ALL ABOUT THE MINOT AFB NUCLEAR WEAPONS MISHANDLING INDICENT
THE MISSING B-52
A US Air Force B-52 bomber. The US military said on Wednesday it was investigating
an alarming security lapse when a B-52 bomber flew the length of the country
last week loaded with six nuclear-armed cruise missiles
The missiles were mounted on the wings of a B-52 bomber
compiled by Dee Finney
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic jet strategic bomber flown by the United States Air Force (USAF) since 1955.
The B-52 replaced the Convair B-36 and the Boeing B-47. Built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War era deterrence missions, it has dropped only conventional munitions in actual combat. The aircraft has the longest unrefuelled range of any bomber and carries up to 70,000 pounds of weapons.
The USAF has had B-52s in active service since 1955 with the Strategic Air Command which was absorbed into the Air Combat Command in 1991. Its superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept the B-52 in service despite proposals to replace it with the Mach 3 XB-70 Valkyrie, supersonic B-1B Lancer, and stealth B-2 Spirit. In January 2005, it became the second aircraft, after the English Electric Canberra, to mark 50 years of continuous service with its original primary operator.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-52_Stratofortress for more
B-52 carried nuclear missiles over US by mistake: military
Sep 5, 2007
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US military said on Wednesday it was investigating an alarming security lapse when a B-52 bomber
flew the length of the country last week loaded with six nuclear-armed cruise missiles.
The blunder was reported to President George W. Bush after the nuclear warheads were discovered when the aircraft landed at
Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, a military official said on condition of anonymity.
An air force official, who also asked to remain unnamed, said the B-52, which originated at Minot Air Base in North Dakota, had
six cruise missiles with nuclear warheads loaded on pylons under its wings.
The US Air Force has relieved the munition squadron commander at Minot Air Base in North Dakota of his duties, and launched
an investigation into the August 30 incident, a Pentagon spokesman said.
"At no time was there a threat to public safety," said Lieutenant Colonel Ed Thomas.
"It is important to note that munitions were safe, secure and under military control at all times."
The Pentagon would not provide details, citing secrecy rules, but an expert said the incident was unprecedented, and pointed to a
disturbing lapse in the air force's command and control system.
"It seems so fantastic that so many points, checks can dysfunction," he said Hans Kristensen, an expert on US nuclear forces.
"We have so many points and checks specifically so we don't have these kinds of incidents," he said.
US lawmakers expressed outrage at the incident.
"It is absolutely inexcusable that the Air Force lost track of these five nuclear warheads, even for a short period of time,"
Representative Edward Markey, a Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement.
"Nothing like this has ever been reported before and we have been assured for decades that it was impossible," said Markey.
Two Republican lawmakers on committees overseeing military affairs, Jim Saxton and Terry Everett, said in a joint statement they
were "deeply concerned" by the incident and said the United States must "ensure our nuclear assets are protected by the highest
The breach originally was reported by the Military Times newspaper Wednesday and was confirmed by the Pentagon later in the day.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates was notified early Friday of the incident by Air Force chief of staff General Michael "Buzz"
Moseley, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said.
"I can also tell you that it was important enough that President Bush was notified of it," Morrell said.
Gates has received daily briefings from Moseley on the incident, and expects a report by the end of next week, he said.
"The munitions squadron commander has been relieved of his duties, and final action is pending the outcome of the investigation,"
"In addition, other airmen were decertified from their duties involving munitions."
Kristensen said he knew of no other publicly acknowledged case of live nuclear weapons being flown on bombers since the late 1960s.
The nuclear weapons expert said the air force keeps a computerized command and control system that traces any movement of a
nuclear weapon so that they have a complete picture of where they are at any given time.
He said there would be checks and detailed procedures at various points from the time they are moved out of bunkers until they are
loaded onto planes, and flown away.
"That's perhaps what is most worrisome about this particular incident -- that apparently an individual who had command authority
about moving these weapons around decided to do so," he said.
"It's a command and control issue and it's one that calls into question the system, because if one individual can do that who knows
what can happen," he said.
Nuclear weapons are normally transferred on cargo planes, never on the wings of bombers, Kristensen said. Bomber flights with
live nuclear weapons ended in the late 1960s after accidents in Spain in 1966 and in Greenland in 1968.
The weapons were among 400 advanced cruise missiles that the Defense Department quietly decided to retire in March over the
course of this year.
The advanced cruise missile is a stealthy, longer range version of the air launched cruise missile first deployed in the early 1980s.
It carries W-80 warheads of up to 150 kilotons, ten times the destructive force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of
World War Two.
Oops! Were those nuclear warheads on my B-52 bomber?
September 5, 2007
(AXcess News) Houston - A U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber took off from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on a flight to
Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on August 30, which was not out of the ordinary. But what was extraordinary was
that it was carrying five nuclear warheads, which the military says was a mistake, or was it?
The B-52 was carrying Advanced Cruise Missiles (ACM) which normally carries a W80-1 nuclear warhead with a yield of
5 to 150 kilotons. The ACMs were supposed to have had the nuclear warheads removed before they were transported
B-52 bombers normally deliver the ACMs when they are equipped with nuclear warheads, but these were a part of 400 missiles which
were being decommissioned and the nuclear warheads were not supposed to be attached. Oops!
An Air Force investigation is said to have been launched to find out how nuclear warheads could have been attached to the B-52 bombers
wings for transport and no one notice them missing for nearly four hours.
A former Defense Department specialist who worked on nuclear weapons said no one was ever in danger had the bomber crashed as
safeguards are installed that make the nuclear detonation impossible unless specifically triggered to do so.
Questions arise over whether B-52 bomber flights are being prepared for long-range flights that might include carrying nuclear
warheads after Russia began its own long-range bomber flights after the U.S. said it would not back off the installation of missile
sites near the border of Russia, insisting that they were for protection against Iran and other renegade countries in the Middle East.
The tit-for-tat military developments have been escalating between Russia and the United States that critics say look more like the
start of another Cold War. To the North, Russia has claimed sovereignty over a vast area of the Artic seabed, claiming its part of the
continental shelf extending out fro Russia's shoreline and Canada and the U.S. have both increased military presence in the Artic to
protect the passage way.
Washington, Sept. 5 , 2007 - (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Department official confirmed Wednesday that a B-52 bomber had
been mistakenly loaded with nuclear weapons and flown over American sky.
Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell tried to appease the country by saying "at no time was the public in danger."
President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have been already informed of the incident and ordered a
probe into it.
Earlier Wednesday, media reports, citing an unidentified Pentagon source, said that a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed
with six nuclear warheads and flown over three hours across several states.
The plane, loaded with Advanced Cruise Missiles, took off on Aug. 30 from North Dakota and headed to Louisiana.
The incident resulted in a comprehensive procedure review by Air Force and the dismissal of a commander, the reports said.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Ike Skelton described the weapon mishandling "deeply disturbing" and
called for more details to ensure that Defense Department would address it appropriately.
"There is no more serious issue than the security and proper handling of nuclear weapons," the Democratic said in a
September 7, 2007
Questions Remain Over Nuclear-Armed B-52 Over Midwest
by Wayne Madsen
The reported "loss" of six nuclear-armed stealthy advance cruise missiles (ACMs) flown on the wing pylons of a B-52
from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on August 30 would represent a
complete and unprecedented breakdown in the command and control of nuclear weapons in the United States.
For that reason, there is a belief among many seasoned military experts that there is much more to this reported story
than meets the eye.
The Defense Department is merely describing the nuclear missile flight as an "incident," because it is standard Pentagon
policy to not comment on its nuclear weapons. However, the "incident" was serious enough that President Bush and
Defense Secretary Robert Gates were both immediately informed of the so-called "mistake" in flying the weapons across
several Midwestern states.
Missouri Representative Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called the incident "deeply
The incident was first reported by three military officers, who remained anonymous, to Military Times, a newspaper that
maintains good contacts within the military services.
The ACMs were armed with six W80-Mod 1 nuclear weapons, which pack a punch of between 5 and 150 kilotons each.
There is informed speculation that the movement of the nuclear weapons to Barksdale was leaked because the air force
base is a staging area for deployment to the Middle East. The Pentagon recently drew up plans to hit 1200 targets inside
Iran in a massive bombardment campaign aimed at destroying its military and overthrowing its government. The
movement of the nuclear weapons may have been an alert to the public by disgruntled members of the military that
such plans would include the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons.
The report that the weapons were transferred to Barksdale for "decommissioning" appears to be a cover story concocted
by Pentagon spinmeisters, since any movement of nuclear weapons is treated as highly-classified information.
The B-52 sat on a runway at Barksdale for a full 10 hours with the Air Force trying to have the public believe that no one
noticed the nuclear missiles on board. The flight from Minot was three and a half hours. The only casualty: the munitions
officer at Minot was relieved of his duties pending the outcome of an investigation.
There is also speculation that the war hawks in the administration may have flown the nuclear cruise missiles to Louisiana
to send a message to Iran. The Defense Department remains a beehive of neocon activity even with Gates in charge. Three
other recent incidents indicate the neocons are still employing their perception management campaigns. Cells of so-called
"Al Qaeda" terrorists have been arrested in Denmark and Germany. Both countries have neocons embedded in their
Those arrested include Danish and German nationals. In addition, the recent weapons of mass destruction "scare" at a
United Nations office building in New York, where "phosgene" gas seized in Iraq after Desert Storm was reportedly found
in a vial, turns out to have been a hoax. The substance was a non-toxic cleaning solvent. UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon has named a number of neocons to senior staff positions within the UN Secretariat.
For more, visit Wayne Madsen Report, which its publisher, Wayne Madsen, keeps refreshed with more news than any
one reporter has a right to.
Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist, nationally distributed columnist, and author who has covered Washington,
DC, politics, national security, and intelligence issues since 1994. He has written for The Village Voice, The Progressive,
CAQ, Counterpunch, and the Intelligence Newsletter (based in Paris).
Look for his new book, Overthrow a Fascist Regime on $15 a Day: The Internet Irregulars vs. The Powers That Be!,
in the fall.
US B-52 in nuclear cargo blunder
investigation after a B 52 bomber flew across the US last week mistakenly loaded with nuclear-armed missiles.
It follows reports in the Army Times that five missiles were unaccounted for during the three-hour flight from North Dakota to Louisiana.
The air force said the cruise missiles were safe at all times.
Army Times said the missiles were to be decommissioned but were mistakenly mounted on the bomber's wings.
The W80-1 warhead has a yield of five to 150 kilotons, the paper said.
The flight took place on 30 August, from the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to the Barksdale Air Force Base, near Bossier City,
Air force spokesman Lt Col Ed Thomas said although this was an "isolated incident", Air Combat Command had directed a "command-
wide stand down to review process at all of our bases".
Col Thomas said a general had been appointed to investigate the incident and would report by 14 September.
"At no time was there a threat to public safety. It is important to note that munitions were safe, secure and under military control at
all times," Col Thomas said.
"The air force takes its mission to safeguard weapons seriously. No effort will be spared to ensure that the matter is thoroughly and
Army Times quoted the colonel as saying the loading crew involved had been temporarily "decertified" pending retraining and the
A military official told AFP news agency that President George W Bush had been informed of the mix-up.
"There are procedures in place and they kicked in and worked," the official said.
The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says experts have made it clear that if the plane had crashed there would not have been
a nuclear explosion but there could have been a threat from plutonium leakage.
Commander disciplined for nuclear mistake
By Michael Hoffman, Military Times
The Air Force continued handing out disciplinary actions in response to the six nuclear warheads mistakenly flown on a B-52 bomber
from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30. The squadron commander in charge of Minot's
munitions crews was relieved of all duties pending the investigation.
It was originally reported that five nuclear warheads were transported, but officers who tipped Military Times to the incident who
have asked to remain anonymous since they are not authorized to discuss the incident, have since updated that number to six.
Air Force and defense officials would not confirm the missiles were armed with nuclear warheads Wednesday, citing longstanding
policy, but they did confirm the Air Force was "investigating an error made last Thursday during the transfer of munitions" from
Minot to Barksdale.
The original plan was to transport non-nuclear Advanced Cruise Missiles, mounted on the wings of a B-52, to Barksdale as part
of a Defense Department effort to decommission 400 of the ACMs. It was not discovered that the six missiles had nuclear warheads
until the plane landed at Barksdale, leaving the warheads unaccounted for during the approximately 3 and one-half hour flight
between the two bases, the officers said.
President Bush was immediately alerted to the mistake and the Air Force launched a service-wide investigation headed by
Maj. Gen. Douglas Raaberg, director of Air and Space Operations at Air Combat Command Headquarters, said Air Force
spokesman Lt. Col. Ed Thomas.
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Air Force
AIR FORCE BASE
Department of Defense
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has requested daily briefings from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley on the
progress of the investigation. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., a member of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee,
requested a full-classified briefing, not just the preliminary information being provided to lawmakers, to explain how a mistake
of this magnitude could have happened.
Thomas said the transfer was conducted safely and the American public was never in any danger since the weapons were in
Air Force custody and control at all times.
But few critics were placated Wednesday by the Air Force's reassurances.
"Nothing like this has ever been reported before and we have been assured for decades that it was impossible," said
Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., co-chair of the House Bi-partisan Task Force.
Non-proliferation treaty experts said the Air Force didn't violate any international nuclear treaties by transporting the nuclear
warheads on the B-52, but it was the first time since 1968 that it's been known publicly that nuclear warheads were transported
on a U.S. bomber.
The Defense Department does transport nuclear warheads by air, but instead of bombers it uses C-17 or C-130 cargo aircraft.
"These reports are deeply disturbing," said Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. "
The American people, our friends, and our potential adversaries must be confident that the highest standards are in place when
it comes to our nuclear arsenal."
The Defense Department uses a computerized tracking program to keep tabs on each one of its nuclear warheads, said
Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. For the six warheads to
make it onto the B-52, each one would have had to be signed out of its storage bunker and transported to the bomber. Diligent
safety protocols would have to have been ignored to load the warheads onto the plane, he said.
"I just can't imagine how all of this happened," said Philip Coyle, a senior adviser on nuclear weapons at the Center for Defense
Information. "The procedures are so rigid; this is the last thing that's supposed to happen."
