact, if the US had not gotten involved in the war, it's entirely possible that the Axis would have won.) Unfortunately, there seemed little he could do to convince the majority of American voters.

The attack on Pearl Harbor changed everything. Congress passed a declaration of war against Japan. And after Germany and Italy declared war on the US, Congress then declared war on Germany and Italy. The prevailing American attitude about the war changed from "Hell, no!" to "Remember Pearl Harbor!"

Obviously no one could truly want American sailors and soldiers to die the way they had at Pearl Harbor, let alone losing so many ships, but despite the horror and the terrible losses sustained by the US Pacific Fleet, it was a political God-send for Roosevelt. And many were suspicious: had he known it was coming and deliberately let it happen? There are some even today who still claim he did.

If the Japanese plans had been detected but Roosevelt had deliberately refused to act to prevent it, he would have committed high treason. But that depended entirely on a question made far more famous later, during an investigation of a different president: What did he know, and when did he know it?

There were basically three possibilities, or various shadings between them: US intelligence had learned of the attack and Roosevelt had let it happen; US intelligence had not learned of the attack because US intelligence was incompetent; or US intelligence had not learned of the attack because the Japanese had been scrupulous about operational security. In the third case, all you could really do was shake your head and acknowledge that the enemy had pulled a masterstroke. But in the other two cases, it could imply that the administration should be replaced.

Just what had American intelligence learned about Japanese plans during 1941? Was there enough information to have determined that an attack was coming, and if so, were the pieces put together in time to save the US fleet? That's what had to be determined in order to discover the truth.

Unfortunately, trying to ask those questions while the war went on would have been severely damaging to the ongoing war effort. If there had been such a wideranging and deep investigation of American intelligence, it would have been nearly impossible to avoid revealing a lot of the means they had been using to gather intelligence, and since a lot of those means were still being used as the war went on, it might have told the nation's enemies how to shut off that intelligence.

By far the most important of those intelligence sources was codebreaking. Codes and ciphers are extremely difficult to crack, and one of the most important sources of American intelligence was known by the code name Purple. It was the top level Japanese diplomatic cipher, and the Americans had spent years analyzing it and had reached the point where they could read every message in it.

Purple had been used by the Japanese to transmit a diplomatic message to the Japanese embassy in Washington shortly before the attack, with emphatic orders that the message be delivered before a particular time. The message stated that Japan had decided to break off further negotiations with the US, but it did not formally declare war, nor did it contain any specific information about what kinds of attacks might have been planned nor where they might strike, or even that any such plans existed. The Japanese ambassador had a hard time finding an aide who could type with an English typewriter, and as a result he actually delivered the message to the American Secretary of State after the attack had taken place.

But in fact American code-breakers had read that message and when the Japanese ambassador handed it to him, the Secretary of State already knew what it contained. And though the message said nothing about pending attacks, the accompanying instructions regarding when the message had to be delivered were clearly an ominous sign. Based on it, alerts had been sent to various American commanders in the Pacific, including to Pearl Harbor. But the message did not arrive soon enough to help, and in any case all it said was that thus-and-so a time on thus-and-so day seemed to be critical and to be alert. The time in question was the time when the first bombs began to fall.

Intelligence sources are very fragile; they're difficult to acquire and easy to destroy. And none are more fragile than crypto assets. The effort of cracking a code or cipher was immense compared to the effort for the enemy of changing it, and it was important to not give the enemy any reasons to worry.

Which is why Army General George Marshall, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and one of the finest men this nation has ever produced, was extremely worried about the 1944 Presidential election campaign. The Republicans nominated Thomas Dewey, the governor of the state of New York, and showed every sign of wanting to use Pearl Harbor as a major campaign issue, including the entire question of American intelligence and whether it had actually revealed the details of the Japanese attack plan in time to foil it.

In fact it had not; Purple was not used by the Imperial Japanese Navy, and the code used for flag traffic to transmit high level operational plans had not been cracked at the time. Japanese operational security had in fact been excellent during the run-up to war.

Marshall worked for the Roosevelt administration, but properly saw himself as being non-partisan. He did not feel it was proper for him to take sides in the campaign.

But he was also deeply worried that the Republicans might use the question of American intelligence, especially code-breaking, as an issue in the 1944 campaign. He was afraid that a lot of high-profile discussion of American codebreaking might well spook both the Japanese and Germans into changing a lot of their other codes and ciphers. That would have been a military disaster. Marshall wasn't interested in who won the election, but he damned well cared who won the war, and when, and how many casualties it might involve.

So he wrote a letter to Governor Dewey, and placed it in an envelope stamped Top Secret, For Mr. Dewey's eyes only and sent a high level officer as a courier to deliver it and to insure it not fall into the wrong hands. Dewey opened the letter, read the first two paragraphs, up to this:

What I have to tell you below is of such a highly secret nature that I feel compelled to ask you either to accept it on the basis of your not communicating its contents to any other person and returning this letter or not reading any further and returning the letter to the bearer.

