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Quercki : nuclear   7

The story of Stanislav Petrov, the Soviet missile commander whose disobedience averted nuclear war / Boing Boing
On September 26, 1983, the USSR's missile early warning defense system mistook the sun's reflection off a cloud bank for five inbound US Minuteman ICBMs and began to flash the LAUNCH warning at the Soviet Union's missile command: Stanislav Petrov, the missile commander on duty, ignored the computer warning and forestalled a nuclear war that could have effectively ended human civilization.

After the Cold War, Petrov would receive a number of commendations for saving the world. He was honored at the United Nations, received the Dresden Peace Prize, and was profiled in the documentary The Man Who Saved the World. “I was just at the right place at the right time,” he told the filmmakers. He died in May 2017, at the age of 77. Two new books about the Petrov incident and other nuclear close calls in 1983 (related to the NATO exercise Able Archer) came out just this year: Taylor Downing’s 1983 and Marc Ambinder’s The Brink.
world  saved  nuclear  war  heroes 
10 weeks ago by Quercki
(1) Mike Blackstock - 50 years ago today, at the height of the Cuban...
50 years ago today, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, second-in-command Vasili Arkhipov of the Soviet submarine B-59 refused to agree with his Captain's order to launch nuclear torpedos against US warships and setting off what might well have been a terminal superpower nuclear war.

The US had been dropping depth charges near the submarine in an attempt to force it to surface, unaware it was carrying nuclear arms. The Soviet officers, who had lost radio contact with Moscow, concluded that World War 3 had begun, and 2 of the officers agreed to 'blast the warships out of the water'. Arkhipov refused to agree - unanimous consent of 3 officers was required - and thanks to him, we are here to talk about it.

His story is finally being told - the BBC is airing a documentary on it.

Raise a glass to Vasili Arkhipov - the Man Who Saved the World.

PS - The PBS documentary, 'The Man who Saved the World', is online here:
nuclear  war  solution  history  Russia 
december 2017 by Quercki
Man Who Saved the World From Nuclear Armageddon in 1983 Dies at 77
On September 26, 1983, Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov received a message that five nuclear missiles had been launched by the United States and were heading to Moscow. He didn’t launch a retaliatory strike, believing correctly that it was a false alarm. And with that, he saved the world from nuclear war. But now reports have surfaced that Petrov died this past May. He was 77 years old.
Perhaps importantly, Petrov noted that he was the only officer around that day who had received a civilian education. Everyone else were professional soldiers and he believed that they would have simply reported the attack at face value. The men around him were “taught to give and obey orders.” Luckily, Petrov disobeyed what simply didn’t feel right to him.

Petrov reasoned that if the Americans were going to launch a first strike they’d send more than five missiles, despite the fact that they could still do an enormous amount of damage. He also believed that since the alert system was relatively new it seemed likely that it could be sending a false alarm.
history  Russia  nuclear  war  peace 
september 2017 by Quercki
Sanders' are still profiting from Sierra Blanca nuclear waste dump, per their 2014 tax return
The Sanders’ have partially released their 2014 tax return and on the return, Jane Sanders is still drawing a salary as an alternate commissioner for the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission. (TLLRWD Commissioner)

This is the commission that oversaw the Sierra Blanca dump site, that Sanders voted for and also voted to strip out the Wellstone amendment in conference.

The Wellstone amendment would have given legal recourse to this mostly poor Latino community to fight the placement of this waste dump, if they could prove environmental racism. The compact was passed, with vigorous help from Sanders. Later and fortunately the dump was scuttled by the state of Texas.

This is just for 2014. Mrs. Sanders could have been drawing a salary for years and unless they release more tax returns we'll never know for sure.
Bernie_Sanders  Jane_Sanders  nuclear  waste  dump  racism  profit 
may 2017 by Quercki
Obama scores major foreign policy victory with Senate vote | MSNBC
When the international nuclear agreement came together, the possibility of Congress derailing the diplomatic solution and killing the policy was quite real.

