The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor
Using recently released documents available through the Freedom of Information Act, the author, Robert B. Stinnett provides a convincing argument that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, not only had prior knowledge of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but initiated actions which provoked Japan to do so.
Polls conducted in 1940 show that the majority of American citizens wanted no part in the war in Europe. But FDR and his advisers agreed that US involvement was necessary because they were certain that a Nazi German victory would ultimately threaten US national security. So the immediate strategy was to formulate a plan that would serve to induce the US public to support joining the allies in their war against Germany.
In September, 1940 the axis powers – Germany, Italy and Japan – signed a Tripartite Pact which basically tied the three nations together with a promise to assist each other in the event any of them were attacked. Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum of the US Naval Intelligence Office (ONI) recognized this as an opportunity. If Japan could be provoked into attacking the US, then it would be probable that the American citizens would be so angry that they would support a declaration of war against Japan. This, in turn, would result in the axis powers supporting Japan and declaring war against the US. The US would then be involved and join the allies.
So, in order to provoke Japan, McCollum advised a plan consisting of 8 actions to be undertaken by the US. These were:
- Enter into agreement with Britain to allow the US military to utilize their Pacific bases.
- Agree the same with the Dutch in Indonesia.
- Aid the Chinese.
- Send US Navy cruisers to the Pacific areas, Singapore and Philippines.
- Sent US Navy submarines to the Pacific areas.
- Centralize the US Naval fleet near the Hawaiian Islands.
- Make agreements with the Dutch to cut off Japan’s oil supply.
- Together with Britain, enter into an agreement to embargo all Japanese trade.
These actions had their intended affect, especially that regarding cutting off Japan’s oil supplies. We know what happened next.
Stinnett also makes a compelling case that US Naval Intelligence had been able to break the Japanese Navy’s radio encryption and that FDR had been advised regularly on the location of the Japanese fleet prior to the attack. Astonishingly, FDR withheld this information from Naval commanders in Hawaii.