Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Countdown to Zero

Normal
(0)
Difficulty: 0

Narrator: "I DON'T BELIEVE IT.

IT MAKES NO SENSE."

"THERE IS SOMETHING SO STRANGE."

"PERHAPS YOU CAN SUGGEST SOME FANTASTIC EXPLANATION."

"COULDN'T IT BE THIS SORT OF THING?"

HE TURNED THE DRAWING AROUND.

"YES," SHE SAID,

"THAT IS WHAT I MEAN."

THIS WAS THE FIRST EXPLANATION

OF THE SPLITTING OF THE ATOM.

ROBERT OPPENHEIMER SAID, "IMPOSSIBLE,"

BUT WITHIN 15 MINUTES HE DECIDED IT WAS REAL.

HE REALIZED IT WOULD RELEASE

A GREAT AMOUNT OF ENERGY,

THAT YOU COULD GENERATE POWER

AND MAKE BOMBS.

WITHIN A WEEK

ON OPPENHEIMER'S BLACKBOARD

THERE WAS A CRUDE DRAWING OF THE BOMB.

ENRICO FERMI STOOD IN HIS OFFICE

AND LOOKED OUT OVER MANHATTAN.

HE CUPPED HIS HANDS TO THE SIZE OF A TENNIS BALL.

"A LITTLE BOMB LIKE THAT," HE SAID,

"AND IT WOULD ALL DISAPPEAR."

( people screaming )

Valerie Plame Wilson: THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND--

IF TERRORISTS HAD ACQUIRED A NUCLEAR WEAPON,

THEY WOULD NOT HAVE HESITATED TO USE IT.

( sirens wailing )

SO I GUESS THE QUESTION IS,

"COULD THEY EVER GET ONE?"

AL-QAEDA IS DETERMINED TO ACQUIRE NUCLEAR WEAPONS

AND TO USE THEM IF THEY GET THEM.

IN THE EARLY '90s THEY TRIED TO BUY

HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM IN THE SUDAN.

THEY GOT SCAMMED.

JUST PRIOR TO THE 9/11 ATTACKS,

WE DO KNOW THAT OSAMA BIN LADEN

AND HIS LIEUTENANT ZAWAHIRI

SAT DOWN WITH TWO PAKISTANI NUCLEAR SCIENTISTS

AND DISCUSSED NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

BEFORE RELEASING THE SARIN GAS IN THE TOKYO SUBWAY,

THE JAPANESE CULT AUM SHINRIKYO

ATTEMPTED TO ACQUIRE A NUCLEAR BOMB IN RUSSIA.

THEY BOUGHT A SHEEP FARM IN AUSTRALIA

TO MINE URANIUM TO BUILD THEIR OWN BOMB.

Graham Allison: THE OBJECTIVE OF AL-QAEDA

IS TO, QUOTE, "KILL FOUR MILLION AMERICANS,

INCLUDING TWO MILLION CHILDREN."

THIS IS, IN HIS CALCULATION, WHAT'S REQUIRED

TO BALANCE THE SCALES OF JUSTICE.

HE TAKES VARIOUS INCIDENTS,

FROM SHATILA TO THE WAR IN IRAQ,

AND COUNTS UP THE BODY COUNT AND SAYS,

"THAT'S HOW MANY PEOPLE WE'RE OUT-- FOUR MILLION."

YOU'RE NOT GONNA GET TO KILL FOUR MILLION PEOPLE

BY HIJACKING AIRPLANES

AND CRASHING THEM INTO BUILDINGS.

ACTUALLY, I'M NOT THAT WORRIED ABOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

IT'S NOT ONE OF MY MAIN WORRIES.

I DO NOT WORRY ABOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

( speaking Chinese )

ISN'T EVERYBODY WORRIED ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR?

THAT'S A STUPID ANSWER, RIGHT?

( speaking Russian )

Man: I DON'T KNOW. IT JUST HAS NEVER BEEN

SOMETHING THAT I'VE ACTUALLY HAD TO THINK ABOUT IN MY EVERYDAY LIFE.

( speaking Chinese )

IT MIGHT, YOU KNOW, GET ON YOUR CONSCIENCE FOR A COUPLE DAYS MAYBE,

AND THEN IT KIND OF JUST DISAPPEARS.

( speaking Chinese )

Man: I DON'T THINK ANYBODY IS GOING TO USE IN THIS DAY AND AGE--

RIDICULOUS EVEN TO THINK ABOUT IT.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? NOTHING.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S ONE BUTTON

AND THERE'S GONNA BE A BIG MESS AT THE END OF IT, ISN'T THERE?

SOMEBODY'S GONNA MAKE A MISTAKE ONE DAY

AND WE'RE ALL GONNA SUFFER FOR IT.

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen: THERE ARE THREE WAYS TO ACQUIRE A NUCLEAR WEAPON:

YOU COULD STEAL A BOMB;

YOU COULD BUY A BOMB;

AND YOU COULD BUILD A BOMB.

OF ALL THE THINGS I LEARNED

AFTER 9/11 ABOUT TERRORISM INTENT,

THE MOST STARTLING DISCOVERY FOR ME PERSONALLY

WAS REALIZING THAT THEY WERE TRYING TO BUILD A BOMB.

Wilson: THE HARDEST PART OF MAKING A NUCLEAR BOMB

IS GETTING THE MATERIAL--

THE HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM OR PLUTONIUM.

MANY COUNTRIES HAVE THESE MATERIALS,

AND OFTEN THEY ARE POORLY GUARDED.

BUT IF I WERE A TERRORIST

INTENDING TO BUILD A NUCLEAR BOMB

AND I WANTED TO BLOW UP A MAJOR CITY,

I WOULD LOOK TO THE COUNTRIES OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION.

THERE HAVE BEEN MANY CASES INVOLVING THE THEFT

OF HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM OR PLUTONIUM.

AND EVERY TIME THERE HAS BEEN A BLACK-MARKET SEIZURE

OF STOLEN H.E.U. OR PLUTONIUM

AND THEY WERE ABLE TO TRACK IT BACK TO ITS SOURCE,

IT CAME FROM RUSSIA.

Matthew Bunn: THERE WAS A CASE AT A RUSSIAN NAVAL BASE

IN THE EARLY 1990s.

ONE OF THE NAVAL PERSONNEL TOLD A RELATIVE OF HIS

WHERE THE HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM AT THIS BASE WAS.

THIS RELATIVE WALKED THROUGH A GAPING HOLE

IN A SECURITY FENCE, WALKED UP TO

WHAT YOU AND I WOULD CONSIDER TO BE A TOOL SHED,

SNAPPED THE PADLOCK WITH AN IRON BAR.

HE SET OFF NO ALARM.

HE WAS NOT DETECTED AT ALL.

THE RUSSIAN MILITARY PROSECUTOR IN THAT CASE SAID, QUOTE,

"POTATOES WERE GUARDED BETTER."

AT A FACILITY CALLED LUCH

WHERE THEY FABRICATE FUEL

MADE FROM HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM

THERE WAS A WORKER THERE WHO KNEW

THAT AS LONG AS THE OUTPUT

WAS WITHIN ABOUT 3% OF THE INPUT,

THEY FIGURED IT WAS NORMAL LOSSES TO WASTE

AND THEY DIDN'T BOTHER TO INVESTIGATE.

SO HE KEPT STEALING SMALL AMOUNTS OF HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM

DAY AFTER DAY OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.

( man speaking Russian )

EVENTUALLY HE STOLE A KILOGRAM AND A HALF

OF 90% ENRICHED HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM.

HE SET OFF NO ALARMS. NO ONE NOTICED.

HE HAD FRIENDS WHO WERE MAKING THEIR LIVING

STEALING CAR BATTERIES.

AND THEY SAID, "MAYBE THE GUY IN MOSCOW

WHO BUYS OUR STOLEN CAR BATTERIES

WILL BUY YOUR STOLEN URANIUM."

SO THEY WENT DOWN TO THE TRAIN STATION TOGETHER

AND THE POLICE CAME AND ARRESTED THE CAR BATTERY THIEVES

AND HE GOT ARRESTED ALONG WITH THEM.

THAT'S THE ONLY WAY HE WAS EVER CAUGHT.

Graham Allison: WE HAVE CASES IN WHICH

PEOPLE FROM THE RUSSIAN NUCLEAR ARSENAL

WERE SELLING MATERIAL AND THEY WERE CAPTURED.

WE HAVE CASES IN WHICH PEOPLE FROM RUSSIAN NUCLEAR LABS

WERE SELLING MATERIAL. THEY WERE CAPTURED.

Bunn: ALMOST ALL OF THOSE CASES--

UNTIL THE MATERIAL WAS SEIZED,

IT HAD NEVER BEEN NOTICED TO BE MISSING.

ALL THE BLACK-MARKET SEIZURES THAT I'M AWARE OF

WERE SERENDIPITOUS.

THEY WERE CAUGHT BY LUCK.

SO THAT WE DON'T KNOW

WHETHER IT'S THE ICEBERG OR THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.

Wilson: ONCE YOU'VE MANAGED TO ACQUIRE HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM,

YOU'D NEED TO SMUGGLE IT OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

Lawrence Scott Sheets: GEORGIA IS LOCATED

ALONG RUSSIA'S SOUTHERN BORDER--

A NATURAL CORRIDOR.

AND THINGS LIKE HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM

COULD BE SMUGGLED THROUGH SUCH A PLACE.

ON THEIR WAY TO AZERBAIJAN,

IRAQ, IRAN,

TURKMENISTAN, AFGHANISTAN

AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.

( man speaking English )

THE GEORGIANS INVENTED A SO-CALLED

MAN OF TURKISH NATIONALITY

WHO SAID HE WAS A MUSLIM MAN

REPRESENTING A SERIOUS ORGANIZATION.

OLEG KHINTSAGOV BELIEVED HE WAS SELLING

HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM TO MAKE AN ATOMIC WEAPON

TO TERRORISTS.

( Khintsagov speaking Russian )

( investigator speaking )

Sheets: IF A TRUCK DRIVER CAN GET A HOLD OF IT,

A SMALL-TIME HUSTLER

WHO JUST WANTED TO BECOME A RICH GUY,

IMAGINE WHAT PROFESSIONALS COULD HAVE DONE--

REAL PROFESSIONALS WITH AN IDEOLOGY,

WITH AN AGENDA, WITH BRAINS.

