We Must Fix Nuclear Launch Authority

Woodward book reinforces how we need to change nuclear strike authority from one person, should require other constitutional officers, something like agreement of VP and House Speaker.


Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

33 thoughts on “We Must Fix Nuclear Launch Authority”

  1. had the memo reported below been followed, this would have made biden’s withdrawal look like a tea party in comparison. there wouldn’t have been anything left of the US embassy and the people inside to say nothing of the afghanis hanging off the troop planes as they left.


    Trump secret memo ordering withdrawal from Afghanistan blindsided national security team: New Woodward/Costa book (msn.com)

    Just eight days after the 2020 election, then-President Donald Trump was so determined to end the war in Afghanistan during his presidency that he secretly signed a memo to withdraw all troops by January 15, 2021, according to a new book, “Peril,” from journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
    The November 11 memo, according to the authors, had been secretly drafted by two Trump loyalists and never went through the normal process for a military directive — the secretary of defense, national security adviser and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs had all never seen it. Unpredictable, impulsive, Trump had done an end run around his whole national security team.
    In a remarkable scene, the authors write, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, newly appointed acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller and his new chief of staff Kash Patel were all blindsided when the memo arrived at the Pentagon.
    Woodward and Costa reproduced the memo in “Peril.” The directive was titled, “Memorandum for the Acting Secretary of Defense: Withdrawal from Somalia and Afghanistan,” and the memo read: “I hereby direct you to withdraw all US forces from the Federal Republic of Somalia no later than 31 December 2020 and from the Islamic Republican of Afghanistan no later than 15 January 2021. Inform all allied and partner forces of the directives. Please confirm receipt of this order.”
    Milley studied the memo and announced he was heading to the White House to confront Trump.
    “This is really fucked up and I’m going to see the President. I’m heading over. You guys can come or not,” Milley told Miller and Patel, who joined him on the trip across the Potomac, according to the book.
    But the signed rogue memo undercuts the argument that Trump and some of his allies, including Miller, have recently made that Trump never really planned to get out or would have planned the withdrawal better than President Joe Biden.
    “If I were now President, the world would find that our withdrawal from Afghanistan would be a conditions-based withdrawal,” Trump said in a statement last month as the Taliban closed in on Kabul. “I personally had discussions with top Taliban leaders whereby they understood what they are doing now would not have been acceptable.”

  2. In Stephen’s Tuesday night monologue he looks at revelations from Bob Woodward’s new book, which alleges that China and the Pentagon each had serious concerns about the former president’s access to nuclear weapons, and he checks on friend of the show Nicki Minaj after her comments about vaccines set off a social media firestorm. #Colbert #Comedy #Monologue

  3. oh and by the way

    Gavin Newsom is projected to prevail in his effort to remain in office – The Washington Post

    The final results may not be known for days, even though the ballot comprised just two questions. The first was whether New­som, elected with nearly 62 percent of the vote in 2018, should be removed from office a year early. If he had failed to gain 50 percent of the vote on that question, the candidate with the most votes seeking to replace him would have headed to the governor’s mansion. Forty-six people were on that list.
    But the “no” vote against recalling Newsom was ahead by more than 20 percentage points as polls closed. Many of those votes were early mail-in ballots, which heavily favored Democrats. The day-of voting has yet to be fully counted, but the state’s traditional voting pattern appeared to be holding true, with more conservative inland residents favoring Newsom’s recall and voters on the more populated, liberal Pacific coast opposing it.
    According to early exit polls, the pandemic was the top issue for California voters, with 3 in 10 saying it was most important in determining their vote. Nearly 70 percent of voters supported school mask requirements, according to the early exit polls, an opinion that appears to favor Newsom.
    In preparation for the aftermath, Elder set up part of his campaign website as a place to report potential voter fraud, and he has made clear that should he fail to win, he will assert that the race was rigged.
    But Elder conceded the race shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, telling his audience to be “gracious in defeat.”
    “We may have lost the battle,” he said, “but we are going to win the war.”
    California is notorious for taking a long time to count votes. In 2020, the state took weeks to count all votes and certify its results. This special election is far smaller — two questions — but few analysts predicted that the results would be known Tuesday night.

