The Pearl Harbor Attack: 

An Introduction


Michael T. Griffith


@All Rights Reserved

Second Edition



On December 7, 1941, shortly after sunrise, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  Until that moment, polls showed there was strong opposition to entering the war unless we were directly attacked.  There is evidence that President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) and certain other government officials knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, that FDR actually provoked the attack and then allowed it to happen to get the American people to support America’s entry into the war, and that he unfairly blamed the local commanders in Hawaii to cover his tracks and to appease an outraged public.  This article presents some of that evidence.


Provoking An Attack


* In early 1941, FDR began to wage economic warfare on Japan. He imposed harsh sanctions that severely damaged Japan’s economy.  His excuse for the sanctions was that he was reacting to and/or trying to curb Japanese aggression in China and Indochina.  However, he imposed no such severe sanctions on the Soviets when they launched a brutal invasion of China’s Sinkiang province in 1934.  Nor did he take any such drastic action when the Soviet regime murdered millions of its own citizens in bloody purges from 1934 to 1938.  Nor did he seek to seriously harm the Soviet economy when the Soviets occupied Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1940. 


Roosevelt knew that his sanctions were doing enormous damage to the Japanese economy and that Japan could not allow them to continue for very long.  In addition, he had been warned that his sanctions would provoke the Japanese to fight.  Yet, when the Japanese finally responded to his provocations with military action, he pretended to be totally “surprised.”  And, needless to say, FDR was being less than honest when he told the American people that the attack was “unprovoked.”


* Roosevelt refused to accept reasonable Japanese peace proposals, but he was willing to bend over backwards to appease the Soviets.  Japan was anti-communist and capitalist, and did not want war with America.  Until FDR came along, Japan and America had enjoyed fairly good relations for most of the previous three decades.  In the face of FDR’s hostile diplomacy and crippling sanctions, the Japanese offered major concessions and even let it be known that they would essentially ignore their treaty with Germany in the event America intervened in Europe.  But Roosevelt refused every Japanese offer and replied with unreasonable terms that he knew the Japanese would not accept.


* Internal memos and other documents show that FDR was determined to maneuver the Japanese into “firing the first shot.” For example, Secretary of War Henry Stimson recorded the following in his diary regarding a November 25 meeting with FDR and a handful of other national security officials:


He [FDR] brought up the event that we were likely to be attacked perhaps (as soon as) next Monday [December 1], for the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning, and the question was what we should do. The question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves. It was a difficult proposition. . . .


In spite of the risk involved, however, in letting the Japanese fire the first shot, we realized that in order to have the full support of the American people it was desirable to make sure that the Japanese were the ones to do this so that there should remain no doubt in anyone's mind as to who were the aggressors.


It is worth noting that neither FDR nor Stimson, nor anyone else at that meeting, bothered to inform the local commanders in Hawaii—Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short—that the Japanese were “likely” to attack as early as December 1. 


* FDR’s bizarre decision to move the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii in June 1940 seems to indicate his intent to use the fleet as bait for an attack.  Moving the fleet to Hawaii made no sense—tactically, strategically, logistically, or financially.  Admiral James O. Richardson, the fleet’s commander, strongly opposed the move.  Roosevelt’s excuse was that basing the fleet in Hawaii would discourage Japanese aggression in the Far East. This was an utterly bogus justification, and FDR’s own subsequent actions proved it was a phony excuse.  When FDR floated this excuse to Admiral Richardson in a face-to-face meeting in October, the admiral couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  As Richardson pointed out the glaring flaws in Roosevelt’s argument, the discussion became rather heated.  FDR unjustly fired Richardson a few months later.  After the attack on Pearl Harbor, many Navy officers, including Admiral William Halsey and Admiral Robert Theobald, came to believe that FDR moved the fleet to Hawaii to serve as bait for a Japanese attack.


