Pearl Harbor Attack No Surprise
Roger A. Stolley
Historians are still arguing over whether President Franklin Roosevelt knew in advance that Japanese forces were about to launch a devastating attack against the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941.
Mr. Roger A. Stolley, a resident of Salem, Oregon, has something important to add to this discussion. In the following essay, which first appeared in the Salem daily Statesman Journal, December 7, 1991, he provides personal information to confirm that Roosevelt not only anticipated the Japanese attack, but specifically ordered that no steps be taken to prevent it. (Mr. Stolley’s essay is reprinted here with grateful permission of the author.)
John Toland, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who addressed the October 1990 IHR conference in Washington, DC, tells us that Stolley’s essay “rings true.”
Each year near the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, I get angry at the lie perpetrated upon the U.S. people that it was a surprise attack.
It may have been a surprise to the U.S. people, but it certainly was not a surprise to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the select few persons who surrounded him or the U.S. Army intelligence officer working under his direct orders.
I previously worked in a civilian capacity for LTC Clifford M. Andrew, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, who temporarily was assistant chief of Staff, military intelligence, general staff, United States Army.
My employment ended with Andrew on May 15, 1966 when a bullet entered the back of his head, ending his life.
Upon at least three occasions in his home in Tigard [Oregon] he related to me the history of his military life and personal involvement in the actions of Roosevelt and other officials surrounding the Pearl Harbor attack. He said:
Anything I now tell you I will deny ever saying. I am still subject to military court martial for revealing the information. The American public is completely ignorant of those affairs that occur behind the scenes in top American government positions and offices. If you try to tell them the truth, they won’t believe you.
Five men were directly responsible for what happened at Pearl Harbor. I am one of those five men … We knew well in advance that the Japanese were going to attack. At least nine months before the Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor, I was assigned to prepare for it.
I was operating under the direct orders of the President of the United States and was ordered not to give vital intelligence information relating to the whereabouts of the Japanese fleet to our commanders in the field.
We had broken the Japanese code … We’d been monitoring all their communications for months prior to the attack … It was a lie that we didn’t have direct radio communications with Washington, D.C.
It was at least 48 hours before the attack that I personally received the most tragic message of my life … which was Top Secret and coded, which my radio operator handed to me. I had the code book and decoded it. The basic text of the message ran: “The Japanese will attack at (the approximate time). Do not prepare retaliatory forces. We need the full support of the American nation in a wartime effort by an unprovoked attack upon the nation in order to obtain a declaration of war.”
That message and my 40 file cabinets of top secret information on Pearl Harbor were taken out and burned by myself and two other witnessing intelligence officers so that the Congressional investigation could not get to the truth as to what actually did happen at Pearl Harbor.
For the people of the United States both then and now I feel sorrow, for a people to have been so misled, to have been lied to so much, and to have so thoroughly believed the lie given to them.
Pearl Harbor is an example of how a small group of men in control of government has the power to destroy the life, property, and freedom of its citizens. How can this nation, or any nation, survive when its electorate is uninformed, that government hides the truth, labels it top secret, and destroys it.
The most complete and up-to-date summation of the Revisionist view that Roosevelt anticipated the attack against the American fleet in Hawaii is Toland’s best-selling book, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath. (The 398-page illustrated paperback edition is available from the IHR for $8, plus $2 shipping.)
The best overview of the background to the fateful attack remains George Morgenstern’s masterful 425-page work, Pearl Harbor:The Story of the Secret War. (Available in softcover edition from the IHR for $14.95, plus $2 shipping.)
For further confirmation of Roosevelt’s deceitful and illegal campaign to bring a supposedly neutral United States into war against Japan and Germany, see “Roosevelt’s Secret Pre-War Plan to Bomb Japan” in the Winter 1991-92 IHR Journal, and “President Roosevelt’s Campaign to Incite War in Europe,” in the Summer 1983 Journal.
Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 119-121.
Hartford Van Dyke – The
Truth About Pearl Harbor
The Skeleton In Uncle Sam’s Closet
By Joan d’Arc
- “We knew well in advance that the Japanese were going to attack. It was a lie that we didn’t have direct radio communication with Washington DC.” –Lt. Col. Clifford M. Andrew
- The opening line to a rare 1975 document entitled The Skeleton in Uncle Sam’s Closet reads, “I am Hartford Van Dyke, a Non Union lawyer. I have become sensitive to political situations because my family was involuntarily involved in the treasonous murder of 4000 men1 at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. My relatives knew it was going to happen beforehand.”
- In a letter to Paranoia dated December 17, 2003, Hartford Van Dyke provided a history of the publication of this important document, writing, “In about October 1967, I asked my father about a vague memory of something I had heard him say about an aircraft being shot down in our neighborhood in Honolulu. As he told me about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, he broke down in grief. I don’t recall ever seeing my father cry before that incident.”
- Hartford’s father, Lyle Hartford Van Dyke, Sr., had promised his uncle, Gerald Mason Van Dyke, that he would not publish anything about the Pearl Harbor incident until after Mason’s death. Hartford obeyed his father’s wishes for two years, he writes, but the Mi Lai massacre in Vietnam and government lies about it pressed him to publish the truth about Pearl Harbor. In 1970, Hartford mailed a copy of his first work on the Pearl Harbor story to every U.S. senator and congressman – 535 copies in all.
- As Hartford tells the story, he included his father in that mailing and phoned him for a criticism of the text. He connected a tape recorder to the telephone line and “got a tape recording for posterity about the real history of the Pearl Harbor attack.” He sent out a second print run to Congress, House and Senate, another 535 copies. He also recorded conversations with people his father had mentioned, and sent the cassettes through the mail. He was on a mission to tell the world what really happened at Pearl Harbor. Would the world listen?
- In October 1972, Hartford received a copy of the book None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen. This book, he states, inspired him to write his own book about Pearl Harbor. Completed in August 1973, he again sent a copy of his final book, The Skeleton in Uncle Sam’s Closet (hereafter, Skeleton), to every US senator and congressman. In 1975, he printed a newspaper edition, which is the edition being quoted here.
- Van Dyke’s Pearl Harbor Story
- The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, writes Van Dyke, was instigated by the U.S., Britain and Holland, when they cut off all shipping into and out of Japan, threatening its people with starvation. Hartford’s great uncle, Gerald Mason Van Dyke, was an Army Intelligence officer in Hawaii at the time of the attack.
- According to Skeleton, Mason Van Dyke had foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack and sent his warning to Washington DC at 2:00 p.m. on December 4, 1941. His message was received in Washington at about 7:00 p.m. (due to the time difference) by Rear Admiral, Paulus Prince Powell. As Van Dyke tells the story, Powell notified Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, who then contacted Secretary of War, Henry Stimson. Stimson contacted President Roosevelt, and Roosevelt reported to Naval Intelligence in Washington.