At no time was there a risk for a nuclear detonation, even if the B-52 crashed on its way to Barksdale, said Steve Fetter, a
former Defense Department official who worked on nuclear weapons policy in 1993-94. A crash would ignite the high explosives
associated with the warhead, and possibly cause a leak of plutonium, but the warhead's elaborate safeguards would prevent a
nuclear detonation from occurring, he said.
"The Air Force takes its mission to safeguard weapons seriously," Thomas said. "No effort will be spared to ensure that the
matter is thoroughly and completely investigated."
Along with the 5th Munitions Squadron commander, the munitions crews involved in mistakenly loading the nuclear warheads
at Minot have been temporarily decertified from performing their duties involving munitions, pending corrective actions or
additional training, Thomas said.
The error comes after the Air Force announced last March the 5th Bomb Wing won two servicewide safety awards during fiscal
"This is really shocking," Coyle said. "The Air Force can't tolerate it, and the Pentagon can't tolerate it, either."
In Error, B-52 Flew Over U.S. With Nuclear-Armed Missiles
By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 6, 2007;
An Air Force B-52 bomber flew across the central United States last week with six cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads
that were mistakenly attached to the airplane's wing, defense officials said yesterday.
The Stratofortress bomber, based at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, was transporting a dozen Advanced Cruise Missiles
to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on Aug. 30. But crews inadvertently loaded half of them with nuclear warheads attached.
Air Force officials said the warheads were not activated and at no time posed a threat to the public. But a timeline of the episode
supplied by the Air Force yesterday to House and Senate lawmakers indicated that the missiles in question sat on a runway in
Louisiana for nearly 10 hours before workers noticed that the nuclear warheads were inside.
Military officials also said they were concerned that the warheads were unaccounted for several hours while the missiles were in
transit. The missiles never left Air Force control, they said.
The cruise missiles -- part of an Air Force fleet of more than 400 of their kind -- are being retired and usually would not carry
nuclear warheads while being transported. Defense officials said the B-52's mission last week did not include training runs, so
the missiles were never meant to be launched. The cruise missiles have a range of about 2,000 miles and are designed to hit
precision targets well behind a potential enemy's lines.
Two defense officials said it is unclear how stringent safeguards for the handling of nuclear weapons were skirted, allowing the
missiles with the warheads to be loaded onto a pylon that was then attached to the underside of the B-52's wing. Air Force officials
said the mistake was a serious breach of rules and that an investigation began immediately.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the panel's ranking
Republican, yesterday jointly called the episode "a matter of grave concern" and, in a letter to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates,
requested an investigation of the incident by the Pentagon's inspector general.
The aircraft's pilots and other crew members were unaware that they were carrying nuclear warheads, officials said. "Essentially,
this is an issue of a departure from our very exacting standards," said Lt. Col. Edward Thomas, an Air Force spokesman at the
Pentagon, who declined to confirm that nuclear warheads were involved. "The Air Force maintains the highest standards of safety
and precision, so any deviation from these well-established munitions procedures is very serious, and we are responding swiftly."
The incident, first reported by the Military Times, prompted senior leaders to relieve a munitions squadron commander of his duties.
Other airmen have been temporarily suspended from duties.
"Nothing like this has ever been reported before, and we have been assured for decades that it was impossible," said
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-chairman of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation. "The complete
breakdown of the Air Force command and control over enough nuclear weapons to destroy several cities has frightening
implications not only for the Air Force, but for the security of our entire nuclear weapons stockpile."
The Air Force's Air Combat Command has ordered a stand-down for its bases next week to review procedures and prevent a
repeat of the mistake. "All evidence seems to point to this being an isolated mistake," Thomas said.
Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters at a news conference yesterday that Gates was informed of the incident
early last Friday and has been receiving daily progress reports. Morrell said President Bush was also notified.
In a statement yesterday, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he found the
reports "deeply disturbing."
Was That Nuclear-Armed B-52 Flight Destined for Iran?
Written by Dave Lindorff
Monday, 10 September 2007
There’s something definitely screwy about the August 30 incident in which a B-52 bomber flew from Minot AFB in North Dakota to
Barksdale AFB in Louisiana carrying five fully armed Advanced Cruise Missiles, each equipped with nuclear bombs capable of
exploding at anything from 5 kilotons to 150 kilotons.
The government has been quick to say that the flight, which violated a number of long-standing orders regarding shipment of nuclear
weapons in US airspace, was a “mistake.”
But was it a mistake?
The biggest question is why a B-52 armed with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles would fly to Barksdale AFB. If, as reported, the weapons
were being transported to be decommissioned, which supposedly is the destination for 400 of these doomsday weapons, then they should
have been destined for Kirtland AFB in New Mexico, near the Pantex plant outside Amarillo, TX, where they would be dismantled. As
Michael Salla writes in a disturbing piece in Saturday’s edition of OpEdNews, the weapons should also not have been flown at all on a
B-52, as there have been standing orders for 40 years against such flights over US soil, following several accidents in which bombs or
nuclear-armed rockets were lost because “broken arrow” incidents including inadvertent bomb drops or crashes. A second order,
issued in 1991 at the end of the Cold War by George Bush’s father, barred the loading of nuclear weapons on any bomber. Any pilot
would have known this, as would any ground support people loading the missiles on the B-52.
According to Salla, if these five cruise missiles were really being transported by air to Texas for decommissioning, they should have
been disarmed and flown in specially designed transport planes that are built to resist nuclear leakage in the event of a crash. They
would never be transported under the wings of a B-52.
What makes the incident even more suspicious is that Barksdale AFB is a staging area for B-52s being sent to the Middle East for
combat duty. As the website GlobalSecurity.org reports: “Barksdale Air Force Base is headquarters for the 2d Bomb Wing, Eighth
Air Force and 917th Wing. The 2d Bomb Wing provides global combat capability and trains all B-52 combat crews.”
The official Barksdale AFB website says: “Barksdale warriors and B-52s have a proud tradition serving both at home and abroad in
support of the Global War on Terrorism; they have played vital roles in combat operations supporting Operation Enduring Freedom
in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
The original expose of the B-52 flight appeared in the newspaper . Staff writer Michael Hoffman writes that his initial source for the
story was three officers “who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the incident.”
So this is a case where some military officers who knew something wrong was happening did the honorable, patriotic thing and went
public with a publication they trusted, both to do the right thing, and to protect them.
So what is actually going on here?
Salla suggests the worst: that this was likely a deliberate action, ordered through a chain of command outside the Pentagon. Salla notes
that it has been widely reported that the top brass in the US military (note: with the exception of some wackos in the Air Force), have
staunchly opposed any use of nuclear weapons in the event of an air attack on Iran. So an order to send nuclear-armed cruise missiles
to the Persian Gulf region, if that’s what this flight was, would not likely have come through the normal chain of command from the
Secretary of Defense through the Air Combat Command (ACC, successor to SAC). It would, Salla hints darkly, have come through
the back channel set up since even before 9-11 by Vice President Dick Cheney, who is known to be pushing for an attack on Iran, and
who would like nothing better than to use nuclear weapons to disable Iran’s nuclear processing facilities.
We’re talking about high treason, if Salla is right.
And the seriousness of what happened — five nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, in firing position, flown across the width of the continental
US in violation of all standing orders to a base that is a staging area for B-52 flights to the Persian Gulf war zone — demands a full
The Democrats in charge of Congress, and the Republican minority, may not have the stomach to stand up to the Bush
administration’s obsession to keep the bloodletting going in Iraq, and they may not have the courage even to put a stop to plans to
attack Iran, but even the most reprehensible weasels and cowards among them should have the basic decency to know that this
bizarre and suspicious flight needs to be investigated to the fullest to get to the bottom of what was going on.
Salla suggests that behind the scenes, Gates and the generals, who clearly distrust and dislike the vice president and who don’t
want an Iran attack, will use this incident to go after the vice president and force him into a “medical” resignation. He says that
the exposure of the flight will also put any attack on Iran on hold, because military leaders will be worried that there are other
nuclear weapons that have been introduced into the equation secretly, either for use in Iraq or for a “black flag” operation against
Let us hope so they are right, and that this will be Cheney’s undoing.
I’m not as confident as Salla, however.
If it turns out that Cheney was behind this incident, that its goal was as sinister as Salla suspects, and that it was only the brave
action of several officers who went public and leaked information about it that led to the undoing of the plan, it may take more than
behind-the-scenes pressure from the Defense Department to take down the vice president.
Moreover, if Cheney simply resigned, without the incident being exposed publicly, Americans would not ever know how close we
came to global disaster, martial law, and the end of America as we know it. It is essential that Congress get to the bottom of this one.
Every person remotely connected to this mission needs to be called before Congress and put under oath to explain what happened.
An independent prosecutor should also be named to start a criminal investigation.
Note: Back in the early 1970s, my wife and I knew an Air Force reservist who told us he was flying secret missions for the
government, to Central America and to the Middle East. He never explained what these were, but it was clear that they were
connected with secret operations of a military nature. This individual, who had turned belatedly against the Vietnam War,
and had begun to question what he was doing in secret, died under mysterious circumstances in his apartment. His mother
went to the morgue to pick up the body only to discovered to her horror that it was not her son. Someone had removed his
corpse, making any investigation as to cause of death impossible. There are sinister operations carried on by this government,
and this looks like one that is as sinister as it can get. The crew of that B-52 and the ground crew that loaded it, should be
watching their backs.
B-52 Bomber Incident and Insider Trading? Was Someone Trying to Profit from a Nuclear Attack Against Iran Before September 21?
by Michael E. Salla, M.A., Ph.D.
September 11, 2007
A B-52 bomber loaded with five (increased to six in later reports) nuclear weapons fitted on the pylons under its wings was discovered after sitting for ten hours on a tarmac at Barksdale AFB on 30 August 2007. Three anonymous Air Force officers leaked the news of the incident to the Army Times newspaper which announced the discovery on 5 September 2007. The discovery immediately gained world wide coverage: LINK . The "mainstream" Big Business-owned news media has so far concentrated on the U.S. Air Force version of events that the incident was an "error" and is now subject to an official investigation.
Barksdale AFB is a staging post for Middle East operations and routinely has B-52 flying missions. The B-52 incident has subsequently led to speculation that the nuclear weapons were intended for a covert mission to Iran, and the Office of the Vice President was probably involved in bypassing the normal chain of military command, LINK. The discovery of the B-52 came on top of rapidly increasing speculation that the U.S. Bush administration is about to authorize a massive pre-emptive aerial assault against Iran. According to the Sunday Times, the Pentagon has prepared for air strikes against 1,200 targets in Iran that would in three days destroy Iran's military infrastructure, LINK.
What gives reports of a planned attack against Iran involving nuclear weapons greater credibility is a number of mysterious August 2007 purchases of a particular type of stock called 'put options' and 'call options' which are based on a dramatic shift in the U.S. stock market, [url=http://www.anomalicresearch.com/optioncall.html]1 research.wtc7.net/sept11/stockputs.html"> LINK[/url]. The investments were so suspicious that they became subject to an insider trading investigation by U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) but the no one was ever identified or charged. This was despite a determined effort by the SEC to find who was behind the investments.
The parallels with "put" and "call option" purchases just before 9/11 has led to speculation that the August billion dollar inves Iran's military infrastructure, or used in a False Flag operation that would have justified a U.S. assault on Iran. Admiral William Fallon, Commander of U.S. Central Command, was to direct conventional bombing operations against Iran's military infrastructure. The covert mission, however, would have had a different chain of command, where the Office of the Vice President was to take a prominent role.
The nuclear weapons on the B-52 had adjustable yields between five and 150 kilotons which would have made them suitable in taking out Iran's deep underground nuclear facilities. The effect of tactical nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities would have been devastating. Radioactive contamination would have dispersed widely affecting the health of millions in the region. At the same time, Iran's military and much of its civilian infrastructure would be destroyed by conventional munitions. This would have restricted Iran's abilities to cope with the health and humanitarian impact of the use of nuclear weapons, and destruction of itss.
One question to be asked is who are the hidden investors with insider knowledge that stood to gain billions in short term profits from a possible attack against Iran?? This answer will give an important clue to the long term agenda being played out, and the principal actors involved. In the case of 9/11, similar investors were able to evade detection from an official investigation by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC launched an unprecedented investigation that deputized "hundreds, if not thousands, of key players in the private sector", LINK.
According to former Los Angeles Police Officer, Michael Ruppert, what happens when individuals are deputized is that they are sworn to secrecy on national security grounds. This was a very effective way of keeping secret what was discovered in the SEC investigation. What is the most plausible explanation for the kind of investor that would have the power to subvert an SEC investigation in this manner? The most likely answer is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
It has been alleged that CIA front companies annually supply funds for a black budget used to fund covert national security projects . The black budget has been estimated to range between 1.1 to 1.7 trillion dollars annually which is funnelled through the CIA to various military-corporate entities fulfilling such projects, LINK. Reportedly, a massive size black budget is needed to fund an alleged "second" Manhattan Project. Such alleged projects would be so deeply compartmentalized and classified, that most members of U.S. Congress would not be informed of their existence.
The CIA is uniquely suited to perform this function of secretly raising revenue through the 1949 CIA Act which authorizes the CIA to expend funds "without regard to any provisions of law" (50USC 15:1.403f.a.1.). The CIA therefore does not have to follow any legal requirements for the funds it procures from various sources, and funnels to military-corporate entities directly responsible for the second Manhattan project.
The discovery of the nuclear armed B-52 is likely to lead to an indefinite delay in plans for a pre-emptive military attack against Iran. There is nevertheless a need to expose the principle actors and the underlying agendas of those behind the covert plans to use nuclear weapons. It is also important to expose anonymous investors that intended to commercially profit from such an attack before September 21, and had insider knowledge of this. Former U.S. President Eisenhower had warned that an informed public is the best safeguard against unwarranted abuses of executive power. Arguably, a pre-emptive attack against Iran that does not have the support of the American people or U.S. Congress, would qualify for such an abuse.
