The password to launch US nuclear missiles during Cold War era was:

Missiles being moved around may have presented a few Maalox moments, but when they were in the silos, they were safe and secure, right? You’re not gonna launch these babies without bunches of people going through bunches of complicated steps, especially once Defense Secretary Robert McNamara put technical locks on the Minutemen nukes around 1961, right? Except that the Strategic Air Command thought the eight-digit combinations necessary to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles were for wimps, the kind of fraidy-cats who engage the safety on their personal firearms. So the combination for all the missiles was kept at “00000000.”

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This was revealed by Bruce G. Blair, PhD, who was a Minuteman launch officer during this period. Now the head of the Center for Defense Information, he says: “Our launch checklist in fact instructed us, the firing crew, to double-check the locking panel in our underground launch bunker to ensure that no digits other than zero had been inadvertently dialed into the panel.”

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When Blair told McNamara about this in 2004, the old warmonger went ballistic. “I am shocked, absolutely shocked and outraged,” he blustered. “Who the hell authorized that?”

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