Pearl Harbor Debate: Conspiracy? Cover-Up? Who Was Really to Blame?, by Kevin Barrett - The Unz Review (Text only)
It has been roughly one human
lifetime since the United States of America underwent a cataclysmic
transformation. December 7, 2019 marks the 78th anniversary of the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor—the event that turned the United States from a
constitutional republic into a globe-straddling empire, which today deploys
more than 900 military bases in 70 countries, afflicted by a permanent war
economy overseen by an ever-more-draconian national security state.
Considerable circumstantial evidence indicates that the false flag events of
September 11, 2001 were modeled on Pearl Harbor—as suggested by the titles of
the most notable book on 9/11, David Ray Griffin’s The New Pearl Harbor,
(read it free courtesy of
the CIA’s Bin Laden Memorial Library) and the most notable
documentary film, Massimo Mazzucco’s September 11: The New Pearl
Neocon Straussians not only
advocate the (Platonic) Noble Lie, they support what might be called the Noble
Big Lie. The Big Lie was famously described by Hitler: ‘They followed the very
correct principle, that in the greatness of the lie there is always a certain
potency of believability, because the broad masses of people are sooner
corrupted in their inmost hearts than they are consciously or intentionally
bad; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their nature, they more easily
fall victims to the big lie than the small one, since they themselves sometimes
tell little fibs, but would be too ashamed to tell great lies. Such falsehoods
do not even occur to them, so they cannot believe others capable of the
colossal impudence of these most scandalous distortions. Even when faced with
the facts in such a case, they will still linger in doubt and waver and
continue to suppose that there must be some truth to it.”
For the neocons, the bigger the
lie, the more noble. “After all, a great lie, one that is believed, gives form
to the void, imposes order on chaos, and creates the world ex nihilo.” Shadia
Drury writes that “an elite that identifies its own pursuit of power with the
necessary means of preserving Western civilization and preempting catastrophe
is bound to be an unprincipled elite, unfit for political power. The loftiness
of their enterprise, coupled with their sense of crisis, may lead them to sweep
aside moral limits as applicable only to other people.”
The Straussian neocon big-liars
see themselves as “architects of the lores and legends of society.”Are
they the architects of the house (or cage) we now inhabit, the War on
Terror—the collection of lores and legends around which our post-9/11 political
A key War on Terror architect
is Philip Zelikow, the main author of the 9/11 Commission Report. Zelikow
describes himself as a specialist in “the construction and maintenance of
public myths” which he describes as “beliefs (1) thought to be true (although
not necessarily known to be true with certainty), and (2) shared in common with
the relevant political community.” Zelikow is especially interested in
“’searing’ or ‘molding’ events that take on ‘transcendent’ importance and,
therefore, retain their power even as the experiencing generation passes from
co-authored a 1998 article in Foreign Affairs analyzing the likely political,
psychological, and cultural reaction to a massive Pearl Harbor-style terrorist
event such as the destruction of the World Trade Center.How
did he foresee the near future so accurately? And why was a man with such a
background, whose apparent foreknowledge made him a potential suspect, put in
charge of the investigation?
Other key neocon War on Terror
architects include Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, Douglas Feith,
Scooter Libby, and Donald Rumsfeld—all members of Project for the New American
Century (PNAC), which called for a “New Pearl Harbor” in a document issued in
September, 2000. They insisted in that document that the U.S. needed to drastically
increase its military budget, launch wars of aggression (euphemistically
referred to as “pre-emptive” wars) in the Middle East, remove Saddam Hussein
from power in Iraq, and adapt an aggressive new imperial strategy. “The process
of transformation is likely to be a long one,” they wrote one year before 9/11,
“absent some cataclysmic and catalyzing event—like a New Pearl Harbor.”
Was 9/11 a “New Pearl Harbor?
Many scholars believe that
President Franklin D. Roosevelt lied about the alleged surprise attack on Pearl
Harbor—and that the lie was a justifiable “noble lie.” Before Pearl Harbor,
American public opinion was overwhelmingly against U.S. entry into the war.
Pearl Harbor, some believe, made it possible for the U.S.A. to defeat Hitler.
Did Roosevelt manipulate the Japanese with an eight-point plan to force Japan
to strike first so as to enrage the American people and allow U.S. entry into
the war? Did he know about the attack beforehand and intentionally fail to
prevent it? Did he make it happen on purpose by way of the eight-point plan?
Paul Wolfowitz, a student of
Strauss and leading neocon geopolitical strategist, has long been fascinated by
the immense strategic value of Pearl Harbor, which mobilized America for total
war. Wolfowitz has exhibited a lifelong obsession with a remark by Albert Speer
to the effect that if Germany had been blessed with a Pearl Harbor it would
have won World War II.
If the official myth of the
Pearl Harbor surprise attack is a lie, is it a noble lie? Wolfwitz, and the
other cult followers of Leo Strauss, would undoubtedly say so.
The popular myth of the
dastardly Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and the heroic American
response, transformed Americans’ understanding of themselves and their role in
the world. Before Pearl Harbor, Americans agreed that there should be no standing
army, and that George Washington’s foreign policy of neutrality, non-alignment,
and non-involvement in foreign quarrels was the American way.That
is why, on the eve of Pearl Harbor, 80% of Americans opposed entering World War
After Pearl Harbor, Americans
accepted their new role as the world’s policeman (some would say the world’s
biggest bully). A gigantic military-industrial complex mushroomed, and more
noble lies were told to gain the people’s consent. The negligible military
threat to the U.S. posed by the Soviet Union was wildly exaggerated in order to
pump up the military budget, and the memory of the alleged sneak attack at
Pearl Harbor fed Americans’ sense of vulnerability. In this way, an aggressive
imperial strategy was made to appear defensive. While pretending to be a purely
defensive power, the U.S. regularly threatened other nations with the use of
launched illegal, unconstitutional attacks on dozens of nations that posed no
threat whatsoever, killing millions of innocent people in the process in what
one scholar of U.S. empire, William Blum, has called “the American holocaust.”
The Pearl Harbor myth changed
history. It turned the U.S.A. from a peace-loving nation into the world’s
biggest and most aggressive military empire. How did it exert such immense
To find out, the U.S. military
hired anthropologist Bob Deutch, one of the world’s leading experts in using
focus groups to understand and manipulate irrational popular beliefs. Deutch
discovered that Pearl Harbor shattered Americans’ sense of invulnerability:
“Because Japan disrupted America’s self-mythology of being invincible, the nation
would never be forgiven in the irrational American sentiment.”Could
those who hired Deutch have concluded that a new Pearl Harbor, blamed on Arab
Muslims, could provide the kind of “searing or moulding event” that would
convince the American public to mobilize for wars on behalf of oil and Israel?
Deutch discovered that at the
deep psychological level, the American public, like members of the Hells Angels
motorcycle gang, engages in aggression as a defense against a sense of
vulnerability and loss: “They are protecting themselves. That’s what their core
story is about. Images are created to defend loss, not maximize gain.”
Another U.S. military
psychological expert, S.L.A. Marshall, discovered just how fundamentally
defensive and non-aggressive human nature really is, and how powerfully people
must be psychologically manipulated if they are to go to war. After an
exhaustive study of that vast majority of U.S. infantrymen and airmen who,
during World War II, covertly refused to kill, Marshall wrote that “the average
and healthy individual…has such an inner and usually unrealized resistance
towards killing a fellow man that he will not of his own volition take life if
it is possible to turn away from that responsibility…At the vital point (the
soldier) becomes a conscientious objector.”Normal
human beings only kill when under direct threat and extreme duress, as a
fear-and-anger-inspired defensive response to an aggressor. To motivate a
nation to engage in military aggression—mass killing abroad—the people must be
brainwashed into believing that they are under attack.
Zbigniew Brezezinski, a leading
U.S. foreign policy strategist, notes that the U.S. public’s attitude toward
the “external projection of American power” is “ambivalent” and depends on the
sort of fear and vulnerability awakened by Pearl Harbor: “The public supported
America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.”Brezezinski’s
use of the term “shock effect” recalls the thesis of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. According to Klein,
individuals and even whole societies can be forced to accept radical,
unpleasant changes by way of sudden shocks engineered, or taken advantage of,
by unscrupulous elites.
Brezezinski seemed to be
calling for a shocking event like 9/11 and the War on Terror it spawned, when
he wrote in 1997: “Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multicultural
society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy
issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived
direct external threat.”
Hollywood, like Brezezinski,
seemed to be preparing the American public for 9/11. The run-up to 9/11 saw a
rash of patriotic, militaristic, apocalyptic films including the 135 million
dollar flop, Pearl Harbor.Most
American-made action films feature an American hero who is threatened by an
evil foreigner, and whose self-defense unfolds into extreme aggression that the
audience is taught to accept as legitimate. A grossly disproportionate number
of Hollywood’s evil foreigners are Arab or Muslim, including in pre-9/11 films.Is
this because Hollywood was founded as, and remains, a Jewish enclave with a
strong pro-Israeli bias? Or is it because 80% of the world’s sweet,
easily-extracted oil lies under Arab and Muslim sand, even as an age of energy
Did 9/11 function as a “new
Pearl Harbor” that mobilized Americans for a aggressive war, disguised as a
defensive one, against Arab and Muslim countries? T.H. Meyer has called
attention to Donald Rumsfeld’s bizarre Pearl Harbor propaganda campaign that
had begun even before the Bush Administration took office.Rumsfeld
spent 2000 and 2001 carrying around extra copies of Roberta Wohlstetter’s Pearl Harbor: Warning and
praising the book to the skies, and offering free copies to journalists.
(Wohlstetter’s hawkish Zionist husband Albert, named in his obituary “the
world’s most influential unknown figure of the past half century,” was
Wolfowitz’s mentor and Richard Perle’s father-in-law.)
Roberta Wohlsetter’s Pearl
Harbor book, while it ostensibly supports the official myth that Pearl Harbor
was a perfidious surprise attack, includes enough information to the contrary
to enlighten the discerning reader to the unspeakable but implicitly
acknowledged truth: The Roosevelt Administration provoked the attacks, knew
they were coming, and left thousands of sailors in harm’s way as an offering to
the gods of war. Wohlstetter’s book is a perfect illustration of neocon
doublespeak: Tell a vivid, simplistic, emotionally-charged lie to the masses
(“Perfidious surprise attack! Heroic purple-fury response!”) yet include as a
subtle subtext the unspeakable truth that only the elite is smart enough to
discern and strong enough to handle: Roosevelt sacrificed thousands of American
lives to the greater good of getting the U.S. into the war.
