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Television Newscast (in Chinese): (Text translation): U.S. Cold War Mentality Leads to Another Baseless Accusation of Chinese Espionage. (Spoken translation)\u201d Outraged citizens continue their protest outside of the American Embassy in Beijing over false claims of Chinese espionage involving the U.S. citizen Daniel Landry. Politburo member Xu Chaoqun says the U.S. is using Landry as a propaganda tool to reignite cold war fears in order to win important contracts for its own companies to develop 5G telecommunication networks throughout the world. Chaoqun says their ploy will not work since the U.S. has been unable to prove any credible connection between Landry and the Chinese government.
The Vietnam conflict inspired many portrayals in drama and film, and many were thematically centered on societal alienation (due to military training), combat experience, and the reinterpretation of American war myths. Other themes concerned topics related to both individual and social disintegration, internecine conflict, psychological fragmentation, isolation, and a loss of cultural identity. Additionally, during this time period, the use of televised news reporting also emerged as a powerful political tool.
Vintage stock footage and millions of stock photo images comprising one of the largest royalty-free archive footage collections in the world. All broadcast quality and available for immediate download in multiple HD frame rates and codecs, including full resolution screeners. Video clips are licensed royalty-free, worldwide, in perpetuity, for all media; serving the historic footage needs of news, television, and film professionals around the world, 24 hours a day.Specialties include World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, The Cold War, Worldwide Political Figures, Industrialization, Culture, Civil Rights, Transportation, Aviation and Space.
Washington, D.C., January 15, 2010 - To refute early 1960s novels and Hollywood films like Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove which raised questions about U.S. control over nuclear weapons, the Air Force produced a documentary film--"SAC [Strategic Air Command] Command Post"--to demonstrate its responsiveness to presidential command and its tight control over nuclear weapons.
During the crisis years of the early 1960s, when U.S.-Soviet relations were especially tense, novels and motion pictures raised questions about the Air Force's control over nuclear weapons and the dangers of an accidentally or deliberately-triggered nuclear war. Foremost were Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler's novel Fail-Safe (1962) (later turned into a motion picture) about an accidental war and the film Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, a brilliant satire about a nuclear conflict deliberately sparked by a psychotic Air Force general. Both Dr. Strangelove and Fail-Safe may have created enough worries in the Air Force about its image to lead the service to produce a film--"SAC [Strategic Air Command] Command Post"--designed to confirm presidential control over the "expenditure" of nuclear weapons and the difficulty of initiating an 'unauthorized launch" of nuclear bombers.
Never used publicly by the Air Force for reasons that remain puzzling, "SAC Command Post" is premiered online today on the National Security Archive Web site. Produced during 1963-1964, this unclassified film tried to undercut Dr. Strangelove's image of a psychotic general ordering nuclear strikes against the Soviet Union by showing that nuclear war could not be "triggered by unauthorized launch." To reinforce an image of responsible control, "SAC Command Post" presents a detailed picture of the communications systems that the Strategic Air Command used to centralize direction of bomber bases and missile silos. With the film's emphasis on SAC's readiness for nuclear war, higher authorities may have finally decided that it was off-message in light of the Johnson administration's search for stable relations with Moscow.
"SAC Command Post" is one example of the Air Force's sizable documentary film output, which includes a number of documentaries on that service's role in researching, developing, deploying, and operating nuclear weapons systems, as well as in tracking the nuclear activities of adversaries. The films inevitably embody some of the Air Force's spin, promoting views, policies, and programs that were then on its agenda. In this special collection for the "Nuclear Vault," the National Security Archive presents two other documentaries highlighting Air Force nuclear-related activities during the crisis years of the Cold War. They are:
These films are from DVD reproductions of the original footage stored in the collections maintained by the National Archives' Motion Pictures Unit, College Park, MD. A number of Air Force films from the 1960s, including secret Strategic Air Command reports, remain classified. The National Security Archive's Nuclear Documentation Project has requested them for declassification release.
The Air Force's film production units routinely created documentaries for public relations purposes, for internal education and training, and to update and inform top officials on current programs. The Air Force produced films in several categories, including Training Films (TF), Film Reports (FRs) and Special Film Projects (SFPs). (Note 1) Film Reports on military operations, exercises, or new technologies were often produced at the request of Air Force Headquarters or the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During the 1950s and 1960s FRs covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest developments in military technology by the Air Research Development Command (ARDC), progress on the ICBM and IRBM programs, reports by the Strategic Air Command, exercises in the Panama Canal Zone and Alaska, and monthly reports on "Air Strikes, Southeast Asia" during the Vietnam War. Many Film Reports were classified at the time, but have since been declassified (except SAC reports).
