Sunday, 8 February 2009

Nae nukes here.

Top-secret document reveals Trident was set up to kill half of Moscow’s citizens
The UK deployed Trident nuclear missiles because they could cause the total breakdown of Russian cities by killing half their inhabitants, according to a top-secret document passed to the Sunday Herald.

THE UK DEPLOYED TRIDENT NUCLEAR missiles because they could cause the total breakdown of Russian cities by killing half their inhabitants, according to a top-secret document passed to the Sunday Herald.

To ensure that the warheads inflicted "unacceptable damage" on Moscow and St Petersburg, the government was prepared to explode them at ground level to maximise lethal levels of radioactive contamination.

These revelations are considered so sensitive that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has tried to cover them up in case they hamper current plans to replace Trident. Senior officials are still carrying out the same kind of "Dr Strangelove arithmetic", critics say.

The decision to adopt the Trident system was taken in 1980 by the then prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

As a result, up to 200 warheads are now stored at Coulport on the Clyde and deployed on submarines.

But the assumptions behind the decision have been a secret until now. They are revealed in a document prepared in 1978 for the then chief scientific adviser to the MoD, Professor Sir Ronald Mason.

The UK’s nuclear policy is to “deliberately maintain ambiguity about precisely when, how and at what scale we would contemplate use of our nuclear deterrent”, according to a report from the Foreign Office last week

This document, among others, was removed from the National Archives in London last year at the insistence of the MoD, which says they had been released in error. But it had already been photographed by nuclear researcher Brian Burnell.

Stamped "top secret" on every page, it describes the level of "generalised destruction" the UK would be prepared to wreak on Russian cities in order to deter a nuclear attack on the UK.

The key criterion, it says, "is based not on destroying the whole city or killing a specified number of people, but instead on creating sufficient damage to bring about the breakdown of the city as a functioning community."

This could be accomplished, the document argues, by inflicting "severe structural damage" across 40% of a city. If the bombs were exploded in the air above the city, this would be likely to kill at least 40% of the inhabitants instantly and seriously injure a further 15%.

But the document then points out that up to 30% of city populations could be sent to underground bunkers. These would protect people against bombs exploded in the air, it says, but not those detonated at ground level.

"Ground-bursts would subject 55-60% of the city to a radiation dose sufficient to cause rapid debilitation followed by death for most people in the area, and to contaminate food, water, air and both damaged and undamaged buildings," the document states. "Residual radiation would remain a hazard for many years to come."

According to a Foreign Office report last week, the UK's nuclear policy is to "deliberately maintain ambiguity about precisely when, how and at what scale we would contemplate use of our nuclear deterrent."

John Ainslie, co-ordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, accused the government of deliberately hiding the document to avoid a proper debate on replacing Trident. "They don't want anyone to think seriously about the possible targets of British nuclear weapons or the consequences of using them," he said.

"So long as this country deploys nuclear submarines, there will be officials somewhere carrying out the Dr Strangelove arithmetic required to target these horrific weapons of mass destruction."


Anonymous said...

Good article, to be honest i think both sides were just as stupid as each other. The Evening News ran an article last year on the fact that Russia had targeted the city with Nukes and had secret plans of the city centre.

Im sure todays Russia with its Torr air defence systems could replen anything Labour flung at them.

brownlie said...

It would be a great consolation and comfort to me in Glasgow, as I watch my arse and other parts of my anatomy disappearing out the window in the nuclear twilight, to know that some innocents in Moscow are being burnt to a crisp!

Key bored warrior. said...

Not having these weapons does no harm to Costa Rica or Finland who both share borders with giant super powers.

To me Trident is just a hangover from Rule Brittania. And are seen by the elite as nothing more than phallic symbols to make up for their own small shrunken useless view of the world.

It is time.

Saor Alba.

James Kelly said...

When we get (rightly) up in arms about the Americans or Israelis targetting civilians and killing hundreds, it's absolutely mind-boggling to think officials of our own government are being paid to devise ingenious ways of maximising deaths among literally millions of civilians, specifically including those who in a state of panic have taken refuge in underground shelters! One word - chilling.

Key bored warrior. said...

James. When the true history of Iraq and Afghanistan is written, (which is years down the line,) our children will indeed be chilled. Here is just a tiny example, from Jess The Dog.

Most Disgusting Vermin in Ermine - Lewis Moonie
"Lord" Moonie, pictured in all his slimy nauseating glory, is probably the most sickening example of the corrupt political classes that has been discovered so far. Forget the £30,000 brown envelope he was chasing, that pales into insignificance.

