Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #509 The Death of Iris Chang

Record­ed May 1, 2005
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Iris Chang

Intro­duc­tion: In Novem­ber of 2004, author and inves­ti­ga­tor Iris Chang was found dead of an alleged­ly self-inflict­ed gun­shot wound. This pro­gram exam­ines the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing her death. Ms. Chang was research­ing a book chron­i­cling the expe­ri­ences of sur­vivors of the Bataan Death March—the bru­tal per­se­cu­tion of Amer­i­can POW’s cap­tured in the siege of Bataan in the Philip­pines dur­ing World War II. Many of the sur­vivors were shipped to Japan to work as slave labor­ers for major Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions. Many of these cor­po­ra­tions have had pro­found con­nec­tions with their Amer­i­can transna­tion­al coun­ter­parts, and were the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Amer­i­can invest­ment cap­i­tal in the run-up to World War II. More impor­tant­ly, many of these cor­po­ra­tions are a prin­ci­pal ele­ment of the US/Japanese com­mer­cial rela­tion­ship today.

There is evi­dence to sug­gest that Ms. Chang’s death may have result­ed from mind con­trol, admin­is­tered to neu­tral­ize her as a threat to the clan­des­tine eco­nom­ic and nation­al secu­ri­ty rela­tion­ships that have gov­erned US/Japanese affairs in the post­war peri­od. Ms. Chang had received threats ever since the pub­li­ca­tion of her land­mark text The Rape of Nanking. She appears to have been under sur­veil­lance, and her “sui­cide” note alleged that a sus­pi­cious intern­ment in a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal may have been ini­ti­at­ed at the insti­ga­tion of the ele­ments opposed to a ruf­fling of the Japanese/US feath­ers. In addi­tion to threat­en­ing US/Japanese coop­er­a­tion on Iraq, Ms. Chang’s inves­ti­ga­tion of Japan­ese war crimes was an irri­tant to the Japan­ese estab­lish­ment that had thrived on the gold and oth­er wealth loot­ed from occu­pied coun­tries since World War II.

Ms. Chang’s “sui­cide” note read, in part: “. . . .There are aspects of my expe­ri­ence in Louisville that I will nev­er under­stand. . . . . I can nev­er shake my belief that I was being recruit­ed, and lat­er per­se­cut­ed, by forces more pow­er­ful than I could have imag­ined. Whether it was the CIA or some oth­er orga­ni­za­tion I will nev­er know. As long as I am alive, these forces will nev­er stop hound­ing me. Days before I left for Louisville I had a deep fore­bod­ing about my safe­ty. I sensed sud­den­ly threats to my own life: an eerie feel­ing that I was being fol­lowed in the streets, the white van parked out­side my house, dam­aged mail arriv­ing at my P.O. Box. I believe my deten­tion at Nor­ton Hos­pi­tal was the gov­ern­men­t’s attempt to dis­cred­it me. . . .”

Inter­est­ing­ly (and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly), at almost the same time as Iris Chang’s death, Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger was on a trade mis­sion to Japan, pro­mot­ing Japan­ese trade with Cal­i­for­nia. Was Chang an obsta­cle to the Japanese/Schwarzenegger axis?

It is worth not­ing in this con­text that, should the major Japan­ese finan­cial insti­tu­tions col­lapse as a result of their epic malfea­sance dur­ing the post­war peri­od, they would be forced to sell the large num­ber of US Trea­sury Bills that they hold, there­by col­laps­ing this coun­try’s econ­o­my!

Iris Chang: Rest in peace, brave war­rior.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The fric­tion between Japan and Chi­na over resur­gent Japan­ese ultra­na­tion­al­ism and Japan’s his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism of its role in World War II; the US State Depart­men­t’s role in blunt­ing suits by US POW’s against Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions; the role of US courts in blunt­ing suits by US POW’s against Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions; the close mar­i­tal rela­tion­ships between Amer­i­can diplo­mats and their fam­i­lies and the Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions tar­get­ed by the law­suits; the State Depart­men­t’s efforts at blunt­ing bills intro­duced on behalf of these POW’s; review of the per­se­cu­tion of the late Nor­bert Schlei for cross­ing some of the same inter­ests that Ms. Chang had crossed; a con­ver­sa­tion between Ms. Chang and a friend in which Iris indi­cat­ed that her fears were root­ed in real­i­ty, and not “in her head;” Ms. Chang’s endorse­ment of the land­mark text Gold War­riors by the Sea­graves; the close tim­ing between Ms. Chang’s alleged sui­cide and a trip by Cal­i­for­nia gov­er­nor Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger to Japan in order to pro­mote US/Japanese trade.

1. The pro­gram begins by chron­i­cling the accel­er­at­ing re-emer­gence of revi­sion­ist Japan­ese his­to­ry. Ultra­na­tion­al­ists in that coun­try have been work­ing to cov­er-up Japan’s crim­i­nal record in World War II for some time. Those efforts are gain­ing momen­tum. In par­tic­u­lar, the Japan­ese refusal to acknowl­edge the hor­ri­ble crimes they com­mit­ted against the Chi­nese is becom­ing more entrenched, lead­ing to height­ened ten­sions between the two coun­tries’ gov­ern­ments. It is against the back­ground of these grow­ing ten­sions that Iris Chang’s death occurred. “The Unit­ed States, ever quick to crit­i­cize Chi­na for human rights abus­es, has of late been remark­ably silent about Japan’s eth­i­cal laps­es, cur­rent and his­tor­i­cal. Japan­ese politi­cians and pub­lish­ers have made a cot­tage indus­try of deny­ing the 1937 Nanking Mas­sacre in which the Japan­ese killed hun­dreds of thou­sands of civil­ians in the old Chi­nese cap­i­tal. This is an offense to Chi­nese sen­si­bil­i­ties com­pa­ra­ble with Holo­caust denial in Europe. In recent months, major pub­lish­ers and broad­cast­ers have been bul­lied to con­form and self-cen­sor in accord with the ris­ing tide of resur­gent mil­i­tarism. That tac­it gov­ern­ment approval is giv­en to such xeno­pho­bic, right-wing think­ing can be seen in the lat­est Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion-approved school texts that erase or evade crit­i­cal lessons drawn from Japan’s bad behav­ior in its war of aggres­sion.”
(“Japan’s Revi­sion­ist His­to­ry’) by Philip J. Cun­ning­ham; The Los Ange­les Times; 4/11/2005; p. 1.)

2. “In the ‘New His­to­ry Text­book,’ the Nanking Mas­sacre is dis­missed as a con­tro­ver­sial ‘inci­dent.’ And the war of inva­sion is no longer termed an inva­sion. New text­books drop ref­er­ences to ‘com­fort women,’ sex slaves of most­ly Chi­nese and Kore­an ori­gin who were forced to ser­vice Japan­ese fight­ing men in the field. To bor­row a phrase from the late writer Iris Chang, the abused women are being raped a sec­ond time, this time by defend­ers of the Japan­ese army who attempt to erase them from mem­o­ry.” (Idem.)

3. Note that the advent of the Cold War and Amer­i­ca’s embrace of Japan as an ally in that strug­gle facil­i­tat­ed the cov­er-up of Japan­ese war crimes. “Chi­na and the U.S. were allies in World War II, each con­tribut­ing in its own way to the defeat of Japan­ese mil­i­tarism. But the Cold War saw the U.S. turn away from Chi­na and embrace Japan, with the result that Chi­na’s vast suf­fer­ing, esti­mat­ed at 20 mil­lion dead, was nev­er prop­er­ly memo­ri­al­ized or rec­og­nized by its erst­while ally. To add insult to injury, the U.S. found it expe­di­ent to work with Emper­or Hiro­hi­to and oth­er war crim­i­nals of that era in order to facil­i­tate occu­pa­tion and bol­ster its anti-com­mu­nism cru­sade. Now that the Cold war is over, it is high time the U.S. lent sup­port to Chi­na’s valid his­tor­i­cal com­plaints.” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

