Perhaps I was a bit overly dismissive about John McCain’s lickspittle Lindsey Graham’s hysterics about the possible nuking of Charleston harbor while they were pushing the case for attacking Syria. Graham’s rhetoric has at least some basis in history although it was the idiotic government of the United States that nearly nuked his state’s northern neighbor back in 1961. In an amazing exclusive story that just came out in The Guardian it was reported that two four-megaton bombs were accidentally dropped near Goldsboro, NC back on January 23, 1961. three days after the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. The Guardian story is based upon a once secret document obtained by writer Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act while researching his new book Command and Control. The book is about the history of the U.S. nuclear program and documents a number of close calls that could have were they to have going the other way resulted in the real version of those smoking guns as mushroom clouds that were used to sell the Iraq disaster. The North Carolina incident would have been devastating for the Eastern seaboard had the last of four safety switches did what it was supposed to do after the other three failed.
The bombs were onboard a B-52 that underwent some sort of structural failure in mid-air therefore dumping the bombs – each of which was 260 times more powerful than the one that was dropped on Hiroshima – onto North Carolina. It is a very fortunate thing for all of us today that the disaster was averted because the war-mongering freaks in the defense establishment would certainly have blamed it on the Russians setting off a global nuclear holocaust. These were the days when the legendary General Curtis ‘Bombs Away’ LeMay, a man who had an absolute hard-on for a first strike on the Soviet Union and had the self-inflicted nuclear wound actually manifested itself he and his fellow hawks would have surely used the opportunity to send in the bombers. LeMay was the basis for the George C. Scott character, General Buck Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove and the prototype for the militarist maniacs of the future including of course a certain crazed Senator from Arizona who currently has his panties in a twist over starting a bombing campaign in Syria. Russian and China would eventually be dragged in and we would have WW III and the Rapture clock would strike midnight with McCain riding the bomb down into the center of Damascus Square.
Schlosser, an outstanding investigative journalist whose gut-churning book Fast Food Nation convinced me years ago to change my eating habits seems to have found a winning topic for his long awaited follow-up. Command and Control reportedly details a number of serious close calls where a nuclear weapon could have ended up going off in America out of happenstance, bad luck, poor planning and just some of that good old fashioned big government idiocy that never fails to fail in planning for contingencies. One of the incidents in the book is the so called “Damascus Incident” where a dropped tool happened to breach the skin of a Titan II missile armed with a thermonuclear warhead. This happened in Arkansas back in 1980 when none other than Slick Willie was the sitting governor. I don’t know whether Schlosser gives any space in his book to the bizarre 2007 incident when six nuclear missiles were somehow without any authorization loaded onto a Stratofortress bomber and flown out of Minot, North Dakota. This which came at the time when the Cheney faction of the George W. Bush administration was pushing for a war on Iran has never been adequately explained and there are tales of a number of strange deaths involving personnel of both Minot and Barksdale A.F.B. Just another of those ugly little situations where there never is a satisfactory explanation and all doubters of the official government story are rapidly sent off to sit in the corner wearing tin foil dunce hats. Somehow I doubt that that gets much if any play in Command and Control but after reading the Guardian story as well as a few other reviews my interest has been piqued to the extent that I just ordered a copy of the book.
As all of us who are able to see already are fully aware – the collapse is coming. While it is even money that it will be triggered either by an implosion of the financial house of cards economy that has been meticulously constructed by Wall Street gangsters, their Don at the Federal Reserve and the ever changing lineup of insiders in government or by another ruinously botched war it is coming. What may end up setting it off though would be one of those “black swan” events or in layman’s terms a “wild card”. Perhaps some sort of nuclear negligence such as Schlosser writes of or an even larger threat would be that one of our own shoddily constructed and maintained nuclear facilities would do the full Fukushima. Either would immediately be pounced on by the neocon war freaks and their army of propagandists and armchair bombardiers, such as Senator Graham to use as a bogus ‘terrorist’ plot justifying their final escalation.
It is a very American phenomenon, putting the most dangerous weapons in the history of mankind into the hands of the least responsible and completely stupid individuals running the most powerful institutions on the planet. They are freaks who dig playing Russian roulette with millions of other people’s lives in the balance, so far the chamber has always been empty when the trigger was pulled but our luck will eventually run out. Sooner rather than later too.