SCOTT RITTER: The Atomic Executioner’s Lament

While the world focuses on the trials and travails of the scientists who invented the atomic bomb, little attention is paid to the hard positions taken by the nuclear executioners, the men called upon to drop these bombs in time of war.

Crew of the Enola Gay, returning from their atomic bombing mission over Hiroshima, Japan. At center is navigator Capt. Theodore Van Kirk; to the right, in foreground, is flight commander Col. Paul Tibbetts. (Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

There is an interesting scene in Chris Nolan’s film Oppenheimer, one which could easily get lost in the complexity of telling the story of the man considered to be the father of the American atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer.

The Trinity test of the first nuclear device has been successfully completed, and Oppenheimer is watching as two men in military uniform are packing up one of Oppenheimer’s “gadgets” for shipment out of Los Alamos to an undisclosed destination.

Oppenheimer talks to them about the optimum height for the detonation of the weapon above ground, but is cut off by one of the soldiers, who, smiling, declares “We’ve got it from here.”

Such men existed, although the scene in the movie — and the dialogue — was almost certainly the product of a scriptwriter’s imagination. The U.S. military went to great lengths to keep the method of delivery of the atomic bomb a secret, not to be shared with either Oppenheimer or his scientists.  

Formed on March 6, 1945, the 1st Ordnance Squadron, Special (Aviation) was part of the 509th Composite Group, commanded by then-Lieutenant Colonel Paul Tibbets. Prior to being organized into the 1st Ordnance Squadron, the men of the unit were assigned to a U.S. Army ordnance squadron stationed a Wendover, Utah, where Tibbets and the rest of the 509th Composite Group were based.

Mission map for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945. Scale is not consistent due to curvature of Earth. Angles and locations approximate. Kokura included as original target for Aug. 9 but weather obscured visibility; Nagasaki chosen instead. (Mr.98, Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

While Oppenheimer and his scientists designed the nuclear device, the mechanism of delivery — the bomb itself — was designed by specialists assigned to the 509th. It was the job of the men of the 1st Ordnance Squadron to build these bombs from scratch.

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima by Paul Tibbets, flying a B-29 named the Enola Gay, was assembled on the Pacific Island of Tinian by the 1st Ordnance Squadron.

Concerned about the possibility of the B-29 crashing on takeoff, thereby triggering the explosive charge that would send the uranium slug into the uranium core (the so-called gun device), the decision was made that the final assembly of the bomb would be done only after the Enola Gay took off.

One of the 1st Ordnance Squadron technicians placed the uranium slug into the bomb at 7,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean.

The bomb worked as designed, killing more than 80,000 Japanese in an instant; hundreds of thousands more died afterwards from the radiation released by the weapon.

For the pilot and crew of the Enola Gay, there was no remorse over killing so many people. “I knew we did the right thing because when I knew we’d be doing that I thought, yes, we’re going to kill a lot of people, but by God we’re going to save a lot of lives,’ Tibbets recounted to Studs Terkel in 2002. He added:

“We won’t have to invade [Japan]. You’re gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we’ve never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn’t kill innocent people,” Tibbets told Terkel. “If the newspapers would just cut out the shit: ‘You’ve killed so many civilians.’ That’s their tough luck for being there.”

An atomic bomb victim with burns, Ninoshima Quarantine Office, Aug. 7, 1945. (Onuka Masami, Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

Major Charles Sweeney, the pilot of Bockscar, the B-29 that dropped the second American atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, held similar convictions about his role in killing 35,000 Japanese instantly.

“I saw these beautiful young men who were being slaughtered by an evil, evil military force,” Sweeney recounted in 1995. “There’s no question in my mind that President Truman made the right decision.” However, Sweeney noted, “As the man who commanded the last atomic mission, I pray that I retain that singular distinction.”

History records the remorse felt by Oppenheimer and his Soviet counterpart, Andrei Sakharov, and the punishment they both suffered at the hands of their respective governments. They suffered from designer’s remorse, a regret — stated after the fact — that what they had built should not be used, but somehow locked away from the world, as if the Pandora’s Box of nuclear weaponization had never been opened.

Having designed their respective weapons, however, both Oppenheimer and Sakharov lost control of their creations, turning them over to military establishments which did not participate in the intellectual and moral machinations of bringing such a weapon into existence, but rather the cold, hard reality of using these weapons to achieve a purpose and goal which, as had been the case for Tibbets and Sweeney, seemed justified.

