FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Approved Surveillance Program in Hawaii Months Before Pearl Harbor Attack

The FBI recently declassified 48 pages of documents related to the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. These documents shed light on the surveillance program that was approved by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover just two months before the Japanese attack.

According to the declassified documents, the Head of the FBI office in Honolulu, Robert Shivers, requested Hoover to establish a surveillance program to spy on Japanese communications from Hawaii to Japan. In a letter dated August 23, 1941, Shivers emphasized the need for technical surveillance on all trans-Pacific telephone communications between Hawaii and Japan.

Hoover’s response to Shivers’ request came on September 3, 1941, stating that the Department would make a decision. Then, on October 26, 1941, Hoover granted the authority to install technical surveillance of telephonic communications between Hawaii and Japan.

The declassified documents also included intercepted calls, but the details of these calls were redacted. One intercepted call was reported as containing family gossip, five days before the Pearl Harbor attack, on December 2, 1941.

Interestingly, on the same day as the intercepted call, Nazi spy Bernard Julius Otto Kuehn provided specific signals of U.S. warships to the Japanese consulate. After the Pearl Harbor attack, Kuehn became a suspect in espionage and was eventually sentenced to death by musketry.

It is worth noting that the newly released documents do not include any communications detected from December 3-7, leaving the possibility of a part two document dump being released in the future or the potential of these documents being kept from the public eye forever. The declassified documents can be accessed on the FBI website, providing a deeper insight into the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.


Hot News