Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pat Shannon: August 2007 Nuke Incident: Was it really an accident

The unanswered questions relating to the Aug 29-30 “bent spear” incident suggest that one possible explanation is that it was the result of a sinister U.S. operation that was somehow halted before the nukes could leave the U.S. The term 'bent spear' refers to a nuclear-weapons incident that is serious but does not include the threat of detonation.
The following is a summary of an article, “Official Air Force Version of Nuke ‘Mishandling’ Full of Gaping Holes, Unanswered Questions,” by Pat Shannon, in the American Free Press (11.19.07). Other media accounts I’ve seen don’t mention the anomalies detailed below. --RB

Summary of “Official Air Force Version of Nuke ‘Mishandling’ Full of Gaping Holes, Unanswered Questions,” by Pat Shannon, AFP, 11.19.07

The official report on the bent spear incident in which six nuclear weapons were mounted on six Advanced Cruise Missiles and improperly removed from a nuclear weapons storage bunker at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, then were improperly loaded on a B-52, and improperly flown to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana attributed the whole thing to a “mistake.”

The problem with the official explanation is that such weapons are supposedly protected against unauthorized transport or removal from bunkers by electronic anti-theft systems. This means that not one but two people had to be involved in deliberately disabling those alarms.

Since the Air Force report doesn’t explain how this anti-theft hurdle could have been surmounted by “mistake,” the report has to be considered a whitewash or a cover up.

The loading of nuclear-armed missiles or bombs onto an American bomber has been barred since 1991, even for practice or training purposes. The carrying of nuclear weapons by bombers flying over U.S. airspace has been banned for 40 years.

The evidence suggests that in addition to the intentional and authorized removal of the nukes from the bunker in Minot the loading of the nukes onto the plane and their flight to Barksdale must also have been authorized.

The Air Force maintains that some low ranking ground crew personnel at Minot AFB simply walked out of a nuclear bunker with six nuclear armed Advanced Cruise Missiles, not knowing what they were carrying, and labored for eight hours to mount those missiles and their launch pylon on the wing of a B-52 strategic bomber without ever noticing that they were armed with nuclear weapons. Moreover not one of the electronic alarm and motion sensors built into the system went off during the whole process.

Strangely there have been no demands for public hearings into this incident. No one in authority seems to want to know who authorized this clumsy operation, or who disabled the alarm systems on those weapons and on the bunker itself; and who mounted six nuclear weapons on the noses of six cruise missiles and put those missiles onto a B-52 launch platform?

[Pat Shannon might also have asked who approved the flight plan? Besides the pilot(s) were there any other officers in Minot or Barksdale who had knowledge of the particulars of the fight?]

And why, asks Shannon, were the nukes being moved to Barksdale, the main staging base for B-52s flying to the Middle East?

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