[Congressional Record Volume 150, Number 34 (Wednesday, March 17, 2004)]
[House]
[Pages H1135-H1142]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 RECOGNIZING MORE THAN 5 DECADES OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE 
                 UNITED STATES AND THE MARSHALL ISLANDS

  Ms. HARRIS. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the 
concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 364) to recognize more than 5 
decades of strategic partnership between the United States and the 
people of the Marshall Islands in the pursuit of international peace 
and security, and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                            H. Con. Res. 364

       Whereas on November 20, 2003, Congress, recognizing our 
     Nation's historical responsibilities over the Former Trust 
     Territory of the Marshall Islands and its successful 
     transition from Trust Territory status to full independence 
     in free association with the United States beginning in 1986, 
     approved the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act, 
     which was signed into law by President Bush on December 17, 
     2003, becoming Public Law Number 108-188;
       Whereas the Compact of Free Association, as amended by 
     Public Law 108-188, embodies and extends the close political, 
     economic, and social partnership, as well as the strategic 
     mutual security alliance, between the Republic of the 
     Marshall Islands and the United States under the terms of the 
     bilateral association between our nations;
       Whereas this partnership for peace and alliance for the 
     security of our nations and the world began in 1944, when the 
     heroic armed forces of the United States and its allies, with 
     the courageous assistance of the people of the Marshall 
     Islands at the risk of their own safety, liberated the 
     Marshall Islands from Japanese military occupation;
       Whereas the friendship and cooperation between the United 
     States and the people of the Marshall Islands that began 
     during World War II continued during the next 4 decades, 
     during which the United States exercised powers of government 
     in the Marshall Islands under a Trusteeship Agreement with 
     the United Nations;
       Whereas during the Marshall Islands trusteeship era the aim 
     of the United States was to promote international peace and 
     security through its nuclear weapons testing program which 
     was viewed as a critical element to the success of United 
     States global leadership during the Cold War;
       Whereas the United States testing program conducted in the 
     Marshall Islands and the strategy of nuclear deterrence 
     sustained by the United States and its allies, was carried 
     out in the hope that understanding its destructive power 
     would be the strategy for which we could arm the world with 
     reasons for peace among nations;
       Whereas from 1946 to 1958 the United States detonated 67 
     atmospheric nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands, 
     representing nearly 80 percent of all the atmospheric tests 
     ever conducted by the United States, and enabling atmospheric 
     tests in the continental United States to be terminated and 
     relocated at the greatest possible distance from large cities 
     and densely populated areas;
       Whereas on March 1, 1954, the hydrogen weapons test code-
     named Bravo yielded explosive power approximately 1,000 times 
     greater than the weapon used in the 1945 wartime nuclear 
     attack on Hiroshima, Japan;
       Whereas the Bravo test created a mushroom cloud 25 miles in 
     diameter, and produced a crater 6,000 feet in diameter, 
     vaporizing 6 islands at the Bikini Atoll;
       Whereas the Bravo test and the 12 year nuclear testing 
     program has been the defining experience of the modern era 
     for the people of the Marshall Islands, and these momentous 
     events created a common bond between the people of the 
     Marshall Islands and the United States military and civilian 
     personnel who shared hardships and suffering with the people 
     of the Marshall Islands during the testing program, as well 
     as the United States citizens in areas affected by the 
     mainland testing programs and weapons production industry;
       Whereas the people of the Marshall Islands, having learned 
     first hand the dangers of nuclear weapons, freely chose in 
     United Nations observed acts of self-determination in 1982 to 
     enter into the Compact of Free Association in order to become 
     a sovereign nation allied more closely with the United Sates 
     than any other nation under any other alliance;
       Whereas from the time of choosing self-determination, the 
     Marshall Islands worked closely with Congress and the 
     executive branch to bring about a strong understanding of the 
     unique relationship between their islands and the other 
     United States insular areas;
       Whereas the United States nuclear testing program put the 
     people of these remote islands on the front line in the Cold 
     War struggle to preserve international peace, promote nuclear 
     disarmament, support nuclear nonproliferation, and provide 
     facilities critical to the development by the United States 
     of a deployable missile defense system to reduce the risks of 
     nuclear missile attacks; and
       Whereas as a member state in the United Nations, the world 
     body that once had oversight of United States stewardship of 
     the trusteeship for the people of the Marshall Islands and 
     their island homelands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands 
     has an unmatched record of working in conjunction with the 
     leadership of the United States in the pursuit of 
     international peace and security, the rights and well-being 
     of the peoples of the world, and in the War on Terrorism: 
     Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 
     concurring), That Congress recognizes as an historic 
     achievement of friendship more than 5 decades of strategic 
     partnership between the United States and the people of the 
     Marshall Islands in pursuit of international peace and 
     security, and recognizes with solemn regard for the cost of 
     preserving peace, the importance of the nuclear weapon test 
     code-named Bravo at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands on 
     March 1, 1954.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Harris) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Harris).


                             General Leave

  Ms. HARRIS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material

[[Page H1136]]

on the concurrent resolution under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. HARRIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the gentleman from California 
(Mr. Pombo), chairman of the Committee on Resources, for introducing 
this timely resolution which commemorates the more than five decades of 
friendship and strategic solidarity that the United States has shared 
with the people of the Marshall Islands.
  March 1 marked the 50th anniversary of the Bravo test, the largest of 
the 67 atmospheric nuclear tests that the United States conducted in 
the Marshall Islands. Those massive detonations, which represented 
significant sacrifices by the Marshallese people, were critical to the 
credibility and reliability of our nuclear deterrent during the Cold 
War. They are perhaps the most vivid, visual examples of a strategic 
partnership that stretches back to the Pacific campaign of the Second 
World War.
  Most recently, the United States reaffirmed and extended aspects of 
its unique relationship with the Republic of the Marshall Islands in 
the amended Compact of Free Association, which the Congress considered 
and approved last year. That agreement continues and deepens our 
strategic cooperation, both by reaffirming our mutual defense 
obligations and by significantly extending United States access to our 
missile defense testing facility at Kwajalein Atoll.
  As we commemorate the anniversary of the Bravo test, it is fitting to 
recall the mutual sacrifice that our peoples have shared during the 
last half century and to committing ourselves to maintaining our 
special friendship in the decades ahead.
  I urge passage of this resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution, and I first 
would like to commend the authors of this resolution, the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Pombo) and the ranking member on the Subcommittee 
on Asia and the Pacific, the gentleman from American Samoa (Mr. 
Faleomavaega). We are grateful for their leadership on matters related 
to the Pacific.
  This resolution recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Bravo nuclear 
weapon test which occurred in March 1954. It reaffirms the strong 
relationship between the United States and the people of the Marshall 
Islands. The timing of this resolution is particularly appropriate as 
Congress last year approved legislation renewing the Compact of Free 
Association. This compact is the guiding document for our relations 
with the Marshall Islands and with Micronesia.
  Mr. Speaker, the beginnings of our Nation's close relationship with 
the people of the Marshall Islands are etched in history. In 1944, we 
joined with the Marshallese people to liberate the people from Japanese 
military rule.
  At the end of the Second World War, the United States began a 
decades-long trustee relationship with the Marshall Islands, 
culminating in Marshallese independence in 1982.

