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A B-52H bomber with a full load of 12 Advanced Cruise Missiles under the wings.
(Click to enlarge.)
Anyone remember the "oh, shit!" nuclear weapons episode of 2007?  Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists (and their Nuclear Information Project) blogged it:

Michael Hoffman reports in Military Times that five (some say six) nuclear-armed Advanced Cruise Missiles were mistakenly flown on a B-52H bomber from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on August 30.

I disclosed in March that the Air Force had decided to retire the Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM), and the Minot incident apparently was part of the dismantlement process of the weapon system.

The post is very thorough, and I highly recommend reading it.  He goes into detail, explaining how the DoE and DoD keep track of our nuclear weapons, a brief history of how they have been transported via aircraft (including some "incidents"), and how the transfer from Minot Air Force Base was part of decreasing our cruise missile stockpile.

Last month, the Washington Post reported on subsequent changes the Air Force has made in how they handle nuclear weapon transport:

A key change is a firm prohibition against storing nuclear armed and nonnuclear armed weapons in the same storage facility, a contributing factor in the Aug. 29 mix-up. A crew at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., using outdated information, picked up six missiles with dummy warheads and six carrying nuclear warheads from the same storage hangar. The missiles eventually were loaded on a B-52 and flown to Louisiana, where the missiles were to be decommissioned.

"Do not co-mingle nuclear and non-nuclear munitions/missiles . . . in the same storage structure, cell or WS3," the new instructions state. (A WS3 is an underground vault.) The instructions were first disclosed by Stephen Aftergood on his Secrecy News Web site.

[Click here for Aftergood's post.]

Sounds like a fantastic idea.  Too bad they didn't think of it sooner...

... which leads us to what you'll find on page A02 of today's Washington Post.  The news is not good:

The Defense Department is displaying a "precipitous decrease in attention" to the security and control of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, according to a Defense Science Board task force that examined the broader causes behind the U.S. flight in August of a B-52 bomber that inadvertently carried six cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

"The decline in DoD focus has been more pronounced than realized and too extreme to be acceptable,"
the task force said in a report released yesterday by its chairman, retired Air Force Gen. Larry D. Welch, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Welch, who served in the 1980s as head of the Strategic Air Command and later as Air Force chief of staff, told the senators about his concern that "the nation and its leadership do not value the nuclear mission and the people who perform that mission."

I've always said that the last person (next to John McCain) who needs to have thousands and thousands of nukes (on hair-trigger status, mind you) under his control is George W. Bush.

More from the article:

The Welch panel pointed out that Air Force colonels, Navy captains and mid-level civilians are now responsible for managing the Pentagon's nuclear programs -- a task that during the Cold War was handled by senior flag officers or senior civilians. One of the panel's recommendations is the appointment of an assistant secretary of defense for nuclear enterprise reporting directly to the defense secretary, as well as the naming of flag officers in each of the services who would focus solely on nuclear weapons.

The task force's findings were reflected in a statement made before the committee by three senior Air Force officers who had supervised two other inquiries after the B-52 flight. They said the Air Force's once-central focus on its nuclear mission "has diminished since 1991," after the end of the Cold War. At the same time, they said, "the Air Force began 17 years of continuous combat including conventional air power commitments" using aircraft, such as B-52s, once reserved for nuclear operations.

[Click here (pdf) for the report, "Permanent Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Surety Report: Unauthorized Movement of Nuclear Weapons".]

Although it is expected that the Air Force would shift some of its focus from our nuclear mission after the Cold War ended, one would certainly hope that the emphasis on the safety and security of the arsenal would not diminish, especially since we have less nukes than we used to.  The key is in Ret. General Welch's quote above, which bears repeating:

"the nation and its leadership do not value the nuclear mission and the people who perform that mission."

They just value a different mission.  A George W. Bush-style mission:

The 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and White House guidance issued in response to the terrorist attacks against the United States in September 2001 led to the creation of new nuclear strike options against regional states seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction, according to a military planning document obtained by the Federation of American Scientists.

As Meteor Blades pointed out last November, Syria and Iran are on this new nuclear "hit list".

I'm sure John McCain loves the sound of that.

It’s naive to say that we will never use nuclear weapons.

-- John McCain, August 5, 2007, Republican Presidential Debate

Sing it, John.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:17 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am convinced... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    behan, Spathiphyllum

    we will destroy the world in my lifetime.  The only question is how short my life will be.