Dewey had also seen the word "cryptograph" further down, without trying, and he stopped reading and handed the letter back and explained that he did not want to read it any further. The courier returned to Washington and reported to Marshall.

Marshall could not accept that. The issues involved were too important. So he rewrote the letter and again had it delivered to Dewey. The new letter read as follows:

My dear Governor: Colonel Clarke, my messenger to you of yesterday, September 26th, has reported the result of his delivery of my letter dated September 25th. As I understand him you (a) were unwilling to commit yourself to any agreement regarding "not communicating its contents to any other person" in view of the fact that you felt you already knew certain of the things probably referred to in the letter, as suggested to you by seeing the word "cryptograph," and (b) you could not feel that such a letter as this to a presidential candidate could have been addressed to you by an officer in my position without the knowledge of the President.

As to (a) above I am quite willing to have you read what comes hereafter with the understanding that you are bound not to communicate to any other person any portions on which you do not now have or later receive factual knowledge from some other source than myself. As to (b) above you have my word that neither the Secretary of War nor the President has any intimation whatsoever that such a letter has been addressed to you or that the preparation or sending of such a communication was being considered. I assure you that the only persons who saw or know of the existence of either this letter or my letter to you dated September 25th are Admiral King, seven key officers responsible for security of military communications, and my secretary who typed these letters. I am trying my best to make plain to you that this letter is being addressed to you solely on my initiative, Admiral King having been consulted only after the letter was drafted, and I am persisting in the matter because the military hazards involved are so serious that I feel some action is necessary to protect the interest of our armed forces.

I should have much preferred to talk to you in person but I could not devise a method that would not be subject to press and radio reactions as to why the Chief of Staff of the Army would be seeking an interview with you at this particular moment. Therefore I have turned to the method of this letter, with which Admiral King concurs, to be delivered by hand to you by Colonel Clarke, who, incidentally, has charge of the most secret documents of the War and Navy Departments.

In brief, the military dilemma is this:

The most vital evidence in the Pearl Harbor matter consists of our intercepts of the Japanese diplomatic communications. Over a period of years our cryptograph people analyzed the character of the machine the Japanese were using for encoding their diplomatic messages. Based on this a corresponding machine was built by us which deciphers their messages. Therefore, we possessed a wealth of information regarding their moves in the Pacific, which in turn was furnished the State Department--rather than as is popularly supposed, the State Department providing us with the information--but which unfortunately made no reference whatever to intentions toward Hawaii until the last message before December 7th, which did not reach our hands until the following day, December 8th.

Now the point to the present dilemma is that we have gone ahead with this business of deciphering their codes until we possess other codes, German as well as Japanese, but our main basis of information regarding Hitler's intentions in Europe is obtained from Baron Oshima's messages from Berlin reporting his interviews with Hitler and other officials to the Japanese Government. These are still in the codes involved in the Pearl Harbor events.

To explain further the critical nature of this set-up which would be wiped out almost in an instant if the least suspicion were aroused regarding it, the battle of the Coral Sea was based on deciphered messages and therefore our few ships were in the right place at the right time. Further, we were able to concentrate our limited forces to meet their naval advance on Midway when otherwise we almost certainly would have been some 3,000 miles out of place. We had full information of the strength of their forces in that advance and also of the smaller force directed against the Aleutians which finally landed troops on Attu and Kiska.

Operations in the Pacific are largely guided by the information we obtain of Japanese deployments. We know their strength in various garrisons, the rations and other stores continuing available to them, and what is of vast importance we check their fleet movements and the movements of their convoys. The heavy losses reported from time to time which they sustain by reason of our submarine action, largely result from the fact that we know the sailing dates and routes of their convoys and can notify our submarines to lie in wait at the proper points.

The current raids by Admiral Halsey's carrier forces on Japanese shipping in manila Bay and elsewhere were largely based in timing on the known movements of Japanese convoys, two of which were caught, as anticipated, in his destructive attacks.

As another example of the delicacy of the situation, some of Donovan's people (the OSS) without telling us, instituted a secret search of the Japanese Embassy offices in Portugal. As a result the entire military attache Japanese code all over the world was changed, and though this occurred over a year ago, we have not yet been able to break the new code and have thus lost this invaluable source of information, particularly regarding the European situation.

A further most serious embarrassment is the fact that the British government is involved concerning its most secret sources of information, regarding which only the Prime Minister, the Chiefs of Staff and a very limited number of other officials have knowledge.

A recent speech in Congress by Representative Harness would clearly suggest to the Japanese that we have been reading their codes, though Mr. Harness and the American public would probably not draw any such conclusion.

The conduct of General Eisenhower's campaign and of all operations in the Pacific are closely related in conception and timing to the information we secretly obtain through these intercepted codes. They contribute greatly to the victory and tremendously to the saving in American lives, both in the conduct of current operations and in looking towards the early termination of the war.

I am presenting this matter to you in the hope that you will see your way clear to avoid the tragic results with which we are now threatened in the present political campaign.

