Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Best of the Best? MAD gone Mad

This would be hilariously funny if the subject was not so serious – say something only on the order of a terrorist attack on a major city killing thousands of people who have just arrived at work, or some other similarly trivial matter….

The Air Force is investigating an unprecedented exam cheating scandal involving dozens of officers responsible for launching nuclear weapons, the latest in a series of embarrassments for the military’s nuclear forces.

Air Force leaders said they stumbled upon the cheating on nuclear proficiency exams while investigating a separate drug-abuse scandal at six different bases.

All I can say is thank God for the officers involved in the drug abuse scandal, else this cheating scandal might never have been found.

The disclosures come less than a month after the Air Force revealed that a two-star general in charge of nuclear missiles went on a drinking binge and fraternized with suspicious foreign women during an official visit to Moscow last summer.

Only men of the highest character – that’s what is demanded when the position involves the potential annihilation of every living thing on earth.  A drunk general in Moscow – is that a problem?

Despite those problems, as well as other shortcomings involving nuclear crews in recent years, the Air Force’s top general and civilian leader sought to reassure the public Wednesday about the security and reliability of their land-based arsenal of 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Even total imbeciles, charlatans, and other sorts of moral degenerates cannot damage the security and reliability of these omnipotent weapons, it seems.  Can they apply this trick to drunk drivers?  Or my car mechanic?

“The nuclear missile force remains ready and able to accomplish its mission,” Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the Air Force chief of staff, told reporters at the Pentagon.

Yes, this is the scary part.

Welsh and James said they learned of the cheating problems last weekend. They said they immediately ordered all 600 Air Force officers who work in missile crews to be retested on the proficiency exam by Thursday. So far, 97 percent of those who have taken the test again have passed, a normal rate, Welsh said.

Wait a minute – the non-cheating pass-rate is the same as the previous, cheating pass-rate?  And is a three percent error somehow acceptable when the fate of the world hangs in the balance?

“The operational capability to conduct the mission is not impacted at this point in time,” Welsh said.

Like I said, that’s what scares me.

Of course, these are isolated instances.

In August, the Air Force relieved a colonel in charge of a nuclear-weapons unit at Malmstrom, citing a “loss of confidence” in his leadership.

Well, except for that one.

In June, a commander in charge of training missile crews at Minot Air Force Base was fired after an unusually large number of launch operators performed poorly on tests.

Well, and that one.  Maybe that’s why these guys started cheating?

In 2008, Robert M. Gates, then the secretary of defense, fired the Air Force’s top general and its civilian leader after a series of nuclear gaffes occurred on their watch, including an incident in which a B-52 bomber crew flew across the country without realizing that six cruise missiles on board had been armed with nuclear warheads.

Oh yeah, I forgot about that one.

In October, the Navy announced that it had removed Vice Adm. Timothy M. Giardina from his post as deputy commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees all nuclear-armed missiles, bombers and submarines, including the Air Force’s arsenal.

Giardina was placed under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service after a casino in Iowa allegedly caught him using $1,500 in counterfeit gambling chips. The casino is near the Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha.

Oh, I give up.

Another senior nuclear commander, Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, was also relieved in October as the chief of the 20th Air Force, which is based at Warren and is responsible for maintaining and operating intercontinental ballistic missiles.

At the time, the Air Force said Carey was under scrutiny for “personal misbehavior” but divulged few details. Two months later, however, the service released an investigative report that found Carey repeatedly drank too much, insulted his hosts and committed a string of other gaffes during a three-day official visit to Moscow in July.

Now that’s just piling on; very unfair.  I already said I give up!

Now, the serious part.

The same government that can’t deliver ObamaCare, the same one that can’t meet a budget, finish any job on time, is basically inept at every task it assumes is in charge of the weaponry that can destroy the world’s population a few hundred times over. 

Many shout that we need such weapons for deterrence.  Just remember in whose hands you trust your fate – drunkards, cheats, and scoundrels. 

I believe I have read somewhere that Rothbard viewed war and especially the nuclear issue as the most important libertarian issue.  From a man whose every word is a gift, these words might be the most precious.


  1. "Just remember in whose hands you trust your fate – drunkards, cheats, and scoundrels. "

    i did not trust my fate to them. that decision was made for me by the drunkards, cheats and scoundrels in the professional political class. you know them. they are made of a 'finer clay' than you and i and are much more, in fact eminently more, qualified to decide such things for us.

    as to me, i am to simply stfu and, like my fellow 'citizens', continue the adoration of the gods that have done so well for us all.

    1. kirk, the comment was intended for those who "shout that we need such weapons for deterrence," and within that context.

  2. I continue to enjoy your biting commentary on stories like this, which are both absurd and downright frightening at the same time. It really would be just a great comedy of errors as you suggest, if we weren't talking about weapons that can annihilate the entirety of life on Earth.

    '“The operational capability to conduct the mission is not impacted at this point in time,” Welsh said.

    Like I said, that’s what scares me.'


    1. very much so. Sometimes I think..."what's the point of all this liberty stuff I do, these bastards are just gonna blow us all up"

      But then I think , well people probably thought the same thing in the '60's yet here we are so...guess I'll keep it up!

      Tossing this on Lions.

  3. Tucker always makes me recoil in terror. I want to support the position he is taking, but I am often at great odds with the actual means that he favors in taking it. I, for one, am not THAT happy guy.

    Thanks for voicing what many of us must be thinking.