December 7, 2001

Pearl Harbor, 60 Years Later
by Srdja Trifkovic 

It is almost certain that six decades ago the government of the United
States, in the person of its chief executive, engaged in a criminal
conspiracy resulting in thousands of lost American lives. As the nation
honors 2403 dead and 1178 wounded in the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor, recently uncovered government documents and new books by
investigative historians have finally undermined the "surprise raid"
theory. President F.D. Roosevelt's scheming to cajole Japan into
attacking Pearl Harbor on this day in 1941, and his apparent
foreknowledge of the attack itself, is by now amply documented and
explained. He had the motive, the means, and--most importantly--the will
to make the attack happen, and to let it happen just the way it did. To
the ruling establishment, academic and political, the case may remain
officially "unproven," a conspiracy theory unworthy of rebuttal, but
sixty years on the body of evidence for the "mother of all conspiracies"
is sufficiently voluminous to expose the deniers--not the accusers--as
inflexible ideologues or duplicitous manipulators. 

Their claims can be summarized as follows: President Franklin D.
Roosevelt wanted to enter the war in Europe, especially after the fall
of France (June 1940). "Your boys are not going to be sent into any
foreign wars" was Roosevelt's famous campaign statement of 1940, but he
was being deceitful. He believed that its was necessary to fight Hitler,
and actively desired to do so. In this desire he was supported by the
old elite of Anglophile Wasps, and by the increasingly influential
Jewish lobby. On 22 June 1941, with the opening salvos of Operation
Barbarossa, they were joined by the assorted leftists, communists and
their fellow-travelers, who cared about the Soviet Union more than about

Roosevelt knew that provoking Japan into war against the United States
was just about the only option he had in 1941 to overcome the powerful
America First non-interventionist movement led by Charles Lindbergh.
Most Americans wanted nothing to do with "Europe's War," but their
president was determined to force them into it. During the Atlantic
conference (August 14, 1941) FDR entered into an illegal and
unconstitutional agreement with Churchill that America would go to war
if Japan attacked British territory in the Far East. He said: "I may
never declare war; I may make war. If I were to ask Congress to declare
war they might argue about it for three months"" This was an impeachable
offense. He allowed undercover British agents to operate freely and
illegally within the United States. After the Atlantic Conference
Churchill noted the "astonishing depth of Roosevelt's intense desire for

Roosevelt systematically and deliberately provoked the Japanese into
attacking the United States, but Japan was merely "collateral damage" in
his grand design. His real target was Hitler. Roosevelt expected the
German dictator to abide by the Tripartite Pact--the mutual assistance
treaty signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan on September 27, 1940--and
declare war on America if Japan were to attack it. He hoped that
Hitler's decision would be facilitated by a display of America's
apparent vulnerability in the initial Japanese attack. He was aware of
the impending attack on Pearl Harbor, he let it happen and was relieved,
even pleased, when it did. 

Only a week after the signing of the Tripartite Pact, Lieutenant
Commander Arthur McCollum, a U.S. Naval officer in the Office of Naval
Intelligence (ONI), suggested a strategy to counter the U.S.
isolationist movement by provoking Japan into attacking the U.S.,
triggering the mutual assistance provisions of the Tripartite Pact, and
bringing America into World War II. Summarized in McCollum's now famous
secret memo dated October 7, 1940, the ONI proposal called for eight
provocations aimed at Japan. Its centerpiece was keeping the might of
the U.S. Fleet based in Hawaii as a lure for a Japanese attack.

The evidence is circumstantial, of course, and chronologically its more
important elements proceed as follows:

In the summer of 1940 Roosevelt ordered the Pacific to relocate from the
West Coast to Hawaii. When its commander, Admiral Richardson, protested
that Pearl Harbor offered inadequate protection from air and torpedo
attack he was replaced. 

On October 7 1940 Navy IQ analyst McCollum wrote an eight-point memo for
Roosevelt on how to force Japan into war with U.S., including an
American oil embargo against Japan. All of them were eventually

On 23 June 1941--one day after Hitler's attack on Russia--Secretary of
the Interior and FDR's Advisor Harold Ickes wrote a memo for the
President in which he pointed out that "there might develop from the
embargoing of oil to Japan such a situation as would make it not only
possible but easy to get into this war in an effective way. And if we
should thus indirectly be brought in, we would avoid the criticism that
we had gone in as an ally of communistic Russia." 

