Author Topic: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.  (Read 7121 times)

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Offline dominique

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Putin: Israel's nuclear weapons just make it a target
« Reply #60 on: September 20, 2013, 08:28:53 AM »
Heh! This is the moment for which we've all been waiting. Putin is now calling out Israel and putting its nuclear and chemical weapons at the center of the Syria debate.



Putin: Israel's nuclear weapons just make it a target


By JPOST.COM STAFF

19/09/2013   

Russian president: Syria's WMDs a counter to Israel's alleged nukes, which create "foreign policy problems."
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons stockpile only serves to make the Jewish state “a target” and creates “foreign policy problems.”

Putin’s comments, reported by AFP, came in response to questions from reporters on the US and Russia-brokered deal to put Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal under international supervision.

According to AFP, Putin said that Syria had developed chemical weapons “as an alternative to the nuclear weapons of Israel.”

The Russian president claimed that “the technical advantage of Israel – we need to say this directly – is such that it doesn’t need nuclear weapons. Israel is already in a technical military sense several heads above the countries in the region.”

Putin added that “nuclear weapons just make it a target. They just create foreign policy problems.”

The chemical weapons deal with Syria has increased pressure on Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Some 190 states have joined the NPT, whose goal is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.

Of the world’s nuclear powers, only four have not joined the treaty. Of these, India, Pakistan and North Korea have all openly tested nuclear weapons. Israel continues with its policy of nuclear ambiguity.

Israel has refused to sign the NPT despite pressure from the international community.

However, when it comes to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the country might be more flexible.

“Israel has an interest in a chemical free zone as opposed to a nuclear-free zone,” Eitan Barak, a professor of international relations from Hebrew University said.

“That would leave Israel with its alleged monopoly on nuclear weapons,” he said.

The state has always kept a low profile when it comes to its own chemical weapons program. They signed the CWC in 1982 but never ratified it, which means that Israel considers itself bound by the spirit of the treaty, but not legally obligated to observe it.

“The main pretext for Israel’s refusal to ratify the treaty was the Syrian arsenal,” Eitan Barak, a professor of international relations from Hebrew University, told The Media Line. “Israel says Syria is a neighboring country, hostile, with a large arsenal of chemical weapons and we need to be able to retaliate.”

He said that given Israel’s pharmaceutical success, it is likely that the state has a significant arsenal of these armaments. Local officials say that efforts to force it to join the CWC are duplicitous.

Linda Gradstein/The Media Line contributed to this report.

http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=326567
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Offline dominique

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US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina
« Reply #61 on: September 26, 2013, 09:50:23 AM »
US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina – secret document

Exclusive: Journalist uses Freedom of Information Act to disclose 1961 accident in which one switch averted catastrophe


Ed Pilkington in New York
The Guardian, Friday 20 September 2013 12.03 EDT


The bomb that nearly exploded over North Carolina was 260 times more powerful than the device which devasted Hiroshima in 1945. Photo: Three Lions/Getty Images

A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.

The document, obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the US was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961. The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.

Each bomb carried a payload of 4 megatons – the equivalent of 4 million tons of TNT explosive. Had the device detonated, lethal fallout could have been deposited over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and as far north as New York city – putting millions of lives at risk.

Though there has been persistent speculation about how narrow the Goldsboro escape was, the US government has repeatedly publicly denied that its nuclear arsenal has ever put Americans' lives in jeopardy through safety flaws. But in the newly-published document, a senior engineer in the Sandia national laboratories responsible for the mechanical safety of nuclear weapons concludes that "one simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe".

Writing eight years after the accident, Parker F Jones found that the bombs that dropped over North Carolina, just three days after John F Kennedy made his inaugural address as president, were inadequate in their safety controls and that the final switch that prevented disaster could easily have been shorted by an electrical jolt, leading to a nuclear burst. "It would have been bad news – in spades," he wrote.