Rumsfeld’s pre-9/11 Pearl
Harbor precognitions were echoed on 9/11 itself. On Air Force One, as Bush flew
from Florida to Nebraska, the event was already being framed as a new Pearl
Chuck Hegel and Henry Kissinger quickly echoed the Pearl Harbor comparison.
Brezezinski himself pronounced: “It (9/11) is more murderous even than Pearl
Harbor, and the psychological impact is the same.”
On the evening of September
11th, 2001, George W. Bush reportedly confided to his diary: “The Pearl Harbor
of the 21st century took place today.”Before
the nano-thermite-laden dustthat
was all that was left of the World Trade Center had cleared, the corporate
media were echoing the Pearl Harbor meme. Time Magazinewrote: “What’s needed is a
unified, unifying, Pearl Harbor sort of purple American fury—a ruthless indignation
that doesn’t leak away in a week or two.”After
9/11 family members shamed a reluctant administration into finally mounting an
official investigation, the 9/11 Commission told us that 9/11 was just like
Pearl Harbor “except it wasn’t the Japanese, but it was al-Qaeda.”
Those of us who don’t know
history may be condemned to repeat it. As for the neocons, they may have known
their Pearl Harbor history well enough to try to trick it into repeating itself
on September 11, 2001. But if World War II was tragedy, the War on Terror is
grossest farce. To extricate ourselves, we need to meditate on the mistakes of
the past 78 years. To that end I offer a rough transcription of my December 7,
2010 Pearl Harbor Day interview with Thomas Kimmel and Webster Tarpley.
Part 1: Thomas Kimmel Interview
Welcome to a special Pearl
Harbor Day edition of Truth Jihad Radio. It’s December 7, 2010. My interest in
Pearl Harbor was juiced by 9/11, when I learned what really happened on 9/11 a
few years after the fact. David Ray Griffin’s The New Pearl Harbor makes the case that 9/11 was
orchestrated as a war trigger event, just like Pearl Harbor according to
revisionist historians. I recently finished re-reading Day of Deceit: The Truth About
FDR and Pearl Harbor by Robert Stinnett, and, well, I’m teed off! Let’s hope it wasn’t
as bad as Stinnett thinks it was. But I’m afraid it may well have been.
My very special guest in the
first segment of this special two hour show is Thomas Kimmel. He is the
grandson of Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, commander-in-chief of the US Pacific
Fleet at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. Admiral Kimmel was scapegoated
for that attack, even though it appears that he was largely out of the
intelligence loop showing Japanese preparations for that attack. And according
to Stinnett, various people in the US High Command, including Roosevelt
himself, were tracking that attack the whole way, knew exactly when and where
it was coming, and left those thousands of sailors exposed to die in what was a
kind of burnt offering to the gods of war, to turn around the 85% of US public
opinion that was against the war, and turn the American people into an angry
band of anti-Japanese racists and warmongers. In other words, it was a public
relations event, perhaps the most successful one of the century.
So let’s hear what Thomas
Kimmel has to say about it. He has been working to clear the name of his
grandfather for many years. I believe he appeared at the Toronto 9/11
conference in 2004. He’s an important figure on the Pearl Harbor historical
debate circuit. He’s leaving for a lecture immediately after this show’s over.
So let’s bring him on and give him a chance to tell his story. Welcome, Thomas
Kimmel. How are you?
Thank you. Couldn’t be better.
And I thank you very much for the opportunity to be on your show.
It’s great to have you. I
appreciate the work you’ve done to elucidate what brought the US into World War
II, and to clear the name of your grandfather, Admiral Kimmel. What led you to
start working on this issue?
Kevin, what I’m really trying
to do is further my father’s work. Perhaps I should start by emphasizing that
the initiative to advance Admiral Kimmel and General Short on the retired list
began with the Pearl Harbor Survivors’ Association. It’s important to understand
that it did not begin with the Kimmel family. The Pearl Harbor Survivors’
Association then-president Alex Cobb in 1984 summoned my dad and my uncle to
Grossinger’s Resort in the Catskills, and asked them if they, being the sole
surviving sons of Admiral Kimmel, would assist the Pearl Harbor Survivors’
Association in rehabilitating the reputations of their commanders, Admiral
Kimmel and General Short. My dad and my uncle looked at each other and said,
“my goodness, if the men who suffered the most in the Pearl Harbor attack want
our assistance in this initiative, who are we to do anything but give our all
in that effort. From that day forward, my dad and my uncle, who are both
deceased now, spent their retirement years working full time on the Pearl Harbor
Survivors’ Association’s initiative. They have done some marvelous things. So I
am trying to carry the torch for the Pearl Harbor Survivors’ Association, my
dad, and my uncle. That’s why I’m on your show this morning.
Why does the Pearl Harbor
Survivors’ Association feel so strongly about wanting to rehabilitate the
reputations of your grandfather and General Short?
Admiral Kimmel had three sons.
He had two sons who went to the naval academy, two submariners. The older boy,
Manning Kimmel, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1935, perished on the
submarine Robalo, which was lost with all hands in the Balabac Straits on July
26, 1944. We don’t know what happened because no-one survived and nothing was
My dad was also a submarine
skipper in World War II. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1936. He
miraculously escaped with his submarine in the battle of Lingayen Gulf, among
other hairbreadth escapes.
They also had a much younger
son who strayed badly and didn’t go to a service academy. He went to Princeton
and Harvard Law School. He is largely responsible for obtaining legislation in
2000, in which the full Congress recommended, in perpetuity, that the president
of the United States, whoever he was then or whoever he or she may be in the
future, should posthumously advance Rear Admiral Kimmel and General Short to
their highest-held temporary ranks in World War II of Admiral, which would be
four stars, and Lt. General, which would be three stars, in accordance with the
personnel act of 1947, which allowed all WWII flag and general officers to
eventually retire at their highest-held temporary ranks in World War II. All
were allowed to do so, with two exceptions, Kevin: Admiral Kimmel and General
Short. They were denied that privilege. The Pearl Harbor Survivors’ Association
thinks that is completely unwarranted. They think the appropriate remedy would
be to posthumously advance Kimmel and Short to their highest-held temporary
There’s no money involved. It’s
just a matter of personal and most importantly national honor.
General Short and Admiral
Kimmel were blamed for negligence which allegedly allowed the Pearl Harbor
attack to be so murderously destructive. A lot of the US fleet was destroyed.
And well over 2000 people were killed. Is there substantial doubt about their
alleged negligence that’s driving the Pearl Harbor Survivors’ Association to
demand that they be rehabilitated?
Indeed. That’s a great
question. Here’s the story: Nine days after the Pearl Harbor attack, the
president of the United States assigned a sitting Supreme Court Associate
Justice, Owen Roberts, to conduct and investigation of the army and the navy
only, and then only in Hawaii. Ten days after the Pearl Harbor attack, Admiral
Kimmel and General Short were fired and replaced. Eleven days after the Pearl
Harbor attack, the sitting Supreme Court Associate Justice with his commission
began their deliberations. Thirty-six days they deliberated. At the end of the
thirty-six days they wrote a report in which they found Admiral Kimmel and
General Short soley blamable for the success of the attack. And they found the
two gentlemen derelict in their duty, which is the part that sticks in the
craw. This was 47 days after the Pearl Harbor attack. The president of the United
States read the report, signed it, and sent it around the world completely
unchanged. That’s where the matter stood 47 days after the Pearl Harbor attack.
Soup to nuts, end of the story. And that would have been the end of the story,
except that on February 21st, 1944, years after the Roberts Commission Report, the head of
Op20G as it was called, Naval Communications Intelligence, indeed the father of
Naval Communications Intelligence, the revered leader of Naval Communications
Intelligence, Captain Lawrene Safford, secretly and illegally came to my
grandfather, who was then living in Bronxville New York, and said, “Admiral
Kimmel, did you have available to you, prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, the
same information that we had in Washington DC in the Office of Naval
Intelligence, from the secret decoding of Japanese diplomatic and spy
communications, which gave us indications prior to the attack of the time,
place, reason, and the secret plan to cover the attack? Admiral Kimmel, did you
have that information available to you, in a program we called Magic?”
This was in 1944. Admiral
Kimmel, a beaten, despondent man, capable of suicide, looked at Captain Safford
and said, “Captain, what in the world are you talking about? What is Magic?”
Captain Safford explained that my grandfather changed that very day from a
beaten, despondent man, capable of suicide, into a fighting tiger. He got legal
representation out of Boston. One of the junior attorneys, Ed Hanafy, wrote
enabling legislation that he took to the Naval Affairs Committee. The chairman
of the Naval Affairs Committee was so impressed by what he read that he got the
Congress to pass a law ordering the Army and the Navy to conduct further
investigations. Without that, there would have been no further investigation of
the Pearl Harbor attack after the Roberts Commission’s report 47 days after the
attack. There have been ten official investigations of the Pearl Harbor attack.
Eight of them—the last eight—were all caused through the efforts of Admiral
Kimmel. And the last one, through the efforts of Admiral Kimmel’s two surviving
sons. Out of the ten official investigations, only one afforded Admiral Kimmel
the opportunity to defend himself. And by defend himself, Kevin, I mean the
opportunity to call and cross-examine witnesses in his own defense. And that
investigation was the Naval Court of Inquiry in
1944. So we’re talking years after the Roberts Commision had
declared Admiral Kimmel derelict in his duty. So the Naval Court of Inquiry,
which was the only tribunal staffed with three qualified high-ranking naval
officers, all of whom have held high command at sea—in other words, held the
professional competence to judge the performance of Admiral Kimmel. So Admiral
Kimmel was allowed to defend himself. He was allowed to hear the witnesses
against him. He was allowed to cross-examine those witnesses. So you would
think the findings of the Naval Court of Inquiry would be particularly
important. Let’s review what those findings were. Number one: The Naval Court
of Inquiry found that there was not a scintilla of evidence to support a charge
of dereliction of duty against Admiral Kimmel. They found that Admiral Kimmel
committed “no errors of judgment based on the information he was given.” The
Naval Court of Inquiry approved of all of Admiral Kimmel’s forced dispositions,
again, based on the information he was given. The president of the court,
Admiral Murfin, did everything possible under the political circumstances. And
they made one last finding: to severely criticize Admiral Kimmel’s only
uniformed boss, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold Stark, for not
keeping Admiral Kimmel appropriately and adequately informed as he had promised
Admirial Kimmel he would do, in writing, on four separate occasions.
One would expect this (the
Naval Court of Inquiry) would have caused the whole story to be changed, and
that they would start investigating Stark.
