“Doctor has just returned most enthusiastic and confident that the little boy is as husky as his big brother. The light in his eyes discernible from here to High Hold and I could have heard his screams from here to my farm.” 16 July, 1945
“Operated on this morning. Diagnosis not yet complete but results seem satisfactory and already exceed expectations. Local press release necessary as interest extends great distance. Dr. Groves pleased. He returns tomorrow. I will keep you posted.” 18 July, 1945
As Harry S Truman was crossing the Atlantic, on his way to Potsdam, he received the news. Humanity had just given birth to giant baby monster. As WWII engulfed the planet, claiming souls in battle and from the ‘cost of war’, a quick end to fighting was now at hand. The fortitude of our enemies was apparent. Their resolve, just as strong as ours. Truman knew who was fighting and dying in this war- the families on the farms back home in Kansas City, and countless other “back-homes” from State to State.
He made his decision with THOSE FAMILIES in mind. Good intentions. Horrible situation. Horrible choices.
A “Necessary evil”
Humanity seemed to be on the cusp of splitting the atom in the 1930s and 1940s. Just a matter of time before the theoretical became physical. The geniuses conceiving this ‘little boy’ also understood the vast POTENTIAL that could come from splitting the atom. The possibilities of vast amounts of free energy where almost tangible… so they tried to tell themselves as they tried to digest what they witnessed at the Trinity test site.
Attempting to judge the merit of these decisions is difficult. Truman made a cold mathematical calculation, less casualties > everything else. FDR decided that the US having that technology was better than Germany having that technology. Einstein brought the idea of splitting the atom to the attention of The President. (AND he created the damned theories that made it possible… way to go, Einstein!!)
Now, balance that with all we know NOW. The decisions made IN THE NOW are, tomorrow, undefinable. Example- Bugs Bunny. (…stick with me…) The Warner Bros. cartoons, the ones with GUN toting animated characters off to fight Hitler, are the “Adult Swim” or “Family Guy” of that era. I just NOW made that “Family Guy” connection, consider this… when people watch “Family Guy in 2088, how many jokes will they understand? 70 years from now? How many gags are in an EPISODE of “Family Guy”, let alone an entire SEASON?!! Yeah. wow. In the Warner Bros. cartoons, each animated short had, what… 2 or 3 pop culture references?? Family Guy is just an unbroken stream of pop culture references for 23 minutes.
SO MUCH of the NOW that those minds were dealing with THEN has evaporated. One can try to gain an understanding by reading the papers at the Truman Library, but some things are not contained in a dossier. They are only in the moment. And so it was decided. With the facts and emotions in hand, we had a baby.
Babies need THINGS to… exist. It seems that everyone involved in the conception knew what a HUGE responsibility this would be before it happened, so there had to be preparations beforehand. We might not get it right the first time, so we would probably need to practice a few times to perfect it. That would mean an assembly line of some sort… wait. I crossed my metaphors… oops. You get the idea. So… since there was no ‘Thermonuclear-Parts-R-Us’ yet-
We had to Create one.
The most honorable responsibilities imparted to the men and women in the development of our nuclear technology, past and present, are great. Humanity envisioned a method to unlock the power of the universe and manifested it in reality. At that time, we were only just beginning to see the powers of the Universe are quite inhospitable toward life. The sacred honor of protecting humanity would need to go hand-in-hand with the honor of attaining this knowledge. No less humility should be given to such a tremendous force. The ability to destroy ourselves became the tool used to protect ourselves.
The honorable and sacred duty of guarding the Nuclear Weapons being necessary at all costs, the diverse entities needed to build the arsenal were now under an umbrella of protection due to their roll in the bomb’s production.
…we must build the bombs to protect the bombs we must build the bombs to protect the bombs we must…
A COMPLEX network of INDUSTRY was put together to support the MILITARY. A MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, if you will. It had become necessary, the honorable position. “What do you do?” “I help keep America safe. I build the____ on our Nuclear weapons.”
But now, 70 years later, the honor of that duty has been minimized. “I often worry Thought will fail to wing his way home, but my fear for Memory is greater.” The honor has been exploited for profit due to the guaranteed commitment to protecting the arsenal AT ALL COSTS. Like the Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace, no matter what you throw at them, do to them, they will continue with the sacred honor entrusted to them.
And so it is with our Nuclear Infrastructure. It must NEVER be compromised. It is our protection, our assurance, that others will not use their Nuclear Infrastructure to destroy our ability to use our Nuclear Infrastructure to protect…
AT ALL COSTS.
We have reached a point were the jury must decide if the mother should be condemned for stealing the loaf of bread to feed her child. A crime that is NO CRIME. Something no one would allow to happen, yet would never look down upon. YOU MUST FEED THE BABY! It is the sacred duty.
How does this change? You make sure the mother has all the tools and support necessary so breaking the law is not an option. Education. Knowledge. Openness. Oversight. Regulations. Support.
A quote from George W. Bush, as played by Will Ferrell on SNL-
“This is HARD!”
Keep your head up.