Men of conscience need not apply....

micah719

an adopted son of The Most High God John 6:37-40
This little tidbit cropped up in one of my searches....considering we just heard the US military answers to the UN and international permission rather than the Constitution and Congress, I was wondering if those in the know on RF might have a little more to say about it. A question I have about this case is: what if you substitute the word "allegiance" for the word "sanity" in Rosenbaum's answer? A further question is: when was the turning point?


Harold Hering - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Harold Hering
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Major Harold L. Hering (born 1936)[1] was an officer in the United States Air Force, who was discharged for questioning the process for launching nuclear missiles.[2]

Hering served in Vietnam in the Air Rescue Service.[2] 21 years into his Air Force career, while serving as a Minuteman missile crewman and expecting a promotion to lieutenant colonel,[2] he posed the following question during training at Vandenberg Air Force Base in late 1973:[3]

"How can I know that an order I receive to launch my missiles came from a sane president?"

The Single Integrated Operational Plan specifies that, when the National Command Authority issues an order to use nuclear weapons, the order will filter down the chain of command. The two-man rule requires that at each stage, two operators independently verify and agree that the order is valid. In the case of the Minuteman missile, this is done by comparing the authorization code in the launch order against the code in the Sealed Authenticator, a special sealed envelope which holds the code; if both operators agree that the code matches, the launch must be executed. According to journalist Ron Rosenbaum,[3] Hering's question exposed a flaw in the very foundation of this doctrine:

"What if [the president's] mind is deranged, disordered, even damagingly intoxicated? ... Can he launch despite displaying symptoms of imbalance? Is there anything to stop him?"

Rosenbaum says[3] that the answer is no: to this day, the nuclear fail-safe protocols are entirely concerned with the president's identity, not his sanity.

Hering was pulled from training and, unable to receive a satisfactory reply, requested reassignment to different duties. Instead, the Air Force issued an administrative discharge for "failure to demonstrate acceptable qualities of leadership".[4] Hering appealed the discharge, and at the Air Force Board of Inquiry, the Air Force stated that knowing whether or not a launch order is lawful is beyond the executing officer's need to know. Hering replied:

"I have to say, I feel I do have a need to know, because I am a human being. It is inherent in an officer's commission that he has to do what is right in terms of the needs of the nation despite any orders to the contrary. You really don't know at the time of key turning, whether you are complying with your oath of office."

Nonetheless, the Board of Inquiry ruled that Hering be discharged from the Air Force.[5]

References
^ The Boßecker Newsletter (Volume 2 Issue 1, Winter 1996)
^ a b c Rosenbaum, Ron (February 28, 2011) "An Unsung Hero of the Nuclear Age - Maj. Harold Hering and the forbidden question that cost him his career" slate.com. Retrieved February 13, 2012
^ a b c Rosenbaum, Ron. How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1416594213.
^ The sword and the cross: reflections on command and conscience (James Hugh Toner, 1992)
^ "Air Force Panel Recommends Discharge of Major Who Challenged 'Failsafe' System". New York Times, January 13, 1975, p.16.
 

WKUHilltopper

Well-Known Member
This little tidbit cropped up in one of my searches....considering we just heard the US military answers to the UN and international permission rather than the Constitution and Congress, I was wondering if those in the know on RF might have a little more to say about it. A question I have about this case is: what if you substitute the word "allegiance" for the word "sanity" in Rosenbaum's answer? A further question is: when was the turning point?


Harold Hering - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Harold Hering
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Major Harold L. Hering (born 1936)[1] was an officer in the United States Air Force, who was discharged for questioning the process for launching nuclear missiles.[2]

Hering served in Vietnam in the Air Rescue Service.[2] 21 years into his Air Force career, while serving as a Minuteman missile crewman and expecting a promotion to lieutenant colonel,[2] he posed the following question during training at Vandenberg Air Force Base in late 1973:[3]

"How can I know that an order I receive to launch my missiles came from a sane president?"

