Nuclear Insanity, Cloaked in Secrecy, Threatens all life on Earth

The Doomsday Machine, Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, Daniel Ellsberg,2017

Daniel Ellsberg Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg, whistle blower of the Pentagon Papers here reveals that the 7000 pages of the Pentagon Papers were the smaller part of the material Ellsberg copied. The larger portion were documents relating to the threat of nuclear annihilation due to insane policy planning. The nuclear papers were lost during a Hurricane. Ellsberg has spend almost 50 years reassembling documents and material in preparation for this book.

Ellsbergs major revelations here:

•First: our nuclear plans are and have always been based on launching a first strike, not reacting to a nuclear attack.
•Second: the US nuclear first strike will launch our entire arsenal (presently about 25,000 nuclear weapons) many 1000 times the power of the first Hiroshima bomb) with nothing held in reserve.
•Third: authority to initiate the first strike has been delegated to the military (even low level personnel) to prevent the enemy from decapitating US civilian and government decision making. The decision making may have even been automated like the Soviet Dead Hand.
•Forth: Nuclear plans must be kept secret from the public and from the civilian government (with rare exceptions) including the US President. In fact the public and congress are deliberately misled and systematically lied to about nuclear plans.
•Fifth: All of the above are the product of total insanity.

The bottom line, once again: This is not a species to be trusted with nuclear weapons. Above all, not to be trusted with a full or partial Doomsday Machine. And that doesn’t just apply to “crazy” third world leaders.

The title of the book, The Doomsday Machine, is based on RAND corporation physicist Herman Kahn’s 1960 book On Thermonuclear War and further described in some popular articles written by Kahn in 1961. Kahn proposed that within 10 years and at low cost a “Doomsday Machine” could be created by placing enough nuclear weapons on US territory and in the oceans to destroy all life on earth. The machine would be triggered automatically upon detection of threat. The term “omnicide” was coined to describe this event. Neither Kahn nor nuclear father Edward Teller believed at the time that such a machine was possible. They were wrong. In 1983, climate scientists weighed in, announcing that as few as 1,000 nuclear weapons would unleash firestorms releasing enough smoke and soot into the atmosphere to send the earth into nuclear winter. The winter would last at least a decade killing and starving virtually all life on earth. There is now scientific consensus that this conclusion is sound. Ellsberg believes all nuclear armed nations today possess a virtual Doomsday Machine because of the size of their arsenal.

Valery Yarynich, Soviet Whistle blower Valery Yaynich

In fact, the Soviet Union actually built a real world Doomsday Machine called the Soviet Perimeter System designed by Valery Yarynich who until his death in 2012 believed the system safer than its alternative. He ultimately became a whistle blower, being interviewed by David Hoffman who wrote the book The Dead Hand. Upon Yarynich’s death Hoffman wrote:

In later years, Yarynich expressed grave doubts about the very systems of annihilation he had devoted his career to perfecting. He once told me it was utter stupidity to the keep the Dead Hand secret; such a retaliatory system was useful as a deterrent only if your adversary knew about it. (This is exactly the scenario in Dr. Strangelove) More broadly, he came to doubt the wisdom of maintaining the cocked-pistols approach to nuclear deterrence, the so-called hair-trigger alert, especially after the Cold War ended. He feared it could lead to an accidental or mistaken launch.

Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove wrestles with his NAZI saluting gloved hand FILM, STANLEY, KUBRICK, KINO, FILMSTILL, FILMSZENE Wernher von Braun?

Ellsberg describes going to see Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 masterpiece Dr. Strangelove. Ellsberg, then a RAND consultant at the White House, thought he was watching a documentary with accurate details like the inability of the military to recall the rogue bomber pilot heading for the Soviet Union and thereby triggering the Doomsday Machine. Dr. Strangelove recurs throughout Ellsberg’s book.

Ellsberg describes the US system of classification and security clearance which keeps these secrets from the public and from our own government. What he describes is a many tiered classification scheme far more complex than is publicly understood. Those holding clearance form what amount to a religious order where its acolytes aspire to ever higher levels where more secrets will be revealed. The cost of membership in the order is silence. Revealing a single secret gets you thrown out of the order ending your career. Ellsberg’s father designed the Detroit B24 factory and the Detroit B29 engine factory during WWII. Ellsberg didn’t know what his father did after this until his father decided Daniel had high enough security clearance to discuss his own career. His father designed the Plutonium production facility at Hanford Washington. When they asked his father to help build the 1,000 times more powerful Hydrogen bomb he quit as a matter of conscience; the only instance Daniel has found of a high level insider doing so. His father was not a whistle blower and was not thrown out of the order. He finished a successful career doing other work.

An excellant work on CIA secrets is the book Legacy of Ashes, the History of the CIA. Another excellent work on CIA secrets is the book Ghost Wars.

Ellsberg was a RAND consultant to the White House during the Cuban missile crisis and gives a detailed account here. He reveals that the Soviet submarines in the Caribbean were nuclear armed but that the submarine crews only knew they were carrying “special weapons”. When the US dropped small depth charges not intended to destroy a submarine but damaging nonetheless the decision on the submarine to launch its “Special Weapons” was averted by the presence of a third officer on board who voted not to launch. The nuclear weapon would have destroyed every US naval vessel in the area (and probably the submarine itself). The US would likely have believed the nuclear weapon blast was from a missile that had been launched from Cuba and would have responded with a massive retaliatory strike. Ellsberg has made extensive (classified) studies of near nuclear accidents of which there are many. Given the actual deployment of real world “Doomsday Machines”, it is a miracle we are still here.

Ellsberg also gives an excellent history of how civilian populations have become acceptable targets during wartime, starting with Gen. Sherman’s march through Atlanta to the sea during the American Civil War. When airplanes made aerial bombing possible legitimate bombing targets because a subject for military discussion. Ellsberg largely blames the British, not Hitler, for the decision to start bombing non military or production targets; to start deliberately targeting civilians living in cities. The US quickly joined in. The firestorm started by the bombing of Dresden led to a new level of civilian destruction and death. Dresden became the model for the bombing of cities in Japan.

Does LeMay resemble George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove? lemay

Curtis LeMay became a US master tactician during German bombing runs leading to lower loss of bombers and higher production of devastation. LeMay insisted on personally leading his German raids. LeMay was given command of Japanese city bombing once the US got within range toward the end of the war. In the last five months of the war before Aug 1945, official war policy was to kill as many Japanese as possible. Large scale use of incendiaries in a deliberate attempt to start firestorms was standard procedure. Hundreds of Japanese cities were destroyed excluding Hiroshima and Nagasaki which were reserved for later atomic testing. After the war LeMay was promoted to head the newly created SAC in 1948. LeMay was central to developing plans for aerially bomb the Soviet Union and was a strong lifelong advocate of first strike. He was also fiercely protective of the primacy of the Air Force against the other branches of the armed forces. Eisenhower supported the Air Force as the more cost effective way to conduct modern warfare. LeMay tried to get Ellsberg fired when he found Ellsberg was behind John F. Kennedy’s questions about the number of deaths expected in a first strike attack.

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