Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s Address to Congress Regarding H.R. 5987, Legislation to Establish a National Park in Honor of the Manhattan Project United States House of Representatives September 19, 2012
In a late night debate on the House Floor, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) strongly objected to H.R. 5987, which will establish a new National Park celebrating the technological achievements of the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was a secret endeavor to develop the atomic bomb, which was subsequently dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were killed as a result of the atomic bomb attack. The House is expected to vote on the bill later today.
Kucinich dismantled any argument in favor of the park stating, “The technology which created the bomb cannot be separated from the horror the bomb created.” Kucinich cited the precedent of the Bradbury Science Museum at Los Alamos where the bomb is celebrated, while the devastation wrought from the bomb is given short shrift. Kucinich further quoted General and President Eisenhower, an advisor to General MacArthur and several other top military commanders who stated that the use of the atomic weapons in Japan were not necessary to speed the end of the war, but were used for political reasons.
“When the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945… 200,000 people were killed. And to have this discussion in the context of honoring a technology that created a bomb, I think, really raises questions about where we are with this country and where we are with the bomb. The splitting of the atom and the use of the split atom to create an atomic bomb actually bespeaks a split consciousness in this country,” said Kucinich.
“In the scheme of things, someone will say, Dennis, this is just a park. What are you getting so excited about? This is about naming a new national park after the Manhattan Project. And we have to just stop and reflect on where this takes us. There should be a discussion about the full legacy of the Manhattan Project, including its devastating effects upon the Japanese people and upon the rest of the world.
“If there was going to be a new park, it should serve as a solemn monument to Japanese American friendship that rose from the ashes and the worldwide work for nuclear disarmament that continues to this day, rather than a celebration of a technology that has brought such destruction to the world. Failure to recognize this dimension, even in its first iteration, really is a significant injustice.”
See video from the House Floor here. Read Congressman Kucinich’s full remarks here (PDF).
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