The Single Integrated Operational Plan specifies that, when the National Command Authority issues an order to use nuclear weapons, the order will filter down the chain of command. The two-man rule requires that at each stage, two operators independently verify and agree that the order is valid. In the case of the Minuteman missile, this is done by comparing the authorization code in the launch order against the code in the Sealed Authenticator, a special sealed envelope which holds the code; if both operators agree that the code matches, the launch must be executed. According to journalist Ron Rosenbaum,[3] Hering's question exposed a flaw in the very foundation of this doctrine:

"What if [the president's] mind is deranged, disordered, even damagingly intoxicated? ... Can he launch despite displaying symptoms of imbalance? Is there anything to stop him?"

Rosenbaum says[3] that the answer is no: to this day, the nuclear fail-safe protocols are entirely concerned with the president's identity, not his sanity.

Hering was pulled from training and, unable to receive a satisfactory reply, requested reassignment to different duties. Instead, the Air Force issued an administrative discharge for "failure to demonstrate acceptable qualities of leadership".[4] Hering appealed the discharge, and at the Air Force Board of Inquiry, the Air Force stated that knowing whether or not a launch order is lawful is beyond the executing officer's need to know. Hering replied:

"I have to say, I feel I do have a need to know, because I am a human being. It is inherent in an officer's commission that he has to do what is right in terms of the needs of the nation despite any orders to the contrary. You really don't know at the time of key turning, whether you are complying with your oath of office."

Nonetheless, the Board of Inquiry ruled that Hering be discharged from the Air Force.[5]

References
^ The Boßecker Newsletter (Volume 2 Issue 1, Winter 1996)
^ a b c Rosenbaum, Ron (February 28, 2011) "An Unsung Hero of the Nuclear Age - Maj. Harold Hering and the forbidden question that cost him his career" slate.com. Retrieved February 13, 2012
^ a b c Rosenbaum, Ron. How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1416594213.
^ The sword and the cross: reflections on command and conscience (James Hugh Toner, 1992)
^ "Air Force Panel Recommends Discharge of Major Who Challenged 'Failsafe' System". New York Times, January 13, 1975, p.16.

I seem to recall--back when Nixon resigned and was in the last few days of office--that someone took it upon themselves to "refuse any orders from the President to launch ICBMs". This was reported on the national news. This was back in 1974...so I guess there is some sort of precedent. I'm not sure who it was that gave the order to "refuse a launch order"--I guess the Pentagon. I'm not sure I remember, but I would assume the VP would have that authority then--but don't remember if that was addressed as I recall.
 

micah719

an adopted son of The Most High God John 6:37-40
It seemed a little suspicious to me so I looked a little further.

One of the articles quoted at the wiki site is from slate. In it, it states Maj. Hering had some personal trouble on account of his decision to ask the question. He spent over a year in self-isolation, listening A Prairie Home Companion (Garrison Keillor....), worked for the Salvation Army, and as a suicide counselor. The PHC thing bothers me....there is a notorious marxist/maoist on Australian radio (ABC) that features PHC in his programme. The slate article (Rosenbaum) mentions the refusal to lainch as well, and speaks about a former wing commander that is now big in the total disarmament movement.

I'm afraid if I dig just a little deeper I'll find some distinctly globalist/communist fingers in this. This is not to suggest Hering was a pacifist, or that Rosenbaum is a pinko, but the alarmbells are ringing. If I do look further, it would be to examine if this particular mention of the anti-nuke movement also involves criticising the Russians (they are real big in new nukes at the moment), Iran, NK, Pakistan and Syria; or if it focuses on the US, and naughty Israel. I almost forgot France and the UK (an excusable sentiment, surely), but as they are part of the federal EU arsenal now, they're a different kettle of rotting fish.

The big surprise is still with me, however....an officer of obvious courage and conviction (casevac in 'Nam? No chickens there...) fired for raising a legitimate question. And that question never being answered by the folks that should have known. Of course, the Cold War wasn't really a war, nor was it cold...nor was it won or lost.

The Lord is the answer for why those birds haven't flown yet.....but sometime they will, but not without His permission.
 
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