Ignoring the Executioners

Brigadier General Charles W. Sweeney, pilot of aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. (Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

This is the executioners lament, a contradiction of emotions where the perceived need for justice outweighs the costs associated.

While the world focuses on the trials and travails of Oppenheimer and Sakharov, they remain silent about the hard positions taken by the nuclear executioners, the men called upon to drop these bombs in time of war.  There have only been two such men, and they remained resolute in their judgement that it was the right thing to do.

The executioner’s lament is overlooked by most people involved in supporting nuclear disarmament. This is a mistake, because the executioner, as was pointed out to Oppenheimer by the men of the 1st Ordnance Squadron, is in control.

They possess the weapons, and they are the ones who will be called upon to deliver the weapons. Their loyalty and dedication to task is constantly tested in order to ensure that, when the time comes to execute orders, they will do so without question.

Image of a younger Petrov from a family album. (Stanislav Petrov’s Personal Library, Wikimedia Commons, CC0)

Those opposed to nuclear weapons often point to the example of Stanislav Petrov, a former lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defense Forces who, in 1983, twice made a decision to delay reporting the suspected launch of U.S. missiles towards the Soviet Union, believing (rightly) that the launch detection was a result of malfunctioning equipment.

But the fact is that Petrov was an outlier who himself admitted that had another officer been on duty that fateful day, they would have reported the American missile launches per protocol.

Those who will execute the orders to use nuclear weapons in any future nuclear conflict will, in fact, execute those orders. They are trained, like Tibbets and Sweeney, to believe in the righteousness of their cause.

Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian prime minister and president who currently serves as the deputy chairman of the Russian National Security Council, has publicly warned the Western supporters of Ukraine that Russia would “have to” use nuclear weapons if Ukrainian forces were to succeed in their goal of recapturing the former territories of Ukraine that have been claimed by Russia in the aftermath of referenda held in September 2022.

“Imagine,” Medvedev said, “if the offensive, which is backed by NATO, was a success and they tore off a part of our land, then we would be forced to use a nuclear weapon according to the rules of a decree from the president of Russia. There would simply be no other option.”

Some in the West view Medvedev’s statement to be an empty threat; U.S. President Joe Biden said last month that there is no real prospect of Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering the use of nuclear weapons against either Ukraine or the West.

“Not only the West, but China and the rest of the world have said: ‘don’t go there,’ ” Biden said following the NATO Summit in Vilnius.

Ignoring Russian Doctrine

But Biden, like other doubters, emphasizes substance over process, denying the role played by the executioner in implementing justice defined on their terms, not that of those being subjected to execution.

Russia has a nuclear doctrine that mandates that nuclear weapons are to be used “when the very existence of the state is put under threat.” According to Medvedev, “there would simply be no other option,” ironically noting that “our enemies should pray” for a Russian victory, as the only way to make sure “that a global nuclear fire is not ignited.”

The Russians who would execute the orders to launch nuclear weapons against the West would be operating with the same moral clarity as had Paul Tibbets and Charles Sweeney some 88 years ago. The executioner’s lament holds that they will be saddened by their decision but convinced that they had no other choice.

Proving them wrong will be impossible, because unlike the war with Japan, where the survivors were given the luxury of reflection and accountability, there will be no survivors in any future nuclear conflict.

The onus, therefore, is on the average citizen to get involved in processes that separate the tools of our collective demise — nuclear weapons — from the those who will be called upon to use them.

Meaningful nuclear disarmament is the only hope humankind has for its continued survival.

The time to begin pushing for this is now, and there is no better place to start that on Aug. 6, 2023 — the 78th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, when like-minded persons will gather outside the United Nations to begin a dialogue about disarmament that will hopefully resonate enough to have an impact of the 2024 elections.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

44 comments for “SCOTT RITTER: The Atomic Executioner’s Lament

  1. Randal Marlin
    August 4, 2023 at 23:43

    “The onus, therefore, is on the average citizen to get involved in processes that separate the tools of our collective demise — nuclear weapons — from those who will be called upon to use them.” -Scott Ritter
    I fear that the role of “those who will be called upon to use them” will be played by computerized systems.
    What’s needed is the kind of movement founded by Josef Rotblat and Bertrand Russell. Rotblat was a physicist with the Manhattan Project under Oppenheimer. When he saw what the bomb accomplished, he left the Project and went on to explore the medical uses of radiation. After that he founded the peace movement along with Bertrand Russell and the help of Cyrus Eaton the Pugwash meetings.
    Those meetings between scientists and prominent people led to trust, such that Gorbachev and Reagan, for example, were able to agree to arms limitations.
    The story is marvelously told in a film by the National Film Board of Canada, called “The Strangest Dream,” by Eric Bednarski, 2008.
    It is the perfect antidote to the pessimistic feeling you may get from seeing “Oppenheimer,” and seeing the reverse of trust with Biden and North Stream 2.

