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Did FDR know about the Japanese 'secret' attack on Pearl Harbor ahead of time?


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Initial post: Dec 7, 2012 4:57:52 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 11, 2013 5:47:12 AM PDT
Today, 12/7/12, is Pearl Harbor Day. I'm reminded of one of the BIGGEST conspiracy questions of all time: Did Franklin Roosevelt know of the Japanese 'secret' attack ahead of time?

Americans had broken the Japanese codes! We know that American Intelligence decoded messages sent from Tokyo to the Japanese Embassy in DC before the Japanese ministers did on Sunday December 7, 1941. We also know that the main intention of the Japanese military was to destroy the American aircraft carriers. Japanese spies in Honolulu informed Tokyo that the American aircraft carriers were in port. The Japanese, therefore, committed to the attack. Then, the Americans pulled the carriers out of Pearl. 'Coincidence'?

There were other facts that lead me and others to conclude that FDR baited the Japanese so as to have the US enter the war against them and Hitler's Nazi Germany. Americans were opposed to entering foreign wars until the events in Hawaii exactly 71 years ago.

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Synchronism: 12/7/12 07:04 I awoke on this Anniversary of Pearl Harbor to hear of 7.3 Earthquake off coast of Japan

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On Monday 3/4/13 while in a thrift store, I 'coincidentally' found a copy of the book 'Day Of Deceit - The truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor' by Robert B. Stinnett (The Free Press, 2000). I haven't finished it yet, but I can go ahead and highly recommend it to those who are interested in this subject. Stinnett has done extensive research which is well documented in this 386 page book. There is NO DOUBT the FDR and his closest military advisors not only expected the attack, "it was deliberately provoked through an eight-step program devised by the Navy".

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 5:15:02 AM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
Somebody in the administration probably suspected it but was too, distanced, to effect change. People just didn't surprise attack nations in those days, unless you were Poland or Czechoslovakia.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 6:17:59 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2012 6:19:06 AM PST
Certainly those types of surprise attacks are not all that common in history but there is still plenty of precedent for the attack on Pearl Harbor. In military terms the tactic has been known for a couple of hundred years as a "coup de main" (a blow with the hand; literally). The inspiration for the December 7th attack actually came from the British attack of the Italian naval base at Taranto. Though the scale of the attack on the Italian navy was much smaller in scale it was in a sense more devastation to the Italian forces than Pearl Harbor was to the US. The effect of Taranto was that the Italian navy was neutralized for the rest of the war and never again (in WWII) became a force in the area. The attack was carried out at night and many strategists believe that had it been carried out during daylight hours the damage to the Italian fleet would have been even more catastrophic.

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 7:17:59 AM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
I've read books that claim FDR wanted to force the reticent American people into the "greater" conflict in Europe, but I suspect the attack on PH was not the desired excuse. The Japanese didn't just provide justification by attacking Asian US bases, they went for the jugular. A brilliant act of treachery, not declaring war or anything. One thing I'm not clear on though I've seen the movies: Was the Japanese declaration of war really accidentally delayed by circumstances?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 8:34:46 AM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
B. A. Dilger says:

[I've read books that claim FDR wanted to force the reticent American people into the "greater" conflict in Europe, but I suspect the attack on PH was not the desired excuse.]

I watched a TV show about this conspiracy theory but never read any books about it.

But I talked to a guy in these forums who had read the books. Even he wasn't sure exactly what happened and how much FDR and company may have known before the attack.

Apparently it is true that FDR wanted Japan to commit the first act of aggression which would provide a justification for entering into a conflict with them. I believe there are documents that confirm this. But whether they wanted something like Pearl Harbor to happen is another matter.

Still is it possible that this desire to lull Japan into doing something created an atmosphere of carelessness ? When you want somebody to do something harmful could that lead into ignoring a potential threat on purpose ?

