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Pearl Harbor
May 24, 2000
Robert B. Stinnett

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is David Theroux, and I am the President of The Independent Institute. I’m delighted to invite you all to our special program tonight, including those who are viewers on C-SPAN.

The Independent Policy Forum that we’re holding tonight, is part of a series of lectures, seminars and debates that we hold at The Independent Institute’s conference center here in Oakland, California. As many of you may know, the Institute regularly sponsors programs featuring outstanding speakers, scholars and policy experts to address major social and economic issues, and today is certainly no exception.

Our program today is entitled “Pearl Harbor: Official Lies in an American War Tragedy?” Our speaker, Robert Stinnett, is author of the very important book, Day of Deceit, from Free Press, and I‘ll speak a little more about that in a few minutes.

For those of you who may be new to The Independent Institute, you’ll find information in the registration packets you received. For those joining us on C-SPAN, I want to invite you to visit our web site at You’ll find further information on our research, publications, conferences, and media programs. For example, on our web site, you’ll be able to access articles and reviews from our journal, The Independent Review, including back issues. Many of the subjects that touch on tonight’s topics are ones that are near and dear to The Independent Review’s editors and authors.

To provide some introduction for those of you who are new to The Independent Institute itself, we are a scholarly public policy research institute. We sponsor studies by top scholars on major public policy issues. The Institute‘s program adheres to the highest standards of independent inquiry, and is pursued regardless of fashion, political whim, or social bias.

In your packets, you’ll also find information, and also on our web site, about upcoming events. There’s a flyer in your packet, for example, on today’s program. The next Independent Policy Forum is scheduled for June 21st. The program will discuss the topic, “The War on Drugs: Who Is Winning and Who Is Losing?” The program will feature the syndicated columnist, Alexander Cockburn, who also edits the magazine, Counterpunch. He’s also a columnist for The Nation. He’ll be joined by Jeffrey Sinclair, Alex’s co-editor at CounterPunch. Both are co-authors of the book, Whiteout. The program will also feature Jonathan Marshall, the former economics editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Peter Dale Scott, a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. Both Jonathan and Peter are co-authors of the book, Cocaine Politics. Anyone interested in topics pertaining to the rather strange concoction known as the war on drugs, I think you’ll find this quite interesting.

It’s been often said that, “Truth is the first casualty of war.” As many of you have recently seen, new and startling revelations have recently surfaced, for example, on the Kosovo war. According to a cover story in the May 15th issue of Newsweek, a suppressed U.S. Air Force report, concluding that the 78-day NATO aerial bombardment had inflicted far less damage on the Serb military targets than publicly announced and widely reported in the media.

This particular report has become something of a headache for NATO leaders and the Clinton Administration who conducted the war. More specifically, while the Pentagon had claimed to have knocked out 50 percent of Serbian artillery and one-third of Serb armed vehicles, ground inspections by a team of Air Force investigators verified destroying only 14 tanks, not the 120 tanks that were claimed; 18 armored personnel carriers, not the 220 that were claimed; and, 20 artillery pieces, not the 450 that were claimed. In fact, out of the claimed 774 confirmed strikes by NATO pilots, Air Force investigators found damage only from 58 strikes. The damage report has been buried, unfortunately, by a number of top military officers and Pentagon officials, who up until the Newsweek cover story, continued to deny its existence.

The sad truth, however, is that the NATO air strikes were effective, but only against civilian targets: what military planners euphemistically called “strategic targeting.” Of course, such civilian bombing raises the obvious and very real ethical issues of the consequences to the innocent civilians in that area, but civilian bombing has historically also strengthened the hand of tyrants, like Milosovic, who then can rally the citizenry against what they consider to be an invading hoard. In short, there were no surgical strikes in the Kosovo war, and reports to the contrary were official lies intended to rally U.S. and world opinion in favor of the war campaign and obviously was a major policy initiative of the Clinton Administration.

NATO Commander Wesley Clark has since resigned over the situation, and the Defense Department has tried to present two subsequent reports denying the problem, both of which have been totally discounted by British and U.S. intelligence experts.

The question is, are there lessons to be learned from this? Now anyone looking for historical parallels to the growing evidence that the accounts of the Kosovo war were full of lies, will quickly find them in recent history in the wars in Iraq, Vietnam, the Sudan and elsewhere, but we’re here tonight to look at whether World War II also has its fair share.

Since that fateful day in 1941 that resulted in the U.S.’s entry into World War II, perhaps the greatest question that has persisted, that our guest tonight has been spending many years looking into, is the consequences and the build-up that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack triggered American entry in the Pacific and the European war. For decades, allegations have been over who knew what and when about Pearl Harbor. Could this tragic event, that resulted in over 3,000 Americans killed and injured in a single 2-hour attack, have been averted?

After 16 painstaking years of uncovering documents through the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA], respected journalist and historian, Bob Stinnett, now charges that U.S. government leaders at the highest level not only knew that a Japanese attack was imminent, but that they had deliberately engaged in policies intended to provoke the attack, something that many people have been hesitant to even suggest in the past, and the purpose of this plan was to draw a reluctant, peace-loving American public into the war for good or ill (see “New Deal Nemesis: The ‘Old Right’ Jeffersonians,” The Independent Review, Fall 1996). In fact, public opinion polls in the United States, and Bob may be able to confirm this for me, have been estimated that at least 80 percent of the public had been against the conflict.

Could this be possible, and again, what lessons can we learn? During World War I, the British journalist, Randolph Bourne coined the phrase, “War is the health of the state.” The Oxford University Press book, Crisis and Leviathan, by our senior fellow, Robert Higgs (editor of The Independent Review) shows that government power has primarily expanded in American history as a series of discrete, major leaps. These leaps have occurred largely at the time of real or imagined war crises as declared by political leaders. Throughout history, wartime has always been presented by rulers of any stripe to a public as a time when the normal rules of civil society are inadequate and must be disbanded, so that government officials can act without the inconvenient and limiting restraints of the rule of law. Special government powers are then marshaled in order to conscript, tax and control the public in order to deal with the peril, real or imagined.

The “funny” thing that happens, however, is that after each crisis has passed, the special war powers accumulated by governments, seldom, if ever, are reduced, but carry on as if the conflict was still a reality. The result is a ratchet-type effect in which real or imagined crises form the justification to continue to expand statism, essentially sweeping away due process, constitutional rights, and the rule of law itself. Government-enforced cartels, corporate welfare, predatory tax rates, government surveillance, and a similarly unlimited assortment of regulations, shakedowns and assaults persist to cater to people who directly benefit from the new powers that government has been given.

