Wilson, Churchill, Roosevelt and Bush: The Banality of Betrayal

Poke holes in the government's ludicrous account of what happened on 9/11 and mention the possibility (likelihood) of it being an inside job, and the first reply is likely to be, "No, that's impossible because there would be too many people involved." Many people simply refuse to believe that Misters Bush-Cheney-Powell-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Feith would risk the mass murder of 3,000 innocent Americans just to rev up America's juices for some good old-fashioned violence abroad. No, too many loose lips would sink the U.S.S. Conspiracy, goes the argument.

But an excursion back in time reveals evidence for small, mid-size and large conspiracies at the top. U.S. entry into the misnamed Great War, for example, was aided by "black ops." While President Woodrow Wilson called for neutrality in his political speeches in 1914 and 1915, akin to Mr. Bush's 2000 declaration against nation-building and support for "a more humble foreign policy," Wilson wrote a secret letter to the leaders of the British government, reinforced by frequent visits from Wilson's primary adviser, Colonel House, pledging to bring America into the European war on the Allied side to guarantee a decisive win (the history recounted here is based on the thorough research of John V. Denson's magnificent, "Roosevelt and the First Shot: A Study of Deceit and Deception," here). Afterward, the fool in the White House planned to impose his wonderful, worldwide permanent peace (such megalomania about remaking the world in our image sounds familiar today, doesn't it?). Before sending our boys "over there, over there," into enemy machine gun fire, however, a public change of heart was needed.

Fortunately, the resourceful Winston Churchill, then first lord of the Admiralty (Franklin D. Roosevelt was Woodrow Wilson's assistant secretary of the Navy, learning treachery on the job) was standing by to provide some "oomph" for U.S. entry into the war. Just prior to war, the Cunard steamship company in England received a government subsidy to build the Lusitania, the world's fastest ocean liner. The subsidy allowed government to take it over during war and the government had designed a secret compartment for weapons and ammunition aboard ship. On the fateful voyage, the British admiralty under Churchill's leadership, changed captains, substituting Captain William Turner for the usual captain. As the Lusitania neared its destination, the Admiralty ordered the military escort ship, the Juno, to abandon its usual mission, thereby leaving the ocean liner without protection from submarines. The Lusitania was not told that it was then alone, nor that a German sub was directly in its path, facts known to the Admiralty. The Admiralty ordered Captain Turner to reduce his speed, thereby making the Lusitania an easy torpedo target. When the Lusitania sank, over 100 Americans lost their lives. At a hearing in England following the disaster, Captain Turner was disgraced and found guilty of negligence, deflecting attention from Churchill and the Admiralty, just as the American commanders at Pearl Harbor would later become scapegoats for the disaster of December 7, 1941.

OK, put the Lusitania aside as so much small change to hasten U.S. entry into WWI. FDR set a whole new standard. First, consider the espionage operation in the U.S. by our erstwhile ally, Great Britain, steering the U.S. into war and paralleling the espionage of today's neocon cabal. A Canadian citizen by the name of William Stephenson later became known by his code name, Intrepid. He was a personal friend of Winston Churchill who set up a secret organization rent-free in Rockefeller Center in New York. The purpose was to help those likable rascals Roosevelt and Churchill bring America into the war through false propaganda, creation of false documents, and whatever means were necessary, allegedly including murder. One of the organization's secret agents was Ian Fleming, subsequent creator of 007, James Bond.

Two false documents proved noteworthy. First, Intrepid cooked up a false map that Roosevelt knowingly used in a national radio speech on October 27, 1941. This document allegedly was obtained from a German spy and purported to show Hitler's secret plans to invade South America, thereby posing an imminent danger to America. Detect the similarity with Bush's tale in his State of the Union message about the imminent threat of Saddam Hussein seeking uranium from Niger? Second, Intrepid managed to plant a false document in Hitler's hands on December 3, 1941, purporting to show Roosevelt's secret plan to preemptively strike Germany without a declaration of war by the U.S. Congress. When Hitler suddenly declared war against America on December 11, 1941, almost everyone except Churchill, Roosevelt, and Intrepid was surprised.

It boggles the mind, I know, to find out what Roosevelt and Churchill did to get America into a war with Germany. Intrepid used one dirty trick after another. He smeared people like Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford as Nazi sympathizers, supplied mistresses to shut up anti-interventionist opponents like Republican Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg of Michigan, altered Gallup poll results, and helped rig the Republican nomination for Wendell Wilkie who had the same foreign policy as FDR, rather like the establishment John Kerry overtaking dissident Howard Dean.

