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  • Watchdogs applaud stalling of park bill, LA Monitor, 14 Dec 2013
    to play a heavy role in weakening U S national security and misdirecting national priorities NPS officials strongly disagree that the park will be a propaganda and lobbying initiative Park service governs several public lands that tell difficult and complex stories such as the Gettysburg National Military Park and Manzanar National Historic Site in California a World War II Japanese internment camp Bandelier National Monument Superintendent Jason Lott has repeatedly warned those who would like to propagandize the proposed park that NPS would not support that objective When National Park Service goes in and takes over a site we tell all the stories We need to be prepared for that Lott said in an address to the Manhattan Project Communities Conference We tell the stories that everyone in here wants to be told We also tell the other side of the stories we may not necessarily want to be told like the stories about the Japanese survivors of the bomb But additionally what we can do as the National Park Service is we can discredit the bad information that s out there It needs to be a very evenly weighed thing Our job is to tell the stories as accurately as we can Nuclear Watch New Mexico s Scott Kovac said he would not object to the establishment of the park if the story were truly objective My big concern is that I think it is an important history but the execution of the park is very important how it happens Kovac said Personally I fear that it may you cannot glorify in any way atomic weapons But as far as a piece of history that s a different matter in my opinion Kovac said if the park bill passes NPS must incorporate public input into the story it tells

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2013/LAMonitor_14Dec2013-1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Manhattan Project Park stalls in U.S. Senate, LA Monitor, 14 Dec 2013
    hand McClenahan said On the other hand we have great reason for optimism We are through both committees in the House and Senate We still have bicameral bipartisan support We still have three congressional delegations working toward it So we still have reason for optimism to think that 2014 will be our year Since the current session of Congress continues next year the bill does not have to be reintroduced or go back through committees According to Oak Ridge Today Tenn House Natural Resources Committee Chair Rep Doc Hastings R Wash who put the bill forward in the House has vowed to attach it to next year s NDAA The proposed park includes Hanford Wash Oak Ridge Tenn and Los Alamos The House determined that the NDAA amendment was appropriate due to the Army s role in the Manhattan Project and the development of nuclear weapons However no one the Los Alamos Monitor spoke with believed the bill was likely to pass that way The politics are complicated because of this history of not being able to get the House to support many park bills The Senate prefers to not just deal with the Manhattan Project bill standing alone because they see this as the one bill that Doc Hastings and his colleagues in the House really want and they have consistently turned down the other parks bills said Atomic Heritage Foundation President Cynthia Kelly Especially since this one is so important to Doc Hastings they think it s a real lure This is just such a big plum and something that Hastings just really really wants Kelly believed the Senate is more likely to include the MPNHP bill in an omnibus or mini omnibus bill that includes several national parks Historically the odds of such bills passing were significantly

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2013/LAMonitor_14Dec2013.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos working to create national park, Washington Post, 29 Nov 2013
    the nuclear bomb already exist Supporters however note that good or bad the Manhattan Project transformed history And they argue that key sites that have not already been bulldozed should be preserved and the public should be allowed to visit them It isn t glorifying anything says Ellen McGehee historical facilities manager for Los Alamos labs It s really more a commemoration History is what it is We can t pick and choose what s historically significant The park service she said would help people learn about the controversies the people and the social political and military legacy surrounding development of nuclear weapons There are a lot of emotions rolled up in this story she said That s why the park service is the best entity to tell this story They can approach it as an outsider They have no real interest in how it is told They can tell it from a national perspective Among the proposed park s biggest supporters are lab workers like McGehee She has been working since an act was passed in 2004 to study creation of such parks to help identify and preserve areas in town and within lab property to include Potential park properties include some buildings in downtown Los Alamos a town that was essentially created to support the lab as well as 17 buildings in six industrial sites within the lab s fence They include the V site where the first atomic bomb to be detonated at the Trinity Site was assembled as well as the areas where the Little Boy and Fat Man nuclear bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively were assembled Also on the list is the Pajarito site which includes Pond Cabin and the Slotin Building Pond Cabin had been part of a boys school