  •  Rumsfeld (12+ / 0-)

    I think that Rumsfeld, the alleged management whiz who was going to bring us a streamlined military and rule the world with one hand tied behind his back, totally destroyed the Department of Defense's ability to competently and effectively administer anything.  After the wreckage he's left behind it is going to take years to repair the damage.

    •  He bought into the fallicy... (8+ / 0-)

      ...that you can run a government like a business.  We all know now (for the second time!) that it is a completely back-assward idea, seeing as government and business have polar-opposite goals and functions...

      I want my Two Dollars!

      by Ken in MN on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:35:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are two ways of looking at that... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zzyzx, Ken in MN, jhop7

        For some people, running a business means running it efficiently and effectively delivering a superior product and treating all stakeholders fairly, investing in the long term success of the company.

        For others, running a business means maximizing short term success regardless of what it means to long term viability in order to maximize personal gain.  In it's worst case, this means running the company to shift the value of the company to the manager even if this runs the company into the ground, damaging and ruining employees, suppliers, cutomers, lenders and stockholders alike.

        Now, do you see which business model the republics prefer?

        It's just like in the cartoons where there's a little angel on one ear and a little devil on the other ear.  The republics just like to listen to the little devil.

        Dana Perino is proof that appearances carry much much much more weight with this administrations than substance ever will.

        by Josiah Bartlett on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:33:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Distilled down... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Josiah Bartlett, Simplify, sbdenmon

          ...to its very essence, a business is in the business of maximizing profit.  All that other stuff about efficiency and quality is not always required, and in my example it is exclusive from the goal of maximizing profit.  Why?  Because government is a monopoly.  If a business operates as a monoply it maximizes profit by not wasting money on stuff like efficiency, quality and superior customer service.  Doesn't this sound exactly like the government we now have?

          I want my Two Dollars!

          by Ken in MN on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:09:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (0+ / 0-)

            The government we have right now could be compared to a mafia bust out.  They are trying to drain everything of value and then leave a worthless shell.

            And no, it is not about maximizing profit, it is about maximizing value for the shareholders.  A short term view will advise to maximize profits to boost share prices then sell out.  A long term view will ignore the short term profit in favor of the greater longer term value.

            In this context, the US government must strive to maximize value, benefits or most broadly promote the common good for all the people of the Unites States.  This government was formed by the people, of the people and for the people.  The people are the shareholders and the customers for this government and this government is being run entirely for the benefit of a very few.

            FYI ken, I tipped you because you responded to my comment, not because I agree with your post.

            Dana Perino is proof that appearances carry much much much more weight with this administrations than substance ever will.

            by Josiah Bartlett on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 01:34:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  It should be interesting to have a Dem admin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify

      going through and doing a complete audit on the REAL state of our military and other government departments and agencies.

      Probably won't be a pretty picture.

      The first State of the Nation address will probably have in the opening line something like "..is awful".

  •  And not to make to fine a point of it... (12+ / 0-)

    ...but one of Obama's signature issues is nonproliferation and disarmament.

    I think he'd welcome the contrast with McCain on this issue...

  •  I think one of our modern myths goes... (5+ / 0-)

    The Americans built a Frankenstein in the 1940's to protect the nation, and by extension the world from the facist scourage created in the 1920's and 1930's. But once the monster was created, it jumped off the table, called itself "The Military Industrial Complex," and it proceded to repeatedly bite the American nation in the ass.

  •  Enough is Enough (12+ / 0-)

    Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking nukes on this motherfucking plane!

    CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. A. Bierce

    by irate on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:26:29 AM PST

  •  Cheer to actually having an election... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Snarcalita

    ...this November!

    (Oh, wait!  Wrong diary!  Sorry...)

    (Okay, maybe not.  Am I the only one jaded enough to think that a convenient "accident" with nook-u-lar material could disrupt all of our best laid plans for a change in govenment?  After all, right now, somewhere in the world, teh terrorist are planning attacks on the Fatherland that will make September teh 11th pale in comparrison...)

    I want my Two Dollars!

    by Ken in MN on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:27:49 AM PST

    •  I too worry about convenient disruptions ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snarcalita, Ken in MN

      not to postpone elections (a little too tin-foil for me), but to influence them propaganda-wise.