It appears that the period leading up to September 21, 2007 was to witness a pre-emptive attack against Iran, involving nuclear weapons loaded on at least one B-52 bomber. The humanitarian cost in terms of radioactive fallout, and casualties from the destruction of Iran's military and much of its civilian infrastructure would have been catastrophic for the Persian Gulf region (nuclear fallout would also subsequently circle the globe, which would be followed by the proliferation of related diseases and environmental problems adversely effecting all of humanity and other living species on Earth). Furthermore, the U.S. and global economy would have gone into a deep free fall in the event of dramatic increases in oil prices and further instability in the Middle East. Out of this planned tragedy, anonymous investors with possible CIA connections and insider knowledge, had the opportunity to plan for commercial profit. It is further alleged that financial proceeds would have been used to secretly fund an alleged second Manhattan Project that would-piggy back on the military execution of an aggressive neo-conservative agenda against Iran, in the Middle East geo-political milieu.
Hopefully, the discovery of the nuclear armed B-52 has averted such a tragedy for the moment. Now is the time to consider the wisdom to consider allegations associated with an apparently aborted pre-emptive strike against Iran, and to make accountable all those who are responsible.
About the author:
Michael E. Salla, M.A. Ph.D., is a former Assistant Professor in the School of International Service, American University, Washington D.C. He is the author of five books and founder of the Exopolitics Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Kona, Hawaii. (This Institute is about how to make contact with Extraterrestrials)
Is USAF Stand Down To
Find A Missing Nuke?
Someone, operating under a special chain of command within
the United States Air Force, just stole a nuclear weapon.
By Chuck Simpson
Barksdale Missile Number Six deserves far more public attention than it's received to date.
Six is potentially the major story of at least this year.
Until 1968 under the Airborne Alert Program, informally called Operation Chrome Dome, the Air Force routinely kept about a dozen
strategic bombers with nuclear weapons flying at all times.
One predictable result was crashes and incidents. In 1968 the Department of Defense published a list of 13 serious nuclear weapons
accidents that occurred between 1950 and 1968. In 1980 the list was revised to include 32 incidents through that year.
Notably, the Pentagon has not acknowledged any accidents since 1980. This alone highlights the importance the Pentagon is placing
on the recent transportation of nuclear weapons from North
Dakota to Louisiana.
Through 1968, several reported incidents involved plane crashes or malfunctions, beginning with the crash of a B-29 near Fairfield,
California in August 1950. The resulting blast was felt 30 miles away.
In July 1950 a B-50 crashed near Lebanon, Ohio. The high-explosive trigger for the nuclear weapon detonated on impact. The blast was
felt over 25 miles away.
In May 1957 a nuclear weapon fell from the bomb bay of a B-36 near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Parachutes malfunctioned and the
weapon was destroyed on impact.
In October 1957 near Homestead, Florida a B-47 crashed. The nuclear weapon was burned.
In March 1958 a B-47 accidentally dropped a nuclear weapon near Florence, South Carolina.
The high-explosive trigger detonated on impact.
In November 1958 a B-47 crashed near Abilene, Texas. The trigger of the nuclear weapon exploded upon impact.
In July 1959 a C-124 crashed near Bossier City, Louisiana. Both plane and nuclear weapon were destroyed.
In October 1959 a B-52 with two nuclear weapons was involved in a mid-air collision near Hardinsburg, Kentucky. One weapon partially
In January 1961 a B-52 broke apart in mid-air near Goldsboro, North Carolina. Two nuclear weapons were released. The parachute on
one weapon malfunctioned, and contamination was spread over a wide area. The uranium core was never recovered. Daniel Ellsberg
reported that detonation was a very real risk because five of six safety devices failed.
In that month near Monticello, Idaho a B-52 carrying nuclear weapons exploded in mid-air. No information was made available as to
In March 1961 a B-52 with two nuclear weapons crashed near Yuba City, California.
In January 1964 a B-52 carrying two nuclear weapons crashed near Cumberland, Maryland.
In January 1966 a B-52 carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed after a mid-air collision near Palomares, Spain. Two weapons exploded
on impact, with resulting plutonium contamination. A months-long program was undertaken to locate and extract the other two weapons
from the ocean. Major policy changes were taken under consideration.
In January 1968 a B-52 carrying four hydrogen weapons crashed and burned near Thule AFB in Greenland. Explosives in one bomb
detonated, spreading plutonium contamination. Apparently, the other three weapons have never been accounted for.
Following large public protests Denmark, which owns Greenland and prohibits nuclear weapons on or over its territory, filed a strong
protest. A few days later the Secretary of Defense ordered the removal of nuclear weapons from planes. After that order was issued,
all aircraft armed with nuclear weapons were grounded but kept in a constant state of alert.
In 1991 by Presidential order, nuclear weapons were removed from all aircraft. Bomber nuclear ground alerts, during which nuclear
weapons are loaded onto bombers during test and training exercises, were halted. After that time, all nuclear weapons to be delivered
by plane were permanently maintained in secure storage facilities.
August 30, 2007
All of which makes the transport of nuclear weapons in combat position on a combat plane so newsworthy.
On August 30, for the first time since 1968, nuclear warheads in combat position were carried by an American bomber. Numerous
international treaty provisions were violated in the process.
A total of 460 units were manufactured by Raytheon. A total of 394 units are currently maintained by the Air Force. Apparently,
38 are to be modernized and upgraded in Fiscal Year 2008 and the other 356 are to be decommissioned pursuant to the 2002 Moscow
Raytheon has publicly announced the AGM-129 missiles are to be modified to accomplish a "classified cruise missile mission".
This has widely been interpreted to mean conversion to bunker-busters, most likely for use in Iran. This widely accepted explanation
is being used to explain why armed cruise missiles are being flown in American airspace.
The AGM-129 was specifically designed to deliver a W-80 nuclear warhead. The W-80 weapon has a variable yield capability, of 5 to
150 kilotons. For comparison purposes, the bomb used on Hiroshima was 13 to 15 kilotons, or equivalent to 13,000 to 15,000 tons of TNT explosive.
News Stories and Flawed Explanations
The story of the B-52 flight was first reported by Army Times, owned by Gannett, on Wednesday September 5. Gannett relied on
information provided by "anonymous officers". The story was picked up by Yahoo Wednesday morning, published by USA Today and
The Washington PosT, and then quickly spread.
In response, the Pentagon quickly spread an official explanation.
The Air Force admitted to an inadvertent error: The intent was to transport ACMs without weapons. According to military officers, the
nuclear warheads should have been removed before the missiles were mounted on the pylons under the wings of the bomber.
In the words of the Pentagon:
"There was an error which occurred during a regularly scheduled transfer of weapons between two bases. The weapons were safe and
remained in Air Force control and custody at all times."
For almost the first time in the history of the nation, the military has publicly and promptly admitted it "made a mistake". This in itself
is truly astounding.
To reinforce the military's claim that a mistake was made, a system-wide stand-down was ordered for September 14.
That official explanation was quickly explained away. The mistake was made intentionally, so a "deliberate leak" of a secret operation
The CIA and the Office of Counter-Terrorism in the State Department explained that Barksdale AFB is a "jumping off point" for
re-supply of the Middle East.
The "deliberate leak" was intended to serve as a veiled warning to Iran. This deliberately misleading explanation is evidently intended
to lead the public or Iran or both to logically conclude the missiles are bound for Iran.
Bluntly, State and the CIA converted a whistleblower leak by true American patriots into a deliberate leak by official Washington, to
By this means Washington has led the public to forget or overlook the real issue.
To begin, the multiple official explanations reek to high heaven. They collectively read suspiciously like flimsy cover stories concocted
in hasty desperation. And no amount of pretty lipstick will be able to make the official explanations pretty.
More conflicting explanations followed. These missiles are part of a group scheduled to be decommissioned. This would explain why
they were shipped out of North Dakota.
But the missiles were not transported on their way to decommissioning. Missiles are normally decommissioned at Davis-Monthan
AFB at Tucson. Nuclear weapons are decommissioned at the Department of Energy's Pantex facility near Amarillo, Texas, accessed
through Kirkland AFB in New Mexico.
And military policy requires minimization of the number of flights made with nuclear weapons aboard. So the weapons should not
have been mounted on the missiles, flown to Louisiana, un-mounted and flown to New Mexico.
The mode of transportation is also a major issue not defused by official explanations. Per standard operating procedures, or SOPs,
both missiles and nuclear warheads are transported primarily by air, in specially modified C-130s or C-17s. Under no peacetime
circumstances do military SOPs allow transport of nuclear weapons mounted in cruise missiles mounted in combat positions on
Department of Defense Directive Number 4540.5, issued on February 4, 1998, regulates logistic transportation of nuclear weapons.
By delegation of Commanders of Combatant Commands, movement of nuclear weapons must be approved by commanders of major
Commanders of Combat Commands or service component commanders must evaluate, authorize and approve transport modes and
movement routes for nuclear weapons in their custody.
The Air Force is required to maintain a Prime Nuclear Airlift Force capability to conduct the logistic transport of nuclear weapons.
Under SOPs, combat planes with combat-ready nuclear weapons can only be flown on the authority of the Commander in Chief, the
Joint Chiefs of Staff or the National Military Command Authority.
All of these transportation regulations were flagrantly violated on August 30.
Violations of regulations concerning handling of the nuclear weapons in North Dakota are worse.
A sophisticated computerized tracking system is used for nuclear weapons. Multiple sign-offs are required to remove the weapons
from their storage bunkers.
The AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile was designed to carry nuclear weapons. No non-nuclear warhead is available for this missile.
So the only possible error could have been loading nuclear warheads on the missiles instead of practice dummies.
The practice warheads have standard blue and yellow signs declaring "Inert, non-nuclear". The nuclear warheads have at least three
distinctive red warning signs. This error is therefore highly improbable, absent tampering with signage.
Nuclear weapons are transported from the storage bunker to the aircraft in a caravan that routinely includes vehicles with machine
guns front and rear and guards with M-16s. All steps in the process are done under the watchful eyes of armed military police.
Rules require that at least two people jointly control every step of the process. If one person loses sight of the other, both are forced
to the ground face-down and temporarily "placed under arrest" by observant security forces. All progress stops until inspections are
made to assure the weapons weren't tampered with.
All nuclear weapons are connected to sophisticated alarm systems to prevent removal or tampering. They could only be removed from
the storage bunker by turning the alarm off. And the squad commander clearly would not have authority to turn off the alarm.
The Impossible Mistake
Bluntly, the mistake of loading nuclear weapons on a combat aircraft in combat-ready position is simply not possible to make. Safeguards
are far too stringent and far too many people would be involved. Particularly given that the mounting was in violation of policy that's been
in place without exception for almost 40 years.
No discipline is expected to be meted out. The New York Times tried to imply the commanding general had been fired. Actually, the
squad commander in charge of munitions crews at Minot was "relieved of duty pending an investigation". He has not been removed
from his position or disciplined. The crews involved have been "temporarily decertified pending corrective actions or additional training"
but have not been disciplined. No mention has been made of the wing commander.
Note carefully: These actions amount to nothing at all. The wing and squad commanders are still in place and the crews can easily be
Washington's efforts to confuse the public have been successful. Attention has shifted from the crucial issue.
This news has already become non-news. The August 14 stand-down will momentarily become news, followed by announcements of more
stringent restrictions, improved safeguards and additional training. The public always has been and always will be safe.
One of the major issues will be avoided:
Someone in an irregular chain of Air Force command authorized loading and transport of nuclear weapons.
And that would never have been done without a reason. Given the magnitude of regulatory violations involved, the reason must be
The paramount issue will be avoided, if necessary with repetition of the reassurance that the Air Force was in control at all times.
The weapons were only missing during the 3.5-hour flight.
At Barksdale, the missiles were considered to be unarmed items headed for modernization or the scrap heap, and of no particular
importance. They were left unguarded for almost ten hours.
According to one report, almost ten hours were required for airmen at Minot AFB to convince superiors that the nuclear weapons had
disappeared. According to information provided to Congress, this time lapsed before airmen at Barksdale "noticed" the weapons were
present. News reports will continue to overlook this fact also.
Even here the focus is on time. The number of missiles and warheads issue was overlooked.
Early news reports spoke of five nuclear warheads loaded onto the bomber. Apparently, this information was provided from Barksdale.
That number was later updated to six weapons missing from Minot, apparently based on anonymous tips provided to Military Times
by people at Minot. This information has also been forgotten.
Six nuclear weapons disappeared from Minot AFB in North Dakota.
Five nuclear weapons were discovered at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana.
Which leads to my chilling conclusion:
Someone, operating under a special chain of command within the United States Air Force, just stole a nuclear weapon.
The answer has been provided several times, most recently by CIA Director and General Michael Hayden. On September 7, dressed
in full military uniform, Hayden told assembled members of the Council of Foreign Relations:
"Our analysts assess with high confidence that al-Qaida's central leadership is planning high-impact plots against the U. S. homeland."
"We assess with high confidence that al-Qaida is focusing on targets that would produce mass casualties, dramatic destruction and
An eye for an eye. Use of nukes will justify use of nukes. A perfect excuse to wage nuclear war against Iran.
I suspect Hayden is absolutely correct, except for his mistaken identification of the "central leadership" that is planning detonation
of a nuclear weapon on American soil.
Air Force secretary being briefed on why B-52 flew nukes over U.S.
Created: September 14, 2007
The week after a B-52 mistakenly loaded with nuclear weapons was flown to Barksdale Air Force Base, the secretary of the
Air Force was to meet with officials at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., today to review procedures for handling nuclear weapons.
Michael Wynne's visit comes amid an ongoing investigation into why the B-52 bomber from Minot was mistakenly armed
with six nuclear warheads last month and flown across several states to Bossier City.
The B-52 sat on a runway at Barksdale for 10 hours before it was discovered that six of the cruise missiles under its wings
had nuclear warheads attached, Pentagon officials told members of Congress.
"Secretary Wynne takes the recent breakdown in the munitions system very seriously and is committed to ensuring
munitions processes are safe, secure and absolutely reliable," a statement from Minot said.
All indications are that it was an "isolated mistake," Pentagon officials said.
Air Force officials said the warheads were not activated and never posed a public threat. They also said they were
concerned that the warheads were unaccounted for several hours while the bomber flew across the country.
The B-52 was transporting a dozen cruise missiles to Barksdale. It happened on Aug. 30.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
Did Military Leak Foil
Attempt To Bomb Iran?
By Michael E. Salla, MA, PhD
Critically exploring whether or not there was a covert attempt to instigate a catastrophic nuclear war against Iran is illuminated
through an introduction using the recent B-52 Incident. On August 30, a B-52 bomber armed with five nuclear-tipped Advanced
Cruise missiles travelled from Minot Air Force base, North Dakota, to Barksdale Air Force base, Louisiana, in the United States.
