Talk:Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory

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See Also + Port Arthur[edit]

I add to the see also the Port Arthur Battle. It is part of the mainline history that the attack was predictble, which can be taken as evidence by both sides of the debate. It either proves the incompetence arguement or proves the conspiracy. Not my place to argue either, leave it to the reader. Evadinggrid (talk) 00:03, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Code Breaking Section, near top of article[edit]

The beginning of the section on codes is unquestionably good writing. It’s interesting, focused and tells a story. I learned something reading it. I want more writing like this on Wikipedia. My question, while reading it continued to be what it has to do with the advanced knowledge debate Pearl Harbor. I didn’t come to the article to learn about the status of code breaking from start to finish of the war, who the players were, what the drama was, etc. With regards to the codes, I want a focus on:

  • Who knew what, when, who did they tell and how did it effect preparedness.

I think much of the material about the codes should go in an article about code breaking and referred to there, possibly even being published outside of Wikipedia, and then summary comments of its conclusions, such as:

  • There were multiple codes.
  • Some were broken before others.
  • There was a constant fear of using/circulating the information that was decoded as it might tip off the enemy that its code was broken. [I know this was the case with the breaking of the German code, and why British didn’t destroy the feared German battleship Tirpitz [sistership and equally dangerous as the German battleship Bismarck] earlier when they knew exactly where it was].
  • Information decoded was hoarded, frequently not shared.
  • Those who had broken codes often were protective.
  • Resources/staffing devoted to code breaking were limited.

Ultimately, I stopped reading the article, because I have limited interest in the codes. I understand the context is important, but I felt there was far more context than needed, and no sense of if and when anything about Pearl Harbor would be mentioned. So, I started skipping forward–-unfortunately, the stuff following had the same confusing lack of focus on Pearl Harbor, lack of clear thesis sentences about why it is relevant. --David Tornheim (talk) 20:36, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

I really should take note of more than the most recent change summary when I check over my watchlist. Sorry to have missed this.
The reason the codes business is important, though tedious to some, is that they are central to many of the claims of pre-knowledge by Washington or someone which was withheld from Hawaii commands. As is often the case in intelligence work, some of the information was complete, some was incomplete, some was unavailable, and it all had to be evaluated prior to being treated seriously. Bletchley Park did the same thing for the intercepts it managed to decrypt, and in a famous incident even Churchill finally gave up his insistence on getting the raw decrypts in his dispatch box. Even he couldn't keep up with the meaning of frequently low level and opaque (but perhaps meaningful to a specialist analyst) content in the decrypts.
But this is supposed to be an encyclopedia article, not a book on the subject. The bottom line of the cryptography section is that there is insufficient evidence either to strongly suggest foreknowledge, or to strongly suggest against it. That is, there is some debate about how well the codes had been decrypted, and it is not clear what information might have been extracted assuming that they were, and there is no real evidence about what information would have made it to the top decision-makers. There's an awful lot of detail leading up to that inconclusive result. Mark Foskey (talk) 02:34, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
As for the good writing, thank you. I seem to remember some of it to be mine. Would that the rest of the article were even that clear. ww (talk) 04:57, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I first visited the page today, and right away I thought the long, long sections on intelligence (Assertions, Detection,J & A Intel consume over 30K characters) really belong on a separate page. Summarizing could help return focus to this long-long-contentious subject. Twang (talk) 00:58, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

T, There's a problem with this application of the splitting spirit. In this article the question of codes and cyphers is central to nearly all of the alternative theories. Someone was (or was not) reading one of them and knew something as a result and did (or did not) pass it one to someone in Washington who didn't tell Hawaii which accounts for Hawaii's assorted failures to perform adequately that morning. To do as you suggest is to remove a major portion of the alternative theory business and force Readers into chasing down other articles to find the WP account of this stuff. And they will already be confused by a very hairy and confusing subject. Altogether, and regrettably, the length more or less goes with the topic and can't be avoided without making our Readers' problems worse. The best, if unsatisfactory by an ideal standard, seems to be what we sort of have (minus the bad writing and interfering special pleading). ww (talk) 03:37, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree. The codebreaking ish is a bit technical, but without understanding that, you can't understand the claim of foreknowledge, let alone the explanation why what looks like foreknowledge was nothing of the kind. Unfortunately, too much simplification only aids the conspiracy nuts. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 12:36, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

One thing I didn't notice -- I was looking for it, but I may have missed it -- was evidence supporting or contradicting the story of the codebook found on a Japanese officer's body after the typhoon. It is a commonly known story, but maybe that is all it is. Could this point be addressed in the article, to the best of current evidence pro or con? - Tenebris

Presuming you mean Koga 1944? And a copy of I-Go? It was handed over to MacArthur & then NImitz; Halsey, who would have seen it, evidently paid no attention. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 10:51, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
"there is insufficient evidence either to strongly suggest foreknowledge, or to strongly suggest against it." I really do wish you'd tell the conspiracy theorists, because they will rely on intercepts that weren't even translated til 1945 to bolster their case. (Stinnett reproduces one, with the 1945 translation date on it, while claiming it was a warning...) TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 16:11, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Page 142 text No RDF on the Japanese Strike Force: No Conspiracy![edit]

Here is what page 142 really says,

A more critical analysis of the source documentation shows that not one single radio direction finder bearing, much less any locating "fix," was obtained on any Kido Butai unit or command during its transit from Saeki Bay, Kyushu to Hitokappu Bay and thence on to Hawaii. By removing this fallacious lynchpin propping up such claims of Kido Butai radio transmissions, the attendant suspected conspiracy tumbles down like a house of cards.

Please be careful of Anonymous edits. Source may not reflect what is claimed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ScottS (talkcontribs) 21:44, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Tom Kimmel, I've read your articles and e-mails and I think in time they should be incorporated into the discussion. However I feel they need much more to substantiate the claims. ScottS ScottS (talk) 16:44, 6 August 2009 (UTC)


There's a section mentioning US government inquiries. The section should at least summarize or state the inquiry results. It would also be helpful to discuss what established historians think of the theory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:50, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Being a Bratton[edit]

"However, there were only a few US targets in the Pacific of concern to the IJN. From Farago's Broken Seal (Bantam paperback with Postscript), pages 226-228 have: "But now Bratton (sic: Colonel US Army G2) needed no statistical appraisal of the old dispatches to realize that No. 83 was different from all the others in this particular category of messages. No other outlet - even Seattle, Panama or Manila - had ever been asked to report in such detail, and no other region was assigned a grid system like the one the Third Bureau had devised for Pearl Harbor. ... He got himself a couple of maps published by the Cartographic Section of the National Geographic Society - a 1:8,000,000-scale transverse Mercator's projection of Southeast Asia, and another of the Pacicif Ocean, scale 1:27,500,000 - and began marking on them Japanese moves that even remotely hinted at some deployment for war. On October 13 he stuck a marker on the map where Pearl Harbor was.""

I removed this because:

  1. It gives undue weight to Bratton's selection of Pearl.
  2. Bratton was not making the decisions.
  3. It was widely believed Japan's major objective would be the P.I. (with good reason; look at a map).
  4. It was widely believed IJN was incapable of executing more than one major operation at once, & one was already underway,
  5. AFAIK, Bratton never actually predicted an attack, despite being the only officer in DC's intel community (AFAIK) acutally doing this kind of systematic analysis of intel. (This is a reference to his famous map.)
  6. AFAIK, Bratton never communicated any special fear of a potential attack on Pearl.
  7. As cited, the passage suggests he did, or planners should have seen it. Lacking 20/20 hindsight, & given the above points 3 & 4, this is clearly mistaken.

Since I expect to be taken to task for removing this, feel free to try & refute these points. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 11:01, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Are some facts conveniently being forgotten, or purposefully ignored, or just unknown?

Fact: Bratton and Sadlter each rang the Pearl Harbor bell within the War Department. Safford and McCollum via Wilkinson did the same for the Navy. A cursory review is not that time consuming here. Is there not an awareness of the Farago paperback?

Another example, George Victor's The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable (2008) notes that several officers did point explicitly to Pearl Harbor as a target.

And, from Layton (1985), as (a gimme - page 342): "Wilkinson recounted how he had been accompained by Captain McCollum to the munitions building where he found General Miles and Colonel Bratton already present in the boardroom. His digest of the evidence of the morning of 19 December suggest that there was a certain degree of collusion and deliberate misstatement in what appears to have been a collaborative effort by army and navy to convey the impression that no intelligence had been withheld from Admiral Kimmel or General Short."

So, Pearl Harbor bells were rung - they were also certainly un-rung.

Fact-checking, verified using proper references, aid the Wikipedia readership in their assessment of this multi-dimensional event. Preconceived notions, with little to no specific cited materials, do very little to be informed about this topic.

