Senators express concerns over checks and balances for US-launched nuclear attack

15 November, 2017, 03:31 | Author: Benny Bass
  • Protesters clash with anti-riot police officers as they try to march towards the US embassy in Manila Philippines

Amid growing anxiety that President Donald Trump's heated rhetoric could trigger a war with North Korea, lawmakers on Tuesday debated for the first time in 40 years a USA president's authority to launch a nuclear strike.

"And the decision to use nuclear weapons is the most consequential of all".

Feaver, who served as a security adviser under President George W. Bush, appeared before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was holding a hearing on the Presidential "Authority to Order the Use of Nuclear Weapons". Under current rules, a president could launch a nuclear strike by entering codes into a device known as "the football" - a briefcase that always travels with the president - and is not obligated to consult other government officials.

"Once that order is given and verified, there is no way to revoke it", said the committee's chairman, Senator Bob Corker, who described the hearing as the first since 1976 to focus on presidential authority over nuclear weapons.

Corker told reporters Tuesday his committee will also soon address the president's authority to terminate agreements with other countries - a subject with particular relevance for the future of the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has decried as "an embarrassment", refusing to certify last month that Tehran was in compliance with its terms.

Mr Trump has recently been taunting North Korea and vowed to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on the rogue nation if its nuclear armament program was not pulled back. And days after calling on Kim to enter peaceful negotiations, he spoke before South Korea's parliament and listed a litany of alleged human rights abuses against the North Korean leader, calling him a "deranged tyrant" presiding over a "cult".

The escalating war of words has alarmed U.S. lawmakers.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., still likened the process to simple technology.

"I think hard cases make bad law, and I think if we were to change the decision-making process in some way because of a distrust of this president, I think that would be an unfortunate precedent", said Brian Mckeon, former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy during the Obama administration.

Cardin doubled down on his questioning of Kehler asking, "If you believe that this did not meet the legal test of proportionality, even if ordered by the president of the United States to use a nuclear first strike, you believe that because of legalities you retain that decision to disobey?"

Retired Gen. Robert Kehler, who previously headed the U.S.'s command that would be in charge of the nuclear arsenal during a war, said while the US military is obligated to follow legal orders, it is not duty bound to adhere to illegal ones.

"The U.S. military doesn't blindly follow orders", Kehler said in his opening remarks.

Trump has repeatedly made public statements aimed at foreign leaders, particularly North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom Trump has named "rocket man".

Kehler acknowledged, however, should the military reject a nuclear strike order that would result in a "very hard conversation".

"I don't know", Kehler admitted, to nervous chuckles in the chamber.

Recommended:

  • Rose McGowan arrested for possession of cocaine

    Rose McGowan arrested for possession of cocaine

    Actress Rose McGowan was arrested on a felony cocaine possession charge in Virginia on Tuesday, authorities said. She was subsequently released on $5,000 unsecured bond, police officials said.
    Is Superman in Justice League?

    Is Superman in Justice League?

    To celebrate the film's release BT TV Store has a Justice League Sale featuring classic films and TV series from the DC Universe . After years (and in some case, decades) of fan anticipation, Justice League is finally hitting the big screen.
    Jon Stewart responds to Louis CK sexual misconduct scandal

    Jon Stewart responds to Louis CK sexual misconduct scandal

    During his short street interview, Stewart repeatedly focused on women being the sole victims of rampant sexual abuse in Hollywood.
  • Byron Maxwell signs one-year deal with Seahawks

    Byron Maxwell signs one-year deal with Seahawks

    He signed as a free agent with the Eagles in 2015 and was traded a year later to Miami, where he started 13 games in 2016. To fill Prosise's roster spot, the Seahawks signed back Mike Davis from its practice squad.
    Diamondbacks' Lovullo picked as NL Manager of the Year

    Diamondbacks' Lovullo picked as NL Manager of the Year

    Molitor, who was elected to the Hall of Fame as a player in 2004, is the second Hall of Famer to be named Manager of the Year. The Cleveland Indians' Terry Francona, the 2016 victor , was the runner-up with 11 first-place votes.
    The old £10 note will go out of circulation in March 2018

    The old £10 note will go out of circulation in March 2018

    Now, the Bank of England has confirmed that from March 1 2018, the old note will no longer be accepted as payment. The Bank of England argues that these notes are much harder to counterfeit and last longer than paper notes.
  • Faster Firefox Quantum browser is now available

    Faster Firefox Quantum browser is now available

    But it lost momentum as Google Chrome, which is the leading USA browser on desktops , gained new users. This will be the case if you are located in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and also Hong Kong.
    Islamic Jihad vow to 'punish occupier' following Israel's revenge-plot warning

    Islamic Jihad vow to 'punish occupier' following Israel's revenge-plot warning

    In a vow to respond with equal measure, Islamic Jihad urged "Israel's threats don't scare us". Since 2008, Israel has launched three offensives on the Gaza Strip.
    Netanyahu says to continue military operation in Syria

    Netanyahu says to continue military operation in Syria

    According to reports, the new ceasefire agreement would allow for Iranian troops to remain some 5 kilometers from Israel's border. Israel has largely stayed out of the war but has struck suspected weapon convoys to Hezbollah.
  • Amazon announces Lord Of The Rings multi-season TV series

    Amazon announces Lord Of The Rings multi-season TV series

    News of an upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series has been confirmed, exciting all "Ringers" and "Tolkeinheads" around the world. Tolkien fans are probably rejoicing, it could be a risk for the corporate goliath.
    Rescue efforts end after deadly Iran quake

    Rescue efforts end after deadly Iran quake

    The 7.3-magnitude natural disaster struck villages and towns in the mountainous area of Kermanshah province that borders Iraq. The quake killed at least 432 dead in Iran, all in Kermanshah province, and eight in Iraq.
    Thieves dig 25-foot tunnel into bank

    Thieves dig 25-foot tunnel into bank

    The robbery is believed to have taken place at a branch of Bank of Baroda in the Juninagar area near Navi Mumbai early Sunday. Patil said, "As of now, we have spoken to around five customers, who have lost valuables worth around Rs. 7 lakh".


Popular

Ben Affleck Reveals The Reason He Decided To Play Batman
Abrams, Ben Affleck , Matt Damon and more teamed up to adapt Kimmel's childhood comic book into a fake movie trailer. F**k Kimmel!" It emerged on his show that as a prepubescent kid, he wrote a comic called The Terrific Ten .

Sock topples Cilic to boost semi-final hopes
Jack Sock mounted a spirited fightback to claim a first ATP World Tour Finals victory that leaves Marin Cilic facing an early exit.

Congresswomen accuse two USA lawmakers of sexual harassment
She dropped a bombshell allegation in her testimony, saying that two active members of Congress are known to be sexual harassers. Last week the Senate passed a measure requiring harassment training for senators and congressional aides.

OnePlus phones sold with root exploit backdoor
Following the allegations, OnePlus took some steps, and added the new "opt-in" option for the user experience program. The app is called EngineerMode and it is preinstalled on the OnePlus 3 , 3T and 5.

Michael Ball suggests the only Everton managerial candidate who excites him
Paul Joyce of the Times has this afternoon revealed the financial details of Everton's offer to Watford for manager Marco Silva . Silva wants the chance to talk to Everton, but does not have a release clause in the two-year deal he signed over the summer.