Henry Stimson Quote

“When the news first came that Japan had attacked us my first feeling was of relief that … a crisis had come in a way which would unite all our people. This continued to be my dominant feeling in spite of the news of catastrophes which quickly developed.”

~ Henry Stimson

Statement to the Joint Congressional Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 1946

Ratings and Comments

J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT

WOW! How times have changed. One can easily understand the honesty and clarity of this admission. Granted, it was five years after the events and we had won the war, allbeit at huge cost. I've been reading Rumsfeld's book and it is both long and well written. He faced a situation not unlike Pearl Harbor. I find him to be candid. I'm nearing the end of the book in the section where he disects the problems of dealing with captured terrorists and how they should be dealt with. The Geneva Conventions do not cover them, yet he and all of us have been taken to task for how we have tried to solve this new problem. The treatment of 9/11 and President Bush's handling of the situation, along with his administration has been a mixture of contempt and ignorant second guessing by the media. Our wonderful current president vowed to close Gitmo and do many things differently and better, Surprise! He has had to back track and allow things to continue as President Bush first set them up. What fools we mortals be.

Mike, Norwalk

I'm not sure how to rate this or comment with stars. As Wulff said, that level of honesty and clarity is rare in today's administrations. History has shown how the US could have averted the carnage of Pearl Harbor. Unity for war I guess, helps somehow in the healing process ?

jim k, Austin,Tx

I suspect that FDR was also relieved when Pearl Harbor was bombed as his policies had continued the depression and now he saw a way out. This war also gave us the infamous withholding tax, a "temporary" tax to finance the war which is still with us today. People give up all sorts of freedoms in times of war, sort of like right now with the "Patriot Act".

Waffler, Smith

Cooperation is a unique attribute of many animals but is highest among human beings. Those who seek only individuality miss this point.


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