Newly Declassified Memo Reveals Roosevelt Was Warned of Tokyo’s Focus on Hawaii Days Before Pearl Harbor Attack | The Gateway Pundit

A newly released memo revealed that President Roosevelt was warned that Tokyo was focused on Hawaii days before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

via Newly Declassified Memo Reveals Roosevelt Was Warned of Tokyo’s Focus on Hawaii Days Before Pearl Harbor Attack | The Gateway Pundit.

Meh. Of course the Japanese were focused there. Further in the article we see this:

In the newly revealed 20-page memo from FDR’s declassified FBI file, the Office of Naval Intelligence on December 4 warned, “In anticipation of open conflict with this country, Japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii.” (emphasis mine-Xbrad)

Where else would the Japanese be focused? The primary counter to any Japanese plans would be the US Navy. Which was concentrated at Pearl Harbor, and supported by installations along the West Coast. The Panama Canal was of interest to the Japanese because it could be used to re-position forces from the Atlantic Fleet.

One of the challenges facing the administration in the days before the attack was the absolute flood of information coming in. Discerning what was important, and what was extraneous was almost impossible.  And a vague warning that the Japanese were paying attention is hardly an indication that they were actively planning a massive air attack against the islands.

This is pretty weak tea.

11 thoughts on “Newly Declassified Memo Reveals Roosevelt Was Warned of Tokyo’s Focus on Hawaii Days Before Pearl Harbor Attack | The Gateway Pundit”

  1. I’ve long believed that Roosevelt knew that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor. What he didn’t know was that the attack would take place the morning of Dec. 7th with carrier launched aircraft. There is a bit of a difference between the two.

  2. I can’t believe this is the best hook for getting press about this book. I’m sure most senior military and government policy makers expected the Japanese to attack Hawaii in a wide-scale war. I don’t think it was commonly thought that attacking Hawaii would be the first move, let alone a first move when we don’t even think we’re going to war.

    Even if we knew that Japan planned a surprise strike on Pearl as the opening move, we’d still have to have something to say when that was going to happen in order to do something about it.

  3. that’s why there’s a difference on your reconnaissance plan between “Named Area of Interest (NAI)” and “Targeted Area of Interest (TAI)”…

  4. You need to read “Day of Deceit.” The last name of the author is Stinnett as I recall. He got copies of the Navy Radio traffic and memos, and two things came out,

    1. The Navy knew where the Jap Fleet was as they crossed the Pacific. They did not maintain any sort of EMCON.
    2. They knew the attack was coming and the approximate day it was coming. No real warning was sent either to Kimmel or Short. They just got General warnings that something was up which gave them no idea how to prepare, although I doubt it would have mattered.

    To my knowledge, Stinnett has never been refuted, nor has anyone even tried. Even after what he found, he is still a strong FDR supporter. FDR wanted us in the war, and sent the US fleet to Pearl as bait for the Japs. The US fleet commander protested the move of the battlewagons to Pearl because it was a provocation and was relieved for his trouble, and the ships still went to Pearl.

    1. I’m aware of that. The reasons for that panning leave me unpersuaded. I find it particularly so given the event in the FDR misrule at the time. From what i can tell, given the references I could check, he had the goods.

      The people that panned the book were also mostly FDR apologists. Not all, but most.

  5. I remember the flame wars that Day of Deceit touched off back when it came out. It got ugly for a while. Here’s one review I remember reading a while ago: http://www.usncva.org/books/book-10.html.

    Anyways, there is an interesting article in the current issue of Military History Quarterly on the Japanese intelligence gathering at Pearl Harbor prior to the attack. It also goes into a little about how we hamstrung ourself with both our laws (no ability for the FBI to try and intercept a foreign agent’s cables because of the law on the books mandating that cable company couldn’t give them away if they belonged to a foreigner) as well as the secrecy we were trying to maintain for the cryptographic success we had reading the diplomatic codes.

  6. Before the Chicago library got rid of all the old and really old books, I would spend summer days reading interesting books. At the time I was interested in codes, cyphers and such and the library had some great books written first hand by those who were cryptographers.

    Those authors told about their personal exploits and how they decoded Japanese messages real time. The cryptographers and linguists worked together and passed the decoded translated messages immediately after receipt. In the early 1990s I was listening to a talk show in Denver dealing with Wilson’s treachery when a Navy cryptographer called in and said that the Chief who taught him spoke about his duty before WW II started decrypting and translating the Japanese messages. This Chief said we knew exactly what the Japanese intentions were and exactly where their carriers were. Granted the Chief’s remarks are second hand information but it backs up what I read as a boy.

    Wilson wanted a war and he did everything he could to draw the Japanese into attacking the US of A.

  7. Concur. This memo shows nothing. I’ve not read enough since the 1980s, when I was really interested in it to know if the rest provided any specific warning without the excessive use of hindsight, but conspiracy theories that require government involvement and competence beggar disbelief.

  8. Bill, read that review this morning. It is a stunning refutation of Stinnett’s work. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I have always read that we knew something was going to happen early in December 1941, but that we believed that most of the evidence pointed to the Phillipines as the most likely target.

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