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Missteps in the Bunker

Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 23, 2007; Page A01

Just after 9 a.m. on Aug. 29, a group of U.S. airmen entered a sod-covered bunker on North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base with orders to collect a set of unarmed cruise missiles bound for a weapons graveyard. They quickly pulled out a dozen cylinders, all of which appeared identical from a cursory glance, and hauled them along Bomber Boulevard to a waiting B-52 bomber.

The airmen attached the gray missiles to the plane's wings, six on each side. After eyeballing the missiles on the right side, a flight officer signed a manifest that listed a dozen unarmed AGM-129 missiles. The officer did not notice that the six on the left contained nuclear warheads, each with the destructive power of up to 10 Hiroshima bombs.



Grandma used to lose her gardening tools in the yard, until we painted all the handles orange. Never lost a toool after that. 'Course Grandma isn't the Strategic Air Command or any of that, but she lived to be 87 and hadn't lost a tool in 50 years.

They quickly pulled out a dozen cylinders, all of which appeared identical from a cursory glance. . .
Well, there you go--the Grandma Factor--could be a John Le Carre novel.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Homeland Security, check out Opinion-Columns.com



Jim Freeman's op-ed pieces and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, International Herald-Tribune, CNN, The New York Review, The Jon Stewart Daily Show and a number of magazines. His thirteen published books are (more...)

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have you ever been in the military? More pointedly... by ardee D. on Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 at 10:41:25 AM
One of the things I find most unhelpful in replies... by Jim Freeman on Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 at 3:17:47 PM
Just a mobile rifle platform, but one who has seen... by ardee D. on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 6:16:00 PM
I certainly do not believe this was an innocent ac... by shanti on Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 at 5:35:36 PM
I once reviewed a movie by the name of Fighter, wh... by Dave Kisor on Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 at 9:00:04 PM
It is refreshing to read something from one who ac... by ardee D. on Saturday, Sep 29, 2007 at 9:38:04 AM
Our nuclear war fighting elite pulled the "Tr... by Patrick on Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 at 9:44:33 PM