A New, Chilling Secret About the Manhattan Project Has Just Been Made Public
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Slate
Posted: September 3rd, 2023
Newly declassified documents reveal that Gen. Leslie Groves—director of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret operation that built the atomic bomb during World War II—misled Congress and the public about the effects of radiation. He did so initially out of ignorance, then denial, and finally, willful deception. The documents also show that some scientists in the project, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Los Alamos lab where the bomb was first tested, kept mum about Groves’ lie rather than dispute him or confront the general directly. The cache of documents ... was released on Monday, within days of the 78th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and in the wake of the release of Oppenheimer, the wildly (and deservedly) successful film. One of the new documents the archive obtained is a memo by four scientists, titled “Calculated Biological Effects of Atomic Explosion in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” dated Sept. 1, 1945. Until this memo was written, it had been assumed the A-bomb’s victims would be killed by its blast and its heat. But this memo concluded that at least some of the deaths had been caused by radioactive fallout, days or weeks after the explosions. And yet, the day before the memo’s date, at a press conference in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Groves said radiation had caused no deaths and that claims to the contrary—some published in Asian newspapers—were “propaganda.”
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