The Threat to America — from Our Own Nuclear Weapons
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America's nuclear arsenal has been subject to a terrifying number of accidents, miscalculations and inexplicable blunders, without a devastating catastrophe — so far. We talk with investigative reporter Eric Schlosser about how close we've come, how little the public's been told, and whether we're safer now than we used to be. Also, the Washington stalemate and how it happened, and the latest hot-button issues heading to the US Supreme Court in its new term.
Banner image: Various nuclear missiles. Photo: tommytex2001
Social Issues Central in Supreme Court’s New Term ()
The US Supreme Court opened its new term today, having accepted a group of cases that could produce new precedents on a series of hot-button issues. Jess Bravin covers the court for the Wall Street Journal.
US Nuclear Weapons, Past and Future ()
During the Cold War, atomic bombs fell out of the sky over North Carolina. A missile tipped with a hydrogen bomb blew up in Arkansas. Most Americans never knew about 700 "significant" incidents that could have produced historic catastrophes — here in the US. We talk with investigative reporter Eric Schlosser, who spent five years searching declassified documents to discover how often dumb luck made the difference.
Two men involved in the Damascus incident were interviewed for The Missileers, an episode of UnFictional, a program produced and broadcast here at KCRW radio in Santa Monica. The first voice is that of Greg Devlin, a Titan II liquid fuel systems maintenance specialist. The next is Ronald Gray, who was in charge of quality control at McConnell Air Force base and asked to investigate two days after the Damascus explosion.
Listen to the full story of The Missileers.
- Eric Schlosser: Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly
- Steven Pifer: Director, Brookings Institution's Arms Control Initiative, @steven_pifer
Today's Talking Point
The Shutdown was Months in the Making ()
The government shutdown may have taken most Americans by surprise. But the New York Times reports it’s the consequences of long-term planning by more than three dozen conservative groups.
Molly Ball covers politics for the Atlantic. Sheryl Gay Stolberg covers the personalities, ideas and culture of Washington for the New York Times.
Engage & Discuss
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