About this Blog

The Loose Nukes is an attempt (by people who should probably be under 24 hour supervised psychiatric care) to bring attention to somewhat serious issues like nuclear weapons, militarism and other seemingly random, unrelated issues through vain attempts at social satire and other futile gestures of total contempt for a fading empire that continues to employ nuclear weapons, the ultimate instruments of an erectile dysfunctional national security state, as instruments of foreign policy. OK, you probably get the idea by now. We are obsessed by run-on sentences, peace and justice, having fun, and don't know when to quit. At any rate, we don't think nuclear weapons are a very good idea, and are most definitely unhealthy for living things. We also think the folks running this Empire should just get over it.

And now the NOT SO FINE PRINT: Read further at your own risk... and remember, DON'T PANIC; this is all SATIRE at its worst (or best, depending on one's mental state)! And some of the stuff in here is even true!!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

NUKES... Fail and the whole world fails with you!!!

Rachel Maddow (part of the remaining "free" press) gives us the low down on what's up with our nation's nuclear arsenal and the people tasked with keeping those weapons absolutely safe and secure. Ever get a "D" in school???  Well, it's not the kind of grade you want somebody getting in nuclear weapons handling!!! Perhaps the Air Force should start using a Pass/Fail grading system...

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Here is the transcript of Rachel going nuclear on the Air Force's academic failures:

>>> okay, the nuclear football is the presidential brief case that has its own 24-hour military escort who follows the president around everywhere. if president obama ever wanted to unleash nuclear warfare, he would turn to that military escort, open up the nuclear football brief case thingy, give the command, to launch the world-altering nuclear bomb or missile. if president obama ever decided to do that, said missile could very well be launched from here, lovely north dakota. if you are lucky enough to be a part of the air force's missile wing in north dakota, part of your job is storing and maintaining and ultimately being ready to launch the inter-continental ballistic missile. the ones who take care of those nuclear missiles are at the arrest force base in great falls, montana, and cheyenne, wyoming. those are the three spots, we built them by the thousands to point at the soviet union back in the day, while the soviet union built thousands of their own to point back at us. they may not still seem like the most pressing national security priority anymore now that the soviet union does not exist, but we never got rid of these things. and with hundreds of them still around and ready to go, somebody has got to keep them around and ready to go. they have got to be cleaned and maintained and kept track of. and occasionally moved around the country. so we employ u.s. air force personnel to take care of that. on august 29th, 2007, one of the air force's weapons handling team at minot, north dakota, was tasked with the de-commissioned nuclear weapons down to their base in louisiana. the missiles were not supposed to be shipped with their live nuclear war heads, the war head part was supposed to be taken have you the missiles and replaced with dummy weight for balance. but in august, 2007, instead of picking up the missiles with the dummy weights on them, the minot crew did not see what they were supposed to be doing. they didn't follow the procedures they were supposed to be following. and oh, yes, accidentally, without meaning to, without knowing that they had done it, they loaded onto that louisiana-bound air force bomber six missiles tipped with live nuclear war heads. half a dozen nuclear war heads, each with roughly the capacity to cause hiroshima times ten were sent up into the air on a cross-country domestic american flight without anybody knowing they were there. happily the plane had no trouble in flight. and because nobody knew to worry about the -- you know, beast, it just seemed like a normal flight, that b-52 and the six live missiles sat unguarded on the tarmac for nine hours after the plane landed before the ground crew realized they had accidentally become a nuclear-armed out post without clearance and without anybody following the procedures you need to follow to protect the nuclear weapons. well, in the wake of that incident in 2007, the secretary of the air force and the chief of staff both lost their jobs, as did a number of low level commanders. minot had a number of its nuclear operations suspended. and when they first tried to win back the nuclear weapons, minot did not help out when they failed their inspections. elsewhere, they failed the inspection in 2008, which was the year after the accidentally flying the bombs to the louisiana thing, they failed inspection in 2008 and in 2010, and they failed again, another nuclear inspection. in minot, they did win back the right to handle the nuclear weapons, once they accidentally lost them in shreveport, they earned the equivalent of a d letter grade, which you remember from school is not failure but really is not good. after that d-grade inspection, the deputy commander of minot's operations group complained publicly that the united states was suffering from a rot in the nuclear weapons handling force. that was his word. rot. 17 officers removed from launch control duty. they were temporarily stripped of their authority to launch number weapons. then in june, the air force relieved from duty the commander in charge of framing the nuclear crew at minot, and now, this week, it is the base in montana that is reportedly failing again. it is one thing to be a part of something that does not matter. if we screw up in cable news, or fishing or something, that is bad. but not the end of the world. handling nuclear weapons is something that you just can't keep failing at. but we do. the chairman of the armed services committee had a spokesperson give a statement for him after this latest failure saying "two troubling inspections in a row at two different missile wings is unacceptable." but what does he say the solution is to this unacceptable problem? he says the air force should recommission itself from the top down to a new mission. and ensure a daily focus on the military mission to our nation's security. refocus on the centrality of that mission? really? how central is it? the idea if we could focus on how central the power of nuclear bombs is to our everyday national security now. yeah, why can't we just wake up every morning, knowing it is our nuclear bombs, our hair-trigger nuclear missiles pointed at the soviet union that are central to american national security in this century, today. either we convince ourselves of that and hope that minot becomes the new a-game top of the class performers in the u.s. military because everybody is so psyched that military bombs are the future of the security, that may start to have a conversation about just not having quite so many of these bombs laying around to baby-sit anymore. when your nuclear weapons handlers are failing consistently, something really needs to change. there is a lot of places that can endure failure, nuclear weapons handling is not one of those areas. that does it for us, we'll see you again tomorrow night. now it is time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell,

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