Ah, yes, not only anon but unsigned... And the usual conspiracy theory. Safford & McCollum were no more senior than Bratton. And awareness of the importance of Pearl does not equate with awareness of its being targeted. (Note, yet again, the ability of Japan to attack & the priority assigned to P.I. by the decision-makers is not addressed.) As to whether info was withheld from Kimmel or Short, that's a purple herring (to borrow a phrase). They were not deciding the priorities (tho Short boobed his express objective, defense of the Fleet, regardless). "Preconcieved notions"? Be real. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 05:20, 29 September 2009 (UTC) (BTW, I'm not doing this with my sources in front of me, unlike our anon conspiracy theorist.)
And more "citation"... Do you not understand "undue weight"? Let's see, Blair puts P.I. at higher priority, & offers as evidence Hart & MacArthur got both Purple machine & Purple & JN-25 codebooks, when Pearl didn't. Manchester gives P.I. higher priority for B-17s than Britain; Pearl wasn't getting B-17s, either. Pearl was still on a training schedule, not a war footing; war was widely expected to break in P.I. or Far East, not HI. (Note the 27 Nov "war warning": Thailand, DEI, P.I., Russia, anywhere but HI.) And "no CVs under command"? Pearl was the major fleet base in CPac, home of the PacFlt in 12/41; Manila was nothing but an outpost. Also, USN doctrine since 1897 called for relief of P.I., after it stood on its own, not symbolic sacrifice of the Fleet in Manila. (Which, BTW, if FDR had really meant to encourage war with Japan, would have been the more direct & sensible approach, since Japan could never have ignored it. He didn't, I notice. Hmm....) Putting this in draws undue attention to Pearl as a likely target, completely contrary to the actual expecations at the time. 20/20 hindsight has no place in a historical article, even one giving credence to this proposterous fantasy. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 10:12, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Day Of Deceit[edit]

For want of a better place to put this ... the Wikipedia article on Stinnett's Day Of Deceit reads like a promotional release for the book, making no mention of the many criticisms of Stinnett's work. A skim of the comments section suggests an effort to keep such criticisms out. Those who find, ah, debates more interesting than I do might want to offer an alternate point of view. MrG (talk) 21:00, 4 December 2009 (UTC) Right on! Hugo999 (talk) 13:30, 3 January 2010 (UTC) I have read Day of Deceit and tend to support that side of the debate, that FDR knew of the attacks. I do of course respect all other opinions, but he does give quite a lot of evidence to support that side. Personalskeptic (talk) 02:20, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Seperate article for JN-25[edit]

As the article is tagged as “too long” the JN-25 part (and the JN-25 part of Japanese naval codes also) should be transferred to a separate article on JN-25 and its decyphering; including the dates for each of the variants.

Att the same time the British contribution could be acknowleged, ie John Tiltman at Bletchley Park who decyphered JN-25A. Plus the 1991 book by Eric Nave and James Rusbridger, although this book is a red herring as Rusbridger embroidered Nave’s account.

Oh it's a conspiracy theory and this is just a hallucination, Moronpedia: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 15 February 2011 (UTC)


It is my understanding that a thorough investigation was made almost directly after Pearl Harbor, one that cut like a knife, that burned like steam - it "took off the skin in a directed fashion, so to speak." That two different high officials ordered both the battleships and the planes kept in close order for ease of inspection.

Furthermore, that they wanted these two men in particular, executed for stupidity.

They were compared to southern Westpoint military leaders just before the Civil War. The worst of these men were not toilet trained; they could not dress themselves; plus they were illiterate. The slave boys who dressed and toileted them also did their homework. These slave aides were allowed to give briefings, but of course, decisions were left to their owners. Some of them literally did not know the Civil War was brewing - they were still in Washington DC, when the Civil War started. I am not clear what happened to them, just that the South did not want them. There is some stuff about George Armstrong Custer being perfectly able to dress and toilet himself, but he was also able to attend the bathroom soirees, and allow black slaves to tend to his personal needs - and thus talk shop with the high up southern boys.

The party scene in Honolulu prior to the Civil War was compared to the party scene in Washington DC just prior to the Civil War - horse races, duels, parties, that kind of thing.

Dwight Eisenhower was a compromise. It was understood he had connections thru Mamie; that kind of thing did happen. Everybody liked him, but some thought he was inexperienced. Sure the US was a rich country, but when you lose all your battleships and planes in goddammed rows, what good was all that wealth. We needed somebody with solid experience and I guess there were certain individuals suggested. They did not have family pull and that counted against them.

There was a lot more - people were investigated about why they held relatively mild views of Hitler and Mussolini. This was partially because both men were very popular - Hitler especially so with Lutheran theologians and scholars.

I have no supporting documentation whatsoever except personal memory of these men talking, One was Milton Eisenhower and he stated these things basically in the presence of his brother. who just listened.

User talk 17:29, 31 January 2010

Part of the above (not the Civil War parts) might be useful if the eyewitness gave a date & place to when he heard Milton talking in the presence of Ike, but as Milton Eisenhower was a civil servant in America in 1941-42 he would not have any first-hand knowledge anyway Hugo999 (talk) 02:51, 13 June 2010 (UTC)


This discussion is about the following text, from this edit:


Allegations that U.S. President F. D. Roosevelt knew about the attack beforehand have been published in works such as Charles A. Beard's President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War 1941 (1948), George Morgenstern's Pearl Harbor (1947), Charles Tansill's Back Door to War (1952), Robert Alfred Theobald's The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor (1954), John Toland's Infamy (1982), James Rusbridger's Betrayal at Pearl Harbor (1991), and Robert Stinnett's Day of Deceit (2000).[1]
  1. ^ Marston, Daniel (2005). The Pacific war companion: from Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 43. 

  Cs32en Talk to me  05:40, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

The article is about the debate on the alleged advance-knowledge about Pearl Harbor, it is not primarily about the facts. Therefore, it is quite appropriate to start with the most notable publications that contain the allegations. The list is not drawn up in a random fashion, it is based on a reliable, secondary source.  Cs32en Talk to me  04:05, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Publications are typically introduced at the bottom of the article, in a list of sources. If a prominent publication has information relevant to the article, it should be listed as a reference backing up a fact or two. Your notion of a raw list of publications, placed at the top of the article, is not suitable to Wikipedia manual of style guidelines. Binksternet (talk) 05:09, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Of course, publications are typically placed at the bottom. However, this is an article about the Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge debate, not about Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge. Therefore, the publications given at the end should be secondary sources about the debate, they should not be part of the debate itself. Conversely, the publications given in the text (not the references!) are those publications that are relevant in the context of the debate about the alleged advance-knowlegde of the Pearl Harbor attack. The Manual of Style is written with the typical situation in mind, of course, as the typical article is about facts, not about a debate about facts.  Cs32en Talk to me  05:29, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I have to disagree. Without discussing the debate first, placing these works so prominently leaves an impression of endorsement which is unwarranted, especially considering the flimsy basis this fantasy has to begin with. Moreover, IMO, it's stylistically unappetizing, even if the MOS wasn't opposed. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 05:39, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
It would certainly be good to have a section taken from a secondary source first, that gives an overview about the debate, its origins, evolution and results. The article, in its current state, does not provide such an overview, it's not based on reliable secondary sources, but simply a collection of various information taken from primary sources (i.e. literature that is part of the debate that the article is supposed to describe, or even technical texts about the breaking of Japanese codes). Much of the content of the article might well be correct, but that approach is simply original research. While not perfect, presenting the relevant works that contain the allegations that are being described in the article, based on a secondary reliable source, is a first step to improve the article.  Cs32en Talk to me  05:51, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
If I understand you correctly, you're suggesting there be sourcing of the existence of the debate. I honestly don't see a need to do that, tho I wouldn't oppose sourcing the origins of it: that is, who first claimed it. The page, as structured, is about the content of said debate, why it exists, & why it persists. If sources for origins can do that, more the better. I'm afraid I find "third party" refs to this debate a bit like requests for 3d party sourcing of fictional character bios...but perhaps I've mistaken you. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 06:50, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

JN-25 section[edit]

There is a sentence which includes:

Leitweiler states, "We have stopped work on the period 1 February to 31 July as we have all we can do to keep up with the current period. We are reading enough current traffic to keep two translators very busy."

