And should Armageddon come, should a foreign enemy someday shower the United States with nuclear warheads, laying waste to the whole continent, entombed within Cheyenne Mountain, along with the high-tech marvels, the pale blue jumpsuits, comic books, and Bibles, future archeologists may find other clues to the nature of our civilization—Big King wrappers, hardened crusts of Cheesy Bread, Barbeque Wing bones, and the red, white, and blue of a Domino’s pizza box.
Support for a first strike extended far beyond the upper ranks of the U.S. military. Bertrand Russell—the British philosopher and pacifist, imprisoned for his opposition to the First World War—urged the western democracies to attack the Soviet Union before it got an atomic bomb. Russell acknowledged that a nuclear strike on the Soviets would be horrible, but “anything is better than submission.” Winston Churchill agreed, proposing that the Soviets be given an ultimatum: withdraw your troops from Germany, or see your cities destroyed. Even Hamilton Holt, lover of peace, crusader for world government, lifelong advocate of settling disputes through mediation and diplomacy and mutual understanding, no longer believed that sort of approach would work. Nuclear weapons had changed everything, and the Soviet Union couldn’t be trusted. Any nation that rejected U.N. control of atomic energy, Holt said, “should be wiped off the face of the earth with atomic bombs.
A typical artificial strawberry flavor, like the kind found in a Burger King strawberry milk shake, contains the following ingredients: amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amylketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglyci-date, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphrenyl-2-butanone (10 percent solution in alcohol), α-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, γ undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent.
Take Charge and Move Out (TACAMO) planes would quickly get off the ground, climb steeply, and send an emergency war order on a very-low-frequency radio, using an antenna five miles long. SAC began to develop a Post Attack Command and Control System. It would rely on airborne command posts, a command post on a train, a command post at the bottom of an abandoned gold mine in Cripple Creek, Colorado, and a command post, known as The Notch, inside Bare Mountain, near Amherst, Massachusetts. The
Dangerous systems usually required standardized procedures and some form of centralized control to prevent mistakes. That sort of management was likely to work well during routine operations. But during an accident, Perrow argued, “those closest to the system, the operators, have to be able to take independent and sometimes quite creative action.” Few bureaucracies were flexible enough to allow both centralized and decentralized decision making, especially in a crisis that could threaten hundreds or thousands of lives. And the large bureaucracies necessary to run high-risk systems usually resented criticism, feeling threatened by any challenge to their authority. “Time and time again, warnings are ignored, unnecessary risks taken, sloppy work done, deception and downright lying practiced,” Perrow found. The instinct to blame the people at the bottom not only protected those at the top, it also obscured an underlying truth. The fallibility of human beings guarantees that no technological system will ever be infallible.