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Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor [Kindle Edition]

Robert Stinnett
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Pearl Harbor was not an accident, a mere failure of American intelligence, or a brilliant Japanese military coup. It was the result of a carefully orchestrated design, initiated at the highest levels of our government. According to a key memorandum eight steps were taken to make sure we would enter the war by this means. Pearl Harbor was the only way, leading officials felt, to galvanize the reluctant American public into action.
This great question of Pearl Harbor--what did we know and when did we know it?--has been argued for years. At first, a panel created by FDR concluded that we had no advance warning and should blame only the local commanders for lack of preparedness. More recently, historians such as John Toland and Edward Beach have concluded that some intelligence was intercepted. Finally, just months ago, the Senate voted to exonerate Hawaii commanders Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short, after the Pentagon officially declared that blame should be "broadly shared." But no investigator has ever been able to prove that fore-knowledge of the attack existed at the highest levels.
Until now. After decades of Freedom of Information Act requests, Robert B. Stinnett has gathered the long-hidden evidence that shatters every shibboleth of Pearl Harbor. It shows that not only was the attack expected, it was deliberately provoked through an eight-step program devised by the Navy. Whereas previous investigators have claimed that our government did not crack Japan's military codes before December 7, 1941, Stinnett offers cable after cable of decryptions. He proves that a Japanese spy on the island transmitted information--including a map of bombing targets--beginning on August 21, and that government intelligence knew all about it. He reveals that Admiral Kimmel was prevented from conducting a routine training exercise at the eleventh hour that would have uncovered the location of the oncoming Japanese fleet. And contrary to previous claims, he shows that the Japanese fleet did not maintain radio silence as it approached Hawaii. Its many coded cables were intercepted and decoded by American cryptographers in Stations on Hawaii and in Seattle.
The evidence is overwhelming. At the highest levels--on FDR's desk--America had ample warning of the pending attack. At those same levels, it was understood that the isolationist American public would not support a declaration of war unless we were attacked first. The result was a plan to anger Japan, to keep the loyal officers responsible for Pearl Harbor in the dark, and thus to drag America into the greatest war of her existence.
Yet even having found what he calls the "terrible truth," Stinnett is still inclined to forgive. "I sympathize with the agonizing dilemma faced by President Roosevelt," he writes. "He was forced to find circuitous means to persuade an isolationist America to join in a fight for freedom....It is easier to take a critical view of this policy a half century removed than to understand fully what went on in Roosevelt's mind in the year prior to Pearl Harbor."
Day of Deceit is the definitive final chapter on America's greatest secret and our worst military disaster.

Editorial Reviews Review

It was not long after the first Japanese bombs fell on the American naval ships at Pearl Harbor that conspiracy theories began to circulate, charging that Franklin Roosevelt and his chief military advisors knew of the impending attack well in advance. Robert Stinnett, who served in the U.S. Navy with distinction during World War II, examines recently declassified American documents and concludes that, far more than merely knowing of the Japanese plan to bomb Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt deliberately steered Japan into war with America.

Stinnett's argument draws on both circumstantial evidence--the fact, for example, that in September 1940 Roosevelt signed into law a measure providing for a two-ocean navy that would number 100 aircraft carriers--and, more importantly, on American governmental documents that offer apparently incontrovertible proof that Roosevelt knowingly sacrificed American lives in order to enter the war on the side of England. Although obviously troubled by his discovery of a systematic plan of deception on the part of the American government, Stinnett does not take deep issue with its outcome. Roosevelt, he writes, faced powerful opposition from isolationist forces, and, against them, the Pearl Harbor attack was "something that had to be endured in order to stop a greater evil--the Nazi invaders in Europe who had begun the Holocaust and were poised to invade England." Sure to excite discussion, Stinnett's book offers what may be the final word on the terrible matter of Pearl Harbor. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly

Historians have long debated whether President Roosevelt had advance knowledge of Japan's December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Using documents pried loose through the Freedom of Information Act during 17 years of research, Stinnett provides overwhelming evidence that FDR and his top advisers knew that Japanese warships were heading toward Hawaii. The heart of his argument is even more inflammatory: Stinnett argues that FDR, who desired to sway public opinion in support of U.S. entry into WWII, instigated a policy intended to provoke a Japanese attack. The plan was outlined in a U.S. Naval Intelligence secret strategy memo of October 1940; Roosevelt immediately began implementing its eight steps (which included deploying U.S. warships in Japanese territorial waters and imposing a total embargo intended to strangle Japan's economy), all of which, according to Stinnett, climaxed in the Japanese attack. Stinnett, a decorated naval veteran of WWII who served under then Lt. George Bush, substantiates his charges with a wealth of persuasive documents, including many government and military memos and transcripts. Demolishing the myth that the Japanese fleet maintained strict radio silence, he shows that several Japanese naval broadcasts, intercepted by American cryptographers in the 10 days before December 7, confirmed that Japan intended to start the war at Pearl Harbor. Stinnett convincingly demonstrates that the U.S. top brass in Hawaii--Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Husband Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter Short--were kept out of the intelligence loop on orders from Washington and were then scapegoated for allegedly failing to anticipate the Japanese attack (in May 1999, the U.S. Senate cleared their names). Kimmel moved his fleet into the North Pacific, actively searching for the suspected Japanese staging area, but naval headquarters ordered him to turn back. Stinnett's meticulously researched book raises deeply troubling ethical issues. While he believes the deceit built into FDR's strategy was heinous, he nevertheless writes: "I sympathize with the agonizing dilemma faced by President Roosevelt. He was forced to find circuitous means to persuade an isolationist America to join in a fight for freedom." This, however, is an expression of understanding, not of absolution. If Stinnett is right, FDR has a lot to answer for--namely, the lives of those Americans who perished at Pearl Harbor. Stinnett establishes almost beyond question that the U.S. Navy could have at least anticipated the attack. The evidence that FDR himself deliberately provoked the attack is circumstantial, but convincing enough to make Stinnett's bombshell of a book the subject of impassioned debate in the months to come. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3437 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Touchstone ed edition (December 14, 1999)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,193 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
124 of 143 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but not for the uninitiated January 21, 2000
Most books about Pearl Harbor, from the many volumes of the Congressional Pearl Harbor Hearings to the two-volume study by the late Gordon Prange detail all kinds of intelligence available to the United States that forewarned of the Japanese attack. If you have some background in that history, Stinnett's well-documented book adds new material to the story and discloses a set of Japanese Navy communications intercepts that complement more publicized decoded exchanges among the Japanses diplomatic corps.
The notion that high minded government leaders might conspire to manipulate American public opinion in support of a cause they think important and worth American lives is not as evocative in the post-Vietnam politics than it would have been in 1941.
Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson both managed to entice "enemy" attacks on U.S. forces to rally American public opinion Congressional support. They aren't alone. While damage to the U.S. fleet and personnel at Pearl Harbor far exceeded the couple of bullet holes inflicted on the USS Turner Joy and Maddox in the Tonkin Gulf in 1964, the pre-event manipulation was not all that different. That people in government might conspire to keep their machinations hidden from the press and public, sadly, isn't novel either anymore. Radiation experiments, commandos known to be captured, but written off as killed and all the rest have taught us almost too much about human nature.
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86 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling evidence and very few flaws June 11, 2001
By Maginot
"Day of Deceit" provides compelling evidence that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt deliberately provoked Japan to attack the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor so that America could enter the war on the allied side. Stinnett, a distinguished World War II navy veteran who researched his subject for over sixteen years, provides the following evidence:
1. A naval intelligence officer named Arthur McCollum developed an eight-point plan to provoke Japanese hostilities. This plan reached Roosevelt who implemented all eight points.
2. Contrary to popular belief, the Japanese navy broke radio silence on multiple occasions prior to December 7, 1941.
3. More than 94% of all secret Japanese naval messages (including some with direct reference to the impending attack on Pearl Harbor) were successfully decoded by American intelligence units prior to December 7, 1941