      But it needn't be nuclear.  Any kind of thing that goes "boom", from a nail-bomb to a molotov cocktail, would serve the purpose.  As long as it was in, or near, or SAID to be near, a place where American shoppers congregate.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:52:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are one event away from martial law (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Snarcalita, ImpeachKingBushII
      •  That's kinda what I meant... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp

        ...disrupting, not cancelling.  I should have stated that a little clearer...

        I think they are going to ratchet things up another notch, seeing as they couldn't sell the idea that the "incident" between one of our Navy ships and a couple of Iranian rubber rafts was the modern-day equivilent of the Battle of Midway...

        I want my Two Dollars!

        by Ken in MN on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:06:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ye Olde October Surprise always awaits (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard, Snarcalita

          and the thing that gets me is that they don't even have to bother to create an incident.  All they have to do is CLAIM TO HAVE PREVENTED ONE.  And line up so poor schizoid as the fall guy.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:11:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Chicken Little quickly went from being ridiculed (0+ / 0-)

          ... to a job as Serious Pentagon Pundit when the Repubs realized it was an Iranian acorn of mass destr-oak-tion.

          The Dutch children's chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “kids for kids”): is a world cultural treasure.

          by lotlizard on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:20:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Just call it the old cynic in me... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, Ken in MN

        ...with all the power Bush has consolidated under the Unitary Executive, I just don't trust him and his neocons to ride quietly into the sunset. When has Bush ever told the truth? When has any despot ever voluntarily given his power back to the people without being forced to? I can't think of one right off hand.

        I'm like you guys. I'd like nothing better than to see him getting impeached in the worst way, or standing tall shackled in irons in front of the War Crimes Tribunals at the Hague, or to see him getting on Airforce One for the last time as our president on January 20, 2009. All I'm saying is I don't trust him as far as I can throw him, and like Rummy(and speaking of Rummy where is that old warmonger anyway?)I'll believe he's really gone when I see it.

        "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:08:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know that LIHOP is met with ridicule (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, Snarcalita, Ken in MN

        but I'm paranoid enough to believe that the next "terror attack" will be nuclear. It will turn out to be an "accident" (which also was LIHOP), but that will be years and years after we have already nuked half of the Middle East in retaliation.

        Please, assure me that I am a nut and that this would never occur, especially in September or October. Because there would be no election in November. And those Halliburton camps are still sitting unused and waiting.

        "My job is a decision-making job. I make a lot of decisions." GWBush, 10/3/07

        by Louise on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:12:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  GW Bush Presser: "The terrists set the Reichstag (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ken in MN

      on fire!"

  •  The Republican Disregard for Humanity (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    behan, lotlizard, lgmcp, JeffW

    George W. Bush embodies it. John McCain embraces it - surprising for someone who has seen first hand the horrors of war. But, he's a Republican, so that means getting with the program and believing that some humans deserve to live and some deserve to die - all based upon the whim of a maverick.

    Land in your hand you'll be happy on earth Then invest in the Church for your heaven.

    by Splicer on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:28:09 AM PST

  •  I'm not so sure about that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    behan, Over the Edge, forgore

    Republican party-military personnel link anymore.  Anyone who knows anything about or cares about the military has to recognize what a destructive force the Bush Administration has been vis-a-vis the military.  

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:30:17 AM PST

  •  Glad to see some attention being paid to what (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Over the Edge

    the Air Force is up to.  I found this article yesterday when I started a review.  The Air Force would seem to be eager for more attention, since they're now inviting the media onto the bases in Iraq.

    Strange as it seems, the Air Force role in iraq seems to have flown under the radar.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:32:34 AM PST

  •  I still think that one possible explanation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    behan, lgmcp, Snarcalita

    for the cross country flight of those nukes was a Dr. Strangelove event. That such an event could not be made public is obvious.

    •  Funny this should get mentioned today (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jhop7, geez53, Shaviv

      I had a nightmare last night.  A really paranoid-delusional type nightmare.  The screw-ball right interpreted some prophecy about stopping the enemy outside of Jerusalem as stopping the godless democrats from taking the New Jerusalem, and they nuked DC on the 1-20-09 so that Bush could impose emergency rule and remain president.  Of course they were actually being used by the oil and other multinational industrialists to gain tight control ahead of peak oil...and they blamed it on Pakistan but the nukes were really from our arsenal.  Quite a detailed and paranoid dream.  This is what seven years under Republican rule has done to my subconscious.  It kept me up for a while.  

