DAY OF DECEIT by Robert Stinnett
In the 1950s, Rear Admiral Robert Theobald wrote THE FINAL TRUTH ABOUT PEARL HARBOR, proving that FDR and members of his cabinet, as well as General Marshall and Admiral Stark, all knew days–if not weeks–beforehand that Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked by the Japanese in early December, 1941, and Theobald proves that these scoundrels deliberately did nothing to warn the US commanders in Hawaii of the pending attack. It is competently and often angrily written by an honorable military man who stands up for his fellow servicemen with unflinching honesty and courage. For my money, this remains the single best (and most hard-to-find) book on this subject.
In the 1980s, renowned mainstream historian John Toland wrote INFAMY, which added further corroboration and evidence to Theobald’s indictment. Toland was a fine writer, an impeccable researcher, and this book too is highly recommendable, notwithstanding the unfortunate final page or two wherein Toland includes a brief paragraph or two attempting to mitigate the blame on FDR & Co., maintaining that the traiterous acts of these scoundrels was exculpatory because the U.S. just “had” to get into the war to stop Hitler, and the pacifist American public just “had” to be awakened from their slumber, blah, blah, blah.
Then, in the 1990s, Robert Stinnett wrote this book, DAY OF DECEIT, which adds stacks of still further evidence and confirmation to Theobald’s and Toland’s findings. For example, while Theobald and Toland and Stinnett all cover the fact that Washington had some time before broken the Japanese code and were reading all of the Japanese naval correspondence leading up to the “surprise” attack, and while Theobald and Toland and Stinnett all cover FDR’s deliberately provocative economic sanctions on Japan just prior to the “surprise” attack, only Stinnett tells us that FDR also was routinely sending U.S. navy cruisers on provocative “pop-up” dashes in Japanese waters to further agitate the Japanese Navy. Stinnett, with the further passage of time, was the beneficiary of many formerly classified documents which had been recently released upon request through the vaunted “Freedom of Information Act.” Like Toland, Stinnett is an impeccable civilian researcher and a fine writer, and he obviously spent a great deal of time researching these previously unavailable documents. What is more intriguing, though, are the documents which Stinnett makes clear were and are still being withheld from him and the American public–and this some 70 years after the event!
DAY OF DECEIT, like the two similar aforementioned books, is highly recommendable. The only flaw with this book happens, just like it did with Toland’s, on the final page or two where, just like Toland, Stinnett meekly seeks to partially absolve FDR & company of their treacherous crime. Like John Toland before him, Stinnett, however lamely and incongruously, seeks to forgive FDR for the murder of nearly 3,000 men at Pearl Harbor; whereas Theobald stands apart in his undeviating incrimination of FDR & company.
Please, Mr. Stinnett, listen up: You’ve written a very meritorious book, but the tired, old “FDR HAD to get the US into WWII to stop Hitler” argument is, in itself, a thing of DECEIT. The historical wars between Britain, Germany, and France are too numerous for most people to count. WWII was just another one of many. And if Hitler couldn’t even get past the English Channel to conquer England, then how the hell was he ever going to get across the Atlantic Ocean and threaten the U.S.? And don’t even talk about how “the U.S. had to stop the holocaust of the Jews,” because then, in the pursuit of historical accuracy and honesty, we would also need to talk about the strange and factual occurrence of the U.S. and Britain denying refuge to boatloads of escaping eastern European Jews during that same space of time. Yeah, nobody likes to talk about that one, do they.
Rating: Δ Δ Δ Δ