North Korean ship false flag is discussed here.
False flags involving attacks on ships – prelude to war
It seems that it is too much of a coincidence that ship-related incidents have occurred before the USA entered into hostilities with other nations.
There was the USS Liberty false flag in which Israel planes and gun boats disguised as Arab attackers strafed, bombed and torpedoed the USS Liberty, an intelligence-gathering ship sailing off the Egyptian Coast.
Pro-Israel lobbyist suggests doing a false flag so that the US could go to war with Iran
VIDEO: Manufacture a false flag Dailymotion
“I pretty think that crisis initiation is really tough. And it’s very hard for me to see how the United States president can get us to a war with Iran. Which leads me to conclude that if in fact compromise is not company that the traditional way that America gets to war is what would be best for US’s interests.
Some people might think that Mr Roosevelt wanted to get us into WW2 as David mentioned. You may recall, we had to wait for Pearl Harbor.
Some people might think Mr Wilson wanted us to get into World War 1. You may recall we had to wait for the Lusitania episode.
Some people might think that Mr Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam, and you may recall we had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode. We didn’t go to war with Spain until the USS Maine exploded.
And may I point out that Mr Lincoln did not feel he could call out the Federal Army until Fort Sumter was attacked which was why he ordered the commander of Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing in which the south Carolina incident said would cause an attack.
So if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war.
One can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure. I mean, look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down. Some day one of them might not come up. Who would know why? We can do a variety of things if we wish to to increase the pressure.
I’m not advocating that, but I’m just suggesting that this is not an “either or” proposition. Just the sanctions has to succeed or other things. We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get master of that.”
More ship false flags are discussed here.
When: June 8, 1967, at the time of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War
Where: International waters off the Egyptian coast
How many killed/wounded: 34 killed, 174 wounded
USS Liberty: electronic intelligence-gathering ship
Mode of attack: Unmarked Israeli jets fired rockets and napalm at ship; Israeli aircraft blocked radio transmission; Israeli torpedo boats fired torpedoes and artillery at the ship, one torpedo struck the ship at the waterline level. Three lifeboats were launched but these were fired upon in contravention of international law. The attack lasted 3 days.
Motive: There are several theories as to the motive.
1. The attack was staged to conceal Israel’s pending seizure of Syria’s Golan Heights, which occurred the next day. If the ship had not been attacked, the ship’s listening devices would likely have overheard Israeli military communications planning this controversial operation.
2. The attack on the USS Liberty would be blamed on the Egyptians and the USA would be dragged into the war on Israel’s side.
Reasons to suspect the attack was deliberate
1. US flag was visible to attackers
Flag was flown on the ship and would have been visible to pilots flying the attacking Israeli jets. During the attack, a bigger flag was flown by the crew.
2. USS Liberty had been under Israeli surveillance
The USS Liberty was under surveillance by the Israelis for more than 9 hours before it was suddenly attacked without warning. Before the attack, Israeli jets flew over the USS Liberty hourly.
David Lewis of Lemington, Vt., was on the Liberty when it was attacked. In an interview, he said Israel had to know it was targeting an American ship. He said a U.S. flag was flying that day and Israel shot it full of holes. The sailors on the ship, he said, quickly hoisted another American flag, a much bigger one, to show Israel it was a U.S. vessel. FoxNews
3. Rescue aircraft turned back
Despite the blocking by Israeli aircraft, USS Liberty was able to make contact with the carrier Saratoga. 12 fighter jets and 4 tanker planes were sent to defend USS Liberty but they were turned back by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, for reasons that are unknown.
Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations at the time: “A cover-up”
It was “one of the classic all-American cover-ups,” said Ret. Adm. Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman who spent a year investigating the attack as part of an independent panel he formed with other former military officials.
Israel claims that it was a case of mistaken identity. They thought it was an Egyptian ship. However the ship that they claimed they mistook the USS Liberty for (El Quseir) is one-quarter of the weight of the USS Liberty, is half-the length and is of a different shape.
This explanation is not accepted by many servicemen on the USS Liberty.
Government response: a cover-up
Even though the Johnson administration never accepted the Israeli explanation, it never ordered an in-depth investigation. Many administration officers stated it was a deliberate attack. There are claims that the evidence was concealed and altered to cover up the attack. The USS Liberty Veterans Association filed a Report of War Crimes document with the Secretary of the Army, providing evidence that the attack was a crime under international law. The US Government is supposed to investigate these allegations under international law and treaties, of which the U.S. is a signatory. The US Government has not even acknowledged the filing of the report, much less carried out the obligatory investigations.
Testimonies of Israeli pilot and Israeli major show the attack was deliberate
1. A senior Israeli pilot approached the Liberty survivors and told them about his role in the attack. In addition, he had extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. McCloskey. This pilot stated that he recognized the ship as an American one immediately and informed his headquarters about it. They told him to ignore the American flag and to continue the attack on the ship. He refused to do so. On returning to the base he was arrested.
