Military Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on military corruption
The [FDA] amassed a stockpile of pistols, shotguns, and semiautomatic rifles, along with ample supplies of ammunition, liquid explosives, gun scopes, and suppressors. Between 2006 and 2014, [the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, an agency of the USDA] spent nearly $4.8 million to arm itself. And far from being an outlier, it is one of dozens of federal agencies that spends lavishly on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment. A report issued this month by American Transparency ... chronicles the explosive - and expensive - trend toward militarizing federal agencies, most of which have no military responsibilities. Between 2006 and 2014, the report shows, 67 federal bureaus, departments, offices, and services spent at least $1.48 billion on ammunition and material one might expect to find in the hands of SWAT teams, Special Forces soldiers - or terrorists. The Internal Revenue Service, for example, now spends more than $1 million annually on firearms, ammunition, and military gear. Since 2006, the Department of Veterans Affairs ... has poured nearly $11.7 million into guns and ammo. Even the Smithsonian Institution and the Social Security Administration have each devoted hundreds of thousands of dollars to weaponry. There are now fewer US Marines than there are officers at federal administrative agencies with the authority to carry weapons and make arrests.
Note: The Washington Post in 2009 reported that military influence over US civilian authorities was quietly increasing, and the militarization of US police has been well-documented. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
The Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, but Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried. Our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defence and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy. “National Security and Double Government” comes favorably blurbed by former members of the Defense Department, State Department, White House, and even the CIA. Glennon spoke with Ideas from his office. IDEAS: Where does the term “double government” come from? GLENNON: Walter Bagehot - the scholar who presided over the birth of The Economist magazine. IDEAS: What evidence exists for saying America has a double government? GLENNON: The documented evidence in the book is substantial — there are 800 footnotes. I think the American people ... believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change. Policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources.
Less than two weeks after the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a top Pentagon official ordered all photos of bin Laden's corpse be destroyed or turned over to the CIA. In an e-mail dated May 13, 2011, Adm. William McRaven, the U.S. Special Operations commander, wrote: "One particular item that I want to emphasize is photos; particularly UBLs remains. At this point — all photos should have been turned over to the CIA; if you still have them destroy them immediately or get them to the (redacted)." Shortly after the raid in Pakistan, President Obama said he would not authorize the release of any images of the al-Qaeda leader's body. Days before the order to destroy the photos, watchdog group Judicial Watch and the Associated Press had separately filed a Freedom of Information Act request for photos, videos and documents regarding bin Laden during the raid. Typically, when a Freedom of Information Act request is filed to a government agency under the Federal Records Act, the agency is obliged to preserve the material sought — even if the agency later denies the request.
Note: Why would a top military commander order all photos of bin Laden's dead body destroyed? Why would Obama prevent the release of any images of the body? For powerful evidence that the dead body was not, in fact, bin Laden's, click here and here. For other solid evidence that the official story of 9/11 is riddles with holes, see our 9/11 Information Center available here.
The Defense Department has launched 20 or more projects to build modern business-management systems since the late 1990s. At least five were subsequently killed as complete failures after billions of dollars were spent on them. With each failure, a pattern emerges: An off-the-shelf product with a proven track record in the private sector is chosen and then modified to the point where it doesn't work properly. The Pentagon is unable to account for itself, and thus for roughly half of all congressionally approved annual federal spending. Interviews with scores of current and former defense officials, contractors and Pentagon watchers, as well as a review of dozens of reports by oversight agencies, show that the Pentagon is continually thwarted by a lack of accountability for failures ... and an incentive to spend. All other federal agencies are audited annually ... and with rare exceptions, they pass every year. The Pentagon alone has never been audited, leaving roughly $8.5 trillion in taxpayer dollars unaccounted for since 1996. The Pentagon has for years kept lousy books with impunity. The 2009 law requiring the Defense Department to be audit-ready by 2017 provides for no penalties if it misses the deadline. From 1995 through 2002, Senator Charles Grassley pushed through an amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill requiring the Pentagon to account for its expenditures by following one seemingly simple procedure: match each payment to the expense it covered. The order was ignored, and Grassley gave up. There is no doubt that bad bookkeeping conceals movements of money that in some instances are illegal.
Note: See also this article on the Reuters website. This article sadly fails to state the obvious: Many military officers illegally rake in tons of money with false contracts which benefit those officers and contracting companies. They obviously don't want their accounts to be properly audited. For a revealing essay by a top U.S. general exposing major war manipulations, click here. For more on military corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts. Every month ... the Navy would [dump] numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s. And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take “unsubstantiated change actions” - in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called “plugs,” to make the Navy’s totals match the Treasury’s. And plugging isn’t confined to DFAS. Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information. The Defense Department’s 2012 budget totaled $565.8 billion. How much of that money is spent as intended is impossible to determine. The Pentagon is largely incapable of keeping track of its vast stores of weapons, ammunition and other supplies. It has amassed a backlog of more than half a trillion dollars in unaudited contracts with outside vendors; how much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known.
