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Friday, May 30, 2008

The Real Crime of Pearl Harbor by Lawrence W. Reed FROM Ludwig von Mises Institute

For at least a year before the attack, FDR pursued a policy of goading the Japanese to do it. He saw no other way to overwhelm American isolationist sentiment and get the country to enter the war against the Axis powers.

For key command posts, he carefully picked and placed naval officers who would not obstruct his provocation plans. Vice-Admiral James O. Richardson, commander-in-chief of the United States Fleet, strenuously objected to White House orders to bottle up the main elements of our Pacific navy in one place, Pearl Harbor. He was sacked. To fill Richardson’s place, FDR vaulted Admiral Husband Kimmel over 32 others. Kimmel was a decent man and no stooge, but the White House systematically denied him information that the Japanese were targeting Hawaii.

Indeed, on his own initiative in late November 1941, Kimmel dispatched a portion of the fleet to the sea north of Hawaii where he suspected a gathering of Japanese carriers. It turned out to be the staging area of the ultimate assault on Pearl Harbor, but Kimmel was stopped short of confirming that by strange orders from the White House to get his ships back to Oahu.

There’s a scene in the movie where Kimmel receives a cable from Washington, well after the attack had started, that hostilities with Japan were imminent. He tosses the untimely scrap of paper to the ground. No mention is made of what Stinnett proves: "By the closing months of 1941, America was intercepting and breaking—within a matter of hours—most every code that Japan could produce."

No less than seven Japanese naval broadcasts intercepted between November 28 and December 6 confirmed that Japan was planning to wipe out the bulk of America’s Pacific fleet ensconced at Pearl Harbor, but Kimmel was kept completely and deliberately in the dark. He was later the designated fall guy for the whole debacle, when the treacherous FDR relieved him of his command and demoted him unceremoniously to rear admiral.

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