                              {time}  1245

  During the trusteeship period, the United States conducted 67 
atmospheric nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, the largest of which 
was Bravo, which occurred in March 1954, a half a century ago. This 
test yielded approximately 1,000 times greater explosive power than the 
bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Our nuclear testing program did enormous, 
long-term damage to the health of the Marshallese and the environment 
of the islands. Yet rather than turning away from the United States, 
the people of the Marshall Islands sought a close political, strategic, 
and social relationship with our Nation. As we speak, Mr. Speaker, 
Marshallese soldiers are serving with our troops in Iraq.
  The Compact of Free Association amendments recently enacted into law 
will further solidify U.S.-Marshallese ties by ensuring that the U.S. 
contributes to the economic and educational development of the 
Marshallese people for the next 2 decades and that we continue to 
operate the Kwajalein test facility on the islands.
  So as we remember the 50th anniversary of the Bravo test, we also 
celebrate 6 decades of friendship and amity between the American and 
Marshallese people. I urge all my colleagues to support H. Con. Res. 
364.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. HARRIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Pombo).
  Mr. POMBO. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Concurrent Resolution 364, 
which I introduced recently to formally recognize a political, social, 
and strategic relationship that is very unique to the history of the 
United States. The House Committee on Resources has witnessed this 
relationship over the years and has a unique understanding of the 
issues that affect the insular areas, having oversight over all of the 
former United Nations trust territories.
  Today we consider this legislation in light of both the strong 
history between the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the United 
States as well as the common ties that will keep our nations closely 
connected for decades to come. For over 50 years, the United States has 
enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the citizens of 
Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan 
proposed a new status for the trust territories of the Pacific through 
negotiated Compacts of Free Association. After having status as a 
United Nations trust territory for many years, in 1986 these islands 
chose to become sovereign states. Starting in 1986 when Congress passed 
the Compact Act, we made the agreement to strive to continue to 
maintain both economic and political stability in this region, 
including working to advance economic self-reliance in these islands. 
Congress also strongly endorsed the continuation of this relationship 
when we passed H.J. Res. 63, the new Compact of Free Association, by a 
strong bipartisan vote last year with the help of the House Committee 
on International Relations and numerous other House committees.
  About 2 weeks ago, the citizens of the Marshall Islands, as well as 
many others, recognized a moment in time that was significant in 
American history and was a part of the daily lives of Marshallese 
citizens from 1946 to 1958. During this period, the United States was 
performing nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands that would prove 
primary to the success of our country during the Cold War. The 
contributions of the Marshall Islanders during these years further 
helped bring a positive and peaceful end to the Cold War that saw true 
democracies established across the globe.
  In particular, H. Con. Res. 364 points to the significance of the 
nuclear weapons test that was code-named Bravo and its role in the 
half-century relationship that still exists between our countries. On 
March 1, 1954, the United States tested this weapon at Bikini Atoll in 
the Marshall Islands. It was the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated 
by our country. Its explosive power was nearly 1,000 times greater than 
the weapon used in 1945 in our attack on Hiroshima, Japan. This event 
and the success that came from our nuclear testing program will forever 
link the United States in history with the Marshall Islands. But the 
Marshallese continue to show their support for our country, as seen in 
80 of their citizens serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Our common 
pursuit of peace through working closely together through political, 
diplomatic, and strategic ties continues to this day.
  I was fortunate to have recently been able to travel to the Marshall 
Islands with Department of Interior Secretary Gale Norton, as well as 
other members of the House Committee on Resources. The openness and 
kindness with which we were received will not be forgotten, as we were 
able to talk to some of the survivors of these nuclear tests and 
comprehend better the level of understanding that remains between the 
Marshallese and our government to this day. In fact, two Bikini 
citizens are here with us today to see this legislation move to the 
House floor: the Mayor of Bikini, Mr. Eldon Note, and Senator Juda from 
Bikini as well.

[[Page H1137]]

  This bond should not be understated. I hope that other Members of 
this body will also show their recognition of this alliance in 
supporting H. Con. Res. 364 today. We continue to work with the 
Marshallese in both a socioeconomic and national defense standpoint. Be 
it the new schools being built with Compact of Free Association moneys 
or the critical work being done at the Ronald Reagan ballistic missile 
defense test site, our mutual ties founded in democracy and freedom 
can, with this legislation, be properly acknowledged.
  I would like to thank the House Committee on International Relations 
for their help in bringing this legislation to the floor of the House 
in such an expeditious manner and look forward to the strong bipartisan 
support of this concurrent resolution by my colleagues.
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 6 minutes to my good 
friend, the distinguished gentlewoman from Guam (Ms. Bordallo).
  Ms. BORDALLO. Mr. Speaker, over 7,000 miles due west from our 
Nation's Capitol at a location roughly 2,700 miles southwest from the 
Hawaiian Islands and 2,000 miles southwest from Guam lies a nation of 
more than 50,000 people. The Republic of the Marshall Islands comprises 
30 atolls and 1,152 islands, an area that in total land mass represents 
roughly the equivalent in size of Washington, D.C. but straddles an 
area of about 770,000 square miles of the western Pacific Ocean.
  Today the people of the Marshall Islands, their culture, their 
history, their special relationship with the United States, which this 
resolution seeks to appropriately recognize, is largely unknown and 
overlooked by most Americans. Their special relationship with the 
United States is embodied in a Compact of Free Association and the 
unique partnership the compact establishes between our two nations.
  Last year, we as a Congress renewed this compact with the Marshalls 
for another 20 years, and we take this opportunity today to recognize 
the beginning of a new era in our strategic partnership. I am proud to 
have taken part in the compact's renewal and in the work on this 
legislation as a Member of this House. As our colleagues from Hawaii 
stated last year when the compact legislation was brought to this 
floor, this may be an issue of little note for many of the Members of 
the House. It would be easy, he said, to say that the compact 
represents an area of forgotten people, of the never noticed, perhaps 
lost in the vastness of the world's largest ocean, a people, a culture, 
an area that was undiscovered by the Western World until the Spaniards 
arrived in 1529 seeking a western route for trade. Over the centuries, 
their culture has flourished and the world has now taken notice.
  The United States' relationship with the Marshallese began 5 decades 
ago during World War II. Allied forces, led by the U.S. Navy and 
Marines, drove the Japanese Imperial forces from their islands. 
Following the war, U.S. naval bases were established on the atolls of 
Kwajalein and Majuro. In 1946, Bikini Atoll was the site for Operation 
Crossroads, the first postwar atomic weapons tests. Fifty years ago 
this month, the United States detonated the historic Bravo shot, a 15-
megaton hydrogen bomb 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb 
that was dropped on Hiroshima. For 12 years, the United States 
detonated more than 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshalls during the 
development of our Nation's strategic arsenal. The testing in the 
Marshalls left a legacy that we continue to address to this day. We 
recognize the important contributions of the Marshalls in our national 
security programs, and we know that the Free World owes a debt of 
gratitude to them for their role in the development of our national 
strategic deterrent. I am hopeful that we will soon address all these 
issues that the testing era brought for the benefit of our strategic 
partnership and special relationship.
  In January, I was fortunate to have participated in a congressional 
delegation led by the gentleman from California (Mr. Pombo). I was very 
grateful that he decided to visit the Marshalls as well as other 
Pacific islands. While in Majuro, we met with President Kessai Note and 
elected officials from other islands, as well as with the Nuclear 
Claims Tribunal. This visit was important given the recent renewal of 
the compact, the anniversary of the Bravo blast, and the security 
issues facing our world today.
  The people of the Marshall Islands have made tremendous sacrifices 
and contributions on behalf of the United States in the pursuit of 
peace and freedom around the world. Today, the Marshall Islands are 
among the United States' greatest friends and most reliable allies. I 
want to recognize and congratulate the Marshalls' Ambassador to the 
United States for his efforts in strengthening the relationship between 
our governments, the Honorable Banny de Brum. I also again want to 
thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Pombo), the gentleman from 
West Virginia (Mr. Rahall), and the Secretary of Interior, Mrs. Norton, 
for their leadership in recognizing the value of the strategic 
partnership with this resolution. Mr. Speaker, I urge its unanimous 
adoption by this House.
  Ms. HARRIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Flake).
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this 
time. I appreciate the chairman of the Committee on Resources for 
bringing this forward. I had the good fortune to travel to the Marshall 
Islands a couple of months ago on the CODEL with the Secretary of the 
Interior and some of my colleagues. We were able to meet with President 
Note and the elected leaders of many of the surrounding atolls. It was 
our good fortune to go to Kwajalein, to be able to watch what we are 
doing there at the Ronald Reagan test site, to see how important our 
relationship is with the Marshall Islands.
  The U.S. nuclear testing program put the people of these remote 
islands in the front line of the Cold War. For many, many years testing 
went on. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S. detonated 67 atmospheric nuclear 
weapons in the Marshall Islands. Most Americans have no idea the 
contribution that the people of the Marshall Islands have made to our 
peace and our security. Hopefully, this resolution will go some 
distance in expressing our gratitude and our appreciation for that 
relationship. We have an obligation to the people of the atolls that 
were affected by these tests that we are still carrying through. I was 
pleased to support the Compact of Free Association, or the extension of 
it. This is a good start. It represents a good foundation for a 
continued strong relationship. We ought to appreciate strongly the 
Marshall Islands for their support for our position in the United 
Nations. No nation on this Earth, I think, supports us more, more 
frequently and is with us more than the Republic of the Marshall 
Islands. For that we should be grateful.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge support of this resolution, and I am glad to 
speak on this topic.
  Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Con. Res. 
364, a resolution to recognize the decades of strategic partnership 
between the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
  In 1947, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) became one of six 
entities in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands established by 
the United Nations with the United States as the Trustee. This began a 
decades long relationship between the United States and RMI that has 
proven to be resilient and enduring.
  In particular, I'd like to highlight the United States nuclear 
testing program in RMI which began in 1946. Over the years, the United 
States detonated 67 nuclear weapons on the islands of Bikini and 
Enewetak. These tests comprise 80 percent of all atmospheric tests 
conducted by the United States and allowed a majority of all tests to 
be conducted as far from densely populated areas as possible. This 
testing includes the detonation of Bravo, the most powerful hydrogen 
bomb ever tested by the United States, on Bikini Atoll. Radiation from 
the test forced the evacuation of Marshallese and U.S. Military 
personnel on Rongelap, Rongerik, Utirik and Ailinginae.
  Over the years, the Marshallese have faced very serious consequences 
as a result of the nuclear testing. The health and property effects 
have proved to be extensive and in many cases, immeasurable. The United 
States has recognized this and set up a fund to compensate those 
affected by the testing. However, the consequences of this testing, 
especially the health of the Marshallese people, continue to be 
impacted.
  Mr. Speaker, I am sure that our countries will continue to work on 
this issue and find a resolution. I also have no doubt that the 
relationship between our governments will continue to be productive and 
mutually beneficial.

