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View Diary: Overnight News Digest: "Right To Be Wrong" Edition (41 comments)

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  •  No one guarding US nukes during nap time (21+ / 0-)

    AP: Nuclear missile officers were twice caught leaving blast door open while napping

    Twice this year alone, Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been caught leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post, Air Force officials have told The Associated Press.

    The blast doors are never to be left open if one of the crew members inside is asleep -- as was the case in both these instances -- out of concern for the damage an intruder could cause, including the compromising of secret launch codes.

    [...]

    The blast door violations are another sign of serious trouble in the handling of the nation's nuclear arsenal. The AP has discovered a series of problems within the ICBM force, including a failed safety inspection, the temporary sidelining of launch officers deemed unfit for duty and the abrupt firing last week of the two-star general in charge. The problems, including low morale, underscore the challenges of keeping safe such a deadly force that is constantly on alert but is unlikely ever to be used.

    The crews who operate the missiles are trained to follow rules without fail, including the prohibition against having the blast door open when only one crew member is awake, because the costs of a mistake are so high.

    The officers, known as missileers, are custodians of keys that could launch nuclear hell.

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