Before Pearl Harbor, there was an elaborate British influence operation of forged documents, fake news, and manipulation.
A World War II era poster showing portraits of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill with the title “Liberators of The World”. The poster also shows the flags of the Allies, and the sinking of the Japanese battleship Haruna. (Photo by David J. & Janice L. Frent/Corbis via Getty Images)
Seventy-eight years ago, on December 6, 1941, the United States was at peace with world. The next morning, local time, the Empire of Japan bombed the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Four days later, Nazi Germany issued a declaration of war against the United States. The American people were now unalterably involved in a global conflict that would take the lives of over 400,000 of their native sons.
But before Japan opened this door to war, the United States had been the target of an elaborate, covert influence campaign meant to push public opinion, by hook or by crook, into supporting intervention on the side of the British. Conducted by the United Kingdom’s MI6 intelligence service, it involved sometimes witting (and often unwitting) collaboration with the highest echelons of the U.S. government and media establishment.
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