  2. W. E. Watson
    August 3, 2023 at 20:52

    There is one important aspect missing – both in the history about the dropping of these devices on unsuspecting civilian populations – and in the subsequent development of “nuclear deterrence” up to the present day: religion. The dropping of these annihilation devices required and still requires a certain religious view. There are a number of those that also provide for similar scenarios.
    One however, differs in essence.
    In Buddhism, “Karma” is considered an all encompassing principle. It cannot be bent, or mutilated. To condense a longer story that is part of the Buddhist doctrine:
    A person will not create negative Karma in the act of killing another person, that is about to create immensely worse Karma for itself, by murdering others for reasons of greed, lust for power and control.
    The caveat however is, that it requires a person who is aware of this doctrine and accepts Karma as the supreme principle of any action.

    • Observer
      August 4, 2023 at 12:33

      Like all the other major religions, there is a vast gap between the teachings of Gautama, and what millions of people who consider themselves Buddhists actually think and do.

  3. Anon
    August 3, 2023 at 15:50

    While this commenter vehemently opposed military attack as diplomatic strategy, I can see the value of Kokura as strike target… in effect cutting enemy territory into two islands.
    Perhaps the isthmus effect contributed to cloudiness.
    Scott Ritter’s ex-military background & subsequent training attitude exposure, imo, (in contrast with mentioned pilots’) makes his opposition to war especially admirable!

  4. August 3, 2023 at 15:31

    Scary and truthful analysis and calling. Only millions taking action in the streets, in the schools, on the jobs, at the harbors, in front of the political-military-CIA buildings, and staying on willing to take the consequences will stop the monsters from their greed to conquer and dominatre the world for wealth and power.

  5. Paul Citro
    August 3, 2023 at 09:48

    Mankind has unfailingly turned every technological advance into a weapon. We just can’t seem to control ourselves. I’m giving up hope that we ever will. My hope is that we will see the rise of advanced artificial intelligence, intelligence that far exceeds our own, that will wrest these weapons from our hands for our own good.

    • CaseyG
      August 3, 2023 at 18:52

      Oh my—I don’t believe that! The rise of artificial intelligence —how will that happen with so little intelligence in the world? How is that possible when men so easily kill other men. How does war really solve anything?

      Recently, I read of where artificial intelligence is right now in terms of development—–not so good in this instance—- It was where words became meaningless and it was as if humans and robot types really did speak another language!

      Besides, if artificial intelligence took over the world—they would not understand we the humans with our crying or dreaming or wondering about the world. I think that artificial intelligence would probably be quite artificial —at least as shown recently by robots who were assigned things to write about–that the old adage is correct—-“A little learning is a dangerous thing,” : )

      August 4, 2023 at 13:18

      So you want to be controlled by machines? wow…

  6. Walter
    August 3, 2023 at 07:05

    Brother Ritter is in material error about technical details of the U235 gadget, see Coster-Mullins on that for the straight stuff. He is also in error about the bombs’ triggering and casing design/build. See Richard Rhodes on the atomic bomb.

    He is also in error about the reasons for using the bombs in 1945… Alperovitz on the bomb for that. The bombs were used to intimidate Stalin and the Red Army. Period. This is proven fact. The war with Japan was simply the excuse and place where tests # 2 and # 3 took place.

    War is the Life of the State, says master Sun Tsu… nobody ever gives up his backup weapon. Brother Ritter’s dreaming.

  7. wildthange
    August 2, 2023 at 21:00

    Unlike those crew members if a silo gets a command to fire they will likely think it is just another routine firing test. Somewhere in the system someone will have made the decision however. At least those pilots could have been called back, that is not true once ICBMs are launched. Nuclear weapons should be eliminated, no military will do it however. Those were tests of two prototype weapons on umbombed cities saved for calibration before production could commence.

