In this book, George Victor addresses the several questions regarding Pearl Harbor: did U.S. Intelligence know beforehand? Did Roosevelt know? If so, why weren’t commanders in Hawaii notified? It is a well-researched and documented volume, complete with hundreds of end-notes and references.
Twelve days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt surprised his advisors by saying that war with Japan was about to begin. Secretary of War Stimson noted in his diary:
The question was what we should do. The question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.
Mr. Victor admits he is an admirer of Roosevelt. While he is clear that Roosevelt manipulated the country into war, he does not condemn him for it:
History has recorded many, many rulers’ manipulations of their people into war without their subordinates blowing the whistle. Presidents James Polk, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, and Woodrow Wilson did it before [Roosevelt], and others have done it after him.
This is difficult for many to accept, especially the idea that honorable and upright military leaders would allow such a thing to occur. General George Marshall, in testimony to various tribunals after Pearl Harbor was clear, however:
He testified to a congressional committee that withholding vital information from commanders was routine practice.