October 7, 1940: The Day That Should Have Lived in Infamy
October 10, 2010
On October 7, 1940, exactly fourteen months before the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum penned a memorandum, recommending that the United States government provoke the Japanese into attacking America, and thus, allowing America to enter WWII with the American people fully behind the decision. The memorandum is called the McCollum memo, and there is little mention of it in history textbooks.
Over the years there were rumors that "FDR allowed the Pearl Harbor attack to happen" but these were cast aside as crackpot conspiracy theories, backed by zero evidence. But such dismissals didn't work when Robert Stinnett published his book "Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor" in 1999. Stinnett, a decorated WWII veteran and author, requested files about the attack, and the events preceding it, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). He discovered that FDR not only knew about the attack in advance, but that his administration did everything it could to cause a Japanese attack on America. One of the most important pieces of information that Stinnett came across was the McCollum memo, which outlined eight points that the FDR administration could do to instigate a dramatic response by the Japanese without the Congress, or the American people getting too suspicious, like cutting off economic ties with Japan, refusing it oil, establishing relations with Japan's main enemy, China, and other provocations. Stinnett's book is centered on the new historical evidence that he gathered, which is rigorously documented.
Another claim at the heart of the Pearl Harbor surprise-attack lore is that Japan’s ships kept radio silence as they approached Hawaii. That’s absolutely untrue, also?
Stinnett: That is correct. And this was all withheld from Congress, so nobody knew about all this.
Until the Freedom of Information Act.
Is this statement true?—If America was intercepting and decoding Japan’s military messages then Washington and FDR knew that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor.
Stinnett: Oh, absolutely.
You feel it’s as simple as that?
Stinnett: That is right. And that was their plan. It was their "overt act of war" plan that I talk about in my book that President Roosevelt adopted on October 7, 1940.
You write that in late November 1941 an order was sent out to all US military commanders that stated: "The United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act." According to Secretary of War Stimson, the order came directly from President Roosevelt. Was FDR’s cabinet on record for supporting this policy of provoking Japan to commit the first overt act of war?
Stinnett: I don’t know that he revealed it to the cabinet. He may have revealed it to Harry Hopkins, his close confidant, but there’s no evidence that anybody in the cabinet knew about this.
I thought you wrote in your book that they did...That some of them were on record for...
Stinnett: Well, some did. Secretary of War Stimson knew, based on his diary, and also probably Frank Knox, the Secretary of Navy knew. But Frank Knox died before the investigation started. So all we have really is Stimson, his diary. And he reveals a lot in there, and I do cite it in my book...You must mean his war cabinet. Yes. Stimson’s diary reveals that nine people in the war cabinet—the military people—knew about the provocation policy.
Even though Roosevelt made contrary statements to the public, didn’t he and his advisors feel that America was eventually going to have to get into the war?
Stinnett: That is right. Well, his statement was, "I won’t send your boys to war unless we are attacked." So then he engineered this attack—to get us into war really against Germany. But I think that was his only option. I express that in the book.
Who was Lieutenant Commander Arthur McCollum and what was his connection to the Pearl Harbor attack?
Stinnett: He worked for Naval intelligence in Washington. He also was the communications routing officer for President Roosevelt. So all these intercepts would go to Commander McCollum and then he would route them to the President. There’s no question about that. He also was the author of this plan to provoke Japan into attacking us at Pearl Harbor. And he was born and raised in Japan.
McCollum wrote this plan, this memorandum, in October 1940. It was addressed to two of Roosevelt’s closest advisors. In the memo McCollum is expressing that it’s inevitable that Japan and America are going to go to war, and that Nazi Germany’s going to become a threat to America’s security. McCollum is saying that America’s going to have to get into the war. But he also says that public opinion is against that. So, McCollum then suggests eight specific things that America should do to provoke Japan to become more hostile, to attack us, so that the public would be behind a war effort. And because he was born and raised in Japan, he understood the Japanese mentality and how the Japanese would react.
Stinnett: Yes. Exactly.
Has the existence of this memo from Commander McCollum ever been revealed to the public before your book came out?
Stinnett: No, no. I received that as pursuant to my FOIA request on January 1995 from the National Archives. I had no idea it existed.
FDR and his military advisors knew that if McCollum’s eight actions were implemented—things like keeping the Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor, and crippling Japan’s economy with an embargo—there was no question in their minds that this would cause Japan—whose government was very militant—to attack the United States. Correct?
Stinnett: That is correct, and that is what Commander McCollum said. He said, "If you adopt these policies then Japan will commit an overt act of war."
Is there any proof that FDR saw McCollum’s memorandum?
Stinnett: There’s no proof that he actually saw the memorandum, but he adopted all eight of the provocations—including where he signed executive orders...And other information in Navy files offers conclusive evidence that he did see it.
The memo is addressed to two of Roosevelt’s top advisors, and you include the document where one of them is agreeing with McCollum’s suggested course of action.
Stinnett: Yes, Dudley Knox, who was his very close associate.
The "splendid arrangement" was a phrase that FDR’s military leaders used to describe America’s situation in the Pacific. Can you explain what the "splendid arrangement" was?
Stinnett: The "splendid arrangement" was the system of twenty-two monitoring stations in the Pacific that were operated by the United States, Britain, and the Dutch. These extended along the west coast of the United States, up to Alaska, then down to Southeast Asia, and into the Central Pacific.
These radio monitoring stations allowed us to intercept and read all of Japan’s messages, right?