- As Skeleton claims, Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, wanted to move the Navy out and set up a defense perimeter around the islands. James Vincent Forrestal, Undersecretary of the Navy, also wanted to act defensively. According to Skeleton, what happened next is a claim that has never been made before (to my knowledge). President Roosevelt put Powell, Knox and Forrestal under armed Marine guard until after the Pearl Harbor attack. He sent a message to Lt. Col. Clifford M. Andrew, Intelligence officer at Army Intelligence in Hawaii, which read: “The Japanese will attack, do not prepare defenses, we need the full support of the American Nation in a war time effort by an unprovoked attack upon the Nation.”
- A Distinguished Gentleman
- Van Dyke Sr. testifies in Skeleton that at a political conference about twenty years after the event (date not written), he sat beside “a distinguished gentleman” with whom he began a discussion of his experience in Honolulu during the Pearl Harbor attack. He testifies: “This gentleman acted very interested in what I had to say and started to question me about the details.” Finally, he said, “Mr. Van Dyke, do you know who I am?” He pulled out his personal card and said, “I am Admiral Paulus P. Powell, United States Army Retired. Do you know what I did during World War II?”
- Powell then divulged that he was the one who had received Mason Van Dyke’s message at the Naval Intelligence office in Washington. He asked, “Would you like to know what happened in Washington DC when your uncle’s message was received by my office?” Van Dyke Sr. replied that he had not “heard a logical explanation in the last nineteen years.”
- Van Dyke Sr. claims, “I was utterly amazed at the remarks he made about President Roosevelt being responsible for the Pearl Harbor attack; about Roosevelt making Admiral Kimmel and General Short scapegoats so that he [Roosevelt] would come out looking like a hero.” Admiral Powell said, “Mr. Van Dyke, when I die it will be the most pleasant thing that has happened to me because I have died thousands of times, especially when I think of all the officers and enlisted men, many of them my personal friends, being killed, and I could not do a thing to save their lives.”
- According to Skeleton, Admiral Powell stated, “Here I was on Saturday morning, Washington time. I grieved; you don’t know how I grieved. And yet I couldn’t do anything because I was under guard.” He revealed, “If I had ever sent a message to Pearl Harbor, I would have been shot on the spot.” Powell declared it was one of the most treacherous acts committed by any president. Indeed, he added, “It was one of the most dastardly things any president or king has ever done in the history of the world. And there’s no way to keep it from happening again.”
- On Friday evening at about 5:00 p.m., December 5, Mason Van Dyke warned his nephew that the Japanese would attack, most probably on Sunday. He told him the Intelligence Department in Washington had been warned, but America would stand down. Hartford’s father prepared his family for the attack as best he could.
- Forty Top Secret File Cabinets
- As Hartford writes in Skeleton, in 1949 James Vincent Forrestal’s knowledge became a threat to those in power, and he was thrown out of a seventh floor window of a Bethesda hospital. Less well known, on May 15, 1966, Lt. Col. Clifford M. Andrew, who had received FDR’s stand down order at Military Intelligence in Hawaii, was murdered in his home in Tigard, Oregon, by a bullet in the back of the head.
- Roger A. Stolley worked in a civilian capacity for Clifford Andrew. Stolley testifies in Skeleton that, “A limited number of personnel were directly involved with the events behind the Pearl Harbor incident. Information directly concerned with the attack was labeled TOP SECRET, held in approximately forty file cabinets of the Army Intelligence Office.” The file cabinets, which were situated in Honolulu, he writes, was taken out and burned – another claim not made elsewhere (to my knowledge). All personnel with knowledge of them were subject to military court martial if they revealed their contents.
- Stolley further testifies that Lt. Col. Clifford Andrew confided in him, on several occasions, part of the contents of those files. Stolley paraphrases Andrew’s words, “We knew well in advance that the Japanese were going to attack. It was a lie that we didn’t have direct radio communication with Washington DC. Not only did my office have direct radio communications, but so did the territorial government and the FBI.” Stolley concludes, “The responsibility for Pearl Harbor rests upon five men: Franklin D. Roosevelt; Gen. George C. Marshall; Harold R. Stark (Chief of Naval Operations); Lt. Col. Kindall J. Fielder, G-2, under General Short; and Clifford M. Andrew.” The extract is signed and witnessed by Roger A. Stolley, dated May 25, 1975.
- In a 1992 article in the Journal for Historical Review (“Pearl Harbor Attack No Surprise”), Stolley reiterated the information given to him by Clifford Andrew: “We knew well in advance that the Japanese were going to attack. At least nine months before the Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor, I was assigned to prepare for it.” Andrew claimed he was under direct orders of President Roosevelt. He also claimed he was ordered to withhold from commanders in Hawaii vital intelligence relating to the location of the Japanese fleet. Stolley concludes: “Pearl Harbor is an example of how a small group of men in control of government has the power to destroy the life, property and freedom of its citizens.”
- The Infamous Seaman Z
- Many of the first- and second-hand witness statements contained in Skeleton can be supported by sources published decades later, which rely on many more witness testimonies. In fact, while most books on Pearl Harbor purposely avoid the above conclusions, at least two crucial books buttress its assertions.
- In his 1986 book, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, John Toland, reveals a letter from Col. Carlton Ketchum, who informed Toland that warnings from various sources began in early fall of 1941. The sources of these warnings included the Dutch Embassy, Dutch Secret Service and British Secret Service. Indeed, Roosevelt had received a warning from “some government agency in Japan, I cannot recall who that was.” Ketchum claimed the warnings were passed on to “Secretary Knox, and I think Secretary Stimson,” but was sure they were not passed on to commanders in the Pacific. He added, Hoover was told by Roosevelt not to pass on the information to the FBI or to their men stationed in the Pacific. (Toland, 343)
- At an October 1990 Institute for Historical Review conference (ihr.org), Toland stated that Stolley’s testimony (in “Pearl Harbor Attack No Surprise”) rings true. Toland relayed a personal story at this conference. He stated that after writing, The Rising Sun, he received many letters from naval officers who informed him that Roosevelt did know the Japanese were moving in to attack Pearl Harbor. In fact, Toland received so many letters that he began work on Infamy in order to correct the record.
- After a two-year search for witnesses, Toland located a Dutch admiral named Ranneft, who in 1941 had been a captain serving as the Dutch naval attaché. Ranneft wrote that he was frequently allowed into the Naval Intelligence Office in San Francisco. On December 3, he went into the office and was informed that they had tracked the locations of two Japanese carriers from their radio emissions. When he returned on the 6th and asked where the carriers were, a man went up to the chart and “pointed to an area two hundred miles from Pearl Harbor.”
