ACTION ALERT: Revoke President's Unilateral "Right" to Launch a Nuclear War
March 28, 2017
NBC News & Robert Weissman / Public Citizen
Only one person on Earth can unilaterally launch America's nuclear arsenal. He doesn't need anyone's approval to trigger a global thermonuclear cataclysm; he doesn't even need a congressional declaration of war. He is the president of the United States. When it comes to nuclear war, there are no "checks and balances." This must change.
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ACTION ALERT: Petition to Congress:
Stop Trump from Starting Nuclear War
Robert Weissman / Public Citizen
WASHINGTON (March 26, 2017) -- As it stands, only one person on Earth can order the launch of America's nuclear arsenal. He doesn't need approval from any other living soul to set off a global thermonuclear cataclysm. He doesn't even have to wait for a congressional declaration of war.
His name is Donald Trump.
As president of the United States, Donald Trump has supreme authority to launch a nuclear strike and literally no one can stop him.
We can change that. Two members of Congress, Rep. Ted Lieu and Sen. Ed Markey, have proposed urgent legislation to prevent the US president from starting a nuclear war without a declaration of war by Congress.
Trump exposes the terrifying power of a system built for speed and mass destruction at the president's sole discretion. From opening the door to using nuclear weapons in the Middle East to questioning why we have nuclear weapons if we "can't use" them, Donald Trump has shown just how dangerous it is to let any one person have the unchecked power to destroy the entire world with the push of a button.
Public Citizen -- along with allies like the American Friends Service Committee, the Council for a Livable World and the Union of Concerned Scientists -- is supporting urgent legislation in Congress to ensure that no president can independently initiate a nuclear strike.
ACTION: Tell Congress: Pass legislation NOW to prohibit the president from unilaterally starting a nuclear war. Add your name today.
To all US Senators and Representatives:
We call on you to take action to ensure that no president can unilaterally launch a nuclear war.
US nuclear launch procedures have been designed for speed, not for democratic decisions. The president (or his designee) is the only person who can order the use of nuclear weapons and there are no checks or balances on that authority. As President Richard Nixon observed in 1974, "I can go back into my office and pick up the telephone and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead."
While it should be inconceivable that any American president would conduct a nuclear first strike, President Trump's past statements and erratic behavior make it imperative that we put checks and balances on nuclear launch authority.
Only Congress can declare war, and that authority should apply to a nuclear first strike as well. Please co-sponsor H.R. 669/S. 200 to make America and the world safer by prohibiting the president from unilaterally starting a nuclear war.
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Arms Control Association
Council for a Livable World
Environmentalists Against War
Just Foreign Policy
Progressive Congress Action Fund
Union of Concerned Scientists
United for Peace and Justice
Win Without War
Women's Action for New Directions
Thank you for taking action to restrain Trump.
Robert Weissman is president of Public Citizen
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Copyright 2017 Public Citizen