That's not the same as saying the U.S. knew the attack on Pearl Harbor was coming and they allowed all those people to get killed to stimulate public support for going to war. Although that's exactly what Pearl Harbor did.

Viet Nam however was another story. The so called Gulf Of Tonkin incident, if it ever even happened, was probably orchestrated by Johnson and company.

I had the following message saved about this subject when I was talking about it back in March.

Jeff Marzano

Jeff Marzano says:

F. Gleaves says:

[And then claiming after the attack that Kimmel had been specifically warned.]

I had an episode of the TV show 'Conspiracy ?' saved on my DVR box called 'FDR and Pearl Harbor' which I just watched.

This guy here says FDR knew Japan would attack Pearl Harbor and in fact FDR did everything possible to provoke this attack:

Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor

I haven't read this book.

Stinnett says there was a meeting on November 27 with FDR and some other people. Orders were given to the Navy commanders at Pearl Harbor and other places not to interfere with the Japanese actions and to allow Japan to commit the first overt act of war.

That much is true I think. The question is what exactly did that order mean.

There's questions about exactly which of the Japanese secret codes had been broken before December 7th.

Another historian named Richard Hill agrees with Stinnett. They think FDR wanted Japan to attack Pearl Harbor since the American public would think that Germany was really responsible.

The conspiracy theory is there was a lot of isolationist sentiment in America and FDR needed something big to get people enthusiastic about joining World War II.

Other people don't see things as being that black and white.

FDR was putting pressure on Japan in several ways. There was an oil embargo against Japan and the U.S. was expanding its military presence in the Pacific.

Another historian tried to answer why Japan even attacked Pearl Harbor in the first place. He felt Japan was afraid that the U.S was eventually going to attack them.

There's a lot of angles with this conspiracy theory. It may not be as black and white as 'FDR wanted Japan to bomb Pearl Harbor'.

It may have been a combination of carelessness and underestimating exactly what form Japan's overt acts would take. Warnings may not have been heeded.

Nothing had happened before December 7th so it wasn't like the U.S. was in a high state of alert or readiness.

Still some people think it's suspicious that the U.S.'s aircraft carriers were out at sea when they attacked.

That's a nice name for a base. "Pearl Harbor".

The 9/11 attacks are sometimes called the second Pearl Harbor. Maybe there are some similarities. The first attack on the WTC is I guess one of the great unheeded warnings in history. Clinton was too busy with Monica.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 8:36:37 AM PST
I have never been able to find a truly definitive answer to that question. I suppose that the truth may be still classified information. Some Americans and even more Japanese contend that that is what happened but no one presents any concrete proof either way. It is hard to believe that the Japanese could have hidden ALL that information on all the Dec 7th coordinated attacks. It is also said that the US had cracked their codes several days before so I am sure we haven't been told the whole story.

One sidebar: Many claim that the Japanese got the idea of the PH attacks from the book "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu but I don't agree because the actual text says "attack in the dead of night in the middle of a blinding snowstorm" and that is not anything like the morning attack in clear weather that the Japanese carried out. I really believe they followed the Taranto attack model but decided against a night time attack because of the problems the British incurred.

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 8:37:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2012 8:40:42 AM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
The guy I was talking to in March that had read all the Pearl Harbor books was High Plains Drifter.

Jeff Marzano

High Plains Drifter says:

Jeff Marzano says: "This guy here says FDR knew Japan would attack Pearl Harbor and in fact FDR did everything possible to provoke this attack:

'Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor.' I haven't read this book. [Robert B.] Stinnett..."

Jeff, I read this book many years ago, about when the movie "Pearl Harbor" came out and the conspiracy theories were rekindled. I'm straining the old memory cells but the gist of Stinnett's arguments were that Roosevelt (and Churchill) knew that the U.S. would be involved in WW II sooner or later and that for Britain's sake (and ultimately the U.S's sake) "sooner" was better than "later." Roosevelt had pretty substantial information that Pearl Harbor would would be hit, so he left the old battleships there and got the aircraft carriers out of there (this was more than a year after the British raid on the Italian naval base at Taranto had proved that battleships at anchor could be sunk by carrier based aricraft).