- As the story goes, Toland discovered the identity of the man who had located the Japanese fleet in the Pacific. This man did not want to disclose his name because he was marrying a fabulously wealthy California woman, so Toland referred to him as “Seaman Z.” When Infamy was published in 1986, the Washington Post, true to form, claimed Toland had invented Seaman Z. About a year later, this witness went public and confirmed the information, but the media did not respond. The man’s name is revealed as Robert Ogg in a crucial 2001 book, Day of Deceit. While on assignment in San Francisco, Ogg confirms, he began to plot the location of the Japanese fleet on a chart of the North Pacific on or about November 30, 1941.
- This claim contradicts the sanctioned version of history, which declares that, “Nagumo’s task force sailed from the Kuriles on 26 November and arrived, undetected by the Americans, at a point about 200 miles north of Oahu at 0600 hours (Hawaiian time) on December 7, 1941.” (www.worldwar2history.info/Pearl-Harbor/)
- The Purple Machine
- Hartford Van Dyke has been trying to tell the world about Pearl Harbor for more than 35 years. He was undeniably vindicated in 2001 with Robert Stinnett’s bombshell book, Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, which is based on documents from the National Archives as well as Naval Intelligence files acquired through persistent FOIA requests beginning in 1983. The Navy finally declassified these records in 1994. Day of Deceit provides overwhelming evidence that FDR and about thirty members of his administration knew well in advance that Japanese warships were heading toward Hawaii. In fact, Stinnett uncovered a Naval Intelligence memo, dated October 1940, which outlined eight steps to provoke such an attack.
- For the past sixty years, a majority of historians have put forth the deception that the Japanese maintained strict radio silence on their war path to Pearl Harbor. Even as late as 1999, historian Stephen Ambrose echoed the official line in a Wall Street Journal editorial saying, “American intelligence was terrible.” Stinnett exposes the transparency of this fabrication, writing, “After sixty years it is clear that the US Navy, the Army, and the press were all wrong. Overwhelming evidence [from the National Archives] proves that Yamamoto, as well as commanders of the Task Force warships, broke radio silence and that their ships were located by American communication intelligence units.” (Stinnett, 162)
- The radio stealth exhibited by the Japanese is consistently overstated in official accounts. The truth is, “[t]here was no escaping the electronic surveillance.” Beginning on April 22, 1941, Stinnett reveals, “Six US Navy monitor stations from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Samoa, Hawaii, Corregidor and two from San Francisco followed every move of Nagumo and theAkagi.” (Stinnett, 262)
- In a deep underground Army/Navy base known as Corregidor, situated west of Manila, Japanese kata kana message codes were intercepted by 63 operators working round the clock in eight-hour shifts. Navy analysts unscrambled the complex codes. “We had the Purple machine and the means to intercept, decode and translate messages,” stated one radio operator. “Since we were so near to Japan and its naval operation area we were in an excellent position to intercept radio broadcasts.” (Stinnett, 186)
- These dispatches should have been sent to Admiral Kimmel, the commander in Hawaii who would have been able to avert, or at least minimize, the tragedy. However, the unscrambled messages never made it to their proper destination in order to save American lives at Pearl Harbor, simply because saving the lives of American servicemen was not the name of the game. The name of the game was more succinctly stated by Lt. Com. Joseph Rochefort when he proclaimed, “It was a pretty cheap price to pay for unifying the country.” (Stinnett, 203)
- This was likely the mad logic bestowed upon distinguished representatives of the American press when they were invited to a “secret press briefing” at 10:15 a.m. on November 15, 1941, where Gen. George C. Marshall revealed one of America’s most vital secrets: the U.S. could read Japan’s coded radio messages. Inconceivably, Marshall did not request the presence of General Short or Admiral Kimmel, the two officers in charge of naval operations in Hawaii, nor did he give them a separate briefing.
- Instead, according to Marshall’s own papers, the General called seven news correspondents to his office in the Munitions Building in Washington, and forthwith provided an exit opportunity to anyone unwilling to button his lips over the information he was about to reveal. Stinnett, who remains flummoxed as to the reason for the meeting, writes: “Though the function of the press is to publicize, none left. They kept Marshall’s secret from their readers, who included many of the officers and sailors manning the warships on Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row.” (Stinnett, 158)
- Now we find out why the major media has obstructed the truth about Pearl Harbor for the past sixty years. As Stinnett discloses, four news media and three major wire services were “let in on secrets denied to General Short and Admiral Kimmel.” No radio news reporters were invited to the secret conference, where the print news media learned that the Japanese would attack some time in the first ten days of December. The select members of the media who were present and who complied with the secrecy rule were: Robert Sherrod, Time; Ernest Lindley, Newsweek; Charles Hurd, New York Times; Bert Andrews, New York Herald Tribune; Lyle Wilson, United Press; Edward Bomar, Associated Press; and Harold Slater, International News Service. (Stinnett, 361) (Note, Simon & Schuster hides this bombshell in the back of the book among copious endnotes in tiny font.)
- Stinnett suspects the messages containing this time-sensitive information were intercepted between November 5 and November 13, 1941, in time for the General’s unfathomable leak to the media. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter released to the National Archives a small portion of the messages sent between September 3 and December 8, 1941. However, as of 2001 an estimated 143,000 Japanese messages remained “cloaked in American censorship” in spite of many FOIA requests.
- In fact, Stinnett reveals that Naval Intelligence had cracked the Japanese codes as early as fall of 1940, fifteen months before the attack. He also reveals that Admiral Nagumo’s first radio broadcast was intercepted on April 22, 1941, eight months before the attack. (Stinnett, 362) He concludes, “A systematic plan had been in place long before Pearl Harbor to arouse the United States from its isolationist position.” (Stinnett, 259) This corroborates Clifford Andrew’s claim in Skeleton that he had been assigned to “prepare for the attack” at least nine months prior.
- Inexplicably, it was not until November 25, according to the diary of Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, that FDR announced to his War Cabinet that “an attack was expected perhaps as soon as next Monday (December 1).” With great American ingenuity, radio interceptors and analysts deciphered an obscure secret language, and assumed their dire warnings would travel up the proper command route; however, Washington war mongers chose to keep it from the one person with an unequivocal need to know: Admiral Kimmel. Indeed, writes Stinnett, “None of the nine Pearl Harbor investigations examined the TESTM dispatches or questioned why their crucial data were cut from Kimmel’s intelligence loop.” He traces Kimmel’s severance from the intelligence loop to “numerous directives issued from Washington.” (Stinnett, 186)
- On November 25, 1941, a full ten days after the press was secretly briefed, Admiral Kimmel finally received a briefing to the effect that a massive Japanese force of fleet subs and long-range patrol aircraft would reach Hawaii in the beginning of December. Kimmel received explicit orders on November 28 from Admiral Stark stating, “Undertake no offensive action until Japan has committed an overt act.” Because he followed these orders he would later take most of the blame.