Each missile had an adjustable yield between five and 150 kilotons of TNT which is at the lower end of the destructive capacities of
U.S. nuclear weapons. For example, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a yield of 13 kilotons, while the Bravo Hydrogen
bomb test of 1954 had a yield of 15,000 kilotons. The B-52 story was first covered in the Army Times on 5 September after the
nuclear armed aircraft was discovered by Airmen. http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/09/marine_nuclear_B52_070904w/
What made this a very significant event was that it was a violation of U.S. Air Force regulations concerning the transportation of
nuclear weapons by air. Nuclear weapons are normally transported by air in specially constructed planes designed to prevent
radioactive pollution in case of a crash. Such transport planes are not equipped to launch the nuclear weapons they routinely carry
around the U.S. and the world for servicing or positioning.
The discovery of the nuclear armed B-52 was, according to Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of
American Scientists, the first time in 40 years that a nuclear armed plane had been allowed to fly in the U.S. http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/2007_9_5.html#149D6ECF
Since 1968, after a SAC bomber crashed in Greenland, all nuclear armed aircraft have been grounded but were kept on a constant
state of alert. After the end of the Cold War, President George H. Bush ordered in 1991 that nuclear weapons were to be removed
from all aircraft and stored in nearby facilities.
Recently, the Air Force began decommissioning its stockpile of Advanced Cruise missiles. The five nuclear weapons on the B-52
were to be decommissioned, and were to be taken to another Air Force base. An Air Force press statement issued on 6 September
2007, claimed that there "was an error which occurred during a regularly scheduled transfer of weapons between two bases."
Furthermore, the statement declared: "The Air Force maintains the highest standards of safety and precision so any deviation from
these well established munitions procedures is considered very serious." The issue concerning how a nuclear armed B-52 bomber
was allowed to take off and fly in U.S. air space after an 'error' in a routine transfer process, is now subject to an official Air Force
inquiry which is due to be completed by September 14.
Three key questions emerge over the B-52 incident. First, did Air Force personnel at Minot AFB not spot the 'error' earlier given
the elaborate security procedures in place to prevent such mistakes from occurring? Many military analysts have commented on
the stringent security procedures in place to prevent this sort of mistake from occurring. Multiple officers are routinely involved
in the transportation and loading of nuclear weapons to prevent the kind of 'error' that allegedly occurred in the B-52 incident.
According to the U.S. Air Force statement, the commanding officer in charge of military munitions personnel and additional munitions
airmen were relieved of duties pending the completion of the investigation. According to Kristensen, the error could not have come from
confusing the Advanced Cruise Missile with a conventional weapons since no conventional form exists. So the munitions Airmen should
have been easily able to spot the mistake. Other routine procedures were violated which suggests a rather obvious explanation for the
error. The military munitions personnel were acting under direct orders, though not through the regular chain of military command. This
takes me to the second question.
Who was in Charge of the B-52 Incident?
Who ordered the loading of Advanced Cruise missiles on to a B-52 in violation of Air Force regulations? The quick reaction of the Air
Force and the issuing of a public statement describing the seriousness of the issue and the launch of an immediate investigation,
suggests that whatever occurred, was outside the regular chain of military command. If the regular chain of command was violated, then
we have to inquire as to whether the B-52 incident was part of a covert project whose classification level exceeded that held by officers
in charge of nuclear weapons at Minot AFB.
How Chinese Military Hackers Took Control of a Nuclear Loaded B-52 !!!!
This is the case of the "Mistakenly Loaded" 6/5 ? Nuclear Cruise Missiles that caused a complete shutdown of the U.S. Air force on
Sept.14 to do a survey of what happened.
The U.S. had China make custom made electronic chips for military computers (to save money ?) and the Chinese built in back doors where
they could take control of the computers. Now the U.S. military will not know if an order to Nuke a target came from them or China.
In case you missed this the first time around - Long But you Must read it.
We are Toast !
How Chinese Military Hackers Took Control of a Nuclear Loaded B-52 !!!!
It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral.” -General Peter Pace,
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff addressing the National Press Club, Feb 17/06
How Chinese Military Hackers Took Over A Nuclear-Armed B52
By William Thoma
The story sounded like a sequel to “Dr. Strangelove”. Leaked by the Pentagon's news service, Military Affairs to quell
scuttlebutt racing through the ranks-and perhaps warn the world-a U.S. Air Force B-52 strategic bomber “mistakenly”
loaded with six nuclear cruise missiles took off from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on August 30, 2007 and flew
for more than three hours over at least five states, before landing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
The mistake was so egregious, the National Command Authority comprising President George BU.S.h and Secretary of
Defense Robert Gates were quickly informed. The SecDef has since been assured that nuclear weapons “were part of a
routine transfer between the two bases… at no time was the public in danger.”
Both statements are false.
In fact, nuclear weapons like these are carefully crated for shipment between bases, and placed inside the bomb bays
or cargo compartments of transporting aircraft. In stunning contrast, this reporter has learned from two independent and
highly placed sources that the six Advanced Cruise Missiles dangling from the B-52's fatigued and flexible wings were fully
armed and ready to fire-except for a single fail/safe switch under the Command Pilot's control.
The quickly blacked out episode has prompted an Air Force investigation. Gates, whose official defense computer was
hacked last June, necessitating the shutdown of the entire SecDef network, has ordered daily briefings on the Air Force
inquiry. The Minot base commander, who might turn out to be the hero in this frightening affair, was relieved of his
DR. STRANGELOVE VISITS BOURBON STREET
As far as anyone knows, no U.S. aircraft has ever been armed with a full wartime loadout of six nuclear weapons. “Nothing
like this has ever been reported before and we have been assured for decades that it was impossible,” declared
Representative Markey, co-chair of the House Task Force on Nonproliferation. [AP Sept 5/07; Seattle Times Sept 5/07]
Hans Kristensen, an expert on U.S. nuclear forces, says he knows of no other publicly acknowledged case of live nuclear
weapons being flown on bombers since the late 1960s. [http://ace.mu.nu]
Director Stanley Kubrick's “Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” was released in 1964
Each of the six ACMs carried a “dialable” 150-kiloton W80-1 warhead--for a combined total of 60-times the destructive
power of the bomb that melted the city and inhabitants of Hiroshima--over the unsuspecting residents of five states.
Depending on the route flown, a half-dozen armed nuclear weapons wafted for three-and-a-half hours over North Dakota
and either South Dakota or Minnesota, Nebraska or Missouri, Oklahoma or Arkansas, and Louisiana.
It's no secret that Dick Cheney and his presidential surrogate intend to bomb Iran into the Kingdom to Come.
[BBC News Aug 29/07]
But New Orleans?
“What does the government have against Louisiana?” asked a blogger named Lobster Martini.
The “mistake” was supposedly discovered when the B-52 landed at Barskdale, where the plane should have been secured
by an armed security detail. Instead, it simply parked on the flight line, where ground crew noticed the words “nuclear armed” stenciled on the sides of the missiles. [ ]
Three officers confirmed the warheads were, in Bush's argot, “nucular.”
But the mission could have ended in a “broken arrow” nuclear calamity if the bomber had crashed, or inadvertently dropped
its ordnance. Munitions, and even entire engines-such as the No. 1 turbine that fell off an American Airlines DC 10 after taking
off from Chicago's O'Hare airport in May, 1979, killing two people on the ground and all 271 people onboard-occasionally drop
from underwing pylons in flight. [Chicago Tribune May 26-30/79; National Transportation Safety Board Aircraft Accident Report
A few other examples:
-- A B-36 ferrying a nuclear weapon from Biggs Air Force Base, Texas to Kirtland accidentally drops a bomb in the New Mexico
-- A fighter pilot accidentally dropped a BDU-33 dummy bomb into a house, narrowly missing a family of three.
-- A 500-pound bomb fell from an FA-18 plane during a routine training exercise and exploded on the edge of a U.S. base
100 miles north of Sarajevo. [ AP July 17/02]
-- A National Guard F-16 fighter jet on a nighttime training mission strafed an elementary school in New Jersey with 25
rounds of depleted uranium ammunition. [AP Nov 4/04]
-- Another U.S. Air Force practice bomb accidentally on the Yorkshire countryside in England. [ BBC Jan 12/04]
-- Electromagnetic interference from military transmitters may have caused an F-16 jet to accidentally drop a 500 pound
bomb on rural West Georgia. [Montreal Gazette May 12/89]
A crash, mid-air explosion or structural breakup-not uncommon occurrences with heavily-laden B-52s-could have ignited
the high explosives used to implode the warheads. The ultimate dirty bomber's fantasy could have seen plutonium--the
deadliest substance ever conjured by humans-raining down over what would become a statewide “national sacrifice zone”,
off-limits to all life-forms for more than 4 billion years.
Barksdale AFB is no stranger to nuclear accidents. On July 6, 1959, a C-124 “Flying Boxcar” crashed on takeoff, completely
destroying the aircraft and the nuclear weapon it was carrying. [www.cdi.org]
[See: “Broken Arrows” ]
The Air Combat Command has ordered a command-wide stand down for September 14, 2007 to “review procedures.”
Though they actually responded flawlessly to apparently authentic orders, the highly trained specialists who carried out
the nuclear loadout have been temporarily “decertified” from handling nukes.
Representative Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called the mishandling of arms capable of
destroying cities “deeply disturbing. There is no more serious issue than the security and proper handling of nuclear
weapons.” [AP Sept 5/07]
The crewdogs who flew their assigned mission without mishap have been ordered not to mention that all pilots are required
to perform a “walk around” inspection of their airplanes and calculate elaborate “weight-and-balance” graphs before
attempting to aviate. Failure to notice or be informed of the much heavier nuclear casings on the missiles they were
carrying would have jeopardized flight safety.
According to a well-informed and extremely thorough U.S. military source I call “Hank” (with whom I have broken major
stories over the past 15 years), someone “must have adjusted the bomber's balance. It had to have been done.”
In addition to knowing what is externally attached to their airplane, the amount of paperwork, signatures, and discrete
passwords involved in releasing a nuclear weapon from its storage bunker and loading it onto an airframe are more
formidable than flak.
And there were six of them.
PICKUP AND DELIVERY
The coded message to upload and launch the B-52 from Minot with six live nuclear weapons carried the signature of the
“football” containing the day's nuclear launch codes that is carried close to the president at all times by a specially detailed
aide. After checking and counter-checking their coded orders, as few as a dozen people in uniform were actually involved
in the subsequent secret nuclear mission.
According to Hank, at least three high-ranking officers were escorted into Minot AFB's nuclear arms bunker after passing
through multiple doors secured by pass codes, whose complete sequences were supplied each officer, who only knew part
of each code. One hiccup, a fumbled code sequence, or “the wrong wrench” would have cancelled the loadout instantly.
Because the base had stood down for Labor Day, the timing was ideal for security. In his standing orders for August 30, 2007,
5th Bomb Wing commander Colonel Bruce Emig encouraged his troops to “Enjoy a safe Labor Day weekend.
“Warbirds, It's hard to believe that Labor Day weekend is already here!” the colonel wrote. “Though cooler temperatures
are right around the corner, the weather forecasters tell me that we should have a warm, summer-like weekend. Since Air
Combat Command and Air Force Space Command have declared Friday a Family Day, many of you should be able to enjoy
a nice, 4-day break as we transition from summer to fall. I wish all of you a relaxing and enjoyable time off, and urge you all
once again to please keep safety in mind in all you do!” [www.libertypost.org]
Under a bomber's nuclear umbrella in a discrete corner of the sprawling airbase, air, ground and ordnance crews did not
converse with each other. Or anyone else. Everyone involved knew better than to ask questions that could abruptly end
their careers by inadvertently tipping people who did not need to know.
Within hours, an airplane with a wingspan longer than the Wright Brothers' first flight was safely loaded with avgas,
sandwiches, and six nuclear weapons. Uploaded to the bomber using an accordion cradle on each missile trolley, each
Advanced Cruise Missile was fueled once it was secured to a hard point under the aircraft's wings. Because the ACMs were
not inside a bomb bay, where they could be armed in flight, each underslung missile had to be fully armed before takeoff.
“Wing walker” is not a B-52 job description.
The plates connecting the firing circuits of each warhead to the cockpit were then activated, and the safeties were pulled
from each clearly marked “nuclear weapon”-rendering it “live”. For the Explosive Ordnance Disposal detail who performed
the loadout, there could be no doubt they were activating six nuclear weapons.
Alarms on the flight line should have sounded as soon as they sniffed hot ions leaking from the pulled pile rods in six slowly
fissioning warheads. But the alarms remain silenced. That order, Hank insisted, could only have come under the properly
coded signature of the National Command Authority-Commander-in-Chief G.W. Bush or Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates.
The ensuing takeoff was an event branded on the central nervous system of every creature in auditory range as eight jet
engines at maximum takeoff thrust levitated six missiles, up to 46,000 gallons of fuel, and an airplane the length of a
150-foot ship into a blue yonder that had just become much wilder. Everyone within miles knew that a B-52 had come into
Minot and taken off again. But only God and the devil knew where it was going. [www.boeing.com]
And they weren't saying.
In the silence left by this momentous departure, if there were questions, nobody voiced them. Perhaps there were a few
quietly delivered high-fives instead. Despite the high stress that runs counter to every human instinct, everyone involved
had carried out their assigned duties with complete attention to the details required to launch a half-dozen live nuclear
weapons “safely”. The professionally conducted operation was carried off in complete secrecy, without a hitch, only after
the loadout and launch order had been digitally confirmed as coming from the NCA.
There was only one problem regarding the originators of those orders, Hank emailed me:
“IT WAS NOT US.”
FAULTY (COMPUTER) TOWERS
Let us quickly review. My earlier exclusive on my former website, willthomas.net, disclosed how in October 2006, North
Korea's leaders asked China to take out Japan's shiny new recon satellite before it could be tasked by American officers
to monitor Pyongyang's first atomic test. Blowing up someone's satellite is an act of war. But overriding its “Made In China”
microchips with a remote command from the ground could never be proven. Even if no solar flares were recorded at the time.