4. Per­pet­u­at­ing the obfus­ca­tion of Japan’s wartime atroc­i­ties is Japan’s alliance with the US vis a vis Iraq. Japan is one of the few coun­tries that con­tin­ues to sup­port Bush’s war. Iris Chang’s con­tin­u­ing inves­ti­ga­tions into Japan­ese war crimes was a poten­tial irri­tant to this alliance. It may have been the cause of her death. “But Japan­ese Prime Min­is­ter Junichi­ro Koizu­mi, who has linked his polit­i­cal fate with the unre­pen­tant right­ists at home and Pres­i­dent Bush’s pol­i­cy abroad, keeps the unholy alliance func­tion­ing, offer­ing vocal sup­port for U.S. aggres­sion in Iraq while hail­ing Japan’s fall­en mil­i­tary heroes of a bygone era. As if to secure U.S. com­pla­cen­cy on con­tro­ver­sial text­book changes, U.S. actions in Iraq have been san­i­tized by Japan­ese text­book com­mit­tees that, for instance, whit­ed out ‘uni­lat­er­al’ from a recent text.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

5. More on the Washington/Tokyo axis, across which Ms. Chang’s research cut “The cozy Tokyo-Wash­ing­ton rela­tion­ship makes it dif­fi­cult for the U.S. to take a judi­cious stand on anti-Chi­na antics such as his­to­ry text­book revi­sion. Last Octo­ber, while Koizu­mi was lend­ing vocal sup­port to Bush in the pres­i­den­tial race and the war in Iraq, Shueisha, one of Japan’s lead­ing pub­lish­ers, sus­pend­ed pub­li­ca­tion of an acclaimed his­tor­i­cal man­ga (com­ic book), ‘My Coun­try is Burn­ing,’ for its unflinch­ing por­tray­al of the Nanking Mas­sacre.” (Idem.)

6. Inside Japan, jour­nal­is­tic voic­es pub­li­ciz­ing Japan­ese war crimes have been silenced. “In Bei­jing last week, Japan­ese Ambas­sador Kore­shige Ana­mi defend­ed the pub­lish­ing of right-wing text­books as a tes­ta­ment to Japan’s ‘free­dom of speech and pub­li­ca­tion.’ Why then was vet­er­an man­ga artist Motomiya Hiroshi forced to retract and apol­o­gize for ‘My Coun­try is Burn­ing,’? Why then did the NHK TV net­work, after get­ting a high-lev­el warn­ing, pre­emp­tive­ly cut short a pro­gram on com­fort women that laid blame on the emper­or? If a Chi­nese Inter­net café gets closed down, it’s front-page news. Why isn’t the U.S. equal­ly con­cerned about set­backs to free speech in Japan?” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

7. “The U.S. should not look the oth­er way in the face of resur­gent Japan­ese mil­i­tarism, even though a Japan freed of the con­straints of its own rep­re­hen­si­ble past behav­ior might serve to keep Chi­na on edge or might add mus­cle to the U.S. polic­ing of the world. The ulti­mate con­se­quence of white­wash­ing the past could be the demise of Japan’s admirable Peace Con­sti­tu­tion, allow­ing Japan to retool its for­mi­da­ble indus­tri­al base into a weapons indus­try threat­en­ing its neigh­bors and pos­si­bly trig­ger­ing an unprece­dent­ed arms race and anoth­er world war.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

8. Next, the pro­gram exam­ines the vicious reac­tion of Japan­ese ultra­na­tion­al­ists and oth­ers to Iris Chang’s book—The Rape of Nanking. Note the hos­til­i­ty with which her work was met. Was this hos­til­i­ty car­ried to anoth­er lev­el? ” . . . At the same time, tor­rents of hate mail came in, Brett [her hus­band] said. ‘Iris is sen­si­tive, but she got charged up,’ he recalled. ‘When any­body ques­tioned the valid­i­ty of what she wrote, she would respond with over­whelm­ing evi­dence to back it up. She’s very much a per­fec­tion­ist. It was hard for her not to react every sin­gle time.’ Most of the attacks came from Japan­ese ultra­na­tion­al­ists. ‘We saw car­toons where she was por­trayed as this woman with a great big mouth,’ Brett said. ‘She got used to the fact that there is a Web site called ‘Iris Chang and Her Lies.’ She would just laugh.’ ”
(“His­to­ri­an Iris Chang Won Many Bat­tles: The War She Lost Raged With­in” by Hei­di Ben­son; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 4/17/2005; p. 9 [of 22].)

9. “But friends say Iris began to voice con­cerns for her safe­ty. She believed her phone was tapped. She described find­ing threat­en­ing notes on her car. She said she was con­front­ed by a man who said, ‘You will NOT con­tin­ue writ­ing this.’ She used a post office box, nev­er her home address, for mail. ‘There are a fair num­ber of peo­ple who don’t take kind­ly to what she wrote in The Rape of Nanking.’ Brett said, ‘so she’s always been very, very pri­vate about our fam­i­ly life.’ ” (Idem.)

10. “The book’s pop­u­lar­i­ty meant a lengthy book tour. ‘Over a year and a half, she vis­it­ed 65 cities,’ Brett said. ‘Most authors are worn out after five or six cities.’ He could see the trav­el was tak­ing a toll on her. In 1998, Brett recalled, ‘for her 30th birth­day, we went out to a lit­tle resort near San­ta Cruz and she lit­er­al­ly did­n’t want to leave the room.’ ” (Idem.)

11. “Some­how, she always bounced back, ener­gized by her role as spokesper­son for a move­ment. Among her many tele­vi­sion appear­ances was a mem­o­rable evening on ‘Night­line,’ where she was the only Asian and the only woman among a pan­el of Chi­na experts. ‘To see her on TV, defend­ing Rape of Nanking so fierce­ly and so fearlessly—I just sat down, stopped, in awe,’ said Helen Zia, author of Asian-Amer­i­can Dreams: Emer­gence of an Amer­i­can Peo­ple and co-author Wen-Ho Lee, of My Coun­try Ver­sus Me: The First-Hand Account by the Los Alam­os Sci­en­tist Who Was False­ly Accused.” (Ibid.; p. 10.)

12. ” ‘Iris tru­ly had no fear. You could see it in the steadi­ness of her voice and in her per­sis­tence,’ Zia recalled. ‘She would just say, mat­ter-of-fact­ly, ‘Japan is lying and here’s why.” Lat­er Iris chal­lenged the Japan­ese ambas­sador to a debate on the ‘Mac­Neil-Lehrer News Hour’ on PBS. After the ambas­sador spoke of events in Nanking, Iris turned to the mod­er­a­tor and said: ‘I did­n’t hear an apol­o­gy.’ ” (Idem.)

13. Iris turned her atten­tion to anoth­er sub­ject con­nect­ed to Japan­ese atroc­i­ties from World War II—the Bataan Death March. Some of the Amer­i­can sol­diers cap­tured after the Japan­ese inva­sion of the Philip­pines were forced to work as slave labor­ers for some of the major Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions. As will be seen below, class action law­suits and oth­er attempts at gain­ing belat­ed com­pen­sa­tion for these unfor­tu­nate POWs was met with fierce oppo­si­tion from the US State Depart­ment!! Remem­ber that Iris Chang was cut­ting across these same lines of polit­i­cal pow­er. ” . . . But soon she found her­self drawn to a sub­ject just as dark. Iris Chang rang the door­bell on Ed Martel’s front porch in Kenosha, Wis­con­sin, on Decem­ber 4, 2003. It’s a date he won’t for­get. ‘She sat down and cross-exam­ined me like a dis­trict attor­ney for five sol­id hours,’ said Mar­tel, 86, one of the last remain­ing sur­vivors of the Bataan Death March of World War II. His daugh­ter, Mad­dy, remem­bered the day well, too. ‘We set out a very big lunch—meat trays and sand­wich­es and desserts,’ she said. ‘My dad was so excit­ed that she was doing this, and so hon­ored.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 11–12.)

14. “Months ear­li­er, Iris had seized on a let­ter in her ‘book ideas’ file about a Mid­west­ern pock­et of Bataan sur­vivors, all mem­bers of two tank bat­tal­ions. ‘They drop so fast,’ the let­ter had read. The cor­re­spon­dent was Sgt. Antho­ny Mel­dahl, a sup­ply sergeant with the Ohio Nation­al Guard who had admired Iris’ work. Mel­dahl was now urg­ing Iris to join his oral-his­to­ry project. She did, and, start­ing in Novem­ber 2003, would make four trips to meet with Bataan vets—in Wis­con­sin, Illi­nois, Ohio and Ken­tucky. Each time, Iris swept into town and con­duct­ed four or five inten­sive inter­views in as many days. ‘She was like a bat­tal­ion com­man­der,’ Mel­dahl said.” (Ibid.; p. ‘12.)