    Brig. Gen. Carter Clarke:
    “We brought them[the Japanese] down to an abject surrender through the accelerated sinking of their merchant marine and hunger alone, and when we didn’t need to do it, and we knew we didn’t need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn’t need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs.”
    p359 “The Decision to use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth” by Gar Alperovitz

  8. Bushrod Lake
    August 2, 2023 at 19:43

    We need to ask our political representatives: How many of us will die in a Nuclear Winter? Over half the world? Three quarters (you f**kers)?

    • Valerie
      August 2, 2023 at 21:29

      Those fuckers wouldn’t even know the answer to those questions BL. And i suspect they wouldn’t give a monkey’s uncle. (The f**kers)

    • Eddy Schmid
      August 3, 2023 at 00:40

      Isn’t the reduction of the World population the agenda of the Globalists ???? Therefore a nuclear war would be playing directly into their hands. Explains a lot, as to why the Western World is pushing Russia so hard. Thing is though, Russia is prepared for a nuclear war and has failsafe protection for it’s citizens. How many nuclear bunkers has the U.S. for it’s public ????????? Seems to me, there’d be a lot of Russian survivors after such an event. Could the U.S. or U.K. say the same ?????????? Somehow I seriously doubt it.

  9. Jeffrey Blankfort
    August 2, 2023 at 19:09

    Very eloquent statement but since Scott Ritter has supported Russia’s war from the beginning, predicting a sweeping Russian victory, his appeal to the world to relieve Putin’s Russia from having to use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine if things go badly for Moscow, ring hollow.

    This is not WW2 and the US vs. Japan. Everyone know what nuclear weapons can do, so his latest rationalization for Putin turning to his nuclear stockpile should the situation on the ground require it needs to be challenged.

    • firstpersoninfinite
      August 3, 2023 at 10:35

      Actually, the United States “supported Russia’s war from the beginning.” We wanted a proxy war with Russia to weaken Russia through the destruction of Ukraine. All our top people in the government have admitted this. So, having gotten what we wanted, why sweat the reality? We should sweat the reality because the people making these decisions aren’t rational. They’re sociopaths drunk with the elixir of absolute power. Reagan had dementia and still worked out a détente with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Succeeding administrations have thrown away most of the treaties limiting nuclear capability ever since. It’s like the US joined an ancient fraternity where the only activity allowed is hazing ourselves into complete nullity.

  10. Tim N
    August 2, 2023 at 18:56

    I’m relieved to see, finally, over the last few years, that history shows conclusively there was no need to drop the Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, it was known at the time. Like many young people growing up in this country ( in the ‘6o’s for me), in history classes I was told many lies; the one about dropping the atomic bombs on two large cities in Japan (“it actually saved lives!” being one one of the vile adjuncts of the big lie) being necessary to end the war was likely the biggest.

  11. Caliman
    August 2, 2023 at 18:41

    I have often thought of the “executioner’s lament” problem and nukes. Really, when you consider the issue, there is no conceivable consequence of firing nuclear weapons that is better than the consequences of not doing so, even and including losing the war.

    These weapons exist to not be used; because in using them as intended, we’d all lose. So, while I understand that soldiers are trained to follow and execute orders, I don’t understand why we’d put them in such a position by giving them such a weapon.

  12. Rich Mynick
    August 2, 2023 at 17:38

    I respect & admire Scott Ritter, but don’t know what he’s talking about in his last sentence, when he refers to “a dialogue about disarmament that will hopefully resonate enough to have an impact of the 2024 elections.”

    The US has only 2 parties, and BOTH are irremediably militarist and imperialist. They are both ferociously aggressive supporters of US empire & US global domination. So neither of them will ever allow any meaningful disarmament to take place. Neither ever allows any “peace candidates” to run, or even to be taken seriously. Both of them have collaborated in building the hideous MIC up to the monstrosity that its now become.

    The only way to achieve disarmament would be via a mass movement to overthrow (Yes, I believe that’s the proper word, here) the 2-party system. The Democrats are a pack of hopelessly repulsive warmongers — this shouldn’t require any further explanation. Trump is a fascist and an inveterate liar, and though he may toss off a few phrases here and there implying some “anti-war-like” stance, nothing he says can ever be believed. So there’s no hope for disarmament coming from either of the “permitted” parties (which in fact, is precisely the purpose of the 2-party system — to give people the illusion of a “choice” without the substance of it).

