Parallels Between Pearl Harbor and Sepember 11th


Parallels Between Pearl Harbor and Sepember 11th

While it occurred some 60 years ago, the attack on Pearl Harbor provides vital information for understanding current events.

Intelligence Failures

Initially, as shown by this BBC special (which contains interviews with some of the key players), America knew of the Japanese plan to attack Pearl Harbor — down to the exact date of the attack — and allowed it to happen to justify America's entry into World War II. The case for foreknowledge is even more definitively made by this short essay by a highly-praised historian summarizing some of the key points (the historian, a World War II veteran, actually agreed with this strategy for getting America into the war, and so does not have any axe to grind).

Indeed, the White House apparently had, a year before Pearl Harbor, launched an 8-point plan to provoke Japan into war against the U.S. (including, for example, an oil embargo). The rationale for this provocation is that the U.S. wanted to aid its allies in fighting the Nazis and other axis powers, and decided that an attack by Japan would be the most advantageous justification for the U.S. to enter WWII…


Active Interference with Military's Ability to Defend

It has also recently been discovered that the FDR administration took numerous affirmative steps to ensure that the Japanese attack would be successful. These steps included taking extraordinary measures to hide information from the commanders in Hawaii about the location of Japanese war ships (information of which they would normally be informed), denying their requests to allow them to scout for Japanese ships, and other actions to blind the commanders in Hawaii so that the attacks would succeed. See, for example, this book (page 186).

Key Military Players Incommunicado

In addition, the heads of the Army and Navy suddenly diappeared and remained unreachable on the night before Pearl Harbor. And they would later testify over and over that they "couldn't remember" where they were (pages 320 and 335).

Gagging Whistleblowers

Two weeks after Pearl Harbor, the Navy classified all documents TOP SECRET, and the Navy Director of Communications sent a memo ordering all commanders to "destroy all notes or anything in writing" related to the attacks. More importantly, all radio operators and cryptographers were gagged on threat of imprisonment and loss of all benefits. (page 256)

Scapegoating and labels of "conspiracy theory"

The commanders in Hawaii, General Short and Admiral Kimmel, were scapegoated as being the cause for the "surprise" attack on Pearl Harbor (they were recently cleared by Congress).

And, according to a statement made to me privately by a leading Pearl Harbor scholar, the government repeatedly denied foreknowledge and labeled anyone who discussed the military's prior knowledge of the attacks as a nutty conspiracy theorist.

Media Complicity

Amazingly, the Army’s Chief of Staff informed the Washington bureau chiefs of the major newspapers and magazines of the impending attacks BEFORE THEY OCCURRED, and swore them to an oath of secrecy, which the media honored (page 361); and listen to interview here (I personally spent an hour speaking with the historian making this claim, and find him highly credible.).

In other words, there apparently was a conspiracy between the government and media regarding the impending Pearl Harbor attacks.


As discussed below, the parallels of Pearl Harbor to September 11th are numerous.

Intelligence Failures

As with Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks:

According to MSNBC, "There have been a slew of reports over the past decade of plots to use planes to strike American targets".

For example, a 1998 report forwarded from the FBI to the Federal Aviation Administration concluded that "a group of unidentified Arabs planned to fly an explosive-laden plane . . . into the World Trade Center"

The CIA Director had warned congress shortly before 9/11 "that there could be an attack, an imminent attack, on the United States of this nature. So this is not entirely unexpected" according to a broadcast on National Public Radio

It was widely known within the FBI shortly before 9/11 that an imminent attack was planned on lower Manhattan.

An employee who worked in the south tower stated "How could they let this happen? They knew this building was a target. Over the past few weeks we'd been evacuated a number of times, which is unusual. I think they had an inkling something was going on"

A guard who worked in the world trade center stated that "officials had recently taken steps to secure the towers against aerial attacks"

Moreover, the newly-revealed "Able Danger" intelligence program tracked Mohammad Atta and other alleged hijackers well before September 11th. Indeed, a former White House Policy Analyst and Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President has recently stated in a letter sent to the New York Times that the NSA was tracking all of the alleged hijackers before September through wiretaps.

And it is known that military bases, such as the Navy's Sixth Fleet Ocean Surveillance Information Facility in Rota, Spain, have for many years produced daily reports on all Middle East activity. There are also mobile intel station on large naval vessels which monitor electronic communications in the Middle East. In addition, Bin Laden was reported to have used walkie-talkies which required booster stations with easily-interceptible signals.

Moreover, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the military air defense agency responsible for protecting the U.S. mainland, had run drills for several years of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, and "numerous types of civilian and military aircraft were used as mock hijacked aircraft". In other words, drills using REAL AIRCRAFT simulating terrorist attacks crashing jets into buildings, including the twin towers, were run.

And the military had conducted drills of planes crashing into the Pentagon. For example, see this official military website showing a military drill conducted in 2000 using miniatures, involving a plane crashing into the Pentagon.

The military had also run war games involving multiple, simultaneous hijackings (first paragraph), so this aspect of 9/11 was not as overwhelming as we have been led to believe.

