U.S. pilot who dropped Hiroshima bomb dies
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faceless
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Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skylace wrote:
There are things that don't upset me and never would that I am sure would get to you.


Like what?
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luke



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Location: by the sea

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

faceless wrote:
I live in Scotland, and we always get the stories about Scots being mean, penny-pinching, haggis munchers. I'm not offended by that in the slightest, and why should I be?


because its true? wink Laughing

only joking!

thanks for that skylace, i'll take note of that when posting in the future. usually when i'm talking about america, its the government - i don't really remember much posting from me where i'm talking about the american people. i mean, with the bit in here i was going on polls, and mentioned that - the average american according to polls. but i agree, generalising doesn't make a lot of sense, especially when talking about people, and i'll try make sure i make it clear what i'm talking about, government, media, big corporations, polls etc - if you catch me generalising, you and anyone else has permission to bust me wink

anyway, this is distracting faceless away from cooking his haggis and playing the bagpipes wink and i've got southern shandy to be drinking Smile
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faceless
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm making STOVIES for dinner and then off to a ceilidh to brush up on my Tewchter twang.
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Skylace
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

faceless wrote:
Skylace wrote:
There are things that don't upset me and never would that I am sure would get to you.


Like what?

I don't know. But that happens with all people. Things get on someone's tits that wouldn't get on someone elses. That's just life.
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nekokate



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's quite a common misconception that people from any particular country might have, I think. If you criticize the US government there'll always be people who think you're criticizing the American people, and it gets even more vicious when it comes to criticizing the Israeli government - suddenly then you're a racist, too.

I think every country has its idiots and its geniuses, and that's the way it will always be. Some of the best unviersities in the world are in America, and some of the most influential and talented people are from there, but it's because of its power and influence that it gets the criticizm it does...
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luke



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



from http://japanfocus.org/products/details/2642
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luke



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiroshima mayor calls for abolishing nuke weapons

Hiroshima's mayor urged global leaders on Thursday to back President Barack Obama's call to abolish nuclear weapons as Japan marked the 64th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack.

In April, Obama said that the United States the only nation that has deployed atomic bombs in combat has a "moral responsibility" to act and declared his goal to rid the world of the weapons.

At a solemn ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Aug. 6, 1945, attack, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba welcomed that commitment.

"We refer to ourselves, the great global majority, as the 'Obamajority,' and we call on the rest of the world to join forces with us to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2020," Akiba said. The bombed-out dome of the building preserved as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial loomed in the background, and hundreds of white doves were released into the air as he finished speaking.

"Together, we can abolish nuclear weapons. Yes, we can," he said.

About 50,000 people attended the ceremony, including officials and visitors from countries around the world, though the United States did not have an official representative at the ceremony.

Hiroshima was instantly flattened and an estimated 140,000 people were killed or died within months when the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped its deadly payload in the waning days of World War II.

Three days after that attack on Hiroshima, the U.S. dropped a plutonium bomb on the city of Nagasaki, killing about 80,000 people. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II. A total of about 260,000 victims of the attack are officially recognized by the government, including those that have died of related injuries or sickness in the decades since.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso also spoke at Thursday's ceremony, saying he hoped the world would follow Tokyo's efforts to limit nuclear proliferation.

"Japan will continue to uphold its three non-nuclear principles and lead the international community toward the abolishment of nuclear weapons and lasting peace," he said.

The three principles state that Japan will not make, own or harbor nuclear weapons.

Later in the day, Aso signed an agreement with a group of atomic bomb survivors who had been seeking recognition and expanded health benefits from the government.

The government gives those people certified as survivors free medical service. But it also provides a monthly allowance of 137,000 yen ($1,440) to those determined by the health ministry to be suffering from illnesses caused by the attacks.

Thursday's deal will give that allowance to an additional 306 people who had been fighting in court for the past six years to have their illnesses recognized after the government rejected their petitions.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said the government wanted to settle the suits once and for all. "The plaintiffs were getting old and their illnesses have worsened," he said.

Sunao Tsuboi, a leader of Nihon Hidankyo, a nationwide organization for atomic bomb survivors, welcomed the deal, saying the plaintiffs "finally felt relieved."

The anniversary passed during a period of heightened tensions in the region, just months after North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test blast in May.