Note: Could it be that the real reason the Pentagon is the only branch of US government that doesn't balance its books is that they don't want us to know where the money is going? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
In an interview with ABC News/Yahoo! News last Friday, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) said statements by U.S. Air Force nuclear missile launch officers – regarding mysterious aerial objects interfering with the functionality of American ICBMs – make clear that top government officials are lying to the public when they claim to have no knowledge of national security-related UFO incidents. Gravel first gained national recognition in 1971, by placing the still-classified Pentagon Papers – which documented U.S. government malfeasance during the Vietnam War – into the public record. Gravel said the revelations by former/retired Captains Robert Salas, Bruce Fenstermacher, and David Schindele, as well as retired Security Policeman Sgt. David Scott, are "the smoking gun of the whole issue" of government secrecy on UFOs. On September 27, 2010, Captain Salas co-hosted the "UFOs and Nukes" press conference with noted researcher Robert Hastings, during which seven USAF veterans revealed ongoing UFO activity at U.S. nuclear weapons sites during the Cold War era. That media event was extensively and favorably covered by hundreds of news organizations worldwide, including CNN, which streamed the proceedings live. The full-length video of the press conference appears at http://www.ufohastings.com. The latest testimony – about UFOs knocking ICBMs offline – was heard by Senator Gravel and five other former members of congress at the "Citizen Hearing on Disclosure" organized by Stephen Bassett at the National Press Club last week.
Note: For the thorough research of Capt. Salas into the event where UFOs disabled nuclear missiles, click here. Could UFOs disabling nuclear warheads be a message from extraterrestrial forces for us not to play with such dangerous toys? Hundreds of military and government witnesses have gone on record claiming a major cover-up around UFOs, including a former chief of the CIA, the former chiefs of defense of the UK and Canada (see video), and Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon. Why is it that so few people are aware of this and other amazing and even inspiring facts around UFOs? For more, click here.
A community of people who believe the government is beaming voices into their minds ... may be crazy, but the Pentagon has pursued a weapon that can do just that. An academic paper written for the Air Force in the mid-1990s mentions the idea of [such] a weapon. "The signal can be a 'message from God' that can warn the enemy of impending doom, or encourage the enemy to surrender." In 2002, the Air Force Research Laboratory patented precisely such a technology: using microwaves to send words into someone's head. The patent was based on human experimentation in October 1994 at the Air Force lab, where scientists were able to transmit phrases into the heads of human subjects, albeit with marginal intelligibility. The official U.S. Air Force position is that there are no non-thermal effects of microwaves. Yet ... the military's use of weapons that employ electromagnetic radiation to create pain is well-known. In 2001, the Pentagon declassified one element of this research: the Active Denial System, a weapon that uses electromagnetic radiation to heat skin and create an intense burning sensation. While its exact range is classified, Doug Beason, an expert in directed-energy weapons, puts it at about 700 meters, and the beam cannot penetrate a number of materials, such as aluminum. Given the history of America's clandestine research, it's reasonable to assume that if the defense establishment could develop mind-control or long-distance ray weapons, it almost certainly would. And, once developed, the possibility that they might be tested on innocent civilians could not be categorically dismissed.
Note: For lots more reliable, verifiable information on the little-known, yet critical topic of nonlethal weapons, click here. For an excellent two-page summary of government mind control programs, click here.
Much of what the Pentagon knows about the effects of bacterial attacks on cities came from ... secret tests conducted on San Francisco and other American cities from the 1940s through the 1960s, experts say. In the 1950s, Army researchers dispersed Serratia on Panama City, Fla., and Key West, Fla., with no known illnesses resulting. They also released fluorescent compounds over Minnesota and other Midwestern states to see how far they would spread in the atmosphere. The particles of zinc-cadmium-sulfide -- now a known cancer-causing agent -- were detected more than 1,000 miles away in New York state, the Army told the Senate hearings. In New York, military researchers in 1966 spread Bacillus subtilis variant Niger, also believed to be harmless, in the subway system by dropping lightbulbs filled with the bacteria onto tracks in stations in midtown Manhattan. The bacteria were carried for miles throughout the subway system. The Army kept the biological-warfare tests secret until word of them was leaked to the press in the 1970s. Between 1949 and 1969 ... open-air tests of biological agents were conducted 239 times, according to the Army's testimony in 1977 before the Senate's subcommittee on health. In 80 of those experiments, the Army said it used live bacteria that its researchers at the time thought were harmless. Several medical experts have since claimed that an untold number of people may have gotten sick as a result of the germ tests. These researchers say even benign agents can mutate into unpredictable pathogens once exposed to the elements.
