Nov 292013
 

Neat.

For Nearly Two Decades the Nuclear Launch Code at all Minuteman Silos in the United States Was 00000000

The reason for this actually makes a measure of sense: the SAC didn’t trust that the civilian leadership would actually survive a Soviet first strike long enough to actually push the button. And because they didn’t like SecDef McNamara.

 Posted by at 7:21 pm
  • IAMROCKETMAN

    Madness.

    • Anonymous

      Because? Do you think just anybody could input those 8 0’s?

      • IAMROCKETMAN

        It’s just further proof that LeMay was absolutely nuts.

        And excuse me if I think the code for launching nuclear weapons should be a bit more complicated than 8 frigging 0s or that the code shouldn’t stay the same for decades. Do you people have no comprehension for the devastation that one crazy missile crew could have caused? These aren’t frigging toys.

        Anyways, if the civilian leadership wasn’t around to give the orders and the command and control system were destroyed, what exactly would firing those missiles accomplish? It’s widely suspected that captains of the British ballistic missile boats were told in their infamous letters of last resort not to launch their missiles in such a situation, at least by a couple British PMs.

        • Anonymous

          If the Soviets were to be surprisingly successful in taking out the US except for some missile bases, what would have been the point in launching those missiles? Simple: retaliation. Utterly wiping out the Soviets in turn. And the Soviets knew this. It was called “deterrence.”

          Any PM or Pres who told his people that in the case that the enemy were to get the jump on ’em to just roll over was criminally stupid. Because that would *invite* attack.

          • IAMROCKETMAN

            Since the contents of the letters are only known to the PM, how would the Soviets know what would happen?

            If the Soviets took out the US, deterrence would have failed. Those missile bases would have failed in their mission and I know for a fact that there were US missile officers that had made up their mind not to launch in such an event. Why wipe out what little would remain of humanity in the name of a failed doctrine?

          • Anonymous

            > Since the contents of the letters are only known to the PM, how would the Soviets know what would happen?

            *YOU* seem to think that *you* know what’s in them. I suspect the KGB was better at finding out these things than lil’ ol’ you.

            > Why wipe out what little would remain of humanity in the name of a failed doctrine?

            So you’re suggesting that the Soviets were so evil that in an attack on the US, they would have also attacked Cuba? And Angola? And Chile? And Iceland? And Fiji? Well, hell, son, if that’s the case, that a Soviet first strike would have been a strike on *all* of humanity, then it really would be best if a military retaliation took them out too, and wiped out the species. Because if there would be anything worse than aliens, a thousand years from now, arriving to find Earth a green world devoid of human life, it would be for them to find a world populated by the mutant descendants of the most evil kind of humans: Radioactive Genocidal Communists.

            In any event, who’s to say it would be a “failed” doctrine? The Soviets could, in principle, take out the US civilian command structure with *one* well-placed nuke. An H-bomb in a truck during a State of the Union speech would do vast amounts of damage, but leave the US effectively intact. But you would have the US now incapable of defending itself from further attack. One bomb would force the US to surrender. Screw *that* noise.

          • IAMROCKETMAN

            “*YOU* seem to think that *you* know what’s in them. I suspect the KGB was better at finding out these things than lil’ ol’ you.”

            *NO*, I seem to think that I can understand the difference between what has been speculated based on interviews conducted long after they left office and what could be known when the letters were written. As an historian, *YOU* should be able to grasp such a notion.

            “But you would have the US now incapable of defending itself from further attack.”

            *I’M* not even American and I know, unlike *YOU* that such an eventuality is planned upon since a successor to the president is always kept well away from the area, thus ensuring the chain of command would remain functional.

            *YOU* acknowledge the missiles are for deterrence. If there is a strike, deterrence has failed, thus it would be a failed doctrine.

            And those places that *YOU* listed would all be wiped in the ensuing nuclear winter, predicted by the man *YOU* admire most Carl Sagan.

          • IAMROCKETMAN

            That was uncalled for.

          • Anonymous

            > I seem to think that I can understand the difference between what has
            been speculated based on interviews conducted long after they left
            office and what could be known when the letters were written.

            If the PM actaully issued orders for the missile subs to 8not* launch, there is the possibility that those orders would be intercepted and known to the Soviets. The only way for them to *not* know about those orders is for the orders to not only never be issued, but to never be uttered or scribbled by the PM.

            > a successor to the president is always kept well away from the area

            Yes, and? Do you perhaps think that the Soviets were unaware of this? If you were in charge of the Soviet planning, and you knew that if the US civilian leadership could be decapitated that the US would *instantly* surrender, would you not come up with some sort of plan to do exactly that? The Soviets would far rather have popped off two nukes in the US and won a functional slave nation than blast the crap out of it and only collect a wreck.

            > those places that *YOU* listed would all be wiped in the ensuing nuclear winter

            Nope. Even the worst nuclear winters ever dreamed up were hardly extinction level events. And if the Soviets fired off a civilian-leadership-decapitation strike with a minimum of nukes, under the false impression that that would win them the war, the DoD would probably respond more or less in kind. Whether it goes to full release would then be up to the Soviets.

  • Bill H

    Zero – Zero – Zero – Destruct – Zero!

    Maybe Roddenberry knew someone that worked in a silo!

  • Bog Bong

    I call BS.

    Following the link, the source for the zero input code information is apparently Dr. Bruce G. Blair, who happens to be Co-Founder of Global Zero, an “international non-partisan group of 300 world leaders dedicated to achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons”. Such people have been known to bend the truth a bit on occasion, particularly when it gets them attention and donations.

  • Shawn Hughes

    Back on track…
    It’s a very romantic notion. Think about how little it takes to actually spin up and fire a typical ICBM. The biggest thing is fueling them! Consider: missileers and mx men are the cream of the crop. Long vetting process. Now, give bright, curious young men twelve hours to sit and… do what?
    If you don’t believe they pulled out all the wiring and piping tabs and successfully figured out how to hotwire a missile, you don’t have much of an imagination.
    PS – Mr. Blair is a very knowledgable person, having *been* in the Big Red Chair himself.