What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
This article poignantly sums up the peril at Peril Harbor, and at whose door judgment and responsibility will ultimately lay. On this, the 65th anniversary of the attack, the message the article conveys is more important than ever, especially when compared to the events of today.
Betrayal at Pearl Harbor
by Bliss W. Tew
I have written this essay on December 4, 2006, 65-years after the Japanese navy’s torpedo planes attacked our fleet while it was anchored at Pearl Harbor on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. This short essay was written to commemorate the event, to honor the sailors and soldiers who lost their lives in combat that morning by telling the truth, to vindicate those before me who have told the truth at personal cost to their own popularity, and to remind my fellow Americans that only the truth can make us free, not myths or cover-ups stories created by politicians to cover up their own misdeeds.
John T. Flynn’s 1945 pioneering effort to bring to light Franklin Roosevelt’s betrayal at Pearl Harbor was contained in his pamphlet The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor. Other books followed telling parts of FDR’s dirty secret; books such as William Stevenson’s A Man Called Intrepid< .em>, George Morgensterns’s 1947 book Pearl Harbor; Russell Grenfell’s 1952 Main Fleet To Singapore; Charles Beard’s 1948 book President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941. Then, there was Husband Kimmel’s book in 1955, Admiral Kimmel’s Story.
In 1954, Robert Welch, the founder of The John Birch Society, wrote: “For, let’s go back to December 12, 1941. It was only the preceding Sunday that General George C. Marshall had woefully failed to use the telephone, or any other prompt means, to give General Short or Admiral Kimmel in Hawaii his own advance information as to the coming Japanese attack. Half of the American fleet had been deliberately decoyed as sitting ducks in Pearl Harbor, with Marshall’s full knowledge and connivance, to induce the Japanese to strike. So afraid were he and Roosevelt that the Hawaiian commanders might somehow get some warning of Japanese intentions that they had even denied these commanders the possession of a ‘Purple’ decoding machine, through which Kimmel and Short might themselves have learned at first hand what was afoot.”
The late Robert Welch, so often ahead of the curve, had early on, through studious research and his voracious reading habits, discovered that American cryptoanalysts had broken the Japanese code in 1940 and devised a facsimile to the Japanese machine. The deciphered texts of Japanese diplomatic communications were nicknamed “Magic.”
But the best book was yet to come. In 2000, Robert B. Stinnett, a World War II Navy veteran, completed his expose concerning Franklin Roosevelt’s prior knowledge that the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Harbor, information Roosevelt obtained through his almost daily reading of the decoded Japanese diplomatic and naval messages during the months before the December 7th Sunday attack.
Stinnett’s excellent book, Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, added to the growing body of evidence surrounding the Pearl Harbor battle, evidence that Franklin D. Roosevelt had prior knowledge he did not share with his commanders at Pearl Harbor, nor with Congress, that the Japanese would soon attack, evidence that President Roosevelt in fact had an 8-step plan he had been carrying out to spur and bait the Japanese into attacking our fleet harbored at Pearl.
James Perloff wrote in 2001, “Copies of Magic were always promptly delivered in locked pouches to President Roosevelt, 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.” These were the American leaders who attempted to keep the secret of their prior knowledge locked up forever, forever to be unknown by the American public.
But why, why would President Franklin D. Roosevelt and General George C. Marshall keep the important knowledge they obtained daily from decoded and translated Japanese naval and diplomatic messages from reaching their commanders at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii? And why would President Roosevelt insist that most of the Pacific fleet remain in the Harbor like sitting ducks against the advice of admirals who warned him of the danger of doing so?
The obvious reason was that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was willing to sacrifice the lives of American service men at Pearl Harbor to a Japanese preemptive-attack, an attack which he saw coming, for the sake of getting us into the war through a blow struck first by an enemy. If the Japanese could be convinced to fire the first shot, Americans would be aroused to anger and Congress would surely then declare war.
FDR had unsuccessfully attempted to goad the Germans into striking a blow against American naval ships so he could join in World War II, but Hitler wouldn’t oblige him. So a “back door” approach to gaining a Declaration of War from Congress was needed.
Since Japan and Germany were allies, if Japan could be goaded and baited into attacking Pearl Harbor, then Congress would be forced to declare war on both Japan and Germany. Thus, Roosevelt could gain entrance into the war against Hitler at whatever the cost, but a cost acceptable to Roosevelt. The cost ended up being seven American warships, 2,897 Americans killed, 879 wounded, and 26 missing. It was acceptable to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sacrifice these Americans in order to gain entrance into the war on the side of the U.S.S.R. and England.