Generalizations are difficult about Special Film Projects (SFPs), but apparently many were for more general audiences and designed to have a wider appeal. As with the FRs, the Motion Picture Unit at the National Archives has boxes of index cards that provide a detailed description of each film. SFPs included films on moral and ethical issues, holiday celebration films, and also on particular USAF needs, such as safety. Some SFPs were designed to inculcate positive views of major policies and government organizations, such as "The Miracle of Progress," a film on the NATO alliance or "Eagle's Talons," on the role of the Defense Department in "safeguarding our freedoms." Some were produced to assist friendly foreign governments, such as "The Imperial Ethiopian Air Force", a recruiting film produced for the Ethiopian military.
Note: The visual quality of these films--reproduced on DVDs prepared by the National Archives motion pictures unit--varies, even from reel to reel within the same movie. Unfortunately, the Air Force's preservation of the original films did not meet archival standards, so the quality reflects their condition when they arrived at the National Archives. Some films that would have been useful for presentation here are virtually unusable because the sound tracks did not survive.
Conducted during September 15-December 15, 1958 by the 45th Air Division (8th Air Division) at Loring (Maine) Air Force Base, "Head Start" kept nuclear-armed B-52 bombers continuously in the air on a route over Canadian and then Danish air space in Greenland (as shown on a map in the film). (Note 3) Refueled in the air at designated locations, the crews would be in radio contact with SAC Headquarters through frequent "no answer required" Foxtrot messages. By contrast, a "no test" Foxtrot message would "commit the crew to combat." This was consistent with SAC's "Positive Control" system designed to keep alert aircraft in their orbits unless they received "go-code" orders instructing them to head toward Soviet territory. (Note 4)
Not mentioned in this film is that "Head Start" was the first exercise using high-yield "sealed-pit" nuclear weapons, which were "war ready," unlike the previous generation of weapons, which required insertion of the nuclear components. The new weapons had special safety features that minimized risk of accidental nuclear detonation, but Atomic Energy Commissioner John McCone wanted the alert test confined to Loring AFB. If bombers crashed on take-off or landing and the high explosives in the bombs detonated scattering radioactive material, it would happen at only one base instead of several. Perhaps because of safety concerns, President Eisenhower did not give permission for "Head Start" B-52s to carry nuclear weapons until mid-October, after the exercise had gone on for a few weeks. (Note 5)
Very little information is currently available about the production of "SAC Command Post" by the the 1365th Photo Squadron, and no evidence has surfaced that it was ever shown. (Note 10) The film provides a detailed picture of the Strategic Air Command's command-and-control system lodged in the lower levels of SAC headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, Nebraska. Describing tight civilian control over decisions to use nuclear weapons, the film emphasizes SAC's place in the chain of command and the mechanisms for preventing the "unauthorized launch" of bombers and missiles that could start a nuclear war.
Internal evidence suggests that work on the film began during 1963 because the issue of the Omaha World Herald that one of the SAC officers is shown reading appears to have a June 1963 date on it. That production began in 1963 cannot have been coincidental. Air Force leaders were no doubt concerned that writers and film producers had been raising questions about loose command-and-control arrangements over nuclear weapons, even the scary prospect that a SAC commander could launch nuclear strikes on his own authority. In April 1963, only a few months before the Air Force was working on this film, The New York Times published an article about Kubrick's London studio, quoting the director that Doctor Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was about a "psychotic general, who believes that fluoridation of water is a Communist conspiracy to sap and pollute our precious bodily fluids, has unleashed his wing of H-bombers against Russia." (Note 11) Kubrick was working with British writer Peter George, who in 1958 had published Red Alert, about a deranged general initiating a nuclear attack on Russia. Also showing that fear of loose control over nuclear weapons was entering the popular culture, American novelists Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler had written Fail-Safe, published in 1962, about a U.S.-Soviet crisis caused by the accidental transmittal of attack orders to SAC bombers (That the plot was close to Red Alert led to a plagiarism lawsuit). 2b1af7f3a8