Sunday, March 23, 2014


OMNI NUCLEAR WEAPONS  NUCLEAR ABOLITION NEWSLETTER # 18, February 8, 2014.    OMNI Building a Culture of PEACE, Compiled by Dick Bennett. (See #1, June 14, 2007; #2, January 8, 2008; #3 May 16, 2008; #4 June 10; 2009,  #5 July 23, 2009, ; #6 Sept. 21, 2009; #7 August 29, 2010; #8 April 11, 2011; #9 August 4, 2011; #10 Feb. 27, 2012; #11 April 4, 2012; #12 June 27, 2012; #13 July 27, 2012; #14 August 11, 2012; #15, Dec. 4, 2012; #16 July 20, 2013; #17 Dec. 17, 2014)    Imagine a world free of nuclear weapons, be committed to that goal, join OMNI to strive with others for that goal.


For seven years, these eighteen newsletters, related newsletters, and the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology have been Arkansas’ only sustained source of information about nuclear weapons dangers and harms and the Nuclear Abolition Movement.  OMNI deserves your support.   Call Gladys 935-4422. 

Nuclear Abolition Day June 2. 
International Day against Nuclear Tests August 29.

OMNI’s NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL DAYS PROJECT:  Castle Bravo Explosion 60 Anniversary Feb. 28


Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:   The dozens of newsletters provide OMNI and the peace and justice movement with subject-focused information and criticism.     Here is the link to the Index to the newsletters:


Nos. 12-17 at end of this newsletter.

Contents #18
Remembering Nuclear Testing at the Marshall Islands, Feb. 28, 2014, 16th Anniversary of Castle Bravo
Resistance to Nuclear Weapons
WAND Protest March 25, 2014

25th Anniversary, 2nd edition of Nuclear Heartland to Be Published
Schlosser, Dr. Strangelove and Nuclear War
Resistance, Nevada Desert Experience (NDE), Sister Megan, RootsAction
Helen Caldicott’s Books Still Speak to Us
News from Anti-Nuclear UK, AWE Rocking the Brits
UK Collection of Essays on Links of Trident Subs to Global Issues
FCNL Nuclear Calendar
Contact your Arkansas Representatives
Steve Womack      202-225-4301
Tim Griffin              202-225-2506
Tom Cotton            202-225-3772
Rick Crawford        202-225-4076

Join the National Call-In Day –Tuesday, MARCH 25 -- to Reduce Nuclear Weapons Spending

The WAND Team via 

to James

Friday, March 21, 2014
Dear WAND Activists:
How would you spend $100 billion?
On February 27, companion bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would cut $100 billion in wasteful spending on nuclear weapons over 10 years.  In the Senate, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced S. 2070, the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act and in the House, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced H.R. H.R.4107, the Reduce Expenditures in Nuclear Infrastructure Now (REIN-IN) Act.
Your Members of Congress need to know that you won’t tolerate excessive spending on 20thcentury weapons when human needs continue to go unmet.
Responsible cuts to the nuclear weapons budget will enhance the security of our nation.  These cuts will free up money in the budget for more important national priorities.
The WAND Team

691 Massachusetts Avenue | Arlington MA 02476
322 4th Street NE | Washington, DC 20002
250 Georgia Avenue S.E. Suite 202
| Atlanta, GA 30312


