US Government Lies About Nukes! ALSO: The Sky is Blue!

Ever since I read about the report from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, I’ve been wrestling with the implications. You can go to: to read the story yourself. It’s a long one, I’m afraid.

What I mean from my title is that it’s a given, isn’t it, that governments lie about where and when they deploy their weaponry. What astonished me is that in some cases, they lied to the host countries about it. They didn’t trust anyone, even allies.

They also lied about the crashes of planes htat were carrying nukes, saying only “conventional” explosives were involved. One of these crashes was in Canada on the St. Laurence River near a small town. The residents heard the crash and the USAF covered it up. (How do you Canadian Dopers feel about that?) In 1950, a plane carrying a nuke from a California airfield crashed and the USAF claimed it was ten 500-pound conventional bombs all exploding simultaneously. (Yeah, and gamma rays will give me super-powers.) The nuke itself did not go off, there was no radiation leak, but still…

Weapons were deployed in French Morocco in 1952 without telling the French.

Greenland is Danish property. The Danes (publicly) forbid the deployment of nukes on their soil and forbid anyone from ferrying nukes through their airspace. When a B-52 carrying four nukes crashed in Greenland, there was a lot of covering up by the Danes and the US. The Danes seemed to have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. “If you’re going to fly nukes over Greenland, just don’t tell us. That way, we can deny knowing about it.” The USA said, “OK.”

I know about national security. I know some secrets need to be kept. But to keep them from your allies? Violate national sovereignty and then act surprised when the violated country cries “Foul!”? (See Italy’s response to the news.)

Is it any wonder when people in other countries say they can’t trust us and that we’re arrogant? If we lied to our allies about nukes, what else will we lie to them about? Deployment and/or use of chemical and/or biological weapons, perhaps?

And is it really a representative democracy when the public doesn’t know what its representatives are doing?

I don’t think so.

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

My apologies, everyone. I was in a hurry and mis-wrote the above link.

Just go to: There is a link on the BAS home page entitled “A Bulletin Exclusive”. That’ll get you to the story in question.

Is that why there was no response? I hope it’s not because no one else cares about the subject.

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

Jab, I think if you’ll think about it strategically it will make more sense.

Personally I wouldn’t tell my own mother where the nukes are if she didn’t need to know. And by need to know I mean have an operational role in their deployment - or a strategic planning function.

Agree or disagree…the US policy is to never admit there are ever ANY NUCLEAR WEAPONS INVOLVED!

Except in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki of course…

Wonder why?

If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

You pull up to my dock…I wanna know if you got any nukes…is that a bad thing?

If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

“You pull up to my dock…I wanna know if you got any nukes…is that a bad thing?”

Sorry, I’m a realist. It may be your right to know, but there is no way in hell you can expect anyone to tell you.

Jab1 said:

And that’s kind of the way it should be. “Need to know” and all that. I mean, we have some control over keeping spies out of our own forces, and they still manage to get info out. We have no control over allied forces. In fact, if I recall correctly, there was an issue about that in the whole Kosovo thing. We were telling allies when and where bombing was going to be, and some of those allies were allowing that information to get out.

When it comes to nuclear weaponry, the strategic deployment of forces in combat, or hi-tech R&D, I am very glad that the U.S. military is aggressively competent in deception and disinformation.

Hell is Other People.

Sake, I, of course, can neither confirm nor deny that I have ever had any level of participation in the United States special weapons program(s). But if you wish, you may take it on faith that the words “aggressively competent” are not always the best descriptor of what goes on.

Sweet dreams.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.

Spiritus, I take it you would agree with the oxymoronicity of “military intelligence”?

Only when applied to the entire group or to specific individuals.

I have known some briliant soldiers in my life. I have also served with some utter buffoons. And, taken as a whole the military exhibits every bit as much idiocy, short-sightedness, insularity, selfishness, and contempt for outsiders that every other large collection of humans does. It’ just that the toys they play with are SO much more dangerous.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.

But how do we know that you aren’t just saying this to throw us off the trail? What if the gummit is so good at deception that they frequently pretend to make mistakes, just so that….

Damn. I almost got that out with a straight face.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Hey, I’ve been involved in various agencies of several foreign militaries and I must say that the U.S. has the least-incompetent intelligence. While our guys may be buffoons, they’re the best goddamn buffoons out there! God Bless!

Hell is Other People.

Whoa, my oxymoron remark was not a flame of the military, but of our alleged “military intelligence” community. I’ll corroborate your analysis by saying that the officers I’ve known fall into three approximately equal categories:
[ul][li]pompous egotists who believe that their commissions exclude them from civil behavior unless it is paternalistic[]living proofs of the Peter Principle (these two somewhat overlap)[]some of the nicest[/li]people I’ve ever known.[/ul]

It has always seemed to me that our military intelligence community excelled at straining at gnats and swallowing camels, though as a rank outsider I am prepared to admit I’m mistaken. I respect the line troop who’s committed to trying to defend me and mine, and the officer who’s trying to direct that effort while keeping his own tail from being shot off at the same time. I’m critical of the apparent incompetence that exposes them to more danger than necessary.

And the Peter Principle would be…?

The Peter Principle states that individuals will always rise to the highest level of their incompetence. See also “Jimmy Carter.”

I thought he exemplified the Swimming Killer Rabbit Principle.

I’m just having difficulty accepting that we can tell a country, “You’re our ally, but we don’t trust you any further than we can throw a B-52 with our bare hands.” If you don’t trust your allies, whom do you trust? Is it a case of “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”?

And my question in the OP about democracy still stands.

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

The two have little to do with one another. The end of public policy should be known and answerable to the people. The means need not be.

The end result of all this secrecy is you living a comfortable, sheltered life safe from foreign invasion. The means to accomplish this requires secrecy. If we revealed all of our secrets, things would get pretty ugly in a hurry.

“Ally” is a very nebulous term. Nations side with the Strong, the Winners. If we revealed all our national secrets, we would lose considerable power and if we lost enough of it (this Superpower stuff can’t continue forever you know) we wouldn’t have ANY allies left. So in a way, it’s those secrets that cement allies together. We do them a favor by lying to them.

Hell is Other People.

Past strategic allies of the United states: Iraq, Iran, USSR, Indonesia, . . .

Seems pretty clear to me. Alliances are often predicated upon short-term goals or immediate necessity. Details of nuclear armaments and capabilities represent very long term (see Hiroshima. Now see it 1,000 more times) consequences.

Poly, I did not take your remark as a flame of the military. And I did not intend my post to seem defensive. I just thought it was important to make the distinction. I whole-heartedly agree that the intelligence community is a ripe and easy target for abuse. (Though to be fair, I always found the civillian intelligance cadres to be more clueless than MI, but again – it all depends on the individuals you meet.) I just have grown leary of the “idiot war-mongers” stereotype. I’m not saying there aren’t plenty of examples to keep the myth going, but they are just one side of the coin.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.