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The Pearl Harbor Conspiracy: Who Is To Blame?

The Pearl Harbor conspiracy has been called the mother of all conspiracies. Who is to be blamed for the attack on Pearl Harbor, and why is there a conspiracy in the first place? A conspiracy is an agreement to perform an illegal, treacherous, or evil act. Therefore, if President Roosevelt, General Marshall, Admiral Kimmel, and Short thought they were doing the nation good by bringing the US into the war through their “conspiracy,” this should not even be considered one. It is clear that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, therefore Japan is to blame for the direct assault. But the question here is not who is to blame for the attack, but who is to blame for not preventing the attack. That is the conspiracy.

Go back to the beginning of World War I. Europe started fighting in 1914, and America entered the war in 1917. Antiwar sentiment ran high in the United States; not many wanted the country to enter war for one reason or other. American felt that if they were to enter, they would have to be attacked first by an outside force. America was not attacked, but America entered anyway, to say the least, people were angered. World War II started in Europe when Germany attacked Poland in 1939. America was to stay neutral, in the eyes of the people, unless attacked first, holding the same sentiment as they had in World War I. Therefore President Roosevelt needed an excuse, otherwise known as an attack on the US, but more importantly on the American antiwar sentiment.

It’s not that the four of them attacked Pearl Harbor, that was clearly Japan as aforementioned. It was that the four individuals did not prevent the attack when they knew it was coming. President Roosevelt provoked the attack, knew about it in advance, and “failed” to warn the Hawaiian commanders. He needed the attack to force Hitler to declare war on the US, since the people and Congress were overwhelmingly against entering the war in Europe. It was Roosevelt’s way into war.

On November 26th, 1941, Admiral Kimmel, the U.S. naval commander, received two reports, one indicating that Japanese subs and carriers were near the Marshall Islands, and the other one indicating all carriers were near Japan. So which was correct? Japan supplied the second message on Japanese radio messages, which were intercepted by the US. Why would Japan by lying to other Japanese? They wouldn’t be, which means the first message was false, assuming that whoever gave Kimmel the message, wanted him to focus his navy on the Marshall Islands, and away from elsewhere (Pearl Harbor). On the 27th, a day later, a warning was sent out to all naval commanders telling them to expect an “aggressive move” on “the Philippines, Thai peninsula, or possibly Borneo.” There was no mention of Pearl Harbor, so why was the message also sent out to Kimmel? Probably once again to direct his attention and his navy to those spots, and away from Pearl Harbor.

In 1940, the US was able to crack the Japanese secret code “Magic.” From then on, the US was able to read all secret messages sent from the Japanese in Tokyo to the Japanese in Washington. With all the intercepted messages, one would think that the US would have prepared for any type of attack anywhere. Washington was not only anticipating an attack, Washington knew when it was going to happen. General Marshall on Dec 7th 1941 after analyzing an intercepted piece of information says, “Something is going to happen at one o’clock.” This message was sent to San Francisco and Manila, but not Hawaii because of technical difficulties. When Kimmel finally receives the message, it is already too late; the attack on Pearl Harbor had already happened. What a coincidence that there would be a technical difficulty of sending a message to Hawaii.

Just the day before, Kimmel expressed concern about the lack of information of where Japanese aircraft carriers were; he was also not informed about a local FBI report indicating suspicious activity near the Pearl Harbor naval base. None other could have kept this information away from him except Roosevelt. Roosevelt knew about everything because he was informed of all the Magic intercepts. Later that day, he was handed six more intercepted messages and he still ignored them by saying, “We’re a democracy and a peaceful people. We have a good record.” For Magic, there was also evidence that if Japan attacked first, Germany would then declare war on the US. Roosevelt knew the enemy was in Germany more than in Japan.

One last piece of mounting evidence is that none of the American aircraft carriers was damaged because they were not present during the attack. They were not present because Roosevelt had removed them prior to the attack. He knew the attack was coming, but he also wanted the least damage done as possible. Kimmel, Marshall, and Short may have been smart enough to know what Roosevelt was up to, and they may have also been in on the conspiracy. But they did not play such a big part, because in the beginning they were clueless. They were aware of some of the secret codes, but not all. Even if Roosevelt is blamed for bringing the US into the war, the people were still thankful of him for doing so. America was attacked first; therefore the public believed he did the right thing. Roosevelt knew the public liked him, he felt he was invincible and could do what he needed to. Roosevelt also believed he acted accordingly to the situation presented.