On December 18th, the FBI discreetly declassified 48 pages in a document file titled, “Pearl Harbor Attack December 7, 1941 Part 01.”
In the documents, it was revealed FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover greenlighted a surveillance program in Hawaii just two months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
On page 8 of the newly declassified documents, the Head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office in Honolulu, Robert Shivers, wrote to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on August 23rd, 1941, asking him to enact a surveillance program to spy on Japanese communications from Hawaii to Japan.
Shivers wrote, “In order that the Honolulu Field Division may be advised more fully of Japanese activities, it is deemed necessary that technical surveillance be established on all trans-Pacific telephone communications between the Territory of Hawaii and Japan.”
In Hoover’s first response to Shivers on September 3, 1941, he wrote that the Department would decide on his request.
On October 26, 1941, Hoover gave Shiver the FBI’s final decision and wrote, “Authority granted to install technical surveillance of telephonic communications between Hawaii and Japan.”
The newly declassified documents also contain several intercepted calls, but the details of the calls were redacted.
December 2nd, which was just five days before the Pearl Harbor attack, the FBI Hawaii office sent a surveillance update to Hoover.
The redacted update reported that a call was intercepted between Hawaii and Japan and was mostly just family gossip.
December 2nd was the same day Nazi spy Bernard Julius Otto Kuehn provided specific signals of U.S. warships to the Japanese consulate.
After the Pearl Harbor Attack occurred, Kuehn became a suspect in espionage and, just 76 days later, was sentenced to death by musketry.
In the newly released documents, there are no communications detected from December 3-7, which leaves reason to believe a part two document dump may soon be released or simply kept from the public’s eye forever.