MSNBC LIVE, 9/10/15, 4:16 PM ET
Senate disapproval vote on Iran deal fails

But as of this afternoon, the breakthrough foreign policy will advance.
Senate Democrats delivered President Barack Obama a victory when they blocked a resolution of disapproval against the deal.
The procedural vote, 58-42, fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance to a final vote and came after a lengthy floor debate – the culmination of acrimonious and often partisan back and forth following the agreement between the U.S., Iran and five world powers was struck.
The vote fell along predictable lines: all 42 Democratic supporters of the policy stuck together to derail the Republican effort. That was no small feat, and Democratic leaders like Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) deserve a lot of credit for the progressive accomplishment.
It was just three weeks ago that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) vowed with great confidence, “We’re going to kill this deal.”
No, actually you’re not.
I can appreciate the fact that the procedural steps can get a little complicated, but here’s the bottom line: Republican opponents of the international agreement assumed they would pass today’s bill, send it to President Obama, and have a knock-down-drag-out fight in Congress over how and whether to override the White House’s veto.
Obama  Iran  nuclear  diplomacy  win  GOP  fail 
september 2015 by Quercki
A Nun Walks Free: The Government’s Sabotage Case Dismissed - The New Yorker
In March, during arguments before a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Theodore implied that seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons might even be a form of sabotage. “These are people who have a desire, intent, to disarm, and they are taking action in furtherance of that goal,” he said. Shapiro countered that the sabotage charges were an example of government overreach, and he cited another recent case in which a woman who attempted to poison her husband’s mistress was convicted, under an anti-terrorist statute, of using a chemical weapon.

On May 8th, the court of appeals panel issued a two-to-one decision in the Y-12 case. The judge who wrote the opinion was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush; the judge who concurred with it was appointed by President Obama. They threw out the sabotage convictions, and their view of the government’s arguments was scathing. “The defendants’ actions in this case had zero effect, at the time of their actions or anytime afterwards, on the nation’s ability to wage war or defend against attack,” Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote. He criticized the government’s “vague platitudes” and the notion that Y-12’s guards were in any way diverted from their usual jobs: “responding to intrusions is what guards do.” The court vacated the defendants’ prison sentences and sent the case back to the original trial judge for resentencing.

The ruling and its tone surprised Quigley. This was the first time in thirty years that the sabotage conviction of an anti-nuclear protester had been overturned. He thought the decision conveyed a radical message for the federal judiciary: “Peaceful protest isn’t sabotage.” And the appeals court noted that the defendants had already served more time in prison than warranted by their conviction for destroying government property.
protest  nuclear  war  law  overturn  conviction 
may 2015 by Quercki
Fukushima: An Update from Japan – Censored Notebook, Investigative Research
It was this year that the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the Fukushima plant, admitted that, among other problems, 300 tons of radioactive groundwater could not be stopped from leaking every day from the Fukushima plant into the nearby Pacific Ocean. It was highly contaminated water, of course, but it was not officially expected to harm sea life or human beings in any way. Not to worry.

Then there was the announcement in September 2013 that Tokyo — a city located less than 320 kilometers (200 miles) from the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima — was chosen to be the site of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

A month later, as if to bolster Japan’s good news, a United Nations scientific committee, in a report to be submitted to the UN General Assembly, downplayed all the public worry over Fukushima. The UN committee placed the levels of radiation as being “very low,” stating: “No discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members of the public or their descendants.” This prompted a strong rebuke from citizens groups and others in Japan who saw this as an attempted whitewash of major proportions by the UN.

But there was one more step to be taken before The Official Story could be called airtight: In November and December 2013, the Japanese government — with the blessing of the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama and despite strong public opposition at home in Japan — proceeded to ram a bill through its parliament that, upon becoming law, would make whistleblowing a crime of state that could result in a prison term of up to 10 years.
This “state secrets protection bill” was supposedly intended to protect Japanese government and military secrets from possible terrorist actions (and, no doubt, from an Edward Snowden-type of situation) at a time when Japan’s military-industrial complex was expanding in lock-step with that of the U.S. But it could also be considered no mere coincidence that this state secrets bill was being pushed through to law at a time when TEPCO was just starting a yearlong operation in decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear plant that was unprecedented both in scale and in the potentially devastating consequences that could result if the slightest thing — forces of nature, mechanical failure, human error — went wrong in the course of that year.
Japan  nuclear  censored  Fukushima  power 
december 2013 by Quercki

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