I had read much on both sides of the argument at that time and to tell you the truth I JUST DON'T KNOW at this point!

If you're into this subject as I was at one point, here are some references:

The aforementioned "Day of Deceit - The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor," by Robert B. Stinnett, (New York: Touchstone Books), 2001

"Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath," by John Toland (Berkley Books/Penguin Books), 1982.

"Defenseless: Command Failure At Pearl Harbor," by John W. Lambert and Norman Polmar (St. Paul, MN: Motorbooks International/MBI Publishing Company), 2003.

Two articles in American Heritage, July/August, 2001: "FDR Guilty: Short and Kimmel Were Scapegoats," by (Adm.) David C. Richardson, pages 52-57, and "FDR Not Guilty: I Don't Buy It," by Kevin Baker, pages 57-61.

I have several other article references but these should establish the arguments. Happy reading!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 9:21:06 AM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
Thanks, I did read the John Toland book, "Aftermath..."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 9:28:13 AM PST
R. Largess says:
The viewpoint has been expressed that intelligence indicated something was brewing but not exactly what. Historically, the Japanese opened with a surprise attack, like the destroyer attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur. And, historically, the US went to war after the enemy struck first, as per Fort Sumter. But in "Scapegoats" Ned Beach suggests that Roosevelt thought he was taking no serious risks to the fleet at Pearl, or MacArthur's B-17's in the Philippines. He (and Marshall) simply had no inkling how good the Japanese were. Certainly the US Navy could not have performed a massive, coordinated carrier strike like the Japanese did at that point, and never guessed anyone else could. Also, it's very likely the Japanese were equally surprised by the tremendous success of their attacks. The surprise torpedo attacks on Port Arthur in 1904 didn't do great damage, but gave the Japanese the psychological edge over the Russians for the rest of the war. Maybe this was what they were hoping for in 1941.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 9:39:07 AM PST
This has always smacked of egotisim to me. How could a bunch of savage indians kill all of Custer's men? How could the CIA not know about the 911 planes? Like Americans are too smart to be tricked.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 9:54:54 AM PST
John M. Lane says:
The Indians used repeaters and superior numbers to wipe Custer out in 1876. Instead of scattering when attacked, they stuck together and gave battle. And, they won.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 9:56:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2012 9:59:27 AM PST
B.A. Dilger: "Was the Japanese declaration of war really accidentally delayed by circumstances?"

Yes and no. The matter is not without some controversy and questions, even today. But the generally accepted version is that the Japanese negotiators in Washington were told to deliver their final message to the U.S. State Department at 1:00 p.m. Washington time. The final, 14th part of this message was not transmitted to the Japanese envoys in Washington by the authorities in Tokyo until very late in the process, and the work of preparing an acceptable typed copy delayed getting the message done in time, so the envoys did not actually deliver it to Secretary of State Hull until 2:20 p.m., nearly an hour after the bombing began. Had the note been delivered at 1:00 p.m., it would have been about 1/2 hour before the bombing started.

In any event, the Japanes note did not state "we are declaring war." It did state something to the effect that further negotiations were pointless (essentiallly cutting off negotiations), and that the U.S. was responsible for the consequences.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 9:57:23 AM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Spiritual Architect says:

[Like Americans are too smart to be tricked.]

Conspiracy theories have to be evaluated on an individual basis.

Saying that FDR knew many American sailors were going to be killed and he allowed this to happen because of his agenda is a serious statement to make. That's called murder.

A serious accusation ? Yes. Impossible ? To me no.

There are some conspiracy theories that for me have withstood the test of time.

Some involve techniques that are more or less understood in the public domain today such as assassinations. Shooting or poisoning someone doesn't require any secret technologies.