Why would you need translators for this type of code. From the previous text, my understanding is that each code number related to a specific term - so 63982 is given as battleship. So translators wouldn't be needed for this, as the code is not in a foreign language in the first place - unless you were treating the list of codes themselves as a "language" to translate, but that would seem to be an odd term to use. -- (talk) 13:14, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Aren't you forgetting something? Once it comes out of JN-25, it's in kana: in Japanese... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 13:34, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
JN-25 is irrelevant to this article's topic according to Admiral Theobald's 1954 book "the final secret of pearl harbor" (which was written to address the martyrdom of Kimmel and Short by Washington) the Purple Japanese diplomatic code was completely broken before the beginning of 1941. He was well aware of the fact that Japanese translators were involved. Along with British intelligence, both the Navy and Army decrypted Purple intercepts (on alternate days) all through 1941, and had a list of 13 people that were given daily "Magic" intercepts, with Magic being the decrypted and translated original message. Theobald was likely the Naval Officer most expert on War with Japan in the Pacific before War with Japan in the Pacific. Theobald makes his entire case of pre-knowledge based only entirely on Purple decrypts. Raisinpie (talk) 06:50, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Completely biased read[edit]

Article seems good but completely biased. I can't believe you would completely shut-down all of those that have experienced some sort of insight on an incoming attack because of lack of documentation and then procede to come to intellectual assumptions, that itself could be waived false. You should avoid this! For example: Fact: I went to school yesterday. Your perception: "oh.. wait wasn't documented, he therefore might not have gone to school..". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:46, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

The "conclusions" are based on flat wrong conclusions or flimsy, or nonexistent, evidence. Would you accept a claim "aliens have landed" on the basis of a single eyewitness, with no photographs or physical evidence? As the maxim has it, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". These claims are contrary to the majority of the published information to date as well as to the expressed aims of the parties involved (namely Churchill & FDR). To overturn this demands more than bald claims. This isn't "The Drudge Report" or Fox News. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 15:58, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
But you cannot just fill in gaps with your own personal opinion on such a large scale inquiry. These gaps are key links to uncover history, it must be as precise as possible, non-bias. It is a debate is it not, it should also not be one sided. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:14, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
"just fill in gaps with your own personal opinion on such a large scale inquiry"? Don't be ridiculous. The verdict of history (to borrow from Prange) is, there was no conspiracy. This isn't my opinion. This is the opinion of every serious historian of the subject. The only ones who think there's something to be "uncovered" are the conspiracy loons who are conveniently ignoring evidence that doesn't fit their preconceptions. Not to mention the underlying racism of the presumption it requires a conspiracy (i.e, the Japanese are too stupid to figure out how to achieve strategic surprise on their own). TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 02:31, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
There is no doubt in my mind it was a set-up, and I am not even racist. To make such a large scale attack with no radio communication is almost impossible. It's like being stranded in desert and told to reach an objective with out asking questions and not knowing the where abouts. Remember this is a very precise attack. Also testomonies of Nave, Stinston, etc. What are they, just people gone mad? Give me a break. (talk) 5:34, 18 November 2010
♠"To make such a large scale attack with no radio communication is almost impossible." Really? Why? They know the objective, they've trained extensively & hard in attacking it, they've trained for years in fleet ops (so flag & blinker is 2d nature, eliminating the usual excuse of "need for radio"). Where's the demand for radio comm before the attack?
♠"like being stranded in desert and told to reach an objective with out asking questions and not knowing the where abouts." How? It's not like the Kido Butai had no clue where it was or where it was going. And don't tell me they couldn't find Hawaii without radio! (If you're "not racist", you can't mean IJN navigators can't read charts.)
♠"testomonies of Nave, Stinston, etc." People can be wrong, especially those directly involved. MacArthur & others at the time were sure German pilots led the attack on the P.I., & that it came from an aircraft carrier. They were wrong. It's also easy to want to blame somebody else when there's such a monumental screwup. Fact is, stupidity is much more common than conspiracy, especially conspiracy on such a massive scale.
♠More to the point, you don't address the fundamental contradiction here. Any attack by Japan has the U.S. at war with Japan, which does not benefit Britain, and aiding Britain has been FDR's main priority for over a year. The one country benefitting from this "conspiracy" is Germany, & both Hitler & the supposed author of the "guiding memo" on the subject, Cdr Arthur McCollum, damn well knew it. You can bet Stark & Marshall knew how to read a map, too, & unless you think they wouldn't have told FDR, you can also bet he knew it. Moreover, Winston himself had advised FDR to help avoid war with Japan, knowing Britain had quite enough to deal with already, fighting Germany. Where is the benefit to Britain? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 02:14, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
It still does not make sense, as there have been eavesdropping stations set by Britian in both located cities: Singapore and Hong Kong, to decrypt Military and Navy transmitted messages. They have decrypted succesfully years before hand anyways, but the purpose of these stations were to know if actions set by Japan (During the ar between China and Japan) would let them expand into the global war at the time, which they have done. Why wouldn't they warn America??
"Why wouldn't they warn America??" An excellent question. If the Brits had known, they damn sure would have. Since the Brits did not warn the U.S., it's safe to conclude they did not know. (Credibly, for the same reason U.S. intercept stations, & decryption, also in place prewar, didn't offer a warning: there was none in the decrypted traffic. {Leaving aside intercepts not decrypted for lack of manpower, which is a separate issue. Unless you mean to suggest the Great Depression was part of the conspiracy? Or parsimonious Navy Department? Or the very selection of Stimson, who refused to "read other gentlemen's mail"?}) Which undermines your conclusion there was a conspiracy, doesn't it? It depends on there being warning, doesn't it? Hmm... For the Brits not to warn the U.S. if they had known would have been suicidal. More to the point, yet again, you ignore the fundamental contradiction: where is the benefit to Britain? Care to answer that one, instead of throwing up extraneous issues? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 21:01, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, economics and ego tripping, by demonstrating their naval and military power, is what the American's wanted or more specifically Roosevelt, so it isn't necessarily beneficial for Britain. Note, Roosevelt wanted to go to war, it was just the public's opinion that refused it. After Pearl Harbor the public's opinion obviously changed. Maybe there were warnings sent, but Roosevelt just ignored them, much like the way Roosevelt ignored the rules of Global War and blocked any trade between the two, during pre-war. We can only speculate because the paper shredder has removed all but left a trail. For me, all the suspicions and testimonies just yells out set-up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:33, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Without a reliable, verifiable source, your yelled-out set-up cannot be in the article. Thanks for playing. Binksternet (talk) 18:17, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
It is not an article, but a discussion. One of which, your not in. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Per WP:TALK, this page "is to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article". This page is not for general topic discussion. Binksternet (talk) 18:58, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
He asked me a question, I answered, it is a simple inquiry of realization, therefore it does pertain to the rules set to this discussion. Realizing that either side of belief is still speculation and maybe should reconsider a revise. Note: Title of topic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

By the way, I am actually writing an essay on pearl harbor being a set-up, would you by chance help me find good sources lol, yes Binksternet, this would be something that cannot be in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