  4. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was apparently a moving target. NYT reported it 5 days after the Nov. 11 memo as sent to Milley. 

    WASHINGTON — President Trump is expected to order the U.S. military to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia by the time he leaves office in January, using the end of his time in power to significantly pull back American forces from far-flung conflicts around the world.

    Under a draft order circulating at the Pentagon on Monday, the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan would be halved from the current deployment of 4,500 troops, officials said.[…]

    Not referring to the same memo described in the piece patd cited above but along the lines of what was publicly circulating at the time. 

  5. The Cali recall can only be called a backfire for the Republicans. Newsom’s Covid efforts were approved by Cali voters and more importantly he got a larger proportion of the vote than when he was elected. 

    Should Gov. Gavin Newsom be recalled? 

    If more than 50 percent of voters vote yes on the recall, Mr. Newsom must step down as governor.

    Updated 4:46 AM ET
    67% REPORTED




    Total reported

    Courtesy of NYT. 

  6. Looks from the Newsweek article patd linked above that Ronny Jackson (GQP TX) went to Trump U. for his social media posting training. 

    [ … ]

    “TREASON! Today’s news adds to the long list of why Milley must go IMMEDIATELY! If this is true, he needs to be prosecuted, tried, and sentenced to the FULLEST extent of the law. NOTHING LESS! Colluding with our ENEMIES to undermine the President is TRAITOROUS!” Jackson wrote.

    [ … ]

    And Rubio (GQP, FL) has just lost his mind.

  7. Gen Milley did what he had to do, which I hope anyone in his position under those circumstances would do.   But it’s a fire-able offense and I reckon he knew that.

  8. sturge & pogo,

    after all the hell under the former guy that milley’s endured, he probably wants & surely deserves a rest plus i bet he’s begging biden to accept his resignation without question or fanfare. he doesn’t seem like the kind who relishes the limelight.

  9. the idiot who’s organizing the 9/18 rumble in DC has tweeted to his estimated 700 horde according to the hill:

    “We request that anybody attending our events not wear any clothing or have signs supportive of either President Trump or Biden,” Braynard wrote.

    “Anyone not honoring this request will be assumed to be an infiltrator and we will take your picture, find out who you are, and make you famous,” he added.


    A number of the expected attendees are connected to the same groups that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

    Allies of Trump have called individuals arrested after the riot “political prisoners.”



  10. So I’m driving back from the dentist this morning, listening to CNN doing a postop of the CA recall and they have some conservative chick on there breathing fire and somehow she gets on the 2020 presidential election and says she’s more interested in it than the CA election since Biden won by getting 3 states with 44,000 votes.  I’d heard that 3 states and 44,000 votes before but it didn’t ring true then and today it just really sounded like Republican dishonesty on display.
    OK, so let’s look at that because it’s not true no matter how you count votes.  Biden flipped 5 states compared to the 2016 election – AZ, CA, MI, PA and WI, and his margin in those states was 277,661.  Trump won those states in 2016 with a combined margin of 380,119, the difference between the elections being 5 states and a difference of 657,780 from 2016 to 2020.  That is the dishonest message of the Republicans.  If you take PA and MI out of the mix because they were a clear anomaly in 2016, the remaining 3 states that flipped – AZ, GA and WI – provided a combined margin of 42,918, which is what I believe she was referring to  – BUT you have to ignore PA and MI to get there.  I really hate these ridiculous dishonest framing of the argument that the election was or could have been stolen.  Fact is, people in 10% of the states disliked Dumbass enough to vote for Biden and put him in office. 

  11. wonder if this just reflects CA & other blue states or if it’s what even the general public (NOT the politicians & their fringe folk) in the red states think:

     According to early exit polls, the pandemic was the top issue for California voters, …. Nearly 70 percent of voters supported school mask requirements, according to the early exit polls, an opinion that appears to favor Newsom.