Jones dryly entitled his secret report "Goldsboro Revisited or: How I learned to Mistrust the H-Bomb" – a quip on Stanley Kubrick's 1964 satirical film about nuclear holocaust, Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

The accident happened when a B-52 bomber got into trouble, having embarked from Seymour Johnson Air Force base in Goldsboro for a routine flight along the East Coast. As it went into a tailspin, the hydrogen bombs it was carrying became separated. One fell into a field near Faro, North Carolina, its parachute draped in the branches of a tree; the other plummeted into a meadow off Big Daddy's Road.

Jones found that of the four safety mechanisms in the Faro bomb, designed to prevent unintended detonation, three failed to operate properly. When the bomb hit the ground, a firing signal was sent to the nuclear core of the device, and it was only that final, highly vulnerable switch that averted calamity. "The MK 39 Mod 2 bomb did not possess adequate safety for the airborne alert role in the B-52," Jones concludes.

The document was uncovered by Schlosser as part of his research into his new book on the nuclear arms race, Command and Control. Using freedom of information, he discovered that at least 700 "significant" accidents and incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons were recorded between 1950 and 1968 alone.

"The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy," he said. "We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here's one that very nearly did."

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/20/usaf-atomic-bomb-north-carolina-1961
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Offline dominique

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Goldsboro revisited: account of hydrogen bomb near-disaster over North Carolina – declassified document

This document was written on 22 October 1969 by Parker F Jones, the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia national laboratories. The document has recently been declassified having been acquired under freedom of information provisions by the investigative reporter Eric Schlosser for his new book Command and Control. It is published here for the first time.

In the document, Jones gives his response to a passage in a book by Dr Ralph Lapp, a physicist involved in the Manhattan Project that developed the first nuclear bombs, that describes the accident in 1961 in which two hydrogen bombs were dropped inadvertently over North Carolina. An extract of Lapp's book is reprinted on the left hand column of the first page of this document, and Jones's expert response is printed on the right hand column.

The second page of the document is all in Jones's words, giving his expert opinion on the serious nature of the accident and how close America came to catastrophe

See original document at source:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/sep/20/goldsboro-revisited-declassified-document

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Offline dominique

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'The people who are most anti-nuclear are the ones who know most about it'
« Reply #63 on: September 26, 2013, 10:05:08 AM »
Eric Schlosser: 'The people who are most anti-nuclear are the ones who know most about it'

The American author tells Ed Pilkington about his six-year all-out immersion in the terrifying and surreal world of nuclear weapons for his latest book, Command and Control

Ed Pilkington
The Guardian, Friday 20 September 2013

In the autumn of 1999 Eric Schlosser was invited to Vandenberg Air Force base in California to witness the launch of a Titan II missile, the largest intercontinental ballistic missile America has ever built. At the time, he was a moderately well-known magazine writer, and Fast Food Nation, the book that would act as his personal rocket launcher propelling him into the literary stratosphere, was still two years away from publication.

"They let me go up into the tower and I found myself standing next to the missile. It was right there," he says, stretching out his hand as though to touch the missile's cool metal shell. "It was a deeply impressive thing."

Schlosser was a child of the 70s and grew up with dire warnings of nuclear Armageddon ringing in his ears, largely dismissing them in his mind as fear-mongering and make-believe. "But my God! Watching that missile take off, seeing it soar over the coast of Mexico – it was visceral. These are real! They work! That ICBM was more powerful than any cold war story I'd heard."

That shattering experience set Schlosser on a journey that has resulted, 14 years later, in Command and Control, his take on the terrifying and surreal world of nuclear weapons. The past six of those years have been spent in what he describes as "all-out immersion" in the subject. The writer is notoriously meticulous about his research, wearing out more shoe leather per book than most journalists do in a lifetime.

For Fast Food Nation, his expose of what he called the "dark side of the all-American meal", he interviewed scores of labourers, meatpackers and ranchers, and visited countless abattoirs and factory farms. In a similar vein, he spent time with more than 100 bomber pilots, nuclear scientists and weapons designers for Command and Control, as well as reviewing thousands of pages of newly released official documents. "I really went down the rabbit hole into the nuclear madness," he says when we meet in a coffee bar in Soho, New York. He speaks languidly, elongating his vowels like a West Coast hippie, even though he was born in Manhattan and spent part of his youth here.