This first Chinese demo got the Pentagon's attention. After all, their stated goal of “Full Spectrum Dominance” over Earth's
land, seas, airspace and electromagnetic spectrum depends on America's successful weaponization of space. But as the
Joint Chiefs are only now discovering, many of the supposedly secure chips in America's civilian infrastructure-as well as
all military communications, surveillance and weapons systems-have been “Wal-Marted” by U.S. corporations to low-bid
Chinese suppliers-who rigged them for failure or takeover by “command override” in the event of war.
[See: “Faulty Microchips Threaten U.S. Attack On Iran” ]
SEE DICK RUN
The second demonstration of China's newfound capabilities to manipulate microchips came in late February 2007, when
Dick Cheney's 757, flying home from Australia where the Vice President had not been well received by the locals, was forced
to divert to Singapore.
In a story intriguingly tagged, “U.S. Denies Cheney Forced To Land,” Agence France-Presse reported that the White House
admitted the Vice-President's “specially secured” Boeing 757 had “suffered electrical problems” before landing in Singapore.
But Cheney spinner Lea Anne McBride insisted, “This was the preplanned, scheduled refueling stop. We were not diverted.
The vice president did not get off the plane during his refueling stop.” [AFP Feb 26/07]
According to U.S. military personnel present on the tarmac at Paya Lebar Air Base-who according to Hank said were “trying
to yak with the locals: 'Can you get us this part? Do you have a Radio Shack?'”-a small Chinese delegation met with Cheney
outside his electronically-challenged aircraft. Wandering in and out of the brief conversation, Hank's sources described the
brief encounter, which occurred shortly after 1400 hours Singapore time.
Disembarking Air Force One, Cheney said something like, “Gosh, we got this kind of interesting problem…”
“No, you don't understand sir,” a Chinese official interrupted. “This is how we brought you here. And this is why.”
Cheney's visitors itemized the separately wired galley stoves, reading lights, in-flight video, and power outlets onboard
the Vice President's aircraft that had all conked out in flight. They knew this, they said, because the electronic signals that
had disabled the microchips controlling these various devices had been directed by their government. In an impressive feat,
the Chinese military had located and selectively targeted a stealthy aircraft painted with radar-absorbent materials flying
at nearly 500 knots at 35,000 feet without a public itinerary.
According to Hank's boots-on-the-tarmac sources, the mostly one-way conversation in Singapore concerned “Gulf of Tonkin possibilities.”
“They reached out and touched someone,” Hank related. “They had a message they wanted to get across: 'You've got ships
out there in the Gulf. If this thing cooks off, all bets are off because some of the things that are put out there, we are really
now wanting people to talk about.'”
The Chinese were referring to their control of most of the microchips on this planet.
A very thoughtful Dick Cheney departed two hours later.
OPENING THE GATES
The next Chinese digital demo came last June. In what came to be called “the most successful cyber attack ever mounted
on the U.S. defence department,” Chinese military hacked into a Pentagon computer network serving the defense secretary's
Like their American counterparts, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) regularly probes U.S. military networks. But American
officials said these latest cyber attack caused grave concern when China demonstrated it “could disrupt U.S. defenses
systems at critical times.”
“The PLA has demonstrated the ability to conduct attacks that disable our system... and the ability in a conflict situation to
re-enter and disrupt on a very large scale,” revealed a former official, adding that the PLA has also penetrated the networks
of U.S. arms corporations and war-launching think-tanks. [Financial Times Sept 3/07]
A Chinese official named Jiang repeated his government's denial that it had penetrated other government and military
computer networks. But British and German newspapers cited intelligence and other officials saying that government and
military networks in Germany, the United States and Britain had been broken into by Chinese army hackers this summer.
According to the Associated Press: “China's military has openly discussed using cyber attacks as a means of harrying or
defeating a more powerful conventional military. In a 1999 paper on unconventional strategies titled 'Unlimited Warfare'
two top Chinese military figures wrote that a hacker could have more power than a nuclear bomb.”
In a report this year, security software maker Symantec Corp. listed China as having the second most malicious computer
activity in the world-after the United States. [AP Sept 6/07]
Speaking as a soldier, Hank commented, “The June hack showed an enormous hole in our ability to protect and communicate
LOST IN SPACE
The next hack came almost immediately, when Russian computers controlling the International Space Station's orientation
and supplies of oxygen and water inexplicably failed while the station's three crewmembers were hosting seven visiting
Among the station's network of six Russian computers, only two remained functioning. A system-wide re-boot usually resolved smaller hitches,
But this time, the system was unable to re-boot.
"A failure of this type has not occurred before," the BBC reported. [BBC June 14/07]
"This is serious," stated James Oberg, a retired rocket scientist turned author and consultant. "These computers run their life support, so if they
can't be restored, the space station could become uninhabitable." Oberg added, "Statistically, this is not random. There is some new
environmental factor that must identified and isolated, and neither step is trivial." [TechNewsWorld June 14/07]
Russian flight controllers and onboard engineers traced the problem to "odd readings" in electrical power cables feeding the Russian
computers through a corroded junction box labeled BOK 3. [Space.com July 16/07]
The gremlins returned to the Russian machines on February 5, when another ISS computer system crashed in the Zvezda Service Module that
routes data between orientation sensors and four positioning gyroscopes. The space station's solar power stopped supplying power, and
communications were cut with Earth.
Though power and comms were restored three hours later, New Scientist reports, "The cause of the computer crash remains a mystery.
NASA has so far not identified the cause of the crash." [New Scientist Feb 5/02]
But Hank was on it. "They had limited oxygen, a limited time frame," he observed. The astronauts onboard the space station didn't know
if the next computer malfunction "would open an airlock." But like an airliner in flight, the station should have smoothly shifted over to
"The word 'redundancy' never got into the story," Hank pointed out. Instead, all three backup circuit boards wired into three isolated circuits,
"had to blow out in the same way at the exact same time. The fault that occurred in the first board, the second board, and the third board all
had to be the same damn thing at the same damn time."
"Impossible," he declared. Especially, since each of the simultaneously faulty microchips had been "stress tested to hell and back. Except for
Except for "Made In China" microchip mischief.
While it is not yet confirmed that the February 5 microchip malfunction was related to the June 14 space station hack, according to Hank's
sources, on that earlier date the Chinese pulled the equivalent of Cheney's Singapore diversion--in space. "Nobody got busted for it," he adds.
"You always hear about the company at fault."
Not this time.
AC WE SEE
While White House fundamentalists remained mesmerized by the firepower ostensibly under their command, Beijing kept trying to send a very
different message. Their next installment came in early September 2007, when U.S. Air Force officers passed through multiple levels of security
and entered the inner computer sanctum of America's Air and Space Command deep under Cheyenne Mountain. This digital repository stores
regularly updates archives needed to execute "clean reinstalls" in case air force computer systems crash or are otherwise compromised.
Entering the quietly humming room, the air force officers were shocked to see monitors aglow with light. The displays were supposed to be off.
As they watched in shock and awe, randomly typed letters scrolled across a screen. The words were gibberish. But the message was
heart-stoppingly clear: "We Can Play With Your Toys!"
The sender "left breadcrumbs," Hank related. The deliberately attached ISP (Internet Service Provider) pointed to China.
This was bad enough. But what really freaked out the officers was the realization that none of these "stand alone" machines was online.
None of them contained a modem!
The only way to access these machines, Hank revealed, is to "use the sneaker net to walk up to it and tap on the keyboard. And yet they
were interacting, and they were doing it in real time. They fussed with our stuff. These guys were able to go into what was a stand alone
system and take control of it."
How did the PLA hack supposedly secure air force computers lacking network modems? Just like as select power companies can now pipe
the Internet to home computers through electrical power lines, the Chinese were able to play on SAC's supposedly secure computers through
the AC power cables connecting them to the national power... "grid".
But how did they break supposedly "unbreakable" military encryption?
And how were they able to transmit signals to override specific chips buried under a mountain of granite halfway around the globe? According
to Hank, the International Space Station was not in line-of-sight with China when it's onboard computers and back-up systems simultaneously
When it comes to dialing up a bomber to drop nuclear weapons on another country, "It's kind of like hiring a hit man," Hank explained. You
meet him in the parking lot with the assignment, a weapon, and cash. Later, you confirm that you haven't changed your mind. Then the mission
proceeds, and either the target or the hit man is taken out.
In the case of the mission out of Minot, the First Phase began with an initiation order authorizing weapons release to arm a B-52 specially flown
in for this operation. Proper codes and paperwork provided the Pilot in Command with an initial heading to fly, and initial waypoints or nav
points to punch into the plane's GPS. No destination was provided. The pilots were just supposed to get in and drive.
Once the B-52 was airborne, it flew into an electronic black hole. No electromagnetic emissions came from the bomber. There were no radio
calls to home base asking, "Are you guys sure you really want to do this?" Even more startling, no coded IFF squawks identified the BUFF
(Big Ugly Fat F---r) as friendly to prowling post-9/11 fighters. And no transponder beeps identified the airplane and its mission.
This is not the normal procedure for transporting weapons, or flying a B-52 through heavily-trafficked air corridors over the Continental United
States. Every aircraft flying at high altitudes over CONUS, (or through Controlled Airspace around airports at lower attitudes) must transmit their
identity on an assigned transponder frequency.
Commercial planes squawk in their own dialect. "When you're talking a government vehicle, like a C-130 [military transport], that's another
level up," Hank noted. "It's a different kind of squawk. ATC knows how to treat that kind of traffic differently. A B-52 is another level up.
Controllers don't see that every day. A C-5 [flying down from Colorado to dust a hurricane, for example]-they really don't see that every day."
The transponder code of the B-52 out of Minot would have prioritized it to civilian Air Traffic Control, and they would have cleared a corridor
for its exclusive track-much like a presidential motorcade.
If this Bad Boy had been transferring six advanced nuclear cruise missiles to Barksdale, as official spin insisted, its transponder would have
squawked: "Hey, guess what? We've got nukes onboard! Make sure no one runs into us. And if this signal stops scramble recovery people
wearing proper attire."
Or code to that effect.
But this did not happen.
"The Situation Room in the White House was not stood up, but they still have people there,? Hank continued. ?One of their jobs is to track
nuclear weapons. Somebody in that head shed should have seen a transponder code matched up with nuclear weapons loaded onto that
aircraft. That should have been something that went up on the board. They would have known that a B-52 was getting a full loadout, and
that all procedures had been followed. And someone else would have said, 'Mmm, six nukes. We'll keep an eye on it."
And given an order for radar operators to push a button to highlight that particular blip.
Instead, the blacked-out BUFF flew on.
High in the stratosphere, where the nitrous oxide exhaust from eight fuel-hungry turbines attacked this planet's shredding ozone layer,
boosting global warming another notch toward a catastrophic methane meltdown, wings never designed to carry heavy ordnance flexed up
and down like a bird in flight. The crew must have considered the long roster of crashed Stratofortress with ?broken arrows? onboard. Not
for a second could they forget that the six live nuclear weapons strapped to their wings were as close to detonation as a gremlin's wet dream.
Or the fail-safe switch under the Plane Commander's gloves.
An hour or two out of Minot, a bell chimed in the cockpit and a secure printer spat out a coded paper message. Even if they betrayed no
emotion, the pilots must have felt a chill. Because the mission's next critical Fail-Safe had been passed. "We've thought about it, and the
mission is still a go," the message essentially read. If these new orders had not been received, or had been issued incorrectly, the plane
would have immediately turned back to the nearest base capable of handling its special needs.
But their orders were in order. Positively authenticated by both pilots as coming from the NCA, the new message received onboard the
bomber issued the radio frequencies, call signs and rendezvous coordinates for "hitting" one of three aerial refueling planes constantly
orbiting over the Gulf of Mexico. Their new "Go Code" also identified their target region. After topping off their tanks, they were to take up
a heading for another Gulf, half a world away.
BLIND MAN'S BUFF
Wouldn't the base commander, or the other officers involved in sending live nuclear weapons toward Iran have second thoughts about a strike
that could trigger an even bigger political-military chain reaction?
Not necessarily, Hank explained. Military leaders usually favor intimidation in place of bloodshed. If the Iranians could be dissuaded from
acquiring a nuclear deterrent of their own, or decide to stop supplying their Shiite brothers next door with sophisticated shaped-charge
rockets capable of penetrating the depleted uranium hides of M-1 Abrams tanks-terrific! Everyone involved in the mission must have hoped
that in this high-stakes brinksmanship, when Iranian sensors picked up the radioactive signature of an inbound American nuclear bomber
strike, the mullahs in Teheran would burn their Korans and turn to Jesus.
On the other hand, how do you say "pissed off" in Persian? The mullahs might panic and start pushing buttons of their own. Especially when
the Israeli Air Force was notified of the strike, and launched "supporting" fighter-bombers of their own.
In any case, it was out of the hands of the base commander and his immediate superiors. Since any one of these key staff officers could
conceivably be kidnapped or impersonated during a nuclear strike, none had the authority to issue a recall order. Even if someone in the
chain of command issued an RTB (Return To Base), SAC bomber crews en route to the final IP coordinates to commence their attack are
trained to ignore all such entreaties.
In fact, a frantic "Come home for lunch," or "Call your wife" command would confirm for the crew that something really was amiss, and they
were at war.
In this way, a series of rote military assumptions can make an ash out of you and me.
WHAT, ME WORRY?
Meanwhile, the man under whose digitally coded authority this strike was being carried out, remained completely unaware
that six nuclear cruise missiles with his name on them were headed toward Iran.
Phase Three would have issued coded authorization to take out their assigned targets. One target confirmed by two highly placed, independent
sources was a nuclear power plant hard against the mountains of Iran. "But the bomber would still have five missiles left. And it would not leave
the area empty," Hank insisted. "If they go loaded for bear, they're not going to leave with a rabbit."
After all, he added, a pre-BDA [Bomb Damage Assessment] would have been done before launching the bomber "to determine how many it
would take. And they needed six?"
Despite all the Hollywood hype, cruise missiles are notoriously inaccurate. Just ask the folks ducking strays in Kuwait or Iran. Still, a cruise
missile striking within 30 miles would have taken out that Iranian power plant. But if the nuclear-tipped ACM had detonated over its pile?