( investigator speaking )

Wilson: ONCE YOU'VE MOVED THE HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM,

YOU COULD USE ANY NUMBER OF PORTS

IN THE MIDDLE EAST OR THE MEDITERRANEAN

TO SHIP THE H.E.U. TO YOUR DESTINATION.

SMUGGLING HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM INTO THE UNITED STATES

IS PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD.

LEAD PIPE WILL SHIELD THE H.E.U.

THE DETECTOR WOULD HAVE TO BE WITHIN A FEW INCHES

TO PICK UP ANY RADIATION.

AND THEN HIDE IT AMONGST EVERYDAY GOODS.

Allison: 100 LBS OF HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM

IS SMALLER THAN A FOOTBALL.

IT WOULD FIT IN A SIX-PACK OF BEER CANS.

Bunn: 100,000 SHIPPING CONTAINERS

GO TO THE UNITED STATES EVERY DAY.

Allison: EVERY WAY THAT DRUGS COME TO NEW YORK CITY

WOULD BE THE SAME WAY YOU WOULD IMAGINE

HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM COMING.

IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT ABOUT THE ABILITY OF AL-QAEDA

TO BRING HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM INTO THE U.S.,

THEY COULD ALWAYS HIDE IT IN A BALE OF MARIJUANA.

Scott Sagan: TERRORISM IS JUST ONE THREAT--

THE DELIBERATE THREAT.

BUT THERE IS ALSO THE UNINTENTIONAL THREAT

OF A NUCLEAR DETONATION

BY ACCIDENT, BY ERROR

OR BY MISJUDGMENT.

Sagan: WE'D LIKE TO THINK

THE U.S. MILITARY OR OTHER MILITARIES

THAT CONTROL NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE PERFECT ORGANIZATIONS.

THEY WILL NEVER FAIL.

WE EXPECT THEM TO HAVE 100% RELIABILITY.

BUT EVEN THE WELL-DISCIPLINED,

VERY PROFESSIONAL UNITED STATES MILITARY

MADE VERY SERIOUS MISTAKES WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

Newsreel announcer: An atomic bomb breaks loose from a mounting shackle

in a B-47 jet over Florence, South Carolina,

causing a sensational freak accident.

A B-52 BOMBER WAS LOADED WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS BY MISTAKE.

Reporter: AN AMERICAN WARPLANE FLEW 1500 MILES ACROSS THE NATION,

WE'RE TOLD, WITH SIX NUCLEAR WARHEADS ONBOARD.

Reporter #2: AND NOBODY KNEW-- NOT THE AIRCRAFT'S CREW.

NOT THE COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND.

Sagan: WE'VE HAD B-52s EXPLODE IN THE AIR

DURING A REFUELING MISSION,

CAUSING THE FOUR THERMONUCLEAR WEAPONS

TO FALL ONTO SPANISH TERRITORY

AND INTO THE MEDITERRANEAN.

A B-52 BOMBER CARRYING NUCLEAR WEAPONS

CRASHED NEAR A U.S. AIR FORCE BASE IN GREENLAND,

SCATTERING DEADLY PLUTONIUM OVER THE ICE CAP.

Sagan: IN 1960,

A BOMARC AIR DEFENSE MISSILE EXPLODED,

MELTING THE NUCLEAR WARHEAD.

IN 1968, THE U.S.S. SCORPION SANK

400 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE AZORES.

THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS ONBOARD WERE NEVER FOUND.

A B-47 BOMBER DISAPPEARED OVER THE MEDITERRANEAN.

THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS ABOARD WERE NEVER LOCATED.

IN 1959, AN AIRCRAFT CRASHED

NEAR WHIDBEY ISLAND, WASHINGTON.

THE NUCLEAR DEPTH CHARGES WERE NOT RECOVERED.

A SKYHAWK STRIKE AIRCRAFT CARRYING A NUCLEAR WEAPON

ROLLED OFF AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER IN THE SEA OF JAPAN.

THE WEAPON WAS NEVER RECOVERED.

THERE ARE MANY WAYS IN WHICH

EFFORTS TO MAKE A SYSTEM MORE RELIABLE

ACTUALLY BACKFIRE AND MAKE IT LESS RELIABLE.

SOMETIMES WE ADD A REDUNDANT SYSTEM.

WE ADD BACKUP SYSTEMS

SO THAT IF ONE FAILS,

ANOTHER CAN TAKE ITS PLACE.

BUT COMPLEXITY IS THE ENEMY OF RELIABILITY,

BECAUSE AS YOU ADD SYSTEMS AND MAKE THEM MORE COMPLEX,

IT'S HARDER TO UNDERSTAND ALL THE POTENTIAL INTERACTIONS.

IT'S THAT UNLIKELY, BIZARRE INTERACTION

WHERE ONE PERSON INTERACTS WITH ANOTHER

IN A WAY THAT WASN'T ANTICIPATED

OR ONE BACKUP SYSTEM INTERACTS WITH ANOTHER

IN WAYS THAT YOU CAN'T FIGURE OUT AHEAD OF TIME

AND THEREFORE CAN'T PLAN AROUND--

THOSE ARE WHAT CAUSE THE PROBLEMS.

IN 1961, A B-52 BROKE APART IN MIDAIR

OVER GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA,

CAUSING TWO NUCLEAR BOMBS TO FALL.

ONE PARACHUTE FUNCTIONED PROPERLY,

AND THAT BOMB SURVIVED WITH MINOR DAMAGE.

THE OTHER PARACHUTE FAILED TO OPEN.

WHEN THAT BOMB HIT,

FIVE OF SIX SAFETY DEVICES MALFUNCTIONED.

A SINGLE SWITCH PREVENTED A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION.

WHEN I WORKED IN THE PENTAGON,

I BELIEVED THAT THE LIKELIHOOD

OF A NUCLEAR WEAPONS ACCIDENT

IN THE UNITED STATES OCCURRING WAS VERY LOW.

I STILL BELIEVE THAT.

BUT LOW-PROBABILITY EVENTS HAPPEN.

THEY HAPPEN ALL THE TIME.

THERE'S A FIRST TIME IN HISTORY FOR EVERY EVENT.

EVENTUALLY

THOSE LOW-PROBABILITY EVENTS WILL OCCUR.

( people exclaim )

- Woman: WAS THAT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN? - Man: NO.

Man: I COULD PROBABLY LIST EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD TODAY.

WHOO!

HOW MANY COUNTRIES DO I THINK HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS?

LIST THEM?

CHINA.

I DON'T THINK I SIGNED UP FOR THIS.

RUSSIA.

U.K., MAYBE?

AMERICA, I'M GUESSING.

OH, US? OH, WELL, THAT WAS A GIVEN.

- FRANCE. - GERMANY?

- AUSTRALIA? - CANADA? I DON'T THINK CANADA.

NO?

JAPAN?

NO, NOT JAPAN.

THERE'S MORE. I KNOW THERE'S MORE.

IRAQ, IRAN, SAUDI ARABIA.

ALL OTHER COUNTRIES THAT'S NOT TELLING US-- THEY HAVE 'EM.

AFGHANISTAN?

- NORTH KOREA? - NORTH KOREA.

DO THEY? OKAY, NORTH KOREA.

WHO KNOWS? WHO KNOWS EXACTLY?

I DON'T KNOW. I'M OUT.

I THINK THAT'S IT.

- YEAH. - YEAH.

Wilson: AFTER THE UNITED STATES DETONATED

THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB IN THE NEW MEXICO DESERT,

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY BEGAN TO SPREAD

AND OTHER COUNTRIES BEGAN TO ACQUIRE

THEIR OWN NUCLEAR BOMBS.

( Russian announcer speaking )

Reporter: Great credit is due for this mighty British achievement,

for it seems

that by the possession of such deadly weapons

peace can be maintained in this troubled world.

Reporter #2: at Reggane, deep in the Sahara,

France goes forward with the detonation

of her first atomic bomb.

The explosion carries France a step further

Towards General de Gaulle's dream

of national glory restored.

Man: This is a gigantic success of Mao Zedong's thought.

Our nation's first nuclear test

surpasses the levels of the first nuclear tests

of the United States, Britain and France.

Their criminal attempt to block and prevent our nation's people

from grasping nuclear weapons

have been thoroughly smashed."

Walter Cronkite: PAKISTAN, WHICH HAS OFTEN BEEN AT WAR WITH INDIA,

HINTED IT NOW MIGHT HAVE TO JOIN

THE ONCE-SELECT NUCLEAR COMMUNITY IN SELF-DEFENSE

AND WARNED, "MEMBERSHIP OF THE NUCLEAR CLUB

WILL NOT STOP AT SIX."

ONE PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN SAID THAT PAKISTAN

WOULD BUILD A NUCLEAR WEAPON EVEN IF IT MEANT

THAT THE PEOPLE HAD TO EAT GRASS.

"WE WILL MAKE THE BOMB EVEN IF WE HAVE TO EAT GRASS."

( men shouting in Arabic )

Reporter: IN KARACHI, THEY POURED INTO THE STREETS

PULLING A SYMBOL OF THE POWER THEY'RE CELEBRATING.

THE BOMB HAS BECOME A HUGE SOURCE OF NATIONAL PRIDE.

Pervez Musharraf: TOTAL JUBILATION IN THE STREETS OF PAKISTAN--

THE FIRST TIME WE'VE ACHIEVED SOMETHING

WHICH PLACES US IN THE RANKS

OF VERY VERY FEW COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD.

WE WERE PROUD OF OUR SCIENTISTS.

WE WERE PROUD OF OUR CAPABILITIES

WE WERE PROUD OF OUR STRENGTH.

PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT,

"NOW LET INDIA DO ANYTHING TO PAKISTAN.

LET'S SEE WHAT THEY DO."

Mike Chinoy: I HAD NORTH KOREAN OFFICIALS SAY TO ME

THE LESSON THEY TOOK AWAY

FROM THE TOPPLING OF SADDAM HUSSEIN

WAS THAT SADDAM WAS OUSTED

BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HAVE A BOMB.

THEY WERE NOT GOING TO LET THE SAME THING HAPPEN TO KIM JONG IL.

THEREFORE, THEY NEEDED TO HAVE THE BOMB.