A similar ceremony will be held in Nagasaki on Sunday.
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faceless
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"the United States did not have an official representative at the ceremony"

I wonder if that's because they weren't invited or refused to go?
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luke



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man who defied both A-bombs dies aged 93
The only man to experience nuclear bombardment twice and live to tell the tale became an eloquent voice for peace


Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who survived the US atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, died in hospital on Monday

Reporters never knew whether to call Tsutomu Yamaguchi the luckiest or unluckiest man alive. In 1945, the Nagasaki native was exposed to both nuclear blasts that incinerated his home city and Hiroshima. Last year the Japanese government formally recognised him as the only "nijuuhibaku" or double A-bomb survivor.

The unique horror which marked his life, and the dignified way he handled it, gave him special prominence. Lying in hospital in December, just days from dying of the cancer that finally claimed him this week, he received a distinguished visitor from overseas: Hollywood director James Cameron.

His 3D blockbuster Avatar may be searing a hole through global box office records, but Mr Cameron is already reported to be focused on his next project: an "uncompromising" movie about nuclear weapons. So when he turned up in Japan before Christmas, Mr Yamaguchi was the man he most wanted to meet.

Aged 93, the great survivor told Mr Cameron it was his "destiny" to make the movie. "Please pass on my experience to future generations," he said.

The visit partially made up for what Mr Yamaguchi had waited in vain for all his life: a meeting with a sitting US president. His sister Toshiko said that President Barack Obama's declaration in November that he wanted to visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki was what had helped him cling to life. "He was elated when President Obama pledged (in a speech in Prague last year) to abolish nuclear weapons," she said. Inspired, Mr Yamaguchi painstakingly penned a letter to the President. "I was so moved by your speech in Prague," he wrote. "I devote the rest of my life to insisting that our world should abandon nuclear arms."

Mr Yamaguchi was a young engineer on a business trip to Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, when a B-29 US bomber dropped its payload the "Little Boy", which would kill or injure 160,000 people by the end of the day. Three kilometres from Ground Zero, the blast temporarily blinded him, damaged his hearing and inflicted horrific burns over much of the top half of his body.

Three days later, he was back in his home city of Nagasaki, 190 miles away, explaining his injuries to his boss, when the same white light filled the room. "I thought the mushroom cloud had followed me from Hiroshima," he said later. The "Fat Man" bomb killed about 70,000 people and created a city where, in the famous words of its mayor, "not even the sound of insects could be heard".

His exposure to so much radiation led to years of agony. He went bald and developed skin cancers. His son Katsutoshi died of cancer in 2005 aged 59, and his daughter Naoko never enjoyed good health. His wife died in 2008 of kidney and liver cancer. Toshiko suffered one of the many symptoms of fallout survivors: an abnormally low white blood cell count.

But once he recovered, he returned to work as a ship engineer and rarely discussed what happened to him. He quietly raised his family and declined to campaign against nuclear weapons until he felt the weight of his experiences and began to speak out. In his eighties, he wrote a book about his experiences, and took part in a documentary called Nijuuhibaku. The film shows him weeping as he describes watching bloated corpses floating in the city's rivers and encountering the walking dead of Hiroshima, whose melting flesh hung from them like "giant gloves".

Four years ago, he spoke to the UN in New York, where he pleaded with the General Assembly to fight for the abolition of nuclear weapons. When the Japanese government belatedly recognised his "double victim" status, he said that his record "can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die."

Mr Cameron read Mr Yamaguchi's history before deciding to meet him, along with author Charles Pellegrino, whose book The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back is released this month. An account of the experiences of the nuclear survivors, one scene describes how Mr Yamaguchi survived in Nagasaki by a fluke, protected by a stairwell that diverted the blast as the rest of the building disintegrated around him. "He was an ordinary man so nothing prepared him for experiences like that," recalls his sister Toshiko.

from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/man-who-defied-both-abombs-dies-aged-93-1859874.html
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I mentioned something about him in the 'Lucky B*stard' thread a while back
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


'Would I drop the atomic bomb again? Yes, I would'
Theodore Van Kirk was the navigator aboard the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima 65 years ago. Now the sole survivor of the crew, how does he live with the deaths of 200,000 people?
Ed Pilkington
guardian.co.uk,
20 May 2010

Theodore Van Kirk is sitting at his desk in a detached bungalow in the gated community where he lives outside Atlanta, Georgia. The room is cluttered with boxes, trinkets, shelves full of books on wartime history, and photographs of planes on the walls. He picks up a large calendar from the floor and begins flicking through it. "Let's have a look at what's coming up on 6 August," he says. Finding that date, he holds up the calendar. The page is empty. "Nope, nothing there."

