On Thu, 18 May 2017 14:37:24 +0100, I wrote in
Post by Richard Hershberger
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.
In related news today:
The House Appropriations Committee has just voted to sunset the notorious
"AUMF"---that is, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force that gave
Dubya, and his successors, authority to pursue militarily "those nations,
organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or
aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored
such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of
international terrorism against the United States by such nations,
organizations or persons."
The motion to sunset the AUMF was, unsurprisingly, put forward by Rep.
Barbara Lee (D-CA), who was the only member of either house to vote against
the AUMF back in 2001, and has been arguing against it ever since: she felt
that its wording was so vague and broad that the AUMF was "a blank check to
the President to attack anyone involved in the Sept. 11 events---anywhere,
in any country, without regard to our nation's long-term foreign policy,
economic and national security interests, and without time limit."
And indeed it's been used to justify military action more than 37 times in
14 countries since 2001, according to the Congressional Research Service.
"This issue is more urgent given the erratic behaviour and inexperience of
our current Commander-in-Chief," says Rep Lee. "No president should have a
blank check for endless war, least of all President Donald Trump."
Now here's the really surprising bit: the House Appropriations Committee
has, of course, a Republican majority, but Lee's amendment has just been
passed with only one dissenting vote: that of Texas Republican and House
Appropriations Defence Subcommittee chairwoman Kay Granger.
Of course it won't end there, but it's one hell of a slap in the face for
Regards, Peter Boulding
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