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2013/WaPo_29Nov2013.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Oppose the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act. ltr to Sen. Lee, 29 Nov 2013
    day successor activities as positive national achievements Indeed that is the purpose of the proposal Supposedly objective background materials supporting the Park proposal are already one sided significantly incomplete and or historically incorrect Some of the proposed Park sites are near or within active nuclear weapons design testing and production sites underscoring the impossibility of any objective interpretation at these locations The political pressure to adopt supportive narratives regarding past and current activities which involve billions of dollars in appropriations is already overwhelming There is no reason whatsoever to believe the National Park Service NPS can or will be an objective interpreter of current national security issues which is part of what this Park would implicitly do Quite simply this proposal aims to use the National Park Service for propaganda purposes This will be quite apparent and quite jarring to many domestic and international visitors The propaganda aspect of the proposed Park is oddly invisible to many well intentioned supporters The proposal does not involve significant natural or national resources and is therefore not fully harmonious with core National Park missions The cost of the proposed Park which is not yet fully known will compete with the massive maintenance backlog in the National Park system Or if borne by DOE these additional costs will become part of the ongoing management crisis in DOE s national security mission The balkanization of ownership and control of these sites between federal and powerful non federal actors ensures in practical terms that NPS will be subordinate to these other actors For example Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL is operated by a for profit consortium of contractors Los Alamos National Security LLC which annually receives and spends in the neighborhood of 2 2 billion LANS and DOE jointly control access security safety and maintenance at LANL LANS is a highly interest conflicted party Given the inherent problems it is quite likely that the management cost of the proposed Park for the NPS in dollars and otherwise will exceed current expectations It is quite possible that the chronic problems at some of these sites combined with the inherent problems in this proposal will combine to damage the reputation of NPS not just in this country but to some degree worldwide 2 There are specific problems at the sites in question The sites are small widely separated have complicated ownership and boundary configurations have significant safety and security issues will be rarely accessible to the public in some cases and in at least some cases if not all are operated by for profit contractors not the federal government Some sites will be accessible by the public only rarely and public access will definitely interfere with the national security missions underway surrounding those sites At other sites public access may interfere with cleanup activities At present the boundaries and sites of the Park at LANL are unspecified in any proposed legislation or underlying document Park sites are defined in a draft contractor document which is publicly unavailable After

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/MPNHP/Lee_ltr_29Nov2013.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bottom of the "Bucket" List: Manhattan Project National Historical Park, FPIF, July 27, 2011
    s always a mistake to assume that much of the public favors the United States leading the way on disarmament when other states retain nuclear weapons But you can be fairly certain that the public either lacks knowledge of the extent to which nuclear weapons still exist since the end of the Cold War or it locks said existence in a tiny room in its mind In other words isn t the Manhattan Project National Park a vast investment of money in an attraction for an audience that s strictly niche Oh and Richard Rhodes author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb and three succeeding books composing a nuclear weapons quartet you re not helping matters From the newsletter Richard Rhodes reflected The Manhattan Project was a great work of human collaboration that has almost mythic proportions in its scale and ambition Discovery of how to release the enormous energies latent in the nuclei of the atom has improved the quality of life and made world scale war no longer possible reason enough to preserve and commemorate this history Perhaps aware that the subject matter is not only threatening but dry for the average family the Atomic Heritage Foundation rolled out other selling points The Manhattan Project s multifaceted story embraces aspects of the nation s scientific industrial military economic social and cultural history Its participants were a culturally diverse group Recent immigrants to the United States who fled anti Semitism in Europe were among the leading scientists The 130 000 work force included young women from the South who had just graduated from high school as well as numerous Hispanics Native Americans and African Americans Here though is easily the most specious aspect of the project that the Foundation features The coming of a Manhattan Project National Historical Park should be a financial as well as a cultural benefit to the communities where the sites are located Every dollar of taxpayer funds spent on national parks generates four dollars in additional economic benefit through tourism and private sector spending For some locations the returns are even greater An annual federal appropriation of 7 1 million to Acadia National Park in Maine generates annual visitor spending of 137 million An annual federal appropriation of 15 8 million for Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado generates 193 million in annual visitor spending To even suggest that the Manhattan Project National Historical Park annual investment would generate returns in anywhere close to Acadia National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park beggars credulity Their desperation is apparent If the Atomic Heritage Foundation had any sense it would accept the lifeline being thrown it by Representative Dennis Kucinich On July 20 he provided it with a graceful way to bow out especially in light of Fukushima as you ll see From a press release at his House website thanks to Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group for the heads up Congressman Dennis Kucinich D OH a longtime advocate for peace and