Winslow Myers
There was a major story in Time magazine this week that military personnel were cheating on competency tests relating to the command and control of American nuclear missiles. This was one more confirmation of what we already know in our hearts but prefer not to examine too closely: humans are too human, too small, too fallible, to be in charge of the unfathomable destructive power of nuclear weapons.
Activists, frustrated by a Congress in the pocket of military-industrial corporations, have rightly shifted their focus to building local coalitions that emphasize bottom-up renewal. The peace movement is still hard at work, but overwhelmed by the size of the powers arrayed against it.
Maybe it's the top military brass of the nuclear nations who ought to be leading the charge toward reciprocal disarmament, because their political masters have laid upon them an impossible task: to make zero mistakes when interpreting the behavior of other nations, to keep these weapons and the people who handle them in a state of hair-trigger readiness without tipping over the edge into accidents, and to avoid nuclear winter should, God forbid, the weapons be used.
A tall order indeed, because our experience with technologically complex systems designed not to fail is that sometimes they all fail—not a Rumsfeldian unknown unknown. Just as the occasional crash of a passenger plane or a space shuttle has proven inevitable, or a Chernobyl or Fukushima or Three Mile Island meltdown is unlikely but nevertheless has also proven inescapable, so too it is inevitable that, unless we change direction as a species, there will be a fatal incident involving nuclear weapons. 
Some analysts claim that we are actually in a more risky time than during the Cold War. As we see in the cheating scandal, people in charge of the weapons, because their mission has been rendered obsolete by the change from the cold war to the "war on terror," are tempted by laziness and corner-cutting.
The United States, even while a signatory to international treaties that enjoin it to reduce its nuclear weapons and cooperate with other states to reduce theirs, is poised to spend untold billions, money needed desperately for, say, transitioning to clean, sustainable sources of energy, to renew its nuclear weapons systems. The tail of corporate profit wags the dog of nuclear policy, but neither the cost nor the danger of nuclear weapons appears to be a high priority for most Americans.
Terrorism naturally gets more focus today. Avoiding nuclear terrorism may actually be easier to accomplish than to guarantee in perpetuity those impossible conditions attached to “legitimate” state-controlled nuclear weapons. In the case of terrorists, the objective is to secure and keep separate the parts and ingredients of weapons. The vast majority of nations are in agreement with this goal and willing to cooperate to reach it.  Meanwhile the far greater danger may be the relentless momentum engendered by the in-place weapons systems of the nuclear club, motivating more states to want to join, resulting in more command and control complexity, and more probability of misinterpretation.
In his famous poem “September 1, 1939,” W.H. Auden wrote, “We must love one another or die.” Auden came to dislike the poem for its preachiness. In 1955 he allowed it to be reprinted in an anthology with the line altered to “We must love one another and die.”  Though the two lines obviously have different meanings, both versions are true.  It is inevitable that we will all die, whether we learn to love each other or not. Is it also inevitable that we will die in nuclear fire or under gray skies of nuclear ash? Not if nuclear nations begin to have a conversation based in the common recognition that nuclear weapons are not useful to planetary security.
[Call to the people to take action.]
Creative acts of love, truth-telling, and inclusion are always open to us, as Nelson Mandela demonstrated. When the Nazis occupied Denmark in April, 1940, 17-year-old Danish schoolboy Arne Sejr wrote his "Ten Commandments" that were creative ways to nonviolently slow, sabotage, and stymie Nazi goals in his country. In the dark days of 1943 the people of Denmark, at great risk, not only spirited 7,800 Jews into neutral Sweden to shield them from the invading Nazis, but also interceded on behalf of the 5 percent who were already on their way to Theresienstadt, with the result that 99 percent of Danish Jews were spared the Holocaust.  
[Call to influential people to speak up.]
The nuclear Gordian knot is in equal need of heroes who can cut into it with the sharp blade of truth, and spirit our species into a new paradigm beyond our present false sense of security. Is it possible such heroes might emerge from within the military-industrial complex itself? We need more high-ranking Ellsbergs, Snowdens and Mannings, not only to reveal secret data or expose competency breakdown, but to also assert that security via nukes overall is a futile project—not only for the U.S. but for all nations who possess or want nuclear weapons. Generals and weapons designers have hearts and love their grandchildren like all of us. If a few of them spoke out, the world would owe them a priceless debt of gratitude.
Winslow Myers, author of “Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide,” writes on global issues for PeaceVoice and serves on the Advisory Board of the War Prevention Initiative.

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You're invited to Nuclear Remembrance Day 2014: Reflect. Honor. Educate. (Feb 28, 2014)

Marshallese Educational Initiative, Inc. via 

to James

You are invited to the following event:

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:
Friday, February 28, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (CST)
The Great Hall
Clinton Presidential Center
1200 President Clinton Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72201

View Map

Event registration is by invitation only. Register with your email address to attend this event.

To commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the devastating Castle Bravo nuclear detonation in the Marshall Islands, the Marshallese Educational Initiative, a not-for-profit organization based in northwest Arkansas, requests the honor of your presence at Nuclear Remembrance Day 2014: Reflect. Honor. Educate.  

Nuclear Remembrance Day will create the space to reflect on our shared nuclear legacy, honor survivors and victims, and educate the public about the global consequences of the use of nuclear weaponry.  The program incorporates speeches, multimedia and artistic performances, and oral histories by survivors, scholars, cultural leaders, and government representatives. 
Please join us for this meaningful and informative event that aims to raise awareness and build cross-cultural dialogue.




Nukewatch published this book in 1989 documenting some of the history of nuclear warheads planted around the US.  The book contained “directions to every Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) in the nation.  . . . Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger told the press that in publishing the book Nukewatch was aiding and abetting the enemy.  Since the former USSR already knew exactly where all the missiles were, Weinberger seemed to imply that public education was the enemy. . . .”


