Sep 27, 2006

Woman accused of being Tokyo Rose dies

Iva Toguri was pardoned by President Ford.
She was, they said, the Lord Haw-Haw of the Pacific. Born in Los Angeles of Japanese parents, she was reported to have renounced America and spent the war years taunting American servicemen on the radio, assuring them that their cause was lost and that their country’s defeat was inevitable.


That was the legend. The truth, when it emerged, was very different. Indeed, it was so different that if a new trial were to be held today, those in the dock would mostly be journalists, agents and officials of the US Government. For it was a combination of these three that whipped up the story of Tokyo Rose and then pinned the blame on Iva Toguri. Her story and the one concocted by them were separated by more than culture and language and the need, in the immediate postwar period, for traitors to be seen to pay for their crimes. They were separated by politics and cynicism and, most of all, by the intense desire of an unprincipled group of American reporters to secure the scoop of a lifetime.

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