      It must have been a combination of the misdirected nukes story, the story about Cheney meeting in secret with the guy who wrote the Left-Behind series, and all the 1/20/09 bumper stickers, oh and a few too many books by Sheri Tepper - but I wouldn't expect many people to understand that reference.

      I guess I need a vacation.

    •  Also, what about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snarcalita
      the "coincidence" of several deaths of base personnell around the time of the incident? Any reporting on what exacty happened with that?

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:50:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pet peeve alert (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, sbdenmon, lgmcp, GMFORD, jhop7, Shaviv, John Shade

    We do not have less nukes.  We have fewer nukes,

    Less is for collectives that aren't usually enumerated - less water, less time, less stress.  Fewer is for enumerable objects - fewer people, fewer moments, fewer bananas.

    "Cultist" is an empty argument. It's the new Godwin. If you invoke it, you've already lost.

    by nightsweat on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:35:22 AM PST

  •  What are dummy warheads used for? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shaviv

    Training on bombing ranges?  

  •  Short version: a drunk payload master could have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp

    her/his finger on the button.  

    If it is spelled correctly---it's a typo

    by alasmoses on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:42:19 AM PST

  •  Star Wars Marketing (6+ / 0-)

    In Iraq, leaving Saddam's stockpiles undefended and distributing US weapons to traitorous "Iraqi troops", all of which went quickly into hands of enemies turned against US troops and Iraqis. was a very forceful way to require US troops to stick around engaged in the bloodbath.

    Letting US nukes get stolen is a way to market demand for a Star Wars "missile defense system". In fact, the Bush gang's roots in Iran/Contra teach them that selling stolen weapons to terrorists (including Iran) is well covered by relaxing US security at the weapons depots. And even if no nukes go missing (according to the recordkeeping, at least), just the fears that their security has holes is enough to encourage governments to want to buy "insurance" in missile defense.

    Star Wars insurance. From terrorists the Bush gang arm with weapons and cause for fear. The greatest protection racket ever devised. Dick Cheney's permanent legacy.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:42:46 AM PST

    •  And of course, said missle defense is provided (0+ / 0-)

      in a no-bid contract to a MIC corporation that just happens to have donated heavily to the president and the GOP Congresspondscum that voted for it.

      I love how all their "let the market take care of it" and "competition is the best form of business" platitudes get flipped on their heads when it comes to military spending.

      So...competition in pricing is good for civilians, but not for the troops?

      •  Long Term Plans (0+ / 0-)

        The Star Wars racket has been funded, legally and illegally, under presidents Republican and Democratic since at latest Reagan. The 1980s Democratic Congress did shut it down, but the 1990s Republican Congress kept it going (overtly and covertly). And Bill Clinton (D-AR) signed the bills and the checks.

        I expect nothing better from Hillary Clinton, though a Democratic Congress would have to pick up where Republicans left off. Which these days is not so far fetched. This isn't your father's Democratic Congress.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:50:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree with all of you, but you're overlooking (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DocGonzo

          one very important factor: Every major weapons system is "parted out" to every major congressional district in nearly all 50 states. The MICC* is purposely laid out that way.

          *Eisenhower's original title was Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

          I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

          by geez53 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 09:31:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  My dear Page... (7+ / 0-)

    ...if I have learned one thing in my time on the internets, it is that you can never attribute to the sheer incompetence of people worse at government than monks are at sex what you can attribute to a false flag operation to blow up an American warship in the Persian Gulf with a nuclear weapon that the corporate media will unquestioningly believe is from al-Qaeda in Iraq at the direction of bin Laden's father and Leni Riefenstahl's love child.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:42:57 AM PST

    •  Great copy! (0+ / 0-)

      You can write storyboards for the dark side, if you ever get tired of the paths of virtue.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:56:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know people who are nuke rated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, Over the Edge, lgmcp

    and I have to y'all this incident being made public is the anomaly here.

    Stuff like this happens all the time and is covered up. The unusual aspect of this is that someone made a big stink about it, and risked getting killed doing so.

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
    If you want to go far, go together.
    We have to go far, quickly."

    by shpilk on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:43:17 AM PST

    •  Killed? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Over the Edge

      Dunno, I guess, maybe.  Wouldn't just fired, discredited, blackballed, and falsely documented as a history of mental illness do the trick just as well?  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:57:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm by no means convinced that our nuclear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plutonium Page, GMFORD

    tracking and security are anywhere close to impervious .  We may not have quite the non-secured non-inventory of incorrect paperwork on it that Russia apparently has at this point ... but it wouldn't be that hard to reach their level.  Just think of the lack of planning applied to the inevitability of breached levees in New Orleans, and then multiply that by however many nuclear-weapons installations we have ....