[[Page H1138]]

Last year, this body worked on reauthorizing the Compacts of Free 
Association, an agreement between the United States and RMI, to 
continue our defense and economic alliance that has benefited both 
countries for 17 years. As a result of this work, the United States and 
RMI will continue this alliance for another 15 years.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in recognizing our relationship with 
RMI and commend their dedication to international peace and security.
  Mr. CASE. Mr. Speaker, I stand today in grateful support of this 
resolution, which I am proud to have cosponsored.
  This resolution is about three things. First, re-acknowledgement of 
that region of our world in which the present and future of our Nation 
and so many others lie: the Pacific and Asia. Second, recognition of a 
proud people and culture whose future lies now not only in their home 
islands, but in our own country. Third, responsibility for our actions 
which, like the consequences of those actions, will extend down through 
the generations.
  On re-acknowledgement, as a product of the Pacific, I confess to a 
Pacific-centric view of our world. But can anyone doubt that our own 
future is inextricably tied to that of the Pacific? And as we look to 
the Pacific, we cannot overlook its island nations, whose strategic 
value and loyalty to democratic principles are unquestioned.
  Foremost among these nations is the Republic of the Marshall Islands, 
with a proud history and culture dating back thousands of years. We 
celebrate in this resolution the mutually beneficial relationship we 
have enjoyed for more than half a century.
  We also celebrate its people, who at home are striving to build a 
modern and sustainable island nation. And the emigration of many to new 
lands and new opportunities, especially in our country, are 
strengthening communities beyond their homeland.
  My own state has especially benefited, with a Marshallese community 
of some 5000 strong poised for a major breakthrough into the mainstream 
of political, economic and social participation in Hawaii's affairs.
  And, of course, we cannot forget that the Marshallese and their 
counterpart Pacific nations today have their sons and daughters serving 
with our armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lying grievously 
wounded defending our joint freedoms in military hospitals.
  And lastly, this is a resolution of remembrance, of the dire 
consequences to a whole people and their aina, or land, of 66 nuclear 
tests, virtually all open air, from 1946 through 1958, including, 50 
years ago, BRAVO, the world's first hydrogen bomb. Few of us, even 
today, can imagine the force and devastation released by just one such 
device, much less 66.
  I have my own recollection, as a boy of just six, sitting on my 
grandparents' porch on the Island of Kauai, on a dark night, watching 
the entire sky light up from a single explosion 2,300 miles away. But 
the Marshallese lived through it, and they are still living through it, 
and will live through it for generations to come.
  These stories are being told elsewhere, by Beverly Keever, in a 
February 25, 2004 article in the ``Honolulu Weekly,'' and by James 
Matayoshi, Mayor of Rongselap, in recent remarks on BRAVO day. I append 
these for the Record and commend them to your attention.
  But today, we simply remember what happened and recommit ourselves to 
remedy that which must be remedied.
  Mr. Speaker, there are lots of people to be thanked for this 
resolution. Chair Pombo and Ranking Member Rahall, for their 
commitment, Chair Hyde and Ranking Member Lantos for bringing this to 
the floor, and Chair Leach and Ranking Member Faleomavaega for their 
advocacy. But mostly, we thank the people of the Marshall Islands, for 
their friendship and support. We will not forget.
  Mr. Speaker, I submit the following articles for insertion into the 
Record in connection with H. Con. Res. 364.