NORTH KOREA IS SCARED OF DISAPPEARING INTO

WHAT THE COMMUNISTS USED TO CALL THE "DUSTBIN OF HISTORY"

LIKE ALL THEIR OTHER COMMUNIST FRIENDS.

AND THEY SEE NUKES AS THE ONE THING

THAT MAKES THEM THE COUNTRY

THAT IS TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY THE UNITED STATES

AND THE OTHER BIG PLAYERS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

Wilson: EVERY COUNTRY HAS ENEMIES.

EVERY COUNTRY CAN USE SELF-DEFENSE

AS A RATIONALE FOR ACQUIRING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

BUT IF EVERY COUNTRY DOES SO,

IT IS A MUCH MORE DANGEROUS WORLD.

Oppenheimer: WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING THAT IS TECHNICALLY SWEET,

YOU DO IT.

THAT IS THE WAY IT WAS WITH THE ATOMIC BOMB.

Film narrator: The father of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer,

gave some frank answers to important questions in 1947.

Oppenheimer: I have been asked

whether in the years to come it will be possible

to kill 40 million American people

in the 20 largest American towns

by the use of atomic bombs in a single night.

I am afraid that the answer to that question is yes.

I have been asked whether there is hope

for the nation's security

in keeping secret some of the knowledge

which has gone into the making of the bombs.

I am afraid there is no such hope.

Alexander Glaser: A NUCLEAR WEAPON, IN A SENSE,

IS THE MOST SIMPLE CONFIGURATION

OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE.

YOU JUST BRING TOGETHER

A CERTAIN QUANTITY OF FISSILE MATERIAL--

HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM OR PLUTONIUM--

AND IF YOU DO IT RIGHT, IT WILL EXPLODE.

Hoodbhoy: THE DESIGN OF THE FIRST ATOM BOMB

WAS A VERY DEEP SECRET.

IN FACT, THAT WAS A TIME

WHEN PEOPLE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW

WHETHER A BOMB WAS POSSIBLE.

NOW THE MAKING OF THE ATOM BOMB HAS BECOME MUCH EASIER.

Joseph Biden: THOSE WHO SAY BUILDING A NUCLEAR WEAPON IS EASY--

THEY'RE VERY WRONG.

BUT THOSE WHO SAY BUILDING A CRUDE DEVICE IS VERY DIFFICULT--

THEY ARE MORE WRONG.

WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT?

I WON'T COMMENT ON THAT STATEMENT, SIR.

Bunn: PEOPLE FROM THE U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS LABORATORIES

WERE TESTIFYING IN A CLASSIFIED SESSION TO CONGRESS.

AND THEY SAID THAT IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE

TO MAKE A NUCLEAR BOMB

WITH ALL THE PARTS BEING COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE

EXCEPT FOR THE ACTUAL NUCLEAR MATERIAL.

Allison: SENATOR BIDEN ASKED

THE HEADS OF THE THREE WEAPONS LABS,

"IS THIS POSSIBLE? IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE THAT TERRORISTS COULD DO THIS?"

AND THEY SAID YES. THEY SAID, "THIS IS SOMETHING

THAT WE TEST OUR GRADUATE STUDENTS ON FROM TIME TO TIME.

WE TAKE TWO GRADUATE STUDENTS

WHO HAVEN'T BEEN PREPARED FOR DOING THIS.

WE TELL THEM, 'SEE IF YOU CAN MAKE A BOMB THAT WOULD WORK.'

LO AND BEHOLD, MOST OF THEM PASS THIS TEST."

Bunn: BIDEN SAID, "PROVE IT."

AND SO THEY WENT AND MADE A NUCLEAR BOMB,

WITH EVERYTHING OTHER THAN THE NUCLEAR MATERIAL, FROM COMMERCIAL PARTS.

THEY ACTUALLY BROUGHT IT

INTO THE CLASSIFIED HEARING ROOM IN THE SENATE.

TYPICALLY, AN IMPLOSION BOMB WOULD HAVE

SOMETHING LIKE 25KG OF URANIUM,

WHICH IS ABOUT THE SIZE OF A GRAPEFRUIT.

IF, LET'S SAY,

BETWEEN 70KG AND 100KG OF H.E.U.

IS AVAILABLE,

THEN THE DESIGN IS NOT A MAJOR FACTOR.

IT WOULD NOT BE VERY EFFICIENT.

IT WOULD NOT USE ALL THE URANIUM

THAT WAS USED IN IT.

AND YET IT COULD BE ENOUGH TO LEVEL A CITY.

Tony Blair: DURING MY 10 YEARS AS PRIME MINISTER,

WHAT I REALLY NOTICED WAS THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY

THE THREAT OF THE PROLIFERATION,

THE FACT THAT THESE WEAPONS COULD FALL

INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S HANDS--

THAT WAS THE THING THAT TROUBLED ME,

THAT KEPT ME AWAKE AT NIGHT.

Reporter: IN THE CAPITAL, ISLAMABAD,

WORD HIT THE STREETS IN EARLY AFTERNOON--

ANOTHER NUCLEAR DEVICE TESTED SUCCESSFULLY.

( crowd cheering )

Reporter #2: AS PAKISTAN CELEBRATED,

THE PUBLIC HAILED A.Q. KHAN

AS THE FATHER OF THE ISLAMIC BOMB.

Andrew Koch: IN 1974 A.Q. KHAN WAS WORKING AT A COMPANY

THAT WAS DEVELOPING A BRAND-NEW PROCESS FOR ENRICHING URANIUM.

HE STOLE THEIR DESIGNS

AND TOOK THE LIST OF ALL THEIR SUPPLIERS.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, HE'S NOT REALLY A MASTER SCIENTIST,

BUT HE'S A MASTER SMUGGLER AND A MASTER ORGANIZER.

HE KNOWS HOW TO GET THE PIECES OUT OF THE COUNTRIES

AND HOW TO FIND STUFF AND BUY STUFF.

Ahmed Rashid: THERE WAS THIS WHOLE CLANDESTINE APPARATUS

THAT WAS SET UP BY THE INTELLIGENCE SERVICES,

BY THE ARMY AND BY DR. KHAN.

RESTRICTIONS WERE PLACED. SANCTIONS WERE PLACED.

BUT SOMEHOW THE PAKISTANIS GOT AROUND THAT.

AND THE FORMAL HELP ACTUALLY CAME FROM INDIA'S ENEMY-- CHINA.

CHINA GAVE A BLUEPRINT

OF A NUCLEAR BOMB TO PAKISTAN.

Koch: SOMEWHERE AROUND THE EARLY 1980s

KHAN MAKES CONTACT WITH THE IRANIANS

WHO ARE VERY INTERESTED IN GETTING A BOMB

BUT CLEARLY DON'T HAVE THE SCIENTIFIC

OR INDUSTRIAL CAPACITY TO DO IT THEMSELVES.

AND THUS HE STARTS ON A COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE.

KHAN HAS GOT A FULL MARKETING REGIME LAID OUT

WITH BROCHURES AND VIDEOTAPES TO OFFER HIS NUCLEAR WARES.

Wilson: IT'S EXTREMELY LUCRATIVE BUSINESS.

HE HAD EXTENSIVE CONTACTS, NETWORKS,

AND HE DIDN'T MUCH CARE

ABOUT WHO THE ULTIMATE CLIENT WAS GOING TO BE.

Joe Cirincione: HE CONTACTED IRAN,

NORTH KOREA, LIBYA.

BUT HE DIDN'T JUST GIVE THEM THE TECHNOLOGIES.

HE ALSO TOOK THE BOMB DESIGNS THAT THE PAKISTANIS HAD

AND THREW THOSE IN AS A SWEETENER.

HE GAVE THEM 24/7 TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT.

GOT A PROBLEM? CALL 1-800-AQKHAN.

IT WAS A FULL-SERVICE OPERATION.

Wilson: U.S. INTELLIGENCE

BEGAN TO FOCUS ON A.Q. KHAN IN THE LATE 1990s.

THE HOME RUN WAS IN DECEMBER 2003 WITH LIBYA.

Rashid: THE C.I.A. AND BRITISH INTELLIGENCE

ESSENTIALLY CAUGHT THE KHAN NETWORK RED-HANDED

SELLING A FULL-SCALE NUCLEAR WEAPON TO LIBYA.

Cirincione: IF IT WASN'T FOR A.Q. KHAN,

LIBYA NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE CENTRIFUGES

THAT THEY'VE NOW, THANKFULLY, GIVEN UP.

IF IT WASN'T FOR A.Q. KHAN,

THERE WOULDN'T BE AN IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM.

( applause )

IRAN IS THE TIP OF THE SPEAR.

IT'S THE BIG PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE TO SOLVE.

THEY PROMISED NOT TO BUILD NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE VERY SAME CENTRIFUGES,

THE VERY SAME FACTORY THAT CAN ENRICH URANIUM

TO LOW QUANTITIES FOR NUCLEAR FUEL

CAN ENRICH IT TO HIGH QUANTITIES FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

SO THE QUESTION IS, DO YOU TRUST IRAN?

( crowd cheering )

BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION, THEY DECEIVED INSPECTORS

ABOUT THEIR NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES FOR 17 YEARS.

( Ahmadinejad speaking Farsi )

Wilson: WITHOUT QUESTION, IRAN IS TRYING TO GET A NUCLEAR BOMB.

THEY'VE MADE THAT VERY CLEAR,

DESPITE THEIR PROMISES THAT THEY ARE ONLY PURSUING

CIVILIAN, PEACEFUL OBJECTIVES

FOR THEIR NUCLEAR PROGRAM.

THEY'RE REALLY GOOD AT TRYING TO BRING THINGS IN

THAT CAN BE USED FOR THEIR NUCLEAR PROGRAM.

THE IRANIANS HAVE WORKED VERY HARD

AT DISGUISING AND HIDING THEIR FACILITIES.

MANY OF THEIR FACILITIES ARE

IN CROWDED URBAN AREAS AND UNDERGROUND,

EXTREMELY WELL-PROTECTED FROM ANY SORT OF AERIAL BOMBING.

Tony Blair: IF IRAN WERE TO ACQUIRE NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITY,

THE IMPACT IS ACROSS THE WHOLE OF THE REGION.

YOU WILL GET A WHOLE SET OF OTHER COUNTRIES

DECIDING THEY'VE GOT TO ACQUIRE NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITY.