To support Nukewatch and the updated publication of this book, go to


Eric Schlosser, “Almost Everything in "Dr. Strangelove" Was True.” 
 The New Yorker , 25 January 14, Reader Supported News.
Schlosser writes: "... we now know that American officers did indeed have the ability to start a Third World War on their own. And despite the introduction of rigorous safeguards in the years since then, the risk of an accidental or unauthorized nuclear detonation hasn't been completely eliminated."
JANUARY 23, 2014



·                                 PRINT
·                                 MORE

This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy about nuclear weapons, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Released on January 29, 1964, the film caused a good deal of controversy. Its plot suggested that a mentally deranged American general could order a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, without consulting the President. One reviewer described the film as “dangerous … an evil thing about an evil thing.” Another compared it to Soviet propaganda. Although “Strangelove” was clearly a farce, with the comedian Peter Sellers playing three roles, it was criticized for being implausible. An expert at the Institute for Strategic Studies called the events in the film “impossible on a dozen counts.” A former Deputy Secretary of Defense dismissed the idea that someone could authorize the use of a nuclear weapon without the President’s approval: “Nothing, in fact, could be further from the truth.” (See a compendium of clips from the film.) When “Fail-Safe”—a Hollywood thriller with a similar plot, directed by Sidney Lumet—opened, later that year, it was criticized in much the same way. “The incidents in ‘Fail-Safe’ are deliberate lies!” General Curtis LeMay, the Air Force chief of staff, said. “Nothing like that could happen.” The first casualty of every war is the truth—and the Cold War was no exception to that dictum. Half a century after Kubrick’s mad general, Jack D. Ripper, launched a nuclear strike on the Soviets to defend the purity of “our precious bodily fluids” from Communist subversion, we now know that American officers did indeed have the ability to start a Third World War on their own. And despite the introduction of rigorous safeguards in the years since then, the risk of an accidental or unauthorized nuclear detonation hasn’t been completely eliminated.
The command and control of nuclear weapons has long been plagued by an “always/never” dilemma. The administrative and technological systems that are necessary to insure that nuclear weapons are always available for use in wartime may be quite different from those necessary to guarantee that such weapons can never be used, without proper authorization, in peacetime. During the nineteen-fifties and sixties, the “always” in American war planning was given far greater precedence than the “never.” Through two terms in office, beginning in 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower struggled with this dilemma. He wanted to retain Presidential control of nuclear weapons while defending America and its allies from attack. But, in a crisis, those two goals might prove contradictory, raising all sorts of difficult questions. What if Soviet bombers were en route to the United States but the President somehow couldn’t be reached? What if Soviet tanks were rolling into West Germany but a communications breakdown prevented NATOofficers from contacting the White House? What if the President were killed during a surprise attack on Washington, D.C., along with the rest of the nation’s civilian leadership? Who would order a nuclear retaliation then?
With great reluctance, Eisenhower agreed to let American officers use their nuclear weapons, in an emergency, if there were no time or no means to contact the President. Air Force pilots were allowed to fire their nuclear anti-aircraft rockets to shoot down Soviet bombers heading toward the United States. And about half a dozen high-level American commanders were allowed to use far more powerful nuclear weapons, without contacting the White House first, when their forces were under attack and “the urgency of time and circumstances clearly does not permit a specific decision by the President, or other person empowered to act in his stead.” Eisenhower worried that providing that sort of authorization in advance could make it possible for someone to do “something foolish down the chain of command” and start an all-out nuclear war. But the alternative—allowing an attack on the United States to go unanswered or NATO forces to be overrun—seemed a lot worse. Aware that his decision might create public unease about who really controlled America’s nuclear arsenal, Eisenhower insisted that his delegation of Presidential authority be kept secret. At a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he confessed to being “very fearful of having written papers on this matter.”
President John F. Kennedy was surprised to learn, just a few weeks after taking office, about this secret delegation of power. “A subordinate commander faced with a substantial military action,” Kennedy was told in a top-secret memo, “could start the thermonuclear holocaust on his own initiative if he could not reach you.” Kennedy and his national-security advisers were shocked not only by the wide latitude given to American officers but also by the loose custody of the roughly three thousand American nuclear weapons stored in Europe. Few of the weapons had locks on them. Anyone who got hold of them could detonate them. And there was little to prevent NATO officers from Turkey, Holland, Italy, Great Britain, and Germany from using them without the approval of the United States.
