Wilfred Burchett was the first Western journalist to enter Hiroshima after an atomic bomb was dropped on it by the U.S. government’s Enola Gay B-29 plane one morning 62 years ago. In his 1983 book, Shadows Of Hiroshima, Burchett wrote the following:
“In 1945 I was too overwhelmed by the enormity of what had happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to appreciate the cool deliberation and advance planning that went into manufacturing the subsequent cover-up…
“…As I learned of the experiences of journalistic contemporaries and Japanese survivors, I was forced to recognize the existences of an official policy to suppress accurate reportage of the terrible after-effects of nuclear war. This cover-up—which continues today—is closely related to other attempts to disguise the reasons why President Truman decided to drop two atomic bombs on an already prostrated and defeated Japan. The total accumulation of lies, half-truths and manipulated public opinion, at the ultimate expense of thousands of lives…makes the Watergate Affair look like rather small change…"
According to A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn, in addition to the 100,000 Japanese civilians who died immediately and the “tens of thousands more” who died more slowly from radiation poisoning, “twelve U.S. navy fliers in the Hiroshima city jail” were also killed in the atomic bombing—although “the U.S. government has never officially acknowledged” this fact. The same book also noted that at the time the A-bomb was used “it was known that the Japanese had instructed their ambassador in Moscow to work on peace negotiations with the Allies” and that A World Destroyed by Martin Sherwin asserted that after a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki “among the Nagasaki dead were probably American prisoners of war.” Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths Of American History by Richard Shenkman also observed:
“In 1946 the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, after an exhaustive survey, found that…`in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped…and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated…’ On June 20, 1945, the emperor and leading members of the Supreme War Direction Council had secretly decided to end the war…”
According to Killing Our Own: The Disaster Of America's Experience With Atomic Radiation by Harvey Wasserman and Norman Solomon, among the civilians bombed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki "were several thousand Americans of Japanese ancestry, stranded in Japan when the war began" and "at least 11 American POWs being held in Hiroshima died from the bombing." In his introduction to the same 1982 book, a former third-party presidential candidate named Dr. Benjamin Spock also observed:
"Shortly after the blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, American soldiers were sent in to help clean up the rubble...They have suffered an extraordinary rate of rare cancer that could only havae been caused by that radiation...Our government set up a massive study of the Japanese victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But the data was kept secret, and it was later used in a way that brought charges of manipulation and deliberate suppression of the dangers of radiation..."
(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 8/7/96)
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