“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”
The myth of the “sneak attack” on Pearl Harbor is a pillar of the “Greatest Generation” narrative that is the foundation of our interventionist foreign policy.
A day that will live in infamy
by Justin Raimondo
Today is the seventy-first anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, an act that brought us into World War II, pushed a reluctant America onto the world stage, and ushered in the age of empire. The official history of that event is that it was a “sneak attack” precipitated by war-crazed Japanese militarists, and that the totally unprepared Americans – kept from arming themselves by evil “isolationists” in Congress and the Republican party – were caught completely by surprise.
There is, however, one big problem with this official history: it’s a lie.
The truth is that, by the winter of 1941, the Americans had decrypted the various Japanese military and diplomatic codes: President Roosevelt, key members of his cabinet, and top military leaders, including Gen. George C. Marshall, US Army chief of staff, had access to this intelligence, which was intercepted, decoded, and transmitted directly to them. We know this because Robert Stinnett, in researching his seminal book, Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, obtained heretofore unknown documents under the Freedom of Information Act, which trace the intelligence stream from interception stations throughout the Pacific to the 36 Americans cleared to look through what was, in effect, a window into Japanese plans and preparations for the Pearl Harbor attack. The President and 35 other Americans in top political and military circles knew where the attack was to take place, they knew when it was to take place, and they watched it unfold, step by step, with full knowledge of its import.
It is widely remarked that even on the eve of Pearl Harbor, the vast majority of the American people stubbornly resisted efforts to drag us into the European war. The Court Historians responsible for constructing the FDR cult would have had great difficulty denying the pattern of presidential prevarication that had us effectively fighting the Axis powers long before war was officially declared. So instead of taking on this impossible task, which would have been laughed out of court, they openly valorized him for his expertise at the art of deception. Thomas Bailey, who taught history at Stanford University for 40 years and authored The American Pageant, long a standard US history textbook, extolled the liar and his lie in his 1948 book, The Man in the Street: The Impact of American Public Opinion on Foreign Policy:
“Franklin Roosevelt repeatedly deceived the American people during the period before Pearl Harbor. He was like the physician who must tell the patient lies for the patient’s own good…. Because the masses are notoriously shortsighted and generally cannot see danger until it is at their throats, our statesmen are forced to deceive them into an awareness of their own long-run interests.”
In a rave review of the Bailey volume on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, a young Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., hailed Bailey’s “candor and good sense” in dealing with “the Roosevelt problem.” “If he was going to get the people to move at all,” wrote the future Official Historian of American liberalism, “he had to trick them.”