Did you know that Trump could have launched a nuke today? It would have been in response to a false alarm in Hawaii.
No law could have stopped him. Only "norms" -- and as we know, he's not good at following those.
On December 1, 2016 Alex Wellerstein, a historian of nuclear weapons at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. wrote a piece for the Washington Post explaining how and why the whole system was set up so the president — and only the president — could decide when to launch.
No one can stop President Trump from using nuclear weapons. That's by design.
[Trump] will have sole authority over more than 7,000 warheads. There is no failsafe. The whole point of U.S. nuclear weapons control is to make sure that the president — and only the president — can use them if and whenever he decides to do so. The one sure way to keep President Trump from launching a nuclear attack, under the system we’ve had in place since the early Cold War, would have been to elect someone else.
I've been listening to the book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
nuclear accidents. It's scary.
Yesterday I listened to former Congressman Alan Grayson on the David Feldman podcast talk about the bill he tried to get passed that would stop Trump from having sole control of the launch of a nuclear weapon. Two things to know
1) The bill did not pass.
2) Even if it HAD passed, the circumstances of this kind of mistake would not be covered, because it would have fallen under the category of a sneak attack since--as Wellerstein noted--a law would most likely:
..allow the president to use nuclear weapons in the face of imminent danger, the sort of situation in which a matter of minutes or even seconds could make a difference...
THIS is why Trump needs to be removed from office.
When we don't have laws, just norms, and someone NOT normal is in charge, we are in trouble.
This Hawaii example is exactly what I was talking about in my earlier piece about Trump's nuclear tweets. WE NEED TO FIX THIS NOW. A psychiatric test needs to be requested by congress and then administered. One already exists, it is given to the military who are in charge of launching the missiles.
Let's Politicize This Near Disaster
I want to politicize this mistake. We can ask, "Why this mistake now? Are there people running the defense industry who know how scary it is to have Trump in charge, so they let this slip? Did they do this at this time because they KNEW he was on the golf course? (But wouldn't his team have gotten to him instantly with the news, and the nuclear football?) But let's not focus on the parts that might be conspiratorial.
Let's use this as an opportunity to change laws, and get Trump out of this position of power over the life or death of millions.
Someone should revive Grayson's bill. Maybe Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii. She's motivated.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: “Our leaders have failed us. Donald Trump is taking too long. He's not taking this threat seriously ... This is literally life and death that is at stake.” pic.twitter.com/mSYY92sm8P
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 13, 2018
HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 13, 2018
We dodged a nuclear bullet today. Let's not blow this.