Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

Nuclear weapons mated to B-52 w/o authorization

Posted by Jesse on February 18, 2008

Defense Science Board Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Surety Report on the Unauthorized Movement of Nuclear Weapons [pdf] Generals grilled on Minot nuclear mishap

“…..The intent of the late August mission that went awry was to fly a dozen Advanced Cruise Missiles from Minot to Barksdale to be decommissioned. But instead of loading two pylons of six non-nuclear missiles each under the B-52’s wings, the 5th Bomb Wing airmen at Minot rolled out one pylon loaded with nuclear warheads and strapped it onto one of the wings.”

“…..Lt. Gen. Daniel Darnell, deputy chief of staff for air, space and information operations assured the committee the warheads never migrated off the wings of the B-52 and was always under Air Force control. However, Darnell did confirm that appropriate security was not present to protect the nukes while all six sat on the runway for close to 36 hours first at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and then at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., before a 2nd Bomb Wing airman discovered the mistake at Barksdale.”

Dave Lindorff: Incompetence or Cover-Up? [Nov 1, 2007]
“……The problem with this explanation for the first reported case of nukes being removed from a weapons bunker without authorization in 50 years of nuclear weapons, is that those warheads, and all nuclear warheads in the US stockpile, are supposedly protected against unauthorized transport or removal from bunkers by electronic antitheft systems-automated alarms similar to those used by department stores to prevent theft, and even anti-motion sensors that go off if a weapon is touched or approached without authorization.

NYTimes: Securing Russian Nuclear Missiles? U.S. Is Set to Say ‘Done’
“….The program to improve the security at 25 classified sites on 12 Russian bases, agreed to by President Bush and President Vladimir V. Putin at a meeting in Slovakia in 2005…..It includes measures that have long been part of American efforts to ensure that none of Russia’s nuclear weapons or materials, poorly secured after the Soviet Union collapsed, fall out of government control. They include alarm and motion-detection systems, modern gates, guardhouses and fighting positions, as well as detectors for explosives, radiation and metal…..In a telephone interview, William H. Tobey, a senior nonproliferation official at the National Nuclear Security Administration, said the program had reduced the chance of unauthorized access at the nuclear weapon sites and that it was “continued evidence of this bright spot in U.S.-Russian relations.”

Back to Dave Lindorff
And yet we’re asked to believe that some low-ranking ground crew personnel at Minot AFB simply walked out of a nuclear weapons bunker with six nuclear armed Advanced Cruise Missiles, not knowing what they were carrying, and labored for eight hours to mount those missiles and their launch pylon on the wing of a B-52 strategic bomber without ever noticing that they were armed with nuclear weapons. We’re asked to believe that none of those electronic alarms and motion sensors built into the system went off during that whole process.

When I mentioned the automated alarm and motion sensors to Lt. Col. Jennifer Cassidy, a public affairs person at the Department of the Air Force, and asked her how the movement of the six nukes could have occurred without those alarms being disabled, she said, “It’s an intriguing question, and it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.”

“…..Congress appears ready and willing to accept the Air Force whitewash at face value: It was an accident. It won’t happen again.” Loose Nukes, Here and There
by Gordon Prather
“Some of the cruise missiles in the Minot AFB nuclear weapon storage site contained live nuclear weapons, but others did not. However, as incredible as it seems, neither the external appearance nor the serial numbers of the cruise missiles reflected which was which. And even though the custody of these “nuke-capable” missiles changed at least three times at Minot AFB, there were no paper trail, no check lists and no formal chain-of-custody documentation.”

The grand pooh-bahs of the Air Force apparently satisfied members of the Senate Armed Services Committee this week that the American people had never been in any real danger. Unless, of course, you consider the possibility of being killed by high-explosives a real danger.”

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