15. ” ‘It’s amaz­ing when you watch Iris do research,’ Brett said. ‘She would go into a town—and with Tony Mel­dahl’s help, it was even bet­ter. She would have a team of three vets and their chil­dren and their wives. Iris would be inter­view­ing them, some­body else would be film­ing them, some­body else would be pho­to­copy­ing records, and some­body would be send­ing doc­u­ments down to UPS. And Iris would buy lunch and din­ner for every­body, and they all thought it was great.” (Idem.)

16. Again, note that some of the Bataan Death Marchers were shipped to Japan to work as slave labor­ers. This sub­ject will be tak­en up at greater length below. ” ‘These peo­ple want­ed their sto­ry told for a long, long time, and they knew that because Iris had suc­cess as an author, she’d be able to do a very good job,’ Brett said. Ed Martel’s sto­ry began on Dec. 7, 1941. Pearl Har­bor was still smol­der­ing when Japan­ese planes bombed the Philip­pines’ Bataan Penin­su­la, where Mar­tel was sta­tioned with a Nation­al Guard tank bat­tal­ion. With few rations, lit­tle ammu­ni­tion and no rein­force­ments, 70,000 Amer­i­can and Fil­ipino troops held off the Japan­ese for months. When the Amer­i­can gen­er­al sur­ren­dered on April 9, the Japan­ese forced the troops to walk 65 miles through swel­ter­ing jun­gle. Some 8,000 died on the noto­ri­ous ‘death march.’ Those who sur­vived spent the rest of the war in a bleak prison camp; some were shipped to Japan as slave labor­ers. [Empha­sis added.] Once the Allies won the war, the sto­ry was for­got­ten. It had been the largest U.S. Army sur­ren­der in his­to­ry.” (Idem.)

17. ” ‘It’s baf­fling to me that the U.S. today has so lit­tle knowl­edge of the four months we held out,’ Mar­tel told The Chron­i­cle by tele­phone from his home in Wis­con­sin. ‘We mar­vel at how Amer­i­ca turned their backs on us.’ Mar­tel was slight­ly hard of hear­ing, but his mem­o­ry was crisp. He recalled telling Iris about the worst of his Bataan expe­ri­ences. ‘Iris asked me to tell about atroc­i­ties,’ he said. ‘Twice I broke down and had to leave the room.’ ” (Idem.)

18. As Ms. Chang was inves­ti­gat­ing the sto­ry of the Death Marchers, she made the acquain­tance of a colonel, who elicit­ed fear in this oth­er­wise daunt­less indi­vid­ual. The colonel checked her into a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal, where she was put on a cycle of psy­chi­atric drugs. Was she sub­ject­ed to some sort of mind con­trol? Did that have some­thing to do with her death? Was she pro­grammed to com­mit sui­cide? ” . . . ‘I knew Iris was not right,’ her moth­er said. ‘She could­n’t eat or drink. She was very depressed.’ She asked if Iris had any friends there she could call for help. One of the veterans—a colonel she had planned to meet in Louisville—came to the hotel. Smith said the colonel spent only a short time with her. ‘She was afraid of him when he showed up,’ Smith said. ‘But he spoke to her moth­er on the phone and told Iris, ‘Your mom is on the phone, so it’s OK.” That after­noon, she checked her­self in to Nor­ton Psy­chi­atric Hos­pi­tal in Louisville, with help from the colonel. Through a third par­ty, the colonel declined to be inter­viewed. ‘First they gave her an antipsy­chot­ic, to sta­bi­lize her,’ her moth­er said. ‘For three days they gave her med­ica­tion, the first time in her life.’ (The fam­i­ly would not name spe­cif­ic drugs.) . . . ” (Ibid.; p. 14.)

19. Iris’s sui­cide note betrayed fear of ret­ri­bu­tion for her research. She felt that her intern­ment in the psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal may have some­how been part of that ret­ri­bu­tion. As not­ed below, she felt the CIA or some sim­i­lar type of insti­tu­tion may have been involved in the activ­i­ties con­duct­ed against her. ” . . . Then she wrote a sui­cide note—addressed to her par­ents, Brett and her brother—followed by a lengthy revi­sion. The first draft said: ‘When you believe you have a future, you think in terms of gen­er­a­tions and years. When you do not, you live not just by the day—but by the minute. [Empha­sis added.] It is far bet­ter that you remem­ber me as I was—in my hey­day as a best-sell­ing author—than the wild-eyed wreck who returned from Louisville . . . Each breath is becom­ing dif­fi­cult for me to take—the anx­i­ety can be com­pared to drown­ing in an open sea. I know that my actions will trans­fer some of this pain to oth­ers, indeed those who love me the most. Please for­give me. For­give me because I can­not for­give myself.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 18.)

20. “In the final ver­sion, she added: ‘There are aspects of my expe­ri­ence in Louisville that I will nev­er under­stand. Deep down I sus­pect that you may have more answers about this than I do. I can nev­er shake my belief that I was being recruit­ed, and lat­er per­se­cut­ed, by forces more pow­er­ful than I could have imag­ined. Whether it was the CIA or some oth­er orga­ni­za­tion I will nev­er know. As long as I am alive, these forces will nev­er stop hound­ing me. . . .” (Idem.)

21. Although those around Iris (and the author of the arti­cle excerpt­ed here) felt that she was “imag­in­ing” things, there was very real dan­ger for peo­ple involved in research­ing the deep pol­i­tics and clan­des­tine goings on sur­round­ing the machi­na­tions of the Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions and nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment, before, dur­ing and after World War II. As will be seen below, the US gov­ern­ment has active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in the cov­er-up of these machi­na­tions. “ ‘Days before I left for Louisville I had a deep fore­bod­ing about my safe­ty. I sensed sud­den­ly threats to my own life: an eerie feel­ing that I was being fol­lowed in the streets, the white van parked out­side my house, dam­aged mail arriv­ing at my P.O. Box. I believe my deten­tion at Nor­ton Hos­pi­tal was the gov­ern­men­t’s attempt to dis­cred­it me. ‘I had con­sid­ered run­ning away, but I will nev­er be able to escape from myself and my thoughts. I am doing this because I am too weak to with­stand the years of pain and agony ahead.’ ” (Idem.)

22. “After Iris Chang’s Oldsmo­bile was found off High­way 17 on Tues­day morn­ing, Nov. 9, the Cal­i­for­nia High­way Patrol was called to the scene. The High­way Patrol then called the San­ta Clara Sher­if­f’s homi­cide unit and detec­tive Sgt. Dean Bak­er, a 33-year vet­er­an, took over the inves­ti­ga­tion. ‘There is an aspect of para­noia in the major­i­ty of sui­cides,’ Bak­er said. ’ A lot of people—depending on how dis­turbed they are—feel that peo­ple are plot­ting against them.’ ” (Idem.)

23. Despite the dis­missal of Iris’s fears as “para­noia,” there is rea­son to believe her fears were jus­ti­fied. In a phone call to an old friend from col­lege, Iris not­ed that her fam­i­ly and friends thought her prob­lems were “in her head”—“internal”—but that they were real, i.e. “exter­nal.” ” . . . The months passed, and I got involved in my own projects. A few weeks ago, a mutu­al friend e‑mailed me that Iris was try­ing to reach me, and that she had been sick for the past few months. Then, on Sat­ur­day, Nov. 6, my cell­phone rang. When I heard the tone of Iris’ voice, I excused myself from the friends I was vis­it­ing and stood out­side in their yard for pri­va­cy. The bounce in her voice was total­ly gone. Instead, it was sad and total­ly drained, as if she were mak­ing a huge effort just to talk to me. I remem­bered that she recent­ly had been sick.”
(“How ‘Iris Chang’ Became a Verb” by Paula Kamen; Salon.com.)

