- Historic Sites
Another Day Of Infamy
CONGRESS IS TRYING TO LEGISLATE THE HISTORY OF WHAT HAPPENED ON THE EVE OF PEARL HARBOR
April 2001 | Volume 52, Issue 2
“These are historical judgments rendered without evidence or meaning,” was how Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, chairman of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, characterized both the King “trial” and the congressional resolution for Kimmel and Short. Which also brings us back to our original question: What is history? It is all that we are now, and all that we believe ourselves to be. If we are to start now tearing ourselves down, knocking apart everything we know to be the truth, not on the basis of any new evidence or research but simply to serve some narrow purpose or ancient grudge, what will be left of us? Wouldn’t that reduce us to a nation of seething suspicion, bereft of a common reality? If the U.S. Congress were to pass a resolution claiming that Husband Kimmel and Walter Short were dedicated, patriotic men who served their country to their best of their ability and should not be singled out for censure- if it were to declare that they did no worse than, say, even such a commander as Douglas MacArthur, who was caught with his planes on the ground in the Philippines the day after Pearl Harbor- then I, for one, would have nothing against restoring them to their full ranks, and I suspect that nearly all Americans would feel the same way.
Or, if the Congress really does believe that “critical intelligence” was withheld from the garrison at Pearl Harbor, it ought to hold fair and balanced hearings on the matter and lay out all its findings to the public. To conduct its business as it has is to sneak a conspiracy theory through the back door of the people’s house. It sets a sorry precedent.