World War II itself, of course, was a great turning point in American history. World War II expanded government power in the U.S. in unprecedented ways, and Pearl Harbor was perhaps, the “mother of all war crises for Americans” in the 20th Century. For this reason alone, the story of Pearl Harbor is important. Yes, it happened many years ago, but its effect is very much with us today.

More recently, there have serious re-appraisals of the rise of U.S. governmental globalism. But, our program tonight is not to analyze these broader issues or World War II itself or how it was conducted, but instead to go to the truth, as best we can, of what indeed happened that led up to the events in December, 1941, a day that indeed does live “in infamy,” and triggered the enormous sacrifices made by so many, and the government institutions that were created then have endured into the 21st century.

Robert Stinnett served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, where he earned 10 battle stars and a presidential unit citation. He’s worked as a journalist and a photographer for the Oakland Tribune and is a consultant on the Pacific war for the BBC and for Asahi and NHK Television [in Japan]. In 1986, he resigned his position at the Tribune to devote himself full time to the extensive and painstaking research necessary through the Freedom of Information Act to produce his book, Day of Deceit. He is also author of the book, George Bush: His World War II Years, having served under George Bush during World War II. I am very pleased to present Robert Stinnett.

Robert B. Stinnett

Thank you, David Theroux, for inviting me here to speak, and this wonderful turnout by all of you. Many of my friends here for decades, including those I worked with on the Oakland Tribune, so I welcome all of you and the C-SPAN audience for the discussion on my book.

I’d like to start right off and tell you what the book’s about. It concerns the struggle between Adolph Hitler and President Roosevelt. Both took office in 1933, and by 1940, Hitler had conquered most of Europe, was poised to invade England, seize the British fleet, merge it with the Nazi Navy, and threaten Canada, British possessions in the Western hemisphere, Bermuda, South America, Caribbean, Canada, and that was a huge danger to the United States.

So my book really starts in September and October of 1940. And I would like to show a brief video of newsreels that you can see on the monitor, and it shows destruction in London, and you’ll hear Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, saying we need America’s help. Then you’ll see the Pearl Harbor attack, followed by President Roosevelt’s address to Congress in which he asks that a state of war existed. He did not declare war, or ask Congress to declare war, he asked that there be a state or war found by the Congress. I’d like to review this now.

[video plays]

VIDEO NARRATOR: ....Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium, France had fallen. September 1940, German bombs were destroying London. England stood alone.

CHURCHILL: time ....that we would have to break out from this island or lose the war. We can stand up to him [Hitler] so all Europe may be free, so the light of the world can move forward. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age.

ROOSEVELT: ... Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy. The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of Japan.

Robert B. Stinnett

You heard Prime Minister Winston Churchill of England detailing the danger to England and predicting that he needed U.S. help or we’re going to fall into the “abyss of dark history.” So this is the situation that faced President Roosevelt in September and October 1940. Americans wanted nothing to do with Europe’s wars, and even though German submarines were sinking our ships, or attacking our merchant ships and war ships in the North Atlantic, that didn’t arouse the American public at all.

There was a huge isolation movement in this country led by Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, the Hearst newspapers, and others. And while Americans realized that there was danger from Hitler, they considered that Europe’s war, and they were fed up with World War I, the payments that were not made for U.S. participation.

So there was a quandary in the Navy Department, in the Office of Naval Intelligence, so on October 7th, 1940—this is 14 months before Pearl Harbor, Commander Arthur McCullum, who’s the officer you see over to my right here [ponting to picture], he was the head of the Far East desk of the Naval Intelligence. He was also President Roosevelt’s Communications Intelligence Routing Officer.

So all of these intercepts, Japanese intercepts of their diplomatic and military messages, which we were intercepting—I’ll talk about that later—went through Commander McCullum. So he knew the situation. He is the one that routed the information to President Roosevelt. Commander McCullum realized the terrible danger to the United States and proposed in this memorandum on October 7th, eight actions that he said would cause Japan to fight the United States. And he proposed provoking Japan into attacking us at Pearl Harbor, and other regions in the Pacific.

And the eight actions—you can see them there, they’re in the book. The major action was Action F—keep the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. And, on the very next day, Action F was put into place by President Roosevelt when he called the commander of the United States Fleet, Admiral James Richardson, who was this admiral right behind me here. Admiral Richardson was called into the Oval Office, October 8th, the very next day, 1940. Obviously, Admiral Richardson, who’s based at Pearl Harbor, had been told 10 days in advance, roughly about September 27th to come to Washington and meet with the President.

Now September 7, 1940 is very significant, because that’s the day that Germany, Japan and Italy signed the Tripartite Pact, which called for either one of them, if they were attacked by another power, to come to the aid of that power. And that’s why Commander McCullum wanted to get Japan to attack the United Sates and bring us into the war in the “back door approach.”

He called for sending cruisers into Japanese territory to antagonize the Japanese militarists so they would take over the civilian government. President Roosevelt called them pop-up cruises. “I want them popping up here and there, but I don’t want to lose five or six cruisers. I don’t mind losing one or two.”

Well, if you lose one or two cruisers, you]re losing 900 men each. That was about 1,800 men he was prepared to lose to put this provocative action in place. And that’s what the United States lost at Pearl Harbor, about 1,800 men. The rest were U.S. Army and civilians.

And so this triggered other actions too. President Roosevelt personally placed Action H. This was a complete embargo of the Japanese access to national resources in Southeast Asia, it cut them off, because Japan had no natural resources on their islands alone. And he, the President, instituted this embargo in the late part of July, 1941. Well, that set off Japan on the road to war.

And in the meantime, in October, 1940, our cryptologists in the Army and the Navy had broken the Japanese diplomatic codes and the military codes. That’s very important that you remember the military codes. Because in a Congressional investigation in 1945 and 1946, the diplomatic codes were fully discussed. That we had broken them, but not a word about the military codes.

And we had broken the Japanese operational code for their Navy and could follow Admiral Yamamoto, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Navy, as he organized to attack Pearl Harbor.

The first leak came in January 1941 when the U.S. Embassy heard that Japan was planning an attack. And Ambassador [Joseph] Grew in Tokyo passed the information on to Washington who discounted the report. And the report said that the Japanese were planning to attack Pearl Harbor with all their air forces.