"Bad. Bad. Very bad," as Hank would say. Because the resulting electromagnetic pulses from such a synergistic chain reaction would have--
among other things--fried every unhardened Chinese microchip aboard every American ship, plane and vehicle in the Persian Gulf.
"You don't have to sink the CAG, just turn it off," Hank said, referring to the formidable--yet completely microchip dependent--Carrier Air Group
steaming off the coast of Iran. "Once they realized that these ships were just bobbing around out there," the bad guys would have "launched
10,000 rowboats" from surrounding shorelines to go play pirates.
Was this why several Chinese Aegis destroyers were steaming in from the east about 250 nautical miles from the Straits of Hormuz? Was this
why two or three Chinese submarines had been deployed to the area of the transiting destroyers the week before?
Or were the two Chinese anti-aircraft destroyers part of an elaborate fail-safe in case the demonstration glitched and the bomber could not be
recalled? Even if their anti-aircraft missiles could not reach the distant plane (easily tracked through its rigged Chinese chips), specific signals
sent from the ship could have turned the plane around. Or its fuel off.
What were the Chinese thinking?
Ever since Katrina, and the subsequent standing wave put up off the south coast of Africa by HAARP to deflect hurricanes from the U.S. Atlantic
and Gulf Coasts, Beijing has felt under siege as earthquakes and wild, shipping-interrupting storms continue to be conducted "all the way to
China" by the powerful Gakona, Alaskan transmitter. [See "Where Have All The Hurricanes Gone"-upcoming on willthomasonline.net]
Three times, the Chinese have attempted to override HAARP. And failed. Elaborate demonstrations of their electronic warfare capabilities--
including fizzing circuits in space, and a face-to-face with the U.S. Vice-President in Singapore--had not persuaded American leaders to A:
Refrain from hoisting a false flag over a Persian Gulf of Tonkin, and B: Turn HAARP off.
Surely, Beijing must have reasoned, ordering a United State Air Force strategic bomber loaded out with six armed nuclear weapons to fly over
the United States and then on towards Iran would conclusively demonstrate who was now in charge.
"This op would not have 'Made In China' stamped all over it," Hank pointed out. "Instead, American bombs, American bombers and American
systems were used." No matter how the mission had proceeded, if Washington had been forced to tell the world, "It wasn't us. We lost control
of our bomber carrying six atomic warheads"--how would that have looked to a global audience already angry over America's misuse of its
Whatever Beijing's intentions, Hank was not the only person in the U.S. military to have his head rearranged by this latest Chinese
demonstration. "They might have wanted to go all the way. Of they might have wanted to put pieces in play and see how far they
could go," he surmised. "Maybe the Chinese started, and stopped it."
Either way, the unauthorized Minot mission has bluntly shown the White House and the Pentagon: "If you start something, we can stop it.
You no longer know how much control you have over your own weapons systems because we can play with them at will. No matter where
you are, no matter what you're doing, if you're using our chips you are vulnerable. And you can't know if our Trojan chips are in your systems
unless you tear apart every circuits in every surveillance, communications, weapons system, pipelines, telecom and power grid in your entire
military and civilian inventory and look. And then dismantle every network they are connected to."
"And one more thing," Beijing inferred, "If you take offense and pop off a missile, remember, we might make it do a loop-de-loop and come
right back down on its originating silo."
Hank and others in America's command hierarchy remain alarmed and puzzled-which makes them even more uneasy. Would China's
leadership have precipitated a cloud of radioactive fallout downwind over their own population? Emphatically, yes. The country's generals
have long counted an expendable population and land mass as key factors in "winning" a nuclear war.
Best case scenario, this recent flight of fancy was a warning for Washington to chill the bomb Iran rhetoric, and dial down HAARP.
"Maybe the Chinese got it right and they were just messin' with us," Hank mused. "Or they got it wrong, and something very bad almost
happened. But why only one plane? Why stop there? It's a limited use of a system that is now exposed."
But what can we do about it?
And what a message it sent!
[See [url=http://www.willthomasonline.net/willthomasonline/Cyber_War.html]"Cyber War"][/url]
Phase Three of the mission would have sent coded target grid coordinates and time(s) of weapon(s) release, as well as updates on weather
over the area, enemy defense status and friendly escorts. Those orders never came.
Instead, Phase Four was initiated. When the cockpit teleprinter spat out paper tape again, it read, in so many words: "Forget the whole thing.
Abort the mission. Turn back." The only people capable of issuing a nuclear strike recall order would be the President, the Secretary of
Defense, a specific designate of the SecDef authorized by special code. Or a Chinese military hacker.
As Hank notes, "The plane had to be diverted to a base that could handle nuclear weapons." That would be Barksdale. But...
"Live hot nukes would have tripped alarms on the tarmac when it touched down. Either they were nonfunctional on both ends [Minot and
Barksdale], which is scary beyond belief considering what we're talking about." Or the Joint Chiefs or the NCA could have ordered the
radiation sensors silenced to keep the mission-and the hijacked mission-under wraps. Or the Chinese could have turned them off. If the
system is digital, Beijing probably controls it.
Bottom line: if the incoming bomber had crashed approach, no one responding would have known they were dealing with a quiver-full of
Thought the missiles were never launched, they still remain in play. As Hank worried, "Six nukes are now forward deployed to the air force
base that handles Middle East ops."
A former counter-terrorism expert with the CIA and the State Department shares his concern. Larry Johnson does not buy the official story that
six nuclear weapons were "mistakenly" flown over the USA-not after a retired B-52 pilot reminded him. "The only time you put such weapons
on a plane is when they are on alert, or if the crew has been tasked to move the weapons to a specific site." Besides running nuclear war
exercises like the Global Guardian drill it ran on the morning of 9/11, Barksdale AFB deploys "heavies" to the Middle East.
Like Hank, Johnson wants to know, "Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?" His
pilot pal believes that an insider leaker tried to send up a bright red flag. Johnson asks, "Did someone at Barksdale try to indirectly warn the
American people that the Bush Administration is staging nukes for Iran?" [www.antiwar.com]
But Hank points out another problem. Cruise missiles-which are essentially autonomous, unpiloted drones-have special needs. Since six cruise
missiles showing up at Barksdale were an oddity, can they be adequately stored and maintained there? The Gulf Coast is "a very different
environment" than Nebraska, Hank emphasizes. How long is Barksdale going to hold onto them? In the hurricane season?
"Are we going to see some of them floating out on the tide?" Hank wants to know. Americans need a big confirm that these weapons have
been sent back north to a better home.
Verify this story here
[url=http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_timothy__070917_the_story_that_never.htm]The Story That Never Was: The "Silencing" of the B-52 "Whistleblowers"[/url]
by Timothy V. Gatto
It seems like somebody is throwing misinformation out to the Progressive community either to discredit us or to have us
chase phony stories around that in effect, waste our time. I recently received information, and I see that many of us did,
about the supposedly “dead” soldiers that helped to “out” the story on that B-52 that carried nuclear weapons from Minot
AFB to Barksdale AFB. I heard about it from an e-mail that was sent by a good friend. Since I had just been burned by the
“Amero” coin story in which I received information that the Denver mint had begun making “Amero’s”, I was suspicious
and asked my friend to check his sources. Sure enough, my friend wrote that he had been duped again. The worst part of
this saga is that he traced the story back to the same source that had released misinformation on the Amero!
My source that I believe would rather be left nameless traced the original story that he got to another source. He actually
called that source to find out where he got that information and it traced back to Hal Turner. The original article that wrote
about the so-called “deaths” was on the Military Times website. Since Michael Hoffman wrote the article I called him today.
Mr. Hoffman was very forthcoming and told me that he had two sources that told him about the story, and when he
investigated it, he found that the two servicemen that perished, but that they had no connection whatsoever with the
Mr. Hoffman also told me that he had received e-mail from Hal Turner about the article and he had advised Mr. Turner to
remove the article from his website on the premise that he was disseminating fraudulent information. Apparently Hal
Turner cares nothing for the truth as you can see here: http://www.halturnershow.com/index.html and that the story is
still on his website.
I have read a few articles, one here at Opednews.com that still maintain that the soldiers that turned the information over
to the Military Times have been silenced…permanently. This is pure misinformation and Hal Turner along with all that jumped
on this story should have checked their sources more thoroughly. This could have been a counter intelligence program
designed to make anyone repeating this story look ridiculous. This isn’t an isolated case. People that write articles should
be very careful to check their sources, if at least two impeccable sources can’t verify a story, that story should remain out
of print until a second source has been verified.
That’s the way I see it.
Former Chairman of the Liberal Party of America, Tim is a retired Army Sergeant. He currently lives in South Carolina. A regular contributor to OpEdNews, he is the author of Kimchee Kronicles and is currently at work on a new novel.
B-52 Nuke-Involved Airman Murdered?
No Cause Of Death Listed
Our Thanks To Ted Twietmeyer
For Locating Airman Todd Blue's Obituary
Todd Alexander Blue
Todd Alexander Blue, of Wytheville, Va. was born August 13, 1987 in Washington, D.C. to John Briggs and Patricia Blue. He departed this life on September 10, 2007. Todd graduated from George Wythe High School in 2005. After high school, he enlisted into the U.S. Air Force. While serving in the Air Force, Todd received many honors. He was stationed at Minot Air Force Base in Minot, N.D. Todd leaves behind lots of great memories of him. He was a star athlete in track and field and football. He was very outgoing, ambitious, and great with helping others deal with hard situations. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Mr. Clarence Blue, Sr. He leaves to cherish his memory his mother, Patricia Blue; his father, John Briggs and stepmother, Faith Briggs; one sister, Alvina Blue; two brothers, Bryan Blue and Patrick Bryant; three wonderful grandmothers, Ms. Sarah C. Blue, Mrs. Mildred Patterson, and Mrs. Remonia Haskins; two grandfathers, Mr. Willie Patterson and Mr. Cecil Haskins; ten aunts; four uncles; one niece; two nephews; and many other friends and family. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 16, 2007 at Bethel A.M.E. Church, 635 E. Main Street, Wytheville, Va. with the Reverend Daryl E. Beamer, Sr. officiating. Interment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. Arrangements entrusted to Penn's Funeral Home, Pulaski.
Published in the Roanoke Times on 9/14/2007.
WASHINGTON D.C. -
Retired General To Investigate B-52 Nuclear Mistake
Sep 21, 2007 08:08 AM PST
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked a retired general who once commanded the nation's fleet of B-52s to lead an
outside inquiry into how one of the bombers was mistakenly armed with nuclear weapons.
Gates' press secretary, Geoff Morrell, says the defense chief has asked former Air Force Chief of Staff Larry Welch to
lead the investigation.
That's in addition to the Air Force's own investigation, which began three weeks ago.
The B-52 in question was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles when it flew from Minot Air Force Base,
in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base on August 30th.
The missiles were mounted onto pylons under the bomber's wings, but the Air Force says there was never any danger to
Morrell says Welch will lead a Defense Science Board task force to determine whether the B-52 incident has wider
implications for the military.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Gates Seeks 2nd Inquiry of Bomber Mishap
By ROBERT BURNS – 1 day ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Three weeks after the Air Force began investigating the mistaken arming of a B-52 bomber with nuclear weapons, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked for an outside inquiry led by a retired general who once commanded the strategic bomber fleet, an official said Thursday.
In the embarrassing incident, a B-52 mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles flew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30. The missiles were mounted onto pylons under the bomber's wings, but the Air Force said there was never any danger to the public.
The mistake, revealed publicly by the Military Times newspapers, was so serious that President Bush and Gates were quickly informed and Gates has received regular updates from the Air Force on progress in its investigation.
Gates's press secretary, Geoff Morrell, told reporters that the defense chief asked Larry Welch, a former Air Force chief of staff, to lead an inquiry into the implications of the incident. That is in addition to the existing Air Force probe headed by Maj. Gen. Douglas Raaberg, director of air and space operations at Air Combat Command, which is responsible for all Air Force bombers and fighters.
Morrell said Welch will lead a Defense Science Board task force to determine whether the B-52 incident has wider implications for the military. "Does this incident reflect a larger problem with regard to the security and transfer of munitions?" is the question that Welch's group will attempt to answer, Morrell said.
The Defense Science Board is a standing committee of outside experts, including retired military officers and former government officials, that advises the secretary of defense on a wide range of national security issues.
Asked why Gates felt it necessary to launch another inquiry into the matter, Morrell said it did not reflect any dissatisfaction with the way the Air Force is conducting its investigation.
"But I think he believes that in an incident of this nature, it's important to get to the bottom of it," Morrell said. "And he believes an outside set of eyes may be additionally helpful to, sort of, get a better sense of what went wrong and how to avoid similar mistakes in the future."
An Air Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Edward Thomas, said his service's probe should be done within several weeks.
"Our response has been swift and focused," Thomas said.
The weapon involved in the Aug. 30 incident was the Advanced Cruise Missile, a "stealth" weapon developed in the 1980s with the ability to evade detection by Soviet radars. The Air Force said in March that it had decided to retire the Advanced Cruise Missile fleet in the near future.
Welch is president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Defense Analysis, which administers three federally funded research centers that do analytical work for the Defense Department.
Welch retired from the Air Force in 1990 after serving as its chief of staff. He previously was commander of Strategic Air Command, which operated the bomber fleet and was dissolved when an Air Force reorganization created Air Combat Command to operate all of its combat aircraft.
On the Net:
Defense Science Board at: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/&usg=AFQjCNGXSEwTnZnvw-2iMzQoJ2V0WQe37Q" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/ [/*]
B-52 bomber at: http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id83&usg=AFQjCNGIuGVrhJvhz8lbrU-n58TsmiInTQ" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id83 [/*][/list]
-Outside inquiry for nuke mishap
Former Air Force official to head investigation into B-52 bomber incident
The Associated Press
Updated: 6:52 p.m. CT Sept 20, 2007
WASHINGTON - Three weeks after the Air Force began investigating the mistaken arming of a B-52 bomber with nuclear weapons, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked for an outside inquiry led by a retired general who once commanded the strategic bomber fleet, an official said Thursday.
In the embarrassing incident, a B-52 mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles flew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30. The missiles were mounted onto pylons under the bomber’s wings, but the Air Force said there was never any danger to the public.
The mistake, revealed publicly by the Military Times newspapers, was so serious that President Bush and Gates were quickly informed and Gates has received regular updates from the Air Force on progress in its investigation.
