I JUST spent a chilling 45 minutes listening to a National Public Radio interview with the author of Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself—While the Rest of Us Die.
Garrett Graff’s book fills in the details on what most of us have taken for granted: namely that in the event of a nuclear holocaust a chosen elite of government and business leaders will be whisked away to impregnable fortresses to survive and keep our country functioning.
With them will go a stash of $2 billion, mostly in the $2 bills made redundant when the US public rejected the denomination when they were re-introduced back in 1976; the VIP survivors will have little choice but to use the cast-off bills because, Graff reports, the Federal Reserve estimates it would take about 18 months to produce more currency.
Sounds funny? Actually, it’s a deadly serious book. Here’s the part that really shook me: according to Graff, there is NO ONE who stands between a president and an order to launch a nuclear strike. No Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense, no Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. No one is required to validate, confirm, authorise an order. No one can countermand it.
It’s not like in the movies. The ‘nuclear football’ carried by a military aide is always close by the president.
“Contrary to pop culture or public perception, there is no such thing as the red phone or the nuclear button,” said Graff. “What the nuclear football entails is basically a bunch of binders with different plans. One military aide compared it to a Denny’s [restaurant]menu. You can go through and point at different pictures and that’s the type of nuclear war you would order.”
When asked why and when safeguards from a would-be mad-bomber of a president were stripped from the protocol, Graff replied: “The way that these procedures have evolved over the years is to remove any middlemen who could slow the process down, because the decision-making window would be so short as it is. The president might only have 8 to 10 minutes to make a decision about launching a nuclear weapon. There wouldn’t be any time to double-check with someone else, so we have very carefully crafted a system that ensures that there’s nothing that slows down a presidential launch order.
“Those plans were always predicated upon the idea that the person giving the launch order is the most thoughtful, most intelligent, most sober-minded individual that you could possibly imagine atop the nuclear command and control system.”
Not once was Donald Trump’s name mentioned. But the more-than-240lb orangutan in the room could not have been far from any listener’s thoughts.
Located in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, not far from Camp David, Raven Rock is but one of many havens hollowed out of mountains. Some 5,000 “lucky” personnel would be assigned sanctuary there.
I’m not sure how comforting it might be to you, but Graff said even after Doomsday the Inland Revenue Service would continue to collect taxes. How would it know from whom to collect? Apparently the Postal Service would be charged with compiling lists of who died and who survived.
For those who would like to hear the interview, including details of the president’s sole right to declare a state of emergency that would suspend many liberties and permit the state to incarcerate anyone the president judges to be a dissident, CLICK HERE for the link: