Proposal: keep the nuclear launch codes in an innocent volunteer's chest-cavity


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Screw that idea. Put the codes in the chest cavity of the president so that if s/he decided to deploy Armageddon, someone would have to hack the codes out.


#3

Better yet…never give the President the launch codes.

Or anyone.

If we need to put up a front, we give them fake ones and don’t tell them.

The moment we use a nuclear weapon is the moment we’ve lost.


#4

Course, in practice this would just lead to a further John-Wayneification of politics, so that only Putin-style tough guys willing to cut out someone’s heart could get elected.


#5

Trump’s ratings would go even higher if he said he was willing to hack out the chest of an innocent person in order to incinerate the Middle East.


#6

Most politicians would hack the head off their own mother with a rusty spoon if they found it expedient.


#7

Given the tendency to treat the president as a high-value asset, that would probably just mean that some lucky interventional radiologist becomes the de-facto Armageddon button pusher.

It’s a great thought experiment, and a fun demonstration of how ‘rational’ moral discourse is more or less hilariously irrelevant compared to visceral responses for or against things; but medical technology is such that you could probably safely recover the code capsule from just about any location where it could be safely implanted and stored.


#8

Seems to me this would only work if the Russians (or whoever our enemy is) were also willing to do it, and then comes the matter of trusting them to do it. Of course the hawks will always insist the Russians haven’t actually implanted the codes, so then we must also claim we’ve implanted the codes when we actually haven’t, and we’re back to square one.


#9

I reckon one likely scenario is that the innocent volunteer might panic and flee – and the kind of volunteer who wouldn’t panic and flee would be the sort of person you might particularly want to have around in the situation where one might be using the codes.


#10

Mola Ram will win by a land slide.


#11

How about “before the President can launch a nuclear attack he must first defeat a supercomputer at a game of tic-tac-toe.”


#12

This just comes to mind…

(Schlock Mercenary, July 5, 2005)


#13

Downside: if anything had happened to George W. Bush during his Presidency, Cheney might have been tempted to start a nuclear war just so he’d have an excuse to rip open a young man’s chest cavity and help himself to that healthy, still-beating heart.


#14

Launch drills would be a bitch. I see them using something like a CPR dummy for practice.


#15

Forget implanting it in a volunteer, put it in the president’s kid.

Better yet, split the code into components, and stick one in each of the joint chiefs’ kids. In fact, maybe we should do that with any orders to go to war.

Because if it’s not worth your own kids’ lives, maybe it’s not worth sending other peoples’.


#16

Or at least his own hand. Choppily-chop.

You wanna start a war? You’re gonna be the first to lose a limb.


#17

I read this in a SF short story circa thirty years ago, probably in F&SF. It was set in a post-apocalyptic land, with warring and fearful tribes, and a travelling group of nuke salespeople were going from tribe to tribe equipping them with the Bomb, not revealing until the end of the transaction that the trigger device would be sewn into the innards of the chief’s adorable child. I assume the story I read was based on the 1981 article.


#18

The moment we use a nuclear weapon (again) is the moment we’ve lost.
FTFY


#19

Came here to say exactly that - lol


#20

Put the codes in a large suppository that needs to be reinserted daily.