Stinnett: Absolutely. We had Japan wired for sound.
You claim that the "splendid arrangement" was so adept that ever since the 1920’s Washington always knew what Japan’s government was doing. So to assert that we didn’t know the Japanese were going to bomb Pearl Harbor would be illogical?
Stinnett: That is correct.
Why was Stinnett able to come up with an accurate and complete picture about the infamous Pearl Harbor attack when all others failed, particularly Congress? Historian H. Arthur Scott Trask explains the reasons in his review of the book called "The Conspiracies of Empire.":
"How did Stinnett manage to uncover the truth when congressional investigations (in both 1945-1946 and 1995) failed to do so? The answer lies in Stinnett’s intelligence, integrity, and unflagging research effort (lasting 17 years), qualities that we know from experience are all too lacking in congressional investigations. But it also lies in a crucial Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the author in 1983. In that year, Stinnett learned of the existence of the Pacific War communications intelligence files of the United States Navy (a top secret file containing over one million documents relating to U.S. communication intelligence before and during the war). The author’s request was at first denied, but in 1994 the navy decided to declassify the records, or at least most of them. As the Stinnett soon discovered, key intercepts and documents were kept back, some were missing from the records, and other documents had been altered to conceal vital information. However, enough information was released, perhaps inadvertently, to enable Stinnett to piece together the truth."
Nobody in the mainstream media has interviewed Stinnett since the book's publication. In the interview with Cirignano, Stinnett said that besides a few favorable reviews by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers, the media has been silent. The truth about the real origins of America's entry into WWII is effectively censored, as is the truth about 9/11. "Neither ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or Fox News have carried a word," Stinnett says.
What is the lesson that we can derive from the U.S. government's duplicity in the Pearl Harbor attack? Do we excuse FDR because Hitler died, the Nazis were crushed, freedom was saved, and America was seen as the land of heroes? Some say yes. After all, what if Germany defeated the British, and was on the verge of beating the Soviet Army, what would America do then? Wait like a dead dog, and pray that the Nazis wouldn't cooperate with fascist insiders in America to overthrew its constitutional government, or that Hitler wouldn't invade by sea? Wasn't it smarter to draw America into the European conflict, and use its great resources, and powerful military to destroy a global menace? Sure, 3,000 people had to die, but nothing can be done without a necessary sacrifice.
I don't see the attack that way, but I do understand this point of view, and it is logical in a warped way. But, I ask; what did the American people gain by defeating the Nazis? Millions of suburban homes, and nationwide highways, that's about it. Meanwhile, the U.S. government hired Nazi scientists, established repressive institutions like the CIA, and grew its military into an unstoppable anti-democratic machine - a "military-industrial-congressional-complex," as Eisenhower described it at the end of his presidency.
What did America's victory in WWII really achieve? The American people crushed a global menace in Europe, while helping to create a global menace in their own backyard. And that global menace has overthrown democratically elected countries, killed millions of people, assassinated world leaders (including its own in 1963), committed terrorist acts, and war crimes across the world; all things that a global menace like Nazi Germany would've done, except America's shrewd, elite-owned government did these crimes with a little more grace, behind a democratic facade. Trask tackled the immoral dimensions and innate hypocrisy in American foreign policy in his review of Stinnett's book:
"Here we have yet another example of Americans making use of the doctrine that the end justifies the means. Americans are quick to deny the ethical legitimacy of this doctrine when it is presented to them as a naked proposition, yet there is no doctrine that they more readily turn to in order to justify morally questionable practices. Do not those who defend the nuclear holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki argue as their first line of defense that it was morally justified because it saved American lives? And can we not expect to hear in the near future from those who can no longer deny the truth, "Roosevelt’s duplicity was justified because it was necessary to stop Hitler." The Christian’s response to this question was articulated by Paul two thousand years ago: "And why not say, 'Let us do evil that good may come’? – as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just." (Romans 3:8 NKJV).
We owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Stinnett. Not only has he uncovered the truth behind Pearl Harbor, but in so doing he has exposed one of the greatest cover stories, or con jobs, of all time – American prewar naval intelligence and high command as keystone cop. After sixty years, America’s brave band of revisionist historians have been vindicated, while her servile crop of court historians have been pretty much disgraced."
It is interesting that after seventy years the U.S. empire resorts to the same tricks to get its way in the global arena. Nine years ago, on October 7, 2001, America invaded Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks, another infamous example of government deception about another "surprise attack." This time, though, American leaders didn't just allow the attack to happen in America, they orchestrated it from scratch.
It is in some ways comforting to know that the age of government terror and official deception did not begin on September 11, 2001, because it probably means that we are near the end of an age, whereas December 7, 1941 was only the beginning.
Stinnett's book is important because it is not just another work of history to be put away under the "old news" category, it draws lessons that are relevant for today's world, when America is in the middle of another manufactured war. The book helps reveal the big lie that "American power secures the free world." Once we know that this is not true, and that the American people and the whole world have been lied to by U.S. leaders about America's true history in the last seventy years, then we are more likely to change the current course by the treasonous U.S. government that is pushing the world towards destruction, and global chaos.
When asked by Cirignano about why he thought the book was important for our times, Stinnett answered:
Stinnett: It’s important because it reveals the lengths that some people in the American government will go to deceive the American public, and to keep this vital information—in our land of the First Amendment—from the people. And that’s against everything I believe in.
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