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: www.bullatomsci.org/issues/1999nd99/nd99norris.html 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