Title: Investigation of The Pearl Harbor Attack Report
Author: Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack
Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States (1946). Investigation of The Pearl Harbor Attack Report: A Concurrent Resolution Authorizing An Investigation Of The Attack On Pearl harbor On December 7, 1941, And Events And Circumstances Relating Thereto. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.
Date Updated: December 14, 2015
I read this multi-volume report on Pearl Harbor while a sophomore in college – my history professor told me it was certainly laudable. I was overwhelmed at the age of 17. Volumes and volumes were filled with evidence, including copies of documents and maps. It was an enormous effort to read it all.
After the end of WW II, in November 1945, a joint committee of Congress on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack called Cordell Hull, Secretary of State in December 1941, as a witness. Indignantly, Hull presented a statement about 100 pages long. When asked specifically whether he had foreknowledge of the attack, he stated loudly, “I stood under that infamous charge for months.” Everyone knew, he said, that the claims were lies. The committee exonerated Hull, but of course, the concept lingered on. Evidence points to bad intelligence policy, not to duplicity.
In later years, researchers continued to search for evidence of a conspiracy. James Rusbridger, in Betrayal at Pearl Harbor, suggested that the British had cracked enough of the Japanese naval codes to be able to predict the Pearl Harbor attack. He claimed that Winston Churchill withheld the facts from Roosevelt. But there is no solid evidence that the British had such information, and no evidence that the Japanese sent any messages that would have given away their plans. Despite the unfounded nature of the allegations, they kept surfacing for decades, probably because of the lasting appeal of conspiracy theories.