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When classified operations are conducted everyone involved is briefed on a need to know basis. A pilot would be briefed that he would be carrying live nukes. These nukes were purposely mated, transported, and loaded on the aircraft then flown to Barksdale.
This was no accident. I refuse to believe that it was. Too many safeguards are in place and to even think that all of the safety protocols were able to be bypassed by people in every aspect of the entire operation is just not feasible.
These weapons are very destructive and detonating a large multimegaton-sized warhead anywhere is asking for a nuclear winter. Just one might do the trick. The amount of fallout, if detonated in North America, could wipe out the entire U.S. Everything after that is overkill. Mutually Assured Destruction.