Well, they did start
investigating Stark. And recent developments have come up with some very
interesting information about Admiral Stark’s role that never saw the light of
day. It’s the kind of thing that Stinnett came up with when he found McCollum’s
memo, and reported it in his book Day of Deceit. I’m not a particularly big fan of that book. On the other hand I
think Robert Stinnett deserves great credit for finding McCollum’s memo.
Let’s go ahead and describe
that memo, the eight-point plan to draw the Japanese to attack the US.
Arthur McCollum was the head of
the Far East Section of the Office of Naval Intelligence, and had been since
1939. If there was one person in the United States government who had all the
information, or certainly most of it, that would have been Arthur McCollum.
Arthur McCollum was key in all of these investigations. He testified, but never
mentioned a word about a memorandum he wrote on October 7th, 1940. This memorandum, styled
an action memorandum by Robert Stinnett because that’s indeed exactly what it
was, was McCollum’s recommendations on what the United States could do to get
into the war. Quoting the memo: “It is not believed that the United States is
capable of declaring war against Japan without more ado.” Marvelous language!
And then he proceeds to say, “therefore, the following course of action is
suggested.” And he lists eight items. Seven of those eight items were
implemented. And they’re very close to home. My dad was part of one of these,
and so was my uncle, the one who is deceased, the two submariners.
Number one: McCollum is writing
this memorandum to the Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, then
Admiral Anderson. In order to create “more ado,” he suggests that the United
States arrange to use British bases in the Pacific. Obviously this was going to
upset the Japanese. And that was done.
Number two: McCollum suggested
that we arrange with the Dutch to use their facilities in the East Indies, to
upset the Japanese. And that was indeed done.
Number three: To give all
possible aid to Chiang Kai-shek. And indeed that was done. There’s a marvelous
story that goes along with that. It has to do with the Flying Tigers, and how
we were actually getting ready to conduct a pre-emptive strike against Japan
under the guise of flying for these…there’s a book out called Pre-Emptive
Strike, which describes this in spades. And the interesting thing about that is
that the prime mover in that initiative was the Special Assistant to the
President of the United States, who, as it turned out, was a Soviet spy. This
would be Lauchlin Currie, the one who was revealed under the Venona Program.
But back to McCollum’s memo.
Number four: To send cruisers
to the Orient, Philippines or Singapore. This was a very curious, wild move,
which was suggested to Admiral Kimmel, I might add. Kimmel was vehemently
opposed to it, as was Kimmel’s predecessor, Admiral Richardson. They prevailed
upon Admiral Stark, their uniformed boss, the Chief of Naval Operations, to
tell the President of the United States what a cockamamie idea this was. And
they relented on that. They didn’t do that one.
Number five: To send two
divisions of submarines to the Orient. Not only did they do that, my dad and my
uncle were in those two divisions of submarines! My dad was in Manila Bay at
the bachelor officers’ quarters when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was
asleep in the bachelor officers’ quarters because he was in an old boat, and
the habitability on the boat was so bad that you didn’t even think about
staying on it when you were in port. So everybody was ashore. He was in the
bachelor officers’ quarters, he woke up at 6 a.m., routinely, which was four
hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He walked into the lobby of the
bachelor officers’ quarters and there was a note pinned to the board saying
that Pearl Harbor had been attacked, and that he was to conduct himself
accordingly. So he walked back to his S-40 submarine and they got out of the
port. The interesting thing about this is there were 26 submarines that the
commander-in-chief of the Asiatic fleet, Admiral Hart had. This is the Asiatic
Fleet, not the Pacific Fleet. Admiral Hart had 29 submarines overall. 26 of
them were sitting in Manila Bay, at anchor, alongside a submarine tender or
alongside the pier. There were no special instructions given. No special
precautions were taken. All 26 of these submarines were allowed to get out of
Manila Bay hours after the Pearl Harbor attack. The great irony in all of this
is that if the Japanese had attacked those 26 submarines that were lying there
defenseless, no special precautions, no special instructions—if they had
decided to attack those submarines, as opposed to the eight battleships at
Pearl Harbor, the Japanese would have advanced their war effort by an order of
magnitude, since no part of the armed forces contributed more to the successful
prosecution of the war than did the American submarines.
That sounds like a major
military mistake to leave the submarines exposed like that. Those who argue
that there was considerable foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor note that the
aircraft carriers at Pearl Harbor were sent out to sea to make sure they didn’t
get knocked out, and the battleships that were lost that day were old and
Before the break we were
talking about the eight-point plan that McCollum in Naval Intelligence had
devised to provoke the Japanese into attacking and striking the first blow to
create a public relations event that would turn around the 88% antiwar public
opinion and allow the American people to be dragged into World War II kicking
and screaming—for Japanese blood. Before the break you were talking about point
five of the eight-point plan, sending American submarines into Manila Bay. It’s
lucky the Japanese didn’t take advantage of that.
Indeed, especially when you
consider that the submarines that were there had torpedos that didn’t work. We
didn’t straighten that out until two-and-a-half years into the war. That almost
got my dad killed on a couple of occasions, and many other submariners as well.
It’s one of the great scandals of World War II. But I don’t want to get too far
afield here. We were on item number five. You mentioned that this memo from
McCollum was designed to incite the Japanese to attack us. That is not your
opinion. It’s not my opinion. It is the language in the memo from McCollom
himself. He says, and I quote, “If by these means Japan could be led to commit
an act of war, so much the better.” I don’t think the language could be much
clearer. So let’s finish the list.
Action proposal number six, was
the key to the whole plan. And that was to keep the United States fleet in
Hawaii. In order to do that, President Roosevelt had to fire the then
commander-in-chief of the United States fleet, Admiral Kimmel’s predecessor,
Admiral J.O. Richardson. Admiral Richardson was strident in his views that the
Pacific Fleet should not be stationed at Hawaii because it was
“disadvantageously positioned to prepare for war.” That was his language.
He was also concerned that it
was exposed to danger of the kind of surprise attack that happened, wasn’t he?
Well, I’m giving you the exact
language. What “disadvantageously disposed to prepare for war” actually
meant…I’m not going to put words in Admiral Richardson’s mouth. At any rate, he
felt so strongly about this that he went back from Hawaii to Washington DC and
had a sit-down with the President of the United States, and upset him,
apparently, because he was a little too candid. And next thing you know, he’s
fired. And my grandfather, who was the head of the battle force out there, now
becomes the commander-in-chief of the United States fleet. My grandfather was
shocked beyond words when he got that news. As it turned out, Kimmel went back
and saw President Roosevelt as well, and made it abundantly clear that the only
answer to the defense of the fleet was to make sure the fleet was not in Pearl
Harbor should it ever be attacked. He made that abundantly clear to the
President of the United States. But Admiral Kimmel did not force Roosevelt’s
hand to the extent that Admiral Richardson did. What really got to Admiral
Richardson was that not only was he stridently opposed to keeping the fleet in
Hawaii, he was ordered by the President of the United States to issue a press
release saying that keeping the fleet in Pearl Harbor was his idea! Well, that
was too much for Admiral Richardson. He was willing to play along, but he
wasn’t willing to lie about it to that extent. Now one of the curiosities in
all of this is that Admiral Richardson, when he was ordered by the
Chief of Naval Operations to
keep the fleet at Pearl Harbor, Richardson, in an official communication back
to the Chief of Naval Operations, said “Well, if I’m going to do that, then I’m
going to have to curtail training, if that’s the way it’s going to be.” And
that was unacceptable. Because training was, at the time, the major mission of
the fleet: to get the fleet prepared for war! That required training. When
Admiral Kimmel took over the fleet at Pearl Harbor, there were units at Pearl
Harbor that hadn’t fired a gun in over a year. This was completely
unacceptable. That was what Admiral Kimmel was trying to do, prepare the fleet
for war. That was his job. The defense of the fleet, of course, was the sole
job of the Army, which is a rather remarkable story in all of this. The
investigators were dumbfounded when they asked, who is responsible, in writing,
for worrying the problem and defending the fleet when the fleet’s in Pearl
Harbor? By longstanding written agreement going back to 1935, as the Chief of
Naval Operations made clear in his testimony to the Naval Court of Inquiry, the
army was soley responsible for the defense of the fleet when the fleet was in
Pearl Harbor. They were dumbfounded by that. Which brought me to a very
interesting 9/11 comparison, not to stray too far from the point, but I was
dismayed that the 9/11 Commission did not ask who, in writing, was responsible
for the defense of the Pentagon? Because in the Pearl Harbor investigations,
that was a key question, and it was asked over and over again. Mind you, I
didn’t ask who was blamable for that lack of activity, I didn’t ask who should
be punished. I just asked who, in writing, was responsible for worrying the
problem about the defense of the fleet when the fleet was in Pearl Harbor.
Well, the answer was the Army! The Army was solely responsible. As a matter of
fact, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the head of the Army, General Marshall,
wrote an official correspondence to General Short, and told General Short when
he took command, in February of 1941, the same time that Admiral Kimmel took
command, he reminded General Short that the only reason that the Army was
even in Hawaii was to defend the fleet
when the fleet was in Pearl Harbor. It was not a reason. It was the reason why the Army was in
That’s very interesting. Nobody
tried to blame the Army for the unsuccessful defense of Pearl Harbor, did they?
Oh, sure they did. Short and
Kimmel, they were solely blamed, solely dubbed derelict in their duties, solely
blamable for the success of the attack. So said the Roberts Commission. General
Short was the head of the Hawaiian Army contingent out there. And his job was
the defense of the fleet. That was his only job! There are historians that say
that Admiral Kimmel’s only job was to defend the fleet. And of course nothing
could be further from the truth. Admiral Kimmel’s job was to prepare the fleet
for offensive action. The counterpart of Gen. Short was actually the commandant
of the 14th Naval District out there, Admiral Blach. He was responsible
for the Navy’s end of defending the fleet when the fleet was in Pearl Harbor.
But these nuances are too difficult for the general public to accept. Anyway,
we proceed back to the McCollum memo. But first let me make one more point,
though. I was going to make a comparison with 9/11. The comparison I wanted to
make was, who was responsible, in writing, for worrying the problem of the
defense of the Pentagon? It would seem like a perfectly logical question for
the 9/11 Commission to ask. Have you got any ideas, Kevin?
Well, I don’t know about “in
writing,” but I know that Andrews Air Force Base had on its website a statement
that they had fighter planes on alert 24/7/365 to defend Washington, DC
including the White House and the rest of Washington, DC. And they took that
down shortly after 9/11. That’s one of the many anomalies about why these
allegedly hijacked planes were flying around for an hour and a half with nobody
going up to try to stop them, and hitting the Pentagon at supposedly 9:37,
which was almost an hour and a half after the first plane veered off course,
lost its transponder, and so on. That’s a pretty bizarre failure to defend the
Pentagon. So who do you think was responsible for defending it?