Foreknowledge that Pearl Harbor Would Be Attacked


* In January 1941, nearly a year before the attack, Dr. Ricardo Shreiber, the Peruvian minister in Tokyo, advised Max Bishop, Third Secretary of the U.S. Embassy, that he had learned from multiple sources that the Japanese were discussing a plan to attack Pearl Harbor if relations with America were ruptured.  Bishop relayed this information to his boss, Ambassador Joseph Grew.  Grew regarded Shreiber as a reliable source.  On January 27, Grew sent the following message to the State Department:


The Peruvian minister has informed a member of my staff that he heard from many sources, including a Japanese source, that, in the event of trouble breaking out between the United States and Japan, the Japanese intended to make a surprise attack against Pearl Harbor. . . .[1]


Admiral Harold Stark, the Chief of Naval Operations, informed Admiral Kimmel of this report, but he presented it to him as nothing but a wild, baseless rumor that he was passing on merely for information purposes.  The message that Stark sent Kimmel about Ambassador Grew’s report included the statement that according to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) “no move against Pearl Harbor appears imminent or planned for in the foreseeable future.”[2]  Stark's dismissal of Grew's report in his message to Kimmel is troubling because Stark himself, barely two weeks earlier, had endorsed a memo from the chief of the Navy’s War Plans Division to the Secretary of War that stated that if America and Japan went to war “it is believed entirely possible that hostilities would be initiated by a surprise attack upon the Fleet or the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor."[3]  Stark never corrected his dismissal of Ambassador Grew’s report, even when he became aware of a Japanese intercept, known as the “bomb plot message,” that indicated preparation for a bombing attack on Pearl Harbor.


The same day that Ambassador Grew advised the State Department of the Peruvian warning, he wrote the following in his journal:


There is a lot of talk around town to the effect that the Japanese, in case of a break with the United States, are planning to go all out in a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor. Of course I informed our Government.[4]


* On October 9, Roosevelt received a copy of a decrypted Japanese intercept commonly known as the “bomb plot message.”  This message and subsequent follow-up messages made it clear that the Japanese were planning an attack on Pearl Harbor.  Yet, Roosevelt said nothing about this information to Kimmel and Short. The minority report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack (JCC) said the following about the bomb plot message:


The probability that the Pacific Fleet would be attacked at Pearl Harbor was clear from the "bomb plot" available in Washington as early as October 9, 1941, and related Japanese messages. . . .


In the "bomb plot" message of September 24, 1941, the Japanese Government gave detailed instructions to its consul general in Hawaii as to the character of report it required concerning vessels in Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was to be divided into five subareas. An alphabetical symbol was given each area. . . .


On November 15, 18, 20, and 29 the Japanese Government urgently called for information about the location of ships in Pearl Harbor (exhibit 2, p. 13-15). On November 15 the Japanese consul in Honolulu was directed to make his "ships in harbor report" irregular but at the rate of twice a week (exhibit 2, p. 13). The reports were to give vessel locations in specific areas of the harbor, using the symbols established in September (exhibit 2, p. 15). The greatest secrecy was enjoined because relations between Japan and the United States were described as "most critical." On November 18 the Japanese consul general reported to Tokyo the locations of the ships in the various subareas of Pearl Harbor, giving minute descriptions of the courses, speed, and distances apart of destroyers entering the harbor (exhibit 2, p. 14). On November 29 reports were requested even though there were no movements of ships. These dispatches were intercepted, decoded, and translated in Washington on December 3, 4, 5, and 6, 1941.


The "bomb plot" message, and those messages relating to Pearl Harbor which followed it, meant that the ships of the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor were marked for a Japanese attack. No other American harbor was divided into subareas by Japan. And no other American harbor had such a large share of the fleet to protect.


