Breaking: Pentagon Review Says America’s Nukes Are FUBAR

Is this the cover story for getting rid of nukes that the galactics have disabled?


The guys babysitting our missiles in Montana couldn’t agree more.

—By 


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering a massive overhaul of America’s nuclear weapons program after finding it to be plagued with “fundamental flaws,” the AP reported this evening. Pentagon-commissioned reviews of the nuclear forces have found outdated equipment, weak leadership, and abysmal morale among the men and women responsible for maintaining and launching some of the most destructive weapons on the planet. Many of the problems were already well known, but the language the Pentagon is using to describe them is uncharacteristically strong. “Hagel’s reviews concluded that the structure of US nuclear weapons forces is so incoherent that it cannot be properly managed,” noted the AP, which got a briefing on the highlights from two senior defense officials.

“Nothing the Air Force is doing is going to reduce the risk. It’s not missileers who are at fault, it’s the mission.”

The latest review, which was expected to be released this week, was conducted by Retired General James Welch, a former top nuclear commander whom the Pentagon has tapped repeatedly to assess problems with its nuclear oversight. In 2007, Welch led the initial outside review of what remains the worst nuclear weapons scandal in recent years: Six nuclear missiles went missing for 36 hours after a crew at Minot Air Force Base mistakenly loaded them onto a plane and flew them across the country. (See our timeline: “That Time We Almost Nuked North Carolina.”) Welch later directed two follow-up assessments in April 2011 and April 2013, the last of which noted improvements and concluded that “the nuclear force is professional, disciplined, committed and attentive to the special demands of the mission.”

But that conclusion was quickly called into question by a string of new scandals, as detailed in “Death Wears Bunny Slippers,” my recent feature story about the ICBM program. In the months following Welch’s review, 98 missileers were implicated in a cheating scandal and nine midlevel commanders were fired; a leaked email from the commander of the nuclear missile wing at North Dakota’s Minot Air Force base complained of “rot” in the missile force; and Gen. Michael Carey was removed as commander of the ICBM program after an official trip to Russia, where he engaged in “inappropriate behavior,” including heavy drinking, rudeness to his hosts, and associating with “suspect” women. Just last week, the Air Force fired two high-level commanders in the ICBM program and disciplined a third for various leadership lapses, including the maltreatment of subordinates.

Welch has since distanced himself from last year’s rosy assessment. His spokesman told the AP that the 2013 report was addressing organizational aspects of the nuclear mission and not primarily personnel and attitude issues.

The Air Force has long struggled to create a balance between strong oversight of missileers and the need to create a rewarding work environment that attracts talented recruits. Following the 2007 missing-nukes scandal, the Air Force instituted a regimen of strict tests and inspections that “was as much punishment as it was rigor,” Lt. General Stanley Kowalski, now the Deputy Commander of US Strategic Command, said at the time. In a follow-up report three years later, Welch suggested that the strategy had backfired by sowing mistrust and creating a sense of “nuclear paranoia”—talented airmen were avoiding nuclear weapons jobs.

According to the AP, Hagel will seek to invest an additional $1 to $10 billion in the nuclear program and promote its top commanders to give the nuclear wing more clout within the Air Force bureaucracy.

During my reporting for “Death Wears Bunny Slippers,” I interviewed a slew of nuclear policy experts and traveled to Great Falls, Montana—home to Malmstrom Air Force Base—where I spent time with current and former missileers. They told me of the mind-numbing boredom of babysitting ICBMs for 24 hours straight, of cheating on proficiency tests, of how one colonel made them shit in a box because he didn’t want to take the missiles offline to fix the toilets. They were basically dying to get the hell out.

The consensus among the experts was that no amount of funding or attention will be enough to fix the ICBM program’s biggest problem: obsolescence. “I am deeply disappointed with the happy talk coming out of the Air Force and Department of Defense on this,” Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, a foundation focused on nuclear weapons policy, told me. (Disclosure: Ploughshares has provided some funding for Mother Jones’ national security reporting.) “These missileers are in dead-end jobs and they know it. They pull 24-hour shifts underground waiting to push a button that they know they are never going to push, and if they did, they would be condemning hundreds of thousands of civilians to death. What kind of job is that? New helicopters and new managers are not going to fix this problem. Nothing the Air Force is doing is going to reduce the risk. It’s not missileers who are at fault, it’s the mission.”