I don’t want to put too fine a
point on this, but you’d think it would have been a fair question for the 9/11
Commission to ask. And there are few people on the planet more interested in
this subject than I am. And I have been researching this for years. I ask
virtually every one of the audiences that I speak to, and by now I have spoken
to hundreds of audiences, this question. I start by saying, who was responsible
for the defense of the fleet when the fleet was in Pearl Harbor? And of course
most people are shocked to find out it was the Army. So I say, well, who was
responsible for the defense of the Pentagon? Forget New York City, who was
responsible for the defense of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001? And of
course people look and me and say, I don’t know, the Army? And the answer is:
nobody! Nobody was responsible. The best answer I got was, the Fairfax County
Police Department. Which of course is where the Pentagon was located. I’ve
spoken to former secretaries of the Navy about this. I’ve spoken to the former
commanding officer of the USS Cole. And the real answer is, that just fell
through the crack. There’s nobody who, in writing, was worrying the problem, specifically,
of the defense of the Pentagon. Well, there you go. Why didn’t the Commission
ask the question?
There are claims by French
military sources who were given tours of the Pentagon that there were
anti-aircraft capabilities there. That led to the argument that whatever hit
the Pentagon must have had the transponder code so it could broadcast a
“friendly” signal so that it was able to approach and hit without triggering
the anti-aircraft defenses.
I’m concerned about the general
proposition, who was worrying the problem? At Pearl Harbor, they were worrying
the problem. They were worrying about air attack, they were worrying about
submarine attack, they were worrying about sabotage. Who as a general
proposition was worrying the problem? Who was working on defense of the
I think I’d better get back to
my area of expertise, Pearl Harbor and the McCollum memo. Let’s go on to number
seven of the eight.
Number seven, McCollum was
suggesting that the United States insist that the Dutch embargo Japan,
particularly oil. And of course this is the big one, this is the straw that
broke the Japanese back. They couldn’t live with this. That was done. We got
the Dutch to embargo Japan, particularly oil, and many other products as well.
And of course number eight, the
big one: Insist that the United States and Britain do the same, embargo oil
from Japan. And again, “if, by these means, Japan could be led to commit an
overt act of war, so much the better.” I think that speaks for itself.
You cut off their oil, they
don’t have much choice, do they?
It’s all about oil, as they
say. So let me continue on what I think, as an investigator, is the telling
point here. McCollum, as I said, if one person in the USG had all the
information, all the secret information, it was McCollum. At the Joint
Congressional Committee Investigation, McCollum was called as a witness, as he
was in several others. Senator Lucas asked Admiral Arthur McCollum, do you,
Admiral, know anyone in any branch of the service, or in your department of the
Navy, who attempted to trick or maneuver the Japanese into attacking the United
States on December 7th, 1941. Kevin, I can tell you, as a former FBI agent, if I had
written the McCollum memo, and I was now placed on the witness stand, sworn in
to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, knowing full
well that if I didn’t do that I was committing a felony violation punishable
federally by five years in prison, I would be sweating bullets by about now.
But at any rate, it didn’t seem to bother McCollum. McCollum’s answer was, “no
sir, Senator Lucas.” Senator Barkley, who was the chairman of the Joint
Congressional Committee, comes in with the pervasive question that should be
asked of all witnesses in these circumstances: “The Chair would like to ask
you, Admiral Arthur McCollum, if there is any other information that you have
that is pertinent to this inquiry, that has not been brought out by the
questions asked.” And Mccollum, if he wasn’t sweating before, he certainly
should have been sweating then. But he hung tough. He said “no sir, I don’t
think so, Senator.” You can find all of this in volume eight of the official
Joint Congressional Inquiry Pearl Harbor Attack Series.
That’s unbelievable. But of
course the McCollum Memo wouldn’t be made public until Stinnett found it. When
was that, the 1990s?
He found it in 1995. But it
wasn’t made public until his book came out.
Day of Deceit came out in 2000.
Just in time for the run-up to 9/11.
It’s pretty good stuff.
Stinnett definitely deserved credit for finding that memo. As a matter of fact
I’m the one that found the Joint Congressional Committee examination of
That’s a classic vignette. If
somebody were going to write a play about this, it would have to be one of the
scenes. So…I’m wondering what’s your take on Stinnett’s evidence that the
codes, not just the diplomatic Purple codes and spy codes, but the actual
Japanese military codes, had been broken, leading us to believe that McCollum
and Roosevelt had very detailed knowledge of the Japanese fleet movements.
Meaning they know exactly when and where Pearl Harbor was coming and they
didn’t tell your grandfather.
I think the case is not
compelling, to my way of thinking right now. There is enough reasonable doubt
there that I can’t subscribe to that. That’s not to say that they didn’t. It’s
just that the case hasn’t been made to my satisfaction, as yet. Of course, I
have to be much more careful, because of my position. I can’t afford to be
wrong in anything that I say. And if your listeners find that I have misspoken
on anything, let me know. I guess I can afford to be wrong once, but I can’t
afford to repeat the error. And I try assiduously to avoid errors. So I’m not
going to wade into the swamp that JN25 was readable prior to the attack.
There’s too much evidence to the contrary. The jury is still out, in my
opinion, on that issue. And obviously it’s a very important issue.
But even with the diplomatic
codes…I assume you accept the evidence that they were reading the Purple code,
the diplomatic code.
Well, there isn’t any doubt
about that. We have the head of Op20G, the brains behind (decoding) Japanese
naval communications, the famous Captain Safford, who made that abundantly
clear. And I might emphasize that but for his effort, there is no way in the
world we would have known about this.
There is such a cover-up going
on, apparently. And Stinnett’s book shows convincingly that there has been a
wide-reaching attempt to cover up the truth of what was known, when, by whom,
about Pearl Harbor, to the extent that documents have been stolen, disappeared
from archives, all over the country, right up through our time. Which is quite
amazing, isn’t it?
Well, it is. I’m trying to
remember John Kennedy’s Secretary of State. His name is escaping me right now.
(Dean Rusk.) He was part of Army Intelligence in Washington DC. His son wrote a
book in which Rusk talked about Colonel James Compton, who was his boss in Army
Intelligence. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, he came to him with a memo that
the Army Intelligence folks were collecting to destroy. Because they knew
perfectly well they were going to be investigated.
In the couple of minutes we
have left, I know you’ve brought up the topic of who was supposed to be
defending the Pentagon on 9/11. I know you were also at the 2004 Toronto 9/11
Inquiry, which was the first of the many 9/11 revisionist events that have been
held around the country. I’ve been to most of them, but not that one. What’s
your overall take on the debate about 9/11 and the 9/11 truth movement?
Well, I was encouraged to
listen to my former boss, the Director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, weigh in with
an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal right after Anthony Schaefer came out with his Able Danger
He was ordered to cover up the
face of Mohamed Atta with a yellow sticky pad and forget he’d ever seen him
when they were tracking Atta and the other (alleged hijackers) before 9/11.
Well, he was alleging that. And
I was amazed that my boss, he came in for public consumption in the Wall Street Journal and said that this Able
Danger thing, if confirmed—this is Louis Freeh’s language in the Wall Street Journal—would be the most relevant and
material fact of the entire 9/11 Commission Proceedings, and would have been
exactly the kind of information that the FBI had used many times to stop
terrorist acts before they were perpetrated. And of course the FBI has done
this on many occasions, which I can attest to.
My take on 9/11 so far, first
of all, Louis Freeh weighing in on Able Danger…there was an investigation that
pooh-poohed Able Danger. And now, with the latest development, I guess it’s
what, two or three months old? Tony Schaeffer trying to write a book called
Operation Dark Heart or something like that, and the Pentagon buying up ten
thousand copies and burning them?! I’m not in favor of book-burning as an
American principle. So I would withhold comment until I get a chance to take a
look at Col. Schaeffer’s book. And of course I’m also distressed over the fact
that the inspector general, John Helgerson, for CIA, conducted his own 9/11
investigation. And he pointed fingers, named names, cast blame, completely
contrary to the 9/11 Commission, whose guiding principle was not to name names,
not to cast blame. And they so said that jointly, the chairman and the
co-chair, they say that right in the 9/11 Commission Report preface.
And since then they’ve come out
and admitted that the whole investigation was deeply flawed at best.
Well, they said that. They
accused all those who knew about the secret taping of the interrogations, who
knew about it and didn’t reveal it to the
9/11 Commission. And obstructed their investigation. Both the
chairman and the co-chair, Kean and Hamilton, did an op-ed piece in The New York
Times in which they said hey, our investigation was
obstructed. They were sold a bill of goods. It’s distressing.
And here again, like with Pearl
Harbor, we have a historical event with so many questions swirling around it.
It seems that most people are willing to live with the official myth, which in
this case got us into not a four year war, but in this case a nearly ten year
war that’s still going on even as we speak, and is destroying our economy.
Well, Thomas Kimmel, it’s been great having you. It’s the top of the hour and
you have to give a talk. I appreciate your taking time out of your busy
schedule to come on my show.
I certainly appreciate the
opportunity. Thanks again, and yes indeed, I’m off.
That was Thomas Kimmel. He’s
the grandson of Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, who was blamed for the Pearl
Harbor disaster. All sorts of information has since surfaced that this may have
been unjust. My next hour guest, Webster Tarpley, is going to come on with a
completely different point of view. Webster is a fervent supporter of President
Roosevelt, largely because of his economic policies. And I see his point. I think
those were relatively enlightened economic policies, especially compared to
what we’re seeing today. Hitler also had pretty good economic policies. He took
a complete basket case of a country, and within five years, he had the economy
roaring. But there are things I don’t like about Hitler, too; just as I don’t
like Roosevelt’s warmongering, I don’t like Hitler’s either. Webster, however,
has a completely different viewpoint. So let’s bring him on and let him
explain. Webster, are you on the line?
Webster Tarpley Interview
Hello Kevin, how are you?
Thank you for being willing to
come on at the last minute and hold up the other side of the debate.
Time to stand up for the truth
against the libertarian legions.
Okay! But I don’t know if this
debate is about economics so much as just plain historical fact. I just
finished rereading Day of Deceit by Robert Stinnett, and he seems to me to have a pretty
overwhelming empirical case that McCollum and FDR intentionally provoked the
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, knew it was coming, and left those guys out
there, left the old mothballed battleships out there, got the aircraft carriers
out to sea…they welcomed, invited, provoked, and essentially orchestrated the
Pearl Harbor disaster in order to turn around 88% antiwar opinion and make it
possible for the US to enter World War II. So you disagree with that
Yes, absolutely. And I
recommend, put away this book by Stinnett. Stinnett of course is a libertarian.