On 18 October Ickes noted in his diary: "For a long time I have believed
that our best entrance into the war would be by way of Japan." 

The U.S. had cracked key Japanese codes before the attack. At least
1,000 Japanese military and diplomatic radio messages per day were
intercepted by monitoring stations operated by the U.S. and her Allies,
and the message contents were summarized for the White House. The
intercept summaries were
clear: Pearl Harbor would be attacked on December 7, 1941, by Japanese
forces advancing through the Central and North Pacific Oceans.
Nevertheless, on November 27 and 28, 1941, Admiral Kimmel and General
Short were ordered to remain in a defensive posture for "the United
States desires that Japan commit the first overt act." The order came
directly from President Roosevelt. 

FDR received "raw" translations of all key messages. On 24 September
1941 Washington deciphered a message from the Naval Intelligence HQ in
Tokyo to Japan's consul-general in Honolulu, requesting grid of exact
locations of U.S. Navy ships in the harbor. Commanders in Hawaii were
not warned. (Sixty years later the U.S. Government still refuses to
identify or declassify many pre-attack decrypts on the grounds of
"national security"!) 

On November 25 Secretary of War Stimson wrote in his diary that FDR said
an attack was likely within days, and asked "how we should maneuver them
into the position of firing the first shot without too much danger to
ourselves. In spite of the risk involved, however, in letting the
Japanese fire the first shot, we realized that in order to have the full
support of the American people it was desirable to make sure that the
Japanese be the ones to do this so that there should remain no doubt in
anyone's mind as to who were the aggressors." 

On November 25 FDR received a "positive war warning" from Churchill that
the Japanese would strike against America at the end of the first week
in December. This warning caused the President to do an abrupt
about-face on plans for a time-buying modus vivendi with Japan and it
resulted in Secretary of State Hull's deliberately provocative ultimatum
of 26 November 1941 that guaranteed war. 

On November 25, 1941 Japan's Admiral Yamamoto sent a radio message to
the group of Japanese warships that would attack Pearl Harbor on
December 7. Newly released naval records prove that from November 17th
to 25th, the United States Navy intercepted eighty-three messages that
Yamamoto sent to his carriers. Part of the November 25 message read:
"the task force, keeping its movements 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 in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow." 

On November 26 Washington ordered both US aircraft carriers, the
Enterprise and the Lexington, out of Pearl Harbor "as soon as possible."
This order included stripping Pearl of 50 planes or 40 percent of its
already inadequate fighter protection. On the same day Cordell Hull
issued his ultimatum demanding full Japanese withdrawal from Indochina
and all China. U.S. Ambassador to Japan called this "The document that
touched the button that started the war." 

On November 29 Hull told United Press reporter Joe Leib that Pearl
Harbor would be attacked on December 7. The New York Times reported on
December 8 ("Attack Was Expected," p. 13) that the U.S. knew of the
attack a week earlier. 

On December 1 Office of Naval Intelligence, ONI, 12th Naval District in
San Francisco found the missing Japanese fleet by correlating reports
from the four wireless news services and several shipping companies that
they were getting signals west of Hawaii. 

On 5 December FDR wrote to the Australian Prime Minister, "There is
always the Japanese to consider. Perhaps the next four or five days will
decide the matters." 

Particularly indicative is Roosevelt's behavior on the day of the attack
itself. Harry Hopkins, who was alone with FDR when he received the news,
wrote that the President was unsurprised and expressed "great relief."
Later in the afternoon Harry Hopkins wrote that the war cabinet
conference "met in not too tense an atmosphere because I think that all
of us believed that in the last analysis the enemy was Hitler . . . and
that Japan had given us an opportunity." That same evening FDR said to
his cabinet, "We have reason to believe that the Germans have told the
Japanese that if Japan declares war, they will too. In other words, a
declaration of war by Japan automatically brings . . . "--at which point
he was interrupted, but his expectations were perfectly clear. CBS
newsman Edward R. Murrow met Roosevelt at midnight and was surprised at
FDR's calm reaction. The following morning Roosevelt stressed to his
speechwriter Rosenman that "Hitler was still the first target, but he
feared that a great many Americans would insist that we make the war in
the Pacific at least equally important with the war against Hitler."