24. “She said, ‘I just want­ed to let you know that in case some­thing should hap­pen to me, you should always know that you’ve been a good friend.’ Over the next hour, I stum­bled to ask her about what had hap­pened. She talked about her over­whelm­ing fears and anx­i­eties, includ­ing being unable to face the magnitude—and the con­tro­ver­sial nature—of the sto­ries that she had uncov­ered. Her cur­rent vague­ly described prob­lems were ‘exter­nal,’ she kept repeat­ing, a result of her con­tro­ver­sial research. They weren’t a result of the ‘inter­nal,’ that is, they weren’t all in her head. [Empha­sis added.] I asked her about what oth­ers in her life thought about the cause of this appar­ent depres­sion. She paused and said, ‘They think it’s inter­nal.’ ” (Idem.)

25. Next, the pro­gram repris­es mate­r­i­al from FTR#446, con­cern­ing the death threats received by the Sea­graves, who had been research­ing many of the same type of things as Iris Chang. The Sea­graves’ prob­lems were “exter­nal,” not “inter­nal.” “Many peo­ple told us this book was his­tor­i­cal­ly impor­tant and must be published–then warned us that if it were pub­lished, we would be mur­dered. An Aus­tralian econ­o­mist who read it said, ’ I hope they let you live.’ He did not have to explain who ‘they’ were.”
(Gold Warriors—America’s Secret Recov­ery of Yamashita’s Gold; by Ster­ling Sea­grave and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [HC]; Copy­right 2003 by Ster­ling Sea­grave and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–85984-542–8; p. X.)

26. The pro­gram relates the ret­ri­bu­tion vis­it­ed on whis­tle-blow­ers who dis­closed the gold belong­ing to Holo­caust vic­tims that was left in Swiss banks. Note that Car­la del Ponte, who charged Jean Ziegler with trea­son, is the lawyer for Bank Al Taqwa’s Youssef Nada. Note also that these whistle­blow­ers were in con­flict with the same type of things that the Sea­graves and Iris Chang were inves­ti­gat­ing.

“Japan’s loot­ing of Asia, and the hid­ing of this war-gold in Amer­i­can banks, is close­ly linked to the issue of Holo­caust gold hid­den in Swiss banks. Reveal­ing the secrets of either is a dan­ger­ous busi­ness. Jean Ziegler, a Swiss pro­fes­sor and par­lia­men­tar­i­an, did much to expose five decades of offi­cial amne­sia in his book The Swiss, the Gold and the Dead. After pub­lish­ing it and tes­ti­fy­ing in 1998 before the U.S. Sen­ate Bank­ing Com­mit­tee about Jew­ish assets in Swiss banks, he was charged with ‘trea­son’ by Swiss Fed­er­al Pros­e­cu­tor Car­la del Ponte. The charge was brought by twen­ty-one financiers, com­mer­cial lawyers, and politi­cians of the far right, many of them major stock­hold­ers in large Swiss banks. They accused Ziegler of being an accom­plice of Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions who ‘extort­ed’ vast sums of mon­ey from Switzer­land.” (Idem.)

27. “Ziegler is only one of many who have been per­se­cut­ed for putting ethics before greed. Christophe Meili, a Union Banque Suisse (UBS) secu­ri­ty guard, was threat­ened with mur­der and the kid­nap­ping of his wife and chil­dren after he tes­ti­fied before a U.S. Sen­ate com­mit­tee about doc­u­ments he res­cued from UBS shred­ders. He and his fam­i­ly were giv­en asy­lum in Amer­i­ca.” (Idem.)

28. The Sea­graves relate the threats and harass­ment they received over the author­ship of some of their pre­vi­ous books. “We have been threat­ened with mur­der before. When we pub­lished The Soong Dynasty we were warned by a senior CIA offi­cial that a hit team was being assem­bled in Tai­wan to come mur­der us. He said, ‘I would take this very seri­ous­ly, if I were you.’ We van­ished for a year to an island off the coast of British Colum­bia. While we were gone, a Tai­wan hit team arrived in San Fran­cis­co and shot dead the Chi­nese-Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist Hen­ry Liu.” (Idem.)

29. “When we pub­lished The Mar­cos Dynasty we expect­ed trou­ble from the Mar­cos fam­i­ly and its cronies, but instead we were harassed by Wash­ing­ton. Oth­ers had inves­ti­gat­ed Mar­cos, but we were the first to show how the U.S. Gov­ern­ment was secret­ly involved with Mar­cos gold deals. We came under attack from the U.S. Trea­sury Depart­ment and its Inter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice, whose agents made threat­en­ing mid­night phone calls to our elder­ly par­ents. Arriv­ing in New York for an author tour, one of us was inter­cept­ed at JFK air­port, pass­port seized, and held incom­mu­ni­ca­do for three hours. Even­tu­al­ly the pass­port was returned, with­out a word of expla­na­tion. When we ran Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion queries to see what was behind it, we were grudg­ing­ly sent a copy of a telex mes­sage, on which every word was blacked out, includ­ing the date. The jus­ti­fi­ca­tion giv­en for this cen­sor­ship was the need to pro­tect gov­ern­ment sources, which are above the law.” (Ibid.; pp. X‑XI.)

30. “Dur­ing one harass­ing phone call from a U.S. Trea­sury agent, he said he was sit­ting in his office watch­ing an inter­view we had done for a Japan­ese TV network—an inter­view broad­cast only in Japan­ese, which we had nev­er seen. After pub­lish­ing The Yam­a­to Dynasty, which briefly men­tioned the dis­cov­ery that is the basis for Gold War­riors, our phones and email were tapped. We know this because when one of us was in a Euro­pean clin­ic briefly for a med­ical pro­ce­dure, the head nurse report­ed that ‘some­one pos­ing as your Amer­i­can doc­tor’ had been on the phone ask­ing ques­tions.” (Ibid.; p. XI.)

31. “When a brief extract of this book was pub­lished in the South Chi­na Morn­ing Post in August 2001, sev­er­al phone calls from the edi­tors were cut off sud­den­ly. Emails from the news­pa­per took 72 hours to reach us, while copies sent to an asso­ciate near­by arrived instant­ly. In recent months, we began to receive veiled death threats.” (Idem.)

32. “What have we done to pro­voke mur­der? To bor­row a phrase from Jean Ziegler, we are ‘com­bat­ing offi­cial amne­sia.’ We live in dan­ger­ous times, like Ger­many in the 1930’s when any­one who makes incon­ve­nient dis­clo­sures about hid­den assets can be brand­ed a ‘ter­ror­ist’ or a ‘trai­tor. . . .’ ” (Idem.)

33. “Despite the best efforts of the Amer­i­can and Japan­ese gov­ern­ments to destroy, with­hold, or lose doc­u­men­ta­tion relat­ed to Gold­en Lily, we have accu­mu­lat­ed thou­sands of doc­u­ments, con­duct­ed thou­sands of hours of inter­views, and we make all of these avail­able to read­ers of this book on two com­pact discs, avail­able from our web­site www.bowstring.net so they can make up their own minds. We encour­age oth­ers with knowl­edge of these events to come for­ward. When the top is cor­rupt, the truth will not come from the top. It will emerge in bits and pieces from peo­ple like Jean Ziegler and Christophe Meili, who decid­ed they had to ‘do some­thing.’ As a pre­cau­tion, should any­thing odd hap­pen, we have arranged for this book and all its doc­u­men­ta­tion to be put up on the Inter­net at a num­ber of sites. If we are mur­dered, read­ers will have no dif­fi­cul­ty fig­ur­ing out who ‘they’ are.” (Idem.)

34. In order to demon­strate the pres­sure that can be brought to bear on some­one who threat­ens to lay bare the secrets aris­ing from the Japan­ese war gold, the pro­gram reviews infor­ma­tion from FTR#501 about the per­se­cu­tion (and pros­e­cu­tion) of Nor­bert Schlei. Schlei was attempt­ing to redeem some spe­cial Japan­ese bonds called “57s.” Only insid­ers sanc­tioned by those con­trol­ling the M‑Fund could redeem these spe­cial bonds, backed by some of the Japan­ese war gold.

” . . . By Jan­u­ary 1992, six­teen offices of the Secret Ser­vice were said to be involved in the Ah Loo sting. Mrs. Ah Loo was too insignif­i­cant to jus­ti­fy such an expen­di­ture of tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey, so the vig­i­lantes looked for some­one else to lynch. One pos­si­bil­i­ty was Taka­hashi, to whom the ’57’s’ belonged, but when they broke into his Los Ange­les apart­ment, it was emp­ty and he was out of the coun­try in hid­ing. Tro­phy hunt­ing has become a fea­ture of the Amer­i­can crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. Taka­hashi was not famous, so he was not a prop­er tro­phy for an ambi­tious U.S. attor­ney.” (Idem.)

