60 Years Late: An Untold Story

Friday, August 13, 2010


When the atomic bomb exploded over the port city of Nagasaki, Japan in the late morning of August 9th, 1945, tens of thousands of civilian Japanese died immediately. By October, many thousands more were dying of a mysterious disease, but journalists were barred from the affected areas so few accounts of the suffering would reach readers here at home. Brooke talks with Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell about the very first reporter on the scene, George Weller, who wrote a series of articles that weren't published until 2005.

Comments [7]


People develop nuclear weapons for one purpose only. To cause mass destruction and mass carnage. Truman dropped those two bombs to murder people for generations to come. The question should not be were any lives saved but how many lives have been lost in the past 65 years due to Truman's actions. Is it ever justifiable to expose human beings to high levels of nuclear radiation?

Sep. 06 2010 06:57 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

This is the 5th time I have written this, since an errant finger erased it, again. MS is frustrating.

Back in ’85 and, again, in ’90, I and others erected and occupied a Peace Pagoda on our town Green between the 6th and 9th of August. For myself, it was not a protest of the past but a message to the present and future that we must eliminate these weapons.

Right now, we must raise our voices to demand the world befriend the victims of climate change in the floods of Pakistan, not out of our vaunted humanitarianism but out of simple self interest. Do you want Al Qaeda and the Taliban to be armed with nukes?

Meanwhile, ‘depleted’ uranium, which is used to harden armor and in munitions – as I understand it, leaves a legacy for which we will be forever cursed in our current theaters of war.

Aug. 19 2010 02:54 PM

The Japanese were aware that radiation existed, that it could be hazardous, and doctors were going to great length to document and understand it. George Weller's son, Anthony, who discovered the original articles, discusses it here: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/8/9/nagasaki_65_years_later_a_look . Also, the US has quietly used new munitions in Iraq which have incurred illnesses consistent with exposure to radiation and to a degree that cancer and leukemia rates are greater than those reported in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (without the acute radiation effects): http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/toxic-legacy-of-us-assault-on-fallujah-worse-than-hiroshima-2034065.html .

Aug. 17 2010 04:55 AM
Aaron Mitchell from New York City

During this program, Guest Greg Mitchell made the claim that the USA never dropped "warning leaflets" over Japanese cities to inform them of future bombings. To my knowledge, Mitchell is incorrect in this. True, the USA dropped these leaflets over many other cities than Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but I had never before heard someone disputing, on a factual basis, that this occurred.
References to the leaflets are made on the Wikipedia page on the bombings, and a longer summary of them is available at:


Aug. 15 2010 03:45 PM
Just a Thought

What is interesting is how the political winds of that era effect how some progressives today view media and state censorship in WWII.
They do not focus on American journalists during the war who refused and were forbidden to report on the carnage of allied bombing of German and Japanese cities, the many costly allied military mistakes, the suspension of civil liberty at home like internment, the infighting and friction between allies and the billions of dollars that went into the Manhattan Project itself. Then suddenly in May, 1945 when the Soviet Union went from an ally to a potential enemy, the progressive media today is highly judgmental of government and media censorship of the terrible effects of an atomic weapon that would keep Communist expansion in check.
If the US did not develop and use the weapon before the Soviet Union could, Soviet expansion would have spread massively including a Stalinist North Japan to join a completely Stalinist Korean peninsula. The invasion of Japan would have used up resources for the Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine which spared Western Europe from Stalinism. If hushing up the terrible results of Dresden, D-Day, and the Red Army's pillage of Eastern Germany against German civilians is acceptable; why is it unacceptable to hush up the results of Hiroshima when America has the bomb and our new adversaries, the Soviets do not? Thanks

Aug. 15 2010 12:38 PM
Naomi Lipman from Scarsdale, NY

How can one discuss public understanding of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima without mentioning John Hersey's devastating follow-up in The New Yorker? The editors devoted the entire issue to it (sans cartoons, if I remember correctly), and generations of students read it in high school, college, and ESL classes over many years.

Aug. 15 2010 11:00 AM
Marge Bardeen from Warrenville IL

I wish people would pronounce 'Hiroshima' correctly. Each syllable receives the same emphasis as it was pronounced in the movie not as Brooke and Greg pronounced it.

Aug. 14 2010 04:29 PM

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