    [above from wapo]

  12. lil marco complains about gen milley contacting chinese counterpart and demands he be fired.  here’s some background from Axios:

    Behind the scenes: In mid-October 2020, top Pentagon officials grew concerned about intelligence they’d seen. It showed the Chinese were consuming their own intelligence that had made them concerned about the possibility of a surprise U.S. strike against China, three sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

    • One of the sources said: “I think they [the Chinese] were getting bad intelligence… a combination of ‘wag the dog’ conspiracy thinking and bad intel from bad sources.”

    Then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper worried the Chinese were misreading the situation and that their misperception could lead to a conflict nobody wanted.

    • Esper directed his policy office to issue a backchannel message to the Chinese to reassure them the U.S. had no intention of seeking a military confrontation. The message: Don’t over-read what you’re seeing in Washington; we have no intention to attack; and let’s keep lines of communication open.
    • These backchannel communications were handled a couple of levels below Esper, one of the sources said. U.S. officials involved thought the Chinese received the initial message well. Milley followed up later in the month with a call to his Chinese counterpart to reiterate the message, two of the sources confirmed.
    • It’s unclear whether anyone at the Pentagon told President Trump or the White House what they were doing.

    Around the same time Esper learned of the Chinese concerns, he also learned that a long-planned deployment to Asia had been moved up a couple of weeks earlier than previously planned, to accommodate COVID quarantine protocols.

    • Esper told colleagues the last thing the Chinese needed to see at that moment — when they were already misreading Washington’s intentions — was more planes, according to one of the sources.
    • Esper went so far as to delay this long planned exercise in Asia until after the election, to lower the temperature.

    Axios has not independently confirmed that Milley told his Chinese counterpart he would give him a heads up if the U.S. planned to attack China.

    • One source familiar with Milley’s conversations with his Chinese counterpart would only broadly characterize them as Milley saying something to the effect of: “We’ll both know if we’re going to war… there’s not gonna be some surprise attack and there’s no reason for you to do a pre-emptive strike.”

    Between the lines: A debate about what Milley did or didn’t do during the final days of Trump’s presidency was not, to say the least, what Milley’s allies had planned for his scheduled Sept. 28 appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee.


  13. on another topic, wonkette on today’s WH meeting with joe and kyrsten:

    Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the plucky centrist from Arizona, has armed herself with what Axios called “secret spreadsheets” for the negotiations over President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget plan. (Negotiations that will take place in person with Senator Joe Manchin — separately, like they are in trouble at school — and President Joe Biden today!) The spreadsheets are so secret she won’t shut up about them as she “strategizes with colleagues about next steps in the budget process.” It’s not clear yet what exactly she or her advisers on the chamber of commerce want but Sinema is nonetheless bringing an “accountant-like focus” to the proceedings. This implies that all the other Democrats would spend money like they’re making a Marvel movie if it wasn’t for Sinema’s responsible centrism.
    Sinema and Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, aren’t necessarily aligned on which Democratic priorities they can tolerate. Is increased spending on childcare, health care, education, and the environmentreally worth raising taxes slightly on corporations and the wealthy? Sinema will just have to refer to her spreadsheets for the answer.
    Instead of spreadsheets, Sinema should bring a calendar to these budget negotiations. There is only such much time left to do some real good for Americans.


    NEW: House sergeant-at-arms says to steer clear of the Capitol during “Justice for J6” rally. “Unless required to be onsite, Members and staff are strongly encouraged to avoid the U.S. Capitol complex on Sept. 18th.” Also says use the tunnels instead of walking outside:






  15. i do so hope media rub kevin’s nose in this on a none stop loop

    from CNN:

    The book also reveals that Trump is still angry with Republicans who blamed him for the insurrection, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
    “This guy called me every single day, pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fucked me. He’s not a good guy,” Trump said, according to the book.
    While McCarthy has walked back his initial comments after the insurrection, Trump is quoted as dismissing McCarthy’s attempts to get back into his good graces.
    “Kevin came down to kiss my ass and wants my help to win the House back,” Trump said, according to the authors.
  16. Don’t want to talk politics while on vacation.  Yesterday we drove over the Kancamagus Highway…. Voted as the most scenic fall foliage drive in the country.  It’s not foliage season yet… but it’s starting early. 
    Today is a bang around the resort and get some reading done day.  It’s raining.  I’m reading Mother Land by Paul Theroux.

