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'Tokyo Rose' dies at 90

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Online der Chef

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'Tokyo Rose' dies at 90
« on: September 28, 2006, 07:41:36 AM »

Pardoned 'Tokyo Rose' dies at 90
Thursday, 28 September 2006, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK

A US woman convicted of broadcasting Japanese propaganda to undermine US troop morale during World War II has died in Chicago at the age of 90.
Iva Toguri D'Aquino became known as Tokyo Rose, a radio announcer who told US troops that battles were being lost and their wives were cheating on them.

An American citizen, she was stranded in Japan when war broke out in 1941.

She was convicted on suspect evidence of treason in 1949, in the early stages of the Cold War, but pardoned in 1977.

Iva Toguri was born in Los Angeles in 1916, the daughter of Japanese immigrant parents.

She attended college in the US but was left stranded in Japan, where she was visiting an ill relative, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour led to war in the Pacific.

Unable to speak Japanese, and with anti-American sentiments running high in the country at the time, she answered an advert for a job as an English-language typist with Radio Tokyo.

She eventually moved onto work on a propaganda programme called Zero Hour.


What happened next remains slightly unclear.

She returned to the US after the war, by then married to Felipe D'Aquino, a Portuguese employee at the radio station.

But in the febrile atmosphere of the post-war years, she quickly fell under suspicion and was eventually accused of being one of a group of announcers dubbed Tokyo Rose by US troops.

The women frequently broadcast demoralising messaged to troops, luring them with familiar music before reporting grim but fictional tales of defeat in battle and the infidelity of their wives left back at home.

Toguri D'Aquino refused to renounce her US citizenship, and as a result was tried for treason.

She was convicted on questionable evidence in 1949 and served six years in prison, one of only a handful of Americans ever found guilty of the offence.

Released after serving six years in prison, Toguri D'Aquino set up home and tried to clear her name.

In 1977, in the face of mounting evidence that her 1949 trial was deeply flawed, President Gerald Ford granted her a pardon.

She died on Tuesday in Chicago, where she had lived and worked since her release.
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Re: 'Tokyo Rose' dies at 90
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2007, 10:27:34 AM »
Great read! Thank-you. Jakob  :)

Offline Pope Flores

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Re: 'Tokyo Rose' dies at 90
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 01:44:34 AM »
The flaw in the story is of course why President Ford would pardon a woman who broadcast propaganda to the troops.

 The army conducted an investigation and cleared her, as the New York Times reported in August 1945. "There is no Tokyo Rose," the U.S. Office of War Information revealed, "the name is strictly a G.I. invention.... Government monitors listening in twenty-four hours a day have never heard the word 'Tokyo Rose' over a Japanese-controlled Far Eastern radio." Three years later Assistant Attorney General Theron L. Caudle confirmed that Toguri was innocent. "Her activity," he wrote, "consisted of nothing more than the announcing of music selections."

No matter. The media, led by Walter Winchell, went on a witch hunt. In 1948 the government of Harry Truman, then in the political race of his life, pressed charges against Toguri, indicting her for treason and trying her in federal court in San Francisco. It was a frame-up from the start. The key witnesses who testified against her during the trial, claiming she had broadcast propaganda over the radio, subsequently admitted they had lied. "We had no choice," said one of the witnesses, a Japanese businessman. "U.S. Occupation police came and told me I had no choice but to testify against Iva, or else." He and others flown in from Japan for the trial "were told what to say and what not to say for two hours every morning for a month before the trial started."

In 1956, after spending seven years in prison, Iva Toguri was finally released. Reporters hid in bushes all night so they could catch a glimpse of the notorious traitor.

In the 1970s the truth came out and Ford, on his last full day in office, pardoned her, finally vindicating her quiet claims of innocence. But what is the truth compared to the myth? And so the New York Times and NBC repeated as truth one of the most sordid lies of postwar justice.

'Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.' (from The Idler, 1758)
 Samuel Johnson



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