Gates’s press secretary, Geoff Morrell, told reporters that the defense chief asked Larry Welch, a former Air Force chief of staff, to undertake a review of the incident. That is in addition to the existing Air Force probe headed by Maj. Gen. Douglas Raaberg, director of air and space operations at Air Combat Command, which is responsible for all Air Force bombers and fighters.
Asked why Gates felt it necessary to launch an independent review of the incident, Morrell said it did not reflect any dissatisfaction with the way the Air Force is conducting its investigation.
“But I think he believes that in an incident of this nature, it’s important to get to the bottom of it,” Morrell said. “And he believes an outside set of eyes may be additionally helpful to, sort of, get a better sense of what went wrong and how to avoid similar mistakes in the future.”
An Air Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Edward Thomas, said his service’s probe should be done within several weeks.
“Our response has been swift and focused,” Thomas said.
The weapon involved in the Aug. 30 incident was the Advanced Cruise Missile, a “stealth” weapon developed in the 1980s with the ability to evade detection by Soviet radars. The Air Force said in March that it had decided to retire the Advanced Cruise Missile fleet in the near future.
Ex-Air Force official's background
Welch is president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Defense Analysis, which administers three federally funded research centers that do analytical work for the Defense Department.
He also is a member of the Defense Science Board, which advises the secretary of defense on technical matters. A spokeswoman for Welch, Amy Cohen at the Institute for Defense Analysis, said Welch told her that his review of the B-52 incident was under the auspices of the Defense Science Board, but he did not elaborate on precisely what the board had been asked to do.
Welch retired from the Air Force in 1990 after serving as its chief of staff. He previously was commander of Strategic Air Command, which operated the bomber fleet and was dissolved when an Air Force reorganization created Air Combat Command to operate all of its combat aircraft.
© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Mystery surrounds deaths of Minot airmen
Sat, 22 Sep 2007 23:10:30
Six members of the US Air Force who were involved in the Minot AFB incident, have died mysteriously, an anti-Bush
activist group says.
The incident happened when a B-52 bomber was "mistakenly" loaded with six nuclear warheads and flown for more
than three hours across several states, prompting an Air Force investigation and the firing of one commander.
The plane was carrying Advanced Cruise Missiles from Minot Air Force Base, N.D, to Barksdale Air Force Base on August 30.
The Air Combat Command has ordered a command-wide stand down on September 14 to review procedures, officials said.
The missiles, which are being decommissioned, were mounted onto pylons on the bomber's wings and it is unclear why the warheads had not been removed beforehand.
In addition to the munitions squadron commander who was relieved of his duties, crews involved in the incident, including ground crew workers had been temporarily decertified for handling munitions.
The activist group Citizens for Legitimate Government said the six members of the US Air Force who were directly involved
as loaders or as pilots, were killed within 7 days in 'accidents'.
The victims include Airman First Class Todd Blue, 20, who died while on leave in Virginia. A statement by the military
confirmed his death but did not say how he died.
In another accident, a married couple from Barksdale Air Force Base were killed in the 5100 block of Shreveport-Blanchard Highway. The two were riding a 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, with the husband driving and the wife the passenger,
"They were traveling behind a northbound Pontiac Aztec driven by Erica Jerry, 35, of Shreveport," the county sheriff said.
"Jerry initiated a left turn into a business parking lot at the same time the man driving the motorcycle attempted to pass
her van on the left in a no passing zone. They collided."
Adam Barrs, a 20-year-old airman from Minot Air Force Base was killed in a crash on the outskirts of the city.
First Lt. Weston Kissel, 28, a Minot Air Force Base bomber pilot, was killed in a motorcycle crash in Tennessee, the
military officials say.
Police found the body of a missing Air Force captain John Frueh near Badger Peak in northeast Skamania County,
The Activist group says the mysterious deaths of the air force members could indicate to a conspiracy to cover up the
truth about the Minot Air Base incident.
The saga of a ‘Bent Spear’
6 nukes fly across U.S.; no one notices for 36 hours — how could it happen?
Sept 22, 2007
Just after 9 a.m. on Aug. 29, a group of U.S. airmen entered a sod-covered bunker on North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base with
orders to collect a set of unarmed cruise missiles bound for a weapons graveyard. They quickly pulled out a dozen cylinders, all
of which appeared identical from a cursory glance, and hauled them along Bomber Boulevard to a waiting B-52 bomber.
The airmen attached the gray missiles to the plane's wings, six on each side. After eyeballing the missiles on the right side, a flight
officer signed a manifest that listed a dozen unarmed AGM-129 missiles. The officer did not notice that the six on the left contained
nuclear warheads, each with the destructive power of up to 10 Hiroshima bombs.
That detail would escape notice for an astounding 36 hours, during which the missiles were flown across the country to a Louisiana
air base that had no idea nuclear warheads were coming. It was the first known flight by a nuclear-armed bomber over U.S. airspace,
without special high-level authorization, in nearly 40 years.
The episode, serious enough to trigger a rare "Bent Spear" nuclear incident report that raced through the chain of command to
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and President Bush, provoked new questions inside and outside the Pentagon about the
adequacy of U.S. nuclear weapons safeguards while the military's attention and resources are devoted to wars in Iraq and
Three weeks after word of the incident leaked to the public, new details obtained by The Washington Post point to security
failures at multiple levels in North Dakota and Louisiana, according to interviews with current and former U.S. officials briefed
on the initial results of an Air Force investigation of the incident.
The warheads were attached to the plane in Minot without special guard for more than 15 hours, and they remained on the plane
in Louisiana for nearly nine hours more before being discovered. In total, the warheads slipped from the Air Force's nuclear safety
net for more than a day without anyone's knowledge.
"I have been in the nuclear business since 1966 and am not aware of any incident more disturbing," retired Air Force Gen. Eugene
Habiger, who served as U.S. Strategic Command chief from 1996 to 1998, said in an interview.
A simple error in a missile storage room led to missteps at every turn, as ground crews failed to notice the warheads, and as security
teams and flight crew members failed to provide adequate oversight and check the cargo thoroughly. An elaborate nuclear safeguard
system, nurtured during the Cold War and infused with rigorous accounting and command procedures, was utterly debased, the
investigation's early results show.
The incident came on the heels of multiple warnings — some of which went to the highest levels of the Bush administration, including
the National Security Council — of security problems at Air Force installations where nuclear weapons are kept. The risks are not
that warheads might be accidentally detonated, but that sloppy procedures could leave room for theft or damage to a warhead,
disseminating its toxic nuclear materials.
A former National Security Council staff member with detailed knowledge described the event as something that people in the
White House "have been assured never could happen." What occurred on Aug. 29-30, the former official said, was "a breakdown
at a number of levels involving flight crew, munitions, storage and tracking procedures — faults that never were to line up on a
Missteps in the bunker
The air base where the incident took place is one of the most remote and, for much of the year, coldest military posts in the
continental United States. Veterans of Minot typically describe their assignments by counting the winters passed in the flat,
treeless region where January wind chills sometimes exceed 100 degrees below zero. In airman-speak, a three-year assignment
becomes "three winters" at Minot.
The daily routine for many of Minot's crews is a cycle of scheduled maintenance for the base's 35 aging B-52H Stratofortress
bombers — mammoth, eight-engine workhorses, the newest of which left the assembly line more than 45 years ago. Workers also
tend to 150 intercontinental ballistic missiles kept at the ready in silos scattered across neighboring cornfields, as well as hundreds
of smaller nuclear bombs, warheads and vehicles stored in sod-covered bunkers called igloos.
"We had a continuous workload in maintaining" warheads, said Scott Vest, a former Air Force captain who spent time in Minot's
bunkers in the 1990s. "We had a stockpile of more than 400 . . . and some of them were always coming due" for service.
Among the many weapons and airframes, the AGM-129 cruise missile was well known at the base as a nuclear warhead delivery
system carried by B-52s. With its unique shape and design, it is easily distinguished from the older AGM-86, which can be fitted
with either a nuclear or a conventional warhead.
Last fall, after 17 years in the U.S. arsenal, the Air Force's more than 400 AGM-129s were ordered into retirement by then-
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Minot was told to begin shipping out the unarmed missiles in small groups to
Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, La., for storage. By Aug. 29, its crews had already sent more than 200 missiles to
Barksdale and knew the drill by heart.
The Air Force's account of what happened that day and the next was provided by multiple sources who spoke on the condition of
anonymity because the government's investigation is continuing and classified.
At 9:12 a.m. local time on Aug. 29, according to the account, ground crews in two trucks entered a gated compound at Minot
known as the Weapons Storage Area and drove to an igloo where the cruise missiles were stored. The 21-foot missiles were
already mounted on pylons, six apiece in clusters of three, for quick mounting to the wings of a B-52.
The AGM-129 is designed to carry silver W-80-1 nuclear warheads, which have a variable yield of between 5 and 150 kilotons.
(A kiloton is equal to the explosive force of 1,000 tons of TNT.) The warheads were meant to have been removed from the missiles
before shipment. In their place, crews were supposed to insert metal dummies of the same size and weight, but a different color,
so the missiles could still be properly attached under the bomber's wings.
A munitions custodian officer is supposed to keep track of the nuclear warheads. In the case of cruise missiles, a stamp-size
window on the missile's frame allows workers to peer inside to check whether the warheads within are silver. In many cases,
a red ribbon or marker attached to the missile serves as an additional warning. Finally, before the missiles are moved, two-man
teams are supposed to look at check sheets, bar codes and serial numbers denoting whether the missiles are armed.
Why the warheads were not noticed in this case is not publicly known. But once the missiles were certified as unarmed, a
requirement for unique security precautions when nuclear warheads are moved — such as the presence of specially armed
security police, the approval of a senior base commander and a special tracking system — evaporated.
The trucks hauled the missile pylons from the bunker into the bustle of normal air base traffic, onto Bomber Boulevard and M
Street, before turning onto a tarmac apron where the missiles were loaded onto the B-52. The loading took eight hours because
of unusual trouble attaching the pylon on the right side of the plane — the one with the dummy warheads.
By 5:12 p.m., the B-52 was fully loaded. The plane then sat on the tarmac overnight without special guards, protected for 15 hours
by only the base's exterior chain-link fence and roving security patrols.
Air Force rules required members of the jet's flight crew to examine all of the missiles and warheads before the plane took off.
But in this instance, just one person examined only the six unarmed missiles and inexplicably skipped the armed missiles on the
left, according to officials familiar with the probe.
"If they're not expecting a live warhead it may be a very casual thing — there's no need to set up the security system and play
the whole nuclear game," said Vest, the former Minot airman. "As for the air crew, they're bus drivers at this point, as far as
The plane, which had flown to Minot for the mission and was not certified to carry nuclear weapons, departed the next morning
for Louisiana. When the bomber landed at Barksdale at 11:23 a.m., the air crew signed out and left for lunch, according to the
It would be another nine hours — until 8:30 p.m. — before a Barksdale ground crew turned up at the parked aircraft to begin
removing the missiles. At 8:45, 15 minutes into the task, a separate missile transport crew arrived in trucks. One of these airmen
noticed something unusual about the missiles. Within an hour, a skeptical supervisor had examined them and ordered them secured.
By then it was 10 p.m., more than 36 hours after the warheads left their secure bunker in Minot.
Once the errant warheads were discovered, Air Force officers in Louisiana were alarmed enough to immediately notify the National
Military Command Center, a highly secure area of the Pentagon that serves as the nerve center for U.S. nuclear war planning. Such
"Bent Spear" events are ranked second in seriousness only to "Broken Arrow" incidents, which involve the loss, destruction or
accidental detonation of a nuclear weapon.
The Air Force decided at first to keep the mishap under wraps, in part because of policies that prohibit the confirmation of any
details about the storage or movement of nuclear weapons. No public acknowledgement was made until service members leaked
the story to the Military Times, which published a brief account Sept. 5.
Officials familiar with the Bent Spear report say Air Force officials apparently did not anticipate that the episode would cause
public concern. One passage in the report contains these four words:
"No press interest anticipated."
How could so much break down at once?
The news, when it did leak, provoked a reaction within the defense and national security communities that bordered on disbelief:
How could so many safeguards, drilled into generations of nuclear weapons officers and crews, break down at once?
Military officers, nuclear weapons analysts and lawmakers have expressed concern that it was not just a fluke, but a symptom of
deeper problems in the handling of nuclear weapons now that Cold War anxieties have abated.
"It is more significant than people first realized, and the more you look at it, the stranger it is," said Joseph Cirincione, director
for nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress think tank and the author of a history of nuclear weapons. "These weapons
— the equivalent of 60 Hiroshimas — were out of authorized command and control for more than a day."
The Air Force has sought to offer assurances that its security system is working. Within days, the service relieved one Minot
officer of his command and disciplined several airmen, while assigning a major general to head an investigation that has already
been extended for extra weeks. At the same time, Defense Department officials have announced that a Pentagon-appointed
scientific advisory board will study the mishap as part of a larger review of procedures for handling nuclear weapons.
"Clearly this incident was unacceptable on many levels," said an Air Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Edward Thomas. "Our response
has been swift and focused — and it has really just begun. We will spend many months at the air staff and at our commands and
bases ensuring that the root causes are addressed."
While Air Force officials see the Minot event as serious, they also note that it was harmless, since the six nuclear warheads never
left the military's control. Even if the bomber had crashed, or if someone had stolen the warheads, fail-safe devices would have
prevented a nuclear detonation.
But independent experts warn that whenever nuclear weapons are not properly safeguarded, their fissile materials are at risk of
theft and diversion. Moreover, if the plane had crashed and the warheads' casings cracked, these highly toxic materials could
have been widely dispersed.
"When what were multiple layers of tight nuclear weapon control internal procedures break down, some bad guy may eventually
come along and take advantage of them," said a former senior administration official who had responsibility for nuclear security.
Some Air Force veterans say the base's officers made an egregious mistake in allowing nuclear-warhead-equipped missiles and
unarmed missiles to be stored in the same bunker, a practice that a spokesman last week confirmed is routine. Charles Curtis,
a former deputy energy secretary in the Clinton administration, said, "We always relied on segregation of nuclear weapons from conventional ones."