These people are Roosevelt haters from the word go. He belongs to a libertarian
think tank near San Francisco, and indeed comes from one of the leading
oligarchical families of the region. He tries to hide his anti-Roosevelt animus
behind a few formulations in that book, but it shines through. Now let me just
point out a couple of the assumptions that are never mentioned by somebody like
Stinnett. First of all, you have to be very, very soft on fascism to believe
any of this stuff. You have to assume that the Japanese empire was
fundamentally benign. And you never hear about what they’re doing in the
meantime. For example—
Wait, wait a minute, Webster, I
don’t think that’s true. What we’re arguing about is whether Pearl Harbor was
provoked to get the US into the war. And you’re just arguing about fascism.
Kevin, you’re going to have to
let me speak. The other side has been heard, more or less. You’re going to have
to let me speak here before we come with the Stinnett libertarian stuff, which
I’m surprised you fall for. Because this is essentially a defense of the
invisible government, as I’ll try to show.
Concerning Japan: This is a
brutal fascist aggressor at that time. They have rolled into China in the early
1930s. They’ve taken over Manchuria, set up a puppet state. Atrocities all over
the place. They then invade China itself, the rest of it, in 1937. In the city
of Nanjing, between 1937 and 1938, they carry out an open genocide of about
500,000 Chinese who are simply slaughtered, but not secretly in concentration
camps, but openly in front of the world press, with news film and photographs
going around the world. The Japanese are their way to killing about ten million
people in China as part of what is called the other holocaust or the forgotten
holocaust. Then in the summer of 1941, a couple of months before the events
we’ve been talking about, they go into French Indochina and seize that. So
they’ve essentially taken most of the Pacific coast of Asia. They are then
preparing to attack the Dutch East Indies, which is a main source of oil, and
the British possessions, and of course the Philippines, which is a forward
salient of the United States. The US supply lines are cut by islands that the
Japanese have been given at Versailles. Japan is an aggressor. You don’t
provoke Japan. The question is rather, are you going to sit there and let a
brutal fascist oligarchical enemy attack you according to their timetable, or
are you going to do something to try to knock them off balance, to try to probe
them, to try to counter them?
So you’re not arguing against
the facts as outlined in Day of Deceit?
Yes I am, I’m arguing against
all of it. I think his facts are bunk.
But what you just argued would
support McCollum’s eight-point memo. It would support provoking the Japanese
into striking the first blow.
You say “provoke.” They’re
coming after you anyway, on their own timetable. And the main question with
Japan—there’s only one question in the Japanese internal discussions: Will they
strike north against the Soviets in Sibera? Will they try to get oil that way? And
that is basically ruled out. Because they’ve been defeated by Marshall Zhukov
at the battle of Khalkhyn Gol in Mongolia, where the Japanese
conclude that the Soviets are too tough. So what remains then is the “strike
south” faction, which becomes dominant when Prince Konoe falls as Prime
Minister and Tojo, the fascist, comes in, during the course of 1941.
Roosevelt’s policy is to seek war in the North Atlantic. He occupies Greenland,
he occupies Iceland, he sends destroyers, he’s escorting convoys, he has a
shoot on sight order. US destroyers are getting sunk in the North Atlantic. So
Roosevelt’s approach to this thing is pretty much what you had later in the
war. It’s Germany first. And follow what is know as Rainbow 5 or War Plan
Orange or something like this, which says you can then turn and deal with Japan.
But you’ve got to ask yourself, are you in fact arguing that Japan ought to be
allowed to seize the entire Pacific, all of these places—Manchuria, Japan,
Indochina, Dutch Indonesia, the Philippines. The British were prepared to give
up most of Australia. If you let Japan take all of this, then you’re going to
have to go in there, you’re going to have to have a frontal assault of the type
that the Navy does on these places like Okinawa. And you’re going to have two
to three million US casualties. So that’s the background.
Can I briefly interrupt? To me,
the issue here is that 88% of the American people opposed US entry into the
war. The US is supposed to be a democracy.
But this is a utopia. You’re
going to be at war very soon, no matter what you do.
Because fascist dictators are
on the attack and they’re making a bid for world domination. And this is real.
The people who argued against this, people like Charles Lindbergh, the America
First group, which then became the Americans for Peace group, they’re the ones
who put out the line that Hitler is benign, Japan is benign, we need to appease
them, of course. Essentially the argument you seem to be making is “appease
Japan, ignore them, don’t do anything, and everything will be okay.” Well,
experience shows that this doesn’t work. They are coming after you.
The British, of course, go
beyond appeasement. They go to active support for Hitler. During the period
we’re talking about, the British cut off road traffic into China across the
Burma road as a measure of appeasement of Japan. In other words, they were
willing to let Japan take more and more of China as a way to buy a few more
months of peace. So this is a bankrupt strategy. And it essentially ignores the
fact that there is fascism. And you don’t need to provoke them to make them
into aggressors. They are aggressors. They’re coming after you. The question
is, under what terms will this begin. The other point…
So you don’t buy the argument
that the Germans basically wanted to grab some resources and influence to the
east, and essentially incorporate the German-speaking parts of Poland, Austria,
and Czechoslovakia into Germany, and that’s it. They didn’t want to take over
And the Soviet Union and
beyond. And North Africa. And beyond that. And once you get to Africa you can
make the jump into Latin America. I think this is fantastic. We’ve forgotten
the whole question of fascism and what it meant. And that Roosevelt is indeed
at this point the world’s leading anti-fascist. Which is what these libertarians
don’t like. Because the libertarian position is, essentially, that Roosevelt is
a communist, Harry Hopkins is a communist, we heard some of it. This is the
mentality of the FBI. The Roosevelt haters represent the social stratum that
produces the admiral class of the Navy. We’ll show how this works.
The other question is, there is
a secret government in the United States. I think you would concede this,
right? And it’s been around for awhile. In my view, you can trace the secret
government back to 1885. It’s the Morgan faction inside the US government. It
is alive and well during World War II. Roosevelt does not control these people.
We cannot fall into the naïve assumption that everything the US government does
is personally ordered by Roosevelt. This is absolutely fantastic. Not when
you’re dealing with, remember, a coalition government, the national unity
government that Roosevelt has set up. He has brought in Col. Stimson, a guy who
had been in the cabinets of the Republicans in the 1920s and is now the
Secretary of War. He’s the boss of the Pentagon. Stimson is the invisible
government. This is pro-British. And in his case you can find the stories…he
writes in his diaries how he wants to get the US into war, and so forth. And
you have to carefully examine what this means. The other people I think you can
regard as conspirators against Roosevelt, in addition to Col. Stimson, are
George Marshall, always Wall Street’s favorite general. And we see him later on
consigning China to Mao, because this was the British policy. And Admiral
Richmond K. Turner, who is the guy who blocked the intelligence to Admiral
Kimmel. So you cannot assume that what is done in Washington is done because
Roosevelt orders it, because there is a powerful anti-Roosevelt in the government.
There is a group in the State Department around George Kennan who prefer Hitler
to Stalin. There’s a faction fight that’s going on.
So what’s your response to
Stinnett’s argument, quoting from his book, that “Roosevelt’s fingerprints can
be found on each of McCollum’s propososals”—that is, the eight-point plan to
draw the Japanese to attack?
As Stinnett himself concedes,
there is no evidence that Roosevelt saw that document or ever approved it. You
can consider it in some ways a factional document. It’s a guy who’s proposing
things. A lot of these things were done. And they should have been done. What
are you going to do? Are you going to say “here, Japan, you’ve just killed
500,000 Chinese at Nanjing, have some more oil, have some more scrap metal,
let’s feed your machine of genocide.” Remember, American public opinion is
pro-Chinese—antiwar, but pro-Chinese and not happy with Japan.
I agree that Kimmel is not
responsible for these things. But on the other hand he’s also not a hero, in
the sense that he’s about at the level of most officers at this time, which was
maybe not as good as we needed. Here’s the general point: The intelligence from
Washington, and this depends on reading codes, is suppressed not by Roosevelt,
but by Admiral Richmond K. Turner, who is officially the Director of War Plans
in the Navy Department, but extends his control through faction fighting over
the Office of Naval Intelligence. And it is Richmond K. Turner who blocks the
sending of a stream of these Purple intercepts—the Japanese diplomatic code,
which can be read. He makes sure that the people in Pearl Harbor don’t have
that. So we can’t blame Kimmel for not knowing these things. However, what we
can do is say, Kimmel, you received on November 27th 1941, you received a dispatch
that said “consider this a war warning.” Kimmel and Short were sent a quite
detailed dispatch which talks about attacks in other parts of the Pacific, not
Pearl Harbor. But it says to all of them, “consider this a war warning.” You
can go back and see, as scholars have done, what did the Admiral for example
commanding the Panama Canal Zone, what did he do? Well, he set up a screen. He
set up picket boats and a way of trying to see if the Japanese were coming to
attack the Panama Canal. He considered that possible, even though it was not
mentioned in the dispatch. So what would you do, if you’re Kimmel?
He did, two weeks before Pearl
Harbor, send out an exercise—
But then he brought it back.
He was ordered to bring it
He was not ordered.
It was a “clear the ocean”
He interprets an order. He’s
obviously very timorous. Some guy writes an objection, and he says alright, I’m
going to bring back my battleship and my carrier. Here’s what he should have
done. He had a large number of destroyers. You can set up a destroyer screen
500 to 1000 miles out. He has a large number of light cruisers. Now light
cruisers, or scout cruisers in those days, have scout planes on board. He has a
large number of PBY Catalina planes that can fly out and do long range
reconnaissance. There’s the B-18 Bolo bomber that can easily go a thousand
miles out and come back. Or, suppose he doesn’t have this. He’s also got
Admiral Block, who has 20 or 25 ships, and those should have been out as a
screen. And we’re not talking battleships and carriers, we’re talking about
early warning. We’re talking about essentially picket boats. Somewhat later,
when Doolittle attacks Tokyo, he is discovered by what? By a Japanese fishing
boat that telegraphed a warning to Tokyo. So you could also use trawlers,
fishing boats, and so forth.
There was a “clear the ocean”
order, Webster, that came from above Kimmel (in the chain of command).
This is ridiculous. This is
completely made up. And look, if you’re the commander of a fleet…Prussian exercises
were always based on the idea that in order to be effective you have to violate
some orders. You can read in any military history that the great commanders are
decided by the orders they choose to ignore. I think even Churchill says that.