Cirincione: SYRIA, SAUDI ARABIA, TURKEY, EGYPT--

THE RIVALS OF THE IRANIAN SHIA STATE

WOULD MATCH THEIR CAPABILITIES

AND WE WOULD GO FROM A MIDDLE EAST

WITH ONE NUCLEAR-ARMED NATION-- ISRAEL--

TO ONE WITH THREE, FOUR OR FIVE NUCLEAR-ARMED NATIONS.

Wilson: THEY ARE SURROUNDED

BY VERY UNSTABLE REGIMES AND COUNTRIES.

IF IRAN ACQUIRES EVERYTHING IT NEEDS,

WITHOUT DOUBT, PIECES OF THAT

BECOME MORE READILY AVAILABLE

TO TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS LIKE HAMAS.

Tony Blair: THE RISK THAT YOU HAVE TODAY

WITH A REGIME LIKE IRAN OR NORTH KOREA

IS THEY ARE PREPARED TO START TRADING

THAT NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITY AND TECHNOLOGY.

Chinoy: THE PAKISTANIS HAD THE NUCLEAR KNOW-HOW.

THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE DELIVERY SYSTEM.

THE NORTH KOREANS HAD THE MISSILE

AND DIDN'T HAVE THE NUCLEAR KNOW-HOW.

SO THERE WAS A NATURAL

CONVERGENCE OF INTERESTS HERE.

THE NORTH KOREANS HAVE A LONG TRACK RECORD

OF SELLING MILITARY TECHNOLOGY AND MISSILES

TO THE SYRIANS, TO THE IRANIANS,

TO THE IRAQIS, TO THE PAKISTANIS.

THEY DON'T REALLY HAVE ANY OTHER EXPORTS.

DAILY LIFE IS VERY GRIM.

FOOD IS IN SHORT SUPPLY.

YOU DRIVE AROUND THE CAPITAL PYONGYANG AT NIGHT,

AND IT'S BASICALLY DARK.

THERE'S A FAMOUS SATELLITE PHOTO

THAT SHOWS THE KOREAN PENINSULA.

AND IN THE SOUTH YOU SEE ALL THESE LIGHTS,

AND THEN IT'S JUST BLACK.

Wilson: WE ARE STILL DEALING WITH

HIS YEARS OF UNCHECKED ACTIVITY AND CONTACTS.

AND IT REALLY IS A GENIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE

THAT CANNOT BE EASILY PUT BACK.

Cirincione: WE'VE SPENT BILLIONS OF DOLLARS

PUTTING IN RADIATION DETECTORS,

BUT HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM IS EASILY SHIELDED.

IF YOU ARE DEPENDING ON PORTAL MONITORS

TO DEFEND A CITY AGAINST A NUCLEAR DETONATION,

YOU HAVE DONE FAR TOO MUCH TOO LATE.

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

DON'T HAVE TO BE EXACTLY ON TARGET.

CLOSE IS GOOD ENOUGH.

IF A TERRORIST THINKS THAT THE PORTAL MONITOR MIGHT DETECT THE WEAPON,

THEY SET IT OFF IN THE PORT.

Bunn: HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM IS EASY TO SMUGGLE.

THE RADIATION IS VERY WEAK.

THE DETECTORS THAT WE'RE PUTTING IN PLACE NOW

WOULD HAVE NO CHANCE OF DETECTING

HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM IN A CARGO CONTAINER.

Cirincione: THE SIGNATURE FROM HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM IS SO SLIGHT

THAT THEY HAVE TO SET THE MONITORS VERY HIGH TO DETECT IT.

AND SO THEY'RE GETTING THOUSANDS OF FALSE ALARMS EVERY DAY.

TOILETS WILL SET IT OFF-- CHINA, PORCELAIN,

CERAMICS, STONE LIKE GRANITES,

A LOT OF BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS

LIKE TOBACCO, SOME ALGAE,

TELEVISIONS-- THE OLD-STYLE TELEVISIONS,

KITTY LITTER, A LOT OF CHEMICAL PRODUCTS,

AND A LOT OF OTHER STUFF ALSO.

YOU WANT TO SMUGGLE A BOMB INTO THE UNITED STATES?

SHIP IT IN A TRUCK WITH KITTY LITTER.

NO ONE WOULD EVER FIND IT.

Bunn: THEY'RE GREAT FOR REALLY RADIOACTIVE STUFF

LIKE CESIUM OR SOMETHING

THAT MIGHT BE USED IN A DIRTY BOMB.

BUT FOR THE STUFF THAT YOU WOULD USE TO MAKE A NUCLEAR BOMB

THAT WOULD INCINERATE THE HEART OF A MAJOR CITY--

THEY'RE NOT GONNA DETECT THAT.

Mowatt-Larssen: ROBERT OPPENHEIMER-- IN 1946

HE APPEARED IN A CLOSED SESSION OF THE SENATE.

AND ONE OF THE SENATORS ASKED HIM

IF NUCLEAR TERRORISM WAS A POTENTIAL THREAT.

HE SAID, "OF COURSE.

TERRORISTS COULD BRING A BOMB INTO NEW YORK CITY

AND DESTROY THE CITY."

SOMEBODY ASKED HIM, "HOW WOULD YOU STOP IT?"

HE SAID, "WITH A SCREWDRIVER,

TO OPEN UP EVERY CONTAINER THAT COMES INTO THE CITY."

Jeffrey Lewis: ONCE YOU'VE SMUGGLED THE HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM

INTO THE U.S., YOU WILL NEED A PLACE TO BUILD THE BOMB.

THE BOMB COULD BE BUILT RIGHT IN THE TARGET CITY.

THE HARD PART WAS WHAT WE DID IN 1945.

THE HARD PART IS DOING IT THE FIRST TIME.

THIS IS NO LONGER A CONCEPTUAL CHALLENGE.

THERE IS NO TRICK.

THERE IS NO MAGIC THAT NEEDS TO BE FIGURED OUT.

IT'S REALLY JUST AN ENGINEERING CHALLENGE.

IT'S DEFINITELY NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

ROCKET SCIENCE IS HARD.

Glaser: YOU CAN MAKE A VERY SIMPLE WEAPON,

A SO-CALLED "GUN-TYPE" WEAPON

WHICH WAS THE ONE USED IN HIROSHIMA.

Lewis: IT WAS SO SIMPLE,

WE DIDN'T EVEN TEST IT BEFORE WE DROPPED IT.

IT IS ESSENTIALLY JUST A GUN BARREL.

AND YOU HAVE A TARGET. AND YOU HAVE A PROJECTILE.

AND YOU PROPEL THE PROJECTILE INTO THE TARGET.

YOU'LL NEED AN ARTILLERY GUN

TO FIRE ONE PIECE OF H.E.U. AT THE OTHER,

WHICH WOULD BE BOLTED ONTO THE MUZZLE OF THE GUN.

THE MILITARY SELLS THESE THINGS AS SURPLUS,

BUT THEY SELL THEM DISABLED.

YOU WOULD HAVE TO MAKE THE GUN CAPABLE OF SHOOTING AGAIN.

AND YOU'D WANT TO TEST-FIRE THE GUN TO MAKE SURE

THAT IT FIRED THE PROJECTILE AT THE RIGHT SPEED.

THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT YOU WOULD NEED TO DO OFF-SITE.

YOU WOULD NEED A GROUP OF PEOPLE--

LET'S SAY, BETWEEN 15 TO 20 TO 25--

WHO WOULD BE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN PARTICULAR ASPECTS

OF WEAPONS DESIGN, OF EXPLOSIVES.

TWO OR THREE PEOPLE TO DO THE MACHINING,

TWO OR THREE PEOPLE TO WORK ON THE GUN,

TWO OR THREE PEOPLE TO WORK ON ELECTRONICS,

PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERTS IN BALLISTICS.

PEOPLE WHO KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT NUCLEAR PHYSICS.

YOU'D NEED THE MACHINISTS AND THE METALLURGISTS

TO MAKE YOUR PIECES INTO THE RIGHT SHAPE

AND MAKE SURE THEY ALL FIT TOGETHER.

Hoodbhoy: ORDINARY EXPLOSIVES AND DETONATORS,

MAYBE SOME ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT.

Lewis: YOU COULD GO ONLINE

AND EASILY FIND THE LATHE FOR $10,000.

YOU CAN FIND THE FURNACE FOR ABOUT $50,000.

AND YOU CAN EVEN FIND A SURPLUS RECOILLESS RIFLE

PROBABLY ALSO FOR $10,000.

Bunn: MORE THAN 90% OF THE EFFORT IN THE MANHATTAN PROJECT

WAS MAKING THE NUCLEAR MATERIAL

TO MAKE THE NUCLEAR BOMB.

IF YOU CAN GET HOLD OF THAT NUCLEAR MATERIAL,

THEN IT DOESN'T TAKE A MANHATTAN PROJECT TO MAKE A BOMB.

Mowatt-Larssen: IF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE RIGHT,

ACQUIRING A COMPLETE BOMB MAY BE EASIER THAN BUILDING ONE.

IN ALGERIA IN 1961,

OFFICERS WITHIN THE FRENCH MILITARY REVOLTED

AND TRIED TO SEIZE A NUCLEAR WEAPON.

AS THE REBELS CLOSED IN,

THE WEAPON WAS DETONATED IN A DEGRADED EXPLOSION

TO PREVENT IT FROM FALLING INTO THE HANDS

OF THE REBELLING OFFICERS.

( explosion )

THE JAPANESE DEATH TERROR CULT AUM SHINRIKYO

ATTEMPTED TO BUY A NUCLEAR BOMB IN THE SOVIET UNION.

THEY HAD A LOT OF RESOURCES.

WE'RE TALKING WELL OVER $1 BILLION OF ASSETS.

AND SECONDLY, THEY HAD TREMENDOUS ACCESS.

AT ONE POINT THE GROUP HAD MORE MEMBERS IN RUSSIA,

IN THE FORMER SOVIET UNION THAN THEY HAD IN JAPAN.

IN 1994 A SENIOR LEADER

MADE EIGHT TRIPS TO RUSSIA.

HIS PERSONAL NOTEBOOK INCLUDED A SHOPPING LIST

FOR BUYING A NUCLEAR WARHEAD FOR $15 MILLION.

Hoodbhoy: A PERFECTLY SECURE NUCLEAR WEAPON

IS ALSO A PERFECTLY UNUSABLE ONE.