"Roosevelt wanted to go to war" Really? You have a source for that? Beyond the conspiracy nuts who think he arranged the attack on Pearl?
"Maybe there were warnings sent" Really? You have actual evidence for that? Because I've been reading in this area for more than 20yrs & I've never seen any.
"Roosevelt just ignored them" Same answer.
"much like the way Roosevelt ignored the rules of Global War" Same answer.
"yells out set up" It may to you. You don't govern. See "extraordinary claims" above.
"help me find good sources" It appears to me you want neither good sources nor reasoned argument, since you persistently refuse to engage in actual discussion. Moreover, if anyone is adding "nothing but opionion", it's you. Show me the money. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 20:06, 21 November 2010 (UTC) (P.S. If you read Prange's Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History & still think there's a conspiracy, don't even bother coming back. I'd love to read your essay, tho. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't like your grade. 20:13, 21 November 2010 (UTC))
Wow man, harsh. I am debating, no need to belittle. Most claims I have made are from testimonies which you admitted are irrelevant. Nave: states first decryption of Japanese code was 1920, when there was a message sent to the Washington embassy, technology such as PURPLE during MAGIC operation has developed, decoding these diplomatic messages with ease. For the operation the Japanese chose to commence, they would need required radio contact for headings. Since there wasn't any messages sent during the trip, these codes that have been sent had to be decrypted at the start of the mission, giving plenty of time for the American president to react. For why causing war in general, this should be common knowledge, creates jobs for the poor, also fuels economics as money = debt (It gets really technical, but more and willing to elaborate, look into money creation if you wish to investigate yourself). With messages it all comes down to testimones which you ignore anyhow so there is no point of listing it. Also other testimonies about why he ignored, no point of listing. Global War rules, such as blockades (international law), depends on how you look at them, technically it was against the law, but did so to help support the allies, so it is consider "just" even though they were not even in the war yet (suspicious). Also with Japan writing an agreement with Russia that states if Japan starts war with Britain or America, the Russians would "lay-off", in 1941 before the attack. Not being cocky, but I am more then willing to send you my essay when it is done, even though you just might spit at it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:48, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
♠My apologies. You were coming off pretty flip to me.
♠"Since there wasn't any messages sent during the trip" That is an astounding concession. Thank you.
♠Nobody AFAIK debates PURPLE was broken. (BTW, the 1920 break was a completely different cypher system predating PURPLE {& the creation of MAGIC IIRC}, so it's irrelevant to this argument.) More to the point, the 1940 breaks in JN-25 (which might actually have revealled IJN ops) were very preliminary; "break" does not equal "reading clear", despite what Stinnett & others would have you believe. (IDK when the movement cypher was broken, so IDK if it was possible to predict the sortie of Kido Butai. I doubt it.) Furthermore, & frequently ignored, neither U.S. Army nor U.S. Navy had the manpower to break, read, & translate every signal they did intercept, which is why they concentrated on PURPLE & JN-25, & not J-19, with unfortunate consequences. Not to mention there was scant actual analysis, which might have uncovered the flaw in that approach.
♠"they would need required radio contact for headings" Why? As noted, it's not like IJN navigators can't read charts.
♠"these codes that have been sent had to be decrypted at the start of the mission, giving plenty of time for the American president to react." That presupposes "bearings" had to be "sent", which suggests IJN navs are incompetent. It also presupposes messages (not "codes") were sent by radio; if they were sent before departure, they would have been sent by land line, so there is no chance they'd have been detected, alone decrypted. So no time to "react". Nor would these supposed bearings have been sent in a cypher the U.S. was reading in any event; they'd have been sent in JN-25 (or the perhaps movement cypher), not PURPLE. Most probably, they'd have been in written orders before Kido Butai ever sortied.
♠"war...creates jobs" Not arguing that. Where is the evidence FDR wanted a war? Rather than wanted to provide aid to Britain, which was at war? There is a very clear distinction.
♠"Global War rules, such as blockades" I'm unaware of FDR (or the U.S.) placing a blockade on anybody. In fact, the U.S. expressly did not impose blockade on Japan because it would have been effectively an act of war, which is why there's all the talk about forcing (or allowing) Japan to "make the first move", which leads to the false impression the attack was arranged. Rather, it was intended to avoid war.
♠"even though they were not even in the war yet (suspicious)." This is suspicious how? Aid to the Brits in the Atlantic connects to conniving for a Japanese attack in the Pacific how? And, more to the point, a Japanese attack in the Pacific benefits Britain how? By taking ships, planes, & equipment away from the Atlantic? (It did.) By diverting ships, planes, & equipment away from Britain, to supply the U.S., which is now at war? (It did.)
♠"With messages it all comes down to testimones which you ignore anyhow so there is no point of listing it" Really? Without knowing exactly what points you think support your case, it's impossible to refute. I'm perfectly willing, even if I think it's nonsense.
♠"Also other testimonies about why he ignored," Same answer.
♠"if Japan starts war with Britain or America, the Russians would 'lay-off'" Huh? The Russo-Japanese Neutrality Treaty (whatever the correct name :( ) was only a guarantee Russia wouldn't attack Japan. It had damn all to do with the U.S. or Britain, except in enabling Japan to attack without fear. (I'm sure IJA wasn't too thrilled, since they'd wanted another war with the Sovs since 1905; as late as August 1845, IJA high command contemplated attacking Siberia!)
♠It comes back to the fundamental question, "Where is the benefit to Britain?", still unanswered. Care to try that one? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 12:40, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I am not arguing for the benefit to the Brits, but the Americans. Either Roosevelt arranged a talk with Churchill about his plans and an agreement came abouts. Even if the warnings were sent, which I believe they were, and you are sceptical about, Roosevelt would not claim there would be. This is because, the President will not tell you what they don't want you to know, so for the little amount of alleged knowledge in this area makes it seem sceptical; as a rumor of such can not just come out of the blue. I believe where there is smoke there is fire. So to give you evidence about Roosevelt wanting to go to war will never be found, just speculated with the traces left by testimonies. It is suspicious because the Americans were not in war and they cut off the Japs oil supply, this is clear instigation. For an anology: It would be like say if, Australia was contributing to American's oil supply, then when America goes to war with another country, Austalia then cuts off their supply, that off being Australia had no affilation to the opposing country of America. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:19, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

"Also testomonies of Nave, Stinston, etc. What are they, just people gone mad? Give me a break. "
Betrayal at Pearl Harbor was largely the work of James Rusbridger not Eric Nave. Nave has since stated that he does not agree with many aspects of the claims attributed to him within the book. (see wikipedia entry) He also stated that much of Rusbridger's work was speculation. His memoirs also make no mention of conspiratorial claims. JN-25B was never broken until after Pearl Harbor. The "sinister" messages in Rusbridger's book have decript dates of post 1941 printed on them. A perfect example of why the book is a sloppy fraud.
I do not know who Stinston is, but "Stimson's" claims do not show any specific foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack that I am aware of.ScottS (talk) 16:57, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
♠"I am not arguing for the benefit to the Brits, but the Americans." That's the problem. The conspiracy centers on the alleged benefit to Britain. Any benefit to the U.S. wouldn't need a conspiracy, just suitable provocation from Japan. (Which FDR & Co were all hoping Japan would provide, as already noted.) It damn sure wouldn't need the U.S. to allow a devestating attack: presence of the Kido Butai close to Hawaii, or the detection of an IJN submarine in territorial waters, would do nicely.
♠Suggesting FDR came to a deal with Winston to "allow" an attack on Hawaii is even further from reality, since it would be a) unnecssary, b) contrary to what Winston was asking for ("Let's not have any more war."), & c) stupid. I know of nobody who thinks FDR wanted a war as a way to get out of the Depression, which you appear to be suggesting. In fact, the aid being provided to Britain was doing that already, without active U.S. involvement. (The U.S. had sucked up virtually all Britain's gold reserves in new production. Any idea how much that was? I can't put a # on it, but it was a hell of a lot.)
♠"evidence about Roosevelt wanting to go to war will never be found" Because there is none. Believe it, if this was real, somebody would have said so, & somebody would have found documentation. Presidents have a hell of a time doing anything without leaving a paper trail. Suspicion & speculation do not meet the standard of evidence, no matter what I think.
♠"they cut off the Japs oil supply, this is clear instigation" No, it's not. It's clear stupidity. One of the senior advisors at State, a guy who really understood Japan, warned them not to press so hard. FDR didn't want a complete embargo. Sombody (I don't recall who, but maybe Stimson, an inveterate hater of Japanese) cranked up the ban from hi-octane fuels (aviation gas) to all oil, & it bit him. You can't look at the embargo in isolation. It was part of a considered policy. (Perhaps badly-considered, & badly executed, but...) It was not a random act. So you've got to look at the entirety: buildup in P.I., Pac Fleet in Hawaii, steel embargo; in fact, you can go back to the 60% & 70% ratios in the limitation treaties: all were designed to limit or deter Japan. (This was also what Winston expressly asked FDR to do in PTO, & what FDR was trying to achieve.) It was done clumsily, & ended up provoking, rather than deterring, which was most certainly not the intended outcome. It's also a major reason DC was so damn surprised when the blow fell on Hawaii, instead of the P.I.
♠I'm very much afraid you've fallen into a false causality, here. Just because event B follows event A, it doesn't mean event A caused event B. In geopolitics, that's even more likely to be true.
♠BTW, I'd still like to hear your answers to the questions I posed at the start. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 20:43, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Get a room, you two. This fine and energetic discussion fails the WP:TALK test. Take the discussion elsewhere. Binksternet (talk) 21:09, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Happy to move it to my talk, Bink. Anybody interested can find it there. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 21:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I really think both of you are trying to insert to much of your personal opinion. I was actually debating the same subject with Binksternet on another page. I believe that he knew about the attacks before hand, however I respect other opinions. I think there is plenty of evidence supporting both sides, although I think there is more supporting the so called "conspiracy nuts" side. But i am still researching so I don't know everything yet :p. I hope to find more information soon through reading etc. Trekphiler seems to have quite the info though. Personalskeptic (talk) 02:27, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

"I believe that [FDR] knew about the attacks before hand" *sigh* As noted above, read Prange's Verdict. Bear in mind one thing: conspiracy is more fashionable, but stupidity is more likely. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 03:51, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Sink K-XVII![edit]

