The Black Reporter Who Exposed The Military’s Lies About the Atom Bomb — by dopper0189,Black Kos Managing Editor
Charles Harold Loeb (April 2, 1905 – August 21, 1978) was an American journalist known for exposing the truth about radiation casualties from the Hiroshima bomb. Loeb's articles reporting on World War II were published in multiple newspapers with support of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (known then as the National Negro Publishers Association, or NNPA). Loeb served multiple terms as chairman of the Editorial Society for the NNPA. In the world of Black newspapers, his name alone was enough to attract readers. Charles Loeb defied the American military’s propaganda and denials to report on how deadly radiation from the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima sickened and killed people long after the event.
I thought about Mr Loeb Chitown Kev was musing about black reporters last month. Mr Loeb is among the greatest investigative reporters of 20th century but has never got the credit he deserves. I first learned about Charles Loeb years ago when I was watching a special on Hiroshima and a family friend mentioned his name. I later did some reserach on him.
In his ground breaking reports, Loeb explained how deadly radiation sickened and killed the city’s residents. His perspective, while at times coldly analytic, cast light on a major wartime cover up. His page one articles published in Black Newspapers directly contradicted the War Department, the Manhattan Project, and The New York Times star reporter, William L. Laurence, on what had become a bitter dispute between the victor and the vanquished. Japan insisted that the bomb’s invisible radiation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki had led to waves of sudden death and lingering illness. The United States, on the other hand emphatically denied the charge.
But or course history and science proved Loeb right. His reporting not only challenged the official government line but also echoed the skepticism of many Black Americans who worried that race had played a role in the United States’ decision to drop the experimental weapons on Japan but not Germany. Black clergy and activists at times sympathized openly with the bomb’s victims. “They were willing to question the main narrative,” said Alex Wellerstein, a historian who glimpsed this skepticism while researching his recent book, “Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the United States.”
Loeb’s questioning never got the recognition it deserved. While hailed as a civic leader in Cleveland, his hometown, and more widely as a pioneering Black journalist, he was unappreciated for having exposed the bomb’s stealthy dangers at the dawn of the atomic age. His insights, until now, were lost to history.
In an article, Loeb told of a press tour of Hiroshima that had crossed paths with a military investigation of the atomic victims by American scientists and doctors. The study had been ordered by Maj. Gen. Leslie R. Groves of the U.S. Army, who directed the making of the bomb, and led by his deputy, Brig. Gen. Thomas F. Farrell. One scientist was surprised to hear General Farrell tell the investigative team in an early briefing that its mission was to “prove there was no radioactivity.”
General Groves reportedly wanted the bomb to be seen as a deadly form of traditional warfare rather than as a new inhumane weapon. Groves was concerned about the a 1925 international treaty that banned the use of germ and chemical weapons. Therefor the head of the Manhattan project wanted no depiction of atom bombs as unique weapons, and banned public discussion of radiological warfare by personnel.
General Groves clearly understood the radiation issue as early as 1943 but kept it from top American officials, including Harry S. Truman. Scholars say that at the time he authorized the bombing of Hiroshima, the now President Truman, knew almost nothing of the bomb’s radiation effects. Something he later spoke of regrets for this.
Shortly after the atomic strike of Aug. 6, 1945, The New York Times began covering the radiation dispute between Japan and the United States. In September, the headline of Mr. Laurence’s Page 1 article said scientific readings at the American test site “Confirm That Blast, and not Radiation, Took Toll,” contradicting “Tokyo Tales” of ray victims. The next day, The Times ran an article with a Toyko dateline in which General Farrell’s investigative team, as the headline stated, found “No Radioactivity in Hiroshima Ruin.”
News round up by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor
According to health officials at the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a span of one-year overdose deaths started trending upward. It jumped nearly 30% in the latest year. Medical professionals told theGrio that they believe the pandemic and the rise in overdose deaths might be connected.
“The problem is still getting worse and the deaths are going up at an even faster rate and this is a public health emergency,” says Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of Opioid Policy Research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.
The drug crisis is hitting communities of color especially hard. In St. Louis, deaths among Black people increased last year at three times the rate of Whites, skyrocketing more than 33% in a year.
“The situation in St. Louis is dire and vital,” local Pastor Marsha Hawkins-Hourd told theGrio. She is part of a network of faith leaders and grassroots activists trying to overcome the distrust people have for the systems that typically address addiction but are infested with systemic racism.
“At the beginning of the opioid crisis it was primarily White Americans who were impacted by this but a growing number of Black Americans are dying at alarming rates,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of National Institute on Drug Abuse.
According to the CDC data, many of the deaths involve illicit fentanyl. Dealers have mixed fentanyl with other drugs and it’s believed that’s one reason that deaths from methamphetamines and cocaine are also rising. Researchers say that majority of the new cases have been in the western part of the country where cartels have gained a footing on smuggling drugs into the country.
Almost a month after seizing power, Sudan’s military leadership on Sunday released civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and signed an agreement reinstating him to office as part of Sudan’s gradual transition to democracy.
Hamdok, who has been under house arrest since late last month, made a televised address to the nation at the signing of an agreement between Hamdok’s civilian government and the military junta, headed by Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to restore the transitional government put in place after the ouster of former dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
“The signing of this deal opens the door wide enough to address all the challenges of the transitional period,” Hamdok said during the address.
Hamdok also thanked “regional and global friends” who helped broker the deal in his address; according to the AP, the United States and the United Nations both played “crucial roles” in Hamdok’s reinstatement.
