Sunday, October 05, 2008

"the ultimate weapon"

"The U.S. government executed two people for stealing the secret of the atomic bomb -- a crime it knew they did not commit... Those in power targeted our parents, making them the focus of the public's Cold War-era fear and anger. They manufactured testimony and evidence. They arrested our mother simply as leverage to get our father to cooperate.

They used the ultimate weapon -- the threat of death -- to try to extort a confession. They created the myth that there was a key "secret" of the atomic bomb, and then devised a strategy to make it appear that our father had sought and passed on that "secret."

They executed our father when he refused to collaborate in this lie. They executed our mother as well, even though they knew that she was not an active participant in any espionage activities.
This case provides a crucial warning about the tendencies of our government to manufacture and exploit public fear, to trample civil rights and to manipulate judicial proceedings. In our current political climate, the targets being vilified have changed, but the tactics of those in power remain much the same."

By Michael Meeropol and Robert Meeropol
(sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg)

as published in The Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2008