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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Air Force Nuclear Security Lacking


US says its nuclear arsenal in Europe is poorly guarded
  • Air force finds inadequate security at most bases
  • Leaked report suggests withdrawing some bombs
Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
The Guardian, Thursday June 26, 2008

The leaked Nuke document here

Most American bases in Europe where nuclear weapons are stored have inadequate security, a secret internal US air force review has found.

The report, which was ordered after the US air force lost track of six nuclear cruise missiles last August, found that "support buildings, fencing, lighting and security systems" were in need of repair.

In some cases, it was found that conscripts with less than nine-months experience were being used to guard the nuclear weapons. Elsewhere private security guards were used to protect the bombs.

The report recommends that the US nuclear arsenal in Europe be consolidated to "reduce vulnerabilities at overseas locations". That would involve the withdrawal of significant numbers of US nuclear weapons from Europe.

The US air force does not publicise details of its nuclear arsenal, but it is believed that it has up to 350 bombs in seven bases, including up to 110 B61 bombs at Lakenheath in Suffolk.

It is not clear whether Lakenheath is one of the bases that fall short of Pentagon security standards, but the report states that "most sites require significant additional resources to meet [US department of defence] requirements."

The current stockpile in Europe is only a fraction of its cold war size. Analysts say the residual arsenal, consisting of free-fall bombs rather than missiles, is of little military significance in the 21st century.

"They fulfil no military function. They are a political symbol for Nato," said Paul Ingram, of the British American Security Information Council. "Withdrawing them from Europe would be the logical next step in nuclear disarmament."

The classified US report, entitled Air Force Blue Ribbon Review of Nuclear Weapons Policies and Procedures, was circulated internally in February. But the Federation of American Scientists, an independent watchdog group, obtained a leaked copy this month and has published it on its website (fas.org).

Hans Kristensen, an FAS nuclear specialist, wrote: "The main implication of the ... report is that the nuclear weapons deployment in Europe is, and has been for the past decade, a security risk ... This contradicts Nato's frequent public assurances about the safe conditions of the widespread deployment in Europe."

The leaked review has triggered a political storm in Germany, where the Social Democrats, a partner in the governing coalition, this week called for the removal of all nuclear weapons from the country as a result of the findings. But the Christian Democratic Union, of Chancellor Angela Merkel, has argued against making any quick decisions, saying that the weapons remain a factor in Germany's defence.

The air force review was triggered by an incident in August last year when six cruise missiles with nuclear warheads were flown across the US, from North Dakota to Louisiana, by mistake. The B-52 bomber that took them was supposed to have taken unarmed cruise missiles. The warheads sat unguarded for 30 hours before their absence was noticed.

As a result of the inquiry, the US air force chief of staff and the air force secretary resigned earlier this month.

As well as unearthing shortcomings in security in Europe, the review found the equipment used to transport nuclear weapons was aging, there were "potential vulnerabilities" in the convoys used to move them, and "stubby pencil" note-keeping was used to keep track of them.

31 comments:

  1. SUPREMES TO RULE ON GUN RIGHTS

    says headline

    On this issue, I don't care what the "Supremes" say, they will take my gun away when they carve my cold dead fingers away from it, as the bumper sticker says. They can make me a felon, but not a dishonest man.

    In some cases, it was found that conscripts with less than nine-months experience were being used to guard the nuclear weapons

    Exactly the tale I told about my cousin, when he was in Germany, guarding nuclear warheads, the kind launched out of the barrel of a cannon. He told me, we could have taken them, the two or three of us, if we had wanted to do so. Four guys, he said, we could have taken the warhead, and the detonating device. It's scary. My cousin was in for two years, nine months training, just like the article says. He is an honest man. No warheads missing on his watch.

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  2. Safari Club International claims that hunting and fishing support more jobs in Montana than Malmstrom Air Force Base and Billings Clinic combined and that hunters and anglers spend an average of $2 million every day in the state.

    Here is the Safari Club’s breakdown for Montana:

    - 232,000: Number of hunters and anglers in Montana.

    - 11,500: Number of Montana jobs supported by hunting and fishing.