35. Because Schlei was inves­ti­gat­ing some of the secrets of World War II Japan­ese loot, he was tar­get­ed for the sting. “Nor­bert Schlei, on the oth­er hand, was stick­ing his nose into Deep Black secrets, and alarm­ing Tokyo. His high pro­file made him a per­fect tar­get. One year ear­li­er, Schlei had writ­ten a memo about the M‑Fund. It was not meant for gen­er­al cir­cu­la­tion but a copy was passed to U.S. Gov­ern­ment offi­cials, who became alarmed and angry. If they could snare Schlei, all branch­es of the U.S. Gov­ern­ment would coop­er­ate to stop his dig­ging into the M‑Fund, and the LDP lead­er­ship in Tokyo would be indebt­ed.” (Ibid.; pp. 133–134.)

36. “How to snare him was the prob­lem. Schlei had nev­er tried to nego­ti­ate a ‘57’ in Amer­i­ca, only in Japan, on
behalf of clients legal­ly enti­tled to have an attor­ney make inquiries. Fur­ther­more, Schlei had nev­er accept­ed a pen­ny from these clients. But Taka­hashi was so impa­tient to sell one of his ’57’s’ that he had tak­en sev­er­al of them back from Schlei and, with­out telling him, turned them over to Roger Hill to mar­ket. It was quite a stretch to argue that Schlei had any­thing to do with the inde­pen­dent mar­ket­ing of the ’57’s’ by Roger Hill. The gov­ern­ment could try to get Schlei indict­ed as a par­ty to the con­spir­a­cy of Ah Loo, Hans­ber­ry, and Hill, because he hap­pened to be Taka­hashi’s attor­ney and was admit­ted­ly try­ing to nego­ti­ate oth­er ’57’s’ in Japan. It would be absurd to assert that Schlei was involved in the Tam­pa trans­ac­tion, but that could be cov­ered by a lit­tle sleight of hand, mis­di­rect­ing the jury so it did not notice. Final­ly, since Schlei freely acknowl­edged that the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment regard­ed the ’57’s’ as coun­ter­feit, it could be argued that he was admit­ted­ly mar­ket­ing cer­tifi­cates he knew to be false. This dodged the cru­cial point, which Schlei stat­ed again and again, that he was con­vinced the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment was lying to avoid pay­ment.” (Ibid.; p. 134.)

37. “In sum, the case against Schlei would depend on a tro­phy-hunt­ing pros­e­cu­tor, a com­pli­ant judge, a mis­di­rect­ed jury, a coor­di­nat­ed effort by Wash­ing­ton to block all Schlei’s efforts at dis­cov­ery, denial by the court of leave for Schlei to take depo­si­tions in Japan, intim­i­da­tion of defense wit­ness­es, and ‘expert’ pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness­es brought in from Japan’s Min­istry of Finance and Dai-Ichi Bank, who seemed to have been coached to be eva­sive and to give false tes­ti­mo­ny.” (Idem.)

38. A mea­sure of the extreme nature of the case against Schlei is the fact that he was­n’t even aware of the case in con­nec­tion with which he was to be indict­ed! “Aston­ished to be named a par­ty to the Ah Loo deal, of which he was not even aware, Schlei found him­self the sub­ject of Grand Jury pro­ceed­ings in Tam­pa and was indict­ed. Imme­di­ate­ly, clients hold­ing ‘57’s’ scat­tered to avoid being drawn in, or—if cornered—became so fright­ened that they offered to tes­ti­fy against Schlei in return for immu­ni­ty from pros­e­cu­tion.” (Idem.)

39. “In court, the pros­e­cu­tion ‘proved’ the cer­tifi­cates were fakes by bring­ing in two minor offi­cials of Japan’s Min­istry of Finance and Dai-Ichi Bank, who had a vest­ed inter­est in stick­ing to this sto­ry. Schlei’s defense coun­tered, ‘Cor­rupt Japan­ese offi­cials were now false­ly claim­ing that these finan­cial instru­ments were not gen­uine.’ How­ev­er, Pro­fes­sor Lausi­er insist­ed they were gen­uine (as quot­ed ear­li­er): ‘The doc­u­ments . . . are so pre­cise­ly in agree­ment in innu­mer­able respects with the offi­cial pub­lished records of the gov­ern­ment of Japan . . . that, in my opin­ion, it is quite impos­si­ble for them, or the Cer­tifi­cates that result­ed from them, to have been the work of any coun­ter­feit­er.’ ” (Idem.)

40. Var­i­ous agen­cies of the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment, includ­ing the CIA, col­lab­o­rat­ed to block Schlei’s defense from being able to prove the truth. “To demon­strate col­lu­sion between Tokyo and Wash­ing­ton, the defense attempt­ed to locate any reports or doc­u­ments show­ing covert pay­ments by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment to the gov­ern­ment of Japan or any polit­i­cal par­ty in Japan, from 1945 to the present. As we have seen, this has been con­firmed by a num­ber of sources includ­ing for­mer CIA offi­cials and U.S. diplo­mats. But, fight­ing for his life, Schlei need­ed all the doc­u­men­tary evi­dence avail­able. As a for­mer assis­tant attor­ney gen­er­al of the Unit­ed States, he was cer­tain he would find these doc­u­ments.” (Ibid.; pp. 134–135.)

41. “It was Schlei’s legal right to make such dis­cov­er­ies, but fed­er­al agen­cies flat­ly refused to com­ply. News sto­ries about the M‑Fund and ’57’s’ oblig­ed the court to order the CIA, the Secret Ser­vice, Nation­al Archives, and State Depart­ment to con­duct a search of their data­bas­es. Giv­en the intense secre­cy sur­round­ing the Black Eagle Trust, the 1951 Peace Treaty, the M‑Fund, and the dis­ap­pear­ance of mil­lions of doc­u­ments con­cern­ing Japan, it would have been a great sur­prise if any­thing turned up. The jury was told that ‘search of the records of the CIA, the Secret Ser­vice, and the Nation­al Archives did not dis­close any rel­e­vant or mate­r­i­al doc­u­ments or infor­ma­tion that sub­stan­ti­at­ed . . . that the CIA gave mon­ey to employ­ees or offi­cials of the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment, or any polit­i­cal par­ty in Japan’. The court record says, ‘The gov­ern­ment searched hun­dreds of files of CIA paper records dat­ing back to 1948 for any doc­u­ments that might indi­cate that pay­ments were made by the CIA to either the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment, the Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, or indi­vid­ual par­ty mem­bers. They also con­duct­ed com­put­er search­es for Mar­quat Fund. . .[and] the search . . . did not dis­cov­er any rel­e­vant or mate­r­i­al doc­u­ments or infor­ma­tion.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 135.)

42. “The jury was not told that Act­ing CIA Direc­tor Admi­ral William O. Stude­man had informed The New York Times in March 1995, that CIA was not about to divulge infor­ma­tion on the sub­ject of pay­ola to for­eign gov­ern­ments and politi­cos. Stude­man said the Agency had an oblig­a­tion to ‘keep faith’ with politi­cians who ‘received legal­ly autho­rized covert sup­port from the Unit­ed States.’ This state­ment actu­al­ly con­firms that such pay­ments were made, and mere­ly refus­es to give details. Japan­ese politi­cians bribed with huge sums of mon­ey had to be pro­tect­ed, which was more impor­tant than jus­tice in Amer­i­can courts. Schlei told the court, ‘I fig­ured that if the Iran Con­tra case peo­ple like Ollie North and Admi­ral Poindex­ter and Mr. Mac­Far­lane could be doing things and lying about, then maybe peo­ple in the Japan­ese Gov­ern­ment could be lying about some things, too.’ ” (Idem.)

