Roll Call: The News Source of Capitol Hill Since 1955
April 21, 2014

The Nuclear Launch Code Was 00000000

Ken Smallwood reports that “during the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that to minimize any foreseeable delay in launching a nuclear missile, for nearly two decades they intentionally set the launch codes at every silo in the US to 8 zeroes.”

“We guess the first thing we need to address is how this even came to be in the first place. Well, in 1962 JFK signed the National Security Action Memorandum 160, which was supposed to ensure that every nuclear weapon the US had be fitted with a Permissive Action Link (PAL), basically a small device that ensured that the missile could only be launched with the right code and with the right authority.”

Categories: News
  • Rajesh

    Is this Faking News ?
    No. Not even the most hawkish cold warrior can be so foolish.

  • Naveen

    Even a kid now a days can crack that. Hope people have changed.

  • http://www.250news.com Eagleone

    No its not fake news. I read about it once a while back in a book I can’t remember the name of (something about a nuclear silo, Command and Control I think it was), but essentially was written about the safegaurds in the US nuclear arsenal, and this was claimed there as well, and was rationalized because the air force didn’t want any locks what so ever because of the need for operational readiness, and the possibility a lock could result in a nuke not being ready when needed.

    The 8 digit 0′s was a compromise reached for national security reasons. Before that they had dummy bombs that were operational as real ones when the airforce always had nuclear armed planes in the sky… like 2/3′s were dummy nuclear warheads that couldn’t be distinguished from the real things, so a crew couldn’t go rogue and know for sure they had an actual real bomb on board. One got dropped on Vancouver Island with nothing more for safety than an altimeter trigger by an American crew that was going down in bad weather, but lucky for everyone it was a dummy bomb and when the trigger ignited there was no nuclear explosion. So the 8 digit 0′s was an improvement.

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...