Monday, October 10, 2016

Chapter Review: Who is Tokyo Rose

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

The interesting thing I learned from this chapter is that Tokyo Rose was not just one person, but five or six women who announced on Radio Tokyo.  The Japanese goal was to discourage the U.S. soldiers; and in some respects this was accomplished.  However there were those on the radio, who hoped their program on the radio would have the opposite effect.  They would tell inside jokes, and talk quickly so the news could not be understood.  A team of POW's was n the radio and recruited Iva Toguri to join them on the radio.  She too wanted to use the radio to promote the Allied was effort rather than discourage.  Iva was Japanese American, born in Los Angeles.  She would not renounce her U.S. citizenship when she became trapped in Japan when the war started.
When the war was over, two reporters searched out Iva as they were looking for Tokyo Rose.  Iva had never heard of Tokyo Rose, but when is was explained to her that it was the name given to all the Japanese women radio broadcaster by the U.S. soldiers, she took credit for being Tokyo Rose.
As a result she was arrested and imprisoned.  However she was eventually released for lack of evidence.  She returned to the United States.
Thomas DeWolfe was a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's office.  He had reviewed the case, and new there was no case.  However public outcry was persistent.  This included political pressure.  He was ordered to prosecute, and so Iva found herself in court.  Charles Cousens, one of the two radio broadcaster testified and verified Iva's story.  She had no intent to harm the war effort but just the opposite.  However she was found guilty.
She served six years in prison, and was almost deported.  She did lose her citizenship.  Her husband was deported, and their marriage was ruined.  She had been pardoned by President Gerald Ford in 1977, and her citizenship restored.  Some members of the jury later regretted that they had been persuaded to go with the majority.  Thomas DeWolfe took his own life three years after the verdict.
Iva Toguri

Chapter Review: The My Lai Massacre: A Light in the Darkness

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

This is a very sad day in U.S. military history.  True it was that the orders were to wipe out everyone in the village of My Lai because they were believed to be harboring The Viet Cong Forty Eighth , which would attack, and then melt into the jungle.  Someone must be helping them.  However, in this case intelligence was faulty.  When Charlie Company attacked the village, they did not find Viet Cong, but took to killing the civilians all the same.  Some even raised their hands in surrender, and were easier prey.  Lieutenant William Calley was leading the killing.  With 200 prisoners lined up in front of a trench, a helicopter pilot, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, tried to intervene.  However Calley insisted he had his orders.  When the helicopter had taken off, Calley ordered the slaughter.  The continued shooting into the bodies to make sure nothing moved.  A group of Vietnamese holed up in a bunker.  Again they were pursued, but this time Thompson was able to rescue them, he also pulled a living boy from the pile of massacred bodies.
The massacre was covered up.  However the press finally did get a hold of the information.  Captain Medina, who gave the orders got off, having a good lawyer.  Lieutenant Calley was convicted of multiple counts of premeditated murder, but his sentence was commuted by President Nixon.  Hugh Thompson was harassed and threatened with prosecution.  It took thirty years for his bravery to be recognized.  He and his crew received the Soldier's Medal for their actions.
Warrant Officer Hugh THompson

The MIssing 9/11 Terrorist: The Power of Everyday Heroes

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

It may well have been the actions of an Orlando border agent Jose Melendez-Perez, an Army veteran who took protection of the United States seriously.  The individual in question had incomplete documents, and so was interviewed by the agent.  His story did not add up.  He wouldn't say who he was to meet, and how he was getting around with his limited English skills.  He did take the finger prints of Mohammed al Qahtani before denying him entry.  He was given they opportunity to return to Dubai, paying for his ticket back.  Facing this or imprisonment he took the opportunity.
The day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Flight 93 only had four terrorists on board, not five like the other planes.  Perhaps one less man defending the cock pit after taking over the flight is what allowed the heroes aboard Flight 93 to drive it into the ground instead of the intended target in Washington, D.C.
After the attack on Afghanistan, Qatani was captured in the Tora Bora area.  He was identified from the finger prints.  He had not given his name when captured, but the finger prints gave him away.  Qatani ended up at Guantanamo Bay.
There he was subjected to accepted interrogation procedures, restraint on a swivel chair, deprivation of sleep, loud music, prohibition of praying, threats of rendition to countries who use torture.  After a week the interview began.  He was accused of being the twelfth hijacker.  He was asked the location of Bin Laden.  He was accused of wasted the interrogators time, and asked to give one name.  He gave Abu Ahmed al Kuwaite, who taught him internet.
Some months later, that name came up, Sheik Al Kuwaite.  Invasion of the compound where he was located lead to the killing of Bin Laden.
Small things can bring important results.
Jose Melendez-Perez