And so, who was asked to evaluate this information? None other than Arthur McCullum. He said there’s nothing to it, and told Admiral Kimmel, who was the new replacement for Admiral Richardson, because Admiral Richardson was fired by President Roosevelt when President Roosevelt told him about Action F, which was to place the Pacific fleet in harm’s way, and Admiral Richardson was gone by the end of January, 1941. Admiral Kimmel took over, and even though they had this wonderful intelligence from Tokyo, Commander McCullum said there’s nothing to it.

Well, President Roosevelt was able to follow the Japanese reaction to these eight goads, or provocations, if you will, because we had broken the Japanese diplomatic and naval codes, and we also allowed a Japanese Naval spy to come into Pearl Harbor. He was a Naval Ensign. They knew that he was a spy, and were reading his messages to Tokyo. He arrived in Pearl Harbor in late March, 1941. He started preparing a census of the U.S. Pacific Fleet for Tokyo. And he continued sending the messages that were being intercepted and read in Washington, but all of this information was kept from Admiral Kimmel, who was the commander of the Pacific Fleet, and General Walter Short, who was head of the Army defense on Hawaii.

Both of them were out of the loop, and Commander McCullum’s memo was addressed to the Chief of Naval Intelligence, who was named Captain William Anderson. And, after President Roosevelt fired Admiral Richardson, appointed Anderson as Commander of Battleships of the Pacific Fleet, and sent him to Hawaii. He was number three in command of the fleet. He knew we had broken the Japanese codes, both military and diplomatic, and knew of this plan, but did not tell Admiral Kimmel about it.

So he presided there as commander of all the battleships. His responsibility was for the nine battleships of the Pacific Fleet, and they were the stars of the fleet in the 1940s, because aircraft carriers had not come into their prominence that they did later on in the war, so the battleships were the stars.

When the Japanese naval spy arrived in Hawaii, Admiral Anderson told the FBI don’t interfere with him. He told this to the FBI special agent in charge in Honolulu, and the agent complied, but they surreptitiously did follow the spy, and I talked to the FBI agent who was the case agent, and I do have a picture of the spy.

He was a Naval Ensign. He ostensibly came to Hawaii to be assigned to the Japanese Consulate, but that was huge mistake, because in the foreign ministry there was no Tadashi Morimura listed. He was 26 years old. Japan rarely sent young people to Hawaii. That was a prime spot for, sort of retirement, for the Japanese foreign ministry.

So immediately, he was spotted, identified by the Navy as a spy, and as I said, he was first engaged in preparing the census for the Pacific Fleet, and then he changed in August, 1941, and started preparing bomb plots of Pearl Harbor. And, he continued that through the Fall.

These messages are all being intercepted, going to President Roosevelt and his military commanders. General David Sarnoff, who was head of RCA and the National Broadcasting Company, agreed to go to Honolulu, at the President’s request, after they met for luncheon, and Sarnoff said that his RCA communications would make these messages available to Admiral Kimmel and General Short. But they were not. These were headed off by the gatekeeper, that Admiral Anderson that I spoke to you about.

So this was going on all throughout the Fall. There’s no question that Pearl Harbor was the bomb plot, and then Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, the Japanese operational commander of their navy, started organizing his fleet and aircraft carriers into task forces. And these are all being intercepted, the organization was being intercepted by 25 radio monitoring stations in the Pacific Rim. They stretched from the West Coast of California, to Dutch Harbor in Alaska, to the Philippines. And we worked with British monitoring stations in Singapore, and also the Dutch in – it was called then, The Netherlands-East Indies. So here’s a tremendous amount of information, all coming from Japan. We knew what their diplomatic maneuvers were, and what their navy and army plans were.

And there were two processing stations for all of this. A processing station is where they can break the codes, translate them, and intercept them, of course, and then give them to the local commander. So in Manila, there was what called Station CAST “C” was a Navy phonetic for Corregidor. This Station Cast was located on the rock of Corregidor. And they intercepted messages and provided it for General MacArthur and Admiral Hart, Commander of the Asiatic Fleet.

So Admiral Hart and General MacArthur were getting all of this information. They were supposed to send it to Hawaii, but they didn’t. And they probably did. I found some messages going to Hawaii, but they never reached Admiral Kimmel or General Short.

And the reason for that was the policy adopted by President Roosevelt in this October 7th memo. It said that we want Japan to commit the first overt act of war, and this policy was to unite this country. And that, of course, is what happened.

So we have this situation now, breaking the codes in November, 1941, and on November 15, 1941, as Admiral Yamamoto’s forces moved to the attacking points, both for the Philippines and Pearl Harbor, and Wake and Guam, which were also taken. General George Marshall, who was the Army’s Chief of Staff, called in the Washington bureau chiefs of the major newspapers of this country and the magazines. This included the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, Newsweek and Time magazines, pledged these bureau chiefs to secrecy, and told them that we had broken the Japanese codes, and expected war to start in the first week of December, 1941.

Well, the General obviously had read and had a decoded message from the Japanese Chief of Naval Operations, who on November 5th said that the war would start with England, The Netherlands, and America the first week of December. This was a message intercepted in Hawaii, not given to Admiral Kimmel or General Short, but given to General Marshall in Washington.

Washington pledged the correspondents to secrecy, and they did. It also included the Associated Press, who could have sent that message to Hawaii, and the readers of the Honolulu Star Bulletin and the Advertiser could have learned that war was expected. But this is what newspapers did, the news media did in those days. They looked the other way.

It really was when Gary Hart asked, what it was in 1984 when he told the media, “Well, if you don’t believe me, follow me.” And the Miami Herald did follow him and they did find him with his friend on the yacht, The Mimi. But it took all that time for the news media to look the other way.

Now here we have on November 15th, General Marshall swearing the news media to secrecy to the attack and completely cutting off Admiral Kimmel and General Short. General Marshall should have called Admiral Kimmel and General Short and told them the war was to start on the first week of December, not the news media. And I told this to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association meeting, and they were aghast that they weren’t told that. That their lives were placed in danger.

So that’s pretty much the overall view of this book. I would like to answer any questions that you might have, and to anything that you would like me to expand on. Basically our policy was that we wanted Japan to commit the first overt act of war. That was the order given to Admiral Kimmel, General Short, General MacArthur, and Admiral Hart on November 27th. General Marshall wired back, “We’re already prepared for a successful defense.” He and the other commanders were told, “Don’t go on the offense, remain in a defensive posture.” The official word was, the U.S. desires that Japan commit the first overt act of war. And that’s from McCullum’s memorandum there. You can see that in his item number 10 there.