By 2001, even the History Channel had produced and aired a documentary, Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor, which through the medium of television restated the facts that had been so long in print that President Roosevelt had prior knowledge of the coming attack, a knowledge that he kept from his commanders in Hawaii, from Congress, and from the American people to his dying day. The “sacrifice” the documentary referred to is Roosevelt’s sacrifice of our service men at Pearl Harbor in order to convince Congress to declare war. (In those days, Congress obeyed the constitution before assigning the executive, the Commander in Chief, to execute a war they had decide upon, Congress first legally declared war before a President would be called on to act as commander in that war.)
On January 27th, 1941, eleven months before the attack, our U.S. 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….” But FDR ordered the Pacific fleet to be kept at Pearl Harbor anyway instead of its normal berthing on the U.S. West Coast.
James Perloff informs us that 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.” Then, on November 25th, 1941, the day before FDR’s administration sent an ultimatum 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….”
President Roosevelt’s order to keep the fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor went against the advice of admirals such as Admiral J. O. Richardson, who was the admiral of the Pacific fleet in 1940. The two had a heated argument over the question of keeping the fleet at Pearl Harbor.
FDR soon relieved Richardson of command of the Pacific Fleet and replaced him with Admiral Husband E. Kimmel. Whereupon Admiral Kimmel also informed the President of Pearl Harbor’s deficiencies, but accepted placement there. And Roosevelt then dangled the fleet stationed at Pearl as bait to the Japanese, available for attack from any direction.
By FDR keeping such prior knowledge of the certain and impending Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to himself and his inner circle of top leaders in Washington in order to engineer entry into war, he was preventing a timely warning from reaching U.S. Admiral Kimmel or U.S. Army General Short in Hawaii, an act which significantly aided the Japanese forces in obtaining a surprise attack victory against our forces stationed in Hawaii. This advantage to the Japanese enabled them to inflict a major blow through surprise upon our fleet, a blow of such significance it was guaranteed to motivate Congress to declare war.
But, by thus aiding the military forces of our enemy, Japan, it must be finally, plainly stated in print, President Franklin D. Roosevelt committed an act of treason against our nation and its military forces in order to gain his objective, entry into World War II.
Whatever President Franklin Roosevelt’s reasons may have been for gaining American entry into World War II, and some defenders claim FDR’s reasons were good reasons, his method of gaining entry by betraying thousands of our servicemen to their deaths that Sunday morning was nevertheless a grave crime against those soldiers and sailors in Hawaii, their families, and thus against our entire nation.
The unveiling of his deceitful betrayal of Congress and the American people by keeping secret his prior knowledge of the coming attack and his December 8th pretense at being shocked and surprised, as he gave his “Day of Infamy” speech, should outrage all Americans, especially those who fought in World War II. The outrage should stem from Roosevelt’s enabling the Japanese attack to be so successful and then cynically speaking in pretended outrage to the American people as if he too were surprised by the attack.
At last, with so much evidence revealed against him, Franklin Roosevelt’s name deserves to rank forever with the names of the like of Benedict Arnold and Judas Iscariot as another potent symbol of human betrayal. FDR’s betrayal of our armed forces at Pearl Harbor should be a lesson learned by all Americans to be vigilant and watchful of elected officials, since even a president can betray us to our enemies for his own political reasons, yes, even a president can commit treason!
And later, Roosevelt’s betrayal of our allies in Eastern Europe during the Yalta Conference and the Teran conference held with Stalin should be understood as well by Americans as another warning of secret betrayals on a grand scale. Oh if Americans even knew of and understood “Operation Keelhaul” for example, they would know how Polands brave people were betrayed into Soviet hands. Or if the people understood Eisenhower’s later betrayal of the people of Hungary, then, they would see how Presidents are able to do evil on a grand scale.
In my view, the statue of Franklin Roosevelt seated in his wheelchair now found in an honored place in Washington, D.C. should be removed and taken to Pearl Harbor to be placed aboard the upturned hull of theU.S.S. Arizona for Americans to look upon in disgust as they pass by it on their way to honor those sailors who were drowned, burned, torpedoed, bombed, and machine-gunned that day as a consequence of FDR’s betrayal of them in order to lead America into World War II. A plaque should be placed on FDR’s statue reading: “Here is FDR, the cruel President who betrayed the men of our pacific fleet by allowing the Japanese enemy to attack by surprise when he could have warned the fleet’s Admiral and permitted them to escape the torpedo trap of being anchored inside Pearl Harbor.”
My heart goes out to the families of those who suffered in this tragic event, just as it does to those involved in 9/11 and the current war. Those responsible for allowing such events to take place, when they could have been prevented, will one day have to answer for their crimes to our Judge. Sucks to be them!