43. In order to bol­ster its case, the gov­ern­ment sanc­tioned wit­ness tam­per­ing by the pros­e­cu­tion: “Judge Kovachevich refused Schlei the right to take depo­si­tions in Japan, and brushed aside Schlei’s protests that a key defense wit­ness had been intim­i­dat­ed by the U.S. attor­ney. His attor­neys alleged that the pros­e­cu­tion tam­pered with the wit­ness, S.M. Han who had an immu­ni­ty agree­ment with U.S. attor­ney Mark Krum. Han swore that Krum told him if he tes­ti­fied for the defense, his immu­ni­ty agree­ment would be nul­li­fied. Han also said Krum told him he had ‘bet­ter not give him any basis to with­draw the immu­ni­ty because he would not hes­i­tate to do so’. Wit­ness tam­per­ing is one of the most seri­ous crimes in the U.S. judi­cial sys­tem and is grounds for dis­bar­ment. Judge Kovachevich denied a motion for a new tri­al based on the charge of wit­ness tam­per­ing, and even refused to hold an evi­den­tiary har­ing to deter­mine whether Han’s alle­ga­tions were true.” (Idem.)

44. “After six years of per­se­cu­tion, Schlei was con­vict­ed on one felony count of secu­ri­ties fraud, and one mis­de­meanor. Before the tri­al began, he had assets in the neigh­bor­hood of $10-mil­lion. Dur­ing his tri­al, he was unable to prac­tice law, and had enor­mous legal costs. He was pro­fes­sion­al­ly and finan­cial­ly ruined, left vir­tu­al­ly bank­rupt. He esti­mat­ed that the U.S. Gov­ern­ment spent over $45-mil­lion of tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey on the sting and the law­suit. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 135–136.)

45. “Oth­er events unfold­ing in Jan­u­ary 1992 may have led direct­ly to Schlei’s per­se­cu­tion. He was not the only tar­get of M‑Fund stings. Also arrest­ed was James P. Sena, a 17-year vet­er­an of the U.S. Secret Ser­vice, the agency that also inves­ti­gates coun­ter­feit­ing for the Trea­sury Depart­ment. Sena had exam­ined M‑Fund finan­cial instru­ments in Amer­i­ca and Japan, where he became con­vinced of the legit­i­ma­cy of the ’57’s’. He decid­ed to sell some him­self. He and Ian York­shire of Great Britain and Fran­cis Che­ung of Hong Kong were all arrest­ed for attempt­ing to mar­ket ’57’s’ with a total face val­ue of $50-bil­lion. Abrupt­ly, and for no appar­ent rea­son, in Novem­ber 1995, the case against them was sud­den­ly dis­missed ‘with
prej­u­dice’, mean­ing the charges can­not be re-filed. Nev­er­the­less, pros­e­cu­tors refused to return the ’57’s’ they had con­fis­cat­ed as evi­dence, call­ing them ‘con­tra­band’. If coun­ter­feit, why were they con­tra­band? We were told by a Wall Street source that Trea­sury is eager to get its hands on ’57’s’ and oth­er sup­pos­ed­ly coun­ter­feit deriv­a­tives, to nego­ti­ate them secret­ly.” (Idem.) CORRECTION: JAMES P. SENA HAS NEVER BEEN ARRESTED.

46. Con­trast­ing sharply with the treat­ment accord­ed Nor­bert Schlei was the suc­cess­ful nego­ti­a­tion of a “57” by Alexan­der Haig. Haig (an inti­mate of the MacArthur group in the mil­i­tary) nego­ti­at­ed the “57” on behalf of the Paraguayan gov­ern­ment. Piv­otal to the suc­cess of this oper­a­tion is the fact that Haig had a let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion writ­ten by then Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush “Anoth­er promi­nent Amer­i­can who report­ed­ly became involved in nego­ti­at­ing ’57’s’ dur­ing the same peri­od was the for­mer Sec­re­tary of State, Gen­er­al Alexan­der Haig. Unlike Schlei, Haig was not arrest­ed or per­se­cut­ed, demon­strat­ing how selec­tive Wash­ing­ton has been in choos­ing its sting tar­gets. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 137.)

47. ” . . . In short, Haig had suc­ceed­ed, and the deal went down. But how could Haig nego­ti­ate a ‘57’ in Mia­mi, Wash­ing­ton, and Tokyo, with dis­cus­sions at the FBI, CIA and with Pres­i­dent Bush in the White House, with­out being arrest­ed and pros­e­cut­ed like Nor­bert Schlei? Fed­er­al agents always insist­ed it was ille­gal to nego­ti­ate one inside Amer­i­ca, or even to con­tem­plate it.” (Idem.)

48. Haig’s suc­cess­ful nego­ti­a­tion of the Paraguayan “57” may have been part of a quid pro quo involv­ing the per­se­cu­tion of Nor­bert Schlei. Schlei may have been neu­tral­ized as part of a deal by the Japan­ese in order to abate “Japan-Bash­ing.” “If all ‘57’s’ are coun­ter­feit, why did Haig suc­ceed? If Haig’s ‘57’ was gen­uine, did he still do some­thing ille­gal? Does the legit­i­ma­cy of a Japan­ese debt instru­ment depend on your con­nec­tions to the cur­rent occu­pant of the White House? Nor­bert Schlei was drawn into the sting soon after Haig’s Tokyo nego­ti­a­tion con­clud­ed. One of Takeshi­ta’s con­di­tions about end­ing Japan-Bash­ing may have been that Schlei, who was ask­ing so many embar­rass­ing ques­tions, must be silenced and removed from the field of play. If so, Haig cer­tain­ly would have report­ed this to Pres­i­dent Bush, which could explain why Schlei was then dragged into the Ah Loo case.” (Idem.)

49. “There is a les­son here for investors. Finan­cial instru­ments grow­ing out of the Black Eagle Trust con­tin­ue to float around the glob­al mar­ket, like mag­net­ic mines left over from World War II that can blow up and sink any insti­tu­tion or indi­vid­ual that comes in con­tact with them. If some cer­tifi­cates are coun­ter­feit while oth­ers are legit­i­mate, investors and their attor­neys have a right to inquire, with­out fear of arrest or intim­i­da­tion, whether the doc­u­ments they hold are real or fake, and not to be brushed off with false­hoods. Espe­cial­ly when the issu­ing gov­ern­ment has a his­to­ry of eva­sive­ness, and is strong­ly sus­pect­ed of lying. When Wash­ing­ton demon­strates that it has a greater sense of respon­si­bil­i­ty to cor­rupt for­eign politi­cians than it does to its own cit­i­zens, we may right­ly ask whom it real­ly is pro­tect­ing. Wash­ing­ton’s main con­cern has been to pro­tect and pre­serve a sys­tem of secret finan­cial col­lu­sion with Japan, which has worked to its sat­is­fac­tion for over half a cen­tu­ry. And to pro­tect the careers and rep­u­ta­tions of U.S. Gov­ern­ment offi­cials involved in that col­lu­sion. In the end, how many bil­lions went to Japan­ese politi­cians is less impor­tant than how much went into to pock­ets of Amer­i­can offi­cials. As pow­er cor­rupts, secret pow­er cor­rupts secret­ly.” (Idem.)

50. Next, the pro­gram sets forth the details of some class action law­suits against major Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions. These law­suits aimed at secur­ing finan­cial com­pen­sa­tion for POW’s used as slave labor­ers by the major Japan­ese enti­ties. Note that some of these POW’s were sur­vivors of the Bataan Death March—the men whose plight was being inves­ti­gat­ed and pub­li­cized by Iris Chang!! “Since 1999, more than thir­ty law­suits have been filed in Cal­i­for­nia courts by sur­vivors of the Bataan Death March and oth­er POW’s who were forced to pro­vide slave labor for Japan­ese com­pa­nies. [Empha­sis added.] They were focused in Cal­i­for­nia because the state leg­is­la­ture had extend­ed the peri­od when such claims could be filed. The U.S. gov­ern­ment then had the cas­es trans­ferred to a fed­er­al court in San Fran­cis­co, where most of these suits then were reject­ed in Sep­tem­ber 2000 by Fed­er­al Judge Vaughn Walk­er. Judge Walk­er said they were ‘barred’ by the terms of the 1951 Peace Treaty, the same stonewalling used by Tokyo and Wash­ing­ton.” (Ibid.; p. 239.)

51. Because of the deep polit­i­cal links between the Japan­ese zaibat­sus, the Japan­ese nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment and the US cor­po­rate, polit­i­cal and nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ments, the State Depart­ment sided with the Japan­ese! “Hard as it may be to believe, the State Depart­ment argued on the side of Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions in these cas­es. Walk­er summed up his deci­sion by stat­ing that the San Fran­cis­co Peace Treaty had ‘exchanged full com­pen­sa­tion of plain­tiffs for a future peace. His­to­ry has vin­di­cat­ed the wis­dom of that bar­gain.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 239–240.)

