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Divine Strake Fallout

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Politicians, as they're prone to do, may take credit for the cancellation of Divine Strake - that massive bomb test planned for the Nevada desert. Certainly, some of them did their job and got involved.

In this instance, though, common citizens made the real difference.

They showed up at hearings, wrote letters and emails, and made phone calls. Some joined picket lines. Many of them had enormous credibility as they vividly recalled personal horror stories of suffering from the effects of weapons testing a half-century ago.

Officials at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency deserve a degree of credit for listening and responding by canceling the test, although they really had no choice! To go through with it would have been an ongoing public relations disaster.

In KSL's view, Uncle Sam could actually use this experience to generate some good PR. Let the demise of Divine Strake become a catalyst for expanding the government's RECA program, which compensates victims who lived downwind from the nuclear tests of the 50's and 60's.

Back then, citizens didn't flood hearing rooms to protest the possibility of radioactive fallout adversely affecting their lives. Rather, they naively accepted the government's guarantees of safety. Those downwinders who continue to suffer deserve to be compensated for what the government did to them.

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