Excerpts from the report of the Commission headed by Associate Justice
Roberts which investigated and fixed the blame for the disaster at
Pearl Harbor: >In a letter of January 24, 1941, the Secretary of the
Navy advised the Secretary of War that the increased gravity of the
Japanese situation had prompted a restudy of the problem of the
security of the Pacific Fleet while in Pearl Harbor. The writer stated:
“If war eventuates with Japan, it is believed easily possible that
hostilities would be initiated by a surprise attack upon the Fleet or
the Naval base at Pearl Harbor. . . . The dangers envisaged in their
order of importance and probability are considered to be: 1> air
bombing attack; 2> air torpedo plane attack; 3> sabotage; 4> submarine
attack; 5> mining; 6> bombardment by gunfire.” The letter stated the
defenses against all but the first two were then satisfactory. >The Secretary of War replied February 7, 1941. Admiral Kimmel and
General Short received copies of these letters. > On October 16, 1941, the Commanding General, Hawaiian Department
[Short], and the Commander in Chief of the Fleet [Kimmel], were advised
by the War and Navy Departments of the changes in the Japanese Cabinet,
and of the possibility of an attack by Japan on Great Britain and the
United States. >November 24, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations sent a message to
Admiral Kimmel in which he stated that in the opinion of the Navy
Department, a surprise aggressive movement … by the Japanese . . .
was a possibility. >November 27, 1941, the Chief of Staff of the
Army informed the Commanding General that hostilities on the part of
Japan were momentarily possible. >On the same day the Chief of Naval Operations sent a message to the Commander in
Chief of the Pacific Fleet, which stated in substance that the dispatch
was to be considered a war warning. >November 28, 1941, the Commanding
General received from the Adjutant General of the Army a message
stating that the critical situation required every precaution to be
taken at once against subversive activities. >The Navy Department sent three messages to the Commander in Chief
of the Pacific Fleet; the
first of December 3, 1941, stated that it was believed certain Japanese
consulates were destroying their codes and burning secret documents;
the second of December 4, 1941, instructed the addressee to destroy
confidential documents and means of confidential communication; and the
third of December 4, 1941, directing that in view of the tense
situation the naval commands on the outlying Pacific islands might be
authorized to destroy confidential papers. >At about noon E.S.T. December 7, an additional warning message
indicating an almost immediate break in relations between the United
States and Japan, was dispatched by the Chief of Staff. . . . The
delivery of this urgent message was delayed until after the attack. >The Commanding General [Short], the Commander in Chief of the Fleet
[Kimmel] and their principal staff officers considered the possibility
of air raids. Without exception they believed that the chances of such
a raid while the Pacific Fleet was based upon Pearl Harbor was
practically nil.