Note: Reading the full article on the Wall Street Journal website requires a paid subscription. You can read it free at this link. Considering that the army kept all of these tests secret for decades, is it possible that they are keeping information on chemtrails secret from the public? For lots more on the government secretly using unsuspecting citizens as guinea pigs in its risky experiments over the years, click here. For powerful evidence that this is still happening, click here.
Investigators yesterday arrested a second person as a material witness in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As the investigation gathered strength yesterday, unusual leads began to surface, among them the possibility that some of the hijackers may have received training at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida or other U.S. military facilities. Two of 19 suspects named by the FBI, Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmed Alghamdi, have the same names as men listed at a housing facility for foreign military trainees at Pensacola. Two others, Hamza Alghamdi and Ahmed Alnami, have names similar to individuals listed in public records as using the same address inside the base. In addition, a man named Saeed Alghamdi graduated from the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, while men with the same names as two other hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari, appear as graduates of the U.S. International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and the Aerospace Medical School at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, respectively.
Note: For more on this vitally important news, see the Newsweek article available here and the New York Times article here. Several of the alleged hijackers also contacted US media shortly after 9/11 to report that they were alive and were not on the hijacked planes. See the BBC News and Times of London articles on this. Yet the 9/11 Commission Report lists these men as the official hijackers at this link. So what's really going on here? For many other major media reports suggesting that rogue elements of government were involved in 9/11, click here. For our reliable 9/11 Information Center, click here.
Top-secret wartime experiments were conducted off the coast of Auckland to perfect a tidal wave bomb, declassified files reveal. United States defence chiefs said that if the project had been completed before the end of the war it could have played a role as effective as that of the atom bomb. Details of the tsunami bomb, known as Project Seal, are contained in 53-year-old documents released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Papers stamped "top secret" show the US and British military were eager for Seal to be developed in the post-war years too. The experiments involved laying a pattern of explosives underwater to create a tsunami. It is unclear what happened to Project Seal once the final report was forwarded to Wellington Defence Headquarters late in the 1940s. The bomb was never tested on a full scale. "Whether it could ever be resurrected ... Under some circumstances I think it could be devastating."
An investigator for the Air Forces stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico. They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only three feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots. The saucers were found in New Mexico due to the fact that the Government has a very high powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed the radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers.
Note: Download this amazing document and view it on our website at this link. For an ABC news article discussing this, click here. Another FBI document shows FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover wanted "full access to discs recovered" at Roswell. For numerous highly revealing major media reports presenting strong evidence on UFOs, click here. For other reliable and inspiring information on this topic, visit our UFO Information Center.
On November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job. Congress had ordered an independent audit of the Department of Defense, the government’s largest single cost center - the Pentagon receives two of every three federal tax dollars collected - after the Pentagon failed for decades to audit itself. The firms concluded, however ... that a reliable audit was simply impossible. Now, a Nation investigation has uncovered an explanation for the Pentagon’s foot-dragging: For decades, the DoD’s leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress and drive the DoD’s budgets ever higher, regardless of military necessity. DoD has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress - representing trillions of dollars’ worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions - knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports. When the DoD submits its annual budget requests to Congress, it sends along the prior year’s financial reports, which contain fabricated numbers. The fabricated numbers disguise the fact that the DoD does not always spend all of the money Congress allocates in a given year. However, instead of returning such unspent funds to the US Treasury, as the law requires, the Pentagon sometimes launders and shifts such moneys to other parts of the DoD’s budget.
Note: Other than the above article, and weak Bloomberg and Reuters articles, the major media blatantly failed to report on the Pentagon's outrageous accounting failure. CNN posted one article not about the problem, but how the Pentagon claims they are fixing the problem. This demonstrates the military-industrial complex's strangle hold over media reporting. To understand just how serious and deep this problem is, see our carefully researched article using reliable sources to show how trillions are missing and reveal rampant deception and outright lying on the part of the Pentagon.