- Stinnett proves that both Pacific Fleet commanders, Admiral Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter Short, were purposely kept in the dark and were later blamed for “failing to anticipate” the attack. In 1999, the Senate finally exonerated Kimmel and Short of charges of “dereliction of duty.” However, throughout nine official investigations of Pearl Harbor over a span of nearly sixty years, no radio broadcasts were ever brought forward. Even Congressional hearings had not the luxury of these documents.
- Two weeks after Pearl Harbor, Stinnett shows, the Navy classified all documents TOP SECRET. All radio operators and cryptographers were gagged on threat of imprisonment and loss of all benefits. Navy Director of Communications, Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, sent a memo ordering all commanders to “destroy all notes or anything in writing.” (Stinnett, 256) This backs up Skeleton’s assertion that Army Intelligence in Honolulu burned forty file cabinets full of documents.
- In addition, Stinnett tells of a crucial 15-hour time delay where no action was taken. In a 1944 Army investigation, he notes, “Three Army generals determined that the delay began Saturday night, December 6, and ended at 11:00 the next morning.” (Stinnett, 235) Coincidentally, John Toland asks in Infamy, “Was it to be believed that the heads of the Army and Navy could not be located on the night before Pearl Harbor? Or that they would later testify over and over that they couldn’t remember where they were?” (Toland, 335) According to Toland, the cover-up began the very morning after, when General Marshall said, “Gentlemen, this goes to the grave with us.”
- Could this curious lapse of time and memory cloak a still tightly fortified secret, described in Skeleton, that any military commanders in Washington who had the presence of mind to alert Hawaii were put under military house arrest from Saturday morning “until after the blitz”? I have been unable to verify this extraordinary claim, but under the circumstances of this vast sixty-year conspiracy and cover-up, it isn’t as preposterous as it might seem. Indeed, it might explain the astonishingly persistent suppression of Pearl Harbor documents, which continued up to Janet Reno’s administration in 1994 – an invisible wall that Robert Stinnett ran into again and again while researching his book.
- When all the (available) facts are studied, the conclusion is palpable: Pearl Harbor was a planned event that opened wide the path leading to the deaths of millions of people. The United States taunted Japan into a World War that led to the first and only nuclear bombing of a sovereign country and its people.
- Pearl Harbor is a case study of an archetypal conspiracy and cover-up for those naïve enough to think it can’t happen because there are too many people involved. This is how it’s done. Here is the model.
- The Ghost of Pearl Harbor
- Hartford Van Dyke warns prophetically in Skeleton: “Every phase of deception and maneuvering which was used by the US government in order to engineer and guarantee the Japanese ‘surprise’ attack on Pearl Harbor is still being used in full force by the government today. Present national and international events make this crystal clear. Observe the actions of the president, and the content and control of the United Nations Charter.”
- As Hartford writes, the Roosevelt administration used the “back door” of Japan to enter a world war. The attack, and Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” address, “jolted the American people to the proper frame of mind to accept war, commit to it, and make the long sacrifice to pursue its successful conclusion.” This scenario should be familiar to us today as George Bush and the government-controlled media refer to the terror attacks of September 11 as the “New Pearl Harbor.” Now that we know Pearl Harbor was an experiment in government/military censorship, does this not illuminate the dark shadows surrounding the events of 9/11? Did the Bush administration have clear foreknowledge of the attacks? Was it Bush’s “back door” to US occupation of the Middle East? Was the intent of 9/11 to lead us into World War III?
- As Hartford writes in Skeleton, “Every year like a ghost, Pearl Harbor intrudes upon us again and haunts us. The story is repeated because everybody knows the whole story was never told.” The truth about Pearl Harbor is a public possession, he declares. Yet, over sixty years later the public still does not have adequate possession of the truth. Thus, the association of 9/11 with the annual phantom of Pearl Harbor puts the ‘wink’ in hoodwink. Not only are we being controlled, but we’re being taunted with that control.
- After working tirelessly to collect and disseminate the testimony in Skeleton in Uncle Sam’s Closet, Hartford began work on another prescient document, completed in May 1979, entitled ‘Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars.’
- This infamous tract begins: “This publication marks the 25th anniversary of the Third World War, called the ‘Quiet War,’ being conducted using subjective biological warfare, fought with ‘silent weapons.’ This book contains an introductory description of this war, its strategies, and its weaponry.” In his anonymously written document, Hartford Van Dyke explained:
- Social engineering (the analysis and automation of a society) requires the correlation of great amounts of constantly changing economic information (data), so a high-speed computerized data-processing system was necessary which could race ahead of the society and predict when society would arrive for capitulation.
- In the interest of future world order, peace and tranquility, it was decided to privately wage a quiet war against the American public with an ultimate objective of permanently shifting the natural and social energy (wealth) of the undisciplined and irresponsible many into the hands of the self-disciplined, responsible, and worthy few. In order to implement this objective, it was necessary to create, secure, and apply new weapons, which were a class of weapons so subtle and sophisticated in their principle of operation and public appearance as to earn for themselves the name ‘silent weapons.’
- Hartford Van Dyke is now in federal prison in Waseca, Minnesota. Many readers of his letters (at http://www.paranoiamagazine.com) want to know why. Hartford’s situation is not easy to comprehend, but I will try to explain as succinctly as possible. (See detailed explanation “The Commercial Principles Governing the Engineering of Public Wealth Rebate Banks, a.k.a. Robin Hood Banks,” posted at website.)
- Hartford got into trouble by circulating something called Public Wealth Rebate Notes (PWRN’s). Hartford insists his issuance of PWRNs was lawful. As he explains, “Public Wealth Rebate Banks engage in the lawful altruistic/charitable disbursement of public malpractice default judgments to the Public, by generating a Commercial Lien Assignment Currency known as Public Wealth Rebate Notes, establishing thereby a lawful method for the Public to lay claim to the real and moveable property of the Lien Debtor party(ies). A Public Wealth Rebate Note is a Reversed Party Promissory Note, a Demand Note made by a creditor or claimant against a debtor based on the Debtor’s promise to pay or to perform.”
