At Least 700 “Significant” Nuclear Accidents 1950–1968 Alone, FOIA Docs Show

by Will Porter

The Guardian – “US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina – secret document

In 1961, a B-52 bomber carrying multiple hydrogen bombs broke up over North Carolina, narrowly avoiding a catastrophe.

Out of the four safety mechanism switches in place to prevent unintentional detonation, only one actually worked in at least one of the two H-bombs that plummeted to earth as a result of the accident.

Some time after, the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia National Laboratories, Parker F. Jones, wrote a secret report, aptly titled “Goldsboro Revisited or: How I learned to Mistrust the H-Bomb.”

And that is indeed the point here: nuclear weapons, most especially the terror-inducing hydrogen bomb, are downright dangerous. Even if you (naïvely) trust the political classes of nuclear weapons states to never make light of their use, such weapons nonetheless constitute a grave threat to humanity.

Those with their finger on the button effectively hold all of mankind hostage. Despite safety protocols, not only are accidents always possible, but the prospect of a madman ruler coming to the fore remains ever-present as well. No mortal ought to possess the god-like destructive capability offered by these weapons, it’s only a matter of time before they’re misused again.

In fact, one might argue that nuclear weapons are impossible to be used correctly. Their very nature essentially ensures that they can’t be targeted to kill only genuine belligerents. Any practical use imaginable will entail the mass slaughter of innocents, making nukes implicitly immoral.

For an elaboration of the libertarian view on war in general and nuclear weapons in particular, see “War, Peace, & the State,” by Murray N. Rothbard.