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Nuclear Warning Lights

The political world has been turned upside down in the last few days since Trump's Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida was raided by 30 FBI agents attempting to reclaim classified documents. According to the agency, Trump had not only failed to turn over these highly classified documents after repeated requests and subpoenas, but he and his lawyers signed documents asserting all such documents had already been given back. For his part, Trump quickly vacillated between denial that the evidence was there, to suggesting it had been planted by the FBI, to claiming that anything found/planted by the FBI had been declassified by him already. Unsurprisingly, the GOP and conservative media by and large, have dutifully gone along with Trump’s ever-shifting claims, raising calls of a political witch-hunt, and for the disbanding of the FBI due to its “far-left” proclivities, a truly amazing claim about an agency only ever led by Republicans throughout its 80-year history. In fact, this may be one of the rare cases in which the FBI is acting appropriately, and so Republicans hate the accountability. However, especially since the added revelations that the information sought by the FBI warrant was pertaining to nuclear weapons, a notable minority of Republicans have begun to suggest that Donald Trump might be in legal jeopardy. Alongside this maelstrom of denial and gaslighting from conservatives, much of the rest of the country was caught up speculating the identity of the FBI informant, and the appropriateness of the raid itself, the latter of which quickly became apparent after learning the raid was to secure classified documents on nuclear weapons. Now, the question on everyone’s mind, is what exactly Trump was doing with this nuclear documentation. When we consider Trump’s insatiable and unscrupulous drive to swindle everyone for his own personal gain, without regard for the consequences, nothing seems off the table. Further bringing the situation into terrifying focus, multiple sources have pointed to the recent multi-billion-dollar investment by the Saudi government in Jared Kushner as a potential smoking gun. All of this is highly suspicious, and at a bare minimum, deserves a full investigation by the DOJ. We must have a justice system that pursues anyone to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of their station, when such high crimes are committed. Allowing fear of a political backlash by the Republicans to blunt this investigation would set a disastrous precedent. The piece of the conversation that is mostly missing from our public discourse, however, is what this incredibly dangerous breach in protocol of our safety standards and National Security should mean for our nuclear arsenal altogether. This debacle with Trump is only the latest demonstration of how precarious our doomsday machines really are. It is not enough to just increase the safeguards around nuclear program, until we dismantle our nuclear armaments the threat of these systems falling into the wrong hands, or just hands like Trump’s again, is an existential threat. While there haven't been any polls in the last couple of months, Americans’ opinions on nuclear weapons have been remarkably stable for at least two decades, with at least two thirds of the American people believing no country should possess such destructive power.

The American people understand that there is no real winning with nuclear weapons, especially not for the 99%. Instead of investing billions of dollars into maintaining our nuclear arsenal, the Biden administration should use this incident as a wake-up call and continue to accelerate its promise to decommission our nuclear program, and rejoin treaties, like the Iran Nuclear deal. Such activity, even if he wants it, won’t be easy for Biden. In our corrupt political system, donations from the military industrial complex to our politicians, ensure we have many war-hawks in Congress, constantly protecting defense contractors’ bottom lines. We must fight this nihilistic greed from Trump to the MIC, by building an economic cudgel with which we challenge the military stranglehold on our government and the two-tiered justice system in our culture. So join us each Tuesday in growing solidarity as we work to make America a place that focuses on it people, and exports green technology and medicine, not bombs.

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