Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can’t imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?
His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else.
Now maybe there is an innocent explanation for this? I can’t think of one. What is certain is that the pilots of this plane did not just make a last minute decision to strap on some nukes and take them for a joy ride. We need some tough questions and clear answers. What the hell is going on? Did someone at Barksdale try to indirectly warn the American people that the Bush Administration is staging nukes for Iran? I don’t know, but it is a question worth asking.
I still think it was just a really inexcusable mistake, but there are some very odd aspects of this story. I would assume that a lot of people would have to sign off on anything involving transport of nuclear warheads. And we're meant to believe that everyone along the chain messed up the authorization for this? The other thing is that we only know about this story because of three individuals in the military who leaked the information to The Army Times. Surely those responsible wouldn't have gone public on their own choice. Who were the whistleblowers and what was their motivation? Simply to point out incompetence and oversight, or were they worried about something much larger?
Like I said, I'm skeptical of Johnson's points, and he takes it as a given that the warheads were meant to travel to Barksdale. But at the same time it's very difficult to see how this could happen as an accident.