Friday, June 17, 2005

Pandora meets Frankenstein... the first reports out of Nagasaki

Editor and Publisher's SPECIAL REPORT: A Great Nuclear-Age Mystery Solved by Greg Mitchell discusses the recently discovered first journalistic reports, by American Reporter George Weller, out of Japan after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. A Nagasaki Report by George Weller has been published by The Mainichi Daily News Interactive.

The significance of these reports and their suppression by the military clearly illustrates the longstanding practice of shaping public opinion by limiting access to information essential to adequate understanding of the costs of war and the use of specific weaponry. Would public opinion about "splitting the atom" have been significantly different if this report and consequent photographic documentation had been allowed to be disseminated? Undoubtedly.

Freedom of information... Americans still believe that we live in the most free of countries. The U.S. public and the world was denied access to information it needed to form an adequate understanding of the weapons used in WWII. The secrecy was not related to national security. Information was suppressed so that this horrific and immoral and ultimately uncontrollable weaponry as well as "peacetime uses of nuclear energy" could be further developed without the interference of public outrage.

If we are serious about enabling democratic processes around the world, this sort of suppression of facts to shape public opinion whether from 60 years ago, or from 3 years ago, must be condemned. Steps must be taken to recognize the toxic nature of propaganda.

Peace and propaganda cannot coexist.

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