Please return this letter by bearer. I will hold it in my most secret file subject to your reference should you so desire.

Faithfully yours,


Dewey obviously was no supporter of Roosevelt, and genuinely believed that it would be in the interests of the nation that the Republicans win in 1944. But Dewey was also a patriot, and respected General Marshall enormously. He knew that Marshall would not have taken such an extraordinary step if the issues involved were not highly critical.

Dewey decided that it was more important to defeat the Germans and Japanese than to defeat Roosevelt. He decided that it was more important that the US be victorious than that the Republicans be. He made sure that the issue of intelligence failure would not be raised during the campaign. If he had used that issue, he might have won; as it was, he lost badly.

Or rather, he lost very well. I have an enormous amount of respect for Dewey because of the decision he made.

Marshall was deeply grateful, and later on a couple of occasions let Dewey see top secret information derived from codebreaking which was affecting the course of the war, so he could see just how vital it had actually been. If Dewey had acted other than as he did, the war might well have gone on another year, with thousands of additional American casualties.

Dewey was an American first, a Republican second. I wish that Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) was an American first, but I am by no means certain. Rockefeller is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Democratic committee staffers appear to have written a document for him describing how to use an investigation into American intelligence regarding Iraqi WMDs to best affect the 2004 election campaign. It's not clear exactly who wrote it, but Rockefeller acknowledges that it came from his staff, saying that it had not been intended for public release. (I should think not.)

Someone leaked a copy of it to Fox News:

Fox News has obtained a document believed to have been written by the Democratic staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee that outlines a strategy for exposing what it calls "the administration's dubious motives" in the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

The memo, provided late Tuesday by a source on the Committee and reported by Fox News' Sean Hannity, discusses the timing of a possible investigation into pre-war Iraq intelligence in such a way that it could bring maximum embarrassment to President Bush in his re-election campaign.

Among other things, the memo recommends that Democrats "prepare to launch an investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the [Senate] majority. We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation of the administration's use of intelligence at any time — but we can only do so once ... the best time would probably be next year."

The last paragraph of the memo reads, "Intelligence issues are clearly secondary to the public's concern regarding the insurgency in Iraq."

Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., appeared clearly shocked by the memo, which Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, acknowledged was written in draft form and not meant for distribution.

Could such an investigation take place without revealing much of what kinds of data we had, and by implication how we learned it? We still have enemies, and many of the kinds of intelligence sources we used to learn about Saddam are also being used to monitor them.

Early in the struggle in Afghanistan, bin Laden released a couple of video tapes where he exhorted Muslims to oppose the US. In those videos he was standing in front of a striated rock outcrop, and an American geologist who had worked in the region recognized the striations and knew that it meant bin Laden could only be in a relatively small area of Afghanistan. He communicated that information to American intelligence.

Unfortunately, he also told the news media. In the next video tape, bin Laden stood in front of a tarpaulin which covered whatever might have been behind him. It may have been taped in the same location, but there was no longer any way to tell. And I have no doubt that many shadow warriors cursed that geologist for his utter stupidity.

Many of us are convinced that bin Laden died in December of 2001 in a bombing attack in Afghanistan, but it's possible that if that geologist had kept his mouth shut, we might have bagged bin Laden even earlier.

There may well be a serious question whether American intelligence failed before September of 2001. There may be serious questions about our intelligence regarding Iraq before we invaded there. But there's also a serious question whether a public investigation of those questions while the war continues might cause more harm than good, and cost a lot of American servicemen, or American civilians, their lives.

I don't expect the Democrats to forfeit the election or to refuse to contest Bush. On the contrary, I feel they have a duty to try to win, even though I think they don't have a snowball's chance of doing so. But I also feel they have a duty to make sure that the election campaign doesn't threaten national security or the progress of the war. I expect them to be Americans first, Democrats second.

Or rather, I don't expect them to be.

Update: Mike at Cold Fury comments.

Update: Trent Telenko sends a link to a transcript of the actual memo.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: code; cryptology; democrat; dewey; election; intelligence; japanese; pearlharbor; rockefeller; roosevelt; senate
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A terrific piece by Den Beste illustrates how previous generations of opposition presidential candidates have placed country before party when it came to wartime intelligence. Clearly, Beste put a lot of work into this and deserves credit for putting things into clear historical perspective.

I cannot recommend this piece enough. Please read it and remember it.

Tasty Manatees
1 posted on 11/06/2003 6:17:48 AM PST by TastyManatees
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To: TastyManatees
I'm on a roll. Moderator, can you please pull the tags out of the title? My apologies, I must still be asleep.
2 posted on 11/06/2003 6:21:29 AM PST by TastyManatees (
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To: TastyManatees
Interesting piece.
3 posted on 11/06/2003 6:24:42 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: TastyManatees
Only in 1944, that country was the Soviet Union, not the United States.

4 posted on 11/06/2003 6:25:22 AM PST by JohnGalt (""Nothing happened on 9/11 to make the federal government more competent.")
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To: TastyManatees
Thank you for the timely reminder.