The absence of any plans is unusual, because Van Kirk is usually heavily in demand on 6 August. This year, he tells me, he has been invited to travel, all expenses paid, to Tinian, the tiny Pacific island where, 65 years ago on that same day, he set out with 11 other men on an aeroplane journey that would change the world. But this year, Van Kirk declined the invitation. He just didn't feel like it, he says.

His uncharacteristic inactivity is explained by the fact that none of the 11 crew members who joined him on that fateful flight will be in Tinian this year, and without them he didn't have the stomach to go. Over the last 65 years they have fallen one by one.

The first was William Parsons, a military engineer who died in 1953, followed by Robert Shumard, another engineer, 14 years later. Others died through the 80s and 90s; and Paul Tibbets, the commander of the plane, in 2007. And then, less than two months ago, Morris Jeppson, a bomb expert, became the penultimate member of the crew to pass away, dying in a hospital in Las Vegas.

Which leaves Van Kirk as the only living crew member of the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that set out from Tinian on 6 August 1945. The bomb they carried, dubbed Little Boy, was the world's first atomic bomb dropped in combat. Its target: Hiroshima.

Jeppson's death on 30 March has left Van Kirk, "Dutch" to his friends, as the standard-bearer for a flight that has come to symbolise the terrible destructive power of nuclear warfare. He is fully aware of the burden he now shoulders. "I read the papers as they reported Morris's death, and they all said that Van Kirk is the last survivor. Now I get asked all the questions."

'We knew there was something special going on'

Van Kirk was 24 when he joined the crew of the Enola Gay and by then he had already flown more than 50 bombing raids over Europe and North Africa. Most of those flights were in the company of his great friends, Tibbets and Thomas Ferebee, the Enola Gay's bombardier. Together, they formed the core of the Hiroshima mission.

In the six months prior to the mission they and other members of the 509th Composite Group had been holed up in Wendover Field, Utah, training for an unspecified bombing run amid total secrecy. The words "atomic" and "nuclear" were never mentioned.

"We knew there was something special going on," he says. "You couldn't be in the 509th and not know something was up. They told us we were going out to do something that would either end or significantly shorten the war. They told us that the weapon we were going to drop would destroy an entire city."

On top of that, they saw hundreds of physicists milling around the base, one of whom Van Kirk recognised from the cover of Time magazine. "After all that, if you couldn't figure out it was an atomic bomb you were pretty damn stupid. If you talked about it you were even more damn stupid, as you would be transferred instantly to the Aleutian islands, where you could talk all you wanted and nobody would listen."

A few months before the mission, the pace of preparations picked up. The crew was told that the bomb they would drop would be so powerful that their plane would need to be at least 11 miles away when it detonated or else it would break up. They stripped down the B-29 bomber to its shell to reduce weight and began practising hair-raisingly tight mid-air turns that would be needed to reach a safe distance once the bomb was away.

On 5 August, having been relocated to Tinian, they were called together for a final briefing. They were informed they were about to do the job for which they had trained for so long: to drop a bomb unlike anything that had gone before. The word atomic remained unspoken.

After the briefing, they were ordered to get some sleep. Instead Van Kirk, Tibbets and Ferebee sat up all night playing poker. "I mean, they tell you you were about to go out and drop the first atom bomb that night, and then tell you to get some sleep! That was absolutely beyond me!"

'Bomb away'

The Enola Gay named by Tibbets after his mother took off on 6 August at 2.45am. Van Kirk's role was navigator: "We did things the old-fashioned way: celestial navigation, telling your position by the stars. We had a dome up top of the plane to sit up in and shoot the stars with a bubble sexton." Despite the basic techniques, Van Kirk navigated the Enola Gay to its target 1,800 miles away, 15 seconds later than scheduled. "Fifteen seconds was damn good, that's all I can say."