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2011/FPIF_27July2011.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Manhattan Project Park should be shelved, The New Mexican, July 24, 2011
    Representatives Northern New Mexico s Tom Udall was a co sponsor of the bill It was signed into law by President George W Bush But with Secretary Salazar s appearance at the three sites in recent days the idea gained new traction Opponents to development of nuclear anything especially bombs went predictably ballistic The Los Alamos Study Group s Greg Mello in prose overwrought enough to make even this paper s purple prose scribbler blush rhetorically asked Are we really poised to make a national park out of a few shabby ruins where we built instruments of mass murder delivered to statesmen the instruments of universal destruction and destroyed the marriage between science and human values Bingaman and Udall are sticking to their guns or bombs They re behind legislation Bingaman is drafting to follow up the park study measure with a bill to make the park s a reality Bingaman says it s important for us to acknowledge the legacy of the Manhattan Project which he characterizes as one of the most important events in our nation s history Udall pronounced himself pleased that we are no taking the next important step toward preserving this history for future generations There s no denying the importance of the Manhattan Project and if it saved so much as one American life among the many that surely would have been lost if we d invaded the Japanese mainland in 1945 we applaud its original goal But it brought instant death and long term suffering to tens of thousands of Japanese civilians And it also opened a Pandora s box of evil in the wrong hands where some soon landed or maybe even in the right ones nearly seven decades of global undiplomacy and conventional wars touted as better than nuclear ones are

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2011/SFNM_24July2011.html (2016-02-16)
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  • A National Park for Nukes? CounterPunch, BondGraham, July 20, 2011
    scale nuclear missiles and bombs float on wires above and sit in displays within arms reach You re encouraged to touch the bomb You re told not to fear radiation The Bradbury Museum funded with federal dollars became a key site of struggle over history in the 1990s as community groups battled the lab and DOE to include a different interpretation of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan a narrative that didn t claim it was a necessity to end the war and save lives one that showed in images and described through first hand accounts what the victims experienced Parties without an agenda to promote nuclear weapons were in other words simply asking the Bradbury to present the history that most historians now acknowledge as most complete In the end the lab and museum s staff composed of pro nuclear managers allowed an alternative display in a dark corner of the museum completely marginalized from the rest of the lavish exhibits For about a decade the Bradbury Museum stood as the premier pro nuclear weapons propaganda tool Other sites within the weapons complex were busy building their own museums though The Nevada Test Site opened the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas in 2005 after a pro nuclear weapons lobby the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation raised enough money and convinced the Smithsonian Institute to join up It should be noted that the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation like the foundations that run or help support the Bradbury and other nuclear museums is run by a roster of retired Test Site employees and contractors all strong believers in nuclear weapons as forces of unquestionable good in the nation s past and present The NTSHF s president Nick Aquilina for example was described in a tribute published in the Congressional Record in 1994 as a man who characterizes the spirit and dedication of a generation of Americans who dedicated their lives to maintaining our nuclear deterrent Aquilina was a thirty two year career DOE manager The foundation s chairman Troy Wade is head of the Nevada Alliance for Defense Energy and Business a lobby for the state s military industral complex and also a retired DOE manager With or without the Smithsonian s involvement it s obvious what sort of historical narrative about nuclear weapons testing attendees will be exposed to In the Atomic Testing Museum one is subjected to an entire historical narrative emphasizing the race for the bomb between the USA and Germany culminating in the necessary dropping of the bomb on Japan and then describing decades of testing in the desert northwest of Vegas emphasizing the greatness of nuclear weapons and the men who built and blew them up It s all packaged in a feel good almost kitschy nostalgia There s even a theater where you can sit through a simulated nuclear blast in which air is blown into your face and the bench beneath you rumbles and shakes The kids must love that

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/articles/CounterPunch_BondGraham_20Jul2011.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Anti-Nuclear Groups Protest Proposed Manhattan Project Park, NYT, 19 Jul 2011
    several years as the National Park Service has conducted a feasibility study ahead of making its official recommendation What we risk is harming the national park system as a whole and the idea of national parks just when we need to protect the environment the most Mello said Mello and Mariotte said honoring the atomic bomb with its own national park would set a poor precedent Once you open the gate a national park can be anything Mello said Why don t we have a Disneyland national park or NASCAR national park what s the limit In the Interior Department release last week National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said the story of the creation of the atomic bomb is one that should be shared with future generations There is no better place to tell a story than where it happened and that s what national parks do Jarvis said The National Park Service will be proud to interpret these Manhattan Project sites and unlock their stories in the years ahead If approved by Congress and President Obama the new park would be made up of sites and facilities located in Los Alamos Hanford Wash and Oak Ridge Tenn The park would be run through a special partnership that would allow the Department of Energy to manage and operate the facilities while the National Park Service would provide educational and interpretive services Greenwire July 13 Yesterday in an interview with the Associated Press NPS spokesman David Barna responded to the concerns that have been raised by anti nuclear groups in the week since NPS sent its proposal to Congress Barna said the NPS manages several parks that are viewed by some people as not part of our glorious past such as Civil War battle and Native American battle sites Barna

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2011/NYT_Greenwire_19July2011.html (2016-02-16)
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