    • Newton Finn
      August 2, 2023 at 22:51

      You, like virtually the entire genuine left, lack political imagination, no doubt having had it siphoned off by decades of neoliberalism. Biden is failing physically and mentally, while legal attacks (many, but perhaps not all, BS) keep coming at Trump. It may not be probable, but it is distinctly possible, that neither will stand for office in 2024. In that situation, RFK Jr would be the automatic frontrunner and could easily waltz into the White House over a Dem substitute candidate and a non-Trump Repub. Bobby as Pres. would likely help bring an end to the Ukraine conflict, though it looks far less hopeful, alas, given his recent remarks, that he could do the same for the ongoing violence in the Middle East.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      August 3, 2023 at 00:57

      Excellent comment! It appears the choice in 2024 will be World War 3 and maybe nuclear with Joe Biden or American Fascism under Trump. It couldn’t be worse. The only decent candidate will be Cornel West running as a Green who, of course, has no chance of winning.

  13. August 2, 2023 at 17:36

    @ Scott Ritter?
    Thank you once again for employing enlightened truth telling in these times of a captured fourth estate and national government. Your title statement (quoted below) sums up the foundational insanity that gives cause to the ‘clear & present danger’ that an uninformed global public may well soon face.

    “The executioner’s lament holds that they will be saddened by their decision but convinced that they had no other choice.”
    As Usual,

  14. August 2, 2023 at 17:09

    Putin didn`t want the Ukraine to join NATO or the EU. Zelensky begged to join NATO.
    Biden is pumping Weapons and Cash into Ukraine so that they can fight against Russia as a Proxy member of NATO. Ukrainians will shed their Blood, while US
    “Merchants of Death” Profit in the Billions of Dollars, and suffer No Casualties.

  15. Rollin Shultz
    August 2, 2023 at 17:01

    I remember on of the reasons given some time after the bombings was that certain generals insisted on it just to see what they could do. I would/ could easily believe such.

  16. Tristan Patterson
    August 2, 2023 at 16:58

    Nuclear weapons are the ultimate double-edged sword. They have stopped an untold amount of war but seem to have only absorbed them to all be unleashed at once one day.

  17. Rob Roy
    August 2, 2023 at 16:57

    Good and necessary words once again from Mr. Ritter. Who will heed them? Our leaders are stupid as stumps.

    • August 2, 2023 at 22:57

      Not wrong Rob down here in Australia their a special kind of stupid.

  18. Valerie
    August 2, 2023 at 16:57

    I can’t remember why or how i was under the impression that the pilot of the first bomb dropped on Japan, had no idea what that bomb was or its effect. But here is an archive dedicated to “little boy” and “fat man” with a silent video of the loading etc on Tinian:


    • August 3, 2023 at 02:12

      @ Valerie?
      Thanks for posting the Tinian Island site web reference; the video in it is particularly unsettling beings that we now know that the use of nuclear bombs was not necessary to force a Japanese surrender. The site also confirms Scott Ritter’s reference to Col. Paul Tibbets as not only piloting the first nuclear attack, but being the Commanding Officer of the specially created squadron tasked with designing and building the bombs and knowingly executing the experimental nuclear bombing of tens of thousands of civilian non-combatants: hence the cynical reality of “The Executioners Lament”.
      As Usual,

      • Valerie
        August 3, 2023 at 15:51

        What a film for posterity eh Thom?

    • WillD
      August 3, 2023 at 02:28

      Clearly the pilots did know what would happen, even if the crew weren’t told until the flight had taken off. Those pilots were chosen because they would blindly and unquestioningly do what they were told, believing 100% in the official narrative that it was a good thing to wipe out whole cities with hundreds of thousands of innocent people – because it would ‘save’ lives later!

      What I find hard to stomach is that even all those years later in 2002, Tibbets, the pilot of the Hiroshima bomb, still believed it was the right thing to do! He had clung to his conditioning for all those years.

      How many of these utterly brainwashed people does the US have in positions where they will not question orders to kill millions of people in a single strike? Who believe the conditioning, the official narratives, the propaganda, and the lies?