- Hartford further claims that his case was filed in the U.S. District Court – an administrative, not criminal, court. The case was set as “United States of America vs. Hartford Van Dyke.” He explains that the term “United States of America” is a legal fiction. Since it’s not a flesh and blood person, it can neither accuse nor bring a criminal case. It has to be brought ex rel.(ex relation), he explains, which is the relation of a person telling the story to the prosecuting attorney. The accuser’s name must appear under the United States of America, he explains, otherwise the case is a fraud.
- It is safe to presume that Hartford Van Dyke is a political prisoner. He’s in federal prison in Minnesota for an attitude adjustment. His insistence on abiding by commercial law infuriates insider lawyers and judges. His political knowledge threatens the shadow government. In the winter of 2004, he was placed in solitary confinement in a cold stone cell with a ration of two blankets. He shivered uncontrollably. His weight dropped to 127 pounds. He padded his blankets with a layer of toilet paper. His letters tell of being covered with rashes and boils, which he attributes to toxins placed in his food. His treatment can only be described as torture.
- Why is a non-violent individual treated in this manner in the American prison system? How many political prisoners is the United States holding in its torture chambers? Please keep Hartford in your prayers and call attention to his plight in whatever way you can.
Pearl Harbor: The Facts Behind the Fiction
Over Memorial Day weekend, Disney released Pearl Harbor, a film granted the largest pre-production budget ($145 million) in cinema history. The lavish production will, no doubt, be viewed by many moviegoers as an accurate portrayal of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Even the movie’s leading man has bought into this notion. “I really believe the film will be the definitive piece on the attack,” said actor Ben Affleck. This is unfortunate, because the movie’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, proclaimed in an interview last year: “There’s a book that just came out which claims [President Franklin D.] Roosevelt knew about the attack. That’s all b***s***. He didn’t know about the attack!”
But comprehensive research has not only shown Washington knew in advance of the attack, but deliberately withheld its foreknowledge from our commanders in Hawaii in the hope that the “surprise” attack would catapult the U.S. into World War II. Oliver Lyttleton, British Minister of Production, stated in 1944: “Japan was provoked into attacking America at Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into the war.”
Although FDR desired to directly involve the United States in the Second World War, his intentions sharply contradicted his public pronouncements. A pre-war Gallup poll showed 88 percent of Americans opposed U.S. involvement in the European war. Citizens realized that U.S. participation in World War I had not made a better world, and in a 1940 (election-year) speech, Roosevelt typically stated: “I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”
But privately, the president planned the opposite. Roosevelt dispatched his closest advisor, Harry Hopkins, to meet British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in January 1941. Hopkins told Churchill: “The President is determined that we [the United States and England] shall win the war together. Make no mistake about it. He has sent me here to tell you that at all costs and by all means he will carry you through, no matter what happens to him — there is nothing he will not do so far as he has human power.” William Stevenson noted in A Man Called Intrepid that American-British military staff talks began that same month under “utmost secrecy,” which, he clarified, “meant preventing disclosure to the American public.” Even Robert Sherwood, the president’s friendly biographer, said: “If the isolationists had known the full extent of the secret alliance between the United States and Britain, their demands for impeachment would have rumbled like thunder throughout the land.”
Roosevelt’s intentions were nearly exposed in 1940 when Tyler Kent, a code clerk at the U.S. embassy in London, discovered secret dispatches between Roosevelt and Churchill. These revealed that FDR — despite contrary campaign promises — was determined to engage America in the war. Kent smuggled some of the documents out of the embassy, hoping to alert the American public — but was caught. With U.S. government approval, he was tried in a secret British court and confined to a British prison until the war’s end.
During World War II’s early days, the president offered numerous provocations to Germany: freezing its assets; shipping 50 destroyers to Britain; and depth-charging U-boats. The Germans did not retaliate, however. They knew America’s entry into World War I had shifted the balance of power against them, and they shunned a repeat of that scenario. FDR therefore switched his focus to Japan. Japan had signed a mutual defense pact with Germany and Italy (the Tripartite Treaty). Roosevelt knew that if Japan went to war with the United States, Germany and Italy would be compelled to declare war on America — thus entangling us in the European conflict by the back door. As Harold Ickes, secretary of the Interior, said in October 1941: “For a long time I have believed that our best entrance into the war would be by way of Japan.”
Much new light has been shed on Pearl Harbor through the recent work of Robert B. Stinnett, a World War II Navy veteran. Stinnett has obtained numerous relevant documents through the Freedom of Information Act. In Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor (2000), the book so brusquely dismissed by director Bruckheimer, Stinnett reveals that Roosevelt’s plan to provoke Japan began with a memorandum from Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence. The memorandum advocated eight actions predicted to lead Japan into attacking the United States. McCollum wrote: “If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better.” FDR enacted all eight of McCollum’s provocative steps — and more.
While no one can excuse Japan’s belligerence in those days, it is also true that our government provoked that country in various ways — freezing her assets in America; closing the Panama Canal to her shipping; progressively halting vital exports to Japan until we finally joined Britain in an all-out embargo; sending a hostile note to the Japanese ambassador implying military threats if Tokyo did not alter its Pacific policies; and on November 26th — just 11 days before the Japanese attack — delivering an ultimatum that demanded, as prerequisites to resumed trade, that Japan withdraw all troops from China and Indochina, and in effect abrogate her Tripartite Treaty with Germany and Italy.
After meeting with President Roosevelt on October 16, 1941, Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote in his diary: “We face the delicate question of the diplomatic fencing to be done so as to be sure Japan is put into the wrong and makes the first bad move — overt move.” On November 25th, the day before the ultimatum was sent to Japan’s ambassadors, Stimson wrote in his diary: “The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot….”
The bait offered Japan was our Pacific Fleet. In 1940, Admiral J.O. Richardson, the fleet’s commander, flew to Washington to protest FDR’s decision to permanently base the fleet in Hawaii instead of its normal berthing on the U.S. West Coast. The admiral had sound reasons: Pearl Harbor was vulnerable to attack, being approachable from any direction; it could not be effectively rigged with nets and baffles to defend against torpedo planes; and in Hawaii it would be hard to supply and train crews for his undermanned vessels. Pearl Harbor also lacked adequate fuel supplies and dry docks, and keeping men far from their families would create morale problems. The argument became heated. Said Richardson: “I came away with the impression that, despite his spoken word, the President was fully determined to put the United States into the war if Great Britain could hold out until he was re-elected.”
Richardson was quickly relieved of command. Replacing him was Admiral Husband E. Kimmel. Kimmel also informed Roosevelt of Pearl Harbor’s deficiencies, but accepted placement there, trusting that Washington would notify him of any intelligence pointing to attack. This proved to be misplaced trust. As Washington watched Japan preparing to assault Pearl Harbor, Admiral Kimmel, as well as his Army counterpart in Hawaii, General Walter C. Short, were completely sealed off from the information pipeline.
