Wall Street's mass media generally portrays the Dec. 7. 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that took place 70 years ago as being a great surprise to the Democratic administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. According to the 1981 book Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath by John Toland, however, in the fall of 1941 "another direct warning of an attack on Pearl Harbor came to Washington" when "Kilsoo Haan, an agent for the Sino-Korean People's League came to the CBS office of Eric Severeid to announce excitedly that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor before Christmas. Friends in the Korean underground in Japan and Hawaii reported they had positive proof."
In October 1941, Haan convinced U.S. Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa that Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked and "Gillette alerted the State Department, as well as Army and Navy Intelligence," according to the same book. Major Warren Clear of Army Intelligence had also alerted the War Department that Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked.
On Dec. 5, 1941, "Kilsoo Haan telephoned Maxwell Hamilton (a top U.S. State Department Far East Advisor)" and told him that he had "been warned by the Korean underground that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor the coming weekend," according to Infamy. The same book also noted that after Pearl Harbor was attacked a few days later, "Kilsoo Haan got a telephone call from Maxwell Hamilton of the State Department" who "demanded that Haan's Dec. 5 warning of a Pearl Harbor attack that weekend not be released to the press. `If you do,' he warned, `I can put you away for the duration.'"
Some historians argue that in order to develop domestic support fo the U.S. military's entrance into world War II, the Democratic Roosevelt Administration wanted "to maneuver" the Japanese government "into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves," in the words of Secretary of War Henry Stimson's Nov. 25, 1941 diary entry. According to the Jan. 2, 1972 issue of the New York Times, "the declassification of British wartime Cabinet papers disclosed that Roosevelt made definite pledges...to bring the United States into the war against Germany before the end of 1941."
Infamy also noted that on Nov. 26,1941, Dr. Henry Field was summoned to the office of President Roosevelt's secretary, Grace Tully, who "told Field that the President was ordering him to produce, in the shortest time possible the full names and addresses of each American-born and foreign-born Japanese listed by locality within each state" and that "it was to be done by using the 1930 and 1940 censuses." At the Census Bureau Building "a bank of IBM sorting machines was set up to extract the Orientals for each state from 110,000,000 cards; then they were to be resorted for the Japanese."
Four days before the Japanese military attack on Pearl Harbor, according to Infamy, "the name and addres of every Japanese in the United States, a total of 126,947" was turned over to President Roosevelt's personal secretary, Grace Tully. The list of Japanese-Americans derived from the U.S. Census Bureau data was then used by the Roosevelt Administration when it ordered all Japanese-Americans to be rounded up and put in prison camps on the West Coast for three years in 1942. (which is one reason why many people in the U.S.A. may not be too eager to fill out those U.S. census forms every 10 years).