So this guy is very timorous. I think it’s a question of his mentality. The
stuff about training, right? Mr. Kimmel that you just had on talked about the
importance of training. Of course it’s true. But I think what he means is that
Admiral Kimmel was a battleship admiral. He was not interested in the Billy
Mitchell school of air power. I think he really underestimated the capabilities
of aircraft carrier attacks, even though the Navy had been drilling these for
quite a few years. So he did not understand that he was not going to go out and
fight the Battle of Jutland. I think what’s in his head was the 1916 Battle of
Jutland, where the British fleet goes up against the German battle fleet in the
North Sea. He’s thinking forward to something like this. The other think that
they had (was that) Short of the Army had radar. If I had been Kimmel, I would
have gone to visit that radar, even though those were the Army guys, and I
would have made sure there was a direct telephone line so that any warning
coming in on that radar would go directly to my office. I’d have a liason
officer posted there. Unfortunately Kimmel does none of this.
But isn’t this partly because
of what he’s being fed from Naval Intelligence, which is actually plotting to
set him up?
He’s been told “this is a war
warning.” I’d have to say, Admiral Kimmel, what part of “this is a war warning”
don’t you understand? And then you‘ve got to take the responsibility of a
commander. This is not the schoolyard. There’s this kind of infantile quality
that creeps in: “Oh, he was afraid that this other guy had better influence in
the White House and therefore he called off these maneuvers at the Composer (?)
Mountains, this area where the Japanese actually did launch their attack a
little bit later. He doesn’t come across as a commander who’s aggressive and
You’re right, Webster. It seems
to me that perhaps the reason he was selected was that he wasn’t the kind who
would stand up to bad authority kind of guy, like his predecessor Richardson,
who went up against Roosevelt and said, what you’re having me do here,
Roosevelt, is you’re setting me up to have my guys slaughtered.
You’re wrong. You’re taking
what might be called the appease Japan position. It gets very close to a
soft-on-fascism position, I have to say.
Richardson wanted to keep the
ships at the West Coast, where there were better facilities—
Yeah, and let the Japanese run
wild across the Pacific—
— instead of inviting a surprise
attack that would slaughter thousands of American sailors.
The reason Admiral Richardson
gets fired is that he goes into a meeting with Roosevelt and he says
“Roosevelt, my officers don’t trust you and they don’t trust the people in your
cabinet, because they’re communists.” That’s the line of the pro-fascist, pro-Hitler
American Liberty League faction. He then gets fired some months later. I don’t
see how any American president could sit still for an admiral coming in to his
Let me just play devil’s
advocate here and point out that at that time, Stalin had killed a lot more
people than Hitler ever would. Communism did look like a threat. The Soviet
Empire did look like as big a threat as the Germans or the Japanese. Why not
say look, if there’s going to be mass slaughter going on all over the world, maybe
our jumping into it and participating in it and killing millions more people,
adding more millions of bodies on top of the pile that’s going to grow to sixty
million by the end of this war, is not the right thing to do. Maybe we should
just defend our own country and not participate in mass slaughter abroad when
we don’t need to.
That would have been a suicidal
recipe. Because without Lend Lease the Soviets and the British would have gone
under, China would have gone under, and you would have faced an entire
Eurasian-African land mass under the control of Hitler and Mussolini and Tojo.
And this would have then been a terrible historical situation for the United
States to be in. And I’m quite frankly glad that Roosevelt had the ability to
see that this could not be allowed to go on.
But let’s talk about the codes.
I was glad to hear that Mr. Kimmel is not on the bandwagon of saying that the
United States could read the Japanese naval code. Because this gets us very
close to the heart of the matter.
Stinnett offers all kinds of
evidence that they could.
And it’s all fake. And again,
Kevin, you seem to have fallen in love with this guy Stinnett. And I’m shocked,
quite frankly. But you’ve got to give me at least the same courtesy you gave
Kimmel to lay out an explanation, rather than constantly interrupting.
There were two codes. Magic
simply means code intercepts. It can mean just about anything. Within the world
of Magic there are two specific codes. One is the Purple code. We have to
realize that the US was working with the British on a number of these things.
There was a kind of implied division of labor, which is that the US was going
to try to read the Purple code, and the British were going to try to focus on
the Japanese naval code called JN-25. The US, accordingly, did focus on the
Purple code, and was able to read the Japanese diplomatic intercepts. They knew
the day before what the Japanese ambassador in Washington was going to say the
following day. This was valuable. And it did give the idea that something big
was about to happen. But it didn’t tell you where, and it didn’t tell you when.
And at that point it could be the Philippines, it could be the Panama Canal, it
could be Hawaii, it could be the Dutch East Indies, it could be the British in
Singapore or Hong Kong or any number of other things. The other side of it is
JN-25. And this is the one, if you could read it, would allow you to know the
movements of the Japanese battle fleets in advance. This is what the British
could read. Now the overwhelming body of evidence is that the British could
read a great deal of JN-25. I say a great deal because codes are not something
you crack and immediately read everything. It’s a matter of building a book.
This is called the four number code, or four digit code—
Five number, wasn’t it?
Five number code. You have to
build a dictionary of the terms that are involved. This JN-25 was the same one
that was still being used at the time of the Battle of Midway, which was about
six to seven months after the Pearl Harbor events. Now by the time of Midway,
the US could read JN-25. Because you have this commander Rochefort, the US
codebreaker, was given a wealth of personnel and resources, and was told “we’ve
got to be able to read the Japanese naval code.” And you remember in the movie
about Midway they wanted to find out what the code was for Midway, so the sent
out a fake message that the water cooler or water tower was not working, and
then read what the Japanese said. And they built the book so they knew, or thought
they knew, that the island in question was Midway. But that was six months
later. The problem was that in December of 1941 the US could read a small part
of JN-25, but nowhere near as much as the British. And this is where the book
that I strongly recommend as the antidote to Stinnett is the book Betrayal at Pearl Harbor by
James Rusbridger and Eric Nave. And one of the two authors here is a former
Royal Australian Navy codebreaker. And he tells the story that the British
listening posts in places like Hong Kong or the Far East were constantly
sending up-to-date reports on Japanese naval movements, not diplomatic ploys or
demarches, but naval movements. These were being sent back to London with the
idea that they were going to be forwarded to Washington so that the US
commanders in the Pacific could have it. And this is what was not done. And the
question is, who does this? Winston Churchill’s strategy after the fall of
France, as he told his son Randolph who asked “how are you going to get out of
this fix?” and his answer was “I shall drag the US in.” So he wanted to get the
US into the war—on his own terms, which was to maximize US losses. He was
looking forward to having the US save the British Empire in World War II, but
then having the US come out of it mauled, with huge million man casualties in
the Pacific, and a very bitter political division about it—something like what
happened to France in World War I, when the French took the brunt of the land
fighting and came out of it in this terrible, bitterly divided political
situation. In other words, Churchill was looking forward to trying to maintain
British domination, and indeed, British naval supremacy, if at all possible,
into the postwar world.
I would like to point out that
one of the problems somebody like Kimmel faced was that the US was much weaker
than Japan in the Pacific. Why? Because of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922,
an infamous treaty.
What do you mean, weaker? As I
understand it, the Japanese Navy was only two-thirds the size of the US Navy.
Yes, but the US was split
between two oceans. It needs a two-ocean navy. You can see that the Japanese
attacked with what, six aircraft carriers, and the US had three if they’re
lucky, and one was being repaired. The cause of this was Washington Naval
Treaty of 1922. After World War I, the Congress passed a naval bill which would
have given the US world naval supremacy. And one of the people who spoke up
against that was Sir Winston Churchill, saying “we will never, never, never
allow this to happen. We’ve had it since the Battle of Trafalgar against
Napoleon, we’re going to keep it, nobody will ever take this away from us, I’ll
do everything I can to maintain British naval supremacy.” So they imposed this
treaty that says 5 to 5 to 3 to 1.67 to 1.67. 5 and 5 were the US and the
British. They got parity. The Japanese got 3. Italy and France came in at 1.67.
So that’s 1922. After that you had the treaty navy, where a lot of projected
battleships that the US would have had at the time of World War II were simply
not there. And remember, the aircraft carriers the US did have were converted
battle cruisers, the Lexington class. These were battle cruisers that had to be
converted to the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. So this was one of the
reasons the US was weaker. And the trick is, the US in theory got the level of
five, and the Japanese got three, but the US underbuilt, in part because of
Republican sabotage during the 1920s, and the Japanese overbuilt. So by the
time of the war, the US was approaching four from above, and the Japanese were
approaching four from below. The US was split between the Atlantic and Pacific
and indeed Caribbean and Gulf situations. So the Japanese felt confident that
there was a way to make this work.
So you therefore have to look
into this group in Washington, DC. Let’s just give a couple of examples here.
The famous East Wind Rain message came in in the Purple Code, the Japanese
diplomatic code. Therefor the US could read it. They’d already issued the
“consider this a war warning.” Which is enough for any commander, right, since
that’s his main job in life, to follow those orders, to maintain that screen,
and to keep up reconnaissance. As a matter of fact, the November 27th Army cable to General
Short says “reconnaissance.” And indeed the one to the Navy says “organize a
suitable reconnaissance.” And unfortunately Admiral Kimmel didn’t do this. He
didn’t use these resources, the typical scouting forces of a fleet, destroyers,
light cruisers, airplanes—no used. But anyway, the East Wind Rain message—
Actually, Webster, radar was
It’s just that Admiral Kimmel
didn’t pay any attention to it. Neither did Short. If you’re in that position,
you now have radar, you’re told to expect a surprise attack or something of the
sort. A competent officer would say, “I want to go see this. I want to know these
men. I want a liason officer. I want a direct telephone link. I want to make
sure that I’m on top of this. I want them operating 24 hours a day.” They said,
oh, an attack could only happen at dawn, so we’ll turn it off after that. This
is sort of the lethargy and inertia of peacetime. The guy in the Panama Canal
Zone was altogether more energetic in the use of the radar that he had. So he
turned it on much more.
But the East Wind Rain. The
East Wind Rain comes in. It was decrypted by the US this time, I believe by the
On the Roof Gang here in Washington, DC. And it came in to the Navy Department.
Now McCollum was the head of the Office of Naval Intelligence. And he said
“we’ve already sent them a warning, but I want to send them a second warning,
because the East Wind Rain means something is going to happen fairly soon.”
Again they didn’t know where or when. But they knew the East Wind Rain was
somehow going to be the signal for this. So he took it to Turner who said “I
don’t want you to face the same fate as the Russians at Port Arthur.” The trick
is that the Japanese traditionally began wars by surprise attacks.