2. An Israeli major (a dual Israeli-American citizen) told survivors of the USS Liberty attack that he had been in an Israeli war room at the time of the attack, and had heard the Israeli pilot’s report by radio that the ship was American. The attacking pilots, as well as everyone in the war room, knew that they were attacking an American ship, the major reported. However, the Israeli major later recanted his statement after he allegedly received threatening phone calls from Israel.
Other evidence that the attack was deliberate
The pilot’s protest that the ship was American had been picked up by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter confirmed that he had heard the pilot’s protest that the ship he was attacking was American on radio. The ambassador then told his story to two syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, and he offered to be interviewed on this matter by the U.S. authorities. However, nobody in the U.S. government has taken him up on this offer.
Soviet ship was first to offer help
Ironically, the Soviets, an enemy of the USA at that time, who were patrolling nearby were the first to offer aid to the USS Liberty after it had been attacked by a supposed ally. The offer was refused and it was only after 16 hours from the time of the attack that American ships arrived at the ship. By that time, 34 people had died and 174 injured.
Crew told to keep hush
While the wounded were being evacuated, one of the first things the crew were told by officers of Naval Intelligence was not to talk about the attack to the press.
Israel broke ceasefire next day
The next day Israel launched a surprise attack on Syria, which broke the cease-fire agreement. It was in this attack that the Israelis seized control of the Golan Heights.
Israel quickly exonerated
Within 3 weeks, the Navy issued an exoneration of the Israelis. The Navy claimed everything had been a huge mistake. The Navy also said that the Israelis had pulled back as soon as they had realized their mistake. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara said the whole affair should be forgotten, stating that “These errors do occur.”
Images of USS Liberty Attack (WRH)
Torpedo hole in USS Liberty
El Quseir: Israel claims the USS Liberty was mistaken for the Egyptian horse carrier El Quseir
USS Liberty: According to a 1981 NSA report on the incident, the El Quseir “was approximately one-quarter of the Liberty’s tonnage, about one-half its length, and offered a radically different silhouette.” WRH
The assault was initiated by French-built high-performance Mirage jets armed with cannon and rockets. Later, slower Mystere jets (at arrow in this photograph taken by McGonagle) followed up with napalm and more rockets.
After the ship was disabled by aircraft cannon, rockets and napalm, Israeli torpedo boats were sent in.
Crew’s mess hall used as an emergency room
Liberty deck crew resting after recovering bodies of shipmates
30mm cannon holes
30mm cannon holes
USS Liberty documentary
VIDEO: The USS Liberty Attack In A Nutshell Youtube
USS Liberty Memorial
THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 1967 Israel attacks USS Liberty
FOX News: Ex-Navy Official: 1967 Israeli Attack on U.S. Ship Was Deliberate
Cover-Up Alleged in Probe of USS Libertyhttp://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/ussliberty.html
Gulf of Tonkin
When: There were two alleged attacks:
- August 2, 1964 (not disputed)
- August 4, 1964 (disputed)
Where: International waters off North Vietnam
Motive: To get America into the Vietnam War
Synopsis of the events
Two attacks were claimed to have happened. The first one did occur but it was Vietnamese vessels that suffered the most damage. The second attack that was said to have happened two days later was a fabricated attack.
- The August 2 attack by the North Vietnamese naval forces: The media covered up the fact that the U.S. was already involved in military action in the Vietnam War, and misled the public into thinking this attack was entirely unprovoked. The ship that was attacked, USS Maddox, was providing support to the South Vietnamese military against the North. At the time of the attack it was doing a patrol.
- The alleged August 4 attack by the North Vietnamese naval forces: This was a fabricated attack. The North Vietnamese denied they attacked the US warships Maddox and Turner Joy. No evidence from the archives or personal accounts refute these claims.
Result of the deception
Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that served as the legal justification for President Johnson send U.S. conventional forces to Vietnam. (Special forces had already been deployed in the conflict.)
As a result of the US involvement in the war, over 50,000 U.S. military personnel died, and over 2 million Vietnamese civilians perished in this conflict, which lasted nine years (1964-1973).
Uncovering the deception
The below is adapted from Stripes.com “Faulty intel at the Gulf of Tonkin would set the US into war“ by Edward J. Marolda
The Gulf of Tonkin Deception in detail
Gulf of Tonkin
United States was already engaged in a secret war with North Vietnam
The United States had been working against North Vietnam secretly for the last 10 years, about which North Vietnam was fully aware.
The first alleged attack
On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, which was in the Gulf of Tonkin, intercepted a message from North Vietnam’s naval HQ. The message was an instruction for North Vietnamese naval forces to prepare for battle.
Herrick, commander of the USS Maddox, informed his superiors. USS Maddox resumed its patrol of the North Vietnamese coast in international waters.
At 1400, Herrick was told by intelligence that North Vietnam would carry out a torpedo attack on the ‘enemy’.
USS Maddox was moving away from the coast when its radar spotted some fast-moving vessels closing in rapidly on the ship.
Around 1530, Herrick told the command of the Seventh Fleet and USS Ticonderoga about the approaching North Vietnamese vessels and that he intended to fire in self-defense if needed.