52. React­ing to the stance of the courts and the State Depart­ment, Cal­i­for­nia con­gress­men intro­duced fed­er­al leg­is­la­tion that would com­pen­sate these POW’s. ” . . . Some fought back. In March 2001, U.S. Con­gress­men Mike Hon­da (D‑San Jose) and Dana Rohrabach­er (R.-Huntington Beach) intro­duced a bill, ‘Jus­tice for Pris­on­ers of War Act’ before the U.S. Con­gress. The bill had strong bipar­ti­san sup­port and by August 2002 had 228 co-sign­ers includ­ing House whips for both par­ties. Hon­da’s bill called for ‘clar­i­fi­ca­tion of the word­ing of the 1951 Peace Treaty between Japan and the Unit­ed States’ to keep the State Depart­ment from devi­ous­ly inter­fer­ing in vic­tims’ law­suits.” (Ibid.; p. 240.)

53. “If this bill became law, it could open a win­dow for com­pen­sa­tion to POWs who were forced to per­form slave labor for Japan­ese com­pa­nies like Mit­sui, Mit­subishi and Sum­it­o­mo, which are among the rich­est on earth. The bill would remove a key legal bar­ri­er [Arti­cle 26—D.E.] used in Judge Walk­er’s rejec­tion of the slave-labor law­suits. . . .” (Idem.)

54. “Judge Walk­er, pos­si­bly under con­sid­er­able pres­sure, sided with the State Depart­ment and ruled that Arti­cle 26 can­not be invoked by pri­vate cit­i­zens, but only by their gov­ern­ment. The Hon­da-Rohrabach­er bill would get around that bizarre rul­ing by hav­ing Con­gress act for the vic­tims. The State Depart­men­t’s unelect­ed bureau­crats, aghast at the temer­i­ty of Amer­i­ca’s elect­ed law­mak­ers, real­ized that Hon­da’s bill can­not be thrown out by the exer­cise of polit­i­cal pres­sure over fed­er­al judges. Instead, State took the high moral ground by claim­ing that pas­sage of Hon­da’s bill ‘would be an act of extreme bad faith.’ Bad faith toward Japan’s biggest cor­po­ra­tions and its extra­or­di­nar­i­ly cor­rupt and incom­pe­tent LDP boss­es. . . .” (Idem.)

55. One of the goals of the US gov­ern­men­t’s reac­tion to the bills was to pre­vent the col­lapse of the Japan­ese econ­o­my because of bad debt. Note that, in addi­tion to poten­tial­ly under­min­ing Japan­ese nation­al secu­ri­ty coop­er­a­tion with the US, the suc­cess of the law­suits and bills aim­ing at redress for the Amer­i­can POW’s threat­ened the Amer­i­can econ­o­my. Japan holds many of Amer­i­ca’s Trea­sury Bills. Were they to sell them to pay off the col­lapse of their finan­cial sys­tem, it would col­lapse the US econ­o­my! ” . . .How­ev­er, it may be too late for Wash­ing­ton to save Japan’s LDP from its own inep­ti­tude and venal­i­ty. Japan’s finan­cial col­lapse has been pre­dict­ed by schol­ars at Mass­a­chus­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy, on the premise that the LDP would refuse to under­take the seri­ous reforms need­ed. In fact, all Japan’s top banks failed long ago, but—as in a silent movie—the edi­fice col­lapsed with­out the audi­ence hear­ing any sound.” (Ibid.; p. 241.)

56. “Japan’s banks had $1‑trillion in bad loans on their books, in sweet­heart deals for men like Prime Min­is­ter Tana­ka, or zero-inter­est loans to the yakuza. Among the banks hit hard­est were San­wa Bank and Tokai Bank. Togeth­er with Dai Ichi Kangyo Bank they are the three that were exempt­ed by Gen­er­al MacArthur and Gen­er­al Mar­quat from reor­ga­ni­za­tion in 1945. For­mer prime min­is­ter and finance min­is­ter Miyaza­wa pro­posed a pain­less bailout—painless, that is, for the banks. They would be billed out by Japan­ese tax­pay­ers. After which the banks could resume their bad habits. Whether tax­pay­ers would stand for it is ques­tion­able.” (Idem.)

57. One of the prime movers in the per­pet­u­a­tion of the US/Japanese col­lu­sion was for­mer finance min­is­ter Miyaza­wa, who was at the epi­cen­ter of the his­to­ry of that col­lu­sion from World War II to the present. “If any­one knew how to arrange such a mag­ic trick, it was Miyaza­wa. Few oth­er men have been so inti­mate­ly and con­tin­u­al­ly involved in the inner work­ings of the Min­istry of Finance since the ear­ly 1940’s. He began his career in the Finance Min­istry in 1942 and was one of the three Japan­ese who nego­ti­at­ed the secret terms of the 1951 Peace Treaty with John Fos­ter Dulles. Thanks to cachet he gained in those warped nego­ti­a­tions, Miyaza­wa entered pol­i­tics where he remains to this day as a man of phe­nom­e­nal lever­age. He served as min­is­ter of finance in the Naka­sone, Takeshi­ta, Obuchi and Mori cab­i­nets. Over all those decades, Miyaza­wa was chief of account­ing for the LDP, so he had inti­mate knowl­edge of all the slush funds. He held many oth­er min­is­te­r­i­al posts, such as chief cab­i­net sec­re­tary to Prime Min­is­ter Suzu­ki when the M‑Fund ’57’s’ first were issued. When min­is­ter of finance for Takeshi­ta, Miyaza­wa had to resign along with Takeshi­ta in the Recruit insid­er-trad­ing scan­dal tied to the M‑Fund. In 11991, thanks to his res­cue by M‑Fund con­trollers Kane­maru and Goto­da, Miyaza­wa became prime min­is­ter. He then named Goto­da as his deputy prime min­is­ter and made Kane­maru the LDP vice pres­i­dent, giv­ing Kane­maru the infor­mal role of ‘co-prime min­is­ter.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 241–242.)

58. “At a drunk­en cel­e­bra­tion of this col­lab­o­ra­tion in a posh Tokyo restau­rant, Miyaza­wa pledged to Kane­maru that, ‘I will not do any­thing that dif­fers from [your] inten­tions. I will con­sult you on every­thing.’ The hon­ey­moon was brief, as in 1992, Kane­maru became involved in the great scan­dal of the Sagawa Par­cel Com­pa­ny, which was deliv­er­ing war-gold bribes to polit­i­cal­ly influ­en­tial peo­ple. Before his tri­al was con­clud­ed, Kane­maru con­ve­nient­ly died.” (Ibid.; p. 242.)

59. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance in the sub­ver­sion of the law­suits and bills on behalf of the US POW’s is the fact that key State Depart­ment per­son­nel had mar­ried into the Japan­ese estab­lish­ment, there­by cre­at­ing pro­found con­flicts of inter­est!! “If any­one knows the truth, Mitaza­wa does. But he is not talk­ing, nor is his son-in-law, Christo­pher J. Lafleur, a career U.S. For­eign Ser­vice offi­cer who for years has been the most pow­er­ful diplo­mat at the Amer­i­can Embassy in Tokyo, as deputy chief of mis­sion, or DCM. In 1986, the 38-year-old Lafleur was dis­patched to Tokyo, osten­si­bly to nego­ti­ate sales of the FS‑X fight­er plane (the same year Schlei came to Tokyo to nego­ti­ate his clien­t’s ’57’s’). Mitaza­wa, the min­is­ter of finance, was Japan’s FS‑X nego­tia­tor, under a cloud in the Recruit scan­dal, linked to the ’57s’ and M‑Fund mon­eys. One unex­pect­ed out­come of the friend­ship that bloomed between Lafleur and Miyaza­wa was that Lafleur mar­ried Miyaza­wa’s daugh­ter.” (Idem.)