    - $721 million: Annual spending in Montana by hunters and anglers.

    Combined, sportsmen spend 1.7 million days hunting in Montana every year and 2.3 million days fishing Montana’s rivers and lakes, according to Safari Club figures.


    Safari Club

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  3. David Mitchell, senior analyst with Ovum, said Gates' legacy centers on technology produced before the modern "Vista generation" of the company.

    "He helped to create a generation of people in the industry that focus on usability and making computing a simpler experience that ordinary people can manage," Mitchell said.

    He added: "He was one of the people responsible for the democratization of computing, taking it from the hands of technical elite into the mainstream of business and the home."


    Modern Day Henry Ford

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  4. Exactly the tale I told about my cousin, when he was in Germany, guarding nuclear warheads, the kind launched out of the barrel of a cannon.

    It seems to me that unless your cannon is of a very large caliber, like the Paris Gun, that's about as stupid as having a nuclear weapon where you pull the pin and throw it.

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  5. Lavrov insisted that Iran must be encouraged to continue its cooperation with the U.N. monitoring agency.

    “As long as the IAEA reports to us progress in its relations with Iran, as long as Iran closes the issues which were of concern to the IAEA and this process continues, we should avoid any steps which could undermine this very important process,” he said, speaking in English.

    Russia has maintained close ties with Iran and is building its first nuclear power plant in the southern port of Bushehr, which is expected to go on line later this year. It has backed limited U.N. sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program, but has opposed the U.S. push for harsher measures.


    Against Use of Force on Iran

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  6. 'Major takedown' of L.A. gang
    In a sweeping crackdown on a notorious street gang, more than 500 federal, state and local investigators, including 10 SWAT teams, swarmed northeast Los Angeles before dawn this morning to arrest dozens of alleged members of the Avenues gang.

    Photos | Drew Street resident Patricia Gomez scolds police officers because her children were frightened by the early morning raid on her building targeting reputed gang members.
    (Another first class addition to our country)

    Video | Discuss

    • Law will facilitate seizure of assets

    Map: L.A.'s most dangerous gangs

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  7. Thomas M. Jankowski, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of IRS -- Criminal Investigation's Los Angeles Field Office, stated: 'The indictment of Francisco Real and members of the Drew Street gang on federal racketeering, narcotics trafficking, money laundering and asset forfeiture charges is the result of a highly successful multi-agency investigation into the gang's criminal activity. IRS - Criminal Investigation plays a unique role in federal law enforcement in that we target the profit and financial gains of criminals and their organizations.

    IRS - Criminal Investigation specializes in following the money, enabling increased criminal prosecutions and asset forfeitures as a result.'

    Defendants arrested during this morning's operation will be making their initial appearances in United States District Court beginning this afternoon and continuing tomorrow morning.


    LA

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  8. I don't know, Lil, but that's what he said. Guarded some Nuclear Artillery Shells, like this, I quess. In one bunker under a hut was the shell, over in another the arming device, is what he said. Definitely would want to be upwind of that sucker. Said you could put some of them in the back of a jeep. Scared the heck out of me, his story.

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  9. I think it must have been one of these--

    The W48 was 846 mm long and weighed 58 kg; it could be fitted in a 155 mm M-45 AFAP (artillery fired atomic projectile) and used in a more standard 155 mm howitzer. The fission warhead was a linear implosion type, consisting of a long cylinder of subcritical mass which is compressed and shaped by explosive into a supercritical sphere. The W48 yielded just 72 tons TNT equivalent.

    The W48 went into production from 1963; and 135 examples of the Mod 0 variant were built up to 1968 when it was retired. It was replaced by the Mod 1 which was manufactured from 1965 up until 1969; 925 of this type were made.