Others involve technologies that are kept secret from the public. This category would include things like the mysterious HAARP device up in Alaska. Anti gravity drives and alchemy would be part of this group. The possible use of brain washing and mind control techniques on SirHan SirHan might also fall into this section.

Then there's things that seem to move into the realm of the supernatural, the occult, and the Satanic. This would include flying saucers and related subjects, cattle mutilations, and time travel.

As far as Pearl Harbor I don't know enough about it. But as I said I get the impression that FDR and the boys did in fact want Japan to do something to provoke an American military response.

Could Pearl Harbor have been a case where they let the Japanese proceed with their plans, not realizing how massive the attack was going to be ?

To me having a policy of wanting an enemy to take some overt military action is dangerous.

Jeff Marzano

Top Secret/Majic: Operation Majestic-12 and the United States Government's UFO Cover-up

Haarp: The Ultimate Weapon of the Conspiracy (Mind-Control Conspiracy)

The Philosopher's Stone: Alchemy and the Secret Research for Exotic Matter

The Philadelphia Experiment: Invisibility Time Travel and Mind Control - The Shocking Truth

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 9:58:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2012 10:00:47 AM PST
R. Largess says:
Well, certainly that's part of it. But the US Navy and Army Air Corps certainly believed they were on the cutting edge at that time, and did not guess at certain of the advances the Japanese had made. The incredible range of their "Zero" fighter enabled them to gain air superiority from Taiwan over the Philippines and wipe out MacArthur's air force. And it was only in July 1941 they formed and began training the "Kido Butai" that combined all six of their good carriers into a single striking force under a single command. The Japanese and the US Navy WERE both extremely good, and had good intelligence of each other. But neither one had a clear understanding of the other's best "aces in the hole" - such as radar and codebreaking for us. This stuff was really secret on both sides, but a big part of it was also not understanding how differently the potential enemy thought and how they intended to fight. Typical error of thinking the enemy will do what you would have done.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 10:01:26 AM PST
Debunker says:
"The possible use of brain washing and mind control techniques on SirHan SirHan might also fall into this section".

Can someone cue the "Twilight Zone" theme?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 10:02:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2012 10:05:10 AM PST
There is a certain truth in what you say about our national egotism but could it be that that very egotism is really hiding a feeling of inadequacy?

The Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor and the other successes on that day were truly works of military genius and there is no denying that. I do however agree with R. Largess that even the Japanese military but have been surprised at the success of that day. I lived for several years in Japan and during that time I heard a lecture by Japanese air ace Saburo Sakai who expressed that very thought. He also mentioned that in spite of the enormous success the Japanese Navy were far more realists than Tojo and the Army. In the end Admiral Yamamote was right in that if Japan could not get terms from the USA within six months of the Pearl Harbor attack that the war would be lost by Japan. His quote about the "sleeping giant" proved to be right on the money. Sakai agreed that Japan was not seeking over-all victory at Pearl but rather they were making a show of strength and ability with the hopes that the US would come to terms with them and stay out of the war in Asia. That idea totally backfired.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 10:21:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2012 10:22:17 AM PST
R. Largess says:
Well, I think Saburo Sakai is certainly a reliable source for the Japanese viewpoint. They never thought anything other that they were taking on a very dangerous opponent, both superior materially and very professional. It is interesting that only recently have American historians been able to use the Japanese literature. In his recent "Pearl Harbor Attack" Alan Zimm quotes Yamamoto's papers I believe to say that Yamamoto thought the attack was chancy, expected possible carrier losses, and hoped for the sinking of a single battleship. On the other hand he thought the attack was essential and threatened to resign if it was not authorized. It sounds to me that he expected to gain the sort of psychological edge the Japanese got from the
Port Arthur attack

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 10:24:43 AM PST
Debunker says:
It's always interesting to speculate on how the war would have progressed had the Japanese ignored Pearl but went ahead and carried out the rest of the attacks they launched in December 1941 and the following months. Given the fact that the battleships sunk or damaged at Pearl were "old", I don't think the war would have taken a much different course than it actually did.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 10:53:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 11, 2013 5:51:46 AM PDT
Jeff Marzano said...