So I invite any questions and any expansions you want.

David Theroux

For questions, if you’d wait for Carl with the microphone, and you want to just pick up your mic.

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, go ahead. Oh, yes, sir.

Audience Member #1

Yes, I’ve read most of your book, and I’d like to know if you’d discovered any additional documentation to substantiate your points since the book has been published. Have you been able to get any of the material that, according to the book, you were denied access by the Department of Justice and other individuals in the current Clinton Administration.

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, the FBI, the Department of Justice, will not release the information on the arrival of the spy on March 27, 1941. Attorney General Janet Reno has labeled this, the highest classification in our government. It’s a B1 national defense secret. That’s 60 years ago. (laughter) They won’t even tell me the dates of these messages or what’s it all about. They won’t even tell me the file number, the FBI file number.

But I got this from them because I asked for any information they have in late March, 1941 on the Japanese steamship, the Nita Maru. And the Nitta Maru is the one that brought him to Pearl Harbor. (laughter) So we know that somehow it’s got to do with the arrival of the Nitta Maru and the spy, and today this is a B1 national defense secret, the highest classification the Department of Justice has. And I have appealed personally to the Attorney General, and to her public relations man, Carl Stern, who is former NBC Supreme Court Reporter. He filed many FOIAs when he was with NBC News, but he refused to release this to me under my FOIAs.

But the Navy Department has been a lot better. They have released these documents which—that’s what I found in July, 1995 and Admiral McCullum’s memo was released to me. And then last week, you asked—I was in Washington, DC, and the Navy’s released more information. This information confirms even more overwhelmingly, that we had broken the Japanese Navy codes as of November 16, 1941, and this is at Station CAST in the Philippines. The commander there said we were intercepting, decoding, and translating the messages. So these were all the messages coming in and saying that the Japanese Carrier Fleet’s going to refuel in the North Pacific. It’s just astounding that they were able to keep all of this secret for so long from Congress.

There was a Congressional investigation in 1995, and none of this was shown to Congress even five years ago. Over here please.

Audience Member #2

Thank you. How far do you believe President Roosevelt wished to go? For example, was an imminent threat of attack at Pearl Harbor adequate to his purposes, or do you believe that he actually wanted to see the bombs fall on Pearl Harbor? For example, there was the message that went through the Navy department, apparently, that did arrive several hours late. Do you believe that message was purposely sandbagged?

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, the President was following Commander McCullum’s memo. The President adopted this strategy, this overt act of war strategy, as a way to overcome the isolation movement. That’s the important part. That’s the smoking gun of Pearl Harbor—this overt act of war. Because, as I said, Americans didn’t want anything to do with the European War, but as McCullum says that if we do these eight things, that this would create the ado, this is his word right there, that would unite the country. And it did.

As you all know, on December 8th, millions of Americans went to recruiting stations—Marine and Army and Navy—and joined the various services, and civilians went to work and produced this huge war machine that we defeated, really Hitler who was the main target.

Let’s see. Mr. Walker?

Audience Member #3

Two things. I don’t first of all understand the logic behind General Marshall alerting the press. What would be the need for that? The other part—couldn’t the same propaganda aim by Roosevelt been accomplished if they had discrete air defenses and actually had a trap for the Japanese, and downed a bunch of planes? We could have still had the public outcry and upset.

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, that’s a question that many asked me about. Wasn’t there some other option that the President could have done? But you see, they wanted a clean cut, clear act of war—overt act of war, that would unite the country. This is what they saw that was needed to bring the country together. Charles Lindbergh was our great hero, and 80 percent of the people followed him, stay out of Europe’s war. The other option would have been, perhaps as some had suggested, we could have attacked the Japanese fleet in the North Pacific. But they didn’t want that because it could have been seen that we’d started the war. They wanted a clean cut act of war, overt act of war.

Audience Member #3

No self defense at all.

Robert B. Stinnett

That was not in his plan.

Audience Member #3

Then why alert the press? (inaudible)

Robert B. Stinnett

That really hasn’t been discussed. I found that in General Marshall’s papers, and there should be a debate in the journalism schools, and I am going to be speaking to some later on this year, and I hope to bring this subject up. But, as you know, there was this—and I said, I talked to Gary Hart who said follow me, the press looked the other way, and this was in what, in 1986 or so. Something like that? Yes, sir?

Audience Member #3

I’m not satisfied with your answer. Why accept such a crushing defeat. It’s almost as if you would have to claim that they could foresee that six months later at the battle of Midway the tide would be turned. If we had lost the battle of Midway, if the Yorktown, Hornet and Enterprise had been sunk instead and Midway taken, and Hawaii threatened, maybe we would have had a peace movement in six months. So what’s—other than pure cynicism, which I wouldn’t put past them—what is the justification for accepting a catastrophic military disaster, just to say an overt act of war? That doesn’t explain it.

Robert B. Stinnett

Well, these are the words of Commander McCullum, that I’m the messenger bringing this to you, and this was what was adopted by the President, because he saw that Americans were not reacting to the German attacks in the North Atlantic that I mentioned earlier. This was sort of a—probably a desperation move, you might argue. But the proof happened, and on December 11th, Adolph Hitler declared war on the United States.

I should point out to you also that when President Roosevelt asked for a state of war exists, that was the same wording that Japan used when they declared war. That’s not the accurate statement. They said a state of war exists between Japan and the United States. And so the Parliament in Japan adopted the same wording. Someone in the back? You, sir.

Audience Member #4

Earlier in your research, did you expect to find a smoking gun? Evidence as incriminating as the General’s [Commander McCullum’s] letter, and do you have some thoughts about why it wasn’t destroyed so that nobody would find it?

Robert B. Stinnett

You asked “Did I expect to find this?” No. I started my quest on this project—I had read a book called At Dawn We Slept by Gordon Prange. It’s a very fine book about the attack. And in that book, he had mentioned, just sort of a throw-away line, that the Navy was intercepting Japanese Naval messages in Pearl Harbor. Well, that was the first I had read about that. This was in 1982. And I thought, well, that would be very (inaudible) to check it out.

I was on the Oakland Tribune staff at the time. Told our editor, Bob Maynard, that I thought this might be worth while for our December 7, 1982 Pearl Harbor story. All newspapers do that. And he said, fine, go.

