In chapter 9 of Miracles and Massacres, Glenn Beck’s latest book, we learn the story of Iva Toguri, aka Tokyo Rose, an American citizen whose life was ruined during World War II after she was prosecuted as a traitor in a political decision made by the U.S. government. One aspect of the story that was left out of the book was how Toguri’s pardoning in 1977 – the last act of President Gerald Ford’s administration, almost three decades after initially being charged as a traitor – came to pass.
In a Blaze Books exclusive, we spoke with Ronald Yates, a former Chicago Tribune journalist, who was responsible for publishing the exposés in 1976 that ultimately helped Iva Toguri gain her pardon, and one of only a handful of people who became a close personal acquaintance with Toguri in her later years. This is our second story in a series based on our interview with him. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part I here.
Ronald Yates had come upon an Earth-shattering discovery nearly three decades after the lies had been told: Iva Toguri, Tokyo Rose, had been wrongfully accused and convicted of treason. An American-born Japanese woman had been branded a traitor, spent over six years in prison, been separated from her husband, Felipe D’Aquino who had stayed behind in Japan, afraid to return to the country, and been left to try and pick up the pieces of her life without the truth ever being exposed to the light of day.
In 1976, Yates wrote a series of newspaper articles for the Chicago Tribune on his findings. I asked him what the impetus was for writing the stories. Yates responded without any sign of hesitation:
“I felt that she had been wronged. First of all she had been wronged by journalism, two journalists [Harry] Brundidge and [Clark] Lee interviewed her in Tokyo and treated her really badly…Lee wrote this horrible story that she had been a traitor to her country for something like $6 a month…and Brundidge, he filed a story to Cosmpolitan magazine and they rejected it, saying there was no story there because there was no evidence that she had done anything and they didn’t like the story.”