These nuts just keep coming... Beyond the fact sinking a Dutch sub would be an act of war against an ally (which Churchill wasn't stupid enough to do :/ ), how, pray, did K-XVII know the Kido Butai was bound for Pearl Harbor? She put a spy on board the flagship as it roared past at 15 knots? The spy then got into Nagumo's locked safe, read the top secret orders--in Japanese--& escaped off a ship moving at 15 knots without drowning? Then managed to be picked up by K-XVII again, without any of it ever being detected? This one even Clive Cussler wouldn't touch. :( Roger Ebert thumbrunning 20:39, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Biased, Poorly Written[edit]

Bias starts with the headline. Calling something a "conspiracy theory" is, in current popular culture, a way of delegitimizing it. It puts the reader on notice that those who argue that U.S. officials had advance knowledge of the attack are, in one way or another, unbalanced. It fails the Wikipedia "neutrality" test. Which, quite frankly, is unsurprising, given that Wikipedia routinely breaks its own rules. The article is marbled throughout with value judgments and opinions that would never pass muster in a real encyclopedia. Some examples:

  • " ... have argued that various parties high in the U.S. and British governments knew of the attack in advance and may even have let it happen ..."
  • " ... some of those questioned were put in a difficult spot of having to lie (even under oath) ..."
  • " Most unfortunately, to date not all Purple messages have been released."
  • " Blanket or un-qualified statements on what decoded "Magic" messages revealed are, therefore, premature."
  • "The JN-25 superencrypted code is one of the most debated portions of Pearl Harbor lore."
  • "Detailed month by month progress reports have shown no reason to believe any JN-25B messages were fully decrypted before the start of the war."
  • " There are several problems with this analysis. "

The foregoing isn't a comprehensive list, but a quick selection made to show the tendentious, opinionated nature of this article. I am not disputing the author's thesis; I am saying that it is an opinion, and does not belong in anything holding itself out as a reference work. In this regard, it is no different than my college history professor's well-researched, skillfully argued view that American participation in World War II was motivated mainly by global economic issues, namely the U.S. fear that it could not survive in a world dominated by large empires (Soviet, Nazi, Japanese) based on slave labor.

This same professor believed the so-called (here) "conspiracy theory" about Pearl Harbor. I neither believe nor disbelieve the "theory." But I do regard it as a legitimate "theory," and think that to have it marginalized and caricatured in a so-called "encyclopedia," in clear violation of Wikipedia's own rules with respect to "neutrality," makes for yet one more piece of evidence that Wikipedia itself is very, very far from ever becoming an "encyclopedia" of any kind. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

♠"' ... some of those questioned were put in a difficult spot of having to lie (even under oath) ...' I'd consider the choice of having to lie under oath or breach an oath to maintain security on one of the biggest secrets the U.S. had was a difficult one, wouldn't you? And they did have to lie under oath to the various investigations, so "even" is correct, too. What's the problem?
♠"a way of delegitimizing it" Exactly. This junk deserves ridicule. It's gained currency among reviewers, reporters, & readers without a clue.
♠"This same professor believed the so-called (here) "conspiracy theory" about Pearl Harbor. " That's precisely why we need to put a bullet in this garbage. Even supposedly informed educators don't know better, when they should.
♠"I do regard it as a legitimate "theory"" It's not. It's a fantasy. It's up there with the theory Jackie had JFK killed because she found out about Marilyn. Have you seen this?
♠"'Most unfortunately, to date not all Purple messages have been released.'" This one actually supports your view, you know... Which is about the level of scholarship I've come to expect in this crowd.
♠"' There are several problems with this analysis. '" This is about as NPOV as it gets. How would you propose critiquing an argument with more holes in it than a target barge (to borrow a phrase)?
♠"one more piece of evidence that Wikipedia itself is very, very far from ever becoming an "encyclopedia" of any kind" Really? Do you find extensive coverage of this bilge in Encyclopedia Britannica? It's inclusion does more harm to WP's reputation as a serious site than the tone of the page. Next you're going to say we should treat seriously claims aliens built the pyramids.
♠"I am saying that it is an opinion" It's not. It's the consensus of professional historiographers: this is nonsense & does not deserve to be treated as legitimate. You think this is POV? You ought to see what I'd say about this nutty fantasy. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 22:14 & 22:29, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. It confirms the validity of my criticism of the article. You have a strong viewpoint, and have written what amounts to an editorial masquerading as an encyclopedia article. Again, I don't have an opinion about whether FDR, et. al., knew about the impending Japanese attack before it happened. I am capable of reading opinionated material to gather information, so there is value in a tendentious article like this one. But don't pretend that this article is neutral. It is far from it. The lack of neutrality is obvious, and it flagrantly violates what Wikipedia passes off as its "standards" for presentation of subjects. Too bad that it does, but I am not exactly surprised. Wikipedia is organized on the idea that truth and fact don't exist but are whatever a consensus of whatever a flashmob of editors says they are. Its rules count for nothing. So, you get long, opinionated essays like this one, that do both their authors and Wikipedia a real disservice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:12, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
♠Not neutral? The very fact this page hasn't been taken down as a flagrant example of promotion of fringe theory is a perfect example of neutrality. The baseless claims don't deserve reasoned, scholarly treatment, yet they're getting a pretty fair hearing on the page. Not neutral? If it was up to me, this page would have been deleted within minutes of being created.
♠"truth and fact don't exist but are whatever a consensus of whatever a flashmob of editors says they are." And consensus has kept a page devoted to a crackpot theory alive & well, despite your preference for it being less balanced & more an ode to lunacy, stupidity, ignorance, & racism. I deplore that even more than the fiction this page stands for. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 03:00, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
The predominance of editors and administrators with attitudes like yours are what keep me from becoming involved with Wikipedia. Just when I think I might be interested, I think, "What's the point, when some whackjob with an opinion will turn it into an editorial?" You just breeze right past what I've written twice, which is that I take no position on whether FDR, etc., had prior knowledge. Then you accuse me of wanting "an ode to lunacy, stupidity, ignorance,& racism," when all I "want" is an article written from a neutral perspective. Nothing more than that. Wikipedia's rules, which in my occasional, off-and-on attention to what this organization does, are routinely ignored within its articles, mean nothing. This article could easily be rewritten to say everything you want it to say, and more effectively, but without the cheesy appeals to emotion. That Wikipedia preserves such clearly substandard content says everything about Wikipedia; that anyone would defend it says everything about their standards. So have your way, 'cause I'm out of here. This will doubtlessly satisfy you, but remember: No respected academic institution on earth allows its students, or its faculty, to cite Wikipedia as a source. And you helped. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacksonjake (talkcontribs) 04:36, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
♠The only way to give this page the "balance" you claim to want is to make out this crackpot nonsese isn't. This page is a fair treatment. It isn't advocating for either side. The POV you claim to be seeing is based on the historiography, which is based on the facts. Conspiracy theories like this one don't stand up well to facts. You appear to believe the conspiracy theory should be given the benefit of the doubt. I think the mere existence of this page is more benefit of doubt than it deserves.
♠"No respected academic institution on earth allows its students, or its faculty, to cite Wikipedia as a source. And you helped. " You don't suppose that's because any dimwit can add any kind of junk, do you? Or because of the existence of pages like this? I've been scrupulous to keep my biases off the page itself, because I know damn well if I didn't watch it, I'd turn it into a screed. You appear to think I'm incapable of it. You also appear to believe I'm sole contributor to this page. Belive me, I wouldn't be nearly so kind if it was up to me alone. That would fail the test of the "flashgroup consensus" you seem to think is so incompetent.
♠:"This article could easily be rewritten to say everything you want it to say, and more effectively," So why didn't you rewrite it, instead of complaining? It's not like anybody would stop you.
♠As for "standards", I'm not going to say it can't be improved. I am saying the changes you appear to want are just as biased in the other direction.
♠If being misunderstood is keeping you away, & if all you've got is complaints about quality & no suggestions on improvement, I can't say I'm sorry you're not around more. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 17:40, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Okay, I'll bite. I edited one section. I fully expect that, in keeping with Wikipedia's habit of ignoring its own procedures, that you'll revert it out of spite. It's clear from this discussion that you have an ax to grind, and I expect you to grind it. But we'll see. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacksonjake (talkcontribs) 18:57, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Beyond that, the title of this page needs to be changed. "Conspiracy theory" should be changed to "claims." One is tendentious ax-grinding. The other is neutral. To call something a "claim" neither accepts nor denies it; to call it a "conspiracy theory" implies that it's somehow lunatic. That's what you obviously believe, but "neutrality" -- if you are to take it seriously, which so few people at the Wikipedia children's book do -- requires neutral language. So, are you here to use Wikipedia to grind your ax? We're about to find out.Jacksonjake (talk) 19:13, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
No, no. "Conspiracy theory" is exactly correct. The 'claim' is that there was a conspiracy among U.S. leaders and military men to draw the Japanese to attack and start a war. As a theory it has great gaping holes. The term "conspiracy theory" is perfectly apt. Binksternet (talk) 20:12, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
♠You think I've got an axe to grind? It's called "facts". I have a real intolerance for fiction masquerading as truth. And I'm not the one who moved the page to its current title. I was satisfied with "debate". It's a conspiracy theory, but I'll give people who don't know better the chance to learn they're wrong without beating them over the head with the pagename. Once they get here, the game's afoot.
♠Looking at your edit, I've got only minor issues.
♠First, the removal of the "lying under oath". It was necessary for some witnesses to lie to the early inquiries, & IIRC Safford among others did. The secrecy around Ultra/Magic was that high, & it bears mentioning.
♠Second, the fact tagging of "misapprehension & lack of manpower". What part of that do you mean needs citation? AFAIK, none of that is in doubt.
♠Third, I'm not seeing the need to separate the Thurmond report from the rest, nor the need to change from "All ten". TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 01:55 & 02:08, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
You are absolutely grinding an ax. It couldn't possibly be any plainer. You have a strong opinion that those who think FDR, et. al., knew about the Pearl Harbor attack in advance are crackpots. Having that opinion is fine, but it's absolutely a violation of neutrality to slant an article the way you've done. It's just one of thousands of examples of shoddy, substandard material at Wikipedia. There is nothing "encyclopedic" about the article. It's a long, meandering, poorly focused yet highly tendentious editorial. And, beyond that, it's obviously the product of crytography geeks, who have stuffed it with divergent, irrelevant crap about their favorite hobby.
As for specifics, your opinion and $2.50 for an iced grande Americano at Starbucks establish nothing, including whether it was "necessary for some witnesses to lie in early inquries." You believe it, and maybe the voices in your head believe it. But you have not cited a source, which is also supposed to be a Wikipedia rule. Of course, when you have a pseudo "encyclopedia" based on the idea that fact has no objective reality, it's pretty easy for any crank with an opinion to ignore mere rules. The article is replete with the need for citations, yet you seem to think that what rattles around inside your head is enough. This is just a joke! No wonder serious people don't bother with this zoo!Jacksonjake (talk) 09:08, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
"You have a strong opinion " That's right, based on over 30yr of reading on the subject. I've also read the touted "sources" for the conspiracy theory, & their they're (oops...) full of distortion, omission, & outright falsehood. That doesn't deserve equal treatment with serious historiography.
"You believe it" I believe it, because I've seen it. I don't have the source in front of me. Nor do I have perfect recall for everything I've ever read. It did happen. People who had to lie said so. That you want to remove it makes me wonder why. Nor do I expect memory alone to suffice. Cite it for citation. AFAIK, nobody who actually knows anything about this subject doubts security cleared witnesses did lie.
"product of crytography geeks" Some of it is technical. How do you expect to understand the issues at hand without it? Again, what, exactly, are you objecting to?
I'm hearing a lot of complaining, but not a lot of constructive effort. Stooping to insults does not improve your case. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 16:03 & 16:09, 14 August 2011 & 20:50, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Material here is supposed to be sourced. Content is supposed to be neutral. These are allegedly basic Wikipedia rules. You have ignored them. It's par for the course at this children's encyclopedia, where the volume of tendentious and propagandistic material rises constantly. I really don't see the point in further helping you to polish what you have made clear will continue to be propanganda for your viewpoint. It's not even remotely encyclopedic. This article is your editorial. It wouldn't last 20 seconds at a genuine encyclopedia. You ought to be embarrassed to be defending it.Jacksonjake (talk) 21:05, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't think I'm revealing any great secret when i say that the main purpose of this article is to keep this type of material out of the main Pearl Harbor articles. Better to keep it all in one location then have it keep popping up in the more mainstream accounts of the event.   Will Beback  talk  21:29, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Wow, that's a level of manipulation and deviousness that I hadn't been aware of until now. It blatantly violates Wikipedia's so-called "standards," but hey, what the hell. It's what happens when an organization doesn't believe in anything at all. But thanks anyway for telling me.Jacksonjake (talk) 21:40, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
It's entirely compliant with WP:FRINGE, which covers how to summarize fringe issues like conspiracy theories. In general, fringe topics should receive little or no attention in mainstream articles, but if they're sufficiently notable then they can be covered in articles of their own. That guideline derives from the core policy, WP:NPOV, which says that views should be given weight according to their prominence. It really does make sense, once you learn the major policies and guidelines.   Will Beback  talk  21:48, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
That's just outrageous intellectual dishonesty. The mere fact that there were no fewer than ten investigations, including one fifty years after the fact, indicates that it's hardly a "fringe" claim. But hey, this is Wikipedia, a place where there is no truth and the other rules apply only when a flashmob decides it's in its interest to apply 'em. Jacksonjake (talk) 21:55, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
No offense, but people interested in all kinds of fringe topics complain that their pet ideas are not given sufficient prominence. It's a matter of trying to balance a lot of different material and present it in a way that's useful for readers.   Will Beback  talk  22:11, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
"This article is your editorial....You ought to be embarrassed to be defending it." My editorial? Now who's listening to the voices in his head? As I said, I'd be inclined to delete it. However, that will encourage this crackpot junk being included ad nauseam into pages of genuine scholarly value. At least here, it will do less harm, & will, one hopes, not poison the open minded with this preposterous crap. Of course, you just want to complain about this page, so the very idea you might end up wrecking others probably doesn't trouble you.
"further helping you to polish what you have made clear will continue to be propanganda for your viewpoint." You've done damn all but complain. And the viewpoint being advanced by this page of garbage most assuredly is not mine. Since you obviously have no intention of contributing anything but further gripes, Jacksonjake, you may consider yourself ignored by me. I have better things to do, & there are people on WP genuinely interested in improving. You, quite obviously, are not. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 01:56, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