Shoe-leather aside, there's no instantly apparent theme that connects Schlosser's disparate subjects. From fast food he turned to the war on drugs in Reefer Madness (2003). His next book after Command and Control will be on America's prison system. Food-dope-nukes-slammers: where's the logic?

"Powerful systems of control that aren't being discussed and that work very hard to disguise how they operate," he answers. "It's not like I have a megalomaniacal 'I'm going to save the world' mentality, but what my work is designed to do is to provoke discussion. I want to produce not a diatribe or  a rant but writing that is factually based and footnoted." (Command and Control certainly is footnoted – the notes and bibliography run to more than 100 pages.)

When he started on his nuclear researches, Schlosser conceived the book as something contained and compact. It would be the tale of one of the most serious accidents in the nuclear age, when, in September 1980, a Titan II missile, similar to the one he had witnessed taking off from Vandenberg, exploded in its silo in Arkansas following routine repair work that turned bad. The missile was carrying a thermonuclear warheadwith a yield 600 times that of "Little Boy", the bomb dropped over Hiroshima. The warhead was blasted hundreds of meters into a ditch, but failed to detonate.

As he started digging his way down into the rabbit hole, he began stumbling on other examples of mistakes and near-misses. One led to another until he found himself sitting on a mushroom cloud of disturbing nuclear accidents. When he requested under the Freedom of Information Act the release of an official record of all the incidents that had befallen the American nuclear arsenal in the 10 years to 1967, he was astounded to find it extending to 245 pages.

The stories he came across suggest that nothing but a miracle has prevented an accidental Hiroshima or Nagasaki taking place on US soil. In 1958 a Mark 6 atom bomb was accidentally dropped into the backyard of the Gregg family in Mars Bluff, South Carolina. Three years later, two hydrogen bombs, with a combined power of more than 500 Hiroshimas, were accidentally dropped over North Carolina after a B-52 broke up in mid air. Neither bomb detonated when they landed in a meadow, but a later secret investigation concluded that in the case of one of the devices only a single low-voltage switch stood between the US and catastrophe. In 1966 a hydrogen bomb was dropped inadvertently over the coast of Spain, also from a stricken B-52; it took six weeks of intensive searching before it was found and retrieved from the ocean bed.

As the mass of detail piles up, an important lesson emerges from the book. The way Schlosser explains it to me is that "our ability to create dangerous things exceeds our ability to control them. We are talking about hubris – our lack of understanding of our own flaws and lack of humility in the way we approach technology."

At this point in our conversation, that elusive link between Command and Control and Fast Food Nation – nukes and burgers– begins to reveal itself. The hydrogen bomb and the Chicken McNugget: two seemingly disparate creations that are both the product of brilliant engineering and human ingenuity, and which harnessed the power of nature. The hydrogen bomb unleashed the power of the atom to allow mankind to kill millions of people astonishingly quickly; the Chicken McNugget unleashed the power of animal protein to feed millions of people astonishingly quickly.

Yet in the process, both established systems of such centralised force and complexity that nobody – not even successive US presidents – was able to hold them back or even subject them to rational judgement. "In Britain," Schlosser reminds me, "for a while it was thought a good idea to feed cattle to other cattle – that was seen as efficient use of feed, until BSE came along."

In Command and Control he similarly reminds us that the United States, a country that prides itself in being the most rounded democracy in the world, devised an IBM computer programme called QUICK COUNT that allowed war planners to identify "desired ground zeros" in Soviet cities so as to maximise the number of civilians killed in a nuclear strike. In 1961, the Pentagon instigated a war plan that would be unstoppable once the nuclear button was pushed, killing 220 million people in the Soviet Union and China within the first three days.

"The nuclear command and control system was so huge and complex it was almost impossible for one man to fully comprehend. Henry Kissinger's career was founded on his knowledge of nuclear weapons, yet, when he got into the White House and saw the war plan for the first time, he was astounded. That happens again and again: we're brilliant at devising solutions to very immediate problems, but awful at seeing the consequences of those actions."