"The 9/11 attacks are sometimes called the second Pearl Harbor. Maybe there are some similarities. The first attack on the WTC is I guess one of the great unheeded warnings in history. Clinton was too busy with Monica."

"Yes" and "No". The ungodly Republicans distracted the Govt with trying to impeach Clinton becase of Monica Lewinsky giving him oral s-x. This won the election of George(6 letters) Walker(6) Bush Jr.(6) - the "2nd Beast" (Ronald[6] Wilson[6] Reagan[6] was the "1st Beast"). Bush Jr. and his fellow evil-doers would then lie over-and-over again re: Saddam Hussein and invade Iraq so as to "destroy Babylon" and satisfy the Evangelicals that elected Bush Jr. US oil companies - who were/are BIG Repub supporters - could then grab their oil! The Iraq War make also help make billionaires and millionaires out of heads of the military-industrial complex who had donated the most to Bush Jr.'s election!

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 10:57:50 AM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
Not to change the subject long but the concept of "secrecy" in the Allied governments extended to the bombings of British cities (including Coventry) in order to protect code-breaking successes like the Ultra secret. Despite the Allies knowing what German communications were saying, they still came close to losing the war effort. Or extending it for a much longer time. We too had the Japanese codes, but it was a long war.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 11:09:22 AM PST
Bubba says:
Early on a Sunday morning would be a great time for a sneak attack on a peacetime navy that was in port. Aircraft carrier operations were still early in their development, and at the time, only the British Navy had developed night carrier operations. Even if the Japanese had developed night carrier operations, night-time carrier operations in rough seas would have been a HUGE risk, a risk that there was no need to take. The Japanese would still be waiting if they wanted to attack Pearl Harbor at night in a blinding snowstorm.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 11:09:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2012 2:39:03 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
B. A. Dilger says:

[Not to change the subject long but the concept of "secrecy" in the Allied governments extended to the bombings of British cities (including Coventry) in order to protect code-breaking successes like the Ultra secret.]

How did bombing British cities protect code breaking successes ?

Do you mean the British allowed those cities to be bombed even though they knew it was going to happen ? So they didn't warn the people who lived in those cities ?

You mean they could have laid in wait and shot down the German bombers but this would have made it obvious that they had broken the German codes ?

Looking at it that way allowing Pearl Harbor would have provided the ultimate false proof that the Japanese codes had not been broken.

That's interesting and indicates the types of decisions that are required in a situation like World War II.

For the Battle Of Midway however information obtained through code breaking was acted on by the U.S..

Jeff Marzano

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 11:40:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2012 11:44:01 AM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
Jeff Marzano----"Do you mean the British allowed those cities to be bombed even though they knew it was going to happen ? So they didn't warn the people who lived in those cities ?

You mean they could have laid in and shot down the German bombers but this would have made it obvious that they had broken the German codes ?"

Yes and yes. Churchill himself knew that Coventry was to be bombed, according to "The Ultra Secret."

The Ultra Secret

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 11:48:18 AM PST
Cliff Sedge says:
Would you be open to persuasion that he didn't know?

'What did Churchill know and when did he know it? The most succinct summary came from one of Churchill's private secretaries, John Colville, in his book, The Churchillians (London, 1981), page 62:

All concerned with the information gleaned from the intercepted German signals were conscious that German suspicions must not be aroused for the sake of ephemeral advantages. In the case of the Coventry raid no dilemma arose, for until the German directional beam was turned on the doomed city nobody knew where the great raid would be. Certainly the Prime Minister did not.'

http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/myths/myths/he-let-coventry-burn

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 11:59:46 AM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
Actually Jeff I read two books on the Ultra Secret, this and a later volume by a different author. Can't remember the name though it had 'Ultra' in it.
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