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July 23, 2001: Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld Writes a Note, Warning of a ‘Modern-Day’ Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. [Source: US Navy]Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld writes a note, in which he expresses his fear of the US experiencing a “modern-day version” of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1941. Rumsfeld dictates the note to himself, which he intends to offer when he is next testifying before Congress. In the note, he states: “In some future hearing, I am going to say that I do not want to be sitting before this panel in a modern-day version of a Pearl Harbor post-mortem as to who didn’t do what, when, where, and why. None of us would want to have to be back here going through that agony.” [Donald Rumsfeld, 7/23/2001 pdf file; Rumsfeld, 2011, pp. 334] The 9/11 attacks, which take place less than two months after Rumsfeld writes this note, will be frequently compared to the attack on Pearl Harbor. [New York Times, 9/12/2001; San Francisco Chronicle, 9/14/2001] Rumsfeld warned of the danger of a surprise attack like the one at Pearl Harbor happening again during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in January this year (see January 11, 2001). [US Congress. Senate, 1/11/2001]

Entity Tags: Donald Rumsfeld

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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