And so I filed an FOIA at the time at the Navy to see this station hypo—this was the monitor station on Hawaii, and then the space still existed, the Navy did let me in. I was the first U.S. news man to get into this station, and this was in September, 1982, but I had learned that in August the Japanese crew from NHK had beaten me there, and they got the scoop on that. (laughter)

But this—but what I wanted to do, I wanted to learn about how we were intercepting the Japanese naval vessels. When I was there in 1944, because we were always told, that we’d learned about them from sightings by our submarines. So this gave me an edge up. And so I met the cryptographers, the radio men that were intercepting these messages. That was what I was interested in. And I filed FOIAs to get these messages.

And lo and behold, when I got the message, the first batch out of a million of them that are in the process of being released, the first 6,000 included this explosive, really smoking gun on Pearl Harbor. It’s remarkable.

And you had asked, why weren’t these destroyed? Well, it’s almost like the Nixon tapes, why didn’t he destroy them? I don’t know what the explanation is. Perhaps they were forgotten? Because when I opened them, the dust—you could tell, I was probably the first one to see these maybe in 50 or so years. There’s another one from the rear back over there. Yes, sir.

Audience Member #5

First I have a statement. I think your book moves the debate from did he do it, to why he did it. The other thing—how large is this conspiracy, was this conspiracy? How many people were involved, such as McCullum? In other words, what do you think the total number was? And the second question, do we look at Japan’s culpability in the war in a different light now?

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, you asked about how many knew? I’ve identified approximately 30 members of the Roosevelt Administration. Of course, the President and Arthur McCullum, Rear Admiral Anderson, General Marshall, and the other people in the communications intelligence field there in Washington. I have no evidence that anybody in Pearl Harbor, any of the active commanders there, outside of the intelligence gatekeeper that kept the control on the FBI.

Audience Member #5

What was his name?

Robert B. Stinnett

That was Admiral Walter Anderson, and he’s in my book and the picture. Let’s see, the other question was on—

Audience Member #5

Japan’s culpability. Do you look at it differently now, Japan’s culpability?

Robert B. Stinnett

Oh, yes, Japan. I’ve asked attorney friends of mine, what about this? And they said, well the Japan military just didn’t have to act on these provocations, but the same way if Japanese war ships had come into Puget Sound, that would have antagonized this country, and we’ll soon know, because my book is going to be published in Japan later on this year, and we’ll get some reaction from the Japanese. Back there.

Audience Member #6

Yes, Mr. Stinnett. I wonder at the reluctance of State Department to release information that might have something to do with a possible collusion by British and Dutch intelligence and interests.

Robert B. Stinnett

The State Department records are the easiest ones to get. They’re diplomats, so they don’t think in the terms of say, military and police—FBI—that this is our information, we’re not going to give it to you. So the State Department, who were not really in the communications intelligence loop, because they were talkative and the communications people didn’t want to share it with the State Department, but there was liaison between the British units in Singapore and The Netherlands in Batavia, which was then called The Netherlands East Indies, it’s now Indonesia. Someone? Please.

Audience Member #7

This is a great presentation. Thank you. I’m wondering if, talking about who’s involved of these 30 people that you named, or I heard you said might be involved? General MacCarthur sat in the Philippines with an encrypted message knowing that Manila and Clark Air Force Base was going to be attacked within 18 hours. It was, and he did nothing. Was he part of this knowledge, prior knowledge?

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, well, General MacArthur, as I pointed out to you, received the order from President Roosevelt to stand aside. Just remain in a defensive posture and let Japan commit the first overt act of war. And that’s what he did. And he replied to the order saying that everything is ready for a successful defense.

See, General MacArthur was a public relations expert. He was head of the Army—he was chief of staff of the Army during 1934. And so he knew Washington, he knew what Washington wanted, and then when Admiral Hart, who was the commander of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet got that order, he ordered all of his submarines to submerge in Manila Bay instead of attacking Japanese troop ships that were coming in and invading the Philippines.

So the whole idea was to follow the order, let Japan commit the first overt act of war. And General MacArthur beginning, let’s see, it was on December the 3rd, he started a rushed airstrip in Mindanao, the southern most part of the Philippines, so that he could escape by B-17s, and he took his key staff members, including his cryptologist, and the radio people that was supplying this information, and they all escapes, but he left General Jonathan Wainwright at Batan, and we all know what happened at Batan.

David Theroux

Next question.

Audience Member #8

I wonder if you could give me a little more in-depth reason why. You tell us that it was to unite the country. Roosevelt did this to unite the country because it was against war. Beyond that reason, was it economic, ego, more—I want to know more why they would do this incredible thing to people of their country?

Robert B. Stinnett

Well, as Prime Minister Churchill said in that newsreel clip, we were on the abyss, we were sinking deep, both Britain and the United States. We did not have a two-ocean navy at that time, and Hitler, had he invaded England and seized the British fleet, would have been a terrible danger to our country. And there’s a preamble to Commander McCullum. It’s not here, but I do have it in the book, and he goes into all the reasons why Hitler posed this danger.

But you see, it was that isolation movement. You can’t believe how powerful it was, led by America’s greatest hero. He was a bigger hero than John Glenn is today. Charles Lindbergh was just worldwide. Had tremendous influence in this country.

David Theroux

Next question.

Audience Member #9

How about over here?

Robert B. Stinnett

All right, yes, go ahead.

Audience Member #10

OK, and I’d like, Lee, to ask a couple of questions, because I’ve read, not as much about Pearl Harbor, the Pearl Harbor attack as you have, and I have the 40 volumes, and I’ve read the 40 volumes. I’m sorry, do I get it closer?

David Theroux

Yeah, that’s fine.

Audience Member #10

OK. First of all, do you have any evidence that Lt. Commander McCullum’s formulation over there was ever seen by Franklin D. Roosevelt?

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, all—the eight actions, every one of those has—he either issued an executive order, or in the pop-up cruises, the White House testimony in February and March and in Spring—all, it revolves around his approving these pop-up cruises.

Audience Member #11:

Let’s talk about the pop-up cruises, OK? You’re calling the visits by American cruisers to Australia or to Singapore somehow or other antagonizing the Japanese. But now, certainly, two cruisers in the Bungo Strait would be antagonistic. Now, what are the names of those two cruisers?

Robert B. Stinnett

Those cruisers have not been released as yet.

Audience Member #11:

Why not?

Robert B. Stinnett

This is based—

Audience Member #12

You’ve got access to all crew deck logs.

