Use it Or Lose it?
Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana - On August 30, a B-52 bomber loaded with nuclear warheads flew from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The Air Force claims this was a mistake.
There are several problems with this story. First, there is the way the story was leaked. Was it leaked by Air Force personnel who are trying to alert the public that nukes are being positioned, or that our nuclear arsenal is not secured? Or, was it leaked by the administration trying to rattle swords and threaten Iran?
Second, there are varying reports on the number of nuclear warheads involved, with some news agencies reporting 5 and others 6. Who provided the information about the number of nukes, and is this discrepancy simply a replication of error without fact-checking by the media, or was different information provided by different informants? Which is the right number and do we now have all nuclear warheads accounted for?
Finally, getting access to a nuclear warhead is not like opening the refrigerator while you're distracted by talking to someone and mistakenly taking out the mustard when you meant to grab the mayo. There are computerized inventory management systems, forms to file, permissions to be granted, orders to be cut and inspections to be made prior to any nuclear warhead going anywhere at any time.
According to Larry Johnson (the terrorism expert, not the basketball player), there is something decidedly fishy about the "accident" story. He thinks the nukes are positioned to strike Iran based on some information he received about Barksdale being a major base for Middle East operations in the past. With Larry Johnson's background, his gut feel is more than just idle speculation and wild hunches. With his knowledge base, a gut feel is more like the "blink" moment that sums up what's true.
In the Military Times forum many former (and perhaps current) military posters claim the "accident" story is difficult to believe, even with multiple screw-ups by many people at several levels of responsibility and authority.
So, if a nuke is transferred from one Air Force base to another, which is worse: to use it, or to lose it?
That is the question.
Written for Assimilated Press by roving reporter pinko