Ron Rosenbaum recounts the moving tale of the Cold War Major kicked out of the Air Force for asking whether flipping the nuclear switch could ever be considered lawful orders. Rosenbaum tracked him down to understand why the question still matters:
Any president could, on his own, leave a room, and in 25 minutes, 70 million (or more than that) would be dead. Not likely but in the new, more unstable, multi-polar nuclear age we've entered, Maj. Hering's question about the instability or sanity of the president himself remains valid, as does the larger sanity question: Can any order to kill 20 million with the twist of a wrist be sane?
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