Patrick Schulte wrote: (From We The Living email group)

Robert B. Stinnett used the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to
previously restricted documentary evidence concerning the Pearl Harbor
attack of December 7, 1941.  From this data he concluded that there now
exists conclusive proof that Roosevelt and a fairly large number of others
in the employ of the governments of the US, Britain and the Netherlands
conspired to provoke Japan into war as a way of coming to the Allies' aid
when the people and the Congress were largely against the US becoming an
active belligerent.  I will cite two items as examples of information
Stinnett unearthed in support of his conclusion.

I.  In October, 1940, Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), prepared a memo for President Roosevelt's review.  In that memo, McCollum advocated an "eight action plan" designed to take the United States into the war. These actions were:

A. Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the
Pacific, particularly Singapore.

B. Make an arrangement with Holland for the use of base facilities and
acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies [now Indonesia].

C. Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek.

D. Send a division of long-range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines,
or Singapore.

E. Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient.

F. Keep the main strength of the US Fleet, now in the Pacific; in the
vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.

G. Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic
concessions, particularly oil.

H. Completely embargo all trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar
embargo imposed by the British Empire. (Page 8)

Because of chain of custody receipts, there is little doubt that Roosevelt
received this memo.  In the months to follow the issuance of the memo, all
eight actions were carried out and then some--such as a provocative sortie
carried out by four heavy cruisers of the US Navy sailing in very foggy
weather between the two southernmost main islands of Japan. The straw that broke the camel's back was apparently the cutting off of all petroleum
products to Japan shortly before the attack.

II.  Just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, it was arranged that all
shipping under control of Britain and her allies or under control of the US
be rerouted such that the entire North Pacific was empty of ships. The
effect of this would be to drastically diminish the chances of US forces
being warned of the movements of the attacking Japanese carrier task force.

Apparently, for the first time, we now have the smoking gun that establishes
the Roosevelt administration's calculated efforts to provoke Japan into an
attack that would mobilize the country for entry into the war.

This book has received limited response in the national media; and, I
continue to notice, it is not even showing up in the Laissez Fair Books
catalog.  I believe it is important because of the enduring benefit that the
Left has received as part of the continuing prestige posthumously enjoyed by Roosevelt and because libertarian perspectives on the war have no credence to speak of as long as there has been the possibility of reasonable doubt as to Roosevelt's complicity.

On the book jacket there appears, among others, the following quote:

"Step by step, Stinnett goes through the prelude to war, using new documents to reveal the terrible secrets that have never before been disclosed to the public.  It is disturbing that eleven presidents, including those I admired, kept the truth from the public until Stinnett's Freedom of Information Act requests finally persuaded the Navy to release the evidence." --John Toland, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of INFAMY

October 9, 2000, the Nation

Chase's Historical Ledger

Even as Chase Manhattan prepares to take over J.P. Morgan, the bank's past is returning to haunt it. Recently revealed documents show that Chase, which was already known to have helped the Nazis, aided slavery here at home as two of its predecessor banks worked with an insurance company to insure slave owners against loss. Chase is, as far as can be determined, the first company whose forerunners have been identified as aiding both the perpetrators of the destruction of the Jews in Europe and those who enslaved Africans and their descendants in America.

Chase currently faces a class-action lawsuit filed in the United States by Holocaust survivors and victims' relatives who say their assets were frozen by Chase during World War II. Chase seized bank accounts and safe-deposit boxes from Jewish customers in France and did not return or properly account for them after the war, according to Kenneth McCallion, a lead attorney in the suit. In addition, a Treasury Department report declassified a few years ago concludes that Chase's Paris branch served as a banker for the Third Reich. J.P. Morgan, whose Paris office also worked closely with the Germans, is named in the lawsuit as well.

About a hundred years earlier, two US banks that were later taken over by Chase were described in an 1852 information circular as servicers of insurance policies issued on the lives of slaves. Titled "A Method by Which Slave Owners May Be Protected From Loss," the circular, put out by the National Loan Fund Life Assurance Company of London, describes, among others, The Merchants Bank and The Leather Manufacturers Bank, both of New York, as having the legal authority "to accept risks, adjust and pay claims." The Merchants Bank merged in 1920 with The Bank of the Manhattan Company, which in turn merged with Chase in 1955, according to the New York State Banking Department and Chase's website. The Leather Manufacturers Bank merged with The Mechanics National Bank in 1904, which then merged with Chase in 1926.

Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, the lawyer whose research earlier this year forced the Aetna Insurance Company to make a public apology for writing slave insurance policies, uncovered the documents exposing Chase. These revelations are certain to bolster the growing movement for slavery reparations.

The presidents of the two banks are listed on the circular as members of the New York board of directors of the London insurance company. The circular names medical examiners in Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, DC, who were authorized to examine slaves and also offers details about the insurance policies. For example: "A Slave aged 30 years can be insured for $500, for a year, for $11.25; and if he dies, the owner, although deprived of the revenue of his labour...will still not be unrecompensed for his loss; for there will still remain to him--not his Slave--but the $500 which constituted his value...." While it has still to be determined whether the two banks actually serviced any policies for slave owners, the existence of the circular proves that the banks actively sought and were part of such business.

Jim Finn, a Chase spokesperson, said that his organization needs more time to study the circular and related materials before he could comment. Farmer-Paellmann, who is continuing her research, said, "My hope is that if archival records show that policies were written, then Chase will apologize for helping to maintain that crime against humanity and pay restitution into a trust fund to benefit heirs of Africans enslaved in America."

In early September Chase agreed to permit an investigator who had probed Swiss banks for their Holocaust-era activities to review its records to determine how Chase had helped the Nazis. Chase should immediately open its archives to slavery researchers as well. Only then will a full record be available to determine what reparations, if any, should be paid.

John Friedman

John Friedman is a journalist and documentary filmmaker whose latest film, Stealing the Fire, on the nuclear underground, is nearing completion.