Some US jets immediately headed for Maddox’s location.
The vessels approaching Maddox were identified as 3 P-4 torpedo boats. At 1605, USS Maddox fired rounds from the ship’s guns as a warning, but they had no effect. As the three North Vietnamese boats kept approaching, the USS Maddox opened fire in earnest. In response, the North Vietnamese vessels launched torpedoes, and fired their guns, and then turned away. The torpedoes missed their target and only one round from the guns hit the destroyer, lodging harmlessly in the superstructure of the destroyer.
USS Turner Joy
The North Vietnamese boats were not so lucky. One boat was heavily damaged, and its commander was killed. Ticonderoga’s planes arrived and fired cannons and rockets on the three boats, leaving one boat on fire in the water. Despite the damage, the three North Vietnamese boats made it back to shore.
The second alleged attack two days later
In response to the attack, President Johnson ordered the destroyers USS Maddox and Turner Joy to go back to patrolling near the North Vietnamese coast on August 4. This was to demonstrate American military strength.
At this point, the stories of the North Vietnamese and the Americans diverge.
According to the Americans, radars on the two American warships picked up high-speed contacts to the northeast. The destroyers were ordered to move away from the fast-approaching contacts. When one contact was 7,000 yards from the ships, the captain of Turner Joy ordered the gunners to fire.
For the next two hours, the destroyers maneuvered to evade these attackers. US aircraft flew overhead the ships. Some time later, the two ships rejoined the main fleet.
Based on Herrick’s reports and information obtained from intelligence stations in the western Pacific, Johnson concluded that North Vietnam had once again attacked American warships in international waters.
And this was the narrative that was believed for many years.
Newspaper headline at the time
The story of the second attack unravels
However, it is now apparent that the second attack, on August 4, never occurred.
Hanoi has maintained all along that its navy did not attack the American ships on August 4.
Weaknesses of the official story from Washington:
• NSA misinterpreted the intercepted North Vietnamese radio transmissions that were said to show Hanoi’s intention to attack US ships
• eyewitness accounts of men on the American ships and planes were inconclusive
• Navy’s own operational reports revealed the information that had been gathered on the supposed attack were imprecise and contradictory
Johnson (1965): “For all I know, our navy was shooting at whales out there.”
No archival records or personal accounts have ever refuted North Vietnam’s contention that its forces did not attack US warships on Aug. 4.
President Johnson capitalizes on the deception to do a “revenge attack”
President Johnson, using the August 2 attack (attack is not disputed) and the August 4 attack (attack is disputed) as the justification, ordered the US navy to execute retaliatory attacks by air on August 5.
President Johnson vows retaliation against North Vietnam in a speech
67 aircraft from destroyers Ticonderoga and Constellation sank or damaged 33 North Vietnamese vessels and 90% of the fuel storage facility at Vinh. One American died from anti-aircraft fire.
This was the start of the war that would rage on for nine years (1964–1973).
USA formally enters the war
On August 7, the USA’s entry into the war was formalized with a resolution passed in Congress (with only two dissenting votes) that declared the US military would be used to frustrate Hanoi’s ambitions in Southeast Asia.
American advisers and special forces personnel had already been fighting and dying in the region for years, but now the conflict was moved from being kept secret into the open.
Vietnam under war
Faulty intel at the Gulf of Tonkin would set the US into war
Where: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
When: December 7, 1941 at 7 a.m.
Attack: Japanese attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack.
Human losses: 2,403 Americans were killed; 1,178 were wounded
353 fighter planes, bombers and torpedo planes attacked the base.
These planes were launched from 6 aircraft carriers.
Eight battleships were damaged and 4 were sunk.
The Japanese also sank or damaged 3 cruisers, 3 destroyers, a training ship and 1 minelayer.
188 aircraft were destroyed.
(However, the fuel storage facility, torpedo storage facility, power station, shipyard, HQ building were not attacked.)
December 8: the day after Pearl Harbor, the US declared war on Japan.
December 11: Germany and Italy declared war on the US. (Japan and Germany and Italy had a mutual defense pact). The US declared war on Germany and Italy.
Nature of the conspiracy
President Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR):
1. Provoked the attack
2. Knew about the attack in advance
3. Failed to warn the commanders in Hawaii about it
Motive: The public and Congress were against US involvement in the war. The Pearl Harbor attack gave FDR an excuse to take the US into war.
How the conspiracy was done
1. He did not pass on the relevant intelligence to Hawaii headquarters that warned of an attack. Pearl Harbor commanders could not prepare for an attack.
2. He gave wrong information to people. i) He misled commanders into thinking the negotiations with the Japanese were still ongoing as late as November 27 (10 days before the attack) although by that time they had failed. This led the forces to not take the necessary steps to guard against the attack. ii) He gave false information about the location of the Japanese carrier fleet sent to Hawaii.
The Pearl Harbor Deception
(Robert B. Stinnet, a World War II veteran, has written a book called “Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor” (2000). Stinnett obtained much of the information from documents that were released through the Freedom of Information Act. Much of the information below is obtained from this book.)
