In case you missed it: Pearl Harbor

Independent Institute article: Newly released naval records prove that from November 17 to 25 the United States Navy intercepted eighty-three messages that Yamamoto sent to his carriers. Part of the November 25 message read: “…the task force, keeping its movements strictly secret and maintaining close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters, and upon the very opening of hostilities shall attack the main force of the United States fleet in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow…”

Life imitates Philip K. Dick

Washington Post: Finally it was down to one leg. Still, it pulled itself forward. Tilden was ecstatic. The machine was working splendidly. The human in command of the exercise, however—an Army colonel —blew a fuse. The colonel ordered the test stopped. “Why?” asked Tilden. “What’s wrong?” The colonel just could not stand the pathos of watching the burned, scarred and crippled machine drag itself forward on its last leg. c.f. Second Variety.

Don’t mention the war

When Josef showed us to our rooms, I couldn’t help noticing the Spitfire. It was a model, painstakingly constructed from a kit. Unlike the models I had built as a child this one was painted properly, and of course it had the correct RAF insignia. It was in a glass display case next to a model of a Messerschmitt, and one of some kind of US fighter plane I didn’t recognize.

I’d always been more into tanks as a child. I had a book about them, and a die-cast German Leopard tank that I would frequently disassemble and reassemble. When we visited Bournemouth in 2003 I got to visit the nearby Tank Museum and admire their collection. If it was OK for me to have an interest in World War II tanks, I told myself, surely it was normal for a German of roughly my age to have an interest in World War II aircraft?

In fact, we soon learned that Josef had worked in the Navy, as a liaison officer for groups of British sailors. I tried to imagine being a German in charge of a bunch of drunken English sailors. He’d probably heard slurs I couldn’t even begin to dream up, but I didn’t particularly want to talk about them, and dodged a couple of conversational gambits.

The first casualty of war

Ahh, those Swift Boat veterans. Not only did none of them serve with Kerry, not only do their statements contradict their own prior written statements and those of the people who did serve with Kerry, not only did some of them accept medals for the actions they now claim didn’t happen…but now it turns out that they used false signatories on their letter. It just goes to show, even a war veteran can be a shameless liar.

Censorship roundup

#1: The SF Chronicle has suspended Henry Norr because he was arrested at a peace protest. He told them beforehand that he would likely be arrested and consequently would need to take a day off, as a personal day or sick day or vacation day. (Note that Henry Norr is a technology columnist, and his weekly column, delivered ahead of deadline, did not mention the war in any way.) #2: The Yellow Times web site has been shut down by its ISP for publishing photos of Iraqi war casualties.

Warnography

I saw Time and Newsweek on the newsstand in Harvard Square. Let’s face it, we all knew what this week’s cover picture was going to be. But just for once, I’d have liked to have been surprised. I’d have liked them to do something tasteful, something which treats the subject with dignity and sorrow, rather than exploiting it. But no, we got big lurid photographs of planes flying into buildings and exploding in a searing fireball of aviation fuel.