SO HERE ONE HAS THIS PARADOX

BETWEEN SECURITY AND USABILITY.

Cirincione: WHERE'S THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE

IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW?

FOR MY MONEY, IT IS PAKISTAN.

YOU'VE GOT AN UNSTABLE GOVERNMENT,

PLUS ENOUGH MATERIAL FOR UP TO 100 NUCLEAR WEAPONS,

PLUS OSAMA BIN LADEN IN THE COUNTRY.

( man speaking Urdu over speaker )

Rashid: WHAT WE'VE SEEN

OVER THE LAST TWO OR THREE YEARS

HAS BEEN A SPIRAL THAT IS GOING DOWNWARDS--

DESTABILIZATION, THE SPREAD OF THE TALIBAN,

THE SPREAD OF RADICALISM, THE COLLAPSE OF THE ECONOMY.

SO COULD THERE BE A COLONELS' COUP IN PAKISTAN

BY ISLAMIC RADICALS WITHIN THE MILITARY?

AND THEN COULD NUCLEAR WEAPONS BE AT RISK?

Cirincione: WHAT HAPPENS IF THAT COUNTRY DESTABILIZES?

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ARMY SPLITS?

WHO GETS THE WEAPONS?

WHO GETS THE MATERIAL FOR THE WEAPONS?

WHO GETS THE SCIENTISTS

WHO KNOW HOW TO BUILD THE WEAPONS?

Bruce Blair: THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT COMMAND

AND CONTROL OVER NUCLEAR WEAPONS

EVEN IN THE MOST SOPHISTICATED OF ARSENALS.

FROM THE LEVEL OF THE PRESIDENT ON DOWN,

THERE ARE HUMAN WEAKNESSES,

TECHNICAL PROBLEMS,

DEFICIENCIES AND VULNERABILITIES.

I WAS A LAUNCH OFFICER FOR MINUTEMAN MISSILES

AND SPENT THREE YEARS IN MONTANA IN A HOLE--

IN AN UNDERGROUND LAUNCH CONTROL CENTER.

I WAS ONE OF THE GUYS RESPONSIBLE

FOR GETTING THESE MISSILES OFF THE GROUND IN ONE MINUTE.

WE DIDN'T CALL THEM "MINUTEMAN MISSILES" FOR NOTHING.

WHEN I WAS SERVING

IN THE AIR FORCE AS A LAUNCH OFFICER,

THERE WAS A DEVICE IN THE LAUNCH CONTROL CENTER

INTO WHICH 12 DIGITS HAD TO BE DIALED IN

IN ORDER TO UNLOCK THE MISSILES FOR FIRING.

THIS HAD BEEN INSTALLED UNDER ROBERT McNAMARA

OVER THE OBJECTIONS OF THE STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND.

SINCE THEY COULDN'T PREVENT

THE PANEL FROM BEING INSTALLED,

THE STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND IN OMAHA

HAD SET THESE CODES TO ZERO, AND WE ALL KNEW IT.

THAT WAS THE SECRET UNLOCK CODE

FOR FIRING OUR MISSILES--

12 ZEROS.

IN FACT, IN OUR LAUNCH CHECKLIST

WE HAD TO ENSURE

THAT THE UNLOCK CODE WAS SET TO ALL ZEROS

BEFORE WE COMPLETED THE LAUNCH SEQUENCE.

( panel clicking )

THIS CHANGED IN 1977

WHEN THEY STARTED USING ACTUAL CODES.

BUT UNTIL THEN, I AND ONE OTHER CREW MEMBER

COULD HAVE ACTUALLY FORMATTED A LAUNCH ORDER--

A COMPLETELY VALID LAUNCH ORDER

AND TRANSMITTED IT

TO THE ENTIRE AMERICAN STRATEGIC ARSENAL.

IT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE IN A SHOOTING WAR.

OH HELL.

ARE THE RUSSIANS INVOLVED, SIR?

Mandrake, that's all I've been told.

IT JUST CAME IN ON THE RED PHONE.

MY ORDERS ARE FOR THIS BASE TO BE SEALED TIGHT,

AND THAT'S WHAT I MEAN TO DO-- SEAL IT TIGHT.

NOW I WANT YOU TO TRANSMIT PLAN R--

R FOR ROBERT-- TO THE WING.

- Plan R, for Robert. - IS IT THAT BAD, SIR?

- IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S PRETTY HAIRY. - Yes, sir.

Bruce Blair: I REMEMBER WATCHING "DR. STRANGELOVE"

AND THINKING THEY HAD IT ALL WRONG.

YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A GENERAL.

WE WERE ONLY LIEUTENANTS,

BUT WE COULD'VE STARTED WORLD WAR III

JUST AS EASILY AS GENERAL JACK RIPPER.

WE COULD HAVE TRIGGERED IMPLEMENTATION

OF THE U.S. NUCLEAR WAR PLAN

INVOLVING THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

FIRED AT THE SOVIET UNION AND CHINA.

Man over speaker: Stand by. Message follows.

Alpha Tango Golf Lima.

Bruce Blair: THE LIFE OF A LAUNCH OFFICER

IS REALLY KIND OF PAVLOVIAN.

YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINED AND CONDITIONED SO THOROUGHLY,

YOU KIND OF MARCH LOCKSTEP

INTO A VERY WELL-REHEARSED SCRIPT

THAT'S DRIVEN BY CHECKLISTS.

Man: STEP ONE-- LAUNCH KEYS INSERTED.

ROGER.

Bruce Blair: WE WOULD JUMP UP, UNLOCK OUR SAFE,

TAKE OUT CODES...

( alarm blaring )

...CHECK THE CODES AGAINST THE MESSAGE,

THEN PROCEED THROUGH A LAUNCH CHECKLIST

THAT TAKES ABOUT ONE MINUTE TO CARRY OUT.

Man: LET'S ENABLE THE MISSILES. PROGRAM SLIDE SWITCH ENABLED.

- ROGER. - FLIGHT ALL. L.F. ALL.

ONLINE CODE INSERTED.

STAND BY.

ONLINE CODES INSERTED.

- ENABLE SWITCH ENABLED. - IT'S ENABLED.

Bruce Blair: AT THE END OF THAT PROCESS

THE TWO OF YOU TURN KEYS

AND LAUNCH UP TO 50 MISSILES

AT THE SOVIET UNION AND/OR CHINA.

TODAY, THE POSTURE OF THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA

IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS IT WAS DURING THE COLD WAR.

SO IF THE ORDERS WENT DOWN RIGHT NOW,

20 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL,

IT WOULD TAKE ABOUT TWO MINUTES

TO LAUNCH ALL OF THE U.S. NUCLEAR BALLISTIC MISSILES

OUT OF THEIR TUBES IN THE MIDWEST,

ABOUT THAT LENGTH OF TIME

FOR THE RUSSIANS TO DO THE SAME.

AND THEN IT WOULD TAKE ANOTHER 10 TO 12 MINUTES

FOR EVERYTHING ELSE THAT'S ON LAUNCH-READY ALERT

TO BE FIRED...

SO THAT WITHIN 15 MINUTES

ALL OF THE FORCES ON LAUNCH-READY ALERT

WOULD BE IN THE AIR

ON THEIR FLIGHT TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PLANET--

2000 BOMBS,

STRATEGIC NUCLEAR WEAPONS, VERY HIGH-YIELD.

AND THEY COULD KILL

OVER 100 MILLION RUSSIANS AND AMERICANS

WITHIN 30 MINUTES.

Roger Molander: WHEN WE WERE WORKING ON NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL,

I FOUND MYSELF IN A MEETING IN THE PENTAGON WITH A COLONEL

AND WE GOT INTO A SHORT EXCHANGE ABOUT THIS.

AND IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS EXCHANGE, HE SAID:

"BUT I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT WOULD BE SUCH A BIG DEAL

IF THERE WERE A NUCLEAR EXCHANGE.

ONLY ABOUT 500 MILLION PEOPLE WOULD DIE.

LIFE WOULD GO ON AFTERWARDS."

AND I CAN REMEMBER HAVING A FEELING

LIKE WOODY ALLEN IN "ANNIE HALL"--

"I'M SORRY, I'VE GOT AN APPOINTMENT BACK ON PLANET EARTH."

Man: I DON'T THINK THAT ANYONE REALLY KNOWS

HOW MANY NUCLEAR WEAPONS THERE ARE ON THE PLANET TODAY.

- I HAVEN'T GOT A-- - DOES ANYONE KNOW THAT?

100?

MAYBE THOUSANDS, I DON'T KNOW. FAR MORE THAN I KNOW.

6,000.

I DON'T KNOW. 15,000.

- 20,000. - 50,000?

- 100,000. - 500,000.

THERE'S ENOUGH NUCLEAR FIREPOWER ON ONE U.S. NUCLEAR SUB

TO ANNIHILATE PROBABLY HALF THE PLANET.

I'VE HEARD PEOPLE SAY

THAT WE HAVE ENOUGH NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO CREATE A NEW SUN.

IT ONLY TAKES A COUPLE TO ELIMINATE THIS CITY.

DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY THERE ARE?

Cirincione: WE ESTIMATE THAT THERE ARE ABOUT 23,000 NUCLEAR WEAPONS

IN THE WORLD STILL.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE USED TO BE 60,000.

SO WE'VE CUT THOSE ARSENALS BY MORE THAN HALF.

BUT WE-- THE UNITED STATES STILL HAS

ABOUT 1500 HYDROGEN BOMBS ON MISSILES

POISED FOR LAUNCH IN 15 MINUTES OR LESS.

THE REALLY BAD NEWS IS THE RUSSIANS HAVE THE SAME.

Bruce Blair: IF THE RUSSIANS FIRED MISSILES

AT THE UNITED STATES,

THE FIRST WARNING WOULD COME FROM SATELLITES.

AND THEY COULD DETECT

THE FLAME FROM THE BOOSTER ROCKET

WITHIN SECONDS,

EASILY WITHIN A MINUTE.

SUDDENLY THIS EARLY-WARNING HUB

IN THE UNITED STATES

WOULD BECOME VERY FRENZIED

TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT

WHETHER THIS IS A FALSE ALARM

OR WHETHER THIS IS A REAL ATTACK,

AND DETERMINE THIS WITHIN 60 SECONDS.