            Suffering, Secrecy, Exile: Bravo 50 Years Later

                       (By Beverly Deepe Keever)

                 [From Honolulu Weekly, Feb. 25, 2004]

       Almira Ainri was 10 years old when she was catapulted into 
     the atomic age.
       In June of 1946, as the U.S. Navy readied the first atomic 
     bomb in peacetime--just the fourth in history--Ainri and 
     about 100 other inhabitants of Rongelap Atoll, in the 
     Marshall Islands, were sent south by ship to Lae Atoll, where 
     it was thought they would be safe from the effects of the 
     explosion 100 miles away, at Bikini Atoll.
       Eight years later, in 1954, Ainri and other Rongelapese 
     weren't as lucky.
       Fifty years ago this week, on Bikini Atoll, the U.S. 
     detonated the Bravo shot, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb 1,000 
     times more powerful than the bomb it dropped on Hiroshima.
       The most powerful bomb in U.S. nuclear history, Bravo had a 
     radioactive cloud that plumed over 7,000 square miles, an 
     area about the size of New Jersey. A hundred or so miles 
     downwind, near-lethal fallout powdered at least 236 
     inhabitants of the Rongelap and Utrik atolls, contaminating 
     their ancestral homelands. The Bravo-dusted islanders entered 
     history as unique examples of the effects of radioactive 
     fallout on humans.
       Ainri, who now lives in Honolulu, is one of 118 survivors 
     of the Bravo shot. For her and other islanders, the bomb's 
     detonation set off a chain reaction of events over the last 
     half century. They became unwitting subjects in secret U.S. 
     research on the effects of nuclear fallout and ultimately 
     were forced to leave their idyllic homeland, which remains 
     uninhabitable to this day due to radioactivity.
       Archeological finds on Bikini Atoll suggest that the first 
     Micronesians likely arrived in the Marshall Islands between 
     2,500 and 4,000 years ago. Germany annexed the islands in 
     1885. Japan captured them in 1914. Allied forces captured and 
     occupied them in World War II; the war's end left them in 
     U.S. hands. The U.S. began nuclear testing there the next 
     year.
       The Marshall Islands were declared a Trust Territory by the 
     United Nations in 1947, with the U.S. as the administrator, 
     an arrangement that did not end until 1991. The following 
     treatment of the irradiated islanders raises doubts about the 
     behavior of the U.S. government:
       U.S. officials failed to evacuate Ainri and other islanders 
     before the Bravo shot and then delayed their removal for more 
     than 50 hours after the fallout.
       On March 7, 1954, six days after the Bravo shot, Project 
     4.1, ``Study of Response of Human Beings Exposed to 
     Significant Beta and Gamma Radiation due to Fallout from High 
     Yield Weapons,'' established a secret U.S. medical program to 
     monitor and evaluate islanders exposed to radiation, turning 
     them into experimental human subjects without their consent.
       Ainri and other islanders were allowed to return to their 
     irradiated homeland in 1957. It was later deemed unsafe for 
     human habitation.
       Marshall Islanders were injected with or fed radioactive 
     tracers without their consent, contrary to medical 
     recommendations made by U.S. medical officers six weeks after 
     the Bravo shot that the islanders should receive no more 
     exposure to radioactivity in their lifetimes.
       The research projects arising from Bravo were begun just 
     seven years after war crimes tribunals convicted German 
     medical officers for their horrific experiments with 
     concentration camp inmates during World War II. Those 
     tribunals led to the Nuremberg Code, an international 
     standard for experiments involving human subjects, which 
     stipulated that the voluntary consent of the subject ``is 
     absolutely essential.'' The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission 
     established similar standards, requiring the consent of human 
     subjects and the expectation that an experiment would benefit 
     the subject, but they had little distribution or effect in 
     the U.S. bureaucracy.
       Did U.S. bureaucratic bungling and operational obstacles 
     cause the mistreatment of the islanders or, as so many 
     islanders and others say, did U.S. officials make the 
     islanders guinea pigs to study the effects of radioactivity?


                    like needles over my whole body

       At about 6 a.m. on March 1, 1954, Almira Ainri was awakened 
     by the brightness and noise of an inferno as hot as the core 
     of the sun. Ainri was 18 then, married, and pregnant with her 
     first child.
       The island shook, she recalled. The air was gray. Snowlike 
     particles fell from the sky.
       A day later, U.S. soldiers with Geiger counters arrived and 
     found people of Rongelap weak and vomiting. Fifty hours and 
     more after Bravo's detonation, the 236 inhabitants on or near 
     Rongelap and Utrik atolls were evacuated to the military 
     clinic at Kwajalein Atoll. There, they were scrubbed every 
     day with special soaps. The pressure of the water on Ainri's 
     blistered skin felt ``like needles over my whole body,'' she 
     said--``like I was burning.''
       After the blast, Ainri gave birth to a son, Robert. His 
     thyroid glands were so damaged that he became dwarfed. The 
     glands were later removed, consigning him to a lifelong 
     regimen of medication. Ainri got pregnant again and gave 
     birth, she said, to ``a bunch of grapes, that had to be 
     pulled out of me.'' Twice more Ainri got pregnant, she said, 
     and gave birth to children who appeared normal but died 
     several days later. Another son, Alex, survived, but again 
     with damaged thyroid glands. Ainri herself has thyroid 
     problems; two new growths recently appeared there.
       The suffering of Ainri and her family is hardly unique. 
     Within a decade of the Bravo shot, more than 90 percent of 
     the children who were under 12 years old at the time of the 
     explosion developed thyroid tumors. Today, Marshall Islanders 
     have one of the world's highest rates of abnormalities of the 
     thyroid, which often result in cases of retardation, 
     cretinism and stunted development.
       For these and other conditions that the U.S. government 
     presumes were caused by its nuclear weapons testing, the U.S. 
     pays compensation. Those with leukemia or cancer of the 
     esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas or bone are 
     awarded $125,000. Islanders with severe growth retardation 
     due to thyroid damage get $100,000.
       By the end of 2002, a U.S. trust fund had paid about $79 
     million to 1,808 islanders, but because the trust fund could 
     not cover all its obligations, 46 percent of affected 
     islanders

[[Page H1139]]

     died before they were fully paid for their injuries.
       Rongelap Atoll comprises 61 islets with a combined land 
     mass of about three square miles and a lagoon of 388 square 
     miles. Because it is still too radioactive for humans, its 
     former residents are scattered. In Honolulu, Ainri lives in a 
     home where her pandanus floor mats mingle with a caller-I.D. 
     phone and a television set.
       Under a 1996, $45-million agreement with the U.S., projects 
     are underway to prepare for the return of Rongelapese to the 
     five southernmost, least-contaminated islets of the atoll. A 
     glisteningly white church has been refurbished, complete with 
     striking lapis trim. An airstrip, desalinization plant, field 
     station, power plant and docks have been constructed or 
     installed. Phase 2 calls for the construction of 50 four-
     bedroom homes, a dispensary and a hospital, school building, 
     residences for doctors and teachers, a library, a town hall 
     and a municipal building. All that is missing is a date when 
     the resettlement will occur.


