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On April 26, 1986, one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Ukrainian portion of the USSR. An explosion and fire in the No. 4 reactor sent radioactivity into the atmosphere; at least 31 Soviets died immediately. JWR’s Comments: I was unfortunately a Chernobyl down-winder. You see, I was TDY with the 2nd M.I. Battalion at Stuttgart Army Airfield that spring, working live Guardrail intel missions. After the Soviet reactor went kablooey, we were all lied to by both the West German government and the U.S. Army. They later revealed that they had downplayed the radiation risk, “to avoid panic.” So, at the time when the winds were unfavorable and I should have been safely tucked in a bunker, I was instead out riding my bicycle in the fallout. (I commuted by bike a couple of miles from a gasthaus in Echterdingen to Stuttgart Army Airfield.) The only fallout warning that they gave us was to avoid fresh dairy products. Lesson learned: Never trust any national government to have your best interest as their priority.
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I think the track record of Gooferments in general is so poor when you evaluate your best interest as their priority.
Remember: Agent Orange poisoning future generations of veterans? I know one GI who lost two children to strange diseases with astronomical rarity. It’s Tuskegee writ large.