Jonathan Daniels, administrative assistant and press secretary to FDR,
said: "the blow was heavier than he had hoped it would necessarily be .
. . But the risks paid off; even the loss was worth the price."
Roosevelt confirmed this to Stalin at Tehran on November 30, 1943, by
saying that "if the Japanese had not attacked the US he doubted very
much if it would have been possible to send any American forces to
Europe." As hitherto establishmentarian historian Jonathan Toland noted
in his Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath [1981]:

Was it possible to imagine a President who remarked, 'This means war,'
after reading the [thirteen-part December 6] message, not instantly
summoning to the White House his Army and Navy commanders as well as his
Secretaries of War and Navy? Stimson, Marshall, Stark and Harry Hopkins
had spent most of the night of December 6 at the White House with the
President. All were waiting for what they knew was coming: an attack on
Pearl Harbor. The comedy of errors on the sixth and seventh appears
incredible. It only makes sense if it was a charade, and Roosevelt and
the inner circle had known about the attack.

Churchill later wrote that FDR and his top advisors "knew the full and
immediate purpose of their enemy": "A Japanese attack upon the U.S. was
a vast simplification of their problems and their duty. How can we
wonder that they regarded the actual form of the attack, or even its
scale, as incomparably less important than the fact that the whole
American nation would be united?"

Ever the pragmatist prepared to deploy immoral means in pursuit of what
he believed to be a worthy end, President Franklin D. Roosevelt provoked
Japan into an "overt act of war" directed at Hawaii. He had been told of
Japan's military plans in advance but concealed from the Hawaiian
military commanders, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Lieutenant General
Walter Short, so they would not interfere with the overt act. The real
target, Adolf Hitler, duly walked into the trap on December 10, 1941,
thus committing the greatest blunder of his career and ensuring
Germany's eventual defeat. 

The rest, as they say, is history. Fifty-five years of bipartisan
hagiography have placed FDR in the pantheon of American saints roughly
at No. 2, between Lincoln and Kennedy, and way ahead of the slave-owning
Founding Fathers. Most Americans do not know of FDR's liking - even
prior to Decmber 7, 1941--for strong, centralized government structures,
or of his attempt to overcome the dynamics of social and economic
conflict through the institutions of the corporate state. The war was a
boon to such tendencies. Between 1941 and 1945 Washington became the
command and control center of the ultra-centralized, unitary state and
its overseas imperium that today seeks "benevolent global hegemony."
Just as FDR's New Deal created the bureaucratic Leviathan and destroyed
the vestiges of the Old Republic, FDR's war turned America into a
"superpower" obliged to carry the burdens of democracy and human rights
forever--first to Seoul and Saigon, then to Bosnia and Kosovo, and on to
missions yet unimagined, to new Hitlers unheard of, and "victims of
genocide" still unknown. It gave birth first to a superpower, then to an
empire that breeds murderous terrorism on American soil. It swept away
doubters and isolationists, it legitimized a total war for unconditional
surrender. It created nuclear weapons, the Cold War, the
military-industrial complex, the "intelligence community." The people
who run the Empire today will as strenuously deny the existence of a
Pearl Harbor conspiracy as their predecessors denied it in 1945. But in
their hearts they'll admit that, even if there had not been one, it
should have been invented. 

The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano
Roosevelt. The center of political power, as authorized by the U.S.
Constitution, is supposedly with an elected Congress and an elected
President, working within the framework and under the constraints of a
Constitution, as interpreted by an unbiased Supreme Court. Under It was
he who initiated and legitimized the idea of conscripting federal power
as the social engineer-in-chief. This idea has acquired bipartisan
legitimacy: the bureaucratic Leviathan that resides in Washington is the
real legacy of FDR's day of infamy six decades ago.

Copyright 2001,
928 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103

This email was sent to:

Or send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

T O P I C A -- Register now to manage your mail!

Reply via email to