They sank the whole Russian
Exactly. Admiral Togo launched
a surprise attack on the Russian fleet in Port Arthur, in China, and was able to
sink the whole fleet. So he put in the cable, “You must not face a new Port
Arthur debacle”or something like this. He took it to Admiral Richmond K.
Turner. And Admiral Richland K. Turner said, no, no, no, this is wrong, we’ve
already done it, we don’t need any more, we’re going to confuse them.” This is
typical of the fact that they key man in actually suppressing the intelligence
the US did have, the Purple intelligence, was Admiral Richmond K. Turner. And
he of course was—there was a whole mass of Congressional hearings and other
stuff. Turner lied, other people covered up for him, and the Navy Department
carried out a kind of purge of documents, mainly from the point of view of
saving the reputation of Admiral Richmond K. Turner. Now it’s interesting that
he then went on to become the commander of the frontal assaults in the Pacific.
It’s what the British wanted the US to do. You can compare Admiral Richmond K.
Turner as an amphibious commander with Gen. MacArthur. General MacArthur,
representing much more of an anti-British tendency in the US military, managed
to go from Brisbane, Australia to Tokyo with far fewer casualties than the
frontal assaults on these islands.
Plus I have to recall that in
the World War I Navy, which is where these officers come from, there were two
factions. There was the anti-British faction of Admiral Benson, who realized
that once the Germans were eliminated in the North Atlantic it was going to be
the US against the British who would always ally with number three against number
two. Well, it’s Britain-US-Japan in naval terms. The British were going to ally
with Japan against the US. And all during the 1920s that’s basically what you
have. There was an under the table comradery between the British and the
Japanese that was overwhelming.
The other faction, the one
favored by the Wall Street establishment, was Admiral Sims. So you had the Sims
faction and the Benson faction. And I haven’t been able to figure out where
Kimmel falls in that. But he was definitely a battleship admiral, and not
interested in the Gen. Billy Mitchell theory of air power, which was the big
dividing line also in the Navy. So the overwhelming conclusion has to be that
the British were decoding JN-25. Churchill knew everything. And he deliberately
withheld the information to ensure disaster. He wanted those battleships sunk.
The battleships were not exactly the most modern. Most were obsolete. But
(Churchill wanted to) make sure the attack occurred and happened with the
maximum US losses.
So you think it was just a
coincidence that the carriers were sent out of Pearl Harbor ostensibly to go
support Manila or something…
No, they were delivering
airplanes to Midway. They were thinking, war is approaching, so we’d better
beef up the number of airplanes that we have based on the island of Midway.
Which was indeed going to be under direct attack.
If the carriers had been in
Pearl Harbor the strategic loss would have been incalculable.
In that case Churchill would
have really gotten his wish. Because then you would have had the Japanese
expanding all the way to take Hawaii. And then it would have been up to the US
alone to go back and attack those islands one by one, as the Navy insisted on
doing. MacArthur said “no, we don’t want to do this, we want to do
leapfrogging, we’re going to hit ‘em where they ain’t. We don’t want to do this
series of island-hopping direct frontal assaults that the Navy and the Marines
became famous for. We’re going to go around them, we’re going to get them where
they’re not. We’re going to let them wither on the vine. You had the big
fortress of Rabaul, and the staff officers said, “how are we ever going to
attack this tremendous fortress? It’s like Verdun, half a million casualties.”
And MacArthur simply says “We’ll ignore it, we’ll just go around it. We’ll let
it wither on the vine. We’ll let it lapse because of lack of supply.”
Wouldn’t the British have been
more interested in having fairly rapid American success in the Pacific, given
that the Japanese were causing losses and great problems for the British at the
Well, the Japanese were going
to take places like Hong Kong and Singapore. The British defense of Singapore
is considered the most horrific disaster in British military history up to that
time, and you have to wonder, could this have been simply spontaneous? Or was
this not part of a strategy which says “It’s hopeless to hold on in the Far
East, we don’t want to hold on in the Far East, we want to let the Japanese
expand. And then we’ll let the US go and fight their way back in.” Again, with
the two to three million casualties. The Second World War could easily have
gone un until 1950 if it hadn’t been for MacArthur and his methods of hit ‘em
where they ain’t. If it had been left up to the Navy with their frontal
assault, this would have been a bloodletting without end.
One more question. In
Stinnett’s book he does cite all kinds of sources that apparently should have
alerted the US high command to the location of the Japanese fleet on its way to
Pearl Harbor, and the timing of the attack, not just the East Winds thing, but
also, all of the Japanese ambassadors were ordered to burn their code books,
and likewise Stinnett cites dozens of intercepts, many people, and he has
documents showing that there was knowledge of where the Japanese attack was
It was something of an open
secret that war was coming.
But I’m talking about the
location of the specific Japanese fleet heading for Pearl Harbor.
No, what Stinnett does is he
dredges up from the entire library of right-wing Roosevelt-hating pro-fascist
authors, going back to the time.
No! These are people he
interviews and documents he finds in the National Archives.
Take the case of this boat.
There’s an ocean liner that’s coming across and they say the Japanese are
burning up the frequencies with their telegraph traffic. The big idea being
that the Japanese fleet does not observe radio silence. The problem with that is,
he only has a single direction. In other words, if you want to know where
somebody is using radio signals, it’s called triangulation. You’ve got to have two points.
And then you see where they intersect. And then you know where the sender, the
broadcaster, is. And instead, what Stinnett does very uncritically, and I think
dishonestly, is he takes that line, which reaches all the way across the
Pacific, and says the Japanese were broadcasting something.
But he says that US listening
posts up and down the West Coast as well as out in the Pacific were hearing the
Fine. But they don’t know the
content, they don’t do the triangulation. Here’s the thing with Stinnett. His
basic argument is to say the US does know how to read JN-25. And again, I’m glad
that Mr. Kimmel did not follow Stinnett in this particular distortion.
He (Kimmel) says it’s an open
I think it’s closed, but the
other way. What happens is, once you have this tremendous build-up in
1942-1943, and indeed reaching into after the war, when Rochefort gets hundreds
of analysts and computer resources and all the other things that he needed,
they go back and they essentially decode the traffic that they had been
intercepting but had been unable to read. In other words, you can say the US
did intercept the Japanese messages in November-December 1941, but couldn’t
read them, or could only read a tiny part of them, compared to the British who
were reading much more. So you’d say, well, if you had them, why didn’t you
read them? Well, of course, you don’t have the book. You don’t have the code.
Later on, with the same material, which has been archived, they come back and
decode it. And then Stinnett arrives with his research and he takes these
things and says “Aha! You see! They could read it.” Except the reading part may
be dated 1944 or 1945 or 1946, certainly not 1941.
Well, he does cite evidence
that they were reading at least some of it in 1941. But more importantly, they
were intercepting it. His evidence that the Japanese fleet did not maintain
radio silence is very strong. And through triangulation from just intercepting
all those messages it appears they knew exactly where that fleet was.
No, I disagree. If you look at
that chapter, he’s basically taking that Lure Line story. He’s building
everything on that.
No he’s not. He’s got all sorts
of other evidence. He’s got interviews from cryptographers from several
different stations who all support the story, as well as documentary chains.
You should go back and re-read it and look at his sources.
Fine. Kevin, the argument that
I am making here is that Admiral Richmond K. Turner sat in the middle of this
entire machine. And it is Admiral Richmond K. Turner, backed up by Stimson and
Marshall on the Army side, who systematically sabotage the ability to put the
picture together. Because he was essentially—he was not officially the head of
the Office of Naval Intelligence, but in his capacity as the head of the
Division of Plans, he had taken it over, through a kind of a palace coup, a bureaucratic
end run. And he was blocking the intelligence picture. Stinnett assumes that
everything that everything that happens in Washington is by direct personal
order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Let’s get to that for a second.
Remember the movie Pearl Harbor, the one with Charleton Heston? Maybe not Charleton Heston…
I hate to admit it, but I
haven’t seen any of the Pearl Harbor movies, including the $150 million flop
that came out right before 9/11, probably for propaganda purposes.
There’s one with E.G. Marshall,
who plays Col. Rufus Bratton of Army Intelligence, Far Eastern Section. It’s
actually a good movie. And then we have Commander Kramer, who also appears in
this movie. And there’s a scene in the movie where they come in to the
office—the Navy guy and the Army guy work together in the War Department—they
come in and there’s a blackboard they’ve got secretly in a cupboard. A
blackboard with a door on it, so they can close it and people can’t see. And it
says, “Distribution List for MAGIC Intelligence.” And they open it up, and they
have a list of names. I could give you the list. President Franklin D.
Roosevelt’s name has been taken off the list. And they actually discuss it.
They say “wow! No more intelligence for the President? How is that going to
work?” And they say, “High command feels that the people around Roosevelt are
security risks and subversives.” So this is the usual pro-fascist argument,
that they are communist agents. Roosevelt of course has back channels. He can’t
go through the State Department, so he’s got to use back channels. So a lot of
it is due to this. But based on the Rusbridger-Nave research, which I regard as
authoritative, the Purple intelligence to Franklin D. Roosevelt was cut off
from September 1940 to January 24 1941. That’s four months right there. And
then again from May 1941 to the 12th of November 1941, for six
months. So this is Purple, the Japanese diplomatic code. And instead the people
that are on the list, half of them are from the secret government, the invisible
government, starting with Col. Stimson, the Secretary of War; General Marshall,
the Army Chief of Staff; Admiral Richmond K. Turner is on there. But not FDR.
So the irony of Stinnett’s book is he accuses Roosevelt of denying the Navy
intelligence. In reality, it’s the Navy that denies Roosevelt intelligence. And
I believe it’s a pro-fascist extreme right wing faction who are drawn from
precisely the social classes that hate Roosevelt—the monied elite, the money
power, the economic royalists that Roosevelt had run against in 1936.
I’m still a little confused by
the picture you’re painting. For instance we understand that immediately after
Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt had conversations in which he displayed his uncertainty
about whether this was going to be big enough to reverse the 88% antiwar public
opinion and get the US in and allow a declaration of war. And that example, and
many other examples, seem to make it clear that Roosevelt very much was
interested in having the Japanese strike first.