In no other area did Japan seek information as to whether two or more vessels were alongside the same wharf. Prior to the "bomb plot" message Japanese espionage in Hawaii was directed to ascertain the general whereabouts of the American Fleet, whether at sea or in port. With the "bomb plot" message Japan inaugurated a new policy directed to Pearl Harbor and to no other place, in which information was no longer sought merely as to the general whereabouts of the fleet, but as to the presence of particular ships in particular areas of the harbor. In the period immediately preceding the attack Japan required such reports even when there was no movement of ships in and out of Pearl Harbor. The reports which Japan thus sought and received had a useful purpose only in planning and executing an attack upon the ships in port. . . .


On October 9th, 1941 (ex. 2, p. 12), Lieutenant Commander Kramer of Naval Intelligence in Washington promptly distributed the Pearl Harbor "bomb plot" message to the President, the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Stark, the Director of Naval Communications, the Director of War Plans, and the Director of Naval Intelligence (Tr., Vol. 59 p. 11209). It bore the notation "interesting message" on a gist or flag (Tr., Vol. 59, p. 11207). It was accompanied by a summary of its contents as follows:


"Tokyo directs special reports on ships in Pearl Harbor which is divided into five areas for the purpose of showing exact locations” (Tr., Vol. 69, p. 11207).[5]


The new chief of ONI, Captain Alan Kirk, recognized the implications of the bomb plot message and urged that Admiral Kimmel be warned about it.  So did Captain Harold Bode, head of the Foreign Intelligence Branch at ONI.  So did Lieutenant Commander Arthur McCollum, head of ONI’s Far East Section.  So did Commander Laurance Safford, head of the Communications Security Division, Office of Naval Communications.


But three admirals blocked all attempts to tell Kimmel anything about the bomb plot message.  Revealingly, the leader in this inexcusable withholding of vital information was Admiral Stark.  Admiral Richmond Turner (Director of War Plans) and Admiral Leigh Noyes (Director of Naval Communications) also opposed informing Kimmel about the message, but Stark was the key player.  When Captains Kirk and Bode teamed up to push for a warning to be sent to Kimmel, Admiral Turner appealed to Admiral Stark, and Stark ruled against the warning, even though the bomb plot message clearly lent credence to the Peruvian warning relayed by Ambassador Grew about a Japanese plan to attack Pearl Harbor.  As a result, Admiral Kimmel never received a copy of the bomb plot intercept and was never even told it existed.[6]


* In November, the Roosevelt administration declared the North Pacific a “vacant sea” and ordered all American and Allied shipping out of this area.  This was the same area through which the Japanese task force would travel to attack Pearl Harbor.  Two weeks before the attack, Admiral Kimmel deployed a portion of his fleet to the north of Hawaii for surveillance purposes, but he received an order from Washington to pull his ships back.[7]  To this day, no credible innocent explanation for the “vacant sea” order has been offered.


* Leslie Grogan, an experienced radioman on the SS Lurline, a Matson Line passenger ship, heard transmissions from the Japanese task force heading toward Pearl Harbor and determined that the task force was in the North Pacific and heading toward Hawaii.  Grogan noticed that the messages were being repeated. Grogan knew that rebroadcasts were used by ships that were communicating at long distances.  There were no ships in the North Pacific that would have needed to use repeat-backs except those of the Japanese fleet steaming toward Hawaii.  As Grogan heard these broadcasts, he used direction-finder (DF) bearings to discover their location.  He determined that the Japanese ships that were generating the radio signals were located in the North Pacific and were heading east, toward Hawaii.  Grogan kept a careful record of the DF bearings and the times of transmission in his logbook.  Grogan noticed that the Japanese ships seemed to stop or “bunch up” on December 2.  This is another indication that Grogan was monitoring the Japanese task force, because we know that Admiral Nagumo, the task force commander, had been ordered to reach the “standby position” by December 2. 


When the SS Lurline arrived in Honolulu on December 3, Grogan and Chief Operator Rudy Asplund delivered a detailed report to Lieutenant Commander George Pease of the 14th Naval District’s intelligence office.[8]  Pease promised to pass along the information.  When the ship docked in San Francisco on December 10, a Navy officer confiscated the ship’s logbook.  Naval archive records confirm the existence of the logbook, so we know that the Navy took possession of it. However, like so many other important documents relating to foreknowledge of the attack, the logbook has gone “missing” from the Navy’s archives.


