Seventy-five years ago, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 Japanese and injuring another 100,000. The great fires that raged in each city consumed many of the bodies. If ever there was a visceral force for promoting a world free of nuclear arms, it should be the memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In view of Donald Trump’s ignorance and indifference, it is no surprise that the White House made no mention on August 6th and August 9th of these horrific events. Trump has been too busy scrapping many of the arms control and disarmament treaties that it inherited from previous administrations. Trump made it clear in the 2016 presidential debates that he had no understanding of the central issues of the nuclear arms race, including the nuclear triad. When he couldn’t answer a question on nuclear verification, Trump typically bluffed that “it would take me an hour and a half to learn everything there is to know about missiles. I think I know most of it anyway.”
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Breaking the Addiction to Secrets and Secrecy
There is no question that the government must protect its sources and methods in the collection of intelligence. Regarding substance, however, I believe that, with the exception of details on weapons systems as well as on sensitive negotiations, there are few legitimate secrets and almost none that must remain classified for more than ten years at most. The secrecy that surrounded the Iran-Contra affair probably saved the Reagan presidency over the short term, but greater transparency would have prevented Iran-Contra from ever getting off the ground in the first place.
Harvard’s Kennedy School: Key Part Of The Military-Industrial Complex
Harvard’s Kennedy School’s denial of a fellowship to Kenneth Roth, the former head of Human Rights Watch, because of his criticism of Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza is only the latest example of the corporate role played by Harvard’s most prestigious think tank on public policy. Roth, who has spent the last three decades at HRW defending human rights around the world, was offered a senior fellowship at the School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. It was quickly withdrawn.