4. Roosevelt implemented a change of naval command that placed proponents of the eight-point-provocation plan in key positions of power. However, the newly promoted commander of Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel was consistently denied access to vital decoded translations of Japanese naval communications.
5. Naval Intelligence and the FBI successfully monitored the communication of Japanese intelligence agents in Hawaii for months. These communications, which included a bombing grid map of Pearl Harbor, revealed Japan's intent.
6. Much of the information successfully collected and analyzed by American Intelligence organizations prior to December 7, 1941 was reinforced by information from British and Dutch intelligence.
7. A sophisticated radio tracking system spanning from Alaska to Indonesia enabled America to track Japanese commercial and military shipping patterns.
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100 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WE'VE BEEN DUPED! May 2, 2000
I've read the reviews of others, and I have to admit that I'm puzzled by some of them. But, if it weren't for differences of opinion, we wouldn't have horse races, would we?
I think this book is dynamite!
It occurs to me that a possible dividing line of opinion might depend upon who was around, and who wasn't around back on December 7, 1941. Those of us who WERE around, are the people who were really duped by FDR. Those who were NOT around, might tend to take a somewhat nonchalant view of the information revealed in this book.
The information that's revealed is startling, pure and simple. And, the fact that much more information about the Pearl Harbor attack is STILL kept under lock and key by the US Government, is cause for alarm. It's 60 years since these events unfolded. Why is germaine material still being withheld from public scrutiny?
Robert B. Stinnett is to be commended for his excellent detective work and perserverance in discovering and disclosing the contents of this book. (I've ordered three copies, so far.)
It should be REQUIRED reading in all US classrooms!
Carl B. Jordan - former Air Force fighter pilot.
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93 of 108 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Documents Still Not Declassified December 8, 2000
I served with the US Army Special Security Group (USASSG) during the period 1984 to 1987 and worked on a "declassification review" of pre-World War Two and World War Two "Special Intelligence" documents. We safeguarded several thousand linear feet of files inside a vault at Arlington Hall Station, VA. There were hundreds of linear feet of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) documents pertaining to Pearl Harbor. I admit that I was so dulled by the continuous adrenal rush of reading yet another document revealing some 50-year old historical snippet that I really did not attempt to think about the importance of what I read. After reading this book and comparing it to my memory I sat shocked at the accuracy of the author's research. It is no longer hard to believe in the perfidy of America's politicians after 8 years of The Arkansas Mafia and the Clintons; this book will make it very clear that the politicians of the 1930's and 1940's were every bit as bad as we can imagine. Buy this book and read it now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Conspiracies are fun...but this one's Fake.
I remember seeing this book on my grandfather's tabletop and I asked him if I could read it. He was a captain in the Navy and fought at Midway... Read more
Published 1 month ago by History G
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best work on the alleged "surprise attack" on Pearl...
Probably the best work on the alleged "surprise attack" on Pearl Harbor. Believe what you want to believe, but the evidence provided in this book inadvertently ties up many... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Wayne O.
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong narrative supported by a lot of evidence.
This book gives several arguments. It does not rely on what-ifs and theories without evidence. It offers a strong narrative and each chapter gives layers and layers of information... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael Naaden
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be read by everyone who has questions about WWII ...
Should be read by everyone who has questions about WWII. It gives documented proof that Roosevelt knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor long before it happened.
Published 2 months ago by James Tarpley
4.0 out of 5 stars ... 1994 which predates "At Dawn We Slept" arguably the best book on...
One must have some understanding of coming and traffic analysis to follow his analysis (which I do from my ASA days) but the most noteworthy discovery that sets this book apart... Read more
Published 2 months ago by LeeS
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you.
Published 2 months ago by David D. Braun
5.0 out of 5 stars I am getting a totally different prospective of FDR and not a very...
Interesting what information was hidden from the American public for so long; in fact according to the author, even now not all the information has been "released". Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good historical account
Very good book chronicling the lead up to the second world war entry by the US and a mirror of the actions of today's government. A good read.
Published 3 months ago by Beverly in Ormond Beach
5.0 out of 5 stars Governments Lie
Excellent. Be the only one on your block to know the truth about Pearl Harbor. Next December 7, you will be alone in your thoughts. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Shoen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The truth be told.
Published 3 months ago by Paesano
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