Post by Alfalfa Bill
Flynn was an intelligence expert who apparently never suspected
that the FBI could be tapping the phone of the Russian Ambassador.
Isn't that naïve for a man who spent the last 30 years of his life in
the world of intelligence?
You have to understand that there are two totally separate
concepts called "intelligence":
1. the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
2. the collection of information of military or political value.
The former is derived from the Latin "intelligere" -- which means
to understand; the latter is of unknown -- possibly alien -- origin,
and is used with a straight face only above the relevant glass ceilings.
Post by Alfalfa Bill
And how many foreign spies do you think are now working at
Mar-a-Logo? Spies in the dining crew, spies in the housekeeping
staff, you probably can't swing the nuclear football without hitting
<thinks: why the fuck is it called the nuclear *football*?? Let's ask
Turns out that not only is it not football-shaped, it isn't rugby ball-
shaped, either (that's what the elongated ball Americans call a
"football" really is).
It is, in fact, a rectangular metal briefcase (you know the sort -- a bit
ugly but strong and serviceable; curved corners) with an antenna sticking
out of it ... placed, for some incomprehensible reason, inside a somewhat
more tasteful leather briefcase.
It contains booklets -- and summary cards for the more than usually
addle-pated president -- detailing the kinds of nuke attacks the president
can order, and the necessary authentication codes. Plus, one assumes on
account of that antenna, some kind of secure communications device that
the president can use to give the order.
In a somewhat unnerving aside, Wikipedia comments,
] Journalist Ron Rosenbaum has pointed out that the operational plan for
] nuclear strike orders is entirely concerned with the identity of the
] commanding officer and the authenticity of the order, and there are no
] safeguards to verify that the person issuing the order is actually
] sane. Notably, Major Harold Hering was discharged from the Air Force in
] late 1973 for asking the question "How can I know that an order I receive
] to launch my missiles came from a sane president?"
According to the Washington Post, America's launch protocols were put
together in the days when everyone worried more about insane generals than
about insane presidents.
(At which point I realise that I still don't know why it's called the
nuclear football. Wikipedia does tentatively offer a possible derivation,
but it doesn't sound very convincing. The internet is like that.)
Regards, Peter Boulding
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