President Obama plans to visit a memorial in Hiroshima, Japan, that displays a large photograph of the city’s destruction seven decades ago. The striking image is typically identified as a mushroom cloud. But nuclear experts say it actually shows billowing smoke from a raging firestorm. –NY Times
We missed this report from the New York Times last month pointing out that the photograph of the atomic bomb’s mushroom cloud at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum “stretching from floor to ceiling” is actually a photo of the Hiroshima firestorm.
“This is not a mushroom cloud,” said Richard L. Garwin, a noted bomb designer and longtime adviser to Washington on nuclear arms … Military experts say the cloud and its dark shadow can be seen as a kind of sundial that suggests when an American plane took the photograph. John Coster-Mullen, an expert on the Hiroshima bomb, put the time as just before noon.”
The article explains that the large cloud has been used for its “dramatic effect,” and has been appeared on book covers and in photos accompanying AP stories. The New York Times itself ran the photo in an article about Obama’s upcoming visit to Hiroshima – hence the necessity for clarification.
But the clarification puts into focus larger manipulations and questions regarding Hiroshima and the nuclear warfare narrative generally. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are seminal elements of a kind of liturgy that makes the US in particular the gatekeeper of world peace and nuclear sanity.
We’ve been pointing out difficulties with this narrative, beginning with the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima itself. There are identifiable elements of a “dominant social theme” when it comes to the initial bombings and subsequent elaborations.
Many of the videos of subsequent nuclear tests appear to have been faked, for instance. And there are reports that US personnel were asked to exaggerate the damage and injuries in Hiroshima. Photographic evidence following the bomb blast is questionable.
In examining the photos of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo, it becomes clear that damage in the three cities is much the same. Tokyo was subject to an enormous firebombing.
In Hiroshima, bridges remain standing, tree trunks are erect and at least one building near the bomb blast is still in use today.
The only journalistic report to be issued from Hiroshima in the aftermath of its destruction came from Wilfred Burchett. But according to documents copied from Soviet archives, Burchett eventually became a paid KGB operative.
His later reporting on the Korean war accused the US government of dropping “germ warfare” bombs on Koreans, claims since debunked.
Some 66 bombers were dispatched to Imabari, close by Hiroshima, for a bombing run on August 5-6 when the atomic bomb was dropped. But Imabari had been bombed twice previously. There was no reason to send bombers to Imabari.
The more we examine the Hiroshima bombing, the more questions occur. One supposition: Perhaps the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and accompanying a firebombing, was not nuclear but something else. There eye-witnesses to the blast, to be sure, but these individuals were only children in 1945. Are they remembering correctly?
In the US, almost everything reported on nuclear munitions and developments comes directly from the US government and the Pentagon. Neither the government nor the Pentagon have a good track record when it comes to telling the truth.
Conclusion: Technology reporting in the mainstream media is generally lamentable – especially when it come to nuclear coverage and NASA space achievements. Yet literally trillions of dollars have been spent in both these areas based on assertions rather than third-party evidence. The questions begin with Hiroshima and multiply from there.
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