      • Valerie
        August 3, 2023 at 16:00

        Scary thought WillD. Here’s an interesting article about “decision making” on nuclear attacks:


        (Only 15 minutes to make a decision whether or not to launch a nuclear weapon)

  19. Drew Hunkins
    August 2, 2023 at 16:43

    The movie should have portrayed the death, destruction and massive carnage that befell Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This failure is a major drawback of the film.

    • Valerie
      August 2, 2023 at 21:10

      The failure to portray the effects of the bombs is tantamount to keep hidden all the other deaths and destruction by other means. (Whatever they may be.)

      • Drew Hunkins
        August 3, 2023 at 15:25


  20. Horatio
    August 2, 2023 at 16:21

    It’s important to consider how we’ve gotten here. The U.S/NATO is dead set (pun intended) to control Russia so that it can steal its resources and has brought us to this pass for that reason. And it has used every weapon in its inventory and the lives of 300,00 Ukrainians and Russians to do the deed. The Russians consider the SMO as existential to their country. Can no one see what is right and wrong in this instance?

  21. Jeff Harrison
    August 2, 2023 at 15:24

    That’s not right. Scott. Didn’t you hear Mr. Blynken? Nuclear war would be no worse than climate change. (/snark)

    • Bill Todd
      August 2, 2023 at 17:23

      Perhaps an appropriate solution would be to imprison persons in positions of power who irredeemably harbor such opinions. Many of them share responsibility for the deaths of thousands or millions of people already and seem fully inclined to continue on such paths. Separating such untreatable psychopaths from the rest of humanity could contribute significantly to the survival of the rest of life on Earth.

      • Valerie
        August 2, 2023 at 21:00

        And how do we do that? Not by voting. They are all psychopaths.

        • Bill Todd
          August 3, 2023 at 02:42

          I’m inclined to reply, “Using whatever means may be necessary, since it is literally a matter of survival.” The observations “We are many, they are few” and, as I mentioned recently, Jefferson’s remark “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” come to mind. Of course, if insufficient support exists for such action then we’ll deserve what we get, though the rest of Earth’s life won’t.

    • August 2, 2023 at 18:03

      Beings you seem to think(?) this topic inspires fuel for your “(/snark)”, here is some factual fuel for your Antony Blinken satire.

      “Government service is the Blinken family business. He met his future wife, Evan Ryan, in 1995 when he was working at the White House as a speechwriter on the National Security Council, and she was a scheduler for First Lady Hillary Clinton. Ryan went on to work for Clinton during her campaign for Senate, and later worked for Biden when he was vice president as assistant for intergovernmental affairs and, from 2013 to 2017, as assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. Hillary Clinton was a guest at the Blinken-Ryan wedding in 2002, and Blinken gave a toast thanking the 40 million Americans who voted for Bill Clinton because the election led to the marriage (Blinken and Ryan now have two very young children, which his Obama administration colleague, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, noted could make the couple an inspiration to working parents).

      Blinken’s half-sister, Leah Pisar, also worked at the State Department and as communications director at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. Blinken’s uncle, meanwhile, served as U.S. ambassador to Belgium, at the same time that Blinken’s father was ambassador to Hungary. And Blinken’s stepfather was an adviser to President John F. Kennedy as well as French presidents.”
      As Usual,

      • Valerie
        August 2, 2023 at 22:49

        “Government service is the Blinken family business.”

        How come it’s such a bloody mess then?

      • Howard
        August 3, 2023 at 01:22

        And Blinken’s stepfather, Samuel Pisar, was the long time lawyer and confidante of Robert Maxwell. And possibly the last person to speak to him before his yacht “accident.”

      • firstpersoninfinite
        August 3, 2023 at 12:40

        The boy Clinton’s policies killed an estimated 500,000 children in Iraq. The girl Clinton isn’t much better. Ask Libya or Honduras. It’s not impressive to highlight individuals who have done almost nothing positive their entire lives but climb the elitist ladder they keep claiming is the only reality available to us. That’s the only “fact” that matters, or else your “facts” have no meaning at all. You can’t write the history of empires without bringing the Caligula’s who serve the state onto the stage.

      • CaseyG
        August 3, 2023 at 19:06

        And yet—–3 American women were murdered in Israel and even in America—no one seemed to care…that’s how I think of of Blinken——“there was nothing he could do.”

        I also do not understand why he kept saying Guiado was president of Venezuela when it was Maduro.What work is it that Blinken has actually done?

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