A storm took the roof off Binta Bah’s house before torrential rain destroyed her family’s belongings, as poverty combines with the climate crisis to wreak havoc on Africa’s smallest mainland country Vox: Blowing the house down: life on the frontline of extreme weather in the Gambia
The windstorm arrived in Jalambang late in the evening, when Binta Bah and her family were enjoying the evening cool outside. “But when we first heard the wind, the kids started to run and go in the house,” she says.
First they went in one room but the roof – a sheet of corrugated iron fixed only by a timbere pole – flew off. They ran into another but the roof soon went there too.
As torrential rain followed the wind, the family huddled together in the ruins of their home: they didn’t have anywhere else to go. “Everything was destroyed: our materials, our goods,” says Bah. “We had to just sit in the rain.”
The windstorm and flash flooding that hit parts of the Gambia that night in July killed at least 10 people, injured dozens and affected thousands. In one of the worst natural disasters for some years in the west African country, many lost their homes, and some, like Bah in the south-west town of Jalambang, are still without shelter.
All three men were found guilty of felony murder in the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, NBC News reports.
After 11 hours of deliberation, a majority-white jury convicted Travis McMichael of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.
Gregory McMichael and William Bryan were acquitted of the top charge but were convicted on four and three of the counts of felony murder.
When the guilty verdict was announced, Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley had an attendee removed from the courtroom as they celebrated the announcement that Travis McMichael was guilty of malice murder.
On the second day of deliberations on Wednesday, jurors reviewed the footage of the fatal interaction along with the 911 call that Gregory McMichael made on the day of the shooting. The jury viewed the original cell phone video and a “high contrast” depiction of the same video approximately three times each while seated in the courtroom. After viewing the videos, they then returned to the jury room.
Central to the defense was the argument that Arberey was a suspect in a burglary and residents in the Satilla Shores subdivision were “on edge.” Although Arbery was filmed on security cameras visiting a home under construction in the neighborhood several times, the footage never shows Arbery taking anything from the property.
Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski told the jury that the defendants made a series of “assumptions and driveway decisions” leading to Arbery’s death and that the three men had no “immediate knowledge” that a crime took place. Also, she argued that without the claim of citizen’s arrest, the defendants cannot claim that they acted in self-defense.
The most surprising aspect of the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers is not the verdict, but the fact that it happened at all. The Atlantic: The System Only Worked Because It Was Pushed
The men who killed Ahmaud Arbery will not get away with it. Yet the most surprising aspect of the trial is not the verdict, but the fact that the trial happened at all.
On Wednesday, a Georgia jury convicted Travis McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael; and their friend William Bryan of felony offenses after the trio chased down and then shot Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, in February of last year. The men claimed that they were attempting to make a “citizen’s arrest,” having suspected Arbery of being behind burglaries in the neighborhood, an accusation they had no evidence to support.
The three men were not even arrested until May. The district attorney, Jackie Johnson, recused herself from the case because the elder McMichael had been an investigator in her office. Johnson was later indicted for her actions in the Arbery case—allegedly preventing police from arresting the three men for Arbery’s killing. Video of the aftermath obtained by The Washington Post showed that Arbery was still alive when police first arrived but that “officers did not immediately tend to him and showed little skepticism of the suspects’ accounts on the scene,” the Post reported.
George Barnhill, who took over the case from Johnson, claimed the men had simply acted in self-defense when they chased down the unarmed Arbery, because “at the point Arbery grabbed the shotgun, under Georgia Law, [Travis] McMichael was allowed to use deadly force to protect himself.” In this view of the law, Arbery was at fault for his own death by defending himself from three men with guns who followed him in a truck and attempted to cut off his escape. Barnhill also recused himself—but only after Arbery’s mother complained that he, like Johnson, had also worked with McMichael.
They concluded that racial animus guided Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan to pursue Arbery and shoot him without cause. For many who saw the video, that a Black man who was jogging down the street in the middle of the day was then cornered and shot dead by three white men unquestionably constituted a lynching motivated by the color of Arbery’s skin as he traveled through a mostly white suburb of Georgia.
There were other glaring elements. Bryan, who recorded the fatal encounter, told authorities that Travis McMichael, who pulled the trigger, called Arbery a racial slur after firing. One of the pickup trucks that the men used to chase Arbery featured a vanity license plate of the old Georgia state flag. The flag, flown from 1956 to 2001, prominently displayed the Confederate battle flag, which has come to be a symbol of the Lost Cause ideology that falsely holds the Civil War was not fought over slavery.
Systemic issues of racism loomed large over the case, too. The men were arrested 74 days after murdering Arbery, only after video of the shooting was leaked and went viral, and following days of protests.
Why did the arrests take so long? critics wondered. Body camera footage from the first responding officer on the scene on February 23, 2020, showed the officer tending to Travis McMichael, telling him to “take a breath” and to be careful not to get blood on himself after shooting Arbery dead. The white officer seemed to empathize with him. “Do what you need to do,” “I can only imagine,” and, “You got anyone we can call for you?” the officer said to Travis McMichael. The treatment was reminiscent of the officers who purchased a Burger King meal for an avowed white supremacist just after he murdered nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. Why did these white men who committed heinous acts against Black people get gentle handling from the police?
But despite all the racial issues that surrounded the core facts of the case, skin color hardly came up during this month’s trial of the three men who were convicted on Wednesday of Arbery’s murder. It wasn’t until the closing argument that prosecutor Linda Dunikoski mentioned Arbery’s race. The McMichaels and Bryan, she said, felt entitled to chase Arbery down “because he was a Black man running down the street.”
Legal experts and activists who spoke to Vox said the avoidance of addressing race in the trial was strategic. The question before prosecutors was stark: “Play it safe” by not offending a nearly all-white jury with talk of race and racism, or take a risk by addressing the elephant in the room.
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