“More than seven decades ago, on a calm Sunday morning, our Nation was attacked without warning or provocation.... On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the men and women who selflessly sacrificed for our country, and we show our enduring gratitude to all who fought to defend freedom against the forces of tyranny and oppression in the Second World War.”
— President Barack Obama, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Proclamation, December 07, 2013
President Obama’s Pearl Harbor remembrance proclamation is little different from those of his White House predecessors. Today, however, a great deal more is known than was known in previous years about the secret maneuverings and treasonous activities at the top levels of the Roosevelt administration that caused the Japanese attack on our naval forces at Pearl. Documents released from the decoded Venona Files, from the Soviet KGB archives, from our own National Archives, and memoirs of Soviet officials now confirm what noted anti-communist writers, Congressional investigations, Communist Party defectors, and FBI documents had stated for decades: Harry Dexter White (shown), assistant secretary of the treasury in the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a top Soviet spy and agent of influence who not only caused incalculable harm to the United States, but also materially assisted Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s spreading of terror and tyranny throughout the entire world.
Harry Dexter White, a top advisor to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. and President Franklin Roosevelt, is remembered chiefly as the architect of the Bretton Woods Conference that created the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, but he also played a key role in bringing about the “Day of Infamy,” by doing everything within his power to scuttle the peace efforts of the forces within the Japanese government that were striving to avoid war with the United States. White authored an ultimatum adopted as official policy by FDR that upped the ante of belligerent acts Roosevelt was directing at Japan.
White’s plan was calculated to inflame public opinion in Japan and undermine Emperor Hirohito and Prime Minister Prince Fumimaro Konoye, both of whom favored peace with the U.S. It was also aimed at guaranteeing the rise to power of Japan’s political forces that were beating the drums for war. This is precisely — and predictably — what happened. However, White did not undertake this move on his own initiative, it is important to note, but as a directive of the NKVD (an earlier name for the Soviet KGB). His Kremlin bosses were most anxious for assurance that Japan would not attack the Soviet Union; they thus expended great efforts through their spy and propaganda networks in Japan, Europe, and the United States to ensure that Japan would strike America, rather than the U.S.S.R.
Interestingly, one of the most recent admissions concerning White’s crucial role in this comes from Benn Steil, senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). In the decades since World War II, the CFR’s very influential members in government, the media, and academe have been in the forefront of the efforts to debunk factual anti-communist charges of rampant Soviet penetration of the top levels of the American government. The CFR choir could always be counted on to defend Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs and their fellow “atomic bomb spies,” the Red China Lobby, and the many other Communist agents exposed operating in the top echelons of federal agencies. And the same CFR intelligentsia could be just as dependably relied upon to denounce as “McCarthyites” any responsible patriots who attempted to force officialdom to investigate, remove, and/or prosecute traitors in our government, especially those in positions most sensitive to our national security.
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Photo of Harry Dexter White testifying before the House Committee on Un-American Activities on August 13, 1948: AP Images