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Who is minding the launch codes?

31 Representatives actually proposed alternative handling of nuclear launch codes. This raises the question of who is minding them now.

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Nuclear football. The President carries the launch codes to make it work

Hello this is Darrell Castle with today’s Castle Report. Today is Friday the 5th day of March in the year of our Lord 2021. Today I will be talking about whether the President of the United States is physically and mentally capable of doing the job he holds. That job includes the retaliatory launch of nuclear missiles when an enemy launch is detected, a concept known as launch on warning.

First though, the Castle family is enjoying the sudden spring like weather that has returned following our weeklong bout with freezing arctic winter. Spring temperatures are here, and the ducks and geese are returning from their migration to escape the frozen lakes. The family daughter has no geese in Los Angeles, but she is doing well in the almost perfect, at least for now, weather of Southern California.

Nuclear launch on warning concept

Since the use of nuclear weapons brought an end to World War ll, and a beginning to the nuclear age the authority to launch nuclear missiles has resided in the President of the United States. A military officer follows the President everywhere he goes day and night with a briefcase that contains the launch codes and the launch sequence for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

The reasoning is that a launch anywhere in the world can be detected instantly and the president would have literally seconds to launch before our own strike capability was destroyed by an incoming enemy attack. American missiles must be out of their launch silos before the enemy missiles hit. As I said in my opening paragraph that concept is known as launch on warning.

We are now capable of retaliation even if every launch silo were destroyed because we have nuclear missile submarines prowling 1000 feet beneath the oceans each with 24 nuclear Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles each of those with up to 10 warheads capable of hitting 10 different targets anywhere in the world. If that all sounds like madness that’s because it is. Its madness but it is also reality and for the entire nuclear age that madness has been in the hands and the mind of the President.

But if a President is not up to it

What happens if the President loses his mind or has no mind to begin with? That is a nightmare scenario that Hollywood movies portray,1 but it is also unfortunately a realistic possibility. If not the President, then who? What person can be trusted, what group of people can be consulted, within the seconds available before disaster happens? The President doesn’t have to be unhinged or mad. He just has to be mentally incapable of thought or rationality to generate a nightmare scenario.

President Biden is President, in part because the COVID virus allowed his handlers and his Party to keep him locked away so the American people could not see that he could not complete a coherent sentence or keep a thought in his head for a full sentence. When does he exhibit this failure today? Constantly, all the time, every single time he speaks without exception. The man simply cannot complete a sentence in a coherent understandable fashion. Most of the time when he speaks one is left wondering what he said, and if he knows where he is.2

Examples of President Biden’s less-than-stellar performance in public

I’m not trying to be unduly harsh toward President Biden or to say something that might damage him. Politically, I disagree with him totally and completely, but he is still the President. And if there is a hostile launch, I would like to know that he can respond. But it is obvious to me that he cannot. If you don’t believe me just listen to him anytime he speaks in public to anyone.

The other day I heard him speaking from script to a group of reporters about some policy matter. His wife Jill was right there as she always is. And in the middle of one of his incoherent sentences, Jill took over and explained the President’s policy to the reporters.3 Rumors fly in Washington, but it is obvious to anyone who will look and listen, whether left or right, Democrat or Republican or anything else that President Biden is not competent to launch or refrain from launching nuclear missiles.

One rumor that I have heard is that:

  1. He is only capable of getting out in public for about 2-3 hours per day, and that
  2. Kamala Harris takes all calls from foreign governments intended for the President.4

I just hope that if there is a Chinese or Russian launch, it is during one of his coherent hours. I said before that his condition is obvious to anyone who looks. And apparently Members of Congress have been looking.

Members of Congress try to take away the launch codes

The Representatives cleverly couch their concerns in their fear of Donald Trump.

But anyone who reads their letter knows exactly what their real fear is. 31 Democratic members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the President and the nuclear command structure:

My colleagues and I are requesting a straightforward review of our nation’s nuclear command-and-control structure to determine how we can have a safer nuclear weapons launch authority, not to jeopardize but to enhance and bolster our national security.

The letter sent to the White House last Monday proposes several alternatives to “investing the president with the sole, unchecked and final authority to order the use of nuclear weapons.” Keep in mind that no such letter was sent during the administration of the hated and feared Donald Trump. Now that nice old grandfather Joe Biden is in charge, they express fear in the handling of nuclear launch protocol.

An unworkable alternative

If not the president, then who should have authority to launch? The suggestion in the letter is that no launch would be authorized unless the President, the Vice President, and the Speaker of the House all concurred. So here is apparently their plan: a launch is detected somewhere in China against the United States. It is a massive nuclear annihilation event perhaps a joint effort from China and Russia. The current policy would be for the launch officer to hand the nuclear launch case to the President. He would enter the codes and American missiles would leave their silos before the enemy missiles destroyed them.