In December, 1960, fifteen members of Congress serving on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy had toured NATO bases to investigate how American nuclear weapons were being deployed. They found that the weapons—some of them about a hundred times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima—were routinely guarded, transported, and handled by foreign military personnel. American control of the weapons was practically nonexistent. Harold Agnew, a Los Alamos physicist who accompanied the group, was especially concerned to see German pilots sitting in German planes that were decorated with Iron Crosses—and carrying American atomic bombs. Agnew, in his own words, “nearly wet his pants” when he realized that a lone American sentry with a rifle was all that prevented someone from taking off in one of those planes and bombing the Soviet Union.
* * *
The Kennedy Administration soon decided to put locking devices inside NATO’s nuclear weapons. The coded electromechanical switches, known as “permissive action links” (PALs), would be placed on the arming lines. The weapons would be inoperable without the proper code—and that code would be shared with NATO allies only when the White House was prepared to fight the Soviets. The American military didn’t like the idea of these coded switches, fearing that mechanical devices installed to improve weapon safety would diminish weapon reliability. A top-secret State Department memo summarized the view of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1961: “all is well with the atomic stockpile program and there is no need for any changes.”
After a crash program to develop the new control technology, during the mid-nineteen-sixties, permissive action links were finally placed inside most of the nuclear weapons deployed byNATO forces. But Kennedy’s directive applied only to the NATO arsenal. For years, the Air Force and the Navy blocked attempts to add coded switches to the weapons solely in their custody. During a national emergency, they argued, the consequences of not receiving the proper code from the White House might be disastrous. And locked weapons might play into the hands of Communist saboteurs. “The very existence of the lock capability,” a top Air Force general claimed, “would create a fail-disable potential for knowledgeable agents to ‘dud’ the entire Minuteman [missile] force.” The Joint Chiefs thought that strict military discipline was the best safeguard against an unauthorized nuclear strike. A two-man rule was instituted to make it more difficult for someone to use a nuclear weapon without permission. And a new screening program, the Human Reliability Program, was created to stop people with emotional, psychological, and substance-abuse problems from gaining access to nuclear weapons.
Despite public assurances that everything was fully under control, in the winter of 1964, while “Dr. Strangelove” was playing in theatres and being condemned as Soviet propaganda, there was nothing to prevent an American bomber crew or missile launch crew from using their weapons against the Soviets. Kubrick had researched the subject for years, consulted experts, and worked closely with a former R.A.F. pilot, Peter George, on the screenplay of the film. George’s novel about the risk of accidental nuclear war, “Red Alert,” was the source for most of “Strangelove” ’s plot. Unbeknownst to both Kubrick and George, a top official at the Department of Defense had already sent a copy of “Red Alert” to every member of the Pentagon’s Scientific Advisory Committee for Ballistic Missiles. At the Pentagon, the book was taken seriously as a cautionary tale about what might go wrong. Even Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara privately worried that an accident, a mistake, or a rogue American officer could start a nuclear war.
Coded switches to prevent the unauthorized use of nuclear weapons were finally added to the control systems of American missiles and bombers in the early nineteen-seventies. The Air Force was not pleased, and considered the new security measures to be an insult, a lack of confidence in its personnel. Although the Air Force now denies this claim, according to more than one source I contacted, the code necessary to launch a missile was set to be the same at every Minuteman site: 00000000.
* * *
The early permissive action links were rudimentary. Placed in NATO weapons during the nineteen-sixties and known as Category A PALs, the switches relied on a split four-digit code, with ten thousand possible combinations. If the United States went to war, two people would be necessary to unlock a nuclear weapon, each of them provided with half the code. Category APALs were useful mainly to delay unauthorized use, to buy time after a weapon had been taken or to thwart an individual psychotic hoping to cause a large explosion. A skilled technician could open a stolen weapon and unlock it within a few hours. Today’s Category D PALs, installed in the Air Force’s hydrogen bombs, are more sophisticated. They require a six-digit code, with a million possible combinations, and have a limited-try feature that disables a weapon when the wrong code is repeatedly entered.
The Air Force’s land-based Minuteman III missiles and the Navy’s submarine-based Trident II missiles now require an eight-digit code—which is no longer 00000000—in order to be launched. The Minuteman crews receive the code via underground cables or an aboveground radio antenna. Sending the launch code to submarines deep underwater presents a greater challenge. Trident submarines contain two safes. One holds the keys necessary to launch a missile; the other holds the combination to the safe with the keys; and the combination to the safe holding the combination must be transmitted to the sub by very-low-frequency or extremely-low-frequency radio. In a pinch, if Washington, D.C., has been destroyed and the launch code doesn’t arrive, the sub’s crew can open the safes with a blowtorch.
