Japan: Day of Deceit Notes

for The U.S. War Against Asia
by William P. Meyers

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Page 1

Notes from

Day of Deceit, the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor
by Robert B. Stinnett

The Free Press, Simon & Schuster, New York, copyright 2000, hardcover

On these notes: Robert Stinnett goes into great detail about his discoveries of the chain of events leading up to Pearl Harbor, asserting that President Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) & his crew schemed to make sure that Japan opened the war with the attack. On the one hand it is true Stinnett was unable to "prove" his point, on the other hand he paints a graphic, if complicated, picture, using intelligence data he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, but also admitting that much information remains classified, unavailable to historians, and showing that at least some incriminating materials were purposefully altered or destroyed. The intelligence details in the book are very complex and difficult reading.

My note taking here reflects what I have already learned from Cordell Hull and other sources. They reflect my basic thesis that the U.S. has been engaged in an aggressive commercial and often military war with Asian peoples since the early 1800s, which was an extension of aggression in the North America. My notes might add to the picture of both Presidents Roosevelt as militarists and imperialists, as separate from their domestic agendas. Number in brackets are page references. My initials, WPM, in brackets indicate my comments]

William J. vanden Heuval, writing in his diary in 1953, claimed that William Donovan, at the time of Pearl Harbor FDR's Coordinator of Information and later founder of the OSS, said "The President's surprise was not as great as that of other men around him. Nor was the attack unwelcome." [3, 5]

An October 7, 1940 memorandum was written and criculted by Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). It advocated 8 actions by the U.S. that would cause Japan to strike the first blow in the war everyone anticipated, and more specifically by an attack on Hawaii. The 8 points were:

  1. Arrange with the British Empire for U.S. use of Singapore & other Pacific bases
  2. Make a similar arrangement with the Dutch Empire of use of the Dutch East Indies
  3. Increase aid to Chiang Kai-shek
  4. Send heavy cruisers to the western Pacific
  5. Send two divisions of submarines to the western Pacific
  6. But keep the main part of the Pacific Fleet at Hawaii
  7. Arrange for the Dutch to limit petroleum and other raw material exports to Japan
  8. Embargo Japan, in cooperation with the British Empire

This plan was endorsed by one of FDR's "most trusted military advisors, Dudley W. Knox. [6-9]

Routing logs show that FDR saw the plan. He implemented item 4 by ordering"pop up cruises" near or within Japanese territorial waters, despite objections from Admiral Husband Kimmel, commander of the Pacific Fleet. However, U.S. cruisers were never sent to Singapore. [9-10]

The Navy chain of command was shuffled on February 1, 1941. Admiral James O. Richardson had objected to FDR's plan to place the fleet in harm's way to provide the Japanese with a tempting target for a surprise attack. Kimmel was appointed to head the Pacific Fleet, but no one, including Richardson, ever told him of the McCollum memo or the plan to provide the Japanese to strike first. Richardson later said he believed Kimmel was deprived of "the information availabe from the breaking of Japanese dispatches" by Admiral Harold Stark, FDR's chief of naval operations. [10-12]

Continued on Day of Deceit Page 2

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