Tag Archives | Cold War

The Emergency Broadcast False Alarm of 1971

 Via Things Magazine, sometimes, behind everything lies confusion:

The False Alarm of 1971 was an accidental triggering of the USA-wide Emergency Broadcast System, ‘an expeditious method of communicating with the American public in the event of war, threat of war, or grave national crisis.’ A detailed description of the event is chronicled here, the great accidental test broadcast of 1971, complete with a scan of one of the most ominous documents to ever be received by a Teletype machine:

THIS IS AN EMERGENCY ACTION NOTIFICATION (EAN) DIRECTED BY THE PRESIDENT. NORMAL BROADCASTING WILL CEASE IMMEDIATELY. ALL STATIONS WILL BROADCAST EAN MESSAGE ONE PRECEDED BY THE ATTENTION SIGNAL, PER FCC RULES.

The fault originated from the heart of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado and involved the accidental inclusion of a real code word – ‘hatefulness’ – on a test transmission of the Emergency Broadcast System. As one broadcaster reportedly said, “This confusion ‘shows the whole darn (system) won’t work.

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The Last Soviet Moon Lander Discovered Water on the Moon in 1976

Moon Landing MapCold War politics. Via the Technology Review's Physics arXiv Blog:
The last Soviet mission to the moon, Luna-24, returned to Earth with water-rich rocks from beneath the lunar surface. But the West ignored the result. The possibility of water on the moon has excited scientists and science fiction fans for decades. If we ever decide to maintain a human presence on the moon, clear evidence of water will be an important factor in the decision. In recent years, that evidence has begun to mount. The data comes from several sources. First there was the pioneering Clementine mission in 1994, America's first return to the moon in twenty years. Clementine looked for water by bouncing radio waves off the surface—the returns giving a strong indication that water ice must lie beneath the surface...
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1966 Personal And Family Survival Guide

Convert you snack bar into a fallout shelter by lowering a false ceiling. Deck out your patio area with a barrier for both fallout protection and privacy for lounging and cookouts. These and more glamorous tips in a 1966 government manual life guide that combined nuclear apocalypticism with suburban living. Via They Kept Everything:

Family Fallout

This handbook is provided to familiarize householders with the overall Civil Defense Program. Those interested in enrolling in the course, “Personal and Family Survival,” should contact their local Civil Defense Director for details.

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#NoNATO: Breaking The Cycle And Building A Better World

Truman Signing North Atlantic Treaty

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, DC on 4 April 1949.

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

After assuming command of NATO in 1950, then General Eisenhower said “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.” The Cold War is over. NATO has long outlived its original purpose.The old system of alliances does little to do to protect sovereign nations, and instead gives more ability to industrialized, wealthier nations to exploit weaker States. Even NATO actions that are done under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” often have catastrophic consequences for the local population. As so many of these interventions have included bombing campaigns, civilian casualties are high. Often, NATO forces have used weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions, including depleted uranium and cluster bombs. Both of these weapons have long lasting and disastrous consequences for a local civilian population long after combat ends and forces withdraw.… Read the rest

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CIA Allowed to Sustain Cover-Up of the Full ‘Bay of Pigs’ History

Bay of PigsVia the National Security Archive at George Washington University:

More than year after the National Security Archive sued the CIA to declassify the full “Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation,” a U.S. District Court judge today sided with the Agency’s efforts to keep the last volume of the report secret in perpetuity. In her ruling, Judge Gladys Kessler accepted the CIA’s legal arguments that, because Volume V was a “draft” and never officially approved for inclusion in the Agency’s official history, it was exempt from declassification under the “deliberative process privilege” despite having been written over 30 years ago.

The National Security Archive called the decision “a regrettable blow to the right-to-know” and vowed to press the Obama administration to force the CIA to adhere to the President’s Executive Order 13526 that “no information shall remain classified indefinitely.”

The volume, titled “CIA’s Internal Investigations of the Bay of Pigs Operations,” was written by CIA historian Jack Pfeiffer in 1981.

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Muscles, Fire, Guns, the New Frontier and Inner City Savages! The Mythology of Eighties’ Action Films

Missing In ActionJimi Thaule writes on Modern Mythology, a retrospective, reflecting on what is to come:

“We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!” —Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, Apocalypse Now

The eighties was the last decade of the Cold War, a decade dominated by the presidency of Ronald Reagan and his second term vice president George Bush – elected as Reagan’s successor in 1988. Another significant feature of the decade was the American action film, which had its golden age in the eighties and nearly died out once the Cold War ended.

As the nineties and the Clinton years progressed action films were reduced to action comedies, and only recently have we seen a resurgence of the type of action films we saw in the eighties – in particular with Stallone’s tribute film The Expendables and its anticipated sequel.

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Exploding H-Bombs In Space: Operation Starfish Prime

Starfish PrimeIt was hypothesized at the time, the radiation might provide a defensive shield above the U.S. against Soviet nukes, but aside from the light show, it ended up frying many of our satellites. The radiation took 10 years to dissipate, which made study of our natural radiation belts, the Van Allen belts, problematic during that period. Wikipedia has a good article explaining the test and NPR has a good article and video about it from a few years ago:
Back in the summer of 1962, the U.S. blew up a hydrogen bomb in outer space, some 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean. It was a weapons test, but one that created a man-made light show that has never been equaled — and hopefully never will:
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The United States Under Permanent State Of Emergency

Did you know that we in the U.S. are living under the gravest of danger, like, always? Via Parapolitical:

Due to a variety of crises, the United States has been in an almost continuous State of Emergency since 1941.

A declaration of emergency allows the President to exercise any of approximately 500 powers contingently delegated to him by Congress, from the dramatic – such as the seizure of ships in port (50 USC § 191) – to the mundane – such as the waiver of vehicle weight limits on a section of I-95 in Maine (23 USC § 127).

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Media Roots Radio: Nuclear Weapons & Fear, Iran War Drum Propaganda, Party Loyalists

Via Media Roots: Abby and Robbie Martin discuss nuclear weapons: living in a perpetual Cold War mentality, MAD, stockpiling, labs and mismanagement, how nuclear fear and control underpin US imperialism; the manufactured GOP debate on contraception as a distraction from real issues; Obama's drone warfare and domestic drone surveillance; the complacency of party loyalists and their approval of Obama's continuation of Bush policies; Iran war propaganda: the political establishment and corporate press trumping up the war drum to instill fear and justify pre-emptive warfare against Iran and Syria.
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