Q & A With "War Stories" Producer

War Stories producer Cyd Upson
“War Stories” producer and writer Cyd Upson takes you inside this Sunday’s episode, “War Stories Investigates: Deception in the Pacific.”

Tune in Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET

Q: While writing and producing the episode, what was the most surprising or shocking thing you uncovered?

A: On the evening of December 6, 1941, President Roosevelt wanted to make one last effort to prevent war with Japan. He decided to go through an unprecedented channel, and made a direct appeal to Emperor Hirohito. His message was dispatched that evening at 9 p.m.

Q: During your research and interview process, what was the general feeling about Robert Stinnett’s theory that FDR wanted Pearl Harbor to be bombed to get America into World War II?

A: Robert Stinnett has spent many years researching the attack on Pearl Harbor and has uncovered some compelling documents, but I don’t think he has found any conclusive evidence that shows FDR wanted Pearl Harbor to be attacked.

Q: After completing the episode, whom do you feel should bear the burden of blame for the catastrophe at Pearl Harbor?

A: There were many warnings that pointed to an attack by Japan, but everyone assumed the attack would be somewhere in the Far East, near the Philippines. I think it was a huge intelligence failure.

Q: You and Ollie shot some footage at Pearl Harbor. Describe what it was like to be on-site at the historic location.

A: I was extremely humbled after I met several Pearl Harbor survivors and listened to their stories. When I saw the wreckage of the USS Arizona and the USS Utah it reminded me why it’s so important that we never forget what happened on December 7, 1941.

Q: What lessons in this episode are still relevant in today’s war on terror?

A: Rivalries and politics between the services should not get in the way of intelligence sharing.