Last night I was watching a semi-boring (but somewhat educational) show on the National Geographic channel. I watch them before bed in the hopes they put me to sleep, but also because I think that even if I’m kinda out of it, I’ll absorb information via osmosis.
Anyway, this particular program dealt with how dangerous nuclear war could be if attempted by terrorists and/or countries without the proper amount of nuclear materials and the know-how of creating a viable weapon. And I wondered, as I often do, why the press divulges so much information to potential threats.
For example, let’s say there are certain buildings in Washington, D.C. that aren’t properly built and could easily be destroyed by a bomb, and this fact is reported. Do the American people have a right to know? Well, yes, especially the people working in those buildings.
But do terrorists or enemies of the United States need to know that? Doesn’t that seem stupid to anyone but me? Why give an enemy a blueprint on how to attack this country?Is it possible that people assume that because foreign enemies of the state don’t speak English, that they can’t get their hands on information and translate it? Just curious.
Often, when police have a suspect in mind and don’t want to publicize how much evidence they have, they request that the information not be released and it isn’t. Or, they don’t even open their mouths about it in the first place.
This isn’t about hiding entitled news from the public. It’s about protecting the public.
As an aside, I also wondered if enough radiation escapes during nuclear testing to hurt people nearby. According to the World Nuclear Association (whatever that is?) sunlight causes radiation, as do certain rocks and from air and even space, meaning that radiation occurs naturally and we’ve all been exposed to it.
However, research from the American Cancer Society has found, through follow-up testing of Americans who participated in nuclear testing in the 1950s, that higher levels of leukemia were apparent.