On the topic of the Striking Force (nee Kido Butai) maintaining strict radio silence (i.e., all frequencies at all times) ... a myth known then and known now.

On the topic of code breaking of the Japanese Navy's operational code (viz., Naval Code D, five-numeral code, five-digit code, ... or similar; the terminology and its variants of JN25 being a red-herring in 1941), it might be seen as odd that none of the materials on this effort have ever been released ... not from the Americans, nor the British, nor the Dutch, ... while a plethora of German ENGIMA/ULTRA documents have been so released, beginning in in the 1970's ... very curious that.

Even more curious ... not even all of the intercepted Japanese diplomatic traffic (aka PURPLE/MAGIC) has been released ... another oddity.

5 posted on 11/06/2003 6:41:46 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: TastyManatees
The whole "code-breaking/FDR conspiracy" overlooks the fact that Pearl should have been on alert the minute a Japanese midget sub was sunk . . . but was not. Moreover, the "war alert" message had already been received a couple of days earlier by Kimmel and Short, who had NO torpedo nets up; NO long-range recon patrols out; NO air-recon (they had some b-17s there); and didn't keep the radar on at all times. The neglect of those commanders doomed the 7th fleet, not some mysterious codes that we "intercepted."

BTW, "Purple" was the diplomatic code, and everyone knew war was coming. Most thought the "Purple" intercept meant an immiment attack on Singapore. There is a great discussion of this by the code-breakers themselves, the vets, at the Naval History sites. I am regularly in touch with several of these aging vets. One of the more interesting new developments is a radio tracking of FALSE Japanese signals sent out that indicated the fleet was moving south, toward Singapore.

6 posted on 11/06/2003 6:45:12 AM PST by LS
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To: jamaksin
You hit the nail on the head. Even in 1944, there were a lot of people who believed that our intelligence apparatus could not have failed so miserably, and that Roosevelt had to have known about the Pearl Harbor attack.

However, whether he did or didn't, no matter how reasonable an inquiry would have been, Americans at the time rightly recognized that it didn't matter. The country was at war with a determined enemy and political investigations into the matter would only aid that enemy in dividing Americans, draining support for the effort, and killing our servicemen.

Jay Rockefeller has a hard time with that concept.

Tasty Manatees
7 posted on 11/06/2003 6:49:36 AM PST by TastyManatees (
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To: TastyManatees
Agreed ... especially on Senator Rockefeller.

[I'd add, however, that the public vindication of Admiral Kimmel and General Short are ... far too long overdue. As that, ispo facto, means that the United States government to forced to say that it has lied ... as it has knowingly in the past ... so be it.]

8 posted on 11/06/2003 6:57:54 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: LS

So glad to hear from you again ... and that you are still out there in America's heartland.

I wonder why, when FDR makes that well-known comment ... "This means war." ... in the present of Lt. Schulz and Harry "the Hop" Hopkins ... that a FLASH IMMEDIATE message was not quickly sent to all commands. Very curious that ... just as Rochefort's comments in the Hewitt Inquiry regarding radio deception ... very odd, that.

I'd suggest that you might want to review Gannon's "Pearl Harbor Betrayed" from 2001 - brush up on what resources were available at Pearl Harbor ... also a certain letter on page 282 of that text may be worth a quick scan.

Again, glad that you are back.

9 posted on 11/06/2003 7:11:20 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin
Ahhh, the discredited Joseph. Tell me, how did those exchanges with the Pearl veterans go? I understand from them you got torched. They don't really appreciate being thought of as incompetent or treasonous, by the way.
10 posted on 11/06/2003 7:13:19 AM PST by LS
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To: LS

An exchange ... nonesuch from/to this quarter. But many thanks for the concern ...

Oh, those questions, still stand.

11 posted on 11/06/2003 7:19:35 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin
You forget the real questions, and there are only two. All the rest are smokescreens. Care to answer them now?

Were the codebreakers and cryptologists---the vets who are still alive---traitors who received and interpreted material and, in your words, "covered up" for FDR?

Or were they incompetent and didn't realize what they had?

Please answer this question. You ducked it in the other exchange. It's real simple. Which is it?

12 posted on 11/06/2003 7:24:55 AM PST by LS
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To: LS

Are you are not neglecting the sequence of questions ... recall that mine were first ...

That AKAGI message would be a good start ... Please advise.

And recall - even dialectically, also whose oath and whose honor?

13 posted on 11/06/2003 7:32:28 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: LS
Pearl Harbor should have been on alert and in some respects was, however you should remember, that:

-Pearl at the time was deemed to shallow for torpedoes

-Both Kimmel and Short were short on long range patrol aircraft. They did not have enough planes and crews to maintain a 24/7 patrol in a 180 degree radius let alone a 360 degree radius.

- The general consensus was a Japanese move on the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines, and Singapore/Malaya, The US was engaged in a major build up in the Philippines to prepare for this eventuality.