See it then[edit]

While I have no problem with most of the recent Murrow add, I have concerns about the story he never told. The implication I take from it, & presumably the one intended, is, he was told FDR knew the Japanese were going to attack. Since we don't know what Murrow actually was told (IMO, it's more probable he was told Japan's cyphers were being read), because Murrow never told anyone, I suggest this be removed. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 05:18, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

There is Murrow's remembrance of appalled men, then someone else's remembrance of Murrow saying that they were not surprised. The latter is weaker. Binksternet (talk) 13:18, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you both. The "story never told" seems to be given undue emphasis. --Yaush (talk) 14:44, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Why is this here?[edit]

This is not the only article on wikipedia suffering from conspiracy theoryitus. Some folks have obvious axes to grind and desires to apply conspiracy theory labels to discredit or belittle... I would call these folks: psudeo skeptics. People with an interest in conspiracy but only to discredit, sometimes in complete disregard of the facts. They don't really practise skeptisism. They practice debate ad nausum.

This article should be deleted or renamed.

Their is no theory about this. When US government inquires and investgations are still happening over 50 years after the event it is safe to say that their is a conspiracy afoot. Not a theoritical one that may or may not exist but an actual REAL conspiracy to obfuscate the facts of the matter.

Their is a difference between a conspiracy to hide the truth even decades after the fact and a conspiracy theory that is just a subjective hypothisis of what could be a possiblity...

Do you see the difference yet?

And forgive the bad grammar and spelling. I am aware of it. (talk) 08:56, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

♠The only reason there continues to be attention on this subject is because of the legions of stupid people who haven't a clue what FDR was actually doing nor any grasp of the strategic & geopolitical realities that make seeking war with Japan nonsensical. Arguing anything else is indefensible.
♠As for the "conspiracy" label, this is a conspiracy theory. If true, it required concerted action by dozens, nay hundreds, of people in on the secret PURPLE had been broken & was being read, not to mention every senior officer & official connected: Hull, Stimson, Marshall, Stark, & Wilkinson, at a bare minimum. That is a functioning definition of "conspiracy".
♠Since no evidence has arisen Japanese were incompetent to achieve surprise unaided, which the underlying racism of this proposition presupposes, it remains nothing but a crackpot theory that fails to withstand genuine scholarly (or even informed) scrutiny. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 03:47 & 03:49, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
All good points. FDR would have been an idiot to try and involve Japan since his focus was on Europe. There has never been proof of a conspiracy involving many people. The Japanese were perfectly able to make a surprise attack, which they did. Binksternet (talk) 03:55, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Thx for the vote of confidence. (You're not one of those I have to persuade, tho, so... ;p )
I'd add one more thing. Even Hitler, not known for his stellar grasp of reality, understood if the U.S. was at war with Japan, it was good for Germany... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 04:05, 24 March 2013 (UTC)


At the moment this article is an overly long argument in defence of the 'Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory'. The depth of detail in the discussion of evidence is not appropriate for an encyclopedia. Readers shouldn't have to analyse and compare evidence, it should be summarised and presented.