Intrepid must have had some fun. Intrepid built on the model of Sir William Wiseman, head of the British Secret Service in America in World War I, who played a major role in getting the U.S. into that war. Wilson's adviser, Colonel House, "habitually permitted Sir William Wiseman…to sit in his private office in New York and read the most secret documents of the American Government. House's father and mother had both been English" (Denson quotation, p. 490).

But FDR's perfidy magnifique was the "surprise" attack at Pearl Harbor. It was a day of infamy alright. The Pearl Harbor attack was about as big a surprise as 9/11 was to insiders three years ago. The American people were adamantly opposed to fighting another European war after Wilson lied them into World War I. Roosevelt labored away at provoking Germany and Japan and finally got what he wanted by maneuvering Japan into firing first. In January, 1940, he ordered the Pacific fleet transferred from its home base at San Diego to Pearl, so that it would be vulnerable to carrier attack with little air cover or support (reminiscent of the air defense "stand down" on 9/11). In May, 1940, it was announced that the entire fleet would remain at Pearl indefinitely, a suicidal departure from naval policy, and Roosevelt transferred ships to the Atlantic, weakening the Pacific fleet and trying to provoke the Germans into firing the first shot. When the commander of the Pacific fleet, Admiral James O. Richardson, visited the White House to protest these absurd orders, Roosevelt fired him.

Following in his idol's (Wilson's) footsteps, Roosevelt campaigned as a dove ("Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars") while sending alter ego Harry Hopkins to London to promise American entry into the war. On July 25, 1941, Roosevelt ordered all Japanese assets in the United States "frozen," thus shutting down commerce between the two. Combined with identical orders from the British and Dutch, Japan was cut off from direct purchase in oil markets. Roosevelt refused to negotiate with the moderate Konoye government, soon replaced by the militaristic Mr. Tojo. Roosevelt had painted Japan into a corner.

Reassuring Pearl commanders that they were continually supplied with updated information, Roosevelt concealed. American cryptographers had cracked the diplomatic and naval or military codes of the Japanese. The Japanese fleet sailed on November 25, 1941, and did not maintain radio silence up through December 7, 1941. American cryptographers decoded its communications and sent them directly to Roosevelt. Directional radio finders tracked the fleet all the way. Meanwhile, Navy officials declared the North Pacific Ocean a "Vacant Sea" to clear out traffic for the approaching Japanese. When Admiral Husband E. Kimmel tried to defend Pearl Harbor by searching for a Japanese carrier force north of Hawaii, the area where Japan planned to launch her attack, the White House ordered him out.

An elaborate cover up followed, naturally. Hundreds of insiders knew the score, but were shut up by self-censorship, threatened imprisonment, disgrace and loss of benefits. So much for the "it's too big" objection to conspiracy. Roosevelt formed a commission to investigate only what happened at Pearl itself, not what went on in Washington, D.C. A limited hang out, cover-up commission sounds familiar. Roosevelt's commission held secret hearings (yup) and neither commander at Pearl was allowed to submit evidence or call witnesses and they were completely denied due process. The commission found them solely at fault and they were forced to resign in disgrace. Condemning the findings, Admiral Richardson who preceded Admiral Kimmel at Pearl said: "It is the most unfair, unjust and deceptively dishonest document ever printed by the government printing office. I cannot conceive of honorable men serving on the commission without greatest regret and deepest feelings of shame" (Denson, p. 515).

There were ten official inquiries into Pearl Harbor, but it wasn't until the arrival of Robert Stinnet's painstakingly-researched book of 17 years, aided by the Freedom of Information Act, that we discover the truth about Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt has his huge monument on the mall, including his nonsense statement, "I hate war," to deceive the tourists. Establishment historians rank him among the top three presidents of all time. I guess Mr. Roosevelt's crimes on behalf of a "good cause" were just fine and dandy. As historian Arthur Schlesinger rationalizes, both Lincoln and Roosevelt "did what they thought they had to do to save the republic" (Denson quotation, p. 519). Good intentions mean so very, very much to a Harvard historian.

It took 59 years to learn the truth about Pearl Harbor. Maybe we can shorten the time span to arrive at the truth about 9/11.

September 15, 2004