One of the most important elements in America’s foreknowledge of Japan’s intentions was our government’s success in cracking Japan’s secret diplomatic code known as “Purple.” Tokyo used it to communicate to its embassies and consulates, including those in Washington and Hawaii. The code was so complex that it was enciphered and deciphered by machine. A talented group of American cryptoanalysts broke the code in 1940 and devised a facsimile of the Japanese machine. These, utilized by the intelligence sections of both the War and Navy departments, swiftly revealed Japan’s diplomatic messages. The deciphered texts were nicknamed “Magic.”
Copies of Magic were always promptly delivered in locked pouches to President Roosevelt, and the secretaries of State, War, and Navy. They also went to Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall and to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold Stark. However, although three Purple decoding machines were allotted to Britain, none were sent to Pearl Harbor. Intercepts of ciphered messages radioed between Tokyo and its Honolulu consulate had to be forwarded to Washington for decrypting. Thus Kimmel and Short, the Hawaiian commanders, were at the mercy of Washington for feedback. A request for their own decoding machine was rebuffed on the grounds that diplomatic traffic was of insufficient interest to soldiers.
How untrue that was! On October 9, 1941, the War Department decoded a Tokyo-to-Honolulu dispatch instructing the Consul General to divide Pearl Harbor into five specified areas and to report the exact locations of American ships therein.
There is nothing unusual about spies watching ship movements — but reporting precise whereabouts of ships in dock has only one implication. Charles Willoughby, Douglas MacArthur’s chief of intelligence later wrote that the “reports were on a grid system of the inner harbor with coordinate locations of American men of war … coordinate grid is the classical method for pinpoint target designation; our battleships had suddenly become targets.” This information was never sent to Kimmel or Short.
Additional intercepts were decoded by Washington, all within one day of their original transmission:
November 5th: Tokyo notified its Washington ambassadors that November 25th was the deadline for an agreement with the U.S.
November 11th: They were warned, “The situation is nearing a climax, and the time is getting short.”
November 16th: The deadline was pushed up to November 29th. “The deadline absolutely cannot be changed,” the dispatch said. “After that, things are automatically going to happen.”
November 29th (the U.S. ultimatum had now been received): The ambassadors were told a rupture in negotiations was “inevitable,” but that Japan’s leaders “do not wish you to give the impression that negotiations are broken off.”
November 30th: Tokyo ordered its Berlin embassy to inform the Germans that “the breaking out of war may come quicker than anyone dreams.”
December 1st: The deadline was again moved ahead. “[T]o prevent the United States from becoming unduly suspicious, we have been advising the press and others that … the negotiations are continuing.”
December 1st-2nd: The Japanese embassies in non-Axis nations around the world were directed to dispose of their secret documents and all but one copy of their codes. (This was for a reason easy to fathom — when war breaks out, the diplomatic offices of a hostile state lose their immunity and are normally overtaken. One copy of code was retained so that final instructions could be received, after which the last code copy would be destroyed.)
An additional warning came via the so-called “winds” message. A November 18th intercept indicated that, if a break in U.S. relations were forthcoming, Tokyo would issue a special radio warning. This would not be in the Purple code, as it was intended to reach consulates and lesser agencies of Japan not equipped with the code or one of its machines. The message, to be repeated three times during a weather report, was “Higashi no kaze ame,” meaning “East wind, rain.” “East wind” signified the United States; “rain” signified diplomatic split — in effect, war.
This prospective message was deemed so significant that U.S. radio monitors were constantly watching for it, and the Navy Department typed it up on special reminder cards. On December 4th, “Higashi no kaze ame” was indeed broadcast and picked up by Washington intelligence.
On three different occasions since 1894, Japan had made surprise attacks coinciding with breaks in diplomatic relations. This history was not lost on President Roosevelt. Secretary Stimson, describing FDR’s White House conference of November 25th, noted: “The President said the Japanese were notorious for making an attack without warning and stated that we might be attacked, say next Monday, for example.” Nor was it lost on Washington’s senior military officers, all of them War College graduates.
As Robert Stinnett has revealed, Washington was not only deciphering Japanese diplomatic messages, but naval dispatches as well. President Roosevelt had access to these intercepts via his routing officer, Lieutenant Commander McCollum, who had authored the original eight-point plan of provocation to Japan. So much secrecy has surrounded these naval dispatches that their existence was not revealed during any of the ten Pearl Harbor investigations, even the mini-probe Congress conducted in 1995. Most of Stinnett’s requests for documents concerning Pearl Harbor have been denied as still classified, even under the Freedom of Information Act.
It was long presumed that as the Japanese fleet approached Pearl Harbor, it maintained complete radio silence. This is untrue. The fleet barely observed discretion, let alone silence. Naval intelligence intercepted and translated numerous dispatches, some clearly revealing that Pearl Harbor had been targeted. The most significant was the following, sent by Admiral Yamamoto to the Japanese First Air Fleet on November 26, 1941:
“The task force, keeping its movement strictly secret and maintaining close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters, and upon the very opening of hostilities shall attack the main force of the United States fleet and deal it a mortal blow. The first air raid is planned for the dawn of x-day. Exact date to be given by later order.”
So much official secrecy continues to surround the translations of the intercepted Japanese naval dispatches that it is not known if the foregoing message was sent to McCollum or seen by FDR. It is not even known who originally translated the intercept. One thing, however, is certain: The message’s significance could not have been lost on the translator.
1941 also witnessed the following:
On January 27th, our ambassador to Japan, Joseph Grew, sent a message to Washington stating: “The Peruvian Minister has informed a member of my staff that he has heard from many sources, including a Japanese source, that in the event of trouble breaking out between the United States and Japan, the Japanese intended to make a surprise attack against Pearl Harbor with all their strength….”
On November 3rd, still relying on informants, Grew notified Secretary of State Cordell Hull: “War with the United States may come with dramatic and dangerous suddenness.” He sent an even stronger warning on November 17th.
Congressman Martin Dies would write:
Early in 1941 the Dies Committee came into possession of a strategic map which gave clear proof of the intentions of the Japanese to make an assault on Pearl Harbor. The strategic map was prepared by the Japanese Imperial Military Intelligence Department. As soon as I received the document I telephoned Secretary of State Cordell Hull and told him what I had. Secretary Hull directed me not to let anyone know about the map and stated that he would call me as soon as he talked to President Roosevelt. In about an hour he telephoned to say that he had talked to Roosevelt and they agreed that it would be very serious if any information concerning this map reached the news services…. I told him it was a grave responsibility to withhold such vital information from the public. The Secretary assured me that he and Roosevelt considered it essential to national defense.