THE PRESIDENT WOULD RECEIVE A BRIEFING

FROM THE DUTY OFFICER

AT STRATEGIC COMMAND HEADQUARTERS.

THAT BRIEFING OF THE PRESIDENT

OF HIS RESPONSE OPTIONS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES

HAS TO BE DELIVERED IN AS LITTLE AS 30 SECONDS.

THE PRESIDENT NORMALLY WOULD HAVE

NO MORE THAN 12 MINUTES TO MAKE A DECISION,

AND MAYBE AS LITTLE AS 10 SECONDS.

Jimmy Carter: I KNEW THAT IF THE SOVIETS DID LAUNCH AN ATTACK,

THAT IT WOULD TAKE 26 MINUTES FOR AN I.C.B.M.

TO LEAVE RUSSIAN SOIL

AND LAND IN WASHINGTON OR NEW YORK.

AND I HAD THAT MUCH TIME TO DECIDE HOW TO RESPOND.

( Gorbachev speaking Russian )

Zbigniew Brzezinski: THE TIMELINE WAS VERY SHORT.

HE HAD JUST A FEW MINUTES TO MAKE A DECISION

HOW TO RESPOND, AT WHAT LEVEL OF INTENSITY.

SOMEWHERE BEFORE THE 10th MINUTE

THE ORDER TO EXECUTE WOULD BE ISSUED.

STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND

PROBABLY WOULD BE AIRBORNE ALREADY BY THEN

JUST AS A PRECAUTION.

THERE MIGHT BE A PRESIDENTIAL EVACUATION

SO THAT THE PRESIDENT WOULD SURVIVE

AN ATTACK ON WASHINGTON,

ALTHOUGH I KNOW OF CASES

IN WHICH THE PRESIDENT CHOSE NOT TO BE EVACUATED.

AND ROUGHLY BY THE 28th MINUTE

AT THE LATEST,

THOSE OF US NOT EVACUATED WOULD BE DEAD.

Bruce Blair: FOR US IT WAS A KIND OF SUICIDE DUTY.

ANY MISSILE LANDING WITHIN HALF A MILE OF OUR LOCATION

WOULD PROBABLY HAVE KILLED US.

IF WE HAD SURVIVED THE ATTACK,

WE WERE SUPPOSED TO GO TO A DESIGNATED RENDEZVOUS POINT.

OUR AIR WOULD ONLY LAST 24 HOURS.

SO WE'D GO OUT THROUGH AN ESCAPE TUBE

WHICH WAS FILLED WITH SAND.

WE WOULD HAVE TO RELEASE THE BOLTS ON THE COVER

AND LET THE SAND FALL THROUGH

AND THEN CRAWL UP THE TUBE.

OUR TUBE CAME UP UNDER THE PARKING LOT,

SO WE WOULD HAVE TO BREAK THROUGH THE ASPHALT

TO GET OUT.

THE RENDEZVOUS POINT MIGHT BE 50 OR 100 MILES AWAY,

AND YOU'D HAVE TO WALK.

DIDN'T REALLY MATTER THOUGH.

EVERYONE KNEW THE RADIATION WOULD KILL US QUICKLY ANYWAY

AND YOU'D NEVER MAKE IT TO THE RENDEZVOUS.

Cirincione: IN 1995 PETE SAMPRAS WON

THE U.S. OPEN AND WIMBLEDON;

GEORGE CLOONEY MADE HIS FIRST BIG MOVIE;

A BOMB DESTROYED THE FEDERAL BUILDING IN OKLAHOMA CITY;

O.J. SIMPSON WAS ACQUITTED OF MURDER;

AND WE ALSO CAME CLOSE

TO AN ACCIDENTAL NUCLEAR MISSILE LAUNCH.

Ira Helfand: ON JANUARY 25th, 1995,

THE UNITED STATES LAUNCHED A ROCKET FROM NORWAY

TO STUDY THE NORTHERN LIGHTS.

WE TOLD THE RUSSIANS THAT WE WERE GONNA LAUNCH THAT ROCKET,

BUT SOMEBODY IN MOSCOW FORGOT TO PASS WORD ON IT.

WHEN THEY PICKED UP THE FOUR STAGES OF THIS ROCKET,

THEY INITIALLY INTERPRETED THIS

AS FOUR WARHEADS FROM A U.S. NUCLEAR SUBMARINE

WHICH WE OFTEN STATION OFF THE COAST OF NORWAY,

POSSIBLY DIRECTED AT MOSCOW.

THAT FIT EXACTLY THE CHARACTERISTICS

OF THE BEGINNING OF A NUCLEAR STRIKE:

ONE MISSILE COMING OVER,

EXPLODING IN THE ATMOSPHERE

SENDING OUT AN ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE

THAT WOULD FRY ALL THE ELECTRONICS--

RADAR, SURVEILLANCE, COMPUTERS--

IN THE COUNTRY TO BE ATTACKED,

FOLLOWED BY AN ONSLAUGHT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE NUCLEAR AGE,

THE RUSSIANS ACTUALLY OPENED UP THE NUCLEAR FOOTBALL.

THEY WENT TO PRESIDENT YELTSIN; THEY OPENED UP

THE COMMAND AND CONTROL LAUNCH CODES-- THE BUTTON--

PUT IT ON THE DESK AND SAID, "WE'RE UNDER ATTACK."

Helfand: BORIS YELTSIN WAS BASICALLY GIVEN

FIVE MINUTES TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO.

FORTUNATELY, YELTSIN WASN'T DRUNK

AND HE DIDN'T BELIEVE WHAT THE MILITARY WAS TELLING HIM.

HE SAID, "THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE."

BOTH THE U.S. AND RUSSIA GUIDE THEIR NUCLEAR RESPONSE

WITH A DOCTRINE CALLED "LAUNCH ON WARNING."

IT IS THE POLICY THAT IF YOU BELIEVE YOU'RE UNDER ATTACK,

YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO LAUNCH YOUR MISSILES. YOU DON'T WAIT FOR THEM TO LAND.

ACCORDING TO RUSSIAN MILITARY DOCTRINE,

BORIS YELTSIN SHOULD HAVE LAUNCHED AN ALL-OUT NUCLEAR ATTACK

ON THE UNITED STATES THAT MORNING.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE KREMLIN.

ALL WE KNOW IS THAT HE DIDN'T.

Cirincione: THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF FALSE ALARMS

DURING THE COLD WAR.

WE'VE HAD OCCASIONS WHEN THE RISING MOON

WAS INTERPRETED TO BE A RUSSIAN I.C.B.M. ATTACK.

A FLOCK OF GEESE WAS THOUGHT TO BE BOMBERS.

A TRAINING TAPE WAS SLIPPED IN TO A COMPUTER

AT OUR COMMAND AND CONTROL HEADQUARTERS AT NORAD.

EVERYONE INVOLVED THOUGHT

THERE WAS AN ACTUAL ATTACK UNDERWAY.

Bruce Blair: A TAPE WAS INSERTED INTO

THE EARLY WARNING HUB IN COLORADO

THAT SIMULATED A LARGE-SCALE SOVIET NUCLEAR ATTACK.

AND NO ONE REALIZED

THAT IT WAS JUST A TRAINING TAPE

UNTIL THE UNITED STATES HAD GONE INTO

THIS SORT OF FRENZIED CHECKLIST PROCEDURE

TO PREPARE FOR NUCLEAR WAR.

AIRBORNE COMMAND POSTS ACTUALLY

IN SOME CASES TOOK OFF.

THE PRESIDENT'S DOOMSDAY PLANE

ACTUALLY LEFT ITS BASE IN PREPARATION

FOR AN INCOMING SOVIET STRIKE.

SENATOR CHARLES PERCY

HAPPENED TO BE THERE AT THE TIME

AND SAID THERE WAS ABSOLUTE PANIC.

( alarm blaring )

ANOTHER FALSE ALARM WAS CAUSED

BY A COMPUTER CHIP MALFUNCTION

THAT GENERATED INDICATIONS

OF A LARGE-SCALE SOVIET ATTACK.

WE RAISED THE ALERT LEVELS.

CREWS TOOK LAUNCH CODES OUT OF THEIR SAFES.

THEY INSERTED KEYS INTO THE LAUNCH SWITCHES.

Cirincione: ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI

WAS WOKEN UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

WITH THE ASSURED INSTRUCTION

THAT A NUCLEAR ATTACK WAS UNDERWAY

AND HE HAD TO GO WAKE UP PRESIDENT CARTER.

THERE WAS EIGHT MINUTES' WORTH

OF NUCLEAR LAUNCH PREPARATIONS

THAT WERE TRIGGERED

BY A MALFUNCTIONING COMPUTER CHIP

THAT COST LESS THAN A DOLLAR.

Frank von Hippel: YOU KNOW, HAVING MISSILES ON HAIR TRIGGER

IS AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN.

YOU KNOW, AS FERMI SAID ABOUT PHYSICS,

"WHAT ISN'T FORBIDDEN IS COMPULSORY,"

WILL EVENTUALLY HAPPEN.

THERE'S NOTHING THAT MAKES

THE LAUNCH OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IMPOSSIBLE.

IF THE PROBABILITY ISN'T ZERO,

IT WILL HAPPEN.

RECKONER... ♪

R. Scott Kemp: RIGHT NOW THE WORLD HAS A POLICY

THAT IS BASED HEAVILY ON TECHNOLOGY DENIAL--

YOU KEEP SOMETHING SECRET AND YOU CALL IT A DAY.

BUT SECRECY HAS A HALF-LIFE.

THINGS LEAK OUT.

CENTRIFUGES HAPPEN TO BE THE TECHNOLOGY

THAT IS GOING TO CHANGE THE GAME.

THEY ARE GOING TO DEMOCRATIZE

THE PROCESS OF BUILDING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

URANIUM EXISTS EVERYWHERE ON EARTH.

IT'S MORE COMMON THAN TIN.

99.3% OF ALL URANIUM IS URANIUM 238,

THE ISOTOPE THAT CANNOT BE USED FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

IT'S THAT 0.7% THAT YOU NEED TO SEPARATE OUT.

A CENTRIFUGE-- IT'S BASICALLY A TUBE.

IT SPINS THE URANIUM IN GAS FORM

AND IT PUSHES THE HEAVIER ATOMS TOWARDS THE WALL

AND THE LIGHTER ATOMS TOWARDS THE CENTER.

