Atomic Cover-Up: The Hidden Story Behind the U.S. Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
August 9, 2011
"As radiation readings in Japan reach their highest levels since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdowns (see previous post: Truth About Nuclear Power | Lethal Levels of Radiation), we look at the beginning of the atomic age. Today is the 66th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, which killed some 75,000 people and left another 75,000 seriously wounded. It came just three days after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing around 80,000 people and injuring some 70,000. By official Japanese estimates, nearly 300,000 people died from the bombings, including those who lost their lives in the ensuing months and years from related injuries and illnesses. Other researchers estimate a much higher death toll. We play an account of the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki by the pilots who flew the B-29 bomber that dropped that bomb, and feature an interview with the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Weller, who was the first reporter to enter Nagasaki. He later summarized his experience with military censors who ordered his story killed, saying, 'They won.' Our guest is Greg Mitchell, co-author of 'Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial,' with Robert Jay Lifton. His latest book is 'Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki and The Greatest Movie Never Made.' [includes rush transcript]"
Radiation Poisoning 'Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki' - New Book
New Book: "Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki"
Footage of Hiroshima & Nagasaki Suppressed for Decades
Greg Mitchell: In my latest book, 'Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and The Greatest Movie Never Made,' I probe a turning point in U.S. history: the suppression of film footage, for decades, shot by a U.S. Army unit in the atomic cities -- a wrong turn with staggering consequences even today. This is a detective story, a profile of two remarkable military officers, and one of the last little-told stories of World War II (and its aftermath). The cover-up even extended to Hollywood. And there was no WikiLeaks to get the film aired.
As co-author of the classic 'Hiroshima in America' and eleven other books, I've written about elements of this story for leading newspapers and magazines, but now I tell the full saga here, based on new research -- from the Truman Library to Nagasaki...
My New Book 'Atomic Cover-up' Reveals Film Secrets
" America's "nuclear entrapment" continues to this day. Atomic Cover-up takes a wide angle look at the use of the bomb in 1945--and its impact right up to 2011. It might be sub-titled "From Hiroshima to Fukushima."
The Dark History of Nuclear Weapons and Energy Proliferation
ATOM DAYS is a sweeping saga that tells the entire story of the nuclear age. The project is intended to be produced as a a six-part documentary television mini-series and companion educational Website for main stream adult audiences. If you are Interested in participating in the development of this property please Contact Us.
J. Robert Oppenheimer | Media Gallery | atomicarchive.com (click for video)
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that one way or another.
-J. Robert Oppenheimer
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945 and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.
For six months before the atomic bombings, the United States intensely fire-bombed 67 Japanese cities. Together with the United Kingdom and the Republic of China, the United States called for a surrender of Japan in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945. The Japanese government ignored this ultimatum. By executive order of President Harry S. Truman, the U.S. dropped the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945, followed by the detonation of "Fat Man" over Nagasaki on August 9.
Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. The Hiroshima prefectural health department estimates that, of the people who died on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness. In a US estimate of the total immediate and short term cause of death, 15–20% died from radiation sickness, 20–30% from flash burns, and 50–60% from other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians.
Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on August 15, Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on September 2, officially ending the Pacific War and therefore World War II. Germany had signed its Instrument of Surrender on May 7, ending the war in Europe. The bombings led, in part, to post-war Japan's adopting Three Non-Nuclear Principles, forbidding the nation from nuclear armament. The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender and the U.S.'s ethical justification for them, as well as their strategic importance, is still debated.
• Nuclear weapon
Only two nuclear weapons have been used in the course of warfare, both by the United States near the end of World War II. On 6 August 1945, a uranium gun-type device code-named "Little Boy" was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, on 9 August, a plutonium implosion-type device code-named "Fat Man" was exploded over Nagasaki, Japan. These two bombings resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000 Japanese people—mostly civilians—from acute injuries sustained from the explosions. The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender, and their ethical status, remain the subject of scholarly and popular debate.
• Effects of nuclear explosions
• Effects of nuclear explosions on human health
Tsar Bomba (Russian: Царь-бомба) is the nickname for the AN602 hydrogen bomb, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. Also known as Kuz`kina Mat` (Russian: Кузькина мать, Kuzka's mother).
"From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Japan's Atomic Tragedies." By Amy Goodman
August 10, 2011
In recent weeks, radiation levels have spiked at the Fukushima nuclear power reactors in Japan, with recorded levels of 10,000 millisieverts per hour (mSv/hr) at one spot. This is the number reported by the reactor’s discredited owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co., although that number is simply as high as the Geiger counters go. In other words, the radiation levels are literally off the charts. Exposure to 10,000 millisieverts for even a brief time would be fatal, with death occurring within weeks. (For comparison, the total radiation from a dental X-ray is 0.005 mSv, and from a brain CT scan is less than 5 mSv.) The New York Times has reported that government officials in Japan suppressed official projections of where the nuclear fallout would most likely move with wind and weather after the disaster in order to avoid costly relocation of potentially hundreds of thousands of residents.