    Only one type of artillery round other than the W48 was produced in large numbers, the W33 for use in a 203 mm shell. Around 2,000 warheads of this type were manufactured from 1957-65. Each M422 projectile was 940 mm long and weighing around 109 kg (the standard HE shell weighed some 90 kg). M422 were fitted with a triple deck mechanical time base fuze. They were fired from a standard 8-inch (203mm) howitzer, either the towed M115 or self-propelled M110. In some NATO armies these were in specialist units.
    --

    at any rate, it was an odd job for a red headed peaceful kid feom Walla Walla, Washington, finding himself in post Hitler, cold war Germany. It's all he did, post guard duty, he said. That, and smoke hash, and go into the beer bar in town, with his friends on the day off. Said the sargeant, a nice guy, hardly ever checked on them, there in the bunker.

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  10. Shiek al-Dougal, Sam's right, map no workee. Sendsme rightbackee to here-ee.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The revision allows the seizure of any gang members' assets, not just assets that the gangs obtained illegally, to cover the cost of damage they caused.

    That SUV you be drivin' may not be your own, much longer.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Russia has almost doubled annual arms exports since 2000 to almost $5 billion last year, becoming the world's second-largest exporter of conventional arms after the United States.

    Rosoboronexport earlier said that the country could export weaponry worth about $7.5 billion in 2008.

    Russia exports weapons to about 80 countries. Among the key buyers of its weaponry are China, India, Algeria, Venezuela, Iran, Malaysia and Serbia.


    Showcasing 500 Companies

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  13. Supreme Court Gun Ban Ruling Expected Tomorrow
    The U.S. Supreme Court today did not release its long-awaited ruling on whether the District's handgun ban violates the Second Amendment. That means the potentially landmark decision will almost certainly come tomorrow morning when the court is planning to issue the last of its rulings for the term. The case, District of Columbia v. Heller, which was argued nearly four months ago, could settle the decades-old debate over whether the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to own firearms.

    Mayor Adrain M. Fenty is planning to hold a news conference at the John A. Wilson Building after the decision is announced.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Damn, Sam, that's one big fuck wagon. New Ford F-69 Fuck Wagon, at your dealer now.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What's galling is Obama's effort to portray himself through this entire episode as somehow different from, and purer than, the ordinary politician. Different might have been coupling the announcement with a self-imposed limit on the size of donations.

    Different might have been -- it could still be -- taking the big checks but acknowledging that, since bundlers will be bringing in even bigger hauls, disclosure should be adjusted accordingly, to reveal not only who raised $200,000 but also who brought in $500,000, who $1 million.

    Obama's not the first politician to break a promise. He may be the first to do so in the guise of John Hancock, exuberantly signing the Declaration.


    Broken Promise

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  16. You know, every time I watch Obama speak I get the feeling he's trying really hard to hold back from laughing his head off. I mean, it looks like any minute he's gonna break down into huge uncontrollable laughter. Like he's always thinking in the back of his mind, 'Man, I can't believe y'all are fallin' for this BS'.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like my friend Dale--I sent him the article about the 'protest' at the Idano Energy Complex town hall meeting, and he sent me back this, the straight shooter--

    BOB

    THE ACTIONS OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN OPPOSITION TO THIS ENERGY COMPLEX ARE THEMSELVES TRYING TO CONTROL OR MONOPOLIZE A PORTION OF SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BELONG TO THE PEOPLE.

    BUT WHEN WE CONSIDER THE TOTAL GOVERNMENT AS IT NOW FUNCTIONS;; MOST OF US ARE AT A LOOSE TO UNDERSTAND WHY THE GOVERNMENT ACTS LIKE IT DOES.

    THE SUPREME COURT AND THE KILLERS AT GITMO HAVE ALL THE RIGHTS AS THE REAL AMERICANS HAVE.

    THE CONGRESS IS SO LOST IN ITS QUEST FOR MORE POWER AND MONEY THAT IT RUNS OVER ITSELF MAKING NEW RULES TO SCREW THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVE SEVERAL TRUE COMMUNISTS "SOCIALISTS" IN OUR CONGRESS; BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE.

    BUSH IS A PURE IDIOT; NO CONTROLS ON IMPORTS; FOOD, TOYS, PET FOOD, MEDICINE OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS SUPPOSED TO CHECK AND APPROVED BEFORE IT IS PUT ON THE STORE SHELVES, BUT NO SUCH A THING EXISTS BECAUSE BUSH AND HIS CLUMSY STAFF HAS CUT THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS BUDGETS, BUT IS FOOLISHLY SPENDING MORE MONEY.

