By Norman Solomon
On the edge of Capitol Hill, day after day, we heard wrenching testimony from people whose lives had been ravaged by the split atom.
That was three decades ago.
I was coordinating the National Citizens Hearings for Radiation Victims in 1980, one year after Three Mile Island. The voices came from uranium miners, atomic workers, veterans, downwinders exposed to atmospheric nuclear bomb tests . . . and many others. The people who testified were from a wide array of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. But in addition to radiation exposure and suffering, they had one huge experience in common.
They'd been lied to—not once or twice, but repeatedly. Year after year.
There is no danger, the officials told them. You are safe. Radiation levels? Not to worry. But gradually, the clusters of cancer or leukemia or severe thyroid ailments or birth defects became too conspicuous to ignore. Still, officials kept saying that the nuclear industry was blameless.
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