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T HE TEXAS server JULY 30, 1993 VOLUME 85, No. 15 FEATURES Democracy and Pantex By Larry Egbert 5 Rebuilding the Democrats By Jim Hightower 6 The New Face of Intolerance By Scott Henson 8 Right Face: Clinton After Six Months By James Ridgeway 12 DEPARTMENTS Editorial 3 Molly Ivins 10 Journal El Salvador: Pulling the Tiger’s Claws By Miguel Rodriguez 11 Books and the Culture Empire of Bones/Star of Destiny Book reviews by Joe Holley 15 Father of Texas/The Raven’s Bride Book reviews by Pat Littledog 17 The Squatter and the Don Book review by Leticia G. F. Sanchez 19 Building Bombs: The Legacy TV review by Steven G. Kellman 20 Afterword Sacred Buffalo By Jim Simons 22 Political Intelligence 24 Cover photo by Carole Gallagher, MIT Press. I study nuclear science. I love my classes. I got a crazy teacher who wears dark glasses. Things are going great, and they’re only gettin’ better. I’m doin’ all right, gettin’ good grades. The future’s so bright, I’ve got to wear shades. “The Future’s So Bright” Timbuk3 MIEN YEARS AGO New York photogra pher Carole Gallagher went into a war zone, almost 20 years after the war had ended, to document the war’s effect on the population. “I wanted to become a blank slate upon which the stories and images could be written,” Gallagher writes in the prologue to American Ground Zero \(MIT Press, 464 pp., war she documented was the world’s second nuclear war, which was quietly conducted over the course of 12 yeats against the civilian populations of Mormon towns in northern Arizona, southern Nevada and Utah. It began at dawn on Jan. 27, 1951, when an Air Force bomber dropped an atonic bomb on the desert near Las Vegas, and ended in 1963 after 126 bombs, some more powerful than had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, had been exploded in desert skies. It is not exaggeration to call what occurred in the American West a nuclear war. Bombs were dropped near enough to some ranchers’ homes to knock doors down and shatter panes of glass. Of far greater consequence, residents of the region were bathed in radioactive dust so “hot” that many with whom it came in contact immediately suffered burns, rash, vomiting and the general malaise associated with radiation sickness. There were no warnings, no attempts to educate what the Department of Defense described as a “low-use segment of the population.” Only when the wind blew toward big cities like Los Angeles or Las Vegas were detonations postponed. With the exception of the women and men working in the fields, it was children whose bodies reacted most quickly and violently to radiation. “There was a hundred little kids with a rare disease called leukemia going to that hospital for treatment,” said downwinder Kay Millet of Cedar City, Utah, discussing her daughter’ s death at five years of age. Leukemia, she said, had been so rare in the region that her family physician had only known of one case in “all his years doctoring in southern Utah. … All of a sudden it wasn’t rare anymore. It was raging inside of Utah.” Some children who survived the early ’50s now represent another odd demographic that appears in American Ground Zero: adoptive parents. For many, their government’s decision to conduct a nuclear war upwind from their homes would mean they will never bear children of their own. But sheep were the literal bellwethers here. Before the radiation affected children, it affected sheep, which grazed on the pastureland so hot that uranium miners staked claims everywhere, not realizing that the bombing had so altered background radiation that anywhere they turned on their Geiger counters, readings would be high. “Those sheep had burns on their faces and on their lips where they had been eating the grass, and blisters on the ears, on the nose, …” one sheep man said. “The black sheep had white spots come in the black wool where the fallout would land on their back. … They took the Geiger counter and put it down on those sheep and that needle would come over there and hit that post.” Lambs were stillborn or born “with their hearts outside of their bodies” and some downWinders lost so much stock, they never recovered. The government, in a pattern consistent with everything revealed either in the interviews Gallagher gonducted or material gleaned from court documents and Freedom of Information Act requests, denied that radiation had harmed the sheep, claiming also that no one knew how sheep would respond to fallout. They did, though, having conducted extensive experiments on sheep in 1950, three years before an atomic cloud moved across a Utah valley on a day of unusually high humidity, killing sheep as they were being brought in off the winter range in Nevada. The Atomic Energy Commission’s testing had revealed that sheep would respond to radiation exactly as the sheep in Hamblin Valley had. And most who read this book will conclude that by 1954 there should have been suffi cient information from studies of victims of the first nuclear war in Japan to allow for a more correct diagnosis of one woman who was also present the day a particularly hot cloud passed over Hamblin Valley in Utah. “The wife, a young woman in her late twen ties, had lost all of her hair, had experienced lesions on her ears and nose that were extremely slow in healing, and she lost her fingernails. The men did also. She had devel oped some serious emotional problems from Continued on pg. 4 Lyman M. Jones HI Lyman M. Jones III, a newspaperman, union organizer, student of history, singer, poet and lover of literature, died July 14 in Austin. He was 73. Jones managed Ralph Yarborough’s campaign for governor in 1954 and his successful campaign for senator in 1956. He was associate editor of the Observer during the late 1950s; he continued his association as a contributing writer and editor. EDITORIAL We Were All Downwinders