On December 7th/8th (the international date line really can confuse things!) 1941 the Japanese:

Attacked Pearl Harbor

Invaded Thailand from French Indo-China

Bombed Hong Kong

Seized Guam

Attacked Wake Island

Bombed the Philippines

Invaded Malaya

Pearl Harbor or no Pearl Harbor, Japan wanted war in 1941.
14 posted on 11/06/2003 7:42:36 AM PST by GreenLanternCorps ("Vietnam was, in truth, a noble cause." - Ronald Wilson Reagan)
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To: GreenLanternCorps
Oh, I agree. But remember, DESPITE the shallowness of Pearl, nets were deemed SOP for the navy in hostile waters, and in that situation, Pearl was hostile.

I certainly agree---this is the point of my post---that EVERYONE, including all the codebreakers, thought that the real J. offensive was south. Modern Americans do not grasp the phenomenal ambitious nature of the Japanese offensive in the Pacific, essentially striking three major targets simultaneously as you point out.

My only point was that commanders on a "war footing," which K. and S. should have been, would have found a way to get recon aircraft up and to at least show some FREAKING concern.

15 posted on 11/06/2003 7:58:10 AM PST by LS
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To: jamaksin
I won't answer your fraudulent questions about details---which have been blasted out of the water by the actual VETS themselves at the codebreaking sites---until you answer my very simple question that goes to your motivation:

Were the codebreakers traitors? Or were they incompetent? Which is your position?

16 posted on 11/06/2003 7:59:34 AM PST by LS
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To: GreenLanternCorps
Thank you for your comments here - it is appreciated that an awareness and interest in this topic persists.

Also, especially thanks for the prescient remarks regarding torpedeos. The US Navy was fully aware of the success at Taranto and decided that torpedeos nets were not urgently needed at Pearl Harbor ...

On wanted war versus say national survival because of the total oil embargo, losses in China, ... many facets of that aspect to consider.

Again, many thanks.

17 posted on 11/06/2003 8:05:39 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: LS

Just how is a question regarding the AKAGI message "fraudulent?"

To repeat, the question, Why have none of the source materials used to develop this COMSUM14 of Novemebr 30, 1941 " ... AKAGI heard on tactical circuits ..." even after a myriad of FOIA requests ... ever been released?

How, specifically, how is that a "fraudulent" question? Many thanks here.

18 posted on 11/06/2003 8:12:39 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: TastyManatees
Thanks for posting.
19 posted on 11/06/2003 8:16:45 AM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: TastyManatees
One of the recent issues (maybe the fall issue) of Cryptologia has a long article debunking the idea that the US allowed Pearl Harbor to happen. The Cryptologia articles has lots of interviews and notes from the actual participants. (Churchill didn't "allow" Coventry to be bombed either.)
20 posted on 11/06/2003 8:18:44 AM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: jamaksin
Just answer the questions, Joseph. Everyone is waiting:

Were the vets who broke the codes traitors?

Or were they incompetent and didn't break the codes? Which is it?

21 posted on 11/06/2003 8:21:35 AM PST by LS
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To: jamaksin
Thomas Flemmings' book, The New Dealers' War, indicates that Hitler's declaration of war on the US was not mandated by treaty but was due to the publication in a Chicago paper of a leaked plan for US militarization to fight both Japan and Germany. And that, tho Germany didn't follow through on the decision, the high command recognized that war with the US implied switching over to a defensive posture, and therefore was taken very reluctantly.

Flemming figures FDR leaked the memo on purpose after reading the diplomatic code intercept which implied a Japanese attack (somewhere), thereby deliberately inducing the German Declaration of War and simultaneously bushwhacking the isolationists at home.

22 posted on 11/06/2003 8:30:30 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The everyday blessings of God are great--they just don't make "good copy.")
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To: LS

So you admit, for all to see, that the AKAGI message is not - your adjective - "fraudulent" - thank you very much.

But, still, you have not answered the question - why does it remain so beyond the light of day?

23 posted on 11/06/2003 9:03:56 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Thank you ... I will add your kind reference to my list of future reading.
24 posted on 11/06/2003 9:06:06 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin
I admitted no such thing. I insisted that you DO THE VETERANS RIGHT and tell them, for all here to see, whether you think they were incompetent or traitorous. Please let us all know what your position is.
25 posted on 11/06/2003 9:12:29 AM PST by LS
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To: Doctor Stochastic; TastyManatees
Thank you for your comment. The helpful citation here:

"Foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor? No!: The Story of the the U.S. Navy efforts in JN-25B" by Philip H. Jacobsen in Cryptologia Volume 27, Issue 3 (July 2003), beginning page 193.

[I believe that this is the article that you are referring to; if not, it is still worth a scan.]

I would also note, as previously stated, that none of the raw intercepts for the Japanese naval operational code (specifically the five-numeral, five-digit, Naval Code D, or similar ... ) have been released, whereas tomes of German ENIGMA/ULTRA materials have been ... why is that? [Perhaps it is ergodic process?]

