At this meeting,
the president advised my father that his
intelligence staff had informed him of a pending
attack on Pearl Harbor, by the Japanese
of wartime Red Cross chiefIllustrations
added by this website
Speech' Was Written Before Pearl Harbor
Shaw under torpedo
attack at Pearl Harbor
The Washington Times
EXACTLY two years ago, Sen.
John W. Warner, Virginia Republican and
chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee,
joined the debate on whether to posthumously
promote Army Maj. Gen. Walter Short and Navy
Rear Adm. Husband Kimmel, both commanders of
Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese
A series of official inquiries between 1941 to
1946 blamed both officers for lack of readiness,
and though neither was ever officially charged with
wrongdoing, both were relieved of their commands
and ultimately retired at the lower ranks of major
general and rear admiral.
The question now is whether government and
military leaders were too quick to render judgment.
Were the two officers made scapegoats? Were there
failures at higher levels of the chain of command
Mr. Warner told colleagues: "There's no new
evidence. . . . Why should we now at this late date
in history make a different finding?"
Well, contemporary researchers who accepted Mr.
Warner's challenge now answer his question. Not
only has new evidence surrounding the attack on
Pearl Harbor been uncovered, but historian and
author Daryl S. Borgquist, a Justice
Department official in Washington, believes the
U.S. Navy and others are keeping crucial documents
Inside the Beltway has learned that, in a
lengthy paper being presented today at a World War
II conference at New York's Siena College, Mr.
Borgquist will offer new findings about Pearl
Harbor. He'll say the verdict on Pearl Harbor was
reached too soon (upon conclusion of the 1940s
investigations), well before crucial documents were
declassified and other materials uncovered.
note, Mr. Borgquist draws attention to a "major
historical error" based on the typed text of the
first draft of President Franklin D.
Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" speech.
Mr. Borgquist says the text was drafted by a
State Department team led by former Assistant
Secretary of State Adolph Berle between 8:30
p.m. and 12:30 a.m. -- after the first 13 parts of
the 14-part Japanese reply to the American
ultimatum had been intercepted, decoded, and
delivered on Saturday night, Dec. 6, 1941.
The attack came on Dec. 7.
That supports Mr. Borgquist's earlier argument,
in 1999 by Naval History Magazine, That the
attack on Pearl Harbor was no surprise at all. He
wrote that Helen E. Hamman, the daughter of
Don C. Smith, who directed the War Service for the
Red Cross before World War II, wrote a letter to
President Clinton revealing a conversation she had
with her dad:
"Shortly before the attack in 1941,
President Roosevelt called him to the White
House for a meeting concerning a top-secret
matter. At this meeting, the president advised
my father that his intelligence staff had
informed him of a pending attack on Pearl
Harbor, by the Japanese.
"He anticipated many casualties and much
loss; he instructed my father to send workers
and supplies to a holding area. When he
protested to the president, President Roosevelt
told him that the American people would never
agree to enter the war in Europe unless they
were attack[ed] within their own
borders. . . .
"He followed the orders of his president and
spent many years contemplating this action,
which he considered ethically and morally
We'll wait and see if the Bush White House talks
to Mr. Borgquist and fellow Pearl Harbor presenters
at today's conference before making the decision on
whether to elevate Gen. Short and Adm. Kimmel, as
their families have requested and Congress proposed
in the fiscal year 2001 defense authorization
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