“Secrecy, once accepted, becomes an addiction.” While those words could describe how the Japanese government has handled the nuclear catastrophe, they were said by atomic scientist Edward Teller, one of the key creators of the first two atomic bombs. The uranium bomb dubbed “Little Boy” was dropped on Aug. 6, 1945, on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, the second, a plutonium bomb called “Fat Man,” was dropped over the city of Nagasaki, Japan. Close to a quarter-million people were killed by the massive blasts and the immediate aftereffects. No one knows the full extent of the death and disease that followed, from the painful burns that thousands of survivors suffered to the later effects of radiation sickness and cancer.
The history of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is itself the history of U.S. military censorship and propaganda. In addition to the suppressed film footage, the military kept the blast zones off-limits to reporters. When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Weller managed to get in to Nagasaki, his story was personally killed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett managed to sneak in to Hiroshima not long after the blast and reported what he called “a warning to the world,” describing widespread illnesses as an “atomic plague.” The military deployed one of its own. It turns out that William Laurence, The New York Times reporter, was also on the payroll of the War Department. He faithfully reported the U.S. government position, that “the Japanese described ‘symptoms’ that did not ring true.” Sadly, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his propaganda.
Greg Mitchell has been writing about the history and aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for decades. On this anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing, I asked Mitchell about his latest book, “Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and The Greatest Movie Never Made.”
“Anything that nuclear weapons or nuclear energy touches leads to suppression and leads to danger for the public,” he told me. For years, Mitchell sought newsreel footage shot by the U.S. military in the months following the atomic blasts. Tracking down the aging filmmakers, and despite decades-old government classification, he was one of the journalists who publicized the incredible color film archives. As part of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, the film crews documented not only the devastation of the cities, but also close-up, clinical documentation of the severe burns and disfiguring injuries suffered by the civilians, including children.
In one scene, a young man is shown with red, raw wounds all over his back, undergoing treatment. Despite the massive burns and being treated months late, the man survived.
Now 82, Sumiteru Taniguchi is director of the Nagasaki Council of A-Bomb Sufferers. Mitchell found recent comments from Taniguchi in a Japanese newspaper linking the atomic bombing to the Fukushima disaster:
“Nuclear power and mankind cannot coexist. We survivors of the atomic bomb have said this all along. And yet, the use of nuclear power was camouflaged as ‘peaceful’ and continued to progress. You never know when there’s going to be a natural disaster. You can never say that there will never be a nuclear accident.”
In a poignant fusion of the old and new disasters, we should listen to the surviving victims of both.
© 2011 Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 950 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.
Democracy Now!: Democracy Now! reports on the disaster in Japan following a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami and the resulting nuclear crisis.
whats up: Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 | Downwinders | Nuclear Law
A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 - by Isao Hashimoto
Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan's nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea's two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).
Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing"the fear and folly of nuclear weapons." It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.
Over 2,000 nuclear explosions have been conducted, in over a dozen different sites around the world.
as i watch this i am surprised we're all not already dead
question: what has been the increase in background radiation since the 1940's?
whats up: 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster | NUCLEAR "SAFTEY" = NUCLEAR THREAT
GABRIELA BULISOVA photo -
Chernobyl Children International
• LINKS PAGE
• VIDEOS PAGE
• TOP OF BLOG for more recent posts
• recent Fukushima & related updates for nuclear news, background info, links and actions -
Truth About Nuclear Power | Lethal Levels of Radiation
Diablo Canyon | Need To Know | It Can Happen Here
You can't see it, and you can't smell it either | Nuclear Nightmare Unfolding
Three Nuclear Meltdowns, Radiation Leaked into Sea; U.S. Waste Poses Deadly Risks
Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe Update | Related News
Nuclear Safety is an Oxymoron | How will broken-melting-fuming-leaking Fukushima Daiichi weather Monster Typhoon?
What's going on at Japan's damaged nuclear power plant?
End the nuclear loan program now | Quaint Vermont fixer-upper
Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Confirmed
abolish atomic - new art | news from Beyond Nuclear | TAKE ACTION
Learning from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster? | Unsafe at Any Dose
We do not want atom!
Fallout? | Delay Licensing! | Evacutation? | Taxes?
NO NUKES | RE-TOOL NOW - Flyer
Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 | Downwinders | Nuclear Law
25th Anniversary of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster | NUCLEAR "SAFTEY" = NUCLEAR THREAT
Anti-nuclear movement | California Nukes
Arnie Gundersen on Current Fukushima Daiichi Situation
Deepak Chopra homebase: Fukushima ~ Indian Point, NY
Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth
Fukushima a "Ticking Time Bomb"
Nuclear Catastrophe in Japan “Not Equal to Chernobyl, But Way Worse”
Nuclear Power = Crime Against Humanity
Obama: No Money for Nukes!
Pacifica Nuclear Teach-in | The Code Killers by Ace Hoffman
Nuclear Obama, Radioactive Boars & Frogs of Fukushima
Fukushima still fuming - nuclear catastrophe update
MARCH ARCHIVE (beginning/first three weeks of the Fukushima Catastrophe)
CHECK FOR NEWS
• google news ~ "Fukushima + nuclear"
• top of blog
• news feeds below
-!- nuclear weapon hiroshima nagasaki radiation catastrophe radioactive fallout atomic bomb environment ecology pollution military war -!-
NO NUKES | RE-TOOL NOW