Anti-strategic Silo Codes
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By etrigan - Last updated: Thursday, November 10, 2005 - Save & Share - One Comment

“This”:http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=167#more-167 is for jank:

bq. America’s gaggle of “Minuteman” long-range nuclear missiles went on line for the first time during the Cuban missile crisis in 1960. But the world was supposedly protected from mutual assured destruction by the “Permissive Action Links” (PALs) which required an 8-digit combination in order to launch. … For seventeen years, during the height of the nuclear crises of the Cold War, the code remained all zeros, and was even printed in each silo’s launch checklist for all to see. The codes remained this way up until 1977, when the service was pressed into activating the McNamara locks with real launch codes in place.

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One Response to “Anti-strategic Silo Codes”

Comment from jank
Time November 10, 2005 at 2:41 pm

Rock on.

Notice, if you will, that the locks were activated to correlate with Carter’s inauguration… Notice, also, that these were Air Force bubbas, too. Another reason why the heavy iron belongs at sea…

Why, though, was this for me?

I haven’t had time to RTFA, but one thing does nag at me. The author says “the world was supposedly protected from mutual assured destruction by the “Permissive Action Links” (PALs)”. The PAL wasn’t to prevent MAD; it was to prevent a lone actor from launching.

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