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 05:48:19 AM PST

  •  Fascinating post, PP. (0+ / 0-)

    And scary.

    Don't Legitimize Fox News.
    "Democrats have the heart to care."

    by jeepdad on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:05:55 AM PST

  •  Hersh has a new article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Over the Edge

    in the New Yorker from a few days ago:
    http://www.newyorker.com/...

    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:22:06 AM PST

  •  Does seem like a rather extreme way (0+ / 0-)

    to free Lebanon from Syria...

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:25:57 AM PST

  •  Our country has problems; big problems. (0+ / 0-)

    I bet some bright young guy or gal, not unlike the thousands of bright young guys and gals on this site, saw what was happening, knows our country has problems today, took out his or her cell phone and started calling people he or she thought could do something about it.  

    Our country is counting on them to care, to know what is right and to do what is right.  

    We have never had a group of young people in this country of whom we could be more proud.  Whatever happens next, think of them first.

    This time it's personal.

    by apostrophe on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:46:48 AM PST

  •  Remember it well... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and diaried it here on Dkos 09.07.07:
    "B-52 Loaded With Nuke-tipped Cruise Missiles Crosses the U.S.!"

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    It was so embarassing, the caption reads where my video feed used to read: "we're sorry, this video is no longer available". If I were them, I'd delete it, too!

    "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:48:51 AM PST

  •  Interesting byline (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, Over the Edge, Pandoras Box

    Walter Pincus is one of the Washington Post's most experienced and respected reporters on national security issues.  But, it has become common in recent months to see Pincus share the byline with one or more younger reporters.  Indeed, Pincus shared the byline on the original Post article with a younger reporter, Joby Warrick. But, this time, Pincus had the byline to himself.

    Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

    by Deep Harm on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:49:24 AM PST

  •  I'm having a real problem with the assertion that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zzyzx, Snarcalita

    it was an unfotunate comedy of errors. Ordinance crew grabbed the wrong missles from inventory? Please....I'm ex-USAF, everything (even toilet paper) is clearly labeled, sorted and tracked. Pilots and crew go through extensive preflights everytime. Just can't buy it.

    I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

    by geez53 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 06:52:49 AM PST

    •  As a "SAC Trained Warrior" now retired... (4+ / 0-)

      I'd have to say the whole thing looks like a very well put together cover-up.

      The most unconvincing argument to me is that co mingling is suddenly against the rules.  Sort of like they are saying it wasn't against the rules before.

      •  I'm a post-Cold War civilian, (0+ / 0-)

        so what do I know, but...

        ...was it against the rules before? Just because some rule-making bureaucrat is working for the government doesn't mean he has two brain cells to rub together, I'm sure you've run into people who don't during your career.

        Oh, my friend, how have we come / to trade the fiddle for the drum?

        by Shaviv on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:30:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Military systems are designed and honed to be (0+ / 0-)

          almost idiot proof. They do know how to keep track of the important stuff. If i had lost a transistor, 6 other people would have known it. I might have gotten away with stealing it, but misplacing it? Never.

          I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

          by geez53 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 09:00:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That baffles me, too. (0+ / 0-)

        I served my time in SAC at Barksdale and total separation was a major component of the safeguards. I've been out since '85, so I'm not familiar with the regs in the post-SAC world.

        "It's time again for a new generation of leadership." Sen. Edward M. Kennedy 1-2008

        by Over the Edge on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 08:32:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And as well you shouldn't "buy it"... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snarcalita, geez53

      ...I was an Aviation Ordnanceman (AO1) for 10 years in the Navy, and let me say this, those nukes are more closely guarded than the president himself, and just about everyone in the Chain of Command knows when they're being loaded on any of our aircraft. There's so many checks, and chains of custody, and signatures, there's no way I'm believing the offical "line of bull" they're putting out. This stank when it came out, and it stinks even worse now that they're making a "plausible deniability" story. Sorry, not buying it.

      "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:44:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm Ex USAF I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Over the Edge, Snarcalita, geez53

      AFSC 4625 - Weapons Officer. I stored and repaired these things in bomb dumps under my command. Nothing was more closely tracked than Nukes and parts, down to literally the last nut and bolt. This is a coverup of something, and that is the story...