26 posted on 11/06/2003 9:27:44 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: LS

So, therefore you are saying that the AKAGI message is ... a fraud?

Oh, and, why still the source materials beyond public view?

Thank you very much for the clarification in advance.

27 posted on 11/06/2003 9:32:00 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin
That's the one.
28 posted on 11/06/2003 9:33:25 AM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: jamaksin
Everyone can now see that this fellow DOES believe that the American cryptologists in 1941 were either TRAITORS or were INCOMPETENT.

I hope you're all seeing this. I hope you vets out there realize that I have given him a half dozen opportunities to state clearly his position. He obviously believes one of these two, since he has refused to deny either.

Course, he can't, because if he says they were traitors, it destroys his position that the cryptographers "knew" and were in cahoots with FDR to "cover up," and if he says they were incompetent, then they didn't know what they were looking at in the first place.

I hope you all see that his constant attempt to change the subject reveals his CLEAR VIEW that you veteran cryptographers were either traitors or incompetent.

29 posted on 11/06/2003 9:41:12 AM PST by LS
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To: Doctor Stochastic
Thank you ... I did not wish to mislead anyone here.
30 posted on 11/06/2003 10:02:50 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: LS
Larry and everyone,

Yes, please do read this thread fully. It began well enough, but the spiral began ...

As to Larry's presupposition in this thread - I cannot find a basis. I am in the AKAGI message corner ...

However, I would point to a recent text, "Defenseless: The Political Sabotage of Pearl Harbor" by John W. Lambert and Norman Polmar, from the Introduction:

"In 1999, by a vote of 52 to 47, the U.S. Senate cleared the names of Admiral Husband Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short of blame for leaving Pearl Harbor vulnerable to attack. According to the declaration, Kimmel and Short had performed their duties 'completely and professionally,' and that America's losses at Pearl were 'not the result of dereliction of duty' ..."

To be complete here, the current President Bush, refused to allow Kimmel and Short to be returned to their pre-Pearl Harbor rank.

31 posted on 11/06/2003 10:15:09 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin
I need no "presupposition" other than the fact that for the TENTH TIME you have refused to answer what to me is a very easy question to address:

Do you think the cryptographers of 1941 were traitors? Did they help conceal (as you implied on the other thread) or "cover up" knowledge of the attack after the fact? You said this on the other thread. Be honest. Address this point and SCREW THE AKAGI! Address the issue. Answer the question.

If they were not traitors, do you think they were incompetent????

Why the hell are you avoiding these very simple questions? I can answer them both, easily! NO, and NO. Why are you afraid to do so?

Readers, I hope you you see why he will not answer these questions. He has staked out a position in which he accuses these honorable veterans of being in cahoots with FDR to "cover up" knowledge of an attack. IS THIS NOT TRUE? DO YOU NOT CLAIM THIS? IF NOT, SAY SO! DON'T REFER TO ANOTHER THREAD!!!

The only other option is if they were not dishonorable men, that they were incompetent, and didn't know what they were decrypting. IS THIS YOUR POSITION? WHY CAN YOU NOT ANSWER VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD QUESTIONS??

32 posted on 11/06/2003 10:21:49 AM PST by LS
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To: LS
Pearl should have been on alert the minute a Japanese midget sub was sunk

My grandfather-in-law was stationed at Pearl and said Command knew of the midget subs three weeks before the attack.

33 posted on 11/06/2003 10:26:34 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: Semper Paratus
It's unconscionable. Kimmel at the very least should have gone to full alert when you have ENEMY SUBS IN YOUR DAMN HARBOR??!!
34 posted on 11/06/2003 10:36:22 AM PST by LS
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To: LS

It was actually outside the harbor, assumed to be tracking ship movements, but there were orders to blow them away if they could.

35 posted on 11/06/2003 10:39:03 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: LS

So, again, is the AKAGI message a fraud or not?

Thank you.

36 posted on 11/06/2003 11:30:48 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: LS
USS Ward notified the 14th Naval District HQ that she had located and attacked a submarine in the defensive area an hour before the attack. The defensive area was located outside the harbor, and Ward did not claim in her radio transmissions that she had sunk said submarine or that it was a midget sub. There had been several false alarms in the year leading up to the attack, including a gunner on one of Arizona's 5" broadside guns requesting permission to fire on a target on December 4th! (The bridge turned down his request)

Kimmel DID order the ready duty destroyer (USS Monaghan) to put out and assist Ward. In light of all of this; false alarms and a message only about one submarine attacked, would you have scrambled the fleet? Do you sent battleships and cruisers out against submarines?
37 posted on 11/06/2003 11:38:26 AM PST by Tracy White (USS Ward Historian)
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To: Semper Paratus
And that the Striking Force was tracked prior to the Pearl Harbor attack ... that is why the AKAGI message from above on its voyage to Pearl Harbor ... is likely such a "hot" button, and perhaps that is why these source documents (and others) are still beyond public view.