Robert B. Stinnett

No, no

David Theroux

Sir, sir, we have to keep it just to questions, if we could.

Robert B. Stinnett

No, we have the deck logs of the two of the pop-up cruisers that went to the Central Pacific. That included one, the Salt Lake City, was the flagship of that cruise. And where they went is all whited out, but if you hold it up to the white out, you can see where they went. (laughter)

Now, the third one that I’ve been able to document, is from Japanese sources who said that at least two cruisers invaded the Bungo Strait. This is the body of water that leads into the inland sea, and they filed a complaint with the U.S. ambassador in Tokyo, as I recall. But you’ve asked what are the names of those cruisers, those have not been released. I have not found them, but I hope that out of these million records that they—will surface.

Audience Member #12:

Let me ask another question. You’ve maintained that Admiral Yamamoto broke radio silence during the approach to Pearl Harbor. Admiral Yamamoto is sitting with his battleship in Turin Navy yard. He was directing all of Japanese naval operations. He could not break radio silence. When he spoke, he spoke, and it was broadcast on at least three radio stations at any one time. It was the striking force, the Kido Budtai approaching Pearl Harbor, that’s the one that had to maintain radio silence. And it did. Your theories to the contrary not withstanding.

Robert B. Stinnett

Well, I appreciate your—but you haven’t seen these documents in Navy archives there in Washington, DC.

Audience Member #12

Well, I (inaudible; overlapping dialogue) archives.

Robert B. Stinnett

If I could finish here, please. You said Admiral Yamamoto did not break radio silence. On December the 2nd, using his radio call sign, Yo-we-zero-zero, he sent a message to the entire Japanese Navy, he said “Niitaka Yama Narobe.” That was a hidden code word “to climb to Mt. Niitaka” on December the 8th. And this was intercepted in Hawaii, was not given to Admiral Kimmel or General Short. The Japanese Army also had a hidden code word phrase, and it was called “the black kite and eagle will fly on December the 8th.” Of course, that was in Japanese. That was also intercepted.

And the Japanese Foreign Ministry had a hidden word code, where they notified all their overseas missions. It was called the East Wind Rain Code, although there was some doubt whether that particular wording was sent out, but the point is that each of these Japanese ministries had a hidden word code that could reach their far-flung missions, and didn’t need cryptographers or expert radio men to encode. That’s why they had a hidden word code. You, sir?

Audience Member #13

Yeah. What do you think would be the consequences had the Japanese not attacked Pearl Harbor, that is if this had not occurred? What do you think the outcome of the war would have been?

Robert B. Stinnett

Well, that would be like a what-if book, and what-if books are very popular, and I’m sure someone should—I think that would sell, and somebody should come up with the—had not done that.

Audience Member #14

You studied it, why don’t you take it on, take a crack at it?

Robert B. Stinnett

My hands are full just following this communications intelligence, and I want to get even more on it, to find out why they didn’t—you have to read what Commander McCullum said? We have to create the ado, and Pearl Harbor was the ado. Yes, sir.

Audience Member #15

Two things very briefly. First a comment, I had a brother-in-law who was in Pearl Harbor on a destroyer when it was being bombed, and his destroyer sank that Japanese submarine when it was getting out of the harbor.

That’s part one, part two, some years ago, I read a book by John Toland called Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath.

Robert B. Stinnett


Audience Member #15

And in it he made reference to information very much along the lines of yours, that he most got from an individual named Robert Ogg, that he only identified as Seaman Z.

Robert B. Stinnett


Audience Member #15

Do you have any chance to follow up with that?

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, I interviewed Commander Ogg who is still alive, he lives here in California. And he was a specialist in the Naval Intelligence office in San Francisco, and he worked in communications intelligence, in a way, although he was mainly bugging the Japanese consulate. But he understood radio navigation, so he was asked by the head of intelligence there in San Francisco to plot these intercepts of the Japanese carrier fleet that was proceeding from Hitokappu Bay in the North Pacific and then down to Pearl Harbor.

And a huge storm on November 30th scattered the ships. Admiral Nagumo, who was the commander of the carrier fleet, had to call the ships back together, and he had to use radio. Couldn’t use the blinker system. You’ve seen on ships that they have lights that can flash like a “dit-dit-dah, dah-dah-dit.” But anyway, they broke radio silence. He used low power, but at the same time as this huge storm, there was a sun storm on the sun, and it disrupted communications in the world and bounced these messages all over the United States to San Francisco, (laughter) where Mr. Ogg plotted these intercepts on a map of the North Pacific. It showed where they were. They can identify the warships by their unique Japanese communications procedures. Radio direction finder at Dutch Harbor located them there, as well as here on the West Coast. And the S.S. (inaudible) also heard them. There’s someone here from (inaudible).

David Theroux

Right over here.

Robert B. Stinnett

I’m sorry. Yeah, we haven’t gone back here.

Audience Member #16

The end results of the—that the deception was successful. That we don’t have to figure about. But in the case of propaganda in trying to lead the situation, would you say that the deception was necessary perhaps, and that it in fact saved lives in the long run, considering where Hitler was at, so it’s like a double deception? You’re deceiving the enemy, but in the process, you’re going to deceive some of your own people if you’re at a certain position, but the results, I think, were successful.

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, well, this use of deception, other people have—other historians have told me about the Gulf of Tonkin, in the Vietnam War, that that possibly would have been another provocation. This is all hearsay, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not checking that, but many people have thought that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was a way to get us into the Vietnam War. I’m told also that President Lincoln provoked South Carolina militia at Fort Sumpter. And I’m also told that President Polk provoked the Mexican military in the Mexican War in—what was it—1846, ’48 in there, but this is all hearsay.

But this provocation probably goes back to Julius Caesar’s time. Yes, sir.

Audience Member #17

You mentioned that Janet Reno—that they’re still classifying some of this data?

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, B-1 national defense secrets.

Audience Member #17

Can you speculate on the motivation for that by the present administration?

Robert B. Stinnett

I don’t understand why they’re doing that except maybe it reveals some communications intelligence features that we’re using today that they don’t want out. But that’s ridiculous because we have spy satellites now. Basically, it’s probably the same, but I don’t know. It’s another what—if type, and it would be very interesting to do that. Can we get somebody in the middle down over here? You sir.

Audience Member #18

Yes, I have a question about the five-digit code that you refer to in your book. Was this, in fact, the JN25 code?