The following is adapted from the article: “New American: Pearl Harbor: Hawaii Was Surprised; FDR Was Not” by James Perloff.
FDR wanted a war with Japan – secret communications with Churchill
Roosevelt had wanted the US to join the war for a long time.
A close advisor was sent in Jan 1941 to tell Churchill that the US wanted to join the war on England’s side:
“The President is determined that we [the United States and England] shall win the war together. Make no mistake about it. He has sent me here to tell you that at all costs and by all means he will carry you through, no matter what happens to him — there is nothing he will not do so far as he has human power.”
FDR war plans were discovered
These secret communications between Churchill and FDR were found by Tyler Kent, a code clerk at the US embassy in London. He tried to smuggle them out to America to inform the American public about FDR’s intentions, but he was blocked from doing that when he was caught and kept in a British jail until the end of the war.
Roosevelt deliberately provoked the Axis powers to attack the USA
1. Provocations aimed at Germany:
- FDR froze Germany’s assets
- 50 destroyers were sent to Britain
- He depth-charged German U-boats.
When Germany did not retaliate, FDR switched over to provoking Japan. The reason was that Japan had a mutual defense pact with Germany and Italy. If Japan entered into a war with the USA, Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy, would automatically be pulled into fighting against USA. So the USA would be at war in the Pacific theater and the European theater if the scheme was successful.
2. Provocations aimed at Japan
Actions that were thought to provoke Japan to attack the USA were outlined in a memorandum by Arthur McCollum, a commander in Naval Intelligence. All eight were put into practice as well as some additional ones.
The actions in the memo included:
i. Freezing Japanese assets
ii. Closing the Panama Canal to Japanese ships
iii. Halting vital exports to Japan, culminating in a total embargo against it
iv. Sending notes to the Japanese warning of what would happen if Japan did not change its policies in the Pacific.
v. Delivering an ultimatum to Japan on November 26 that Japan withdraw all troops from China and Indochina or be attacked
Diary notes reveal FDR wanted Japan to make the first move
Henry Stimson, Secretary of War
Henry Stimson who was Secretary of War under FDR, wrote in his diary:
“We face the delicate question of the diplomatic fencing to be done so as to be sure Japan is put into the wrong and makes the first bad move — overt move.”
This showed that the US was committed to entering the war, but wanted to do it in such a way so that it would seem it was forced into war.
And on November 25, the day before the ultimatum was sent, he wrote:
“The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot….”
The Pacific Fleet was used as bait for the Japanese
Admiral James O. Richardson, Commander in Chief
The Pacific Fleet was placed in Pearl Harbor as bait for the Japanese. Placing the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor was firmly opposed by Admiral Richardson, the fleet’s commander. His reasons for opposing this were the same reasons the Pacific Fleet would make good bait for the Japanese.
1. Pearl Harbor could be approached from any direction
2. Pearl Harbor could not be rigged with nets and baffles for protection against torpedo planes.
3. Training and supplying crews would be difficult because of its distant location from the mainland.
4. Fuel supplies on Pearl Harbor were insufficient and there were too few dry docks.
5. Morale problems would be high among servicemen as they would be far from their families.
However, FDR would not budge and he ended up relieving Richardson of his command and replacing him with Admiral Husband Kimmel.
This led Richardson to believe that FDR was determined to put the US to war:
“I came away with the impression that, despite his spoken word, the President was fully determined to put the United States into the war if Great Britain could hold out until he was reelected.”
Japanese code cracked: “Purple” and “Magic”
Japanese coding and decoding machine
The US had cracked Japan’s secret messaging code called “Purple”. After cracking the code, the Americans made a copies of the encoding and decoding machines. The deciphered messages were known as “Magic”.
Copies of deciphered messages were sent to FDR, the Secretaries of State, War and Navy, Army Chief of Staff, and Chief of Naval Operations.
But none of the coding/decoding machines were sent to Pearl Harbor even though a Japanese embassy was located in Pearl Harbor.
Any messages that were intercepted had to be sent first to Washington for decoding, which meant a delay in messages reaching Hawaii.
On October 9, a Tokyo-to-Honolulu dispatch was decoded that instructed the Japanese Consul General to divide Pearl Harbor into five specified areas and to report the exact locations of American ships. This message showed the Japanese was gathering information for an attack on Pearl Harbor.
But this information was never sent to Kimmel.
Additional intercepts gave warning of an attack
Additional intercepts were decoded by Washington, all within 24 hours of their original transmission:
• November 5th: Tokyo notified its ambassadors in Washington that November 25th was the deadline for an agreement with the U.S.
• November 11th: Japanese ambassadors in Washington were warned, “The situation is nearing a climax, and the time is getting short.”
• November 16th: More messages were received. The deadline was pushed up to November 29th. “The deadline absolutely cannot be changed,” the dispatch said. “After that, things are automatically going to happen.”