Some defenders of the traditional story claim that Grogan misidentified innocent signals from  Japanese commercial vessels in Japan’s home waters, but this assertion is implausible.  Historians Brian Villa and Timothy Wilford (who also happens to be an electronics expert):


It is virtually unarguable that the automatic repeat of messages that caught Grogan's attention in the first days of December were the signals of a major naval force conducting operations at a very great distance from its base of operations. No attempt to dismiss these signals as those of some stray Japanese fishing fleet will hold any water. Nor can any credence be attached to the suggestion that the signals might have come from some major American, British or Dutch naval force in the quadrant that Grogan identified as the originating source of these automatic repeats. We know that such naval forces of the ABD powers that operated in the Pacific were all in the southwestern quadrant, not the northwestern. In the high Pacific there was no force that would be using automatic repeating save Japan's. . . .


In the context of the whole evidence it is virtually unarguable that Grogan heard the signals of the Kido Butai, and that from his report detailing the movement of the "beacon" signals, the direction of the Japanese movement could have easily been ascertained. Most tellingly, Grogan carefully noted that the flotilla stopped moving on 2 December, the date when Admiral Nagumo awaited confirmation of the attack plans while refueling in the North Pacific. We also know beyond any doubt that responsible officers of the Matson Line communicated this information to USN intelligence in Hawaii three days prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. That is not just the contention of Leslie Grogan but also of a steamship company that was heavily dependent on government contracts and subsidies.[9]


If Grogan was able to intercept radio signals from the Japanese fleet and to determine the fleet’s location, it is virtually certain that the American intelligence listening stations in and near the Pacific were able to do so as well.  There is evidence that Navy intelligence was in fact tracking the Japanese task force and knew it was nearing Pearl Harbor.[10]


* On December 6, the Alaska Defense Command sent a message to the 37th Infantry Division stating that Japanese ships were “270 miles southeast of Dutch Harbor,” which meant the ships were in the North Pacific, just about due north of Hawaii, nowhere near where the official version says the U.S. Navy believed the ships of the task force were located.  The message said this information came from the Navy.[11] 


* On December 6, FDR and other senior officials read decrypts of the first 13 parts of the 14-part Japanese diplomatic cable that Roosevelt had been waiting to receive.  It was clearly a declaration of war, even though it was not labeled as such.  In fact, when Roosevelt finished reading it, he turned to his top aide, Harry Hopkins, and said, “This means war.”[12]  Yet, FDR did not warn Kimmel and Short.


By the evening of December 6, it was readily apparent that hostilities with Japan were imminent, but no one warned the commanders in Hawaii.  Congressman Frank Keefe wrote the following in the JCC Pearl Harbor Report:


On the evening of December 6, in response to Secretary Stimson's request and at the direction of Secretary Knox, the Navy Department compiled from its records a summary showing that all the major ships of the Pacific Fleet were in Pearl Harbor. At this time the information available in Washington showed that war was only hours away. Yet the two Secretaries and the high command made no effort to direct any change in the dispositions of the Fleet as shown in the Navy Department summary. They took no steps to furnish Admiral Kimmel the information which they possessed as to the imminence of war.[13]


* On December 7, Roosevelt, General George Marshall (Army Chief of Staff), Admiral Stark, and a few other senior officials read the 14th part of the 14-part Japanese diplomatic cable, along with the time-of-delivery message that directed the Japanese ambassadors to deliver the 14-part message to the U.S. State Department at precisely 1:00 p.m., Eastern time, which corresponded to shortly after sunrise in Hawaii.  The implication of the timing was immediately recognized by some senior military officers.  The message stated that negotiations were over and that there was no hope for peace in the Pacific.  This was clearly a signal that hostilities were imminent. Yet, FDR did not call the commanders in Hawaii.  Nor did Admiral Stark, even though he was urged to do so by Admiral Theodore Wilkinson, the Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence (Wilkinson was alarmed by the contents of the 14-part message).  Nor did General Marshall, even though he had a scrambler phone on his desk, and even though Admiral Stark offered him the use of the Navy radio system to warn the commanders in the Pacific.  (Stark may have been engaging in self-serving posturing in making this offer, since by law he had the authority as the Chief of Naval Operations to use the Navy radio system to warn Kimmel and the other Pacific commanders.)[14]


