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Pearl Harbor warning tale debunked

Dec. 6, 2008 at 8:23 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Historians say they have concluded the United States had no advance notice Japan intended to attack Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, settling a long-debated issue.

The New York Times reported on its Web site Saturday that historians for the National Security Agency concluded in a history released last week that decoded messages buried in Japanese-language weather reports, meant to alert Japanese diplomats to destroy codes, did not reach U.S. officials prior to the attack.

Under Japan's "winds execute" plan, "East wind rain" meant the United States, "north wind cloudy" was Soviet Union and "west wind clear" was Britain in the event diplomatic relations had reached a flash point.

The history's authors, Robert J. Hanyok and the late David Mowry, concluded that the weight of the evidence "indicates that one coded phrase, 'west wind clear,' was broadcast according to previous instructions some six or seven hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor."

"In reality," the authors concluded, "the Japanese broadcast the coded phrase(s) long after hostilities began -- useless, in fact, to all who might have heard it."

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