The security measures now used to control America’s nuclear weapons are a vast improvement over those of 1964. But, like all human endeavors, they are inherently flawed. The Department of Defense’s Personnel Reliability Program is supposed to keep people with serious emotional or psychological issues away from nuclear weapons—and yet two of the nation’s top nuclear commanders were recently removed from their posts. Neither appears to be the sort of calm, stable person you want with a finger on the button. In fact, their misbehavior seems straight out of “Strangelove.”
Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, the second-highest-ranking officer at the U.S. Strategic Command—the organization responsible for all of America’s nuclear forces—-was investigated last summer for allegedly using counterfeit gambling chips at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. According to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, “a significant monetary amount” of counterfeit chips was involved. Giardina was relieved of his command on October 3, 2013. A few days later, Major General Michael Carey, the Air Force commander in charge of America’s intercontinental ballistic missiles, was fired for conduct “unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.”According to a report by the Inspector General of the Air Force, Carey had consumed too much alcohol during an official trip to Russia, behaved rudely toward Russian officers, spent time with “suspect” young foreign women in Moscow, loudly discussed sensitive information in a public hotel lounge there, and drunkenly pleaded to get onstage and sing with a Beatles cover band at La Cantina, a Mexican restaurant near Red Square. Despite his requests, the band wouldn’t let Carey onstage to sing or to play the guitar.
While drinking beer in the executive lounge at Moscow’s Marriott Aurora during that visit, General Carey made an admission with serious public-policy implications. He off-handedly told a delegation of U.S. national-security officials that his missile-launch officers have the “worst morale in the Air Force.” Recent events suggest that may be true. In the spring of 2013, nineteen launch officers at Minot Air Force base in North Dakota were decertified for violating safety rules and poor discipline. In August, 2013, the entire missile wing at Malmstrom Air Force base in Montana failed its safety inspection. Last week, the Air Force revealed that thirty-four launch officers at Malmstrom had been decertified for cheating on proficiency exams—and that at least three launch officers are being investigated for illegal drug use. The findings of a report by the RAND Corporation, leaked to the A.P., were equally disturbing. The study found that the rates of spousal abuse and court martials among Air Force personnel with nuclear responsibilities are much higher than those among people with other jobs in the Air Force. “We don’t care if things go properly,” a launch officer told RAND. “We just don’t want to get in trouble.”
The most unlikely and absurd plot element in “Strangelove” is the existence of a Soviet “Doomsday Machine.” The device would trigger itself, automatically, if the Soviet Union were attacked with nuclear weapons. It was meant to be the ultimate deterrent, a threat to destroy the world in order to prevent an American nuclear strike. But the failure of the Soviets to tell the United States about the contraption defeats its purpose and, at the end of the film, inadvertently causes a nuclear Armageddon. “The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost,” Dr. Strangelove, the President’s science adviser, explains to the Soviet Ambassador, “if you keep it a secret!”
A decade after the release of “Strangelove,” the Soviet Union began work on the Perimeter system—-a network of sensors and computers that could allow junior military officials to launch missiles without oversight from the Soviet leadership. Perhaps nobody at the Kremlin had seen the film. Completed in 1985, the system was known as the Dead Hand. Once it was activated, Perimeter would order the launch of long-range missiles at the United States if it detected nuclear detonations on Soviet soil and Soviet leaders couldn’t be reached. Like the Doomsday Machine in “Strangelove,” Perimeter was kept secret from the United States; its existence was not revealed until years after the Cold War ended.
In retrospect, Kubrick’s black comedy provided a far more accurate description of the dangers inherent in nuclear command-and-control systems than the ones that the American people got from the White House, the Pentagon, and the mainstream media.
“This is absolute madness, Ambassador,” President Merkin Muffley says in the film, after being told about the Soviets’ automated retaliatory system. “Why should you build such a thing?” Fifty years later, that question remains unanswered, and “Strangelove” seems all the more brilliant, bleak, and terrifyingly on the mark.
You can read Eric Schlosser’s guide to the long-secret documents that help explain the risks America took with its nuclear arsenal, and watch and read his deconstruction of clips from “Dr. Strangelove” and from a little-seen film about permissive action links.
Eric Schlosser is the author of “Command and Control.”


