It was something like a sequel to “Dr Strangelove” the black humor of Stanley Kubrick’s blockbuster from the 60’s with the genial Peter Sellers. Six armed nuclear warheads were mistakenly flown across the U.S., mounted on the wings of a B-52 bomber – the same type of plane portrayed in Kubrick’s movie.

The news of this unthinkable event, which occurred during the last days of August, was mentioned only briefly in the media. There are more “important” matters; the latest scandal of the rich and famous or the misfortunes of disgraceful politicians.

But this blunder from the U.S. Air Force must be extensively examined and investigated. The cruise missiles, each one with nearly 10 times the destructive force that annihilated Hiroshima, were hanging on the bomber for a 1,500 miles trip from North Dakota to Louisiana, with the flight crew totally unaware.

The explanation given by Lt. Colonel Ed Thomas, a U.S. Air Force spokesman stated that, “All evidence we have seen so far points to an isolated mistake. The error was discovered during internal checks. The weapons remained in air force control and custody at all times.”

In other words we don’t need to worry, everything is under control. But a different point of view was expressed by Rep. Edward J. Markey, senior member of the Homeland Security Committee: “This was absolutely inexcusable. Nothing like this has ever been reported before and we have been assured for decades that it was impossible.”

Is this the same kind of control we have in Iraq?

We, at the NAPF believe that this kind of “mistake” could lead to a nuclear nightmare. This is another example of why the nuclear arsenals are the “sword of Damocles” hanging over the head of all of us. A most powerful reason to continue our tireless campaign to eliminate the nuclear weapons before they eliminate the human race.

Ruben Arvizu is Director for Latin America for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (