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Oh, lovely... - Grin with cat attached
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Oh, lovely... Nov. 15th, 2007 09:49 pm
Newsnight has discovered that until the early days of the Blair government the RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/7097101.stm

From: envoy
Date: November 15th, 2007 - 09:57 pm (Link)
That style of lock looks terrifyingly close to the kryptonite-style lock, you know the one that could be picked with a bic pen?
From: flewellyn
Date: November 15th, 2007 - 10:05 pm (Link)
They could at least have used one of these...
From: hairyears
Date: November 16th, 2007 - 12:13 am (Link)
Damn you.

I'd almost gotten over my ThinkGeek habit.
From: flewellyn
Date: November 16th, 2007 - 12:18 am (Link)
Given that your name is "HairyEars", might that be a ThinkGeek hobbit?

What's all this about strawberry bath oil?

From: hairyears
Date: November 16th, 2007 - 12:38 am (Link)
It's Hairy Ears, not Hairy Toes... No, wait.
From: davefish
Date: November 15th, 2007 - 10:17 pm (Link)
RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key.

Safe from Nuclear Armageddon as long as that one specific person doesn't want to pootle off for a ride around the countryside.
From: deliberateblank
Date: November 16th, 2007 - 12:41 am (Link)
Nyeees.

The US politicals demanded a method to deny activation of a US nuclear bomb by unauthorised persons or powers and so was designed in the Permissize Action Link, a combination code that unless entered would not allow the bomb to be activated.

The actual military however disagreed on principal with a weapon they could not fire if they needed to, so set the combination to all-zeroes. A fact that was hidden from the politicos for years - they remained happy in the knowledge that a code (however insecure) was required to activate the weapons.

Of course the fact that all such weapons would have had a *huge* number of beefy men carrying huge guns wandering around the grounds was of great relief to the military command, but of little consolation to the politicians or the masses.