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Old December 6th, 2012, 02:43 AM   #11

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No, there is no compelling evidence that Roosevelt knew how it all was going to go down. True, the US had access to it's own domestic intelligence reports that an attack was imminent, but the quality of analysis was extraordinarily lacking. Where were they going too attack? The Philippines, Hawaii, Midway or Guam, somewhere on the American West coast? No one could really answer that question before the deed was done and they only had a week and half to try and figure it out, when they would more than likely need at least six months time to sort out and decipher all the intelligence intercepts. Roosevelt couldn't have known because his analysts didn't know. And no, not even Churchill's military intelligence crew knew what was coming.
Actually, this is a little bit misleading. With the notable exception of Pearl Harbor, the Americans knew pretty much precisely how the first 3 months of the war would unfold. If we look at the "Orange" warplans and subsequent "Rainbow 5" plans, nothing was a suprise except Pearl Harbor.

So the question then becomes, "Why weren't the local commanders (Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Lt. General Walter Short ) warned, just in case?" In fact they were. In the famous "war warning" message of November 27, 1941, the CNO instructed Kimmel "Negotiations with Japan looking toward stabilization of conditions in the Pacific have ceased and an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days." He further ordered Kimmel to " Execute an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned in WPL 46." Among the items specifically ordered were reconnaissance, yet the PBY patrol aircraft were caught on the apron at Ford Island. While I do believe that both Kimmel and Short were unfairly attacked for "dereliction of duty," they clearly had to bear a large part of the responsibility for the errors of Pearl Harbor.

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Old December 6th, 2012, 03:55 AM   #12

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From what I understand the agreements between Japan and Germany stated that if either were attacked by an outside power the other was obligated to come to its aid. Thus the attack by Japan on the US would not have legally binded Germany to a declaration of war on America.
The idea that FDR had prior knowledge began the minute that news of the action became known across the country. I think that initially it was instigated by anti-Roosevelt groups, but somewhat later nationalism may have entered into the discussion. It was hard for some to accept that our country could have caught off-guard to that extent.
There will always be "historians" that will focus on one aspect of an historical event and find a conspiracy. The higher profile the issue the better. Pearl Harbor, JFK, the moon landings, there will always be something for the conspiracy theorists to latch onto.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 04:35 AM   #13

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From what I understand the agreements between Japan and Germany stated that if either were attacked by an outside power the other was obligated to come to its aid. Thus the attack by Japan on the US would not have legally binded Germany to a declaration of war on America.
That is correct.

Did Roosevelt believe that America either had a vested interest in checking Nazi Germany? Absolutely. Did he actively, if surreptitiously, bend the US toward a more internationalist position? Again, yes. And this is where one of the largest holes in the PH revisionists' argument is exposed. Roosevelt wants war with Germany so he provokes Japan into attacking. Huh?
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Old December 6th, 2012, 04:43 AM   #14

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That is correct.

Did Roosevelt believe that America either had a vested interest in checking Nazi Germany? Absolutely. Did he actively, if surreptitiously, bend the US toward a more internationalist position? Again, yes. And this is where one of the largest holes in the PH revisionists' argument is exposed. Roosevelt wants war with Germany so he provokes Japan into attacking. Huh?

Good point, no one was to know that Hitler would throw the toys out of his pram and declare war on America.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 07:01 AM   #15
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Americans love their conspiracy theories so it is easy for some revisionist historian to take a few cases of missed intelligence and coincidences and turn it into a conspiracy.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 07:08 AM   #16

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Americans love their conspiracy theories so it is easy for some revisionist historian to take a few cases of missed intelligence and coincidences and turn it into a conspiracy.

Its so much more interesting (not to mention lucrative for book sales) to think that 'Colonel Conspiracy' was at the wheel during a defeat rather than good old 'Captian Cock-up'
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Old December 6th, 2012, 07:15 AM   #17

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Way to bait Republicans over a non issue. Conservative Americans are not any more likely to believe this crap as Liberals.
Because there's a cottage industry of Lib/Dems who never stop fanning
the flames.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 09:31 AM   #18

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Good point, no one was to know that Hitler would throw the toys out of his pram and declare war on America.
Precisely. If I'm Roosevelt and I want a war with Germany, provoking Japan would be a horrible way to do it. If I'm going to provoke anybody it's going to be Germany, and probably by instigating more Greer type incidents.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #19

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One thing that I find striking is the complete absence of Republican conspiracy agenda at the time. Naturally the Republicans wanted to discredit the Roosevelt administration and took every opportunity to do so in the myriad of Pearl Harbor investigations. They were critical of US planning, policy, preparedness and generally getting caught with our pants down. But NOWHERE in any of the contemporary criticism from the "loyal opposition" was there the slightest mention of any conspiracy.
Ahh... thanks for the mention on that. I've heard of the conspiracy that FDR used Pearl Harbor as bait, but I've never seen anything that gave any real indication as to who invented it.

I think was possible that they could have, for the reasons you've mentioned (critcal of and wanting to discredit FDR), but I've never even seen anything that outright said who, or even when the conspiracy was generated. Thinking back on it... and my memory may be a bit hazy, but wasn't the conspiracy theory for this actually generated AFTER the war and FDR's death?
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:57 AM   #20
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Aside of the conspicuous absence of evidence (which when properly searched inevitably becomes evidence of absence) please note this conspiracy theory makes no sense at all.

A failed Japanese attack with huge casualties from the attackers and almost none from the American side would have equally served as an inevitable provocation to war.

There was simply no reason why the FDR administration should have hidden the information on the Japanese attack had such information been available for them.
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