Skip to comments.The Truth About Pearl Harbor: A Debate [Did FDR know about Japan's plans in advance?]
Posted on 12/07/2009 7:25:33 AM PST by oblomov
On December 7, 1941, U.S. military installations at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii were attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Could this tragic event that resulted in over 3,000 Americans killed and injured in a single two-hour attack have been averted?
After 16 years of uncovering documents through the Freedom of Information Act, journalist and historian Robert Stinnett charges in his book, Day of Deceit, that U.S. government leaders at the highest level not only knew that a Japanese attack was imminent, but that they had deliberately engaged in policies intended to provoke the attack, in order to draw a reluctant, peace-loving American public into a war in Europe for good or ill. In contrast, historian and author Stephen Budiansky (see his book, Battle of Wits) believes that such charges are entirely unfounded and are based on misinterpretations of the historical record.
Its been often said that Truth is the first casualty of war. Historians and policy experts now know that the official government claims, including those made by U.S. Presidents, that led to the Spanish-American War, World War I, Vietnam War, Gulf War, and other conflicts were deliberate misrepresentations of the facts in order to rally support for wars that the general public would otherwise not support. Was this also the case regarding the tragedy at Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War IIor are such charges false? We are very pleased to provide a debate between these two distinguished experts.
(Excerpt) Read more at independent.org ...
As I posted on another thread, "Wendell Willkie had evidence that FDR knew about the Japanese prepartions for the attack, and that he should thus be impeached. Willkie was persuaded not to present this evidence in his 1944 Presidential campaign by the Army (the war was still on), since it would reveal that the Japanese code system had been cracked, and so he did not."
FDR wanted to enter the European war. Perhaps he earnestly believed that it was the right thing for the U.S. to do. He also knew that Americans had no interest at the time in engaging in a war overseas. Wilsonianism had been discredited on the left, and the right at the time was fiercely isolationist. An egregious hostile act by Japan precipitated the US entry into war against the Axis Powers.
Yes and Bush brought down the two towers, LBJ and the CIA killed Kennedy, and Hitler went to Argentina. Oh and the British Royal family had Diana killed.
Continuation of our Pearl Harbor/”FDR Knew” discussion. I found an article by Stinnett (thanks, panaxanax) that can serve as a discussion piece.
Thanks for posting. Was it Willkie or Dewey in 1944? Willkie dropped out very early in that campaingn after he lost an early primary.
I am also in the camp of those who hold that FDR knew ahead of time, and acted to scapegoat Admiral Kimmel and General Short, the commanders in Hawaii — after he had left them even more blind than they would have been on their own.
Yet I think FDR did not anticipate how hard the Japanese would be able to hit, how much we would lose, and we all lucked out in the Battle of Midway.
In most events like this, it is easy to look back on it and find puzzle pieces you can put together and come to this conclusion. It is much harder, however, to do this in real time without the blessing of hindsight. Just like those who say we should have known 9/11 was going to happen, at the time it was unimaginable, but after the fact we can see what evidence points to it going to take place.
It is like trying to put together a puzzle without having the picture of what it should look like.
Yours is the correct answer.
You do know that Rudy Giuliani blew up Bldg. 7 at the WTC
I just can’t buy that “FDR knew”. FDR was a navy man. He knew the importance of the Navy.
Why in the world would anyone, who understood the importance of the Navy—especially in the Pacific, jeopardize the entire fleet—knowing how important (and long it would take to rebuild)?
The fact the Carriers weren’t at Pearl—so? The majority of the thinking of the day basically was carriers were “toys” and battleships were king.
Forget Stinnett IMO.
Many different things could have been done, but history is, well, History.
And if anyone should have been CM it was that idiot MacArthur.
If no one knew, it does seem awfully strange that our entire fleet was in port at Pearl Harbor. They were actually called back in.
Put me in the believer column until someone offers definitive proof that it was not used as the only way to get the US people to agree to another war, thereby ending the painful depression.
You’re right, it was Dewey in ‘44. However, early in the primaries Willkie raised the issue of FDR’s foreknowledge early in his campaign among GOP leaders. He planned to make the issue a major thrust of his primary campaign. In the interest of national security, he abandoned the issue.
Bush most certainly knew that 9/11 was going to happen.
Clinton most certainly knew, as well, via Opplan Bojinka.
I suppose he could have ordered the fleet to sortie.
But then the Arizona and our other captial ships would have been sunk in waters too deep to salvage.
It was thought that none of the torpedo technology at the time would have been capable due to the shallowness of Pearl. Yet the Japanese used a little engineering to make that successful.
The oil embargo, instituted by the US, led directly to the conflict. But as with all instigations, the US thought it would end quickly.
Had Adm. Kimmel known of an approaching attack, he would have had the fleet at sea, instead of anchored at Pearl, and the loss of life might have been greater. He was that aggressive and a dis-service was paid to him by being made the scapegoat.
Needless to say Pearl was the ONLY time, the Japanese planned and practiced so much for one mission, and they thought that the US forces would detect them and a great sea battle would ensue. They were prepared to throw the dice on the one decisive battle, but not on a campaign, which they were ill-prepared and equipped.
See post 18.
[Errata: “captial” should be “capital”.]