ROGUE BILLIONAIRES, NUKES, AND FOOTBALL
As most regular readers here know, throughout the week as I receive email articles from readers of this site, sending in articles that they think might be of interest, I do a "presort" of the emails everyday, glancing them over to get an idea of what the article is about, and slotting them for the "big sort" on Sundays, when I sit down to go through the emails that made it into what I call the "finals folder." These I go through again to see if there's any "trend" to follow up on, which for our informal purposes here, I define as three or more people sending articles about the same story. Some weeks we have a flood of those, other weeks - like this one - are more dispersed, and it's those weeks that often turn up the "nugget" stories, those little knots of gold hiding on the back pages of newspapers or magazines, or on the obscure website. So as the world grinds on politically, geopolitically, and financially, our focus this week is going to be on some unusual things. The majority of those things will be about emerging technological capabilities or ideas, but tocay's feature, coming from E.E. (to whom we are grateful for this find), is about a strange scenario, and the headline will explain it all:
What's in the article is even juicier than the headline, and as one might expect, the article has my high octane speculation motor in overdrive with afterburners. The first thing we're told right out the gate is that the Pentagram studied the idea of rogue billionaires building their own nuclear weapons, and that it was a study that the Wall Street Journal was made aware of five years ago, during the Administration of Orange Man Bad. You'll recall that upon the (s)election of Bai Den Dzhao by the overwhelming majority of ballot stuffers, there was talk being floated by the Speakerette of the House of Misrepresentatives, Ms. Nancy P.. that the U.S. should consider turning the country's nuclear football over to a committee, so that the rogue billionaire Orange Man Bad would not use it to start a nuclear war. Of course, at the time I thought that Speakerette Pelosi was more concerned about the mental and moral condition of Bai Den Dzhao than she was about Orange Man Bad, but wasn't saying so publicly for perfectly understandable political and hypocritical reasons. If I were the cabal behind all the shenanigans we've seen during that (s)election and since, I wouldn't want him anywhere near the nuclear football either. Hopefully his masters in Beijing have continued to pay him well with the reminder "do not push the little red button in the briefcase."
That apparently got the guys and gals at the Diabolically Apocalyptic Research Projects Agency (DARPA) thinking the unthinkable (which is their job): what if Orange Man Bad already had developed his own nukes?
Ifirst learned of a secretive Pentagon-funded study about rogue nuclear entrepreneurs more than five years ago from Stephen Lukasik, a former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
We were talking about the Office of Net Assessment, the long-term analysis division of the Pentagon, famous in Washington policy circles for its predictions about the Soviet Union’s military capabilities and then later China’s rise. Lukasik mentioned that he had led several studies for the office, including one that looked at whether a private company or wealthy entrepreneur could produce nuclear weapons.
“We worked out what a private organization would do if it wanted to build and sell nuclear weapons,” Lukasik told me. “It turned out to be a fairly profitable business.”
Intrigued, I asked if he would share a copy. A few days later Lukasik, whom I had known for two decades, sent me all four volumes of the study, which was completed in 2013. The report laid out in exquisite detail, including staffing levels and cash flow projections, how such an enterprise could operate.
It would take as little as a billion dollars’ investment and five years to produce the first bomb, the study concluded.
Now you'll note that the whole premise here is that the rogue billionaire is doing this for fun and profit. It's an arms business, nothing more. One can even imagine the what the automated phone answering service sounds like: "Welcome to Trumnuke Weapons Bazaar and Luxury Resort Hotel. For Tactical Nuclear weapons, press one. For Strategic Nuclear Weapons, press two. For Isomer Bombs, please press three. For Red Mercury Bombs, please press four. For hotel and Casino reservations, please press five. (You press two). For strategic weapons in the 100 to 200 kiloton range, press one. For strategic weapons in the 200 kiloton to half megaton range, press two. For warheads with greater yields, please stay on the line, and a design specialist will be with you shortly." (Cue soothing music.)
