Robert B. Stinnett is a former American sailor, later a photographer and author. He earned ten battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. He is the author of Day of Deceit, regarding alleged U.S. government advance knowledge of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States into World War II.
Stinnett participated in World War II from 1942 to 1946 as a naval photographer in the Pacific theater, serving in the same aerial photo group as George H. W. Bush. After the war he worked as a journalist and photographer for the Oakland Tribune. He resigned from the Tribune in 1986 to research and write. In 1982 he read At Dawn We Slept, The Untold Story Of Pearl Harbor by WW2 veteran and historian Professor Gordon Prange. Stinnett went to Pearl Harbor to investigate and write a news story. His research continued for 17 years and culminated in Day of Deceit, which challenges the orthodox historiography on the attack on Pearl Harbor. Stinnett conclusively demonstrates with vast and incontrovertible documentary evidence that, in order to precipitate an unwilling American public into intervention in the Second World War, President Roosevelt contrived and conducted a closely guarded secret plot to goad the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor, closely monitored its development through decoded intercepts of Japanese diplomatic and military radio communications, moved modern naval vessels away from Pearl Harbor and left seven antiquated World War One battleships as decoys, tracked the Japanese fleet with radio intercepts from its formation off the Kurile Islands on November 16 and its sailing for Hawaii on November 26, cleared its course of all shipping with a Vacant Sea order on the 22nd, ordered Pearl Harbor naval patrols out of the area on the 25th, followed it across the Pacific toward Hawaii, withheld intelligence of the impending attack from the officers (Admiral Kimmel and General Short) charged with defending Pearl Harbor, scapegoated them for their failure to do so, and maintained a coverup of the entire operation through eight official and Congressional investigations between 1941 and 1946 down to Strom Thurmond's inquiry in 1995. 47 pages of Appendices presenting essential documents in photographic reproduction (261-308), in addition to numerous other documents reproduced in the course of the text, and 65 pages of closely detailed and referenced notes (309-374) copiously and conclusively document Stinnett's factual assertions, arguments and conclusions. His voluminous research files and notes are deposited at the Hoover Institute library at Stanford.
In 1982 Stinnett was working as a sports photographer for the Oakland Tribune. With 4 seconds left in the Big Game (football game) between Cal and Stanford, Stinnett stationed himself behind the south end zone in California Memorial Stadium, at Berkeley. As it happened, Kevin Moen and teammates Dwight Garner, Richard Rodgers, and Mariet Ford pulled off "The Play", in which Moen fielded the Stanford kickoff, lateraled the ball, and five laterals later, received the final lateral, which he ran into the end zone through the Stanford Band. Stinnett was in perfect position for a famous photographic shot wherein Moen is on the zenith point of his leap, roaring in triumph, the football held high over his helmet, and about to land on Stanford trombone player Gary Tyrell. While Stinnett's work on the Pearl Harbor issue is of greater historical significance, the Big Game photograph of Moen and Tyrell of November 20, 1982 is also of some historical import, particularly as it marked the final play in a century of University of California football.
Works to date
- George Bush: His World War II Years, Brassey's (US), 1992. ISBN 9780028810430
- Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, Simon and Schuster, 1999. ISBN 9780743200370
- "Robert B. Stinnett Research Fellow". Independent.org. 1941-12-07. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
- Shields, True (2013-08-09). "'The Play' Photographer Sues For Copyright Infringement". The Daily Californian (Archive.dailycal.org). Retrieved 2014-03-30.
- Bernstein, Richard (December 15, 1999). "Books of the Times: On Dec. 7, Did We Know We Knew?". New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- "George Bush: his World War II years". Books.google.com.au. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
- "Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor". Books.google.com.au. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
- Downloadable audio interview with Scott Horton
- Radio interview about Pearl Harbor
- Unwelcome Guests: "Fooling Most of the People Most of the Time"
- List of Stinnett presentations about Day of Deceit
- Rebuttal of Robert Stinnett's "Day of Deceit" with extensive, updated citations by Rear Admiral Richard E. Young, USN (Ret)