Former nuclear weapons officials have noted that the weapons transfer at the heart of the incident coincides with deep cuts in
deployed nuclear forces that will bring the total number of warheads to as few as 1,700 by the year 2012 — a reduction of more
than 50 percent from 2001 levels. But the downsizing has created new accounting and logistical challenges, since U.S. policy is
to keep thousands more warheads in storage, some as a strategic reserve and others awaiting dismantling.
A secret 1998 history of the Air Combat Command warned of "diminished attention for even 'the minimum standards' of nuclear
weapons' maintenance, support and security" once such arms became less vital, according to a declassified copy obtained by
Hans Kristensen, director of the Federation of American Scientists' nuclear information project.
The Air Force's inspector general in 2003 found that half of the "nuclear surety" inspections conducted that year resulted in
failing grades — the worst performance since inspections of weapons-handling began. Minot's 5th Bomb Wing was among the
units that failed, and the Louisiana-based 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale garnered an unsatisfactory rating in 2005.
Both units passed subsequent nuclear inspections, and Minot was given high marks in a 2006 inspection. The 2003 report on the
5th Bomb Wing attributed its poor performance to the demands of supporting combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wartime
stresses had "resulted in a lack of time to focus and practice nuclear operations," the report stated.
Last year, the Air Force eliminated a separate nuclear-operations directorate known informally as the N Staff, which closely
tracked the maintenance and security of nuclear weapons in the United States and other NATO countries. Currently, nuclear
and space operations are combined in a single directorate. Air Force officials say the change was part of a service-wide
reorganization and did not reflect diminished importance of nuclear operations.
‘What the hell happened here?’
"Where nuclear weapons have receded into the background is at the senior policy level, where there are other things people have
to worry about," said Linton F. Brooks, who resigned in January as director of the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Brooks, who oversaw billions of dollars in U.S. spending to help Russia secure its nuclear stockpile, said the mishandling of U.S.
warheads indicates that "something went seriously wrong."
A similar refrain has been voiced hundreds of times in blogs and chat rooms popular with former and current military members.
On a Web site run by the Military Times, a former B-52 crew chief who did not give his name wrote: "What the hell happened here?"
A former Air Force senior master sergeant wrote separately that "mistakes were made at the lowest level of supervision and this
snowballed into the one of the biggest mistakes in USAF history. I am still scratching my head wondering how this could [have]
© 2007 The Washington Post Company
Subject: B-52 Nukes Were Headed for Iran: Airforce Refused
-- SPECIAL REPORT --
Air Force refused to fly weapons to Middle East theater
By Wayne Madsen
Sept. 24, 2007
WMR has learned from U.S. and foreign intelligence sources that the B-52 transporting six stealth AGM-129 Advanced
Cruise Missiles, each armed with a W-80-1 nuclear warhead, on August 30, were destined for the Middle East via
Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
However, elements of the Air Force, supported by U.S. intelligence agency personnel, successfully revealed the
ultimate destination of the nuclear weapons and the mission was aborted due to internal opposition within the Air
Force and U.S. Intelligence Community.
Yesterday, the /Washington Post/ attempted to explain away the fact that America's nuclear command and control
system broke down in an unprecedented manner by reporting that it was the result of "security failures at multiple
levels." It is now apparent that the command and control breakdown, reported as a BENT SPEAR incident to the
Secretary of Defense and White House, was not the result of a command and control chain-of-command "failures"
but the result of a revolt and push back by various echelons within the Air Force and intelligence agencies against
a planned U.S. attack on Iran using nuclear and conventional
The /Washington Post/ story on BENT SPEAR may have actually been an effort in damage control by the Bush
administration. WMR has been informed by a knowledgeable source that one of the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles
was, and may still be, unaccounted for. In that case, the nuclear reporting incident would have gone far beyond BENT
SPEAR to a National Command Authority alert known as EMPTY QUIVER, with the special classification of PINNACLE.
Just as this report was being prepared, /Newsweek/ reported that Vice President Dick Cheney's recently-departed
Middle East adviser, David Wurmser, told a small group of advisers some months ago that Cheney had considered
asking Israel to launch a missile attack on the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz. Cheney reasoned that after an Iranian
retaliatory strike, the United States would have ample reasons to launch its own massive attack on Iran. However,
plans for Israel to attack Iran directly were altered to an Israeli attack on a supposed Syrian-Iranian-North Korean
nuclear installation in northern Syria.
WMR has learned that a U.S. attack on Iran using nuclear and conventional weapons was scheduled to coincide with
Israel's September 6 air attack on a reputed Syrian nuclear facility in Dayr az-Zwar, near the village of Tal Abyad, in
northern Syria, near the Turkish border. Israel's attack, code named OPERATION ORCHARD, was to provide a reason
for the U.S. to strike Iran. The neo-conservative propaganda onslaught was to cite the cooperation of the George
Bush's three remaining "Axis of Evil" states -- Syria, Iran, and North Korea -- to justify a sustained Israeli attack on
Syria and a massive U.S. military attack on Iran.
WMR has learned from military sources on both sides of the Atlantic that there was a definite connection between
Israel's OPERATION ORCHARD and BENT SPEAR involving the B-52 that flew the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles
from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale. There is also a connection between these two events as the
Pentagon's highly-classified PROJECT CHECKMATE, a compartmented U.S. Air Force program that has been working
on an attack plan for Iran since June 2007, around the same time that Cheney was working on the joint Israeli-U.S.
attack scenario on Iran.
PROJECT CHECKMATE was leaked in an article by military analyst Eric Margolis in the Rupert Murdoch-owned
newspaper, the /Times of London/, is a program that involves over two dozen Air Force officers and is headed
by Brig. Gen. Lawrence Stutzriem and his chief civilian adviser, Dr. Lani Kass, a former Israeli military intelligence
officer who, astoundingly, is now involved in planning a joint U.S.-Israeli massive military attack on Iran that
involves a "decapitating" blow on Iran by hitting between three to four thousand targets in the country. Stutzriem
and Kass report directly to the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Michael Moseley, who has also been charged with
preparing a report on the B-52/nuclear weapons incident.
Kass' area of speciality is cyber-warfare, which includes ensuring "information blockades," such as that imposed by
the Israeli government on the Israeli media regarding the Syrian air attack on the alleged Syrian "nuclear
installation." British intelligence sources have reported that the Israeli attack on Syria was a "true flag" attack
originally designed to foreshadow a U.S. attack on Iran. After the U.S. Air Force push back against transporting the
six cruise nuclear-armed AGM-129s to the Middle East, Israel went ahead with its attack on Syria in order to help
ratchet up tensions between Washington on one side and Damascus, Tehran, and Pyongyang on the other.
The other part of CHECKMATE's brief is to ensure that a media "perception management" is waged against Syria,
Iran, and North Korea. This involves articles such as that which appeared with Joby Warrick's and Walter Pincus'
bylines in yesterdays /Washington Post/. The article, titled "The Saga of a Bent Spear," quotes a number of
seasoned Air Force nuclear weapons experts as saying that such an incident is unprecedented in the history
of the Air Force. For example, Retired Air Force General Eugene Habiger, the former chief of the U.S. Strategic
Command, said he has been in the "nuclear business" since 1966 and has never been aware of an incident "more
Command and control breakdowns involving U.S. nuclear weapons are unprecedented, except for that fact that
the U.S. military is now waging an internal war against neo-cons who are embedded in the U.S. government and
military chain of command who are intent on using nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive war with Iran.
CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD would have provided the cover for a pre-emptive U.S. and Israeli attack on
Iran had it not been for BENT SPEAR involving the B-52. In on the plan to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran involving
nuclear weapons were, according to our sources, Cheney, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley; members of the
CHECKMATE team at the Pentagon, who have close connections to Israeli intelligence and pro-Israeli think tanks in Washington, including the Hudson Institute; British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, a political adviser to Tony Blair
prior to becoming a Member of Parliament; Israeli political leaders like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Likud leader
Binyamin Netanyahu; and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who did his part last week to ratchet up tensions
with Iran by suggesting that war with Iran was a probability. Kouchner retracted his statement after the U.S. plans
for Iran were delayed.
Although the Air Force tried to keep the B-52 nuclear incident from the media, anonymous Air Force personnel leaked
the story to /Military Times/ on September 5, the day before the Israelis attacked the alleged nuclear installation in
Syria and the day planned for the simultaneous U.S. attack on Iran. The leaking of classified information on U.S.
nuclear weapons disposition or movement to the media, is, itself, unprecedented. Air Force regulations require the
sending of classified BEELINE reports to higher Air Force authorities on the disclosure of classified Air Force information
to the media.
In another highly unusual move, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked an outside inquiry board to look into BENT
SPEAR, even before the Air Force has completed its own investigation, a virtual vote of no confidence in the official
investigation being conducted by Major General Douglas Raaberg, chief of air and space operations at the Air Combat
Gates asked former Air Force Chief of Staff, retired General Larry Welch, to lead a Defense Science Board task force that
will also look into the BENT SPEAR incident. The official Air Force investigation has reportedly been delayed for unknown
reasons. Welch is President and CEO of the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA), a federally-funded research contractor
that operates three research centers, including one for Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office
of the President and another for the National Security Agency. One of the board members of IDA is Dr. Suzanne H.
Woolsey of the Paladin Capital Group and wife of former CIA director and arch-neocon James Woolsey.
WMR has learned that neither the upper echelons of the State Department nor the British Foreign Office were privy to
OPERATION ORCHARD, although Hadley briefed President Bush on Israeli spy satellite intelligence that showed the
Syrian installation was a joint nuclear facility built with North Korean and Iranian assistance. However, it is puzzling
why Hadley would rely on Israeli imagery intelligence (IMINT) from its OFEK (Horizon) 7 satellite when considering
that U.S. IMINT satellites have greater capabilities.
The Air Force's "information warfare" campaign against media reports on CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD also
affected international reporting of the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution asking Israel to
place its nuclear weapons program under IAEA controls, similar to those that the United States wants imposed on Iran
and North Korea. The resolution also called for a nuclear-free zone throughout the Middle East. The IAEA's resolution,
titled "Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East," was passed by the 144-member IAEA General Meeting on
September 20 by a vote of 53 to 2, with 47 abstentions. The only two countries to vote against were Israel and the
United States. However, the story carried from the IAEA meeting in Vienna by Reuters, the Associated Press, and
Agence France Press, was that it was Arab and Islamic nations that voted for the resolution.
This was yet more perception management carried out by CHECKMATE, the White House, and their allies in Europe and
Israel with the connivance of the media. In fact, among the 53 nations that voted for the resolution were China, Russia,
India, Ireland, and Japan. The 47 abstentions were described as votes "against" the resolution even though an
abstention is neither a vote for nor against a measure. America's close allies, including Britain, France, Australia,
Canada, and Georgia, all abstained.
Suspiciously, the IAEA carried only a brief item on the resolution concerning Israel's nuclear program and a roll call
vote was not available either at the IAEA's web site -- http://www.iaea.org -- or in the media.
The perception management campaign by the neocon operational cells in the Bush administration, Israel and Europe
was designed to keep a focus on Iran's nuclear program, not on Israel's. Any international examination of Israel's
nuclear weapons program would likely bring up Israeli nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu, a covert from Judaism to
Christianity, who was kidnapped in Rome by a Mossad "honey trap" named Cheryl Bentov (aka, Cindy) and a Mossad
team in 1986 and held against his will in Israel ever since.
Vanunu's knowledge of the Israeli nuclear weapons program would focus on the country's own role in nuclear
proliferation, including its program to share nuclear weapons technology with apartheid South Africa and Taiwan in
the late 1970s and 1980s. The role of Ronald Reagan's Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Ken
Adelman in Israeli's nuclear proliferation during the time frame 1983-1987 would also come under scrutiny. Adelman,
a member of the Reagan-Bush transition State Department team from November 1980 to January 1981, voiced his
understanding for the nuclear weapons programs of Israel, South Africa, and Taiwan in a June 28, 1981 /New York
Times/ article titled, "3 Nations Widening Nuclear Contacts." The journalist who wrote the article was Judith Miller.
Adelman felt that the three countries wanted nuclear weapons because of their ostracism from the West, the third
world, and the hostility from the Communist countries. Of course, today, the same argument can be used by Iran,
North Korea, and other "Axis of Evil" nations so designated by the neocons in the Bush administration and other
There are also news reports that suggest an intelligence relationship between Israel and North Korea. On July 21,
2004, New Zealand's /Dominion Post/ reported that three Mossad agents were involved in espionage in New Zealand.
Two of the Mossad agents, Uriel Kelman and Elisha Cara (aka Kra), were arrested and imprisoned by New Zealand police
(an Israeli diplomat in Canberra, Amir Lati, was expelled by Australia and New Zealand intelligence identified a fourth
Mossad agent involved in the New Zealand espionage operation in Singapore). The third Mossad agent in New Zealand,
Zev William Barkan (aka Lev Bruckenstein), fled New Zealand -- for North Korea.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff revealed that Barkan, a former Israeli Navy diver, had previously worked at the
Israeli embassy in Vienna, which is also the headquarters of the IAEA. He was cited by the /Sydney Morning Herald/ as
trafficking in passports stolen from foreign tourists in Thailand, Myanmar,
Laos, and Cambodia. New Zealand's One News reported that Barkan was in North Korea to help the nation build a wall to
keep its citizens from leaving.
The nuclear brinkmanship involving the United States and Israel and the breakdown in America's command and control
systems have every major capital around the world wondering about the Bush administration's true intentions.
NOTE: WMR understands the risks to informed individuals in reporting the events of August 29/30, to the present time,
that concern the discord within the U.S. Air Force, U.S. intelligence agencies, and other military services. Any source
with relevant information and who wishes to contact us anonymously may drop off sealed correspondence at or send
mail via the Postal Service to: Wayne Madsen, c/o The Front Desk, National Press Club, 13th Floor, 529 14th St., NW,
Washington, DC, 20045.
story to be continued
MILITARY AND WAR PAGES ON THIS SITE
IRAN AND WAR PAGES ON THIS SITE
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES - MAIN INDEX
By: Vegas Street Prophet
Tags: Minot AFB, Barksdale AFB, Iran Nuclear Strike, NUCLEAR WEAPONS MISHANDLING INDICENT
Location: Minot, North Dakota, United States (load item map)
Views: 40834 | Comments: 30 | Votes: 2 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
|Liveleak on Facebook|