The article even outlines how relatively easy it would be to do, merely by compartmentalizing the manufacture among several corporations all held by the same corporate master. For those who've studied the West German nuclear program of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the DARPA recipe was followed almost to the letter:
The report read like background notes for an airport thriller: A Bond-villain-like corporation would set up shop as a legitimate business, managing a series of nominally independent subsidiaries responsible for different parts of weapons production in locations around the world. One company, for example, would be responsible for designing the centrifuges; another would produce the highly enriched uranium; a third would do the chemical processing. A company could even work directly with a rogue nuclear power. “Would our hypothesized enterprise ever go into partnership with North Korea? Or perhaps with Iran?” the report asks.
Needless to say, all this is nuclear fuel for today's high octane speculation. Making nuclear weapons for the use of "non-state actors" is a scenario that I think is increasingly plausible, since the postwar world is full of such non-state actors, from my hypothesized "Nazi" or "Fascist International" to the World Economic Forum (if, indeed, the two entities are indeed distinct... the jury is deliberating on that one, but having it headed by der Hochklaus Freiherr von Blohschwab und Bloviation is not helping its image). One might indeed envision such an entity with facilties spread out over the planet under a web of corporations, but each part of the web controlled by a much larger and hidden coordinating body. Or one could simply buy nukes outright from a nuclear power willing to sell them, and do so via a similar network. Indeed, you might recall that during the 1990s, there were a number of such stories of this or that non-state actor group attempting to buy so-called "red mercury", a substance supposedly originating from the Soviet Union, and which supposedly enabled the production of thermonuclear weapons without the need for an a-bomb as the "fuse." Most nuclear experts at the time were extremely skeptical that such a substance existed, and most still are, the lone exception back then being Sam Cohen, inventor of the neutron bomb.
What intrigues me about this article, however, is the timing. After all, the Pentagram-DARPA study was done over a decade ago and first surfaced to the Wall Street Journal's reporter's attention five years ago, during the Administration of Orange Man Bad, which leads to the reasonable conclusion that the guys and gals at the Diabolically Apocalyptic Research Projects Agency were afraid that he might go off the "insurrection" script and launch a nuclear war. So here we are again, with Orange Man Bad leading in most political polls, and the nuclear story is being trotted out again.
So where's the high octane speculation using afterburners? What if, behind the rhetoric, they are afraid of something else? What if "they" are afraid, not of "rogue billionaires" but of "fed up billionaires"? And additionally, what if they're afraid of a lot of "fed up people" who are represented by a lot of fed up billionaires? Orange Man Bad isn't the only fed up billionaire out there. There are some others, and some of them have even had the temerity to question the likes of Baal Gates or der Hochklaus. And who said they are restricted to non-state actors? What about non-federal but still state actors? The old Tom Lehrer song Who's Next quips that with the nuclear proliferation of the 1960s, it was only a matter of time before Alabama got the bomb. Nuclear weapons are, after all, the great levellers in more ways than one. They enable their possessor, no matter how small or insignificant a player on the world stage by other measures, to have influence. Having "rogue billionaires" out there with "rogue nukes" is a handy bit of meme preparation if you want to create a false flag and demonize an entire group of people. It's even handier if you intend to demonize state governors for defying federal policies because they're (justifiably) fed up.
But I also rather suspect that DARPA has moved beyond rogue nukes in the hands of rogue billionaires or stubborn governors. Nukes are just too dangerous, expensive, and so on. The newest trend is rogue billionaires with their own independent space launch capabilities, able to place satellites into orbit, satellites that just might include things like tungsten rods to drop on targets from space. There's a lot of "upset" people out there because Mr. Globaloney has overplayed his hand, doubtless at least in part to forestall precisely such scenarios. But in fastening crazy policies on the planet, in clamping total surveillance on everyone, in trying to force everyone to "go cashless", eat bugs, and accept all his narratives or be penalized, he has created the very anger, frustration, and the scenarios outlined here. Back in the 1990s, President Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen warned that these new and exotic types of weapons were already in the hands of non-state actors. Rogue nukes in the hands of rogue billionaires?
We've already moved way beyond that...
See you on the flip side...
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