Thursday, September 29, 2016

It was *that* close

I'm not sure what I find more disturbing about this article.

That it really did boil down to one man's decision (who was not the president) to *not* launch nuclear weapons.

That I didn't know this. A deficiency in reporting, or a deficiency in my education and attention?

That the tone of the article is, "Did you know that once there was such a thing as the 'Cuban Missile Crisis'?"


Anonymous Lawrence King said...

According to one of the sources for the Wikipedia article, this story didn't become public until sometime after 1998. Like you, I had never heard of it until now.

I wonder how many among even educated readers will notice the titles of the three officers -- the captain, the first officer, and the "political officer". Every navy has the first two ranks. But the concept of the "political officer" (also known as "political commissar") was Trotsky's ingenious invention: a Communist Party loyalist whose job is to watch all the regular officers and make sure they are loyal to the Soviet Union's Marxist-Leninist ideology. During the Russian Civil War, their primary job was to shoot troops that weren't fighting with enough revolutionary vigor.

Wikipedia says it happened again in 1983.

11:23 PM, October 04, 2016  

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