The article should be a description of the theory, not a defence of it. It should place the theory in the context of broader history, and answering questions like What do mainstream historians think of this theory? What is the basis for their objections?

I agree that in any event the page should not include the word 'conspiracy' in its title, it is pejorative, and the article doesn't discuss this theory's status as a conspiracy theory per se. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:55, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

♠I agree, more context would be a good idea. I disagree on "conspiracy theory". That's what it is. For it to be true, there would have to be a conspiracy, & that is implicit in the position of the advocates.
♠That said, a lot of the page is discussing the propositions being advanced, & why they're nonsense. That does require some thought by the reader. It's not like the page can just say, "Stinnett says there were broken messages, Prange says there weren't & Prange is right."
♠Also, the purpose of this page is, in some measure, a means to avoid having all the conspiracy garbage on the main Pearl Harbor page. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 10:46, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree with everything IP from Sydney said except the bit about conspiracy. This topic would have to be about conspiracy if it is about anything remotely true. It's not about, for instance, the general American racism against Asiatics, or about the general Japanese wish to black the eye of the European intruder in Asia and the Pacific. It's not even about one American acting completely alone. Binksternet (talk) 14:14, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I do appreciate the complaint. It's an esoteric subject, & requires a certain minimum amount of knowledge going in. (It strikes me a bit like listening to two groups of physicists arguing about the death of Schrödinger's cat. ;p ) It might be better if there was a "framing" of the major issues before leaping into the deep end. Walter H. White say my name 14:32, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Binksternet and Trekphiler/Walter H. White on both points. We really are talking about a conspiracy theory and might as well say it, but the need for better framing seems clear. --Yaush (talk) 21:00, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

The introduction could be much better. In general, there's an over-concentration on the details of intelligence, and this really ignores the nub of the theory. The theory is that the President, the military high command etc, knew about the attack, and didn't try to forestall it. This is somehow connected with Roosevelt's desire to enter the war (as if an attack that was beaten off more successfully would have failed to start a war). This is what the article should concentrate on and find evidence for (or against).--Jack Upland (talk) 07:13, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

♠Agreed. The trouble is, the evidence is in the details. Or, I should say, the claims are based on faulty, misleading, or false interpretations of the actual intel. This subject isn't really one for beginners...
♠As said above, & what I take you to want, an "overview" or "intro" setting out the broad case would be an excellent idea. I'm not the one to write it...& anybody who knows anything about my views on this subject knows why. :D If you want to take a stab at it in sandbox, I'll give you the gist as I understand it, & you can compare against the page. Or I can post you a broad overview as I know it (if you've got a sandbox for it), & you can compare against the allegations here.
♠I confess I'm tempted to just say, "Go read Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History & Wohlstetter's Pearl Harbor: Warning & Decision" (the seminal work on 'intelligence noise'") (which I'm ashamed to say I can't recall the title or author of ATM :( :( ) & leave it at that, but I don't imagine that would do. ;p TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 00:02 & 00:05, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Admiral Robert A Theobald literally wrote the book on this topic[edit]

"The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor" (The Washington Contribution to the Japanese Attack) by Rear Admiral Robert A Theobald, The Devin-Adair Company, New York, 1954 with forward's by Admiral Kimmel and by Admiral Halsey. Kimmel points out he was never told that the US had assured Britain of armed support if Japan attacked the British. Theobald points out the particulars of this arrangement, along with the obvious conclusion to the often answered query "why would Britain want the US spending resources in the pacific when Europe needs them?" Answer: Japan attacks US, and US declares war on Axis, which equals-- Britain then gets the above mentioned "armed support" as they become our Allies--the same as if Japan had attacked Britain. Also, Kimmel states the only code decrypt's he ever got were useless in determining anything. Admiral Halsey states he also never got any useful decrypt's, rather, he got disinformation intelligence designed (in hindsight) to lead him and most other Naval Officers to believe the Philippines, southern areas of Malaya or the Dutch East Indies were the top three targets, and while Pearl Harbor was not ruled out, a mass of evidence was provided to discourage thoughts in that direction. He was never told about the requests by Japan for its continued interest in ships exact location and movements etc at Pearl prior to Dec 7. He defends Kimmel and Short pointing out a serious deficiency of long range scouting planes available for the Pacific Fleet, but stated that had any hint of the "magic" (he means purple) decrypts been known to him or Kimmel or Short that "no doubt that a 360 degree search would have been ordered and maintained to the breaking point of material and personnel." He refers to Kimmel and Short as "outstanding military martyrs."

Theobald sifted through all of the inquest transcripts looking into Dec 7 prior to writing his book. In fact, he accompanied Kimmel (as a friend) to all of these inquiries. He points out the abject poverty of reality and reliability of these inquests. The manner in which Kimmel and Short were treated and defiled in these hearings is a real eye-opener even in today's world. Theobald managed to get enough of the Purple decrypts from prior to Dec 7 without violating any secrecy rules or national security to make a very convincing argument that those few receiving the intelligence must have been ordered by the Commander in Chief Roosevelt to allow Pearl Harbor to be attacked to allow the US (public opinion) into the War. Upon reading the book it becomes obvious that only the diplomatic code decipherment was necessary to conclude when and where the attack would take place to involve the US. All the talk of other codes in this article are mischief of no consequence. Purple was broken long before Dec 7, 1941, and was readily available in the weeks prior to Pearl Harbor being attacked. Those on the list with the President receiving these decrypts must have been ordered by Roosevelt to keep quiet so his plan to garner public opinion through a Japanese attack on U.S. forces could take place without the Japanese knowing we knew. Had Kimmel and Short suddenly known they would be under attack in a few days, the spies for Japan would have alerted the Japanese Fleet, and the attack likely would not have happened until later. Kimmel and Short (according to Theobald's analysis) could have been alerted a few hours prior to the attack and American loss of life could have been greatly reduced, while still garnering Roosevelt's sought after public support for War. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Raisinpie (talkcontribs) 22:30, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