The strength of Schlosser's writing derives from his ability to carry a wealth of startling detail (did you know that security at Titan II missile bases was so lapse you could break into one with just a credit card?) on a confident narrative path. He admits that the demands he places on himself as a writer can drive him nuts at times. He sits for long hours in his study at home on the central Californian coast, grappling with enormous quantities of information. "I don't have any researchers, I don't have an assistant, not even a secretary. I just amass an insane amount of material and wade through it. In some ways my method is as crazy as the subjects I write about."

Do you factory farm yourself, I ask, forcefully chaining yourself to the desk? "No," he replies. "But a wonderful writer, a very-well known writer who I personally deeply respect, does tie himself to his chair. And not in a bondage creepy way, but literally to tie himself to his work."(If you're wondering who, forget it. Schlosser won't say.)

The other aspect of his approach to writing that stands out, apart from its masochistic attention to detail, is how unreconstructed it is. He is a beneficiary of the digital age, of course, able now, for instance, to search the Congressional Record in seconds when for Fast Food Nation he spent hours ploughing through paper volumes in the Library of Congress.

But he's also totally averse to social media, saying at one point, rather quaintly, "I do not Twitter". "I'm not seeking followers, I don't have a website. I'm not writing diatribes that have a 10-point political programme. I suppose it's an old-fashioned investigative goal of trying to expose."

To some extent, the subject of nuclear oblivion is itself retro. Hollywood no longer makes films like Dr Strangelove, American and British homeowners no longer build concrete bunkers in their gardens to withstand nuclear fallout, and since the end of the cold war, the issue has receded into its own silo. Iran and North Korea raise anxieties, of course, but the threat they pose seems distant rather than imminent and personal.

That, though, is one of the things that drove him on to write Command and Control, Schlosser says. He sees the decline of interest in the nuclear issue as a matter of high urgency.

"This is the scary thing for me," he says. "The people for whom this is still a threat, the people who are most anti-nuclear, the people who are most afraid about this, are the ones who know most about it."

And yet, the pool of knowledge posessed by that elite group of weapons designers and scientists is fast drying up. "It's very disturbing that the number of people who have seen a nuclear weapon detonate is dwindling. Half the American population was not yet born or were young children when the Soviet Union disappeared. The most anti-nuclear people in the US today are 75, 80 years old."

Without their expertise to keep us alert, Schlosser fears, the world will be allowed to slide into a form of collective madness founded on denial, a death wish that sees nuclear weapons as no longer a problem. Though both the US and Soviet Union have reduced their stockpiles dramatically, the US today still has 4,650 nuclear weapons, Russia about 3,500, China and France about 400 each and the UK 150. Should just one of those warheads go off, through an accident, or through systems infiltration by a hacker, the consequences would be unthinkable.

Despite that gloomy thought, Schlosser insists he is Pollyannaish about this, as about the subjects of all his books. Fast food still prevails in America, certainly, but there is a food movement now and Michelle Obama grows organic lettuces in the White House garden. The drug war persists, but Colorado and Washington state last November legalised marijuana.

"Social movements take a long time to have an effect," he says. "Change doesn't just happen. People have to make it happen, and the first thing they need before they can do anything is to be aware.

"I've spent six years in the most crazy nuclear shit imaginable, that at times made me question mankind. But I really do believe things can be done. I wouldn't have written this book if I thought we were doomed."

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/sep/21/eric-schlosser-books-interview




One of the best investigative journalists out there. I've read both Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness. FFN is a modern day "The Jungle" exposé which ended up (somewhat) revolutionizing the fast food industry. Reefer Madness was a trilogy of expanded articles originally written for The Atlantic, adapted into book form to examine three aspects of the American black market: drugs, porn, and immigration.

Lots of fascinating facts in both books. I imagine this one will be the same. My only "beef" (pun intended) with Schlosser is that he can't help waxing opinionated eventually, and his take is always that "better" or more streamlined government regulation will solve all of our problems. Bullshit.
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Offline Rudi Jan

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- 'The people who are most anti-nuclear are the ones who know most about it'
« Reply #64 on: September 26, 2013, 02:54:29 PM »
Eric Schlosser: 'The people who are most anti-nuclear are the ones who know most about it'
Without their expertise to keep us alert, Schlosser fears, the world will be allowed to slide into a form of collective madness founded on denial, a death wish that sees nuclear weapons as no longer a problem. Though both the US and Soviet Union have reduced their stockpiles dramatically, the US today still has 4,650 nuclear weapons, Russia about 3,500, China and France about 400 each and the UK 150. Should just one of those warheads go off, through an accident, or through systems infiltration by a hacker, the consequences would be unthinkable.

