WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a new open letter to members of Congress, seventeen former nuclear launch officers issue a grave warning regarding President Trump’s unfettered access to nuclear weapons, declaring that the current U.S. nuclear launch process “poses a clear and present danger to the country and the world: No one — not the secretary of defense, not the attorney general, not Congress — can veto that order. There are no reliable safeguards in place to contain this power.”
The letter comes on the heels of last week’s alarming tweets from President Trump in which he boasted about having a “much bigger and more powerful” nuclear button on his desk than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
VIEW THE LETTER HERE: View the .PDF
The missileers argue that there are currently “a number of good proposals before Congress right now that would rein in the president’s power to order the first use of nuclear weapons. Whether it’s assigning the defense secretary and attorney general a role in certifying a launch order, requiring a Congressional Declaration of War before the first use of nuclear weapons, or ending the policy of nuclear first use entirely, any of these common-sense measures would reduce the risk we now face. ”
“We cannot stand idly by as Donald Trump holds us all hostage to his petulant mood swings,” said Dr. Bruce Blair, a veteran nuclear launch officer and co-founder of the Global Zero movement to eliminate nuclear weapons. “Donald Trump is the last person who should possess the nuclear codes and the power to start a nuclear conflagration. Our weapons have the power to destroy entire nations, including our own nation if he initiates a nuclear war. As a former steward of the nuclear launch keys, I’ve learned about the stability, competence and temperament it takes to hold such a responsibility, and Donald Trump has shown us all he possesses none of those qualities.”
For more information on the former nuclear launch officers’ letter or to request an interview with representatives from Global Zero, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at [email protected].
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