I doubt if the President is capable of understanding what was happening clearly enough to make a rational decision especially one that involved only seconds. Under the plan of the 31 Democrat members of Congress, the launch officer would have to get the permission of Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi as well as the President. A decision that must be made in seconds would stretch into minutes, more than likely several minutes. I suppose their plan is to just absorb the first strike and hope that the survivors could order a submarine retaliatory attack.

Previous immoral Presidents have held the launch codes

One of the authors of the letter, Representative Jimmy Panetta of California, said

The old argument was that it was safe to give the president this power because the election was the ultimate safeguard. Trump’s election shows that an unfit, amoral and dangerous person can, in fact, gain power in the United States.

Well Mr. Panetta, you just described virtually every Democrat President going back to John Kennedy. But they were all trusted with the launch codes as was your hated enemy, Donald Trump.

However, your current President, Joe Biden, is mentally incompetent to make that or any other decision and you know it. By the way, Congressman your comments about the election and the will of the American people does not reflect well on your supposed love for democracy. To you, the American people are not capable of making a decision that is pleasing to you, so you must make it for them. Maybe you should have the codes Congressman, so why don’t we tell the launch officer to call you if an enemy launch is detected?

I will take the liberty and say because it is not the job you were elected to do. It is the job Joe Biden currently holds. So why not just be honest if you are capable of such a thing and tell the truth? The President is disabled, not abled, incompetent to make the decision. That is terrifying, but it is the fault of you and people like you.

Can Biden even understand what’s happening or why?

I don’t like it one little bit and it should not be allowed to happen. If the President is not capable, then the Vice President must act. Should such a terrible event become a reality, there will be no time to call Nancy Pelosi and have a committee meeting. The lawmakers of the President’s own party are asking him to voluntarily surrender his nuclear authority. The sad thing is that he probably can’t even understand what the letter says but maybe Jill can explain it to him.

The President could address the letter and the problem it presents in his state of the union message. But unfortunately, that is very unlikely to happen because there will most likely be no state of the union message. Why no glorious speech to a joint session? The speech would be very problematic because the President cannot speak coherently. Would whoever makes decisions for this administration want to put him on display to the whole world.

The Biden administration can’t be bothered to tell Congress and the American people what the state of the union is. It must be really embarrassing for them to make up one lying excuse after another. Nancy Pelosi suggested that the reason was that they were all terrified of Trump supporters. Yes, they are terrified even with 25000 troops surrounding them. Their excuses are very tiring, but I suppose for their base excuses are better than admitting the truth.

So who really guards those launch codes?

There is some truth to the administration’s witch hunt for Trump supporters though. A headline in The Washington Post a few days ago quoted the director of the FBI as saying there are 2000 cases of domestic terrorism in America every single day. Now if we do the math on that we can see that with 50 states we have 40 cases in each state per day. Some state must be getting 80 because in Tennessee there are none.

This continuing Trump hatred is just more grist from the mill of the ministry of propaganda. It keeps us distracted and keeps Democrat voters from asking why we bombed Syria. Why did we bomb Syria, Mr. President? I would like to know so perhaps a non-scripted press conference might help. No, I remember now that you don’t do those. Because you can’t even answer a simple question from a fawning, adoring media.

Finally, folks, every good puppet needs a puppet master so the show can go own. I just wonder how many puppet masters we have and how many of them have the launch codes.

At least that’s the way I see it.

Until next time folks,

This is Darrell Castle.

Editor’s Notes

1 See for example The Dead Zone, dir. David Cronenberg, screenplay by Jeffrey Boam, from a novel by Stephen King. With Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, and Martin Sheen. Sheen plays a Presidential candidate whom a prophet (Walken) realizes will launch a first strike if he gets The Football. Dino De Laurentiis Group, 1983. <>

2 See, for example, this instance when he asked, “What am I doing here?” in the middle of a speech.

3 One may reasonably infer that Ellen Bolling Galt Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson, would have done the same had her husband tried to speak to reporters shortly after his famous stroke.

4 The New York Post confirms this.

About the image

“Andree Korpys/Markus Löffler – The Nuclear Football” by In Memoriam: saschapohflepp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Attorney at Law at | Website | + posts

Darrell Castle is an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee, a former USMC Combat Officer and 2008 Vice Presidential nominee. Darrell gives his unique analysis of current national and international events from a historical and constitutional perspective. You can subscribe to Darrell's weekly podcast at

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