Governments have been indiscriminately and wrongly killing people since governments began, and persecuting anyone brave enough to tell of their crimes. From Nozomi Hayase at consortiumnews.com:
During this week’s commemoration of the attacks on Japan, Nozomi Hayase spotlights the courage of two journalists — Wilfred Burchett and Julian Assange — who sacrificed their own freedom to expose war crimes.
This week marks the 75th anniversary of the detonation of U.S. nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (Aug. 6. 1945) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9) during World War II.
The death toll of the two atomic assaults has been estimated at over 225,000 people, with many killed instantly, while others died later from radiation exposure.
In the aftermath of the bombing of Japan, and for decades afterward, U.S. authorities suppressed the military footage shot in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
With government propaganda and censorship, the public was kept in dark about the scale of damage and human suffering inflicted. The U.S. nuclear strike turned Japanese soil into a toxic disarray where nothing would grow for another 75 years. Contrary to its declared target (the Japanese Army headquarters), the bomb blast seared people to death: women, children and elderly, and those who weren’t in a uniform, indiscriminately causing long-term health effects in those who survived the blast.
British investigative journalist Robert Fisk once said, “War is a total failure of the human spirit.” The fallout of the atomic bomb represents the fall of humanity and loss of its dignity. It has not only taught people all over the world about the horrors of nuclear weapons, but also emphasized the crucial role of the media in preventing terrible human errors during a time of war.
In recent years, under the Trump administration, the free press has become severely threatened. On numerous occasions, President Donald Trump has expressed outrage at “leakers,” and media organizations using such leaks to disclose classified information. With the U.S. government’s prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, the hostility of the Trump administration toward the media has now escalated into criminalization of journalism.