About an hour before the attack, Marshall, through Colonel Rufus Bratton, sent a weakly worded warning message to Kimmel and Short. The warning was sent via commercial telegraph and, incredibly, was not even sent as a priority message.  As a result, the warning didn’t reach Kimmel and Short until hours after the attack. 


Marshall later claimed that he did not use the scrambler phone because he feared the Japanese would overhear the message and would know that their codes had been broken.[15]  Of course, Marshall could have warned Kimmel and Short without saying anything about Japanese intercepts.  For that matter, he could have given them a cover story to account for the warning (e.g., he could have told them that an American maritime vessel had spotted Japanese naval ships northwest of Hawaii or that an American spy in Tokyo had reported that a Japanese fleet was nearing Hawaii).  John Chamberlain commented on Marshall’s claim in a September 24, 1945, article in Life magazine:


By use of the “scrambler phone” Marshall could have reached Short well before the sun was up in Hawaii on the morning of the 7th. . . .  Marshall’s explanation for not using the phone was that he didn’t want to risk interception by the Japanese.  But the Japanese certainly knew their own plans.  . .  If the Japanese had intercepted a Marshall phone call, they had only one alternative to carrying through with their attack, and that was the alternative of calling it off.[16]


It is hard to believe that these obvious, common-sense considerations did not occur to Marshall.


* FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover received advance warning of the Pearl Harbor attack, and probably from multiple sources.  Hoover relayed this information to FDR.[17]  It is interesting to note that on December 3, FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Shivers of the Hawaii FBI office told the head of the Honolulu Espionage Bureau, Lieutenant John Burns, that Hawaii would be attacked by the end of the week.  Burns revealed this warning in interviews conducted at the University of Hawaii in 1975.[18]  Two of Burns’ subordinates later confirmed Burns’ account.[19]


* Congressman Martin Dies revealed in 1963 that his House Un-American Activities Committee, while investigating Japanese espionage activities in 1941, uncovered a Japanese military map that provided “precise information of the proposed attack” on Pearl Harbor.  Dies said that when he told Secretary of State Cordell Hull about this information, Hull asked him to keep quiet about it because of the “extremely delicate” diplomatic situation between America and Japan.  Dies also reported that representatives from the State Department, the Army, and the Navy examined the map.  Said Dies,


Early in 1941 the Dies Committee came into possession of a strategic map which gave clear proof of the intentions of the Japanese to make an assault on Pearl Harbor. The strategic map was prepared by the Japanese Imperial Military Intelligence Department. As soon as I received the document I telephoned Secretary of State Cordell Hull and told him what I had. Secretary Hull directed me not to let anyone know about the map and stated that he would call me as soon as he talked to President Roosevelt. In about an hour he telephoned to say that he had talked to Roosevelt and they agreed that it would be very serious if any information concerning this map reached the news services. . . . I told him it was a grave responsibility to withhold such vital information from the public. The Secretary assured me that he and Roosevelt considered it essential to national defense.[20]


Scapegoating Kimmel and Short


* After the attack, FDR moved quickly to place all the blame on Admiral Kimmel and General Short.  He ordered that they be relieved of command and forced to retire.  This was a shameful travesty of justice.  Roosevelt knew he had withheld vital intelligence from these fine officers, yet he had no qualms about ruining their reputations and their careers to cover his tracks and to satisfy an angry public. 