Earlier this year, a Michigan State University economist, working with graduate students and a former government official, found $21 trillion in unauthorized spending in the departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015. The work of Mark Skidmore and his team, which included digging into government websites and repeated queries to U.S. agencies that went unanswered, coincided with the Office of Inspector General, at one point, disabling the links to all key documents showing the unsupported spending. Now, the Department of Defense has announced it will conduct the first department-wide, independent financial audit in its history. The Defense Department did not say specifically what led to the audit. But the announcement came four days after Skidmore discussed his team’s findings on USAWatchdog, a news outlet run by former CNN and ABC News correspondent Greg Hunter. Skidmore got involved last spring when he heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development, refer to a report which indicated the Army had $6.5 trillion in unsupported adjustments, or spending, in fiscal 2015. Given the Army’s $122 billion budget, that meant unsupported adjustments were 54 times spending authorized by Congress. Typically, such adjustments in public budgets are only a small fraction of authorized spending. Skidmore thought Fitts had made a mistake. “Maybe she meant $6.5 billion and not $6.5 trillion,” he said. “So I found the report myself and sure enough it was $6.5 trillion.”
Note: Explore this webpage for additional background on this story. See also a detailed analysis of these missing trillions, which amount to $65,000 per man, woman, and child in the US. And don't miss this highly revealing interview with Prof. Mark Skidmore of Michigan State with even more startling news. Why isn't the major media reporting this huge news?
Something extraordinary was revealed today. Former high-level officials and scientists with deep black experience who have always remained in the shadows came forward on one platform. These insiders have long-standing connections to government agencies which may have programs investigating unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP/UFOs). The team includes a 25-year veteran of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, a Lockheed Martin Program Director for Advanced Systems at “Skunk Works”, and a former deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Today marked the official launch of To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTS/AAS) an innovative Public Benefit Corporation which will advance research into unexplained phenomena and develop related technology. Luis Eiizondo [is] the former Director of Programs to investigate Unidentified Aerial Threats for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As a result of his position managing the DOD program for almost a decade, Lue said “I learned that the phenomena is indeed real.” Lue does not speak for the DOD, since he is no longer employed there; he speaks independently as part of the TTS Academy. Lue also stated: “We are also planning to provide never before released footage from real US Government systems...not blurry, amateur photos, but real data and real videos.” And even more significant: “We are inviting our Government colleagues and friends in Defense to participate regularly with their own findings.”
Note: Watch an intriguing 40-minute video of this group of very high level military intelligence talking openly about UFOs (transcript here). This is clearly a carefully planned and staged event. The question is to what end? Watch an excellent eight-minute video showing something is seriously fishy about Tom DeLonge and his company. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
The relationship between US national security and Hollywood is much deeper and more political than anyone has ever acknowledged. It is a matter of public record that the Pentagon has had an entertainment liaison office since 1948. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established a similar position in 1996. Although it was known that they sometimes request script changes in exchange for advice, permission to use locations, and equipment such as aircraft carriers, each appeared to have passive, and largely apolitical roles. Files we obtained, mainly through the US Freedom of Information Act, show that between 1911 and 2017, more than 800 feature films received support from the US Government’s Department of Defence (DoD), a significantly higher figure than previous estimates indicate. These included blockbuster franchises such as Transformers, Iron Man, and The Terminator. On television, we found over 1,100 titles received Pentagon backing – 900 of them since 2005, from Flight 93 to Ice Road Truckers to Army Wives. When we include individual episodes for long running shows like 24, Homeland, and NCIS, as well as the influence of other major organisations like the FBI and White House, we can establish unequivocally for the first time that the national security state has supported thousands of hours of entertainment. For its part, the CIA has assisted in 60 film and television shows since its formation in 1947. This is a much lower figure than the DoD’s but its role has nonetheless been significant.
Note: Read how the Pentagon controls the script of hundreds of movies, some quite well known. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the manipulation of public perception.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who has charged the Obama administration with funneling money to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, visited Damascus this week on what her office called a “fact-finding trip ... to promote and work for peace.” A member of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees, Gabbard has called for the administration to abandon all assistance to armed groups and stop seeking Assad’s overthrow, saying that the effort undermines the fight against the Islamic State there. Gabbard last month introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which would bar the U.S. government from providing money or other support to the Islamic State ... or to any of their allies or to any countries that support them directly or indirectly. “If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail,” she said in announcing the legislation. “Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL ... and other terrorist groups with money, weapons and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.” Citing news reports detailing CIA and other support to groups fighting against Assad ... Gabbard compared the U.S. effort to the Reagan administration’s secret funding of Nicaraguan rebels who sought to overthrow that country’s government in the 1980s, despite a congressional ban.
Note: A powerful and well researched article shows the key role the U.S. played in the formation and support of ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism.
The Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns. Many of the recipients of these weapons became brave and important battlefield allies. But many more did not. The weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses. The Pentagon said it has records for [about 700,000] firearms. This is an amount ... that only accounts for 48 percent of the total small arms supplied by the U.S. government that can be found in open-source government reports. By this year, various internet arms traders, including many on Facebook, were hawking a seemingly unending assortment of weapons of obvious American origin. Facebook closed many pages in the Middle East that were serving as busy arms bazaars, including pages in Syria and Iraq on which firearms with Pentagon origins accounted for a large fraction of the visible trade. But many new arms-trading Facebook pages have since cropped up, including, according to their own descriptions, virtual markets operating from Baghdad and Karbala. The procession of arms purchases and handouts has continued to this day.
Note: A 2015 report describes how the US armed ISIS in Iraq. This eye-opening report shows how the US was involved in the creation of ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Ministry of Defence has paid out more than Ł2 million in out-of-court settlements in the last three years as a result of claims that young cadets were sexually abused. The cases includes allegations that teenage boys performed ritual sex acts on younger cadets, and a cadet who was raped by an instructor and gave birth to her abuser’s child. Some of the settlements are understood to relate to historic abuse, perpetrated against adults when they were children. Others relate to abuse carried out in recent years. [One] settlement involved a teenage girl who was sexually abused by her adult cadet instructor while she was a cadet under his charge. Eventually she gave birth to her abuser’s child, leading to her suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression. The MoD admitted liability at an early stage and settled the claim for Ł210,000. Among the settlements made in 2012, four people made a successful claim for Ł900,000 after alleging they were abused when they were young members of the Army Cadets in Harborne, Birmingham. An MoD spokesperson said: “We take any allegation of abuse extremely seriously. All adult volunteers undergo enhanced criminal record checks and are made fully aware of their responsibility to protect children from harm.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
A century has passed since the start of World War I, which many people at the time declared was “the war to end all wars.” Unfortunately, wars just kept happening. In influential research sponsored by the World Bank, the Oxford economist Paul Collier has shown that the best predictor of civil war, which is all too common in poor countries, is the availability of lootable resources like diamonds. Whatever other reasons rebels cite for their actions seem to be mainly after-the-fact rationalizations. If you’re a modern, wealthy nation, however, war — even easy, victorious war — doesn’t pay. And this has been true for a long time. In his famous 1910 book The Great Illusion, the British journalist Norman Angell argued that “military power is socially and economically futile.” As he pointed out, in an interdependent world (which already existed in the age of steamships, railroads, and the telegraph), war would necessarily inflict severe economic harm even on the victor. Modern nations can’t enrich themselves by waging war. Yet wars keep happening. Why? Governments all too often gain politically from war, even if the war in question makes no sense in terms of national interests. Nations almost always rally around their leaders in times of war, no matter how foolish the war or how awful the leaders. Argentina’s junta briefly became extremely popular during the Falklands war. For a time, the “war on terror” took President George W. Bush’s approval to dizzying heights, and Iraq probably won him the 2004 election. True to form, Mr. Putin’s approval ratings have soared since the Ukraine crisis began.
Note: For more on this, see this concise summary of War Is A Racket, a powerful book written by one of the most highly decorated US generals ever.
For almost nine hours starting on Sept. 18, 1980, brave airmen sought to contain the damage precipitated by a dropped wrench socket that hit a Titan II missile -- which was tipped with a W-53 thermonuclear warhead -- in its silo [in Damascus, Arkansas]. The socket pierced the missile’s skin, causing fuel and oxidizer leaks. The ensuing explosion destroyed the silo, propelling missile parts and [the] warhead into abbreviated flight. One airman died from internal wounds while 21 personnel were injured. The W-53 warhead ended up on a nearby roadside -- passed by motorists but fortunately never detonated. Close, but no mushroom cloud. This freakish event is at the core of Eric Schlosser’s new book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety. “The United States has narrowly avoided a long series of nuclear disasters,” he writes. He reveals declassified studies that disclose hundreds of mishaps between 1950 and 1967 and beyond. They include a B-61 hydrogen bomb accidentally dropped 7 feet from a parked B-52 bomber at Carswell Air Force Base when a crewman pulled a handle too hard, and a Mark 6 atomic bomb landing in a Mars Bluff, South Carolina backyard, creating a 35-foot-deep crater and blowing out nearby windows and doors. Schlosser takes Baby Boomers of the “duck and cover” era down a Megaton Memory Lane while providing a vivid primer for the Twitter generation on a world where nuclear weapons were a fact of life to deter a larger-than-life Soviet Union depicted as bent on world domination.
Note: Watch a 16-minute interview with Erik Schlosser showing how close we have come to accidental nuclear explosions. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear risk news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.