The Pearl Harbor Betrayal and James Forrestal’s Death | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


The Pearl Harbor Betrayal and James Forrestal’s Death

The following passage begins on page 167 and continues into page 168. The year is 1941 and the person sharing secrets with Trohan is President Roosevelt’s press secretary:

Steve [Early] confided to me that we knew every move the Japanese were making. This mental bell was to grow louder in tone in the months ahead. Steve repeated we knew every move as fast as it was made. Because of this knowledge, we had to return at once to Washington; war was imminent.

Even then I reasoned that we had to have a spy in the Japanese Government at the highest level, but I didn’t see how he could transmit his reports easily and quickly. So I concluded that we had broken the Japanese diplomatic code. This conclusion was one not requiring any great deductive powers. Everyone knew, but few remembered, that we had broken the Japanese naval code during the naval disarmament conference in Washington in 1921. All this was detailed in a book by the man who directed the breaking, Herbert O. Yardley, The Black Chamber, which I had read and remembered. I read it again with greater interest because it seemed to support my hunch. American intelligence was furious with Yardley for revealing the code-breaking coup, so much so that he was not invited to take any role in cryptology before or during the war.

It wasn’t long before my suspicions were confirmed. Friends in the army and navy intelligence acknowledged that the code had been broken. There was nothing I could do about it under censorship, but I did keep after it. For four years I collected bits and pieces of the story, which resulted ultimately in a congressional investigation. The Administration maneuvered the inquiry into a whitewash of Washington responsibility for Pearl Harbor. However, they merely scotched the snake and didn’t kill it, so that Pearl Harbor is becoming to be recognized more and more as FDR’s road to war.

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