Eight Generals Disciplined in Nuke Case
The decision to punish eight Air Force and Army generals for mistakenly shipping fuses for nuclear warheads to Taiwan is the latest blot on the country's system of tending its nuclear arsenal.
The eight generals, ranging in rank from one to three stars, and nine other officers faced a variety of disciplinary actions, including letters of reprimand, The Associated Press reports. The incident occurred in 2006 but did not become public until March.
One Pentagon official told The Post's Ann Scott Tyson that the punishments were "extensive and severe," and that they could spell the end of careers or dim chances at promotions.
In June, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates forced out Gen. Michael Moseley, the former Air Force chief of staff, and ex-Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, blaming them for the Taiwan incident and another episode involving live warheads.
In that case, a crew of U.S. airmen mistakenly transported six live nukes from North Dakota's Minot Air force Base to a Louisiana air base. The event triggered a rare "Bent Spear" incident report that enraged Pentagon leaders and sparked new questions about nuclear safety.
The disciplined generals are expected to be named today, reports Military.com, but other Air Force officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, were skeptical about the thoroughness of a report detailing the Taiwan incident, saying "there is clearly concern that the Air Force has rushed to judgment in an effort to put the nuclear mess behind it."
By Derek Kravitz |
September 25, 2008; 10:44 AM ET
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Posted by: Bill | September 26, 2008 12:03 AM