                          the three surprises

       Corporal Don Whitaker hardly could have imagined the 
     worldwide surprise his letter home would create. Writing to 
     his hometown newspaper, in Cincinnati, in March 1954, 
     Whitaker told of seeing distraught Marshall Islanders arrive 
     at a navy clinic on Kwajalein after the Bravo shot. It was 
     one of three surprises that shocked the world, and members of 
     President Eisenhower's administration.
       The first surprise was the magnitude of the Bravo bomb's 
     blast. Its 15-megaton yield was more than twice what U.S. 
     officials had expected. Set off from Bikini Atoll, it 
     vaporized three of the atoll's 23 islets. The test was 
     expected, however.
       Whitaker's letter was the next surprise. In it, he revealed 
     the evacuation of islanders that U.S. officials had tried to 
     keep secret. Published March 9, eight days after the blast, 
     Whitaker's letter prompted the Atomic Energy Commission to 
     issue a press release the next day, masking the magnitude of 
     the Bravo shot and its radioactive effects with a bland 
     announcement. But Bravo was hardly the ``routine atomic 
     test'' the release described, and the phrase ``some 
     radioactivity'' did not come close to describing the 
     islanders' dosage, which was the equivalent of the amount 
     received by Japanese citizens less than two miles from Ground 
     Zero at Hiroshima, lawyer-historian Jonathan M. Weisgall 
     writes.
       Twenty-eight years later, the U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency 
     would call the Bravo shot ``the worst single incident of 
     fallout exposures in all the U.S. atmospheric testing 
     program.''
       The third surprise came just days after the AEC had assured 
     the public that the irradiated islanders were fine. A 
     Japanese tuna trawler, the No. 5 Fukuryu Maru (``Lucky 
     Dragon''), was 112 miles east of Bikini Atoll at the time of 
     the Bravo explosion, well outside the danger zone announced 
     by U.S. officials. Yet Bravo's staggering detonation powdered 
     the boat's 23 crew members with what is known in Japan as shi 
     no hai--``ashes of death.'' When the Fukuryu Maru reached its 
     home port of Yaizu, about 120 miles south of Tokyo, on March 
     14, the crew was suffering from a radiation sickness that 
     stunned the world.
       The crewmen's sickness and the subsequent panic over 
     radioactive tuna in the U.S. and Japanese fish markets led to 
     an international furor. The Japanese government and people 
     dubbed it ``a second Hiroshima'' and it nearly led to 
     severing diplomatic relations. A U.S. government doctor 
     dispatched to Japan blamed the Japanese press for 
     exaggerating the condition of the fishermen, who, he 
     predicted, would recover completely in about a month.
       Six months later, Aikichi Kuboyama, the 40-year-old radio 
     operator of the Fukuryu Maru, died. He was ``probably the 
     world's first hydrogen-bomb casualty,'' said The New York 
     Times.
       It was this triple-play of surprises--Bravo's tremendous 
     force, Whitaker's letter and the plight of the Fukuryu Maru--
     that chinked the U.S. government's usual policy of secrecy. 
     Instead, the word fallout entered the world's lexicon. For 
     the first time, people in Japan and Russia, London and Bonn, 
     New York and Milwaukee, were aware of a danger that could not 
     be smelled, seen, felt or heard.


                       the sun rising in the west

       The Bravo shot was the first U.S. hydrogen device that 
     could be delivered by airplane. It was designed to catch up 
     with the Soviets who, in August 1953, had exploded their 
     first hydrogen bomb deliverable by aircraft.
       The Bravo shot was so dangerous that it could not be 
     detonated in the continental United States. Nor could it be 
     set off at Enewetak Atoll, where the U.S. conducted nuclear 
     blast tests from 1948 to 1958, for fear it would wipe out the 
     extensive U.S. equipment and installations there. So it was 
     tested at Bikini Atoll.
       Even before the Bravo shot, experts knew that the 
     radioactive dust of atmospheric nuclear weapons explosions 
     was invisibly and unknowingly powdering the continental 
     United States and touching others worldwide. The U.S. 
     government's failure to move the Rongelap and Utrik Islanders 
     in advance of the Bravo shot is painfully ironic because 
     Almira Ainri and other Rongelapese had been moved before the 
     first peacetime atomic test, in 1946--and Bravo was 1,000 
     times more powerful. Yet the islanders were not moved in 1954 
     because of ``the high cost and logistic problems . . . in 
     supporting such an operation,'' according to U.S. medical 
     officers.
       Six hours before Bravo, U.S. officials knew that the winds 
     had shifted, putting Rongelap and Utrik Islanders in the path 
     of fallout, but they proceeded with the detonation anyway. 
     That knowledge, coupled with the lag of several days after 
     the detonation before islanders were evacuated, led to 
     speculation that the U.S. deliberately used the islanders as 
     guinea pigs.
       A month after the Bravo shot, Atomic Energy Commission 
     chair Lewis Strauss told reporters that allegations that the 
     evacuation of the Marshall Islanders had been deliberately 
     delayed were ``utterly false, irresponsible and gravely 
     unjust to the men engaged in this patriotic service.'' He 
     also said that he had just visited the islanders at the 
     Kwajalein clinic and they ``appeared to me to be well and 
     happy.''
       Bravo was detonated at 6 a.m. Within four hours, the 28 
     U.S. weathermen on Rongerik Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, 
     saw a mist from the blast. Seven hours later, the needle of 
     their radiation-measuring instrument went off the scale. They 
     were evacuated the next day.
       Clouds of snowlike particles moved over Alinginae, 
     Rongelap, Utrik and Ailuk atolls. The clouds deposited 
     radioactive fallout on the people below and irradiated them 
     with doses of ``cloud shine,'' radiation produced by the 
     blast itself, which Rongelapese described as being like ``the 
     sun rising in the west.''
       About two-thirds of the Rongelapese were nauseated for two 
     days, according to a U.S. medical officer who examined them a 
     week after Bravo. Roughly one in ten were vomiting and had 
     diarrhea. Some had itching, burning skin that turned into 
     black-pigmented areas and lesions, some of which became 
     ulcerated and infected. Hair fell out. Blood counts fell.
       The Bravo-dusted islanders disappeared from the news for 
     the next year, because of the AEC's clampdown on information. 
     But if they were not making news, they were making medical 
     history.


                              guinea pigs

       Within days of the Bravo shot, irradiated islanders were 
     unwittingly swept into a top-secret effort to research the 
     effects of radioactive fallout on humans. ``Never before in 
     history had an isolated human population been subjected to 
     high but sub-lethal amounts of radioactivity without the 
     physical and psychological complexities associated with 
     nuclear explosion,'' said scientist Neal O. Hines. Islanders 
     would not learn the true nature of the experiment for 40 
     years, until 1994, when President Clinton ordered thousands 
     of documents declassified in the wake of a national scandal 
     involving human radiation experiments.
       Four months before the Bravo shot, a then-secret U.S. 
     document listed research Project 4.1 among 48 tests to be 
     conducted during and after the explosion. ``(D)ue to possible 
     adverse publicity reaction, you will specifically instruct 
     all personnel in this project to be particularly careful not 
     to discuss the purposes of this project and its background or 
     its findings with any except those who have a specific `need 
     to know,' '' the document said.
       The purpose of Project 4.1 was to study the effects of 
     fallout radiation on human beings.
       Three days after Bravo, Project 4.1 began to unfold in 
     Washington, D.C., where top medical officials decided that 
     the victims of its hazardous debris would be appropriate 
     research subjects. A week after the blast, 25 officials of 
     the AEC's medical program arrived at Kwajalein Atoll. Six 
     weeks after the blast, Project 4.1 workers recommended a 
     lifelong study of the affected islanders. After thyroid 
     nodules began to appear on Rongelapese and Utrik islanders in 
     1963, they were studied every year.
       They began to complain that they were being treated like 
     guinea pigs rather than sick humans needing treatment. A 
     doctor who evaluated them annually came close to agreeing 
     when he wrote, 38 years after Bravo, ``In retrospect, it was 
     unfortunate that the AEC, because it was a research 
     organization, did not include support of basic health care of 
     populations under study.''


                           return to rongelap

       In 1957, U.S. officials assured Rongelapese that their 
     homeland was safe and returned them there. Upon their return, 
     U.S. medical officers shifted the emphasis of their study to 
     what researchers who studied the documents released in the 
     1990s described as ``the formation of an integrated long-term 
     human environmental research program to document the 
     bioaccumulation of fallout and the human effects of this 
     exposure.'' In sum, U.S. officials knew they were placing the 
     Rongelapese in a radioactive environment, even though the 
     islanders had already sustained more than a lifetime's worth 
     of radiation.
       A 1982 U.S. Department of Energy report indicated that some 
     inhabited areas of Rongelap were as contaminated as the parts 
     forbidden to humans. It was the first report prepared for the 
     Rongelapese in their own language and it shocked them. ``All 
     we needed to see was the center fold-out and our worst fears 
     were confirmed!'' Marshall Islands Senator Jeton Anjain told 
     the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in 
     1991.
       Rongelap, their principal island of residence since their 
     1957 return, had been assigned a level ``3'' of 
     contamination, meaning it was unsafe for human habitation.

[[Page H1140]]

       In 1984, Rongelapese representatives asked the U.S. to 
     evacuate them. The U.S. refused.
       The next year, the Rongelapese left anyway. ``It was by no 
     means an easy decision, for our people knew that it might 
     mean they and their children would never again know life on 
     their ancestral homeland of the last 4,000 years,'' Anjain 
     told the U.S. Senate committee.
       ``But the safety of our children and the unborn was more 
     important.''
       After living on radioactive Rongelap for 28 years, 70 
     islanders were moved by Greenpeace to Majetto Island, 100 
     miles away. Confirming their fears, a 1988 study authorized 
     by the U.S. government and subsequent official testimony 
     recommended that part of Rongelap Atoll be considered 
     ``forbidden'' territory and that the remaining part would be 
     safe only if inhabitants ate imported food for the next 30 to 
     50 years.


            the only thing I could think of was nazi germany

       Residents of Rongelap and Enewetak atolls were also used in 
     human radiation experiments involving radioactive tracers of 
     tritiated water and chromium-51 injections, Marshall Islands 
     Foreign Minister Phillip Muller told the U.S. Senate 
     Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1996.
       The U.S. Department of Energy withheld critical information 
     about the adverse effects of U.S. weapons tests from the U.S. 
     Congress and Marshallese officials, Muller said, and medical 
     research without the consent of Marshallese subjects 
     continued.
       Marshallese Senator Tony de Brum told the committee that 
     U.S. doctors 50 years ago pulled healthy as well as unhealthy 
     teeth of islanders without their consent, for use in 
     cesium, strontium or plutonium studies. Even in the mid-
     1990s, islanders were unsure whether they were being cared 
     for or studied by U.S. medical personnel, de Brum said.
       In 1999, Muller's allegations of human radiation 
     experiments were confirmed by the Department of Energy, the 
     successor agency of the Atomic Energy Commission. 
     Declassified documents showed that U.S. officials included 
     the irradiated islanders under the umbrella of its extensive 
     biological program. Its worst known cases included x-raying 
     the male organs of Oregon and Washington state prisoners, 
     feeding radioactive fallout materials to university students, 
     giving small doses of radioactive iron to pregnant women and 
     feeding Quaker Oats laced with radioactive traces of iron and 
     calcium to supposedly mentally retarded boys in a 
     Massachusetts state home. Upon first learning about these 
     kinds of experiments in 1993, Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary 
     said, ``The only thing I could think of was Nazi Germany.''


                             who will pay?

       Under the U.N. Trusteeship, the U.S. government was to 
     prepare the people of the Marshall Islands for self-
     government. In 1986, President Reagan signed the Compact of 
     Free Association after its ratification by the Marshall 
     Islands government and Congress. Its provisions expired in 
     2001. New provisions for the compact were agreed upon earlier 
     this year, but they are silent on U.S. funding that has since 
     become inadequate to cover the spiraling claims of those 
     harmed by U.S. nuclear weapons testing, including Bravo's 
     fallout.
       There may be a ray of hope for the Marshallese, however. 
     The compacts say that nuclear testing damages to persons or 
     property discovered after the original 1986 agreement can be 
     covered in a new request to the U.S. Congress with 
     documentation that circumstances have changed.
       One changed circumstance is that the U.S. government did 
     not disclose to the Marshallese government the yield of 44 of 
     the 66 U.S. nuclear weapons tests detonated in its republic 
     until 1993. The next year, a comprehensive list of 1,054 U.S. 
     nuclear weapons tests worldwide and their yields was made 
     public by the Department of Energy. It shows that the yield 
     of 82 tests in the U.S.-administered Bikini, Enewetak and 
     Johnston Atolls and Pacific waters from 1946 to 1962 was at 
     least 128,704 kilotons. That's the equivalent of 8,580 
     Hiroshima-sized bombs, or 1.47 such bombs per day for 16 
     years.
       A second changed circumstance is that the personal-injury 
     and property claims arising from nuclear weapons testing have 
     exceeded the capacity of the $150 million trust fund 
     established to pay them.
       The people of Enewetak and Bikini have been awarded just 
     over $1 billion for property damages, radiological cleanup, 
     loss of use and hardship and suffering, but as of the end of 
     2002, less than one percent of that money could be paid. And 
     class-action damage claims for the people of Rongelap and 
     Utrik are still pending.
       About 5,000 claims seeking a combined $5.75 billion for 
     radiation-related damages arising from U.S. weapons testing 
     in the Pacific have been pressed. The U.S. has paid $759 
     million.
       In 2000, invoking the ``changed circumstances'' provision 
     of the compact, the Marshallese government asked the U.S. 
     Congress for more funds and services to meet health costs and 
     property damages. (Its petition can be viewed online at 
     www.rmiembassyus.org--click ``nuclear'' and then 
     ``petition.'')
       In November 2001, the Marshallese government's petition was 
     resubmitted to a new U.S. Congress and President Bush. As of 
     early this month, the U.S. has yet to take any action.
                                  ____


       Remarks of Mayor James Matayoshi, Bravo Day, March 1, 2004

       Today I stand before you as mayor of Rongelap, but more 
     importantly, I stand before you as a son of Rangelap--a true 
     son of the ``survivors''. You are here because you have 
     determined that today, as we commemorate the terrible and 
     terrifying event of March 1, 1954, it is important that you 
     come. We are grateful to you for being here.
       We are especially proud to welcome our friends from the 
     World Councils of Churches, our friends from Japan, Europe, 
     and America. We know of friends here from as far away as New 
     Zealand and Puerto Rico. We thank you all. We welcome you 
     all.
       Some of you are from the islands which have born this 
     tragedy for 50 years and more. . . . Some of you represent 
     organizations and communities of people who feel strong ties 
     to those of us who survived Bravo. Some of you represent 
     governments and important organizations from throughout our 
     world. Many of you have come to show solidarity with us today 
     when we take a solemn pause to memorialize events of the 
     past. . . . Events which forever changed our lives, and by 
     the fact that you are here, your lives as well.
       Throughout this day, and as you interact with each other 
     during these commemorative services, you will undoubtedly 
     hear various accounts of events surrounding Bravo. From this 
     long list of stories and anecdotes, you will witness the 
     horror of the bomb, hear the multitude of reasons why this or 
     that happened, and draw your own conclusions as to what to 
     believe. Of course, you will hear from the apologists who 
     will try as they always do to explain away our suffering and 
     sorrow as byproducts of the cold war. The ``accident'' 
     theorists will tell you about sudden shifts of wind and 
     stronger yields than expected. Others will write of us as 
     allies just bearing their share of the burdens of the cold 
     war.
       Local witnesses will tell you personal versions of what 
     they saw and felt from the eyes and the understanding of 
     human beings and not scientists or soldiers or politicians. 
     They will tell you of how as children they ran and cried, 
     then played in the milky dust that fell on them. They will 
     tell you of confusion, of fear, of thinking that the world 
     had ended.
       Leaders will tell you how they tried to do all they could 
     do to deal with the matter. Representatives of governments 
     will try to assure you that all that could be done to bring 
     the matter to closure have been done. They will tell you that 
     Washington no longer sees these islands on their radar screen 
     and therefore our quest for fairness and justice is all in 
     vain.
       I wonder if they will tell you about project 4.1: The Study 
     of Humans Exposed to Radiation. We began learning more about 
     this program when previously classified documents pertaining 
     to the testing program were released to us in 1994 under the 
     Clinton administration. Among the thousands of documents 
     declassified we discovered this frightening program plan. 
     Drawn in 1953 for the planned 1954 Castle Nuclear Test 
     Series, Project 4.1 contemplated the study of exposed human 
     beings months before Bravo.
       Throughout the years our people have had misgivings about 
     the annual medical examinations they were subjected to by 
     scientists from the United States. Our discovery of these 
     descriptions of project 4.1 have reinforced our conviction 
     that we were being studied, not treated by the scientists who 
     examined us. If project 4.1 was conceived, planned and funded 
     prior to March 1, 1954, where were the study subjects 
     supposed to come from?
       We have pictures showing ``subjects'' of the 4.1 study as 
     early as March 16, 1954. Could this project have been put in 
     place in a matter of 2 weeks without requisite technical and 
     logistical planning? American doctors have testified that 
     they were treating our injuries and that the studies were an 
     integral part of the treatment. Yet it was general knowledge 
     from the beginning that they would not treat conditions which 
     they considered unrelated to the tests and would refer such 
     patients to the Trust Territory medical authorities.
       We have documents pertaining to studies where certain 
     radioactive materials were given to subjects both ``exposed'' 
     and ``unexposed.'' This resulted in previously unexposed 
     subjects being exposed for the purpose of comparison and 
     exposed persons getting even more radiation than they had 
     been getting from the bomb. If project 4.1 was not a study 
     why were there ``control groups''?
       Many documents pertaining to the tests have yet to be 
     released. Others, like the photographs in the Office of the 
     District Administrator here in Majuro were removed and set on 
     fire by agents of the United States Government. Several other 
     fires involving medical records of Marshallese exposed to 
     radiation have been reported through the years.
       Sufficient information regarding weather conditions 
     surrounding Bravo has been gathered to convince us that there 
     was no unexpected change in weather that caused radioactive 
     fallout to reach inhabited areas. The generals and scientists 
     in charge of the testing chose to ignore weather studies and 
     forecasts which predicted unsafe conditions for the testing.
       On earlier occasions, people were moved for safety reasons 
     for prior tests with much smaller expected yield. For Bravo, 
     there was no such precautionary relocation. People were left 
     where they were, unaware that