Hmmm... he seems to have missed mentioning the arsenal equal or greater to that of France or China in the hands of the most peaceful nation on earth, the home of the psychopaths.
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Offline dominique

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- 'The people who are most anti-nuclear are the ones who know most about it'
« Reply #65 on: September 28, 2013, 09:43:40 AM »
Hmmm... he seems to have missed mentioning the arsenal equal or greater to that of France or China in the hands of the most peaceful nation on earth, the home of the psychopaths.

That he doesn't mention Israel in that blurb is true, but then again, he doesn't mention unstable-Pakistan, North Korea, or India, either. Guess we'll have to wait and read the whole book before we know if Israel's arsenal ever comes up. (Just out of curiousity, do you have figures showing Israel to have "greater than that of France or China"? I've read everything from 80 to 400, but it's pretty clear at this point that they've got at least some, despite their "policy of nuclear ambiguity." Just wondered if you'd actually found an exact count.)

But although Schlosser's a jew, he had NO problem "naming the jew" in his section on the porn industry in his book Reefer Madness, where he lays blame for the entire creation and takeoff of the porn industry in America at the feet of porn-king and crime-boss Reuben Sturman.
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

Offline dominique

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Rohani Tells UN No Nation Should Have Nuclear Weapons, Challenges Israel On NPT
« Reply #66 on: September 28, 2013, 09:54:31 AM »
I think Roubani's got it exactly right to be more diplomatic and less bombastic than Ahmadinejad, and start pointing the finger (even though he was voted down in the UN). We're starting to reach critical mass what with Putin, Roubani, and even Assad all continuing to call attention to Israel's nukes.

Rohani Tells UN No Nation Should Have Nuclear Weapons, Challenges Israel On NPT

By RFE/RL
Last updated (GMT/UTC): 26.09.2013 16:42

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has told a UN meeting on nuclear disarmament that no country should have nuclear weapons and called on Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Rohani, whose country is suspected by the West of seeking the capability to produce atomic bombs, urged Israel, which has never officially acknowledged its presumed possession of nuclear weapons, to put its nuclear arms under international control.

"No nation should possess nuclear weapons, since there are no right hands for these wrong weapons," Rohani told the UN General Assembly meeting on nuclear disarmament on September 26. "Israel, the only non-party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty in this region, should join thereto without any further delay."

Iran denies it is seeking an atomic bomb under cover of its nuclear program, but the UN's atomic watchdog has criticized Tehran for a lack of disclosure and suggested that Iran's nuclear program at some point had a military component.

Rohani's remarks came ahead of a high-level meeting on Tehran's nuclear program at United Nations headquarters in New York later on September 26.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as diplomats from Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany -- the so-called P5+1 group of world powers.

It will be one of the highest-level meetings between the United States and Iran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, after which formal diplomatic ties were severed.

Rohani also has said he believes a deal could be made on his country's nuclear drive within three to six months.

He told the "Washington Post" he has the full backing of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the ultimate word on political and religious affairs under Iran's clerically dominated system, to broker a deal.

The meeting between the P5+1 group of world powers and Iran will be hosted by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Kerry said he looks forward to a "good meeting" but did not elaborate.

Zarif said on his Twitter account, "We have a historic opportunity to resolve the nuclear issue" if world powers adjust to the "new Iranian approach."

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, BBC, and RFE/RL



http://www.rferl.org/content/rouhani-npt-iran-nuclear-weapons/25118889.html
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni

Offline dominique

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- I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
« Reply #67 on: August 06, 2015, 10:26:51 AM »
bump.
"Divert, distort, denigrate, disrupt or destroy any discussion of the corruption of American liberty by the organized lobby of a foreign power."  ~ WindRiverShoshoni