Tokyo Rose

Posted: June 26, 2008 in Blame a Dame, Skirts Who are a Problem, Treason, WWII
Tags: ,

Important fact to note: talking trash may equal treason but does not necessarily equal spying.

“Tokyo Rose” was an umbrella term referring to any one of a dozen English speaking ladies on Japanese radio. However, the most famous rose in the garden was Iva Toguri D’Aquino (1916-2006). An American born Girl Scout of Japanese descent, Iva was convicted of treason for allegedly talking smack to the boys at war.

There seems to be a distinct failure on the part of men to understand that sometimes, one must do what one must do to survive. In this case it was when Iva was stranded in Japan in 1941 while visiting an ailing relative. Once tensions in the country became rather overt, Iva, an native-born, US Citizen, petitioned for an American passport (which the government would not issue to her) and the Japanese government would not let her leave the country.

So the world went kablooey after Pearl Harbor and Iva, trapped in a hostile country, found odd jobs to support herself while also smuggling food to Americans in POW camps. One such job was at a radio station where it was requested she air propaganda to which Iva refused. She was denied war rations as a result. No propaganda was ever found in her broadcasts and part of her meager wages were continued to be used to smuggle food into POW camps.

After the war, Iva was arrested for treason for her alleged role in airing propoganda on Japanese radio. Years of legal missteps ensued primarily due to lack of evidence against Iva and the simple fact that she never called herself “Tokyo Rose”, but “Orphan Ann” in her broadcasts. It was well documented that Orphan Ann never talked smack. Of course, the fact that she risked life and limb to feed American POW’s who were being starved in camps apparently held for nothing. I’m sure no small amount of racism played into the matter either, but Iva was convicted of a sole count of treason in 1949.

Iva was paroled in 1956 and pardoned by President Ford in 1977 after it was discovered that aside from having no evidence against her, the two most damaging witnesses in her trial had lied. She died in Chicago in 2006, after a WWII veterans committee honored her with a citizenship award for her bravery.

So there.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s