Dusko Popov was a Yugoslav who worked as a double agent for both Germany and Britain. His true allegiance was to the Allies. In the summer of 1941, the Nazis ordered Popov to Hawaii to make a detailed study of Pearl Harbor and its nearby airfields. The agent deduced that the mission betokened a surprise attack by the Japanese. In August, he fully reported this to the FBI in New York. J. Edgar Hoover later bitterly recalled that he had provided warnings to FDR about Pearl Harbor, but that Roosevelt told him not to pass the information any further and to just leave it in his (the president’s) hands.
Kilsoo Haan, of the Sino-Korean People’s League, received definite word from the Korean underground that the Japanese were planning to assault Hawaii “before Christmas.” In November, after getting nowhere with the State Department, Haan convinced Iowa Senator Guy Gillette of his claim’s merit. Gillette briefed the president, who laconically thanked him and said it would be looked into.
In Java, in early December, the Dutch Army decoded a dispatch from Tokyo to its Bangkok embassy, forecasting attacks on four sites including Hawaii. The Dutch passed the information to Brigadier General Elliot Thorpe, the U.S. military observer. Thorpe sent Washington a total of four warnings. The last went to General Marshall’s intelligence chief. Thorpe was ordered to send no further messages concerning the matter. The Dutch also had their Washington military attaché, Colonel Weijerman, personally warn General Marshall.
Captain Johann Ranneft, the Dutch naval attaché in Washington, who was awarded the Legion of Merit for his services to America, recorded revealing details in his diary. On December 2nd, he visited the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). Ranneft inquired about the Pacific. An American officer, pointing to a wall map, said, “This is the Japanese Task Force proceeding East.” It was a spot midway between Japan and Hawaii. On December 6th, Ranneft returned and asked where the Japanese carriers were. He was shown a position on the map about 300-400 miles northwest of Pearl Harbor. Ranneft wrote: “I ask what is the meaning of these carriers at this location; whereupon I receive the answer that it is probably in connection with Japanese reports of eventual American action…. I myself do not think about it because I believe that everyone in Honolulu is 100 percent on the alert, just like everyone here at O.N.I.”
On November 29th, Secretary of State Cordell Hull secretly met with freelance newspaper writer Joseph Leib. Leib had formerly held several posts in the Roosevelt administration. Hull knew him and felt he was one newsman he could trust. The secretary of state handed him copies of some of the Tokyo intercepts concerning Pearl Harbor. He said the Japanese were planning to strike the base and that FDR planned to let it happen. Hull made Leib pledge to keep his name out of it, but hoped he could blow the story sky-high in the newspapers.
Leib ran to the office of his friend Lyle Wilson, the Washington bureau chief of United Press. While keeping his pledge to Hull, he told Wilson the details and showed him the intercepts. Wilson replied that the story was ludicrous and refused to run it. Through connections, Leib managed to get a hurried version onto UP’s foreign cable, but only one newspaper carried any part of it.
After Pearl Harbor, Lyle Wilson called Leib to his office. He handed him a copy of FDR’s just-released “day of infamy” speech. The two men wept. Leib recounted his story in the recent History Channel documentary, “Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor.”
The foregoing represents just a sampling of evidence that Washington knew in advance of the Pearl Harbor attack. For additional evidences, see Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Toland, and Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor by Robert Stinnett.(1) So certain was the data that, at a private press briefing in November 1941, General George Marshall confidently predicted that a Japanese-American war would break out during the “first ten days of December.”
However, none of this information was passed to our commanders in Hawaii, Kimmel and Short, with the exception of Ambassador Grew’s January warning, a copy of which reached Kimmel on February 1st. To allay any concerns, Lieutenant Commander McCollum — who originated the plan to incite Japan to war — wrote Kimmel: “Naval Intelligence places no credence in these rumors. Furthermore, based on known data regarding the present disposition and deployment of Japanese naval and army forces, no move against Pearl Harbor appears imminent or planned for in the foreseeable future.”
To ensure a successful Japanese attack — one that would enrage America into joining the war — it was vital to keep Kimmel and Short out of the intelligence loop. However, Washington did far more than this to facilitate the Japanese assault.
On November 25th, approximately one hour after the Japanese attack force left port for Hawaii, the U.S. Navy issued an order forbidding U.S. and Allied shipping to travel via the North Pacific. All transpacific shipping was rerouted through the South Pacific. This order was even applied to Russian ships docked on the American west coast. The purpose is easy to fathom. If any commercial ship accidentally stumbled on the Japanese task force, it might alert Pearl Harbor. As Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, the Navy’s War Plans officer in 1941, frankly stated: “We were prepared to divert traffic when we believed war was imminent. We sent the traffic down via the Torres Strait, so that the track of the Japanese task force would be clear of any traffic.”
The Hawaiian commanders have traditionally been censured for failing to detect the approaching Japanese carriers. What goes unsaid is that Washington denied them the means to do so. An army marching overland toward a target is easily spotted. But Hawaii is in the middle of the ocean. Its approaches are limitless and uninhabited. During the week before December 7th, naval aircraft searched more than two million square miles of the Pacific — but never saw the Japanese force. This is because Kimmel and Short had only enough planes to survey one-third of the 360-degree arc around them, and intelligence had advised (incorrectly) that they should concentrate on the Southwest.
Radar, too, was insufficient. There were not enough trained surveillance pilots. Many of the reconnaissance craft were old and suffered from a lack of spare parts. The commanders’ repeated requests to Washington for additional patrol planes were turned down. Rear Admiral Edward T. Layton, who served at Pearl Harbor, summed it up in his book And I Was There: “There was never any hint in any intelligence received by the local command of any Japanese threat to Hawaii. Our air defenses were stripped on orders from the army chief himself. Of the twelve B-17s on the island, only six could be kept in the air by cannibalizing the others for spare parts.”
The Navy has traditionally followed the rule that, when international relations are critical, the fleet puts to sea. That is exactly what Admiral Kimmel did. Aware that U.S.-Japanese relations were deteriorating, he sent 46 warships safely into the North Pacific in late November 1941 — without notifying Washington. He even ordered the fleet to conduct a mock air raid on Pearl Harbor, clairvoyantly selecting the same launch site Admiral Yamamoto chose two weeks later.
When the White House learned of Kimmel’s move it countermanded his orders and ordered all ships returned to dock, using the dubious excuse that Kimmel’s action might provoke the Japanese. Washington knew that if the two fleets met at sea, and engaged each other, there might be questions about who fired the first shot.