He pulls out from one of the many boxes in his study a facsimile of the navigator's log he kept that day. The entry at 09.15 (8.15am Japanese time) reads "Bomb Away". Forty-three seconds later, Little Boy exploded, some 580m above the streets of Hiroshima.

When the bomb dropped, the Enola Gay suddenly lurched upwards, and Tibbets sent the plane into a 150-degree turn. "We were just levelling out with throttles full forward when the bomb exploded at our back. All we see is a bright flash like a photographer's bulb going off in the aeroplane." Within seconds of that, the first shock wave hit the plane. "There was a hell of a jolt. The sound was like the aeroplane being torn in half."

On the ground, of course, the jolt was far greater than the 3.5 Gs Van Kirk and his 11 colleagues felt inside the Enola Gay. The pika-don, or "flash-bang", as the Japanese call the impact of the atom bomb, ripped through Hiroshima with a force equivalent to 13 kilotons of TNT, razing almost five square miles of the city. Estimates vary, but it is thought that more than 70,000 people, most of them civilians, died within seconds of the blast, 140,000 by the end of 1945 and more than 230,000 in total. Many died in hideous ways, including burns and radiation sickness.

'You always knew people would be very seriously hurt'

It would be wrong to hold Van Kirk, now 89, in any sense responsible for the extreme human suffering that the bomb caused. As Harry Truman, the president who ordered the dropping of the bomb, told Tibbets when they met in 1948: "I'm the guy who sent you. If anybody gives you a hard time about it, refer them to me."

But on a personal level, how has Van Kirk coped over the years with the knowledge of the destruction the bomb yielded? I begin by asking him whether he had any thoughts, at the moment the bomb exploded, about the thousands of people who were right then being obliterated.

"You do that thinking beforehand. You knew that when you were bombing over occupied France, over Africa; you always knew that when you were dropping bombs out of aeroplanes a lot of people on the ground would be very seriously hurt."

And civilians? Most of the Hiroshima victims were civilians. "You've heard of 'Bomber' Harris," he replies, referring to the RAF commander who ordered the raid that obliterated the German city of Dresden. "The idea at the time was to destroy a nation's will to fight, and you weren't dropping bombs in a pickle barrel, for chrissakes. You always recognised there were people on the ground workers in a factory or civilians living nearby who could be killed or damaged by the bombs."

And how difficult was that for him to deal with? "If you could not deal with that you were worthless as an aviator. You had to separate that in your mind or else you were no good. You couldn't have done the job. Tibbets and Ferebee and I, we always agreed on this: the will of the United States at the time was that we drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima." He pauses, and then he adds: "I've never found a way to fight a war without killing people. If you ever find that out, let me know."

Van Kirk says he never lost a night's sleep over Hiroshima. Such lack of anguish is testament, as he says himself, to the training that he received in the US air force that shielded its pilots from introspection. It is testament too, perhaps, to the ability of man and all 12 crew members of the Enola Gay were men to compartmentalise extreme events and emotions and thereby neutralise them.

'All you saw was plain, flat, level ground'

A few days after Japan surrendered, Van Kirk, Tibbets and some of the other crew visited Nagasaki which, on 9 August, had become the second city to have been eviscerated by an atomic bomb. I ask him what he recalls about the trip.

"Nothing. It was just a trip to Japan, that's all." I can't believe that, I say. Nagasaki had just been entirely flattened by a nuclear explosion. "Yes, we saw a city that was completely levelled. All you saw was plain, flat, level ground."

That must have been a powerful sight, I say. "There was not much difference between an atomic bomb and a conventional bomb. The difference was in the area that it covered."

Did he see the shadows of people who had been burned to dust on the walls and pavements? "Yes, you saw that." And wasn't that shocking? "It was shocking as you wondered how the heat of that bomb had done something like that. But you were immune to it because they told you during your training that would happen."

Have you ever allowed yourself to read accounts of what it was like to be at the receiving end of the bomb? "Yes." And what was your reaction? "An information reaction."

Did he ever wish he had never taken part in the Enola Gay's atomic mission? "No, I was proud to be on the Enola Gay. The war ended on 14 August. I don't know when it would have ended if we had not dropped the atomic bombs." Would you do it again? "Under the same circumstances and I realise you can never have them exactly again yes, I would do it again."