Open letter concerning Sister Megan
Dear NDE Supporters,
Here is a wonderful letter concerning Sister Megan and written by John Amidon that NDE is supporting as an organization. Please consider signing on.
Thank you, 
Ming Lai & Laura-Marie Taylor
Council Members of Nevada Desert Experience
 December 24, 2013
 The Honorable Amul R. Thapar                                                                        
United States District Court
35 West Fifth Street
Covington, Kentucky 41011 

Dear Judge Thapar,
 By now I am sure you have received hundreds, if not thousands of letters supporting Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertrje-Obed prior to their sentencing. I know Megan Rice well; I consider her a good friend and a very good woman. I lived and worked with her at the Nevada Desert Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Nevada Desert Experience is an organization dedicated to the elimination of nuclear weapons.   

Megan, Michael and Greg are not saboteurs. Theirs was no act of sabotage. When you stated in court that the law written by Congress made no distinction between peace activists and terrorists, you rightly recognized they are peace activists.  

Megan, Michael and Greg risked their lives quite literally by standing in a free-fire zone––a courageous act––to bring attention to our desperate need to eliminate nuclear weapons. While nuclear weapons may be “legal,” they will never be moral. They kill all living things indiscriminately and cannot be used without inflicting harm on oneself as well as on a potential adversary. If we don’t accept our responsibility to rid ourselves of these weapons, each day brings us one day closer to the inevitable, be it an accident, a miscalculation, a mistake, or the madness of war. We need to honor and fulfill our legal obligations to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.  

The action taken by Megan, Michael and Greg was done from a commitment to nonviolence and from an allegiance to the future for our children and our planet, trying to insure that life will not be terminated by a nuclear war. I regret that some people are threatened by nonviolence. Yet nonviolence is about relationships, recognizing and loving “the other” rather than trying to kill him. It is about working out problems as mature adults without violence.  Violence engenders retaliation, whereas nonviolence offers to take on suffering. Evidence truly does suggest that with this suffering may come an inexplicable healing energy and reconciliation. 

What Megan, Michael and Greg did was extraordinary, a quiet, meditative walk to death’s door to bring clarity and understanding about issues we attempt to deny, and to soften our hearts to affirm life.  Their actions were an invitation to change our behavior––and a change is desperately needed concerning our nuclear weapons policy. For some, nuclear weapons seem to make sense in the short run, but offer only death in the long run.  

Megan, Michael and Greg chose through nonviolence to engage with power. And because of this, all of us have been called to self-examination. Tolstoy once said, “Everything I understand, I understand because I love.” Can love be a methodology for learning,  for opening doors to the human heart and mind, for transcending the fear and the violence that is so pervasive in our society? I pray so. Their engagement is the power of love, refusing to kill yet willing to die, stepping beyond fear toward a new psychology of openness, oneness and transformation. Hence their name, Transform Now Plowshares. Megan, Michael and Greg have stepped forward to lead the way.  

This letter too is written out of love, as I admire Megan’s commitment to peace: her willingness to sacrifice comfort and well-being and risk the remaining years of her life in prison to help us understand why we need to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Violence ends relationships, while nonviolence is their beginning point, especially when we consider the impact of nuclear weapons.  

Fate has given you a rare opportunity, which requires a special understanding of our connectedness and the ability to see ourselves in an authentic relationship with each other and the rest of life. I hope and pray you will understand the extraordinary service you can render to all of humanity and all living creatures by addressing the true issues of this case: nonviolence and the need to eliminate nuclear weapons. I understand there is nothing easy about any of this for you, but  hope you will discern the love and understanding that motivated these three, and allow this love to guide your forthcoming decision. Thank you. 

 John Amidon
 P.S. Please know because the issues discussed above are so critically important to all of us, this is an open letter.  
GRAPHIC: Roots Action logo header

GRAPHIC: Sign here button
On January 28, 2014, three nonviolent protesters against nuclear weapons, Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed, are scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee, for the supposed crime of sabotage.

They risked their lives, but threatened no one else, when they entered the free-fire zone of a supposedly top-security nuclear weapons facility called Y-2 in Tennessee. They spray painted messages of peace and exposed the lack of security.

Click here to tell the judge how such courageous activists should be sentenced.

In a separate case in Kansas City, nuclear weapons protesters were recently sentenced to write explanations of their concerns to be included in the court records. That seems far more appropriate than prison for people upholding the law and morality.

Since the 1963 limited test ban treaty, the United States has been committed to "the speediest possible achievement of an agreement on general and complete disarmament."

The law and morality demand disarmament, but those calling attention to the ongoing evil of nuclear weapons production and maintenance stand convicted and face the risk of 30 years behind bars.

Please sign this petition, which we will deliver to the judge before the sentencing.

Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends.

-- The team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.

P.P.S. This work is only possible with your financial support.

Washington Post: The Prophets of Oak Ridge
Daily News: Elderly Nun, 2 Other Protestors Found Guilty of Sabotage
Transform Now Plowshares
National Catholic Register: Trial Ends With Unusual Sentence

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Welcome to Action AWE!

