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IP: it is all a computer illusion (from RISKS)
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 04:24:20 -0500

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 97 10:24:00 PST
From: "Peter G. Neumann" <neumann () csl sri com>
Subject: Stansfield Turner's new book includes near-war risk

In his book, ``Caging the Nuclear Genie'', Admiral Stansfield Turner,
describes an incident that occurred on 3 June 1980 when he was President
Carter's CIA director.  Colonel William Odom alerted Zbigniew Brzezinski at
2:26 a.m. that the warning system was predicting a 220-missile nuclear
attack on the U.S.  It was revised shortly thereafter to be an all-out
attack of 2200 missiles.  Just before Brzezinski was about to wake up the
President, it was learned that the ``attack'' was an illusion -- which
Turner says was caused by ``a computer error in the system.''  His book
makes various suggestions that would greatly reduce the threats of
accidental nuclear war.  ``We have had thousands of false alarms of
impending missile attacks on the United States, and a few could have spun
out of control.''  [Source: Keay Davidson, *San Francisco Examiner*, in the
*San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle*, 19 Oct 1997, p. A-17.]


"Photons have neither morals nor visas"  --  Dave Farber 1994

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