• November 29th (by then the U.S. ultimatum had now been received by the Japanese): The ambassadors were told a rupture in negotiations was “inevitable,” but that Japan’s leaders had to conceal their knowledge of this fact. They were instructed to avoid giving “the impression that negotiations are broken off.”
• November 30th: Tokyo ordered sent a message to its embassy in Berlin to inform the Germans that “the breaking out of war may come quicker than anyone dreams.”
• December 1st: The deadline was again moved forward. To hide this fact, in order”[T]o prevent the United States from becoming unduly suspicious” the press was advised that the negotiations were continuing.
• December 1st-2nd: The Japanese embassies in non-Axis nations around the world were directed to dispose of their secret documents and all but one copy of their codes. (When war breaks out, the diplomatic offices of a hostile state lose their immunity and are normally overtaken. One copy of code was retained so that final instructions could be received, after which that last code copy would also be destroyed.)
The famous “East wind, rain” message
Artwork by Mary Beth Percival for the cover of a book written about Pearl Harbor called “East Wind Rain”
‘A November 18th intercept indicated that if a break in U.S. relations were forthcoming, Tokyo would issue a special radio warning … The message, to be repeated three times during a weather report, was “Higashi no kaze ame,” meaning “East wind, rain.” “East wind” signified the United States; “rain” signified diplomatic split — in effect, war.
This prospective message was deemed so significant that U.S. radio monitors were constantly watching for it, and the Navy Department typed it up on special reminder cards. On December 4th, “Higashi no kaze ame” was indeed broadcast and picked up by Washington intelligence.’
FDR would have known war with Japan was imminent
FDR knew that Japan had in her history attacked other nations without warning, including the breaking off of diplomatic relations.
Secretary Stimson recorded FDR’s warning of an attack made at a conference
Secretary Stimson, describing FDR’s White House conference of November 25th, noted:
“The President said the Japanese were notorious for making an attack without warning and stated that we might be attacked, say next Monday, for example.”
Naval messages kept secret from Pearl Harbor commanders
Washington had access to the Japanese naval messages as well as diplomatic messages that had been decoded. These messages were kept so confidential that their existence was hidden from the ten Pearl Harbor investigations that were done.
Many decoded messages not released under the FOIA
Most of author Stinnett’s requests for documents relating to these intercepted naval messages have been denied, even under the Freedom of Information Act.
This is probably because the information in these naval messages is damaging to the Roosevelt administration. They may show he had foreknowledge of the attack but did not act on it.
Many decoded messages speaking of coming attack intercepted
Naval intelligence intercepted and translated numerous dispatches, some clearly revealing that Pearl Harbor had been targeted. The most significant was the following, sent by Admiral Yamamoto to the Japanese First Air Fleet on November 26, 1941 (11 days before the attack):
“The task force, keeping its movement strictly secret and maintaining close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters, and upon the very opening of hostilities shall attack the main force of the United States fleet and deal it a mortal blow. The first air raid is planned for the dawn of x-day. Exact date to be given by later order.”
Because of the secrecy surrounding the Japanese naval dispatches, it is not known whether this message was seen by McCollum (director of the Office of Naval Intelligence’s Far East Asia section and responsible for providing messages of Japanese intercepts to FDR) or FDR.
January 27th, 1941: The US ambassador to Japan, Joseph Grew, warned Washington that he had heard from a Peruvian Minister that Pearl Harbor could be the target of a surprise attack at the outbreak of hostilities
November 3rd, 1941: Grew notified Secretary of State Cordell Hull: “War with the United States may come with dramatic and dangerous suddenness.”
November 17th, 1941: Grew sent another warning of a Japanese attack
Early in 1941: Congressman Martin Dies warned the Secretary of State that he had come into possession of a map that showed that the Japanese had attack plans for Pearl Harbor. In response Hull told Dies that he had shown the map to FDR and he asked Dies to keep this map a secret.
More evidence of foreknowledge
Yugoslavia secret agent
A Yugoslavian secret agent who worked for both Germany and Britain (his true allegiance was to the Allies) revealed he had been ordered to make a detailed study of Pearl Harbor. He guessed this was for a surprise attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. He warned J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI. Hoover revealed later that he passed this warning onto FDR who told him to keep the information confidential.
Korean underground warning
A Korean member of the Sino-People’s League, Kilsoo Haan, warned the State Department that the Korean underground had received word that the Japanese were planning to assault Hawaii before Christmas. After getting nowhere with the State Department, Haan told Iowa Senator Guy Gillette about this warning. Gillette briefed the president, who said he would look into it.
Dutch Army in Java
The Dutch Army stationed in Java, Indonesia, decoded a message from Tokyo to the Japanese embassy in Bangkok about future attacks on four sites including Hawaii. This message was passed onto Washington.
Dutch naval attache
Dutch naval attache in Washington was shown the progress of Japanese ships toward Hawaii on December 2 and 6. He assumed that everyone in Honolulu knew an attack was coming.
Secretary of State Cordell Hull
Secretary of State Cordell Hull
Secretary of State Cordell Hull, worried that the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Harbor and FDR was allowing it to happen, passed on copies of the Japanese message intercepts concerning Pearl Harbor to a newspaper journalist Joseph Leib, hoping he would leak them to the media. Leib was only able to get only one newspaper to carry it.
