Iva Toguri: Guilty of Treason and Ignorant to Consequences

Essay by RobStoneUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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After World War II, all Americans were in fear of treasonous and Communist acts. It was during this period that Iva Toguri, the self proclaimed Tokyo Rose was put to trial for something that no one is for treason, which is arguably the worst act anyone can do as an American citizen. Iva Toguri admitted it to the world for a mere two thousand dollars. There is much curiosity to this however. First, she did work for the Japanese Government under her own will. Second, although having the opportunity to become a Portuguese citizen and then the ability to leave Japan, Iva Toguri did not. Third, Iva Toguri admitted that she was Tokyo Rose to a magazine that was published world wide, not even considering what repercussions might come upon her. After Iva Toguri was charged with treason, ignorance was claimed to her defense. Ignorance is not an excuse for treason, even if Iva Toguri never considered the consequences.

After Pearl Harbor was bombed, Iva Toguri tried to leave Japan but was unsuccessful. It was after this that Iva Toguri willingly began working for Radio Tokyo which was being run by the Japanese Government as a propaganda machine. Any clear thinking American could assume that if they work for a country that America is currently at war with, that is an act of treason. Iva Toguri will freely admit to being one of 4 announcers at Radio Tokyo (Peace 335). It is with this confession that gives credibility to the fact that Iva worked for the Japanese Government under her own will. With that being stated, ignorance, in this case, cannot rule out Iva's treasonous actions. Iva Toguri capitalized on her voice to keep the propaganda machine going. Namikawa Ryo says "Her husky and sexy voice fitted exactly...