Saturday, December 3, 2011
History stuff: FDR knew about Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 4, 1941...
By Eric Pfeiffer
A new book reports that two days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that officially brought the United States into World War II, President Roosevelt was warned about such a possible attack in a memo from naval intelligence.
U.S. News' Paul Bedard writes more about the story:
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."
The memo comes from Craig Shirley's new book, December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World, which also reports that the Japanese were building a network of spies through their U.S. embassies and consulates. However, Shirley doesn't blame FDR for failing to act on the memo; instead, he compares the Roosevelt administration's inaction to the executive branch's failure to act on pre-9/11 intelligence. In each instance, Shirley contends, the evidence suggests "that there were more pieces to the puzzle" that the White House missed in the days and weeks leading up to the attack. "So many mistakes through so many levels of Washington," said Shirley. "Some things never change."
And in a bit of unusually related news, 45,000 residents will evacuate a town in Germany after the discovery of one of the largest unexploded bombs in history. Stars and Stripes reports the 4,000 pound bomb, with more than 3,000 pounds of attached explosives, was dropped on the town of Koblenz by the British Royal Air Force during the war. The bomb was discovered in the Rhine River, where water levels have dropped due to lack of rain. A 275-pound American bomb was also discovered nearby.