Missteps in the Bunker
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 23, 2007; Page A01
Just after 9 a.m. on Aug. 29, a group of U.S. airmen entered a sod-covered bunker on North Dakota‘s Minot Air Force Base with orders to collect a set of unarmed cruise missiles bound for a weapons graveyard. They quickly pulled out a dozen cylinders, all of which appeared identical from a cursory glance, and hauled them along Bomber Boulevard to a waiting B-52 bomber.
The airmen attached the gray missiles to the plane’s wings, six on each side. After eyeballing the missiles on the right side, a flight officer signed a manifest that listed a dozen unarmed AGM-129 missiles. The officer did not notice that the six on the left contained nuclear warheads, each with the destructive power of up to 10 Hiroshima bombs.
Grandma used to lose her gardening tools in the yard, until we painted all the handles orange. Never lost a toool after that. ‘Course Grandma isn’t the Strategic Air Command or any of that, but she lived to be 87 and hadn’t lost a tool in 50 years.
They quickly pulled out a dozen cylinders, all of which appeared identical from a cursory glance. . .
Well, there you go–the Grandma Factor–could be a John Le Carre novel.