See this short excerpt of a Peter Jennings newscast on 9/11 (excuse the music and subtitles)

Other evidence also indicates that the U.S. knew of the impending attacks:

In June-Aug 2001, German intelligence warned the CIA that Middle Eastern terrorists were training for hijackings and targeting American interests. Russian President Vladimir Putin alerted the US of suicide pilots training for attacks on U.S. targets. In late July, a Taliban emissary warned the US that bin Laden was planning a huge attack on American soil. In August, Israel warned of an imminent Al Qaeda attack. See, for example, this article from Fox News and this article from the Independent

In July 2001, Bin Laden is alleged to have received kidney treatment at the American Hospital in Dubai. During his stay, bin Laden is alleged to have been visited by one or two CIA agents. See this Guardian article, this article from the Sydney Morning Herald, this story from the London Times, and and this one from United Press International

On July 26, 2001, Attorney General Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airlines due to a threat assessment . In May 2002, Ashcroft walked out of his own office rather than answer questions about it.

On August 6, 2001, President Bush received an intelligence briefing warning that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. Titled “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US,” the briefing specifically mentioned the World Trade Center. See this Washington Post story, and the actual partially-declassified briefing.

On August 27, 2001, an FBI supervisor said he was trying to keep a hijacker from “flying a plane into the World Trade Center.” (Senate Report Hill #2. FBI headquarters chastised him for notifying the CIA.

On September 10th, intelligence services intercepted messages between the alleged lead hijacker and the mastermind behind 9/11 stating "the match begins tomorrow" and "tomorrow is zero hour"

Is it a coincidence that "On Sept. 10, NEWSWEEK has learned, a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns" (pay-per-view; cached version of article here)?

And on 9/11 itself, data recovery experts extracted data from 32 damaged world trade center computer drives. The data revealed a surge in financial transactions shortly before the attacks. Illegal transfers of over $100 million may have been made through some trade center computer systems immediately before and during the 9/11 disaster. See this article and this one.

And anyone who still doubts that the government intentionally let 9/11 happen should consider this. While the government has consistently stated that it did not know where the aircraft were before they struck, this short video clip of the Secretary of Transportation's testimony before the 9/11 Commission shows that Cheney monitored flight 77 for many miles as it approached the Pentagon. How could one of the most heavily-defended buildings in the world have been successfully attacked, when the Vice President of the United States, in charge of counter-terrorism on 9/11, watched it approach from many miles away?

Active Interference with Military's Ability to Defend

As with Pearl Harbor, the government actively interfered with the military and intelligence agencies' ability to prevent the attack:

As stated above, the FBI chastised an agent for spreading information to the CIA about potential attacks against the Twin Towers.

And as shown as this already-referenced video clip, Dick Cheney repeatedly told military personnel "the order still stands" as he watched flight 77 approach and then strike the Pentagon. Was the "order" that the plane should be allowed to continue, without interception?

In addition, in May 2001, for the third time, US security chiefs rejected Sudan’s offer of thick files on bin Laden and al-Qaeda. A senior CIA source calls it “the worst single intelligence failure in the business.”

The Bush administration also told the FBI to "back off" on its Bin Laden investigation before 9/11.

And the FBI and CIA inexplicably ignored warnings from its own agents (see also this essay).

In addition, 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers failed to fill in visa documents properly in Saudi Arabia. Only 6 were interviewed. All 15 should have been denied entry to the US. See also this article. Two top senators say that if State Department personnel had merely followed the law, 9/11 would not have happened. Indeed, the former head of the Visa department in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said that the U.S. intentionally facilitated terrorists entering the country. And see this BBC video (or transcript is here).

And this essay describes several additional ways in which certain high-level officials actively interfered with the military's ability to defend against the attacks.

Key Military Decision-Makers Unavailable

On September 11th, as during Pearl Harbor, all of the key military players were mysteriously unavailable and out of the loop when they were needed.

Whistleblowers Gagged

As with Pearl Harbor, key whistleblowers have been gagged. See, for example, this article. As another example, key sections of former anti-terrorism czar Richard Clarke's book were edited out.

Innocent People Scapegoated

Just like the commanders in Hawaii were scapegoated for Pearl Harbor, the CIA has been scapegoated for pre-9/11 "intelligence failures" and the Federal Aviation Administration was scapegoated for failing to notify the military of the hijacked planes.

As demonstrated above, there were no intelligence failures, as the government knew of the impending attacks. See also this article on "intelligence failures".

And the FAA, in fact, did not delay in informing the military about the hijacked planes, as shown in this article.

Media Complicity

Finally, as with Pearl Harbor, the American media has studiously avoided any substantive coverage of the government's involvement in 9/11, and has attempted to paint anyone who questioned the official version of events as a "conspiracy theorist".

And since many news reporters, including reporters from the BBC (and see this BBC clip; BBC clips authenticated here, here, and here), CNN and other stations reported the collapse of Building 7 before it actually fell, the question of media complicity should be investigated.

Postscript: A reader pointed out another interesting parallel. Remember Philip Zelikow, the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission? Zelikow is the administration insider whose area of expertise is the creation and maintenance of "public myths" thought to be true, even if not actually true, who controlled what the Commission did and did not analyze, then limited the scope of the Commission's inquiry so that the overwhelming majority of questions about 9/11 remained unasked (see this article and this article). Well, Zelikow also wrote a hit piece on Pearl Harbor truth for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Note: This essay does not discuss the question of whether elements within the U.S. government or other persons assisted the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks in other ways. Scholars and researchers have made additional arguments in this regard, which are discussed elsewhere, and which must be judged on their own merit.

Nor does this essay discuss the question of whether 9/11 was a "false flag" operation or why the World Trade Centers collapsed on September 11th, which are discussed in numerous other essays on this blog and at


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