The Herald newspaper has dug into the activities of Moonie in the Lords and checked the questions asked in the Upper House against his business interests.
Now an investigation by this newspaper has found that 23 of the 46 written questions Moonie has had answered by the government in the Lords relate to defence work connected to Northrop Grumman Corp. These include the F35 joint strike fighter, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Airbus?A400M cargo plane, the Navy's Type 45 destroyer programme, and unmanned aerial drones for spying and bombing. Moonie also asked a question about the Sentry Awacs early-warning aircraft. In 2005 Northrop Grumman won a £665 million contract to maintain and support the Royal Air Force's Awacs fleet over 20 years. Moonie was ennobled in 2005 but did not ask any parliamentary questions in his first three years as a peer, according to Hansard. But since mid-2008 he has asked almost 50, all on defence issues.

The article has Moonie bang to rights. The questions he has asked are not on issues he would have thought of himself - they are specific, technical and contractual rather than general defence issues.

This is what Northrop Grumman said: "Lord Moonie is retained as a consultant through Northrop Grumman IT Inc in the US. The role of the strategic advisory board, including Lord Moonie, is strictly limited to the provision of internal advice to Northrop Grumman IT in relation to its business in the UK. Members of the strategic advisory board are expressly prohibited from contacting, directly or indirectly, any public or government officials on our behalf and promoting or marketing any products or services of Northrop Grumman."

Right, so Moonie has been caught abusing his position to benefit his employer. That's bad enough. What is utterly indispensible is the following issue. Moonie was Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Ministry of Defence from 2000 (replacing Peter Kilfoyle) until 2003. The following tragic incidents occured not long afterwards.

On 30 January 2005, Hercules C-130 XV179 was lost with the deaths of 10 aircrew. The coroner found "serious systemic failures" contributed to the loss, including the failure to fit explosive suppressant foam (ESF). ESF is a standard fit on C-130s operated by other nations and this danger had been raised many times beforehand....conveniently the records of meetings at Group and Strike Command level had been shredded.

On 2 September 2006, Nimrod MR2 XV230 was lost with the deaths of 14 aircrew. Essentially this aircraft type was not airworthy and had been flogged to death on operations, with the tragic consequences that followed. The families are suing the MoD, who have offered to pay compensation.

Moonie was a defence Minister when concerns with regard to the Hercules fleet were raised. Former RAF Hercules pilot Nigel Gilbert wrote to the Ministry of Defence in in 2002 and received the following reply from Moonie's colleague Adam Ingram in August 2002:

"I can assure you that all C130 Hercules aircraft are operating with a suite of defensive aids. We are confident that for all military flights into Afghanistan, appropriate aircraft self-protection measures are in place."

Nigel Gilbert reponded, in an interview: "I was flying the aeroplane and can tell you we didn't have a suite of protective aids. We had this old jammer which people have described as about as useful as a chocolate fireguard. To protect us from small arms, we resorted to coiling up chains under the seat and maybe to make yourself feel better you would put on a flak jacket as well...Most people have a picture of flares, chaff, sirens going off on the flight deck for missiles coming in-bound. We had none of that. We stationed a couple of personnel down the back of the aeroplane on either door and their job was to look out for a plume of light and shout 'break right' or 'break left'. We figured we would have a second or two to react and try to avoid it that way."

Letters were also sent to Blair and Hoon at the time on the issue. This issue was well-known, discussed within the RAF in 2002 and the Royal Australian Air Force fitted its airframes with ESF in 2004.

With regard to the Nimrod, the MR2 should have been replaced with the MRA4 in 2003. At this time, this new aircraft (err...old airframes with a lot more weight) has still not entered service. The inquest concluded that "ageing components and a lack of modern fire suppressants were among the "contributory factors" that led to the accident." Also, a similar airframe (the R1) apparently suffered an engine bay fire 15 months after the XV230 loss.

It is clear that Moonie and his fellow ministers took little enough interest in spending money on aircraft when they were in a position to actually do anything about it. Now that Moonie is in the Lords, and in the pay of Northrop Grumman, he is happy to prostitute his office to ask any number of questions relating to aircraft capabilities and investment decisions. The difference is, this time he's being paid to do it. Note that Moonie hasn't asked any questions about aircraft safety relating to either incident, despite ongoing concerns about delays in fitting ESF to the HErcules and despite the R1 incident mentioned earlier. Moonie did find the time to slip in a general question about the replacement for the Nimrod, presumably of interest to his paymasters.

I don't think I've ever been as sickened by the mendacity of politicians, even at the height of the deceit surrounding the Iraq war and the death of Dr Kelly. This is utterly sickening and Moonie exemplifies the depths that public life has plummeted to. I've got a commissioning scroll from Her Majesty which I received when I joined the RAF. It uses such words as "trust", "confidence", "loyalty", "courage", "good conduct" and duty". All of these terms are rendered completely meaningless by the actions of these supposed peers of the realm and I'm half tempted to burn the wretched thing. I really hope this scumbag ends up in jail.

Key bored warrior. said...

There are also stories coming from Iraq of a new American tank born weapon that makes a napalm thrower look like a Fisher Price toy. Turning people into crisps in a milisecond.

Scot Independent.

Stuff I did ;)


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