Kimmel did not give up, however. With the exercise canceled, his carrier chief, Vice Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, issued plans for a 25-ship task force to guard against an “enemy air and submarine attack” on Pearl Harbor. The plan never went into effect. On November 26th, Admiral Stark, Washington’s Chief of Naval Operations, ordered Halsey to use his carriers to transport fighter planes to Wake and Midway islands — further depleting Pearl Harbor’s air defenses.
It was clear, of course, that once disaster struck Pearl Harbor, there would be demands for accountability. Washington seemed to artfully take this into account by sending an ambiguous “war warning” to Kimmel, and a similar one to Short, on November 27th. This has been used for years by Washington apologists to allege that the commanders should have been ready for the Japanese.
Indeed, the message began conspicuously: “This dispatch is to be considered a war warning.” But it went on to state: “The number and equipment of Japanese troops and the organizations of naval task forces indicates an amphibious expedition against the Philippines, Thai or Kra Peninsula, or possibly Borneo.” None of these areas were closer than 5,000 miles to Hawaii! No threat to Pearl Harbor was hinted at. It ended with the words: “Continental districts, Guam, Samoa take measures against sabotage.” The message further stated that “measures should be carried out so as not repeat not to alarm civil population.” Both commanders reported the actions taken to Washington. Short followed through with sabotage precautions, bunching his planes together (which hinders saboteurs but makes ideal targets for bombers), and Kimmel stepped up air surveillance and sub searches. If their response to the “war warning” was insufficient, Washington said nothing. The next day, a follow-up message from Marshall’s adjutant general to Short warned only: “Initiate forthwith all additional measures necessary to provide for protection of your establishments, property, and equipment against sabotage, protection of your personnel against subversive propaganda and protection of all activities against espionage.”
Thus things stood as Japan prepared to strike. Using the Purple code, Tokyo sent a formal statement to its Washington ambassadors. It was to be conveyed to the American Secretary of State on Sunday, December 7th. The statement terminated relations and was tantamount to a declaration of war. On December 6th, in Washington, the War and Navy departments had already decrypted the first 13 parts of this 14-part message. Although the final passage officially severing ties had not yet come through, the fiery wording made its meaning obvious. Later that day, when Lieutenant Lester Schulz delivered to President Roosevelt his copy of the intercept, Schulz heard FDR say to his advisor, Harry Hopkins, “This means war.”
During subsequent Pearl Harbor investigations, both General Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, and Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, denied any recollection of where they had been on the evening of December 6th — despite Marshall’s reputation for a photographic memory. But James G. Stahlman, a close friend of Navy Secretary Frank Knox, said Knox told him FDR convened a high-level meeting at the White House that evening. Knox, Marshall, Stark, and War Secretary Stimson attended. Indeed, with the nation on war’s threshold, such a conference only made sense. That same evening, the Navy Department received a request from Stimson for a list of the whereabouts of all ships in the Pacific.
On the morning of December 7th, the final portion of Japan’s lengthy message to the U.S. government was decoded. Tokyo added two special directives to its ambassadors. The first directive, which the message called “very important,” was to deliver the statement at 1 p.m. The second directive ordered that the last copy of code, and the machine that went with it, be destroyed. The gravity of this was immediately recognized in the Navy Department: Japan had a long history of synchronizing attacks with breaks in relations; Sunday was an abnormal day to deliver diplomatic messages — but the best for trying to catch U.S. armed forces at low vigilance; and 1 p.m. in Washington was shortly after dawn in Hawaii!
Admiral Stark arrived at his office at 9:25 a.m. He was shown the message and the important delivery time. One junior officer pointed out the possibility of an attack on Hawaii; another urged that Kimmel be notified. But Stark refused; he did nothing all morning. Years later, he told the press that his conscience was clear concerning Pearl Harbor because all his actions had been dictated by a “higher authority.” As Chief of Naval Operations, Stark had only one higher authority: Roosevelt.
In the War Department, where the 14-part statement had also been decoded, Colonel Rufus Bratton, head of the Army’s Far Eastern section, discerned the message’s significance. But the chief of intelligence told him nothing could be done until Marshall arrived. Bratton tried reaching Marshall at home, but was repeatedly told the general was out horseback riding. The horseback ride turned out to be a long one. When Bratton finally reached Marshall by phone and told him of the emergency, Marshall said he would come to the War Department. Marshall took 75 minutes to make the 10-minute drive. He didn’t come to his office until 11:25 a.m. — an extremely late hour with the nation on the brink of war. He perused the Japanese message and was shown the delivery time. Every officer in Marshall’s office agreed these indicated an attack in the Pacific at about 1 p.m. EST. The general finally agreed that Hawaii should be alerted, but time was running out.
Marshall had only to pick up his desk phone to reach Pearl Harbor on the transpacific line. Doing so would not have averted the attack, but at least our men would have been at their battle stations. Instead, the general wrote a dispatch. After it was encoded it went to the Washington office of Western Union. From there it was relayed to San Francisco. From San Francisco it was transmitted via RCA commercial radio to Honolulu. General Short received it six hours after the attack. Two hours later it reached Kimmel. One can imagine their exasperation on reading it.
Despite all the evidence accrued through Magic and other sources during the previous months, Marshall had never warned Hawaii. To historians — ignorant of that classified evidence — it would appear the general had tried to save Pearl Harbor, “but alas, too late.” Similarly, FDR sent a last-minute plea for peace to Emperor Hirohito. Although written a week earlier, he did not send it until the evening of December 6th. It was to be delivered by Ambassador Grew, who would be unable to receive an audience with the emperor before December 8th. Thus the message could not conceivably have forestalled the attack — but posterity would think that FDR, too, had made “a valiant, last effort.”
The Japanese strike sank or heavily damaged 18 naval vessels (including eight battleships), destroyed 188 planes, and left over 2,000 dead. The Roberts Commission, assigned to investigate the attack, consisted of personal cronies of Roosevelt and Marshall. The Commission fully absolved Washington and declared that America was caught off guard due to “dereliction of duty” by Kimmel and Short. The wrath of America for these two was exceeded only by its wrath for Tokyo. To this day, many believe it was negligence by the Hawaii commanders that made the Pearl Harbor disaster possible. (See “Scapegoating Kimmel and Short,” page 20.)
Previously published in New American
1. Though a major exposer of the Pearl Harbor conspiracy, Robert Stinnett is sympathetic regarding FDR’s motives. He writes in his book: “As a veteran of the Pacific War, I felt a sense of outrage as I uncovered secrets that had been hidden from Americans for more than fifty years. But I understood 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.” In our view, a government that is allowed to operate in such fashion is a government that has embarked on a dangerous, slippery slope toward dictatorship. Nonetheless, Stinnett’s position on FDR’s motives makes his exposé of FDR’s actions all the more compelling.