[[Page H1141]]

     they were in harm's way, totally at the mercy of the most 
     powerful nuclear device ever detonated by man.
       For all these years under American guidance, we have 
     learned principles of democracy and human rights under which 
     all men aspire to live. Yet, when we seek to be treated with 
     honor and dignity, we are denied the means to assure that 
     fairness and justice is guaranteed to all. The United States 
     continues to be less than forthcoming in its handling of 
     information and dissemination of facts pertaining to the 
     testing program.
       Here we are, 50 years after Bravo, and the people forcibly 
     removed from their homes for the atomic tests, with the 
     exception of Utrik, have yet to return home. The question of 
     exposure as it affects other atolls of the Marshalls has yet 
     to be fully addressed. Many claims are still being prepared. 
     Adjudicated claims have not been paid in full as agreed 
     upon by the United States. Medical and monitoring 
     programs, promised by those who exposed us, have been 
     severely curtailed or abandoned. Making ``non-exposed'' 
     Marshallese responsible for the medical needs of 
     ``exposed'' Marshallese is not a just solution. America 
     must own up to the problems it created.
       Bravo is not over. The people of Kwajalein, who sacrificed 
     their home and society for America's nuclear ambitions, still 
     live in squalid conditions on Ebeye, unable to live in peace 
     and comfort in their own homeland. They have been subjected 
     to many of the same treatments the islands of the tests 
     suffered: displacement, loss of traditional skills, social 
     disruption, and the contamination of their lands and seas.
       We became dependent on the U.S. because the U.S. claimed 
     the power to govern us. We did not ask for it, but when it 
     happened we came to understand the choices we had. After 
     decades of living with the good and the bad under American 
     rule, we decided that the greater good would be to cast our 
     lot with the U.S. under the compact of free association.
       Today we are America's allies in the war on terrorism. We 
     are America's allies in the development of the missile 
     systems. We are allies in the U.N. and vote with you when all 
     your other allies abandon the U.S. on issues of great 
     importance. We do that of our own free will, without the 
     exercise of extra ordinary U.S. powers under the compact.
       For all these reasons, I can say we appreciate and 
     understand America. We understand what Fourth of July means 
     to Americans. We understand what Ford Theater and December 7, 
     1941 mean to America. We understand what November 22, 1963 
     means to America. We understand what September 11 will always 
     mean to America.
       What we are here today to ask is that America understand us 
     as well as we understand it. For our people, for the Marshall 
     Islands, March 1, 1954 is the defining moment in world 
     history.
       That is the Fourth of July, the assasination of President 
     Lincoln and Kennedy, Pearl Harbor and 9/11 all wrapped into 
     one.
       That is the day the world stood still and also changed 
     forever. That is the day we went from being an occupied 
     nation to becoming a dependent nation. That is the day we 
     went from being survivors of the World War to victims of the 
     Cold War.
       March 1, 1954, is the day that defines a legacy that would 
     not end when the testing ended. This on-going legacy is 
     recognized under Section 177 of the Compact of Free 
     Association. The ``full and final settlement'' under Section 
     177 is not limited to the number of dollars deposited in the 
     nuclear claims trust fund. The full and final settlement 
     includes the on-going political and legal process recognized 
     under the Section 177 agreement as the path to reach truth 
     and justice. That includes the Article IX changed 
     circumstances process as a matter left to be resolved by the 
     U.S. Congress. It also includes the adjudication of 
     additional claims under law by the Nuclear Claims Tribunal.
       So what we ask today on this 50th anniversary is not just 
     that we remember the past. We ask that the U.S. remember its 
     commitments. We ask Americans to understand us as well as we 
     understand them. We think they do. We think the U.S. is a 
     great Nation that can do the right thing.
       It is too simple to say that the wrongs done to us were 
     justified by the good that the U.S. has done for the Marshall 
     Islands and the world. There must also be justice for our 
     people.
       We believe it is significant that former U.S. Attorney 
     General Dick Thornburgh independently concluded the Nuclear 
     Claims Tribunal operated by the U.S. judicial standards. And 
     we are pleased that Senator Domenici announced during 
     hearings on the compact renewal that the U.S. Senate will 
     hold hearings on the nuclear testing legacy.
       At a time when the U.S. is spending billions to study 
     nuclear clean up at mainland weapons production sites, and 
     hundreds of billions to make the world a safer place, the 
     U.S. has a legal and moral obligation to finally resolve the 
     legacy of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. A 
     democratic ally on all fronts in the current war that asks 
     for nothing except just compensation for judicially 
     determined claims.
       That is all we ask. We respect and trust the United States 
     to do what is right when it has the facts. Now is a moment in 
     history when the facts can come out. The truth can be told. 
     Our story needs to be told and the American people need to 
     hear it.
       So today, I tell you my friends--Bravo lives on. The 
     terrible disruption it wreaked upon the lives of the people 
     of Rongelap and the Marshall Islands still haunts us. But we 
     shall not let that dampen our hopes or our determination to 
     seek justice wherever we shall find it. We have survived the 
     greatest weapon of war man has ever devised. We will survive 
     whatever is before us and we shall not rest until our quest 
     for justice is found. That is our promise. That is our goal. 
     With your help, and the help of free people everywhere, with 
     the blessing of God, we shall prevail.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in my capacity as the ranking 
Democrat of the Committee on Resources to support H. Con. Res. 364; 
recognizing more than five decades of strategic partnership between the 
Republic of the Marshall Islands and the United States.
  Historically, the Committee on Resources held oversight jurisdiction 
of the former Trust Territory of the Marshall Islands when the United 
States first took responsibility for the islands and her people shortly 
after World War II as part of a United Nations trusteeship agreement.
  Though we prevailed in war, our country was still healing from the 
pain and suffering associated with battle. Yet we were mindful that the 
security of our Nation, and that of the world, depended on our 
understanding of the destructive nature of our nuclear arsenal.
  It is within this context that the people of the Marshall Islands 
made a sacrifice that is unimaginable for us Americans. On islands 
where their ancestry could be traced back thousands of years; where 
their culture flourished, and where they lived in relative peace; the 
people having been convinced it was ``for the good of mankind'' 
voluntarily left their homes.
  On military ships we loaded their canoes and personal belongings and 
moved them hundreds of miles away to other islands, safe from nuclear 
fallout.
  Our nuclear testing program commenced and lasted for twelve years, 
between 1946 and 1958. Within that time, we detonated 67 nuclear 
devices. One of the 67, detonated on March 1, 1954, in the Bikini 
Atoll, was the largest ever explosion to occur. Code-named BRAVO, the 
hydrogen bomb was 1,000 times greater than the weapon used against 
Japan in 1945.
  Shifting winds in the Marshall Islands caused those that were placed 
out of harm's way to be exposed to nuclear fallout. We have continuing 
responsibilities for their care and rehabilitation. We continue to work 
with the Marshall Islands government to resolve issues of healthcare, 
environmental remediation, and eventual resettlement of atolls still 
contaminated by nuclear fallout.
  After the U.S. nuclear testing program, we continued to assist the 
trust territory in their political, economic, and social development, 
consistent with the United Nations trusteeship agreement.
  In the mid-1980's, in an act of self-determination, the Marshall 
Islands chose to become a sovereign nation in free association with the 
United States. This political partnership fulfilled the U.N. 
trusteeship agreement and built upon the relationship established 
during the trust territory period. It continues to this day.
  In November of last year, Congress continued our Nation's 
relationship with the Marshall Islands by approving amendments to our 
existing Compact relationship. The term of the amended Compacts is for 
the next 20 years. However, given our history, I imagine that our 
political partnership will outlive such timeline.
  We may never fully understand the personal hardships our nuclear 
testing program caused to the people of the Marshall Islands, and more 
specifically those directly affected communities from the atolls of 
Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap, and Utrok.
  And we should always remember the sacrifices made by the good people 
of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to strengthen our Nation and 
make the world more secure.
  I thank Chairman Pombo for working with me to recognize the U.S. 
relationship with the Marshall Islands and to mark the fiftieth 
anniversary of the BRAVO test with this resolution. I also thank the 
Committee on International Relations for expediting this resolution so 
that it could be considered by the House.
  I urge all my colleagues to support H. Con. Res. 364.
  Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of House 
Concurrent Resolution 364 which recognizes more than 5 decades of 
strategic partnership between the United States and the people of the 
Marshall Islands in the pursuit of international peace and security.
  During World War II, the Marshall Islands were a strategic 
battleground. In 1944 and as a result of the heroic efforts of U.S. 
Armed Forces as well as the courageous assistance of the people of the 
Marshall Islands, the islands were successfully liberated from Japan's 
oppressive regime and a new cooperative partnership between the United 
States and the Marshalls was forged.
  By 1947, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) became one of six 
entities in the