The talk page for this article is not a discussion forum. It is for reaching consensus on how to improve the article based on reliable secondary sources. --Yaush (talk) 23:36, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Theobald is merely one of a string of revisionists accusing FDR of exposing the Pacific Fleet and goading the Japanese to attack it. The first was John T. Flynn of American First in 1944. All of them have the same misunderstanding of the process of decrypting Japan's secret codes. Theobald is one of these. Binksternet (talk) 01:28, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
This is where the "reliable secondary sources" comes in. Theobald is highly unreliable. --Yaush (talk) 15:13, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
No, to all three comments. The article is rather pathetic and lacking sources. The article needs improvement, but this is such a touchy topic amongst a lot of people who were not even alive in 1941. It also seems to be quite touchy amongst Pearl Harbor survivors, and Roosevelt fans. To claim Theobald is some John Flynn of America First, just because he used Flynn's 1944 pamphlet title at the title of his 1954 book, leaves out the facts that Rear Admiral Theobald was a career Navy man considered by those that knew him well to be well beyond brilliant. Ninth in his class at the Naval Academy is no trifle. Flynn seems to have made his living as a lifelong conspiracy theorist. He felt Roosevelt wanted in the war to expand American Imperialism. And yes, there have been quite a string of publications as noted, but guilt by association is ugly. Flynn had nothing to base his theory on but his imagination. Theobald was highly reliable, as he was "there" literally and figuratively. Those War College seminars Theobald hosted or attended were no scrabble tournament. I think it fair to say he was one of the Navy's leading experts on War with Japan prior to War with Japan. As for the idea that Theobald misunderstood the process of decrypting Japanese codes, I would remind everyone that Purple was a diplomatic code that had been completely broken prior to 1940. Duplicate machines are known to have been employed by 1940 by American and British intelligence. All that was needed was Japanese language experts and decryption experts to figure how the cipher was changed each day. Theobald builds his case entirely on Purple intercepts and Magic decrypts. "Magic" being the final product, i.e. the English language translation of the Purple intercept. True, later and other Japanese codes were more complicated, and the process more difficult to comprehend; but we are talking only Magic from Purple. There was no infighting or power trips going on between the various Naval and Army intelligence units producing Magic. The Navy did purple intercepts from odd days, the Army did intercepts from even days, as Theobald notes (p.33). Lt. Commander Kramer was under the Head of Communications Security Division (translations), and the Director of Naval Intelligence (distribution). In the War Dept., decoding and translation by Signal Intelligence Service, under control of the Signal Corps. Each processed message was delivered to the Far Eastern Section of the Military Intelligence Division, whose Chief, Colonel Bratton, made the deliveries for the War Dept. (Army). There is more detail on this process in the beginning of Ch 3 of Theobald's book. He lists the recipients, seven in Navy Department and six in War Department. 14 copies of each message were issued daily. The extra, 14th copy, went to either the Navy or War Depy. not doing the decrypt's that day. Really not all that complicated. The Navy distribution list of people receiving daily magic: President Roosevelt, Secretary Knox, Admiral Stark, Rear Admiral Noyes, Rear Admiral Turner, Captain Wilkinson and Commander McCollum. War Dept. people receiving daily magic: Secretary Hull, Secretary Stimson, General Marshall, Brig. Gen. Gerow, Brig. Gen. Miles and Colonel Bratton. The list is on page 34 of Admiral Theobald's book, and should be somewhere on a WP article. Finally, there is now a misunderstanding about why Admiral Theobald wrote the book. He wrote the book because it sickened him to see the reputations of his friend Admiral Kimmel, and General Short, destroyed. In 1954 there was a great deal of sentiment siding with Kimmel and Short, because people just had a feeling they were fall guys, and a lot was not, or could not, be made public. As Roosevelt died in Office during his second Wartime Administration, we will never know how Roosevelt would have acted towards Kimmel and Short after the War if what the Admiral says bears truth. Would he have issued a pardon, or an admission that National Security did not allow an explanation--except that Kimmel and Short were honorable and good men? No way to make the case for these two men except to tell the whole story. Maybe Roosevelt would actually have been happy that Theobald wrote this book in their defense. So, this is not general discussion, it is hopefully written to open minds to things that should be re-evaluated, so that WP articles can be more fair-handed and less all of the same prevailing opinion on a topic. And pardon me for not signing my original post as we should on talk pages. Raisinpie (talk) 05:27, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
There are ways of defending the reputations of Short and Kimmel that do not go so far as accusing FDR of forcing Japan into war. More importantly, Pearl Harbor was a surprise to America; if Japan took belligerent action, this action was expected to be in the Philippines, Indonesia—somewhere near the oil they wanted. Hawaii was a stupid place to attack, as was quickly seen. Another possibility was that Japan would not attack US military concentrations anywhere, in which case the US would likely stay out of direct involvement in the war. Too many people after an event assume the inevitability of the event, though at the time there were many options, many paths to take. Binksternet (talk) 14:50, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
The policy of Wikipedia is to reflect the scholarly consensus, with minority views given due weight when promulgated by otherwise credible scholars. This article, as presently written, accurately reflects the scholarly consensus that the various Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theories are baseless. Theobald has no credibility as a historian, which is why his book is treated here as an unreliable source. --Yaush (talk) 16:03, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
The policy of WP is not to ignore leading experts of the United States Navy. Fortunately for us, our Military command has historically been loaded with scholars and intellectuals much more credible than those "Stanford History professors" you boys seem to feel are the end all be all. Sorry my friends, but you have not done your homework of Admiral Theobald. At the time he was the leading expert on a War with Japan. As for Hawaii being a stupid place to attack, I would maintain that for Japan to attack the United States Military anywhere on the planet in 1941 or 1942 was stupid. And btw, where do you suppose the Japanese military was getting aviation fuel from for their conquest of China?Raisinpie (talk) 10:07, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
I have reverted your re-addition of the Theobald material, Raisinpie. Consensus for this addition appears to be against you as three different editors have removed the material. I have removed the speculative and unsourced material in the section "Purple" as well. There's a consensus that Theobald's material is not supported by other historians. As Theobald's book was written in 1954, perhaps there's more recent research as formerly unavailable materials are being released all the time. There's a book available locally on Pearl Harbor, Gillon, Steven M.. Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation into War. ISBN 9780465021390.  I will pick it up tomorrow and see if there's anything useful in it on this aspect of the story. - Diannaa (talk) 15:46, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Raisinpie, with that last paragraph, you diminish your own credibility. Theobald a leading expert of the United States Navy? The leading expert on a war with Japan? According to whom? Hismelf?
Yes, it was insane for Japan to attack the U.S. at all, let alone at Hawaii. What's your point? Particularly since the better strategy would have been to attack Malaya and the NEI and leave the Philippines alone, thus giving FDR an insuperable political problem?
As for aviation gasoline, Japan was using largely U.S. gasoline, stockpiled before the U.S. embargoes went into effect. There is good discussion of this history in a number of works. Again, what's your point? --Yaush (talk) 17:24, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I have re-written the section on Purple using the information I found in Gillon. Any feedback on this change is welcome. The article needs a lot of work, including improvements to the referencing system and trimming of the Further Reading section (it's too long, and is not in alphabetical order) and the External Links section (too many links, in my opinion; we should only include the highest quality links, focussing on those that provide material not already covered in the article). -- Diannaa (talk) 21:02, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Theobald wanted to rehabilitate the reputation of his friend Kimmel. No doubt he was angered by the treatment the Roosevelt Administration gave to Kimmel. I would suggest that Theobald has more credibility than your average conspiracy nut or hack journalist, but to suggest that his opinion is somehow more important than any serious historian who has had access to real materials is utterly ridiculous. He wasn't "there" at the time, he was actually in Pearl Harbor (as his own biographical article points out). The "there" in this case is Washington DC, where he could have seen and spoken to the various "conspirators" or at least those who had. He doesn't have any particular insider knowledge of what went on in DC, he only has "insider knowledge" of what the senior members of the Pacific Fleet were aware of in December 1941. It is also at least doubtful that the "misinformation" was misinformation at all. Halsey is quoted as saying this: "he got disinformation intelligence designed (in hindsight) to lead him and most other Naval Officers to believe the Philippines, southern areas of Malaya or the Dutch East Indies were the top three targets". Well those areas WERE attacked virtually simultaneously with Pearl Harbor, and unlike Oahu, they were actually invaded and occupied by Japanese forces - i.e. they actually were the "main targets", whilst Pearl Harbor was a raid designed to weaken the Pacific Fleet and its ability to stop these Japanese invasions. Remember the main Japanese war aim was to secure oil supplies, and they could get these from the Dutch East Indies, and they then had to secure the transport links, which is where the need to occupy Malaya and the Philippines comes in. The resources of the Philippines and Malaya was a bonus. So was it "misinformation"? Also Theobald looked through the Magic documents after the event, and so would have been on the look out for anything that seemed to be linked with an attack on Pearl Harbor. It's called 20:20 hindsight. I don't doubt that Kimmel and Short were badly treated, and yes were made the fall guys. I don't doubt that the inquiries that Theobald attended were basically politically motivated to ensure that the Government itself was off the hook, putting the blame onto the local commanders instead. But this is not the same thing as "prior knowledge". As for the assumption that a Japanese attack = US declaring War on Germany, this is something that people have gotten into their heads because of years of war movies. The reality was that Germany declared war ON the US, rather than the other way round. People are still debating as to why Hitler did this. Britain and Germany had been at war for more than 2 years without Japan declaring war on Britain. What is more, Japan didn't go to war with Russia until August 1945 when Russia attacked the Japanese Army in Manchuria, despite the German war with Russia. Italy had an even firmer "alliance" with the Nazis, but stayed out of the war until France had been decisively defeated and was on the point of surrendering. So these Axis "alliances" weren't solid. No one could be sure in December 1941 that a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would mean a US/German War. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Confused Article: Three Problems[edit]

There are three problems with this article.

First, it is titled "conspiracy theory." If the article is about the theory, it should limit itself to describing the theory and whatever specific evidence might support that theory. It does not do this. Furthermore, the term "conspiracy theory" is loaded and biased. It is intended to suggest that it is the idea of some crackpots. To be a "conspiracy" there would have to be evidence that someone conspired. A more accurate and unbiased title might be something along the lines of "Advanced Warning of Japan's Attack on Pearl Harbor." This might, of course, be subsumed in a longer article on Pearl Harbor.

Second, it has far too much information about code-breaking -- enough to support an entirely separate and different article about code-breaking. Any discussion of code-breaking in an article about advanced knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor should be limited to specific evidence supporting the claim that there was or might reasonably be expected to have been knowledge from relevant encrypted communications by or between any parties prior to the attack.

Third, throughout the article there is a clear attempt to sell a point of view. Instead of laying out the evidence for advanced knowledge, limited though it may be, the article seems intended to argue against any claims -- part of a bias that is clear from the title of "conspiracy theory."

I have been using and editing articles on Wikipedia for a decade, but this is the first time I have felt it necessary to enter anything on "Talk." I consider the article in its current form to be totally inappropriate for the reasons stated above. It should be replaced. Fredricwilliams (talk) 16:54, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Fredric Williams

The overwhelming majority of mainstream historians reject the Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory. It is a conspiracy theory and it is fringe. --Yaush (talk) 17:29, 20 February 2014 (UTC)