January 3, 2013
By admin

Action AWE (Atomic Weapons Eradication) is a grassroots campaign of nonviolent actions dedicated to halting nuclear weapons production at the Atomic Weapons Establishment factories at Aldermaston  and Burghfield. The purpose is for groups and individuals to undertake autonomous actions and events from February 2013 onwards to raise awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons…


February 8, 2014
By admin
PRESS RELEASE 8 February 2014 ActionAWE/Angie Zelter 0745-658-8943 or Andrew Dey 0772 299 9015 or ACTION AWE “CRIMESTOPPERS” REPORT ATOMIC WEAPONS ESTABLISHMENT FOR PREPARING TO COMMIT WAR CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY   Reading, Berkshire, 8 February 2014:-   A line of 50 people queu…  GO TO  This group has much to teach us in original protest, courage, and persistence.  –Dick


Nuclear disarmament is linked to many vital issues, and we have commissioned short ‘linking essays’ from other individuals, organisations, and campaigns to make these links more explicit and to deepen our understanding of the bigger picture within which we are working.
Essays and articles which make the connections between nuclear weapons and the big issues impacting on the world today.



by Helen Caldicott  (Author)


[with Dick’s comments] WORK ON THIS

Dec. 19-23
Former basketball star Dennis Rodman returns to North Korea.
Jan. 2
U.S. Strategic Command reports to Congress on the underground tunnel network in China with respect to the capability of the United States to use conventional and nuclear forces to neutralize such tunnels and what is stored within such tunnels (Public Law 112-239, Sec. 1045).  [What other country  is formally discussing in the world
Jan. 4
6:00 p.m., Joseph Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund, book discussion ofNuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington.
Jan. 6
Senate convenes.
Jan. 7
House of Representatives convenes.
Jan. 7
Time TBA, Jeffrey Lewis, Marc Quint and Jon Wolfsthal, Monterey Institute, "The Trillion Dollar Nuclear Triad: US Strategic Nuclear Modernization over the Next Thirty Years." Monterey Institute, 1400 K St., NW, Washington.
Jan. 8
12:30-2:30 p.m., Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), report launch of the2014 NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index. At the Four Season Hotel, Dumbarton Room, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington. By invitation only.
Jan. 8
Jim Miller, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, leaves office.
Jan. 8
6:00 p.m., Joseph Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund; and Eric Schlosser, journalist and author, "Reducing the Nuclear Nightmare." Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market St., San Francisco, CA. Register online.
Jan. 10
House floor action on a Omnibus Appropriation/Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2014 (estimate). Broadcast and webcast onC-SPAN.
Jan. 13
Senate floor action on a Omnibus Appropriation/Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2014 (estimate). Broadcast and webcast onC-SPAN2.


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A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest

Nuclear Calendar

January 13, 2014

Jan. 13
Omnibus Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2014 is filed in the House of Representatives (tentative).
Jan. 13
2:00-3:00 p.m., Robin Wright, U.S. Institute of Peace, "A Report from Inside Iran." Sponsored by the Partnership for a Secure America. At SVC 203-02 Capitol Visitor Center, Washington. RSVP by email.
Week of Jan. 13
Senate floor vote on the nominations of Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz (retired) to be Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration (possible).
Jan. 14
House of Representatives floor action on a three-day Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2014, though Jan. 18. Broadcast and webcast on C-SPAN.
Jan. 14
7:30-8:30 p.m., Joseph Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund, book discussion of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late. Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle. Tickets are $5.
Jan. 14
20th anniversary of the Trilateral Agreement between Ukraine, Russia and United States under which Ukraine agreed to transfer all former Soviet strategic nuclear warheads to Russia for dismantlement.
Jan. 14
20th anniversary of the announcement by President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin that by the end of May 1993, no country would be targeted by missiles of the United States or Russia.
Jan. 15
2:00 p.m., Senate Foreign Relations Committee, markup of "A bill to authorize the President to extend the term of the nuclear energy agreement with the Republic of Korea until March 19, 2016," S. 1901. 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington. Webcast on thecommittee website.
Jan. 15
2:00 p.m., Senate Foreign Relations Committee, votes on nominations of the Puneet Talwar to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs, Rose Gottemoeller to be Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Frank Rose to be Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance, Adam Scheinman to be Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation, and other nominations. 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington. Webcast on the committee website.
Jan. 15
House of Representatives floor action on the Omnibus Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2014. Broadcast and webcast on C-SPAN.
Jan. 15
Senate floor action on a three-day Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2014, though Jan. 18 (estimate). Broadcast and webcast on C-SPAN2.
Jan. 15
Midnight, current Continuing Resolution for appropriations to fund the federal government expires.
Jan. 16
9:30 a.m., Senate Armed Services Committee, hearing on the nomination of Madelyn Creedon to be Principal Deputy Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration, and other nominations. G-50 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington. Webcast on the committee website.
Jan. 16
1:00-2:30 p.m., Rep. Jim Cooper (TN); Gen. Norton Schwartz, former Air Force Chief of Staff; and Richard Burt, former ambassador to Germany, "Benefit or Burden? The Future of U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons." Sponsored by the Stimson Center. At 2456 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington. RSVP online.
Jan. 16 or 17
Senate floor action on the Omnibus Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2014 (estimate). Broadcast and webcast on C-SPAN2.
Jan. 17
Noon-1:00 p.m., Richard Meserve, Carnegie Institution for Science; and Tom Moore, Center for Strategic and International Studies, "Overview on Nuclear Nonproliferation and National Security." Sponsored by the Foundation for Nuclear Studies. At 2325 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington. RSVP to Charles Wadelington byemail or at (202) 548 0021.
Jan. 17-26
House and Senate Martin Luther King Jr. recess. (Senate recess begins Jan. 18.)
Jan. 20
Interim, six-month agreement on Iran's nuclear program goes into effect.
Jan. 20
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (federal holiday).
Jan. 20
Conference on Disarmament first session for 2014 begins. Through March 28. Geneva.
Week of Jan. 20
Office of Management and Budget returns revised budgets, known as passbacks, to federal agencies for fiscal year 2015 (estimate).
Jan. 21
9:00 a.m.-noon, James Schoff, Toby Dalton, Go Myong-Hyun, Choi Kang, Park Jiyoung and Shin Chang-Hoon, "What Will 2014 Bring for North Korea’s Nuclear Program?" Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington. RSVP online.
Jan. 21
1:00 - 2:30 p.m., Luis Alfonso de Alba Gongora, Mexican delegate to International Organizations in Vienna; Alexander Kmentt, Austrian Director for Disarmament, Arms Control and Nonproliferation; and Elena Sokova, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation (VCDNP), "The Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons." VCDNP, Donau-City-Strasse 6, Andromeda Tower, Floor 13, Vienna. RSVPonline.
Jan. 22
10:00-11:00 a.m., Alireza Nader, RAND; Daryl Kimball, Arms Control Association; and Paul Pillar, Georgetown University, "Making Sense of Nuclear Negotiations with Iran: A Good Deal or a Bad Deal?" Sponsored by RAND. At 2168 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington. RSVP online.
Jan. 23
Noon-1:30 p.m., Avner Cohen, Monterey Institute, “Breaking Taboos: The Costs of Israel’s Strategic Ambiguity in a Changing Middle East.” National Defense University, Lincoln Hall, Room 1107, Fort McNair, Washington. RSVP to Nima Gerami by email.
Jan. 23-24
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – Germany, "Berlin Sessions 2014." Umspannwerk Kreuzberg, Ohlauer Strasse 43, Berlin.
Jan. 24
9:00-10:30 a.m., Manpreet Sethi, Centre for Air Power Studies, "India's Nuclear Challenges." Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington. RSVP by email.
Jan. 27
7:00 p.m., Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, "Third Annual Day of Remembrance for Downwinders." At Christ United Methodist Church, 2375 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City.
Jan. 27
Week of Jan. 27 or Feb.
House of Representatives floor action on an Iran sanctions bill (tentative).
Week of Jan. 27 or Feb.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, hearing on the nomination of Robert Wood to be Representative to the Conference on Disarmament (estimate). 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington. Webcast on the committee website.

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© 2011 Friends Committee on National Legislation, 245 Second Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 | 202-547-6000 |
The editor is David Culp. The publication is made possible by generous contributions from the Lippincott Foundation, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Ploughshares Fund, and anonymous foundation, and the individual contributors and supporters of the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the FCNL Education Fund.

Contents of #14  August 14, 2012
Video Underground:  Hydrogen Bomb Testing in Marshall Islands
Chomsky, US/SU Nuclear Confrontation at Cuba
From the Nuclear Abolitionist
Annual Desert Protest
Resisters Receive New Felony Charges

Contents of #15
Protesters Arrested, Sign Petition
Plutonium Cores Project Stopped
India’s Tests
Mayors vs. Nukes
Uranium Mines
The Nuclear Resister (Sept. 3, 2012)
Nevada Desert Experience (NDE)
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF)

Contents #16
Disarmament Video Contest
The Nuclear Resister (March 17, 2013)
WAND, End the MOX Program
Sign Declaration Against Nuclear Deterrence
Eiger, Actions Arguments Against Nuclear Weapons
Chomsky, Nuclear War Threats
Chomsky’s New Book, Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe
Green, Consequences of Nuclear Attack

Contents #17
Damascus, Arkansas Nuclear Explosion
Nuclear War: What It Might Be Like
Schillinger, Novel Envisions Manhattan After Nuclear Blast
Opposition to Nuclear Weapons, Abolition Movement
Pope Francis for Abolition
Joseph Rotblat, Opponent of Nuclear Weapons
Past Nuclear Close Calls
Thirteen Days, Year 2000 Film About Cuban Missile Crisis
Contact President Obama


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