[[Page H1142]]

Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) established by the United 
Nations and administered by the United States. This alliance obligated 
the United States to foster the development of self-governance and 
promote economic, social, and educational advancement of the people of 
the RMI.
  However, on March 1, 1954, at 6:45 a.m., at the Bikini Atoll in the 
Marshall Islands, the United States detonated the Bravo shot, a 15 
megaton hydrogen bomb 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped 
on Hiroshima. Acknowledged as the greatest nuclear explosion ever 
detonated, the Bravo test vaporized 6 islands and created a mushroom 
cloud 25 miles in diameter.
  While U.S. servicemen on Rongerik Atoll were evacuated within hours 
of the blast, Marshallese residents of Utirik and Rongelap were left 
behind for at least a day, resulting in their exposure to significant 
radiation. At the time of their removal, the people of these atolls 
were already suffering burns and loss of hair.
  Also returned prematurely to their atolls, the people of Rongelap and 
Utirik received additional exposure causing many to believe that they 
were used to study the effects of radiation on human beings. Recently 
declassified information contains strong indications that human 
experimentation using the people of the exposed atolls was indeed part 
of the nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands.

  These tests exposed the people of the Marshalls to severe health 
problems and genetic anomalies for generations to come. Yet the United 
States has not made good on its promise to compensate citizens of the 
Marshall Islands for loss or damage to property and person resulting 
from the nuclear testing program which the Government of the United 
States conducted in the Marshall Islands between June 30, 1946 and 
August 18, 1958.
  From 1946 to 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear weapons in 
the Marshall Islands, representing nearly 80 percent of all atmospheric 
tests ever conducted by the United States. If one were to calculate the 
net yield of these tests, it would be equivalent to the detonation of 
1.7 Hiroshima bombs every day for 12 years.
  Conducted in peacetime, the effects of the U.S. nuclear testing 
program in the Marshall Islands continues to be devastating and funds 
provided by the United States under the Compact of Free Association are 
grossly inadequate to provide for health care, environmental 
monitoring, personal injury claims, or land and property damage. I 
believe the survivors of U.S. atomic tests conducted in the Marshall 
Islands deserve just compensation and I am pleased that at a minimum H. 
Con. Res. 364 recognizes the historic contribution the people of the 
Marshall Islands have made in the cold-war struggle to preserve 
international peace and promote nuclear disarmament.
  Today, the RMI provides use of its islands for the United States to 
develop a deployable missile defense system to reduce the risks of 
nuclear missile attacks and this is just another example of the RMI's 
unmatched record of working in conjunction with the leadership of the 
United States in pursuit of international peace and security. I commend 
the people of the Marshalls for their commitment to the rights and 
well-being of the peoples of the world and I recognize with solemn 
regard the sacrifices they have made so that you and I and future 
generations may live in peace.
  I commend Chairman Richard Pombo of the House Resources Committee for 
introducing this legislation of which I am an original cosponsor. I 
thank my good friend for his leadership and for recently leading a 
congressional delegation to the Pacific Territories where we met with 
island leaders, including those from the Marshall Islands. Chairman 
Pombo invited Secretary Gale Norton to accompany us on this visit and I 
commend both the Secretary and the chairman for traveling to the 
Pacific Territories to see firsthand the difficulties we are facing in 
the region.
  As the ranking member of the House International Relations 
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, I also want to thank Chairman Jim 
Leach of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific for sponsoring this 
legislation and for working with Chairman Pombo and me to move this 
legislation to the International Relations Committee for mark-up. I 
also thank Chairman Henry Hyde and Ranking Member Tom Lantos of the 
International Relations Committee for their support.
  Finally, on behalf of the people of American Samoa, I again recognize 
with solemn regard the sacrifices our Pacific Island cousins have made 
in pursuit of international peace and I am hopeful that one day the 
U.S. Congress will declare March 1 as a national day of remembrance for 
the survivors of U.S. nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands.
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. HARRIS. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Bass). The question is on the motion 
offered by the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Harris) that the House 
suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 
364.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of 
those present have voted in the affirmative.
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
postponed.

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