(For additional evidences, see “Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath” by John Toland, and “Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor” by Robert Stinnett.)
Only one of the numerous warnings reached Kimmel, commander of Pearl Harbor
Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet at the time of Pearl Harbor
There was so many warnings that Chief of Staff General George Marshall at a private press conference in November confidently predicted that a Japanese-American war would break out during the “first ten days of December.”
None of this intelligence, except one rumor, was passed onto commanders in Hawaii.
Ambassador to Japan Grew’s January warning reached Kimmel on February 1st. However, he was told by Lieutenant Commander McCollum to ignore the rumor.
Other actions that Washington took to ensure the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor unimpeded:
1) Creating a traffic-free path for Japanese ships to sail to Pearl Harbor:
The US Navy issued an order forbidding US and Allied ships to travel via the North Pacific.
2) Blocking Kimmel and Short from doing protecting the fleet in Pearl Harbor:
The commanders were given insufficient planes to do a surveillance around Pearl Harbor despite requests for more planes. They were told to search the wrong area.
Rear Admiral Edward T. Layton, who served at Pearl Harbor, summed it up in his book “And I Was There”:
“There was never any hint in any intelligence received by the local command of any Japanese threat to Hawaii. Our air defenses were stripped on orders from the army chief himself.”
Washington ordered Kimmel to return the fleet’s ships back to dock
Kimmel put 46 war ships in the fleet to sea as a precaution since it is a rule of the Navy that when international relations are critical, ships were put to sea. Kimmel also did a mock air raid.
But White House told him to send the ships back.
Kimmel’s efforts to guard the fleet with a task force of guard ships were thwarted
Kimmel then tried to set up a 25-ship task force to guard the fleet from enemy attack, but he was thwarted ‘when on November 26th, Admiral Stark, Washington’s Chief of Naval Operations, ordered carriers be sent to transport fighter planes elsewhere.
Washington covered their backs by sending vague warnings
Washington sent an ambiguous “war warning” to Kimmel, and a similar one to Short, on November 27th. This has been used for years by Washington apologists to accuse the Pearl Harbor commanders of being negligent.
The warnings were misleading. In one, they named the wrong targets of attack: the Philippines, Thailand, Kra Peninsula or Borneo. They also misled about the nature of the attacks: warnings about sabotage and amphibious (submarine) attacks were sent.
The two commanders in Hawaii took actions to protect against these threats and reported them to Washington. These actions actually made the fleet vulnerable to air attack but the commanders had not been warned about air attacks.
Japan intended to sever relations with the US on December 7th
Japan sent a dispatch to its ambassadors in Washington, telling them to inform Washington Japan was severing relations with Washington. This message was tantamount to declaring war on America. This message was intercepted. 13 parts out of this 14-part message were decrypted – that is, everything except for the severing relations part. However, the 13 parts that had been decrypted were so fiery that it was obvious Japan intended to end relations with the United States and possibly declare war.
‘Later that day, when Lieutenant Lester Schulz delivered to President Roosevelt his copy of the intercept, Schulz heard FDR say to his advisor, Harry Hopkins, “This means war.”‘
Meeting held at the White House
FDR convened a high-level meeting at the White House that evening. That same evening, the Navy Department received a request from Stimson for a list of the whereabouts of all the ships in the Pacific.
Morning of December 7th, day of the attack
On the morning of December 7th, the final portion of Japan’s lengthy message to the Japanese ambassadors was decoded. There were two directives in the message:
1) The statement about severing the relations with America was to be delivered by them at 1 p.m. (1 p.m. Washington time was 7 a.m. in Hawaii; Pearl Harbor was attacked just before 8 a.m.).
2) The last copy of the code (previous copies had already been destroyed earlier on instruction), and the coding/decoding machine that went with it, had to be destroyed.
From this message it could be assumed that Japan planned to strike Pearl Harbor at dawn of December 7th (there was a time difference of 6 hours between Washington and Honolulu).
Admiral Stark did not notify Pearl Harbor command of coming attacks
Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, arrived at his office at 9:25 a.m (3:25 a.m. in Honolulu). He was shown the message, but he did not take action to notify Kimmel, probably because he had been instructed by Roosevelt not to warn Hawaii:
‘One junior officer pointed out the possibility of an attack on Hawaii; another urged that Kimmel be notified. But Stark refused; he did nothing all morning. Years later, he told the press that his conscience was clear concerning Pearl Harbor because all his actions had been dictated by a “higher authority.” As Chief of Naval Operations, Stark had only one higher authority: Roosevelt.’
Washington delayed sending the warning to Hawaii
- Secretary of War was out riding horses and couldn’t be reached.
- Marshall dawdled on his trip back to his office: a 10-minute drive took 75 minutes
- Instead of making a phone call to Pearl Harbor, a written dispatch was sent
As a result of all of these delays, General Short, received it 6 hours after the Japanese attack, and Admiral Kimmel got it 8 hours after the attack.