AND THEN YOU CAN SKIM OFF THE LIGHT ATOMS.

AND YOU DO THIS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN

MANY DOZENS OF TIMES

AND EVENTUALLY YOU PURIFY IT

TO A LEVEL THAT YOU CAN USE IN A BOMB.

THE COMMON WISDOM IS

THAT THEY'RE VERY COMPLICATED--

TECHNOLOGIES THAT TAKE COUNTRIES DECADES TO BUILD

AND ARE THE HIGHEST ACHIEVEMENTS.

BUT THE FACT IS THAT CENTRIFUGES ARE

1950s TECHNOLOGY.

AND THIS IS 2010.

ENRICHING URANIUM IS STILL

BEYOND THE REACH OF THE INDIVIDUAL.

IT'S A LOGISTICAL FEAT,

REQUIRING THOUSANDS OF CENTRIFUGES

WORKING FOR MONTHS OR YEARS.

BUT HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM

IS NOW WITHIN THE GRASP OF REALLY ANY COUNTRY.

AND ONCE YOU HAVE THE H.E.U.,

MAKING A CRUDE BOMB IS EASY.

( Gorbachev speaking Russian )

Ronald Reagan: WE'RE NOT JUST DISCUSSING LIMITS

ON A FURTHER INCREASE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

WE SEEK INSTEAD TO REDUCE THEIR NUMBER.

WE SEEK THE TOTAL ELIMINATION ONE DAY

OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

( Gorbachev speaking Russian )

Crowd: 10, NINE, EIGHT,

SEVEN, SIX, FIVE

FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE!

( crowd cheering, song playing )

SOMEWHERE

OVER THE RAINBOW

WAY UP HIGH... ♪

Man: HAPPY NEW YEAR, MAN!

DREAMS THAT YOU DREAM... ♪

Man #2: HAPPY NEW YEAR! LOVE YOU ALL!

ONCE IN A LULLABY

- ♪ SOMEWHERE ♪ - ( counter beeping )

OVER THE RAINBOW

BLUEBIRDS FLY... ♪

Cirincione: IN THE FIRST MILLIONTH OF A SECOND,

THE FIREBALL IS 500' ACROSS.

WITHIN 10 SECONDS,

IT WOULD GROW TO OVER ONE MILE.

Helfand: THE TEMPERATURE WOULD RISE TO 20,000,000°F--

HOTTER THAN THE SURFACE OF THE SUN.

THE BLAST WOULD GENERATE WINDS

IN EXCESS OF 650MPH.

FORCES OF THAT MAGNITUDE CAN DESTROY

ANYTHING THAT PEOPLE CAN BUILD.

Cirincione: THE STRONGEST BUILDINGS WOULD BE REDUCED TO RUBBLE.

TENS OF SQUARE BLOCKS

WOULD JUST BE MELTED, WOULD JUST BE EVAPORATED.

Helfand: EVERYTHING WOULD BE VAPORIZED--

THE BUILDINGS, THE CARS,

THE TREES, THE PEOPLE,

THE UPPER LEVEL OF THE EARTH ITSELF.

( crowd continues cheering )

Cirincione: THERE WERE 76,000 BUILDINGS IN HIROSHIMA.

70,000 OF THEM WERE DESTROYED.

THE HOSPITALS, THE FIRE STATIONS,

THE COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT, THE MILITARY INSTALLATIONS--

EVERYTHING JUST FLATTENED.

Jennifer Leaning: IN THE FIRST FIVE TO SIX MILES,

VIRTUALLY EVERYONE IN THAT FIVE-MILE RADIUS IS GOING TO DIE.

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THREE AND FOUR MILLION PEOPLE

DEAD IMMEDIATELY IN THE FIRST FIVE MILES.

Cirincione: IF YOU'RE LUCKY ENOUGH

TO BE EIGHT OR NINE MILES AWAY FROM THE BLAST,

THEN YOU WOULD EXPERIENCE IT

AS BLAST EFFECTS-- WINDOWS BEING SHATTERED.

Helfand: ENOUGH TO SHATTER EVERY WINDOW

AND TURN IT INTO HUNDREDS OF MISSILES FLYING OUTWARD

FROM THE CENTER OF THE EXPLOSION AT SPEEDS MORE THAN 100MPH.

Cirincione: AFTER THE BLAST, IT'S THE FIRESTORM

THAT WOULD JUST COMBUST EVERYTHING IN SIGHT.

Helfand: EVERYTHING FLAMMABLE WOULD BURN.

PAPER, CARDBOARD, CLOTH,

HEATING OIL, GASOLINE-- EVERYTHING WOULD IGNITE.

Ivan Oelrich: WHOLE BLOCKS WOULD CATCH FIRE.

Helfand: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FIRES WOULD COALESCE

INTO A GIANT FIRESTORM 11 MILES ACROSS.

Oelrich: EVERYTHING CATCHES ON FIRE. THEN THERE'S NO AIR TO BREATHE.

Helfand: ALL THE OXYGEN WOULD BE CONSUMED

AND EVERYONE WOULD DIE.

Leaning: IT IS USELESS TO TALK ABOUT--

WILL YOU DIE BECAUSE YOU'RE BURNED TO DEATH

OR BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN BLOWN TO BITS BY THE BLAST?

Molander: ANYONE LOOKING IN THE DIRECTION

OF THE NUCLEAR EXPLOSION-- THEY WILL BE BLINDED.

Helfand: LUNGS RUPTURED BY THE PRESSURE,

OR EARDRUMS RUPTURED BY THE PRESSURE,

CRUSH INJURIES FROM BUILDINGS FALLING ONTO THEM,

BROKEN BONES WHEN THEY'VE BEEN THROWN THROUGH THE AIR AGAINST BUILDINGS.

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, POSSIBLY EVEN MILLIONS,

WOULD DIE FROM THE FALLOUT.

Leaning: THE BODY DOES HAVE A REPAIR RATE FOR RADIATION.

BUT THE DOSES ARE SO HEAVY AND COMING SO QUICKLY

THAT IT WILL OVERWHELM THE BODY'S REPAIR MECHANISMS.

THE 450 TO 700 RAD DOSE KILLS YOU

BECAUSE IT WIPES OUT YOUR BLOOD CELLS.

OVER 3000 RADs-- YOU WILL GO INTO SEIZURES, IMMEDIATE COMA,

AND YOU WILL DIE WITHIN A MATTER OF MINUTES TO HOURS.

Helfand: MOST OF THE DOCTORS ARE GONNA BE DEAD.

MOST OF THE NURSES ARE GONNA BE DEAD.

MOST OF THE HOSPITALS ARE GONNA BE DESTROYED.

HUGE NUMBERS OF CASUALTIES AND NO MEDICAL EQUIPMENT.

Leaning: THERE WILL BE A NEED FOR ANTIBIOTICS--

TENS OF UNITS OF BLOOD PER PERSON.

Oelrich: THERE WON'T BE ANY ELECTRICAL POWER.

Leaning: VAST AMOUNTS OF INTRAVENOUS FLUID

TO SUSTAIN PEOPLE WHO'VE BEEN BURNED-- JUST BURNED.

Oelrich: YOU COULDN'T TREAT ALL THE BURN VICTIMS.

Leaning: AND THEN AT A CERTAIN POINT THE CASUALTIES BECOME SO HIGH,

IT'S POINTLESS TO TRY TO MAKE ANY SENSE OUT OF IT.

THE DOCTOR IN THE RED CROSS HOSPITAL

WHO TURNS INTO AN AUTOMATON,

BINDING, SWABBING, DAUBING,

BINDING, SWABBING, DAUBING.

AND THAT'S WHAT DESCENDED ON THE PHYSICIANS AND NURSES

IN HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI.

Bunn: SOMEONE WOULD SURELY CLAIM THEY HAD 10 MORE

THAT WERE ALREADY HIDDEN SOMEWHERE

AND THEY'D START SETTING THEM OFF UNLESS THEIR DEMANDS WERE MET.

Molander: EVERY OTHER BIG CITY IS GONNA WONDER

WHETHER THEY MIGHT BE A TARGET.

Bunn: PUBLIC PANIC, PEOPLE FLEEING MAJOR CITIES.

YOU COULD FORGET ABOUT RULES ABOUT SEARCH AND SEIZURE.

YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO BE SEARCHING EVERYWHERE.

YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT CIVIL LIBERTIES

WHEN PEOPLE REALIZE A WHOLE CITY WAS JUST DESTROYED.

Cirincione: YOU'D TAKE THE BILL OF RIGHTS, YOU'D PUT IT UP ON A SHELF,

AND YOU MIGHT NEVER SEE IT AGAIN.

PEOPLE WOULD BE DEMANDING DRACONIAN MEASURES

TO MAKE SURE THAT ANOTHER CITY DIDN'T GO UP.

Oppenheimer: A FEW PEOPLE LAUGHED.

A FEW PEOPLE CRIED.

MOST PEOPLE WERE SILENT.

I REMEMBERED THE LINE

FROM THE HINDU SCRIPTURE, THE BHAGAVAD GITA--

VISHNU

IS TRYING TO PERSUADE THE PRINCE

THAT HE SHOULD DO HIS DUTY

AND TO IMPRESS HIM

TAKES ON HIS MULTIARMED FORM

AND SAYS,

"NOW I AM BECOME DEATH,

THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS."

John F. Kennedy: EVERY MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD

LIVES UNDER A NUCLEAR SWORD OF DAMOCLES,

HANGING BY THE SLENDEREST OF THREADS

CAPABLE OF BEING CUT AT ANY MOMENT

BY ACCIDENT OR MISCALCULATION OR BY MADNESS.

THE WEAPONS OF WAR MUST BE ABOLISHED

BEFORE THEY ABOLISH US.

( sirens wailing )

Robert McNamara: THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS ENDANGERED

THE VERY EXISTENCE OF OUR NATION.

WE CAME THAT CLOSE TO NUCLEAR WAR.

NEITHER THE SOVIETS NOR WE, THE U.S.,

INTENDED TO PUT OUR NATIONS AT THAT RISK.

AND THE NEXT TIME WE MAY NOT BE SO LUCKY.

THEY KILL BY THE MILLIONS. THEY KILL IN NUMBERS

THAT THE HUMAN IMAGINATION

SIMPLY CANNOT COMPREHEND.

