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the world’s nuclear build-up is a “chronicle of human madness” – DanielEllsberg

Doomsday Machine: US top-secret nuclear war plans exposed, NZ Herald, 7 Jan, 2018 , news.com.au, By: James Law A legendary whistleblower has exposed the US’s top-secret nuclear war plans that could bring humankind to extinction in an explosive new book.

In The Doomsday Machine, former White House nuclear war adviser Daniel Ellsberg argues that the world’s nuclear powers have had the ability to wipe all human beings off the planet since the 1960s — and current policies mean the risk of global annihilation are higher than ever today, reports news.com.au.

Mr Ellsberg became a whistleblowing legend in the ’70s when he leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and other newspapers. The trove of photocopied classified documents exposed that the US government had lied to the public and the Congress about its involvement in the Vietnam War. Mr Ellsberg’s leaking of the documents has been dramatised in the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie The Post, out on January 11.

But Mr Ellsberg’s photocopying of top-secret government files didn’t stop with the Pentagon Papers.

 In his new book, he reveals for the first time that he copied an additional 8000 pages of top-secret material from his work for the White House and the RAND Corporation, a military research and development business that advises the US armed forces.

Much of his work at the RAND Corporation involved drawing up a secret plan, under president Dwight Eisenhower, for a nuclear war.

Mr Ellsberg asserts that much of what he learnt of the dire threats US nuclear strategy posed in the late ’50s and early ’60s is still true today.

Mr Ellsberg became a whistleblowing legend in the ’70s when he leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and other newspapers. The trove of photocopied classified documents exposed that the US government had lied to the public and the Congress about its involvement in the Vietnam War. Mr Ellsberg’s leaking of the documents has been dramatised in the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie The Post, out on January 11.

But Mr Ellsberg’s photocopying of top-secret government files didn’t stop with the Pentagon Papers.

 In his new book, he reveals for the first time that he copied an additional 8000 pages of top-secret material from his work for the White House and the RAND Corporation, a military research and development business that advises the US armed forces.

Much of his work at the RAND Corporation involved drawing up a secret plan, under president Dwight Eisenhower, for a nuclear war.

Mr Ellsberg asserts that much of what he learnt of the dire threats US nuclear strategy posed in the late ’50s and early ’60s is still true today.

Mr Ellsberg writes that US nuclear plans have always been drawn up with the aim of striking first under all circumstances.

Successive presidents, Donald Trump included, have declined to change US military policy to “no first use”, which is a pledge not to use nuclear weapons unless first attacked by an enemy using its own nukes.

Mr Ellsberg argues that this creates an implied threat of nuclear attack on every state that might come into conflict with the US, such as North Korea, and only serves to encourage nuclear weapons proliferation.

“Indeed, it has encouraged proliferation in states hoping either to counter these American threats or to imitate them,” he writes.

“Of course, our insistence on maintaining an arsenal of thousands of weapons, many on alert, a quarter century into the post-Cold War era, nullifies our advice to most other states in the world that they ‘have no need’ or justification for producing a single nuclear weapon.”

One of the more alarming parts of the book is the revelation of what Mr Ellsberg calls “one of our highest national secrets” — that a number of people in the US have the delegated authority to pull the trigger on nuclear weapons.
“With respect to deliberate, authorised US strategic attacks, the system has always been designed to be triggered by a far wider range of events than the public has ever imagined,” Mr Ellsberg writes.

“Moreover, the hand authorised to pull the trigger on US nuclear forces has never been exclusively that of the president, nor even his highest military officials.”…….

Mr Ellsberg sums up by saying the world’s nuclear build-up is a “chronicle of human madness”.

“Most aspects of the US nuclear planning system and force readiness that became known to me half a century ago still exist today, as prone to catastrophe as ever but on a scale, as now known to environmental scientists, looming vastly larger than was understood then,” he writes.

“The present risks of the current nuclear era go far beyond the dangers of proliferation and non-state terrorism that have been the almost exclusive focus of public concern for the past generation and the past decade in particular.

“The hidden reality I aim to expose is that for over 50 years, all-out thermonuclear war — an irreversible, unprecedented and almost unimaginable calamity for civilisation and most life on Earth — has been … a catastrophe waiting to happen. And that is still true today.”   http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/books-magazines/books/chronicle-of-human-madness-doomsday-machine-exposed/news-story/d751e70985b7013c226128d03d4c8d3a

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January 8, 2018 - Posted by | resources - print

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