Robert B. Stinnett

I’m glad you raised that question. You have to be sort of sophisticated to know about the JN25 code. That is—what it really refers to is that is the Japanese operation code that was used in 1941 to organize the Japanese Navy to attack Pearl Harbor. And the important messages went out over this code system, which the Japanese called Code Book D. But we did not call it JN25 in 1941, we called it [the five-number code.” And Congress and various presidential administrations and the Navy have encouraged Americans to believe this JN25 was not solved until 1945 and ’46, and you have to be sophisticated to understand, that that was not even used, that designator was not used in 1941. It was called the five-number code, and it was first used by Japan in 1939. It was immediately recognized as—this military code, and they worked on it, and they first solved it in February 1940. Japan changed it about every six months, but we broke it constantly.

As I said earlier, in the Philippines, they said that we were intercepting, we were decoding and we were translating the five-number code.

Audience Member #19

And that was, in fact, the JN25 series code?

Robert B. Stinnett

Well, we call it, but that‘s a way to sidetrack it. Because if you look for JN25 in 1941 records, you won’t find it.

Audience Member #20

OK, OK. Was this then the same code that the U.S. Navy was reading during the Midway operation?

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, yes. The Code Book D, Japan used it until just before Midway, but by that time we knew where they were going, because they had to organize that fleet starting in March.

Audience Member #20

So it’s about—my question—at that time, the code that the U.S. was admitting—that the U.S. had broken approximately 20 percent of the code groups, therefore it wasn’t spelled out that Midway was the operation, but through a combination of code intercept intelligence, etc. efforts, they figured out that it was Midway, but they had not in fact, broken the whole code, which consists of code groups. They had figured out approximately 20 percent. If this was the case in 1941 or 1942 rather, for Midway, six months later, how could the U.S. have known that much about this five digit code? In fact, it hadn’t been fully broken, and in fact, there were intercepts, but they couldn’t read them, because they hadn’t figured out what all the code groups meant.

Robert B. Stinnett

Well, the evidence doesn’t support your contention there. The evidence—the finest evidence that you can have is the officer in charge at Station Cass in the Philippines, he wrote to Washington on November 16th and said we have broken—he said, we are current in the current Japanese operation code, this is Code Book D, and he summarized some of these messages for President Roosevelt, quoting the Japanese ships—“We are leaving Corregidor, we are heading toward the Philippines” so the evidence is just overwhelming there.

David Theroux

How about this one right in the back?

Robert B. Stinnett

Let’s see. You sir?

Audience Member #21

I’m curious. By the time this event occurred, the attack and the few months preceding it, France had been overrun. Vichy France, ostensibly, by that time, a Nazi ally. On North Africa you had the tragedy of the destruction of the French Fleet by the British Fleet in North Africa. Exactly what you had said earlier that the French Fleet was in danger of falling into German hands, and had England fallen, not only the English Fleet, but Canada and other possessions might have fallen?

Robert B. Stinnett

That’s right.

Audience Member #22

The French and Indo-China were cooperating with the Japanese. All of these things were going on. If you had sat in the Oval Office at that time as an advisor to President Roosevelt, how would you have advised him on these eight suggestions here, please?

Robert B. Stinnett

That’s the top question. Everybody in the United States asks me that. (laughter) And they want me to comment on it. The only way I can answer it is that I think that—he had many options to use, but I think this one, this Action F, was the realistic one that would unite this country, and I, of course, was alive at that time and was very much aware of the isolation movement. I saw the danger of Hitler, but going back, that option was the only logical one that he could use.

Some people say that was the right thing to do, but then others say how could you call that the “right thing” when you put our men’s lives out on the line? Let’s go over to this side.

Audience Member #23

Sir, what was McCulloch’s—is it McCulloch?

Robert B. Stinnett


Audience Member #23

McCullum. What was his background that would give him the insight to be able to come up with that plan? How was it him that would come up with that plan?

Robert B. Stinnett

Excellent question. He was born in Japan of Baptist missionary parents. He was born in Nagasaki and stayed there until he was about six or seven years old when his father died, and his family moved back to Alabama, I think it was. But he learned to speak Japanese before he spoke English, and played with Japanese children, knew their culture. He was there in Japan when Japan had the surprise attack at Port Arthur where they seized Korea—no, they defeated the Russian Fleet in 1904, I think it was.

So he knew the propensity for a Japanese surprise attack. He knew what would excite the Japanese militarists there.

Audience Member #24

Right here.

Robert B. Stinnett

All right, let’s go.

Audience Member #25

You go into considerable technical detail about the RDF network and the intercept network, which was all very true, and there has been quite a bit written about the Enigma machine, or the Ultra efforts—our name for it was Ultra, and our name for the Pacific was Magic. Was there ever any evidence uncovered, other than some found code wheels at the embassy in Honolulu, that gives any information about a Japanese code machine such as Hitler had, or was it all done manually by the Japanese because of their unique language and use of Katakana in their radio transmission efforts?

Robert B. Stinnett

Yes, the Japanese Navy did not use machine ciphers like the Enigma, which was a German machine cipher used by Hitler. I have not really studied all of that, but the Japanese foreign office used a machine cipher. It was called Purple. But Hawaii did not have the Purple machine, although they had it in Manila. So General MacArthur had access to it, and this is—the messages going out over the Purple code are saying—say to the Americans—don’t tell them that we’re going to break off negotiations, just string them along. This was on December 2nd. Even that should alert you, and I’m certain that it did.

But the controlling policy, the strategy of our country, was to let Japan commit the first overt act of war, right out at McCullum the open. Let’s see. Yes, sir.

Audience Member #26

American aircraft carriers were not in port. Was that accidental, or do you feel that was deliberate? Somebody had thought that out and knew that the aircraft carriers were what it would take to win the war and deliberately had them removed from Pearl Harbor.

Robert B. Stinnett

Thank you. I did not speak of that. There was three aircraft carriers in the Pacific in December 1941. One was in San Diego and two were in the Pearl Harbor, but about a week before the Pearl Harbor attack, Washington DC ordered the two carriers, that was the USS Enterprise and the USS Lexington and their task groups, to deliver 12 Army Pursuit planes to Wake and 12 to Midway. So these task forces, and their cruisers and attendant vessels, these were the most modern ships of our Navy, left Pearl Harbor, so what was left there were the old World War I battleships that could only go 18 knots. They could not keep up with carriers who go 30 knots.

