Council Board member Jules Zacher co-authored an op-ed explaining why the Presidential sole authority to launch nuclear weapons must be done away with.
Even level-headed presidents could make a bad call if their decision is based on systems that suffer from human or machine error. Recall in January 2018 when the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent an erroneous state-wide alert reading: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Imagine how President Trump would have responded (or any president for that matter) had they been in Hawaii at the time, thinking they had mere minutes to retaliate.
And if these reasons were not sufficient enough to dispense with sole authority, last month’s Twitter hacking should certainly rouse lawmakers from complacency. Graham Ivan Clark, a 17-year-old high school graduate in Florida, hacked into the Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Senator Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama, among others. Fortunately, Clark’s motives were financial. But what if the next hacker has a more sinister motive? For example, what if a more sinister hacker looks to incite an international disaster the next time President Trump takes to Twitter to deride North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un?
What if nuclear talks break down again between the United States and North Korea, and President Trump takes to Twitter to express his frustration with an inflammatory but not entirely predictable message… Read more