And – as shown below – we probably knew about the coming Pearl Harbor attack, but let it happen to justify America’s entry into World War II.
The White House apparently had – a year before Pearl Harbor – launched an 8-point plan to provoke Japan into war against the U.S. (including, for example, an oil embargo). The rationale for this provocation is that the U.S. wanted to aid its allies in fighting the Nazis and other axis powers, and decided that an attack by Japan would be the most advantageous justification for the U.S. to enter WWII.
Moreover, Honolulu newspapers warned of a possible attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor:
Indeed, as the following must-watch BBC documentary – with interviews with many of the main players, including military officers and code-breakers – shows, the American and British knew of the Japanese plan to attack Pearl Harbor — down to the exact date of the attack — and allowed it to happen to justify America’s entry into World War II:
And see this short essay by a highly-praised historian summarizing some of the key points. (The historian, Robert B. Stinnett, a World War II veteran, actually agreed with this strategy for getting America into the war, and so does not have any axe to grind).
Active Interference with Military’s Ability to Defend
It has also recently been discovered that the FDR administration took numerous affirmative steps to ensure that the Japanese attack would be successful. These steps included taking extraordinary measures to hide information from the commanders in Hawaii about the location of Japanese war ships (information of which they would normally be informed), denying their requests to allow them to scout for Japanese ships, and other actions to blind the commanders in Hawaii so that the attacks would succeed. See, for example, this book (page 186).
The commanders in Hawaii, General Short and Admiral Kimmel, were scapegoated as being the cause for the “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor (they were recently cleared by Congress).
And, according to a statement made to me privately by a leading Pearl Harbor scholar, the government repeatedly denied foreknowledge and labeled anyone who discussed the military’s prior knowledge of the attacks as a nutty conspiracy theorist.
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