“Fake News” Is Nothing New. The “Surprise” Attack on Pearl Harbor May Be Fake News.

There has been a lot of media talk recently about fake news.  But this is nothing new.  In fact, fake news has been around for as long as there has been news.

Take the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941, for example.  Conventional wisdom has it that this was a surprise attack by Imperial Japan on the U.S. Pacific fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor.  But a veritable cottage industry of second guessers has sprung up over the years, books and articles galore, making the argument that President Franklin Roosevelt not only knew about the coming attack ahead of time but did nothing to prevent it so as to form a basis for America to get into World War II.  Roosevelt did this, so the argument goes, to help revive a struggling American economy by putting it on a war footing,  to come to the aid of  America’s allies overseas, notably Great Britain, as well as to protect its own interests worldwide.

Needless to say, the U.S. was swept by anger and outrage over the attack, the prevailing question in effect being, “How could a great country like the United States  have been caught so flat footed?”   Several investigations were conducted into the causes of the lack of U.S. preparedness,  probably the best known being the investigation by a ten-member Congressional subcommittee, five Representatives and five Senators, six Democrats and four Republicans, which began in 1945 and concluded in July, 1946, with the issuance of a 41,000 page report.  The report, signed by eight of the ten subcommittee members, concluded that there had been no dereliction of duty by President Roosevelt,  various cabinet members, or certain members of the Army and Navy, but errors of judgement had been made.  The majority also stated that the Empire of Japan made the attack on its own and had not been tricked or coerced by the U.S. into making it.

However, there was a minority report signed by two Senators which criticized the majority opinion in a scathing, blistering  denunciation.   This dissenting opinion, some seventy-seven pages long, supported chapter, book, and verse, by detailed references to the record before the subcommittee, concluded that Roosevelt and other high officials in Washington were in fact at fault in not being prepared for the attack.  They were also very critical of President Harry Truman, who came into office after Roosevelt died in April, 1945.  They concluded that Truman had obstructed the investigation so that all the facts concerning U.S. preparedness, or lack thereof,  had not come to light.

To this day it appears that all of the facts about the attack have not been made public due to later restrictions on the release of certain government records having been imposed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

Will all the facts concerning U.S. lack of preparedness ever be known?  Was the attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 really a surprise attack?  Did President Roosevelt have advance knowledge of it?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Is all of this managed news?  Was the “surprise” attack fake news to cover up for Roosevelt?  Who knows?  But I think the American people are entitled to know the facts, all the facts.

Incidentally, for those of you interested in reading  the majority subcommittee opinion, read my book, “Prelude to Disaster:  How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor.”  It is essentially based on the subcommittee report.  The book is a true account of Japanese diplomatic deception which led up to the Pearl Harbor attack and provides an inside look at the diplomatic exchanges between U.S. State Department representatives and Japanese diplomats while dark clouds of war loomed in the background.  It puts the reader in a position to be an eyewitness to history.  It is available on Amazon and eBay.

©2017 Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Filed under active voice, clear writing, good diction, history, punctuation, sound sentence structure, Writing Improvement

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