If you look at what Roosevelt
actually did, that can be documented: Roosevelt was looking for a clash with
Hitler in the North Atlantic. And he wasn’t doing it gratuitously. He was doing
it in with the idea that you don’t want to let the British go under. Whatever you
think of the British, and certainly I’ve been very critical of them here, and
will continue to be so, you don’t want to give up on the British Isles just
because Sir Winston Churchill is the SOB we’ve been describing. So for that
reason FDR had troops in Greenland, he had troops in Iceland, he had
destroyers, he had shoot-on-sight, he was broadcasting the positions of German
submarines. He was actively looking to have the war begin in the North
Atlantic, because that was where he wanted the overwhelming majority of the
But he knew it would take a
huge provocation to turn around American public opinion. Was he hoping for some
Pearl Harbor type of event in the Atlantic?
He couldn’t exclude it. Now
we’re getting into the area of pure psychology. But the idea that he wanted to
begin in the Pacific with extravagant losses—those battleships, obsolete though
the were, would all have been at the Normandy invasion, for example. They all
would have been useful in a circumstance like that. And certainly Sir Winston
Churchill knows it.
So there’s no recognition (in
Stinnett) of the problem of fascism. And there’s no recognition of this problem
of the invisible government. Once again, we know that the Morgan interests
tried to organize an assassination of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 before he
ever took office. This was the murder—it turned out to be the murder of the
mayor of Chicago Chernak, in Florida. And then we have the Smedley Butler story
of how the Morgan interests were trying to organize a coup, a Mussolini-style
march on Rome march on Washington, with some man on horseback as a military
leader. So he’s dealing with this.
Now you say public opinion. Who
makes public opinion? Well, one of the most famous people was Charles
Lindbergh. And what’s the story with him? He’s pro-Nazi. He got decorations
from Hitler. Goering was his friend. It’s interesting, you know this guy Dr.
Seuss who does The Cat in the Hat. He started out as a political cartoonist attacking Lindbergh for
being essentially an apologist for Nazism and Nazi atrocities. So there’s a
very large amount of America first, anti-intervention. And of course you can
say World War I was a disaster. Of course it was. You can say you don’t want to
go and die for the British again. And of course you don’t. That resonates with
the Irish, the Germans, the Italians, and so forth. So you have to say, you
can’t take public opinion as being some kind of cosmic or metaphysical thing.
For example today, if I told you what US public opinion thinks about the Islamic
world, would you think that was worth anything? I don’t think you would.
That’s because public opinion
has been orchestrated through a Pearl Harbor style event. On September 11th 2001 a group of very
wealthy people who control the American media staged the events of 9/11 in
order to brainwash the American people into hating Muslims and embarking on a
100 years’ war against Islam. That’s why we need to understand how events like
Pearl Harbor and 9/11 work to brainwash people into going to war and into
hating and into killing.
But if you go back to the 1930s
you’ll see the Chicago Tribune’s line is what? “Hitler’s not that bad, Stalin’s really bad.”
The Hearst newspapers, same story. Scripps-Howard, same story. A lot of the
national newspaper stains, were soft on fascism. Because again, the
Roosevelt-hating reactionary Republican opposition, the direct ancestors of the
people who today call themselves libertarians, like the Stinnett line of
analysis, they had been putting out throughout the 1920s and 1930s that
Mussolini was a wonderful guy, Hitler was a fascinating experiment, and that
the real problem was those Bolsheviks in Moscow. And that Roosevelt was
secretly a communist, a Jew of course, and whatever else they were going to put
out. So you can’t assume that US public opinion is well-educated. That’s why
you need political leadership.
That’s very true. But there is
a side of public opinion in which people are not willing to engage in killing
other people unless it’s an absolute emergency, and typically unless they feel
personally threatened, that their community is threatened, and they’re acting
defensively against an aggressor. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are clear examples of
propagandistic events designed to make people willing to go out and kill folks
who do not personally threaten them.
No, they’re not. You’re mixing
something real…it’s easy to make this comparison if you don’t know the
historical context. But in the case of 9/11, you’re dealing with a group of
psychotic patsies being maneuvered by intelligence agencies of the US
government. They’re the dupes, the useful idiots. You can’t provoke the
Japanese empire if it doesn’t want to be provoked. And there’s a debate in
Japan…it’s interesting to see that Stinnett and these people don’t go into the
Japanese diplomatic or political files. They don’t go into the memoirs of
Hirohito or Prince Konoe or Tojo himself or admirals and say, oh, we were so
angry when we saw the US fleet in Pearl Harbor, we had to attack. No! The
debate going on in Japan was always, “we need to strike, are we going to strike
north against the Soviets or south against the Anglo-Americans.” And again, a
bunch of factors went into making that determination. And they’re not the ones
that Stinnett says. It’s history done through a keyhole, ignoring all kinds of
context. There’s nothing about the rape of Nanjing. There’s nothing about the
obvious fact that, as we now see in history retrospectively, that Japan and Germany
kept expanding until they ran up against a military barrier: the Red Army in
one case, and the US forces in another. They pushed it as far as they could,
given their logistics. And they didn’t stop until they were stopped. So the
appeasement argument, which is the British argument and the libertarian
argument, don’t hate the Japanese, don’t provoke them—provoke means, anything
you do in self-defense. Anything you do for minimal preparedness. There was a
debate about, were you allowed to fortify the islands you had in the Pacific?
For example, were you allowed to fortify Wake Island and Midway? And the
Republican position…Joe Martin, the Republican minority leader in the House of
Representatives, said “no, we don’t to do that, because it might provoke the
Japanese.” You get into a world where anything you do, even if it’s purely
defensive, becomes a provocation to Japan. And I’m afraid that is a pro-fascist
Wait a minute, Webster. On that
eight-point list that McCollum drew up to provoke the Japanese into striking
first, one of them was, for instance, pop-up cruises right at the entrance to
the Japanese inland sea! And they did that. Roosevelt ordered pop-up cruises
with destroyers showing up right there—
As far as I can tell, the
documentary evidence that this was done (shows) it was done about a week before
Pearl Harbor. It was done in November…
I think it was done well before
No, it was done quite late in
the day. Anyway…again, you can read General MacArthur’s memoirs. And this is
authoritative. He’s a right-winger, but he’s in the anti-British faction, which
is the determining thing. He says the Japanese empire is a powerful
oligarchical force. If you let them attack you according to their timetable,
you are going to be in very bad shape. You are likely to be destroyed. And this
is what he does. The decision of MacArthur to attack Guadalcanal, he says it’s
a military move that I really shouldn’t have done. But I had to knock them
off-balance. I had to do something to interfere with this finely-tuned machine
that they have, which is hierarchical and oligarchical and operates under
strict orders. I had to knock them off-off-balance. I had to somehow do things
that would be unpredictable, that would get them going. Again, the Doolittle
Raid! The idea that the US could bomb Japan created a shock in the Japanese
high command. And they said, okay, that’s it, we’ve got to do something. It’s
time for the operation against Midway. You can get them to respond in that
sense. But you can’t sit there and wait for them to attack you according to
So Webster, let me summarize
your argument here. You’re saying that number one, they didn’t provoke Pearl
Harbor and know it was coming. And number two, if they had, it would have been
a good thing. That’s like the rape defendant who says, well, I didn’t do it,
but she deserved it anyway.
That’s ridiculous, Kevin. I’m
surprised at you, that you fall into this world. Because it is essentially a
way of saying “we don’t know anything about history except sometimes there are
conspiracies and there are false flags.” Whereas we know, there is a whole lot
of history about this. And it’s a very grim picture for imperial Japan. As
MacArthur writes, it’s closer to Sparta than anything in the modern world. And
it’s dominated by ultra-reactionary Gumbatzu industrialists and Kempaitai
secret police and so forth. This is a very, very ugly thing. And of course the
atrocities are well known: ten million slaughtered in China. According to the
Stinnett argument the US is supposed to say yes, you killed half a million
people in Nanjing, take some more scrap. Take some more oil. Please let us not
provoke you. We don’t want to disturb you. We’re not going to send any scout
cruisers to see what you’re doing. We’re not going to occupy the British and
Dutch bases in the Pacific, we’re going to let you have all of those, so that
we’ll have to come back eventually and fight and have millions of dead. It
absolutely makes no sense. It only makes sense if you first of all ignore what
Japan was, and if you’ve got a huge anti-Roosevelt animus. Somehow projecting
back the objections we generally share about the current state of US
imperialism, what you’re doing is saying “right now the US is a force for
significant evil in the world,” let’s put it that way. Yes it is, of course it
is. But does that mean that it was always the worse thing it the world? In 1941
it was not.
If the Pearl Harbor deceit was
as bad as Stinnett claims it was—
It was not.
But if it was, you could see Pearl
Harbor as something that leads straight to 9/11: The 9/11-perp neocons say,
“We’re worried about these enemies of Israel, basically. Let’s get the US into
a fight against the enemies of Israel by making sure that they quote-unquote
‘attack’ us at a time that’s convenient to us, so why even wait for them to do
the attacking? We’ll just do a sham attack and use that.” And all of this would
be based on the Pearl Harbor precedent.
Kevin, you have to answer me:
Is there an invisible government? And if so, what were they doing in 1940 and
1941? And what is the invisible government? The invisible government is a
group of intelligence, military, and government officials who are loyal to this
marriage of the City of London and Wall Street. It’s a Morgan-London influenced
operation. Stimson is a raving anglophile. Stimson, of course, is the ego ideal
of Bush the elder, and speaks at his graduation from Andover. General Marshall
is the guy who cut off the arms to Chiang Kai-shek to ensure that Mao takes
over China, because that was the British policy for China. And similarly for
Admiral Richmond K. Turner. So I urge people to turn away from Stinnett, who is
essentially a compendium of every threadbare discredited argument over fifty
years, and instead read Betrayal at Pearl Harbor:
How Churchill Lured Roosevelt into World War II by
James Rusbridger and Eric Nave, and Days of Infamy by
John Costello, who essentially comes to similar conclusions, and cites some
pretty good literature.
the War on Terrorin 2008. Since then, some of my views have changed; for example, I
would no longer put Zbigniew Brzezinksi on the list of 9/11 suspects. See note
Col. Dave Grossman, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and
NY, Toronto, London: Little, Brown, 1995).
Brzezinksi, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic
Penguin, 1997), 25. Ron Unz has reminded me that Brzezinksi was a leading
opponent of the neocon faction behind the Zionist-driven post-9/11 wars on
Middle Eastern nations. Brzezinksi ‘s 2007 warning to the Senate
of a potential “provocation” to lure the US into war on Iran made
clear his opposition to the neocon pro-Israel agenda. Additionally, The Grand Chessboard is the manifesto of a
pro-US-empire realist, not a pro-Israel neocon. Brzezinski may not only have
been innocent of complicity in 9/11 (except public silence afterward), but even
played a role in the insider pushback that put the “seven countries in five
years” plan far behind schedule.