General Walter Short, commander responsible for defense of military installations in Hawaii
“In the War Department, where the 14-part statement had also been decoded, Colonel Rufus Bratton, head of the Army’s Far Eastern section, discerned the message’s significance. But the chief of intelligence told him nothing could be done until Marshall arrived. Bratton tried reaching Marshall at home, but was repeatedly told the general was out horseback riding. The horseback ride turned out to be a long one. When Bratton finally reached Marshall by phone and told him of the emergency, Marshall said he would come to the War Department. Marshall took 75 minutes to make the 10-minute drive. He didn’t come to his office until 11:25 a.m. — an extremely late hour with the nation on the brink of war. He perused the Japanese message and was shown the delivery time. Every officer in Marshall’s office agreed these indicated an attack in the Pacific at about 1 p.m. EST. The general finally agreed that Hawaii should be alerted, but time was running out.“
Gen. George Marshall, Chief of Staff of the US Army
FDR pretended he had tried to forestall the attack
FDR sent a last-minute plea for peace to Emperor Hirohito that was sent on the evening of December 6th, but it was too late to reach the emperor before December 8th. The message had been written a week before.
Corrupt commission on Pearl Harbor blamed Pearl Harbor commanders for failures
After the Pearl Harbor attack, a commission headed by personal cronies of Roosevelt and Marshall was set up. The commission absolved Washington of blame and accused Kimmel and Short of “dereliction of duty”.
Adapted from “New American: Pearl Harbor: Hawaii Was Surprised; FDR Was Not” (James Perloff)
A U-boat torpedo hit ocean liner Lusitania near Britain and some 1200 people, including 128 Americans, on board lost their lives. Subsequent investigations revealed that the major explosions were inside the Lusitania, as it was secretly transporting 6 million pounds of artillery shells and rifle ammunition, as well as other explosives on behalf of Morgan banking corporation to help their clients, the Britain and the France. It was against US laws to transport war materials and passengers in the same ship. 911 Review
Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the water adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.
Imperial German Embassy, Washington, D.C., April 22, 1913
The Germans gave a warning to Americans not to sail on the Lusitania as there was a chance they would attack it. So they asked for this notice to be printed in 50 newspapers. But the Government did not pass on the warning to the general public except for allowing this notice to be printed in only one regional newspaper.
On April 22, [the Germans] ordered a conspicuous warning placed in fifty newspapers near the Cunard sailing notices, alerting potential passengers to the danger. This would have given the public a week’s notice. However, a State Department officer ordered the warning’s publication suppressed. On April 26, George Viereck, representing the Germans, obtained an audience with Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan. Bryan immediately cleared the notice for publication, and also urged President Wilson to warn Americans. Wilson, however, always on the bankers’ puppet strings, declined to do so. False Flag at Sea: The Lusitania …
President Wilson by the time he was in office was in the clutches of the bankers; here he is with House, one of his “minders”.
Churchill wanted the US to enter the war and was prepared to use the lives of American civilians to achieve that; Churchill as head of the Admiralty was an instrumental figure in the Lusitania deception.
A German U-boat
Survivors and the dead from the Lusitania on a lifeboat
A detailed account of the Lusitania incident giving the political background and the machinations behind the scene is here: “False Flag at Sea: The Lusitania, Woodrow Wilson, and the Deceptions that Dragged America into World War I” by James Perloff
Gulf of Tonkin
Faulty intel at the Gulf of Tonkin would set the US into war
In the early morning hours of Aug. 2, 1964, naval intelligence personnel manning communications interception equipment on board destroyer USS Maddox, then steaming on a peacetime mission in the Gulf of Tonkin, straightened in their chairs as they listened to a transmission from North Vietnam’s naval headquarters. The communication instructed naval forces to prepare for battle.
Capt. John J. Herrick, the officer in tactical command for the Maddox mission, sent a top-priority “flash” precedence message to his superiors stating: “contemplate serious reaction my movements [off North Vietnam] in near future. Received info indicating possible hostile action.”
Thus began an incident that some observers have considered the spark that ignited the long, contentious and ultimately unsuccessful Vietnam War that cost the lives of 58,000 Americans and changed the course of U.S. history.
Maddox headed out to sea until daybreak Aug. 2, but then resumed her north-south patrol of the coast in international waters. Shortly after noon, the ship’s radar and lookouts identified various fast attack craft gathering around a small nearby island.
About 1400 (H time, or Saigon time), Herrick learned from intelligence that these forces had been ordered to carry out a torpedo attack on the “enemy.” Since the United States had been working against North Vietnam with Hanoi’s arch enemy South Vietnam for the last 10 years, Herrick had no doubt whom the “enemy” might be. As the destroyer speeded up to 27 knots and steered east and then southeast to clear the area, radar locked onto several fast-moving vessels closing on her.