Source.

Employee Morale at CNN Collapses

Have we finally reached the turning point? Is centrally-controlled mainstream media starting to collapse?
“Things have been horrible inside the Washington bureau. On Friday, which was everyone’s last day, people were crying all over the bureau, but managers hid in offices and didn’t go to any of the goodbye office parties.”

pundit from another planet

CNN-Building-apWarner Todd Huston reports: On Monday, Politico reported that last Friday, when hundreds of CNN employees lost their jobs, “people were crying all over the bureau” for departing co-workers.

“Morale at the CNN Washington Bureau is about as strong as it is inside the Redskins’ locker room–and the management is just as bad,” a CNN staffer told the news site.

“Things have been horrible inside the Washington bureau. On Friday, which was everyone’s last day, people were crying all over the bureau, but managers hid in offices and didn’t go to any of the goodbye office parties.”

The wave of layoffs was an effort to cut eight percent of CNN’s workforce. 50 employees were cut from the Washington, D.C. bureau alone. But at the same time, 20 new positions were created in the bureau’s digital department.

View original post 140 more words

Mother Regains Custody of Baby After Being Jailed for Giving Him Vegan Formula

Featured Image -- 22428

This mother simply wanted to give her baby organic soy formula, instead of what the doctor prescribed. What’s happening to Florida?

KTLA

[ooyala code=”t1amtvcTqPVxr8sSVInCApNJAO1-HSAk” player_id=”f987944e2b8d47c5ad7da7977780b8bd”]

A Florida mother and her 5-month-old son were reunited Wednesday after a judge threw out accusations that Sarah Markham was an unfit mother for feeding her baby soy formula.

Markham lost custody of her son Caleb when he was just 12 days old after refusing her doctor’s orders to take the baby to the hospital for being underweight, according to a report by Florida TV station WFTV.

Caleb had reportedly lost 10 percent of his birth weight.

But before going to the hospital Markham, who is a vegan, wanted to try supplementing her breast milk with a soy formula, the station reported.

The doctor reported Markham to Seminole County Child Protective Services who had the young mother arrested for child neglect and took away custody of her little boy.

Since that time, Caleb has been raised by his grandparents.

“There’s no case, there’s no abuse, there’s…

View original post 143 more words

United Nations asks United States to clarify its position on torture

The UN is finally asking questions about the United States position on torture. When was the last time something like this happened?

sentinelblog

Source: Washington Post, by Karen DeYoung November 12, 2014

It has been nearly six years since President Obama, on his third day in office, signed an executive order banning torture or cruel treatment of U.S. detainees.

But while the order reinforced laws that already prohibited such treatment, the administration has never formally reversed a 2005 interpretation by the Justice Department, under President George W. Bush, that an international treaty against cruelty did not apply “with respect to aliens overseas.”

On Wednesday, administration officials were questioned by a U.N. committee in Geneva that monitors compliance with the treaty — officially the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Alessio Bruni of Italy, one of the panel’s chief investigators, began the two-day hearings by listing American actions since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks such as CIA renditions to secret detention sites, the Associated Press reported.

Mary…

View original post 495 more words

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Northern Nevada

Featured Image -- 22415

A 4.1 Magnitude earthquake is strong enough to make cars bounce in a parking lot . . .

CBS San Francisco

SHELDON NATIONAL REFUGE (CBS SF) –An earthquake registering a magnitude of 4.1 struck the northwest corner of Nevada near the borders of Oregon and California Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s automated seismograph alert network.

The quake hit at 6:42 a.m. ina remote area of the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge,which continues to see a swarm of earthquakes.

The quake struck right at earth’s surface. Deeper quakes are less noticeable while a shallow quake–in the 0 to 40 mile depth range–can feel much stronger than their actual reported magnitude. Quakes just below the earth’s surface, in the 0 to 10 miles range, can cause even more damage at lower magnitudes.

COMPLETE QUAKE COVERAGE:CBS Earthquake Resource Center

This article will be updated as information warrants, and follow KPIX 5 on Twitter at @CBSSF or KCBS Radio on Twitter at @KCBSNews for updates on breaking news anytime.

DID YOU…

View original post 67 more words