Imagine, after all this time, the Striking Forces' "supposed" order for strict radio silence (i.e., all frequencies at all times) has never been produced. On the other hand, several documents has surfaced that show the orders (e.g., Operational Order No. 1 - Novemebr 17, 1941 revision at the MacArthur Archive to be found in the so-called CA NACHI Papers) were in fact to transmit acknowledgements ...

38 posted on 11/06/2003 11:43:16 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin
Before I post any more on this, how do you mean fraud?
Was it a fraud in what sense?
39 posted on 11/06/2003 12:13:23 PM PST by Tracy White (USS Ward Historian)
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To: jamaksin
So again, are the cryptologists liars or incompetents? This should be easy, since I think I know your answer.

Why don't you share that with the vets here. Meanwhile, I think a certain Mr. White has your number on the Akagi. Deal with him on that. NOW ANSWER MY QUESTION!

40 posted on 11/06/2003 2:53:14 PM PST by LS
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To: Semper Paratus
Yah. But it's in our territory. Hostile vessels with hostile intent. That should be warning enough.
41 posted on 11/06/2003 2:59:14 PM PST by LS
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To: Tracy White; LS
Tracy White,

So very good of you to join in this discussion ... on "fraud" ... it was not my - repeat - not my usage. Now you might consult the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, or the Statute of Frauds as given in the United States Uniform Commercial Code (i.e., elementary business law) - but you might also begin your check with #16 this thread for the mustard seed there - LS's genesis.

Just curious - have you as yet discovered the significance of the CA NACHI Papers and their provenance? I apologize if this too much of a "blast" for you; see Prados' Combined Fleet Decoded (pages 698-699), N.B., second paragraph of page 699 - "The mother lode of intelligence treasure ..." which might be helpful to you. [Also, please, any pointer that you have of my saying that CA NACHI was part of the Striking Force would be very helpful.]


So, why again is the AKAGI message a fraud? And, of course the initial question: Why have none of the source materials used to develop the COMSUM15 of November 30, 1941 been released, even after numerous and very specific FOIA requests?

Very odd, indeed and, of course, curious.

Thank you each in advance.

42 posted on 11/07/2003 2:16:19 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin
Readers, you see now for the 10th time this fellow refuses to answer a very simple question. Why is that?

Maybe because he knows you won't like his answer very much. Let me answer it for him.

"Question: Do you think the veterans, the codebreakers, teh cryptologists were traitors?"

Answer: "Yes I do. They were in cahoots with FDR, who knew the attack was coming and who got their cooperation to stage a massive coverup."

That's his answer, folks. That's the answer he has dodged, ducked, refused to address. That's why he masks everything around stupid references to the "Akagi" or some other message---because the issue here is he thinks all you vets, especially you cryptographers, KNOWINGLY PARTICIPATED IN A PLOT TO KILL THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS.

Let him deny that this is what he thinks. Let him answer straightforward my question, and the only question of relevance: "Do you think that the codebreakers/cryptographers were traitors?" It's just that simple.

43 posted on 11/07/2003 4:32:45 AM PST by LS
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To: LS

Hello and a very good morning to you.

If you could, please, and if it is not causing too much trouble, please to square your #32 and now just #43 ... TENTH or 10th ... time. Thank you.

Oh, yes, those AKAGI details would be appreciated.

Further, on whose "oath" and whose "honor" please see, from The Pacific War [circa 1981] by John Costello, Chapter 38 “Pearl Harbor-Warning or Decision?” on page 647, is found:

Safford’s letter to Kramer:

“Be prudent and patient. I am just beginning to get things line [sic] up on this end. No one in Opnav can be trusted. Premature action will only tip off the people who framed Admiral Kimmel and Gen. Short, and will also get Safford and Kramer in very serious trouble. Yet we must have the backing, the rank, and the prestige afforded by Adm. Halsey. Tell Halsey that I knew Adm. Kimmel was a scapegoat from the start, but I did not suspect that he was the victim of a frameup until about 15 December 1943, could not confirm it until 2 December 1943, and did not have absolute proof until about 18 Jan 1944. Capt. Safford has overwhelming proof of the guilt of Opnav and the Gen. Staff, plus a list of fifteen reliable witnesses.”

[Whose "oath" and whose "honor" here?]

And then on page 649 in this same text we find ...:

“What makes this incident more significant is not only that Briggs was ordered not to testify in support of Safford at the hearings, ... but that he annotated the signal log sheet in 1960 ' ... all transmissions intercepted by me between 0560 thru 1300 on the above date are missing from these files ..& ... these intercepts contained the ‘winds message.’”

[Whose "oath" and whose "honor" here?]

But, the AKAGI information, please ... and many thanks in advance for helping keep this discussion so cordial and open for the many who have an interest and/or are curious as to why so many Pearl Harbor related materials remain hidden today ... in November 2003.

