Happy Double Anniversary! Blasting caps!

The brave third cousin of my brave (now deceased) niece Lisa just wrote a surprising article in commemoration of the 64the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima (three days ago) and Nagasaki (today). Daniel Ellsberg (of Pentagon Papers fame), as you probably know, at great risk to himself and his family, knocked over the first big domino that eventually led to the fall of Richard Nixon.

Ellsberg doubts that even one percent of Americans have an understanding of the difference in explosive force between a Hiroshima-size atom bomb and a hydrogen bomb.

Here's an excerpt:

Every one of our many thousands of H-bombs, the thermonuclear fusion bombs that arm our strategic forces, requires a Nagasaki-type A-bomb as its detonator. (I doubt that one American in a hundred knows that simple fact, and thus has a clear understanding of the difference between A- and H-bombs, or of the reality of the thermonuclear arsenals of the last 50 years.

Our popular image of nuclear war--from the familiar pictures of the devastation of Nagasaki and Hiroshima--is grotesquely misleading. Those pictures show us only what happens to humans and buildings when they are hit by what is now just the detonating cap for a modern nuclear weapon.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009
By Daniel Ellsberg

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