* As if this wasn’t bad enough, FDR created a special investigative commission, known as the Roberts Commission, whose sole function was to blame Kimmel and Short.  Not only did the Roberts Commission assign all blame to Kimmel and Short, but it gave high marks to the senior military officers in Washington who had played key—and very suspicious—roles in withholding intelligence from Kimmel and Short, i.e., General Marshall and Admiral Stark.  The commission even made the incredible claim that Kimmel and Short were given ample information about the imminence of hostilities but failed to act on it.  When Admiral Richardson, the previous commander of the Pacific Fleet, read the commission’s report, he condemned it in the harshest terms:


It is the most unfair, unjust, and deceptively dishonest document ever printed by the Government Printing Office.[21]




In order to overcome the American public’s opposition to entering the war, FDR needlessly provoked war with Japan and then pretended to be "surprised" when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.


Was Japan a model of democracy and pluralism?  No, but it was not as oppressive as the Soviet Union.  Could the Japanese army be vicious?  Yes, as it disgracefully proved in Nanking, but it was no more vicious than the Soviet army. Was Japan’s Hideki Tojo a ruthless leader?  Yes, but he was not nearly as ruthless as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.  FDR was ever ready to cut deals with Stalin and to appease the Soviets, but he refused to establish good relations with Japan.  This is not surprising, given that FDR was enthralled with Soviet communism and that his administration included Soviet sympathizers and even some Soviet spies.  While Roosevelt exaggerated and railed against Japanese aggression in China and Indochina, he turned a blind eye to Soviet aggression and to Stalin's murder of some 20 million Soviet citizens. 


Soviet policy called for war between Japan and the West.  The Soviets feared that if Japan and America reached a peace agreement, the Japanese might attack the Soviet Union at some point in the near future.  The Soviets did not want to see a peace deal between the Japanese and the Chinese Nationalists either, because that would free up the Nationalists to destroy the Chinese Communists, whom the Soviets were aiding, and would put the Japanese in a better position if war broke out between Japan and the Soviet Union.  It is no exaggeration to say that FDR seemed to do all he could to implement Soviet policy in the Pacific.  Not only did he reject Japan’s peace offers, but he rejected Japan’s request that America broker a peace deal between Japan and the Chinese Nationalists.


If you would like to read more about the Pearl Harbor attack and to get some idea of how unethical and misguided FDR's handling of WW II was, I would recommend the following four references:



  • Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy (Auburn, AL: LVMI, 2010), by Percy Greaves. Greaves served as counsel for the Republican minority on the congressional committee that investigated the Pearl Harbor attack shortly after the war.


  • The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Press, 2007), by Dr. George Victor.


  • Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 2011), by Dr. George Nash.




1. US Department of State Publication, 1983, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1943), pp. 617-618; Robert Theobald, The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor (New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1954), p. 43.


2. Memo from Stark to Kimmel, dated February 1, 1941, serial number 09716.


3. John Toland, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath (New York: Doubleday Books, 1983), p. 252.


4. Joseph Grew, Ten Years in Japan (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944), p. 368.


5. Minority report, Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack (JCC), Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946), pp. 516-519, (the Joint Committee’s report will hereafter be cited as JCC Pearl Harbor Report).


6. Toland, Infamy, pp. 59-61.


7. Robert Stinnett, Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor (New York: Touchstone Books, 2001), pp. 144-148.  Click here to read Stinnett’s documentation on this point online.  See also Timothy Wilford, Pearl Harbor Redefined: USN Radio Intelligence in 1941 (New York: University Press of America, 2001), pp. 108-109.


8. Toland, Infamy, pp. 278-281, 285; George Victor, The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2007), pp. 48-49.


9. Brian Villa and Timothy Wilford, “Warning at Pearl Harbor: Leslie Grogan and the Tracking of the Kido Butai,” The Northern Mariner, volume 11, number 2 (April 2001), pp. 12-13 (  Kido Butai was the tactical designation for the Japanese task force and quickly came to be used as a nickname for it. 