At 1530 Maddox sounded General Quarters, and soon afterward Herrick alerted Commander Seventh Fleet and aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga that his ship was “being approached by high speed craft with apparent intention of torpedo attack.” He added, “intend to open fire if necessary [in] self defense.” A quartet of F-8E Crusader jets, armed with missiles, rockets and cannons, immediately headed for Maddox’s location 280 miles to the northwest and 25 miles from North Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Maddox had positively identified the contacts as three Soviet-built P-4 torpedo boats traveling at 50-knot speeds and closing the ship on an intersecting course. At 1605 the destroyer fired three rounds from one of her 5-inch/38-caliber guns as a warning; they had no effect. The three North Vietnamese boats (T-333, T-336, and T-339) of Torpedo Squadron 135 continued to close. Finally, at 1608 Maddox opened fire in earnest with her 5-inch and 3-inch guns. The attacking vessels turned to port, launched torpedoes, fired their 14.5mm deck guns and turned away astern of the destroyer. The North Vietnamese torpedoes missed their target and only one 14.5mm round hit the destroyer, where it lodged harmlessly in the superstructure.
The attackers did not fare as well.
Maddox’s gunfire heavily damaged T-339, killing its commander. Shortly afterward, Ticonderoga’s Crusaders arrived overhead and unloaded their 5-inch Zuni rockets and 20mm cannons on the three boats, leaving one dead in the water and burning. Despite damage from the U.S. fire, the North Vietnamese boats later managed to make it back to shore. In the meantime, Maddox joined Ticonderoga at the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin.
Surprised by the North Vietnamese action, President Lyndon B. Johnson suggested that an overly aggressive local naval commander might have ordered the attack. Neither Johnson nor most of his military and civilian advisers believed North Vietnamese leaders would openly challenge America’s military might. To demonstrate that the United States would not back down in such a confrontation, Washington ordered Maddox, now accompanied by destroyer USS Turner Joy, to resume the patrol along the North Vietnamese coast on Aug. 4.
Beginning at 2041 on the dark, cloudy night, radars on the ships picked up high-speed contacts to the northeast. Herrick directed the destroyers away from what he thought were fast-approaching hostile vessels. When one contact was tracked as close as 7,000 yards to the ships, the captain ordered Turner Joy to open fire. For the next two hours, the destroyers, with aircraft overhead, maneuvered to evade their supposed attackers. At the end of the confusing episode, the two ships rejoined the fleet.
Buttressed by Herrick’s reports and by information from intelligence stations in the western Pacific, Johnson and his advisers concluded that North Vietnamese naval forces had once again attacked American warships in international waters. The wealth of information obtained from national intelligence sources and from the Navy then and for years afterward convinced many objective observers that North Vietnam had brazenly attacked U.S. ships on the open sea.
It is now clear, however, that an attack never occurred.
The National Security Agency misinterpreted intercepted North Vietnamese radio transmissions suggesting an attack; eyewitness accounts by some of the men on the destroyers and in the planes proved inconclusive; and the Navy’s operational reports revealed some of the information gathered to be imprecise or contradictory. Moreover, the Tonkin Gulf Incident happened 50 years ago and neither archival records nor personal accounts have surfaced in Vietnam or the United States to refute Hanoi’s unchanged contention that its navy did not attack on Aug. 4.
There was no doubt, however, that North Vietnamese torpedo boats had attacked Maddox on Aug. 2. Knowing this, and convinced that a similar action had occurred two days later, Johnson ordered U.S naval forces to execute retaliatory air strikes on Aug. 5. On that date, 67 combat aircraft from Ticonderoga and Constellation sank or damaged 33 North Vietnamese naval vessels and destroyed 90 percent of the fuel storage facility at Vinh. Anti-aircraft fire brought down the plane piloted by Lt. Richard C. Sather, the first American aviator to die in the conflict against North Vietnam. The Pierce Arrow strike was the first major episode of an air campaign that would continue off and on for nine more years.
Of even greater significance, the events off North Vietnam in early August 1964 prompted many Americans to call for retribution against Hanoi and to rally around the Johnson administration. On Aug. 7, Congress passed, with only two dissenting votes, the Tonkin Gulf Resolution that essentially authorized Johnson to use the U.S. Armed Forces as he saw fit to frustrate Hanoi’s ambitions in Southeast Asia. American advisers and special forces personnel had been fighting and dying in the region for years, but the Tonkin Gulf Incident proved to be a milestone in the long struggle.
The United States was now embarked on major combat operations that would last until the end of the war in January 1973.
Edward J. Marolda, who completed a 40-year career in the U.S. federal government, served as the director of U.S. Naval History (Acting) and Senior Historian of the Navy. He graduated from Pennsylvania Military College in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and served as a U.S. Army officer in Vietnam from 1969-1970. He completed a master’s degree at Georgetown University in 1971 and a Ph.D at George Washington University in 1990. He is overseeing a commemorative series on the U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War for the Naval Historical Foundation and authored the first issue, “The Approaching Storm: Conflict in Asia, 1945-1965.” He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University presenting a course on the U.S. and China in the Cold War.
The above is adapted from Stripes.com “Faulty intel at the Gulf of Tonkin would set the US into war” by Edward J. Marolda