  17. Biden says he has ‘complete confidence’ in Milley | TheHill

    Biden reaffirmed his faith in the nation’s top ranking military officer during a meeting with business leaders on vaccine mandates Wednesday. His remarks come amid calls from some corners of Congress for Milley’s resignation.
    “The president knows Gen. Milley. He has been chairman of the joint chiefs for almost eight months of his presidency,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a Wednesday briefing. “They’ve worked side by side through a range of international events, and the president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution.”
    Psaki offered cover for Milley’s reported actions, citing Trump’s erratic behavior at the end of his first term in office. 
    “The outgoing president of the Untied States during this period of time fomented unrest leading to an insurrection and an attack on our nation’s capital on Jan. 6 … one of the darkest days in our nation’s history,” Psaki said.
    Psaki cited past commentary and reporting from former Trump officials “questioning his stability, his behavior and his suitability to oversee the national security of the United States.” 
    A spokesperson for the joint chiefs did not deny the reports in a statement Wednesday, but instead argued Milley acted within the scope of his responsibilities. 
    “The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia,” Col. Dave Butler said. “These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences of conflict.
    “His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” Butler said.
    The reports of Milley’s actions prompted concerns from lawmakers and former national security officials who argued Milley operated outside the bounds of his authority.

  18. Another day and too much more about SFB in the media.  The easily fooled are just as happy to have the traitor in the headlines as kissing Putin.
    Times have changed so much.  Remember Internet Relay Chat (IRC)?  It is still around, but not much compared to those years before internet packages making online cheap.  I could not find any of the old chat rooms I frequented back in the early nineties.  Oh well.
    Craig – I am using my newly rebuilt Linux Open Suse Tumbleweed distribution (distro) on my old favorite laptop.  It is running better than it ever did with Win7 or Win10.  The Trail looks good in it.

  19. Vocals by Sara Circle and Adam Carl
    Parody Lyrics by Adam Carl
    Music by J. Fred Coots
    Original Lyrics by Haven Gillespie

  20. Life in the big time.  For over sixty five years of my life I had never been sued.  Since then I have been sued four times, about one lawsuit every eighteen months.  Sheesh.  Just got served today, to let me know the lawyers agreed to have different ways of serving people. Double Jesus Alou!!  Now I need to bother my attorney to ask her to look into this to see how bad it is.  I am also going to ask her if I can sue people because they are the south pucker side of a north bound cow.

    I have no idea what the law suit is about, nor who the plaintiffs are. That is what is weird. Before I had some idea, even though I was not the one to be sued.

  21. Interesting factoid about the Spanish flu –  it wasn’t from Spain.  it is believed to have originated in (drumroll. please) the United States because the earliest documented case was March 1918 in  Kansas, , with further cases recorded in France, Germany and the United Kingdom in April. The misnomer moniker was tagged to Spain because it was neutral in WWI and it had to do with morale among the combatant nations.  What’s in a name anyway?  

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

  22. If you had a 1 in 500 chance of getting electrocuted when you flipped on a light switch, but there was a vaccine to make sure that you only got a mild shock, would you take the vaccine?

  23. https://www.history.com/news/1918-flu-pandemic-never-ended

    “When humans became infected with the 1918 pandemic flu, which was originally a bird flu, we also passed it on to pigs.”
    “One branch of the 1918 flu permanently adapted to pigs and became swine influenza that was seen in pigs in the US every year after 1918 and spread around the world,” says Taubenberger.“

    Keeping livestock has caused a lot of disease and death in humans.

  24. Orange Adolf and Lil Marco and anyone else bagging on General Milley are a bunch of treasonous putzes.

    Well, I’m off to test out the strength of my Moderna. I bought N95s, too.

  25. Good luck. BiD. You hoteling it or staying with family in NYC?

    And re: your 7:57 I’d take that vaccine every time.

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