There is a slightly rehearsed quality to the answers Van Kirk gives, which is perhaps unsurprising as he has been responding to questions like this for almost 65 years. But he suspects he won't have to face such grilling for very much longer. The last man standing who is able to describe the experience of dropping the world's first atomic bomb is facing his own mortality.

"Every time one of my fellow crew members died it was a shock," he says. "But when the last one died it was a real shock. It's not just that I'm now the last survivor. It's the shock of getting old. Hell, I'm 89! The fact of the matter is we are all getting old and dying. That's all there is to it."

----------------------

Japan was already crippled by the time of the atomic bombs. This guy's clearly either mental or scared of accepting the truth of his part in this war-crime.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Hiroshima: 'There was a flash. Then everything turned black'
By David McNeill in Tokyo
7 August 2010
The Independent

It was a day for remembering the victims of one of history's greatest mass killings, but most of the attention was on a middle-aged man sitting among the 55,000 people watching yesterday's memorial ceremony in Hiroshima.

John Roos, the US ambassador to Japan, was one of 74 foreign envoys who fell silent at 8.15am the time "Little Boy" detonated over the city on 6 August 1945. But for survivors of the blast that reduced Hiroshima to ashes and took 140,000 lives, his presence loomed by far the largest.

"It's very important to us that he came," said Hiroshi Takayama, 80, who was working in a factory with his schoolmates when he felt the searing blast from the bomb. "We've been telling people for 65 years not to use these weapons, but these people have never showed up until now. If they cared, they would have come to see the facts for themselves."

The ceremony was Hiroshima's largest ever, with choirs of children joining the elderly survivors, descendants and dignitaries. It began with the symbolic offering of water: many who died after the blast complained of an excruciating thirst in their final moments. Yesterday, under a burning sun, prayers were offered to the dead and bells rang out.

Known in Japan as hibakusha, the survivors believe that the decision by the US, Britain and France to send official delegates to the city for the first time is a sign that the global momentum for disarmament is building. But Japan's Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, appeared to dash their hopes when he defended the US nuclear deterrent, saying it was "necessary for our nation".

"Of course that's what we want," said Yoshimichi Ishimaru, who is the son of a Hiroshima hibakusha. "We know that if we scrap the nuclear deterrent, we have to begin to question the whole defence treaty with America, and that's very difficult. But Hiroshima can't just think about the national interest it must consider the whole of humanity."

Hiroshima people have long resented the political calculations needed to maintain Japan's 60-year-old military alliance with its old enemy. Many say the nation's decision never to produce, possess or allow the entry of nuclear weapons into the country has been betrayed by US and Japanese leaders.

Washington and Tokyo struck a backroom deal decades ago allowing nuclear-armed US ships and aircraft to pass through or over Japanese territory. Former prime minister Eisaku Sato, who helped broker the deal, won the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize for his opposition to any plans for a Japanese nuclear-weapons program.

Survivors are pinning their hopes on Barack Obama, who they believe will be the first American leader to visit Hiroshima. "We hope that Mr Obama will come and see with his own eyes what happens after you use a nuclear weapon," said Akihiro Takahashi, 79, a former director of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. "If he comes, we would be one step closer to total abolition."

Mr Takayama recalls hearing the drone of a single B29 bomber flying overhead as he worked in the factory on that fateful morning. "All of a sudden there was an extremely bright flash and everything in the world was bathed in intense light and heat. Then everything turned pitch black." The presence of Mr Roos yesterday means that "a shut door has been opened", he said. Eventually, he says, Mr Obama may come too. "From him, I want all to know the importance of stopping nuclear weapons."
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iraqia_Jasmin



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a documentary on Hiroshima today-its depressing Sad

The pilot named the plane after his mom "Elona Gay" i dont know if his mom was still alive at the time the Hiroshima bombing or not but i would feel so bad if my son would give a plane who was there to kill people my name,she must be ashamed what a son she had. And i saw him saying all his sick stuff as well (i know hes dead now) but he really is a bastard.
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luke



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atomic Cover-Up: The Hidden Story Behind the U.S. Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

As radiation readings in Japan reach their highest levels since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdowns, 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."

continued at http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/9/atomic_cover_up_the_hidden_story
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