60. “In Sep­tem­ber 1997, Lafleur was made Deputy Chief of Mis­sion at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo—called the ‘defac­to boss of the embassy.’ A few months lat­er, in 1998, Miyaza­wa was back in the dri­vers seat as finance min­is­ter in the Obuchi cab­i­net. Like his ear­li­er appoint­ments to this job, Miyaza­wa was returned to office to prac­tice dam­age con­trol. Accord­ing to Pro­fes­sor Lausi­er, this time Miyaza­wa was put back in as min­is­ter of finance because a large num­ber of ’57s’ were com­ing due—documents that the LDP and the gov­ern­ment of Japan could ill afford to redeem, and there­fore denounced as coun­ter­feit.” (Idem.)

61. “Lausi­er believes that Miyaza­wa was there to decide which of these IOUs would be hon­ored and which would not. Dur­ing the same peri­od, the U.S. Embassy’s Lafleur was vocal in claim­ing that the ’57s’ were fraud­u­lent, and argu­ing against vic­tims’ rights to sue Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions, on the basis of the 1951 treaty nego­ti­at­ed by Lafleur’s father-in-law. Not only Lafleur but a string of ambas­sadors he served also showed a con­spic­u­ous con­flict of inter­est.” (Idem.)

62. More about the mar­i­tal rela­tion­ships between key US diplo­mats’ fam­i­lies and the Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions tar­get­ed by the bills and law­suits on behalf of the Amer­i­can POW’s: “Many peo­ple were trou­bled to learn that Ambas­sador Tom Foley’s wife ws a paid con­sul­tant to Sum­it­o­mo Heavy Indus­tries, one of the pri­ma­ry tar­gets of the POW law­suits for slave labor. The State Depart­ment declared that it saw no con­flict of inter­est in Mrs. Foley’s job and the simul­ta­ne­ous appoint­ment of her hus­band as ambas­sador to Japan. How­ev­er. In that post Foley vig­or­ous­ly denied the right of Amer­i­can POWs to sue Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions includ­ing the one his wife worked for.” (Idem.)

63. “After retir­ing as ambas­sador and return­ing to Wash­ing­ton, Foley open­ly became a paid lob­by­ist for Mit­subishi Cor­po­ra­tion as a mem­ber of its advi­so­ry pan­el on strat­e­gy. Mit­subishi was among the biggest employ­ers of Amer­i­can slave labor dur­ing the war. When he was appoint­ed DCM under Foley, for­eign cor­re­spon­dents in Tokyo joked that Lafleur was a mem­ber of Japan’s ‘dream-team.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 242–243.)

64. “In 2001, when news of Lafleur’s spe­cial sta­tus as Miyaza­wa’s son-in-law became more wide­ly known, mak­ing the issues of con­flict of inter­est and dou­ble stan­dard more wide­ly known, mak­ing the issues of con­flict of inter­est and dou­ble stan­dards too obvi­ous to ignore fur­ther, Lafleur was recalled to Wash­ing­ton and made Deputy Assis­tant Direc­tor to the Bureau of East Asian and Pacif­ic Affairs at the State Depart­ment. This removed him from poten­tial embar­rass­ment in Tokyo, but put him in a prime posi­tion to mon­i­tor and guide Con­gress, as well as to over­see any legal actions in U.S. courts.” (Ibid.; p. 243.)

65. In the wake of 9/11, three for­mer US ambas­sadors to Tokyo wrote a let­ter to The Wash­ing­ton Post com­par­ing the POW’s and their sup­port­ers to ter­ror­ists! “The low point of this farce came in late Sep­tem­ber 2001, when a let­ter appeared in The Wash­ing­ton Post writ­ten by three for­mer ambas­sadors to Tokyo—Thomas Foley, Michael Arma­cost and Fritz Mon­dale. The let­ter linked the claims of Amer­i­can POWs against Japan to the ter­ror­ist attacks on the World Trade Cen­ter. ‘Why would Con­gress con­sid­er pass­ing [the Rohrabach­er Bill], which could abro­gate a treaty so fun­da­men­tal to our secu­ri­ty at a time the pres­i­dent and his admin­is­tra­tion are try­ing so hard . . . to com­bat ter­ror­ism?’ In oth­er words, Hon­da and Rohrabach­er, and Amer­i­ca’s POWs, were no bet­ter than ter­ror­ists!” (Idem.)

66. ” . . . As a dis­si­dent State Depart­ment offi­cial quipped, ‘Some­times it [seems] that Japan [has] two embassies work­ing for them—ours and theirs.’ ” (Idem.)

67. The Sea­graves’ land­mark vol­ume had an endorse­ment by Iris Chang, who was cross­ing the same pow­ers whose insid­i­ous machi­na­tions were chron­i­cled in Gold War­riors. Was Iris Chang anoth­er casu­al­ty of the World War II in the Pacif­ic?! “The Sea­graves have uncov­ered one of the biggest secrets of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry.’ ”
(The late Iris Chang, quot­ed on the back cov­er jack­et of Gold War­riors.)

68. Inter­est­ing­ly (and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly), at almost the same time as Iris Chang’s death, Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger was on a trade mis­sion to Japan, pro­mot­ing Japan­ese trade with Cal­i­for­nia. Was Chang an obsta­cle to the Japanese/Schwarzenegger axis? “Keep­ing his promise to sell Cal­i­for­nia all over the world, Gov­er­nor Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger arrived in Japan on Wednes­day on a trade mis­sion to pro­mote Cal­i­for­nia busi­ness, agri­cul­ture and tourism. . . . Japan, one of Cal­i­for­ni­a’s top investors and trad­ing part­ners, is recov­er­ing from a long reces­sion. As their econ­o­my begins to improve, Gov­er­nor Schwarzeneg­ger is active­ly encour­ag­ing more invest­ment and job-growth in Cal­i­for­nia. The Gov­er­nor plans to meet with busi­ness and gov­ern­ment lead­ers to talk about the progress made in the last year on restor­ing Cal­i­for­ni­a’s busi­ness cli­mate and econ­o­my. He will also pro­mote Cal­i­for­nia tourism and agri­cul­tur­al prod­ucts in events through­out his mis­sion. . . .”
(“Gov­er­nor Pro­motes Cal­i­for­nia in Japan” [Update from the Gov­er­nor’s Office, post­ed on Schwarzeneg­ger’s web­site.]; 11/10/2004.)

69. Again, note the time of Ms. Chang’s death—one day before Schwarzeneg­ger’s jun­ket to Japan. Might her poten­tial inter­fer­ence with the Schwarzenegger/Japanese trade rela­tion­ship have been anoth­er irri­tant to the pow­ers that be? “Iris Chang, a jour­nal­ist whose best-sell­ing book, The Rape of Nanking, a chron­i­cle of the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted in that city by occu­py­ing Japan­ese forces, helped break a six-decade-long inter­na­tion­al silence on the sub­ject, com­mit­ted sui­cide on Tues­day near Los Gatos, Cal­i­for­nia. She was 36 and lived in San Jose. . . .”
(“Iris Chang, Who Chron­i­cled Rape of Nanking, Dies at 36” by Mar­galit Fox; The New York Times; 11/13/2004; p. 1 [of 2].)

70. A note left by Ms. Chang read, in part, as fol­lows:

“Iris Chang;” Wikipedia.com

There are aspects of my expe­ri­ence in Louisville that I will nev­er under­stand. Deep down I sus­pect that you may have more answers about this than I do. I can nev­er shake my belief that I was being recruit­ed, and lat­er per­se­cut­ed, by forces more pow­er­ful than I could have imag­ined. Whether it was the CIA or some oth­er orga­ni­za­tion I will nev­er know. As long as I am alive, these forces will nev­er stop hound­ing me. Days before I left for Louisville I had a deep fore­bod­ing about my safe­ty. I sensed sud­den­ly threats to my own life: an eerie feel­ing that I was being fol­lowed in the streets, the white van parked out­side my house, dam­aged mail arriv­ing at my P.O. Box. I believe my deten­tion at Nor­ton Hos­pi­tal was the gov­ern­men­t’s attempt to dis­cred­it me. . . .

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #509 The Death of Iris Chang”

  1. Chi­nese Kung-fu star Bruce Lee
    could have also have been mur­dered by
    the Japan­ese Yakusa (Mafia)
    as his films have kin­dled Chi­nese
    pride and nation­al­ism and brought shame to Japan­ese atroc­i­ties in
    Chi­na by expos­ing Japan­ese cow­ard­wice and wicked­ness.

    Posted by Daud Hermanwan | December 11, 2013, 3:14 am

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