Chapter Review: The Sabateurs: In a Time of War, the Laws Are SIlent

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

German trained saboteurs to invade the American coast and cause damage to American infrastructure during WWII.  These were generally men who had lived in America and knew the customs and language.  Some did not know what they were getting into.  George Dasch was one of them.  They really were not good learners, nor good spies.  That didn't seem to matter to the Nazis.  They were given specific targets, bridges, railways and factories.  They were headed to America, dropped off by submarine; two groups, four men to New York, Long Island, the other four to Florida.  A National Guard man came upon them as the landed.  They presented as fisherman, without fishing tackle.  The story didn't add up, when they threatened him, he let them go.  They had been given ample money to stay in rich hotels.  George did not intend to carry out sabotage, nor did Peter Berger.
George called the FBI and asked to speak to Herbert Hoover.  His call was handled as a crank call.  He traveled to Washington D.C. where he called the FBI and was put in contact with Duane Traynor to expose the entire operation.  He was sure he would be a hero.  He could take the money and live well.  However, after taking days to explain his case, George was arrested and imprisoned as a spy.  J. Edgar Hoover took credit for breaking the spy ring. The other men were all gathered.  George faced a military tribunal.  However his lawyer was able to appeal his case, George was an American, and entitled to a fair trial.  His case made its way all the way to the supreme court.  The military argued that in time of was, such laws could be suspended with regards to enemy combatants.  The Supreme Court sided with the government, and the military trials preceded.  Six of the eight spies were executed.  George was sentenced to 30 years in prison, and Peter to life in prison.
However, even though the Supreme Court had announced its ruling, writing a opinion was harder.  It was not based on sound legal precedent.  Four of the justices were now doubting their ruling.  However six men had been executed.  The opinion, written by Chief Justice Harlan Stone was not written well, but they all signed it.  President Truman granted executive immunity to the two men, and they were shipped back to Germany in 1948.
This case was later used as precedent during the Afghanistan conflict for holding American Citizens as enemy combatants.
George John Dasch

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Great American Documents: Privileges and Perogaties Granted to Columbus 1492.

Before 1492, there was no real written language, and so the Native American citizens of America are not represented.  In other words we do not have documents pertaining to the Iroquois Confederation, or other Native American History.  However this document is the first presented.  After having been refused by Portugal, and Spain at least three times, and while he was preparing to present his idea to France, the Royalty of Spain changed their mind, on a premonition that Queen Isabel had based on the confidence Columbus showed.  Consequently the financed his voyage, borrowing fourteen thousand dollars from the royal treasury, and also bestowing upon Columbus and his heirs the title of Don, and also admiralty to govern whatever islands he may find.  This they made known by this document to all their people and royalty so it would remain in effect.  Columbus set sail in April of 1492, for East Indian; however he would find much more.

Great American Documents, The New Book of Knowledge, Grolier Books, Danbery, CN, 1987.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Chapter Review: The Battle of Wounded Knee: Medals of Dishonor

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

Th Massacre at Wounded Knee is common knowledge to most of us.  But the official Army version is much different from what we know happened.  As a result of the Ghost Dance, the federal forces were on heightened alert.  The intended to arrest Sitting Bull.  However he and two of his sons were killed in the arrest attempt.  Six Native American policemen had also been killed.
Under the command of General Nelson Miles, Major Samuel Whiteside was ordered to find Big Foot and his band and escort them back to reservation.  There worries he might join another group and make a large force together.  Big Foot was not with the original negotiating party.  He was ill.  Whiteside insisted he talk with Big Foot, and he was brought in his sick wagon.  They had no intention of fighting and were willing to be accompanied back to the reservation.  Whiteside put up a loose perimeter, however when he was relieved by Colonel James Forsyth he was ordered to encircle the Indians, and disarm them in the morning.
Disarming was the trick.  At first they asked the Native Americans to bring their guns, and they brought a few.  A search of the tepees garnered about that many more.  Then the started a person inspection and were finding even more.  When a young man who was deaf, was having his weapon taken from him by force, it discharged.  There was a second of silence, then Forsyth gave the order to fire.  That they did, mowing down the warriors, as well as women and children.  The let lose with the Hotchkiss guns, Gatling guns, and the devastation was quick.  However, being in a circle, many of their own bullets his comrades on the other side of the circle.
The frozen bodies left in the snow was a testament to the brutality.  However in the investigation, the government exonerated Forsyth and his men.  Miles brought him up on charges, but the inquiry just said he may have camped too close to the Native Americans, allowing for sabotage, but not giving any clear blame.  In fact, just to prove the troops were not at fault, 20 citations were made for action in this battle.  That is more than are generally given after a battle, let alone a massacre.
To finish the rub, a grandson of Big Foot's actual name (rather than the one given by the Americans) is Chief Spotted Elk.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Chapter Review: The Battle of Athens: Repeated Petitions, Repeated Injuries

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

This is a story that you find hard to believe could happen in the United States, however it is a story of conditions right after WWII that faced some of the returning GI's.  Many areas of the country have political bosses, and such was the case here.  Athens, Tennessee was a rural town.  It had the same Sheriff, Paul Cantrell, for many years.  They insisted on counting the ballots in private, and turned out he always won.  This only changed when he took higher office, but then he placed puppets in his place, using the same routine.  Sheri was paid for how many stayed in jail, so the trumped up the numbers by arresting people for nothing, and beating them if they didn't cooperate.  Some of the local citizens, lead by the retuning GI's who had been the victims of these assaults, decided enough was enough.  The easily had triple the votes of the corrupt Sheriff, who had returned to run again because many were displeased with his replacement.  Only through some shenanigans could the Sheriff win.
They brought in men to intimidate the polls, and even shot a Black man.  However the key as to sneak enough ballots away and count them out of sight.  They did this in the jail.
Bill White had warned to state government and the FBI of the situation in Athens before the election.  However there was no response.  When the Sheriff had taken ballots to count in secret,  action was needed.  They confronted the men in the jail, asking for the ballots.  They were greeted with a couple shot gun blasts.  The battle and siege was on.  The people could rearm themselves, and did so by visiting the local stores.  They men in the jail had no such opportunity.  People were wounded on both sides, but no one died.  However eventually the governor or the National Guard would come to rescue the Sheriff.  Something had to be done.  Bill White had brought dynamite.  It wasn't until the third throw that he got one close enough to take the front off the jail.  The ballots would be counted fairly.  The only person tried as a result of this day was the police man who shot another man keeping him from the ballot box.