      "red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme" - Richard Thompson

      by blindcynic on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 08:05:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Question for all the ex-USAF guys (0+ / 0-)

        When did you get out?

        The entire point of the reports cited is how things have gone seriously downhill and standards have lapsed in the last few years, and as a result the incident happened.

        No one has yet produced a believable  explanation of why this would be done deliberately outside of conspiracy theories and murmurings of Dr. Strangelove.  Why would the US breach a treaty that it (even under George Bush) has scrupulously obeyed since it was signed to move nuclear weapons from one base to another base that already has nuclear weapons?  This wasn't moving them to a base for use against Iran (or whatever the talk was) that didn't have weapons already available.

    •  c'mon why would anyone lie? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geez53

      would it help if Arlen Spector signed off on the report?

  •  Pure Bush League. (0+ / 0-)

     It's all in the posturing, there is no follow through.  Is the current nuclear management program entitled "No Bomb Left Behind?"  Or maybe it's a "stop loss" program.
      Maybe this is a function of DoD internal brain drain... all (capable) hands to Iraq.  If I were in a position of authority at one of our allies, I'd think really hard about housing any US military projects.

    Ahhhh DKos in primary season... it's like the hunting scene in Bambi and the end of Old Yeller all rolled into one never-ending movie.

    by jhop7 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:19:30 AM PST

  •  I don't mean to back McCain, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Over the Edge, Shane Hensinger

    didn't we use nuclear weapons in the cold war?

    The funny thing about nukes, so it seems, is that here is a weapon that is most effective when you build it but don't use it. Assuming that mutually assured destruction is fine, between you and your opponents, and neither one of you either gets overconfident or despairs.

    Oh, my friend, how have we come / to trade the fiddle for the drum?

    by Shaviv on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:27:52 AM PST

  •  Larry Welch... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Over the Edge

    Isn't the air force general mentioned in the story about the one that Dick Cheney slapped around as defense secretary?  I seem to recall Woodward writing about it in the Commanders.  That'd be a bit funny - it took 18 years, but Larry Welch managed to zap the Bush administration back.

    •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

      Gen. Welch was USAF Chief of Staff when Cheney became SecDef. Gen. Welch retired in 1990 and Gen. Dugan became COS for a very brief time. Dugan was eventually replaced by Gen. Tony McPeak from 90-94. While COS, McPeak served over the disbanding of the Strategic Air Command.

      Shortly after taking office, he [Cheney] publicly rebuked Air Force Gen. Larry Welch for appearing to negotiate with Congress over nuclear missile deployments. He fired another Air Force general, Chief of Staff Michael J. Dugan, after he talked with reporters in unusual detail about U.S. war plans in the Persian Gulf in September 1990, a month after Iraq invaded its southern neighbor, Kuwait.

      CNN Special -- 2000

      "It's time again for a new generation of leadership." Sen. Edward M. Kennedy 1-2008

      by Over the Edge on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 08:04:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  there are days (0+ / 0-)

    when i wonder just why everyone says the Cold War ended.  it didn't...we just haven't renamed it yet.

    what WILL historians, should there be any historians on the coming years, call this era?  The Glorious Era of Stupidity has a nice ring to it, but, will anyone be around to write OR read the history by then?  

    Just once in a while let us exalt the importance of ideas and information. -- Edward R. Murrow

    by labwitchy on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:29:44 AM PST

  •  ever see a B-52 take off or land? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FightTheFuture, Snarcalita, geez53

    I have a client in Shreveport, LA, across the river from Barksdale.  There aren't too many things spookier than those suckers coming in.  They darken the sky like Tolkien's Nazgul.  

    Given the extent to which the Krazy Kooky Kristians have infiltrated the USAF in particular, we really should give some thought to taking all their toys away from them for a while.

    funkify your life...

    by YatPundit on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 07:41:20 AM PST

    •  I was stationed at Barksdale (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snarcalita

      for five years back in the Strategic Air Command days when we had nuclear loaded BUFFs sitting on the alert pad.

      I had my share of complaints at the time, but overall nuclear security within SAC was not among them. I can't say that my thoughts today are the same.

      "It's time again for a new generation of leadership." Sen. Edward M. Kennedy 1-2008

      by Over the Edge on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 08:11:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Now imagine two at once! Was stationed north of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      djpat, Over the Edge

      Glasgow Mt. in the 70's. their mains were so long they could launch 2 at a time. Strictest definition of the term Awesome.