    THE TOMATO POISONING THAT IS NOW IN OVER HALF OF OUR STATES, BUT BUSH AND HIS MEXICAN PANDERING CRONIES WILL NOT FIND THE SOURCE OF SAID POISONING. OVER HALF OF THE TOMATOS ARE FROM MEXICO.

    BLESSINGS DALE

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  18. The copper market was modestly higher early in the day, with some traders citing tightness as indicated by spreads between cash and three-month prices on the London Metal Exchange. But overall, activity was described as muted ahead of the outcome of a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, with a statement expected around 2:15 p.m. EDT.

    Around mid-morning, however, crude oil turned south after the first weekly build was reported in U.S. inventories since early May. Inventories rose by 800,000 barrels when the consensus forecast had been for a 900,000 decline.

    As oil prices fell, copper and other metals followed.


    Copper Nudged Down by Oil

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dale..

    Tellin' it like it is.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Inventory build..

    Result of Saudi output increase? Americans conserving? Both?

    ReplyDelete
  21. O.J: "I've Got a Bullseye on My Front"

    The Juice is back -- and this time he's playing the victim.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gang member arrested in killing of dad, 2 sons

    San Francisco -- A member of a notoriously violent street gang was arrested and booked Wednesday on three counts of murder in the shootings of a San Francisco father and two sons in the city's Excelsior district that police believe stemmed from a minor traffic incident, authorities said.

    "I believe he is, I think he would admit that he is a gang member," said Inspector Brian Delahunty of the homicide detail. Police sources confirmed his membership in the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), which law enforcement officials consider one of the most dangerous street gangs in San Francisco and the country.

    The suspect's attorney, Joe O'Sullivan, said his client is a construction worker who is married to a bank worker and is the father of a young child.

    O'Sullivan said his client, who goes by the last name of Escobar, is a member of MS-13, an organization whose members contend is "nothing more than a soccer group."
    ---
    The Bolognas were on Congdon Street in the Excelsior just after 3 p.m. Sunday, driving home from a barbecue in Fairfield, when they inadvertently blocked another car from completing a left turn onto Congdon from Maynard Street, police said.

    The shooting occurred after the elder Bologna backed up and let the car by, police said.

    Tony Bologna, the night shift supervisor at a San Mateo grocery store, and Michael Bologna, a student at the College of San Mateo, were pronounced dead at the scene. Matthew Bologna, who attended Lincoln High School, died Tuesday night at San Francisco General Hospital.

    (The father backed up to let the perp by, was rewarded with a bullet)

    Father of 4, 2 sons innocent victims...

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  23. One of Pres. Bush's most stalwart allies for illegal-alien amnesties was punished by voters yesterday, losing his Republican primary in a landslide.

    First-time candidate Jason Chaffetz, 41, a former chief of staff for Utah's governor, crushed Cannon by 60% to 40%.

    Cannon's immigration stance was virtually the only real policy difference in the race, and Chaffetz hammered him repeatedly on it. Go to our Candidate Comparison Page to view the many immigration policy differences between the two.

    For a decade, Rep. Cannon's open-borders friends at the Wall Street Journal, the White House and Grover Norquist's conservative circles provided last-minute endorsements, visits, money and questionable advertising that enabled him to keep his congressional seat in the face of spirited but underfunded opposition from anti-amnesty Republican opponents.

    His passionate embrace of illegal aliens won him honors from the National Council of La Raza and love notes from open-borders newspaper editorial writers across the nation.


    But Cannon's pro-amnesty crown finally became an albatross. No amount of advertising claiming that blue is red and that amnesties are not amnesties apparently could fool the voters this time.

    Soon after Pres. Bush declared that passing an amnesty for illegal aliens was one of his top priorities, Cannon bragged to the press that he was the White House's amnesty point man in the U.S. House.

    He repeatedly sponsored and co-sponsored amnesties.

    Their Records
    Candidate Comparison Page

    ReplyDelete