So what you had left in Pearl Harbor for the attack, were just these relics of World War I. Our modern ships were out ostensibly to deliver these planes to Wake and Midway. Admiral Halsey was in charge of the Enterprise, and he did deliver 12 planes to Wake, but the other vessel, the Lexington, did not deliver. It just sort of sailed around in the central Pacific there, and never did deliver the planes to Midway.

So I think that was a ruse just to get the most modern ships out and just leave the old, beat-up battleships for Japan’s attack. And you know, Japan did not attack our oil supply on Oahu, didn’t attack the electric grid on Oahu. That would have been terrible damage to us. They just went after these old wrecks, relics of World War I. You sir?

Audience Member #27: That Action F there, keeping the fleet at Pearl Harbor. Do you believe the idea there was to provide a tempting target, or was this suppose to be a threat? The other actions there seemed to be threats—do something that makes the Japanese afraid of us, whereas what actually happened was it provided a tempting target. Now, do you think that’s what they were trying to do, a tempting target, or just one more threat?

Robert B. Stinnett

No, I think that was what Commander McCullum had in mind, as the tempting target to the Japanese militarists who were enraged by being cut off from their oil. They had no place to go, and so keeping the fleet there at Pearl Harbor was a provocation that easily fell into the Japanese militarists’ hands, and normally the fleet was based on the West Coast. There was no such thing as the Pacific Fleet in 1940 when this—it’s called the Hawaiian detachment, as I recall. It was just a small number of warships there.

So President Roosevelt ordered Admiral Richardson to keep the fleet there over the admiral’s objection. As I said, the admiral refused to do it. It was a knock-down, drag out name-calling there in the Oval Office on October 8th, and President Roosevelt fired Admiral Richardson and put in Admiral Kimmel. Somebody down in the middle there. Right there, you sir?

Audience Member #28

You’ve had some deservedly good reviews from the part of the historians in that. Had you had anything from the military who were there at the time, or who were in the service at the time? Senior officers and that sort of thing, with regard to your book?

Robert B. Stinnett

The news—book reviews of it have been 70 percent approval of the revelations. This includes the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the San Diego Union, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver, Detroit. Also you can gauge a reaction on the Internet, because, which is a big bookseller, and also Barnes & Noble have Internet sales, and people can comment on them. I have also about a 70 percent approval rating on there.

Now there’s about 30 percent of people who disagree in various aspects in my book. Some of them appear to be from the military. I call them the Pearl Harbor establishment, because they all seem to say the same thing, the same position. But you’re not going to be—there’s always going to be people who doubt this.

Some people say that there was no such thing as an isolation movement in 1940. That’s just ridiculous. I think upstairs I have a full-page enlargement, the Brooklyn Eagle has an eight column, double-deck headline quoting Charles Lindbergh, “We want nothing to do with Hitler’s war and let’s sign peace for him.” Someone else? Way back there.

Audience Member #29

Yes, just by accident. We happened to meet a relative of Admiral Kimmel. He lives in Hayward, actually. And we said we were coming here, and he bristled, because he said his uncle had been a scapegoat that did we know, he was really upset to say this, because his family’s name had been discouraged all these years, that when FDR was secretary of the Navy, I believe, that apparently, the Admiral had had some encounters with FDR and was somewhat on the outs. So I wondered why he was appointed as a replacement for Admiral Anderson, because his name is a symbol for gross negligence, perhaps? I don’t know whether you’ve ever followed up on any of this aspect with the family.

Robert B. Stinnett

Well, yes, I have talked with Admiral Kimmel’s brother. Of course, they didn’t know. All of this information, this communications intelligence was withheld from Admiral Kimmel, so he never really thoroughly discussed this. Although, as you say, he had contact with President Roosevelt when he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1914. But they certainly wouldn’t have been talking communication—in 1914 there was no such thing as radio.

But the Kimmel family have asked Congress to restore his rank as full admiral, four-star admiral, and the Senate, last year, in May of last year, did vote on a very close vote, 53 to 47, to recommend that President Clinton restore Admiral Kimmel and General Shore to their pre-war ranks. That action is still waiting in the House, but if it dies in the House this session, they’ll have to start all over again, I’m told. OK. Way in the back there.

David Theroux

One more question.

Audience Member #30

This is a follow up on Admiral Kimmel. In the early 1950s, I remember a Theobald, a Captain Theobald; we didn’t give much credence to what he was trying to say. He was making, what I saw, was the first allegations about all of this has been, but he never had the ammunition or the firepower or the guts or whatever to follow up with it. That was Theobald. He was a cruiser commander in World War II in the South Pacific, and Kimmel was his friend, and he was attempting to open it up. What you’ve done, of course, is what he was attempting to do, to get—have you ever—my question is, have you—what happened to Theobald, and did he just give up on his attempts?

Robert B. Stinnett

Well, all of this information was locked in Navy vaults. Even Life magazine in September 1945 had a major story pretty much suggesting that this was a backdoor approach to war, but there was no proof, and so anyone like Admiral Robert Theobald [The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor] or Life magazine, or anybody else brought this up, they were accused as a political tirade against the dead President, because he died in April, 1945, and so politics entered that, and the war euphoria, we had won, people just didn’t want to hear that now.

Way in the back there.

David Theroux

This is the last question.

Audience Member #31

Did you find any hints in your research that there might have been other setups of Americans by our government on American soil, such as maybe the strangely ominous Port Chicago blast of 1944? Things like that?

Robert B. Stinnett

Oh, my research is all really essentially pre-December 7th, 1941. I have not gone into any other records, so all I know is what I’ve found in communications intelligence, and that would be involving Japanese, and Port Chicago would not be in this channel. I thank you all very much. (applause) And I’ll be upstairs to sign books for you.

David Theroux

I want to thank Bob Stinnett for taking the time to join with us, and also for the really remarkable work that he’s done. I mean, this has been an effort that others, Theobold was mentioned, others have attempted to do, and there’s still a lot to be learned, obviously, not just about Pearl Harbor but about many other aspects of government policy. That’s a lot of what the Independent Institute is involved in, so I think Bob deserves our special thanks for the work he’s done in producing this book.

For those of you who have copies of Day of Deceit, and they’ve not been autographed, as he mentioned, he’d be happy to autograph them. He can do it right here, actually. For those of you who don’t have copies, I believe there are some still upstairs, and if we had run out or if we do run out, we’d be happy to take orders and ship them to you right away. So I want to thank everyone for joining with us and making this a very successful event. We hope that you’ll join with us next time. Good night and thank you.


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