Phillip Jacobsen sought to debunk the SS Lurline evidence in his 2005 article “Pearl Harbor: Radio Officer Leslie Grogan of the SS Lurline and His Misidentified Signals,” Cryptologia, 29:2, 2005, pp. 97-120.  Jacobsen’s article is loaded with misleading misrepresentations and faulty logic.  Villa and Wilford have responded at length to Jacobsen’s claims in their article “Signals Intelligence and Pearl Harbor,” Intelligence and National Security, 21:4, 2006, pp. 520-556.  As just one example of Jacobsen’s misleading arguments, Jacobsen pretends that Grogan contradicted himself because he described the signals as faint but later said they were loud and clear.  However, as Jacobsen surely knew, the comment about the signals being “faint” referred to the first time Grogan heard them, when they were indeed faint, while the latter comment referred to when Grogan heard the signals after the task force and the SS Lurline had moved close to each other. 


10. Victor, The Pearl Harbor Myth, pp. 45-47; Toland, Infamy, pp. 282, 298, 325; Wilford, “Decoding Pearl Harbor: USN Cryptanalysis and the Challenge of JN-25B in 1941,” The Northern Mariner, volume 12, number 1 (January 2002), pp. 17-37 (


11. Toland, Infamy, p. 325.  270 miles southeast of Dutch Harbor is about 1,800 miles from Pearl Harbor.  It is possible that the location was based on DF bearings or sightings that were two, three, or four days old.  If nothing else, this was certainly information that should have been relayed to Admiral Kimmel and General Short.


12. Some defenders of the official story claim there’s no evidence Roosevelt said this, but Lieutenant Commander Lester Schulz, who delivered the 13 parts to FDR, told the JCC that he was present in the Oval Study when Roosevelt read the 13 parts and that he heard him say “this means war” (JCC Pearl Harbor Report, p. 216).


13. ”Additional Views of Mr. Keefe,” JCC Pearl Harbor Report, p. 266-J.     


14. Stark could have used the Navy radio himself to warn Admiral Kimmel, and in fact, as mentioned, Stark was urged to do so by Admiral Noyes.  Some scholars theorize that FDR had directed that Marshall had to approve any kind of warning message sent to Kimmel or Short.  This is a plausible suggestion.  Stark’s actions on the morning of December 7 suggest that Marshall had final authority over messages sent to the Hawaiian commanders.


15. Marshall told the JCC the incredible tale that he feared that if he used the scrambler phone and the Japanese overheard his warning, the Japanese would construe this as a hostile act (JCC Pearl Harbor Report, p. 226; “Additional Views of Mr. Keefe,” JCC Pearl Harbor Report, p. 266-N)!  At one point Marshall also said that he did not even consider using the phone or that he may have considered it but decided against it (JCC Pearl Harbor Report, pp. 225-226).


16. John Chamberlain, “Pearl Harbor,” Life (September 24, 1945), p. 113, original emphasis.


17. Toland, Infamy, pp. 326-327.


18. Toland, Infamy, pp. 285-286.


19. Toland, Infamy, p. 329.


20. Martin Dies, Martin Dies Story (New York: Bookmailer, 1963), p. 165.


21. James O. Richardson, On the Treadmill to Pearl Harbor (Department of the Navy: Navy History Division, 1973), p. 453.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Michael T. Griffith holds a Master’s degree in Theology from The Catholic Distance University, a Graduate Certificate in Ancient and Classical History from American Military University, a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College, two Associate in Applied Science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, and an Advanced Certificate of Civil War Studies and a Certificate of Civil War Studies from Carroll College.  He is a two-time graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, in Arabic and Hebrew, and of the U.S. Air Force Technical Training School in San Angelo, Texas, and has completed advanced Hebrew programs at Haifa University in Israel and at the Spiro Institute in London, England.  He is also the author of five books on Mormonism and ancient texts and one book on the John F. Kennedy assassination.


Mike Griffith’s Pearl Harbor Website