Below is the TOP SECRET, now declassified, document that ordered the first
use of the atomic bomb.
25 July 1945
TO: General Carl Spaatz
United States Army Strategic Air Forces
1. The 509 Composite Group, 20th Air Force will deliver its first special
bomb as soon as weather will permit visual bombing after about 3 August 1945
on one of the targets: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Nagasaki. To carry military
and civilian scientific personnel from the War Department to observe and record
the effects of the explosion of the bomb, additional aircraft will accompany
the airplane carrying the bomb. The observing planes will stay several miles
distant from the point of impact of the bomb.
2. Additional bombs will be delivered on the above targets as soon as made
ready by the project staff. Further instructions will be issued concerning targets
other than those listed above.
3. Discussion of any and all information concerning the use of the weapon
against Japan is reserved to the Secretary of War and the President of the United
States. No communiques on the subject or releases of information will be issued
by Commanders in the field without specific prior authority. Any news stories
will be sent to the War Department for specific clearance.
4. The foregoing directive is issued to you by direction and with the approval
of the Secretary of War and of the Chief of Staff, USA. It is desired that you
personally deliver one copy of this directive to General MacArthur and one copy
to Admiral Nimitz for their information.
(Sgd) THOS. T. HANDY
THOS. T. HANDY
Acting Chief of Staff
It is important to note that this document does not order any protection
for the civilian population. It does not specify that only military sites be
targeted. It does order the bombing of commercial, industrial, and residential
areas, including schools, churches, and hospitals. The U.S. rules of engagement
now are basically the same as they were sixty years ago, on August 6, 1945.
The targeting of cities, which are large population centers, continues today.
The pattern of slaughtering civilians remains unchanged. Victims of U.S. bombing
campaigns during the last 60 years include civilians in China, Guatemala, Indonesia,
Cuba, Congo, Peru, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua,
Panama, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia. Lancet estimates that more
than 100,000 civilian deaths have resulted from the U.S. military campaign in
Iraq. Now, as the war and occupation continue, the deaths of civilians continue.
No nation that has a history of such irresponsible use of any weapon system
should remain unchallenged. The citizens of the U.S. must bring their government
into compliance with International Law. Provisions of the Geneva Convention
clearly prohibit the targeting of civilian populations. The use of WMD's against
civilians is not an accident. History shows that it has been a deliberate, planned,
consistent U.S. policy for more than 60 years. Cluster bombs, land mines, and
the fire bombing strategy of shock and awe type campaigns are designed to terrorize
the civilian population. The U.S. bombing of Iraq has occurred on a regular
basis since 1991.
The deaths caused by the illegal, genocidal blockade of Iraq far outnumber
the deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is not meant to trivialize the deaths
in Japan, but rather to show that the policy of using civilian deaths as a strategy
of war continues to this day.
In May of 1996, on 60 Minutes, UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright stated that
the deaths of a half million Iraqi children was "worth it". The Ambassador's
statement has been heard around the world and, in part, explains why they hate
us. Is there a U.S. citizen anywhere who would not be offended if someone from
another country said that a half million of our children should be sacrificed
for their political/economic agenda?
Perhaps the best way to honor the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be
to challenge the U.S. policy, as stated by Albright, that the deaths of children
are "worth it".