      I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

      by geez53 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 09:44:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sinking feeling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Snarcalita

    Why do I have a sinking feeling that America is fast pushing toward its own Soviet-style collapse?

  •  i ain't swallowing this crap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FightTheFuture

    can you BELIEVE the crap we're expected to swallow...?

       Air Force's nuclear focus has dimmed, studies find

       The U.S. military has lost focus on its nuclear-weapons mission and has suffered a sharp decline in nuclear expertise, factors that may have contributed to a mishap last year in which a B-52 bomber unknowingly carried six nuclear warheads across the country, according to two new independent reviews.

    mishap...?

    lost focus...?

    unknowingly...?

    nuclear warheads...?

    across the country...?

    and we're supposed to sit here, read the story on the "official" report, solemnly nod, cluck our tongues, and mutter under our breath, "well, shit happens...?"

    are they FUCKING KIDDING ME...??

    do they think we're COMPLETE IDIOTS...??

    •  It is rather rediculous to believe anything but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      djpat

      the worst from this criminally traitorous and illegal administration or the DOD, which is in their pocket, at least at the higher levels.  

      This "investigation", no matter how earnest, could not draw anything but what it did--mistakes from human fuckups and laziness.  To draw any other conclusion would inevitably point to treason of the highest order.  

      Let's face it, it's quite reasonable to assume Bu$hitCo and the shady traitors within are squirreling away a few nukes for their own nefarious purposes. Fortunately, some brave soul ratted them out as best they could while protecting their life.  

      You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

      by FightTheFuture on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:18:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wow (0+ / 0-)

        Let's face it, it's quite reasonable to assume Bu$hitCo and the shady traitors within are squirreling away a few nukes for their own nefarious purposes. Fortunately, some brave soul ratted them out as best they could while protecting their life.  

        Ummm... wow...

        This is why I still read DK even though it has turned into an Obama/Hillary hatefest lately, with the odd post by the moron in the prius who wants to drive 50 in the left lane of a freeway with a 70MPH speed limit.

        I aggressively pointed out that all the hippie nut jobs (and you have to admit this place is full of hippie nut jobs now) talking about Bush wanting to nuke Iran were just being psychotic hippie nut jobs.

        I never once thought about the scenario that you are pointing out.  That scares the crap out of me.

        I need to go wash some clothes now...

  •  237 nuke handling deficiencies cited since 2001 (0+ / 0-)

    Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, issued a Freedom of Information Act request for all ACC Bent Spear and Dull Sword incidents from June 1992 — when the ACC took over the nuclear mission from Strategic Air Command — to Sept. 27, 2007, when he made the request.

    The response he received went only as far back as June 2001 because the ACC Safety database no longer has any records of Dull Sword incidents from 1992 to 2001, said Maj. Thomas Crosson, an ACC spokesman. Air Force officials could not explain why those incidents got deleted from the database.

    AF Times 2-12-2008

    "It's time again for a new generation of leadership." Sen. Edward M. Kennedy 1-2008

    by Over the Edge on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 09:06:40 AM PST

    •  Not to defend any goof offs, but in the military, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FightTheFuture, Over the Edge

      a handling deficiency can be as innocuous as the "third copy of the transit form not legible".
      And i never saw an IG who didn't find something to put in their report. Having said that, 237 is a bit high.

      I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

      by geez53 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 09:53:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome to George W. Bush's America. (0+ / 0-)

    "Do not co-mingle nuclear and non-nuclear munitions/missiles . . . in the same storage structure, cell or WS3," the new instructions state. (A WS3 is an underground vault.) The instructions were first disclosed by Stephen Aftergood on his Secrecy News Web site.

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    PATRIOT I+II, MCA, FISA CAPITULATION, NOW TORTURE. YOUR COUNTRY IS SLOWLY BEING DISMANTLED. WHAT R U GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

    by maxschell on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 09:50:04 AM PST

  •  The shrub was just trying to make things better! (0+ / 0-)

    Here's what I think happened: the Shrub finally decided that he had to do something about Katrina and using his superior grasp of military strategies selected the one called to-save-the-city-you-first-have-to-destroy it.  Somewhere along the line the Shrub got cold feet, or maybe just one of his minders pulled him up short.

    --- Democratic mantra for '08: It's the EVERYTHING, stupid!

    by KingBolete on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:40:07 AM PST

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