The Atomic-View Motel

from: A. Tom Mix
Date: 05-01-28 Time: 15:41:04

Against the backdrop of the Cold War, one of the strangest spectacles of the period was the Nevada tests of 1955. Here an almost surreal scenario developed when the national media went to Nevada to watch and prepare for a dress rehearsal of Armageddon. Over 500 newspapers, television and radio reporters were on hand to report on the soap opera that they were about to see. "The world's most expensive premiere will be unfolded out on the Nevada desert, and nothing that Hollywood ever produced will be able to equal it," said one reporter. A mock town using mannequins was constructed to see what would happen to an American community if it was stuck by a nuclear bomb. That was the official view. The unofficial view was that this is a great propaganda stunt for the nuclear industry. For some people it was a must see. Hotels did great business as people flocked to Vegas to see the spectacle. One hotel went so far as to change its name to the Atomic-View motel because the guest could get a good view of the explosion. The buildup for the event dominated the news for over a week. All of the heavies of journalism were there to report on what was happening. The blast itself was anti-climatic and the FCDA estimated that in the case of a real attack over 8 million Americans would die. The Soviets, spurred on by the development of the H-bomb, poured enormous resources into their own bomb. The military used the soldiers for the tests as they marched into ground zero without being told of the health risks. The damage done to the survivors at Hiroshima and Nagasaki should have served as ample warning but one of the amazing features of these tests was the lack of reporting on the health risks of these experiments. Nobody in the media, amidst countless articles about the bomb, wrote of the health risks involved. The media missed it completely. They were more interested in speaking to official experts about the tests rather than consider what it might do to the men. Years later when the atomic veterans came down with cancer and various other ailments the media was nowhere to be found while the VA denied the Vets benefits, the experts said nothing. The callous disregard for the men was unforgivable. Nobody ever tried to find out what the results were of this for the veterans. This is typical of the military who once sending people into war as in Vietnam and the Gulf War, often forget about them when they get back. Or, worse yet, they deny any responsibility for their illness. The politicians did their part to close the debate on what health risks were being asked of the servicemen. When two Colorado professors charged that the dust resulting from these blasts could become dangerous, the former governor of Colorado said, "They should be arrested." So all of our major institutions failed these men, the press, the politicians and the military and that remains the lesson of these tests.

Question authority!!!

editor's note: "Question authority"? Yes. But don't ever make the mistake of disagreeing with Popeye-X, bomb or no bomb. Hint: its a known symptom of insanity.



21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 X 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1