Rev. Richard Cizik: I USED TO THINK, "WELL, WE POSSESS NUCLEAR WEAPONS

IN ORDER TO PREVENT THEIR USE."

WE NOW KNOW WE LIVE IN A WORLD IN WHICH

IF WE POSSESS THEM,

IF ANYONE POSSESSES THEM, THEY WILL BE USED.

I DON'T SEE ANY GOOD THAT A NUCLEAR WEAPON COULD DO OR BRING TO THE WORLD.

IN MY OPINION, YOU CAN FORGET THEM.

I THINK THEY SHOULD BE DESTROYED.

I THINK WE'D BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT 'EM.

THERE'S 183 COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

THAT DO NOT HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

MANY OF THESE COUNTRIES COULD HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

THEY'VE CHOSEN NOT TO.

F.W. de Klerk: WE HAVE DECIDED

TO TAKE A 180° TURN IN SOUTH AFRICA.

WHEN I BECAME PRESIDENT, I WAS THEN INFORMED

THAT WE HAD COMPLETED SIX DEVICES

MORE OR LESS COMPARABLE TO THE BOMBS

WHICH WERE ACTUALLY USED AT HIROSHIMA.

I INDICATED

THAT I WOULD LIKE US TO STOP THIS PROGRAM

AND TO BECOME PART OF THE MAINSTREAM IN THE WORLD AGAIN.

Wilson: THE ONLY WAY TO ELIMINATE

THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR TERRORISM

IS TO ELIMINATE ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN ALL COUNTRIES.

WE'VE GOT TO ENSURE THAT NEVER ONCE

DO TERRORISTS SUCCEED

IN DETONATING A NUCLEAR WEAPON.

Thomas D'Agostino: WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT NUCLEAR SECURITY,

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MATERIAL.

THE SIMPLE PHYSICAL FACT IS

THAT IF YOU DON'T HAVE FISSILE MATERIAL--

EITHER HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM OR PLUTONIUM, FOR EXAMPLE--

THEN YOU CANNOT HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON.

THE FOCUS IS ALL ABOUT THE MATERIAL.

STOP MAKING NEW MATERIAL.

SECURE THE MATERIAL WHERE YOU KNOW IT IS AROUND THE WORLD.

AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU DETECT ILLICIT TRANSFER OF THE MATERIAL.

AND THEN START GETTING RID OF THE MATERIAL YOU HAVE.

Glaser: TODAY IN THE WORLD WE HAVE ABOUT 1700 TONS OF H.E.U.

SO THAT'S ENOUGH MATERIAL FOR, YOU KNOW,

ON THE ORDER OF 50,000 TO 100,000 WEAPONS

AND TO REALLY CREATE

A TRULY INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM FOR THESE FACILITIES.

Sagan: INTERNATIONAL FUEL BANKS

OR INTERNATIONAL REPROCESSING CENTERS--

THAT'D BE A MUCH SAFER WORLD.

WE HAVEN'T LOST AN OUNCE OF GOLD FROM FORT KNOX.

WE SHOULDN'T LOSE AN OUNCE OF PLUTONIUM

OR HIGHLY-ENRICHED URANIUM.

Bruce Blair: DURING THE COLD WAR I BELIEVED

IN THE VALUE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO DETER AN ATTACK.

20 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL

THERE'S NO EXCUSE ANY LONGER

FOR KEEPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS ON LAUNCH-READY ALERT.

WE CAN REMOVE

ALL OF THE WARHEADS ON OUR MISSILES,

SHARE OUR SAFEGUARDS TECHNOLOGY

AND ESTABLISH A JOINT WARNING CENTER

TO ENSURE NUCLEAR WAR CANNOT HAPPEN BY MISTAKE.

Richard Burt: WHEN I CAME INTO GOVERNMENT IN THE EARLY 1980s,

THE IDEA THAT WITHIN ABOUT 10 YEARS

BOTH SIDES WOULD HAVE AGREED

TO A 50% REDUCTION IN THEIR NUCLEAR WEAPONS

WOULD HAVE SOUNDED ABSURD. BUT WE ACHIEVED IT.

THAT MEANS A REDUCTION

OF MORE THAN 5,000 NUCLEAR WARHEADS APIECE.

WE HAVE GONE ALMOST 20 YEARS NOW

WITHOUT ANY REALLY DEMONSTRATIVE STEPS

TO NUCLEAR REDUCTIONS.

Cirincione: THIS HAS TO BE A STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS.

THAT'S HOW WE DID IT WITH CHEMICAL WEAPONS.

THESE WEAPONS ARE NOW TABOO.

James Baker III: THE SOVIET UNION IMPLODED WHEN I WAS SECRETARY OF STATE.

AND WE ACTUALLY GOT AN ENFORCEABLE TREATY

WHERE WE GOT BELARUS, KAZAKHSTAN AND UKRAINE

TO GIVE UP THEIR NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

ALL COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD HAVE TO SIGN

A LEGALLY BINDING,

INTRUSIVELY VERIFIABLE AGREEMENT

TO RID THE WORLD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

Burt: THE CHOICE WE FACE IS

ELIMINATING NUCLEAR WEAPONS

OR LIVING IN A WORLD WITH 25 OR 30 NUCLEAR POWERS.

WE CAN DO THIS.

THERE HAS TO BE

A CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED PROCESS OF REDUCTIONS.

THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA,

WITH 96% OF THE WORLD'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS,

HAVE TO LEAD THE WAY.

Cirincione: WE'RE STARTING IN A WORLD

WHERE THERE ARE 23,000 NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

THE VERY FIRST STEP IS

TO CUT THOSE ARSENALS DRAMATICALLY

IN THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA.

ONCE YOU GET DOWN TO THE LOW HUNDREDS IN THE WORLD,

THEN YOU WILL HAVE BUILT UP THE CONFIDENCE AND THE MECHANISMS

TO ENSURE THAT YOU CAN VERIFY THIS PROCESS

SO THAT WE CAN GET RID OF THE LAST ONE.

NONE.

SHOULD BE ZERO.

I SAY ZERO. ( laughs )

- NEVER HAVE IT. - WE'D RATHER NOT HAVE THEM, I THINK.

- NONE. - NONE.

- ZERO. - ZERO.

NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS. ZERO.

- ZERO. - ZERO.

NO COUNTRY SHOULD HAVE THEM.

THE OPTIMUM NUMBER IS NONE.

IDEAL WILL BE ZERO.

ZERO NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

( speaking Russian ) NOL. NOL.

Barack Obama: WE'VE TAKEN IMPORTANT STEPS FORWARD

TO INCREASE NUCLEAR SECURITY

AND TO STOP THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

THIS STARTS WITH THE REDUCTION

OF OUR OWN NUCLEAR ARSENALS.

THIS LEGALLY BINDING TREATY

WILL BE COMPLETED THIS YEAR.

Burt: THE ARMS CONTROL AGREEMENTS WE NEGOTIATED

BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE SOVIET UNION--

YOU'D THINK THESE WERE INDEPENDENT INITIATIVES

TAKEN BY GOVERNMENTS.

BUT THE FACT IS, PUBLIC OPINION

HAD A BIG ROLE TO PLAY IN THE PROCESS.

Cirincione: PRESIDENT KENNEDY,

AFTER HE PASSED THE LIMITED TEST BAN TREATY,

AND WHENEVER HE MENTIONED IT ON THE STUMP AFTERWARDS,

HE GOT THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE.

AND HE QUIPPED, "IF I HAD KNOWN IT WAS SO POPULAR,

I WOULD HAVE DONE IT A LONG TIME AGO."

McNamara: ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

HAS NOT YET BEEN AGREED TO

BY THE POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE WORLD.

IT'S A REVOLUTIONARY IDEA, BUT THEY CAN BE ELIMINATED.

Cizik: WE HAVE TO CHANGE OUR WAY OF THINKING.

AND IF WE CAN'T CHANGE OUR WAY OF THINKING,

WE WON'T SURVIVE. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.

I'VE CHANGED MY THINKING,

AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE ARE CHANGING THEIR THINKING.

AND FRANKLY, IF YOU'VE NEVER CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT SOMETHING,

I SAY, YOU KNOW, PINCH YOURSELF. YOU MAY BE DEAD.

( rock music playing )

HEY HEY HEY

WHEN SOMETHING'S DARK

LET ME SHED A LITTLE LIGHT ON IT

WHEN SOMETHING'S COLD

LET ME PUT A LITTLE FIRE ON IT

IF SOMETHING'S OLD

I WANNA PUT A BIT OF SHINE ON IT

WHEN SOMETHING'S GONE

I WANNA FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH

FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH

WHEN SOMETHING'S BROKE

I WANNA PUT A BIT OF FIXIN' ON IT

WHEN SOMETHING'S BORED

I WANNA PUT A LITTLE EXCITING ON IT

IF SOMETHING'S LOW

I WANNA PUT A LITTLE HIGH ON IT

WHEN SOMETHING'S LOST

I WANNA FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH

FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH

WHEN SIGNALS CROSS

I WANNA PUT A LITTLE STRAIGHT ON IT

IF THERE'S NO LOVE

I WANNA TRY TO LOVE AGAIN

I'LL SAY YOUR PRAYERS

I'LL TAKE YOUR SIDE

I'LL FIND US A WAY

TO MAKE LIGHT

I'LL DIG YOUR GRAVE

WE'LL DANCE AND SING

WHAT'S SAVED COULD BE

ONE LAST LIFETIME

HEY HEY HEY

AH-AH AH-AH

AH-AH AH-AH, AH-AH AH-AH

WHEN SOMETHING'S DARK

LET ME SHED A LITTLE LIGHT ON IT

WHEN SOMETHING'S COLD

LET ME PUT A LITTLE FIRE ON IT

IF SOMETHING'S OLD

I WANNA PUT A BIT OF SHINE ON IT

WHEN SOMETHING'S GONE

I WANNA FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH

FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH

WHEN SOMETHING'S BROKE

I WANNA PUT A BIT OF FIXIN' ON IT

WHEN SOMETHING'S BORED

I WANNA PUT A LITTLE EXCITING ON IT

IF SOMETHING'S LOW

I WANNA PUT A LITTLE HIGH ON IT

WHEN SOMETHING'S LOST

I WANNA FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH

FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH

FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH

FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH

FIGHT TO GET IT BACK AGAIN

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH. ♪

The Description of Countdown to Zero