44 posted on 11/07/2003 4:58:44 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin
It's a simple reply, Mr. Duck and Dodge: yes or no, were the cryptographers, in your view, traitors. Please, no more trash about the Akagi. Yes or no. I know what you think, and by now, so does most of the board. You think they are traitors. Why can't you be man enough to say so?
45 posted on 11/07/2003 5:36:54 AM PST by LS
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To: All
This thread was begun as a historical example of people placing their country before their political ambition and intellectual suspicions. My own thoughts are that as of Dec. 8, 1941, whether Roosevelt had prior knowledge of an attack or not, the fact became irrelevant, because our country had been attacked and politicization of intelligence would harm American national security. Thomas Dewey seems to have been of the same mind, no matter how much evidence of foul play he may have thought he had.

After reading this thread, I think I am starting to understand how Senate Democrats could be so intent on taking actions that harm their fellow Americans and destroy their own party.

Tasty Manatees
46 posted on 11/07/2003 5:47:37 AM PST by TastyManatees (
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To: LS

Was that a cardinal or an ordinal "10" - you neglected to clear that up. Please do so.

Oh, yes, you might explain to everyone just who Safford and Kramer were ... and can I argument with them? After all they were there ... really they were.

But, also that AKAGI material is left wanting - please, do address.

Many thanks.

47 posted on 11/07/2003 7:14:53 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin
Mr. Duck and Dodge, Do you think the cryptologists were traitors? Yes or no?
48 posted on 11/07/2003 8:30:38 AM PST by LS
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To: jamaksin; TastyManatees
From the Meeriam-Webster online Dictionary:
1 a : DECEIT, TRICKERY; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : TRICK

Apologies for missing that in the exchange above, I'm just returning to these boards after a long hiatus and thought it was from another thread I had missed.

By that definition above, the Japanese Akagi transmissions were fraudulent, but I'd prefer if we used the word deceptive. It's been documented that the Japanese Navy sent out deceptive signals to trick the US and British into thinking that much of their carrier force was still in the home islands. Akagi's regular operators were at Sasebo Naval Base on Kyushu when they sent out traffic "from" Akagi.

I have never understood the relavence of the IJN Nachi papers. She was in a totally separate force. Yes, the Top Secret Op Order #1 recovered from Nachi specified ships broadcast, but the Kido Butai was given separate orders AFTER the release of Op Order #1 that ordered them to proceed with "the utmost secrecy." See Carrier Striking Task Force Operations Order No. 1.

TastyManatees: I did enjoy your original piece; it's a great work. We've all got our agendas however, and you shouldn't be surprised that even great pieces get co-opted ;)

49 posted on 11/07/2003 10:27:33 AM PST by Tracy White (USS Ward Historian)
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To: TastyManatees; Tracy White; LS

I thank you very much for your patience here; I'd also like to point to the Wall Street Journal of Friday, November 7, 2003, page A10, the article "Flagrantly Dishonest" - paragraph three - "... The Democratic memo is a hit job, spelling out how to create the maximum embarassment to President Bush during his re-election campaign..." [Not quite the Dewey analogue, but close. Senator Rockefeller and "minority staff director" Christopher Mellon are mentioned.]

Tracy White,

Thank you for that clarification - as you know I never said nor implied that CA NACHI was part of the Striking Force. So good of you to clear that up. Glad also to see that you found those papers - their value to you is clearly your call; but please see below for some of my requested help.

On, deceptive ... as to imply "radio deception" - you know of the Rochefort (and he should know you might agree - perhaps not) several commentaries on that ... namely that it did not happen relating to Pearl Harbor [See, for just one, Layton, And I Was There , last paragraph on page 317 ... " 'How do you know it's AKAGI?' I asked. Joe explained, 'It's the same ham-fisted radio operator who uses his transmitting key as if he is kicking it with his foot.' ..." [Oops, seems said operator is not ... where did you say ... the inland sea?]

And of, course, please, any pointer to the order(s) which superceded that found in the CA NACHI Papers, would very much be appreciated - the full citation, if possible, and especially when using any of the known SRN's. Why? Because it is important to highlight the different between shortwave and longwave - as the Imperial Japanese Navy (i.e., IJN) did in 1941.

So, this gets everyone to the original AKAGI question:

[Start of question]

Why have none of the source materials used to develop the COMSUM14 of November 30, 1941 (a summary statement which can be found in the Joint Congressional Hearings, for example), ever been released, even after a myriad of FOIA requests?

[End of question]

Of interest, of course, are several things - time/date of the intercept(s), the raw intercepts themselves (as in not redacted), the oil tankers called, frequenc(ies) used, signal duration, signal quality, how recorded, ..., RDF bearings, monitoring stations, ..., just how was it determined to be the AKAGI ... etc. ...?

[Finally, do you presume that the communications methods used were strictly operator-centric? You might re-consider that ... so-called "spurt" messages ... simultaneous receive/re-broadcast ...

A point of interest, perhaps, when that list of IJN officers, who swear that no radio transmissions - on any frequency and at any time were made - did they mean solely human-keyed?]

Thank you for you help.


What Safford said ...

But, that AKAGI information would be helpful.

Thank you very much.

50 posted on 11/08/2003 3:34:09 AM PST by jamaksin
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