During third debate, Hillary Clinton revealed America’s nuclear response time

by WorldTribune Staff, October 21, 2016

After tearing into Donald Trump for allegedly being “casual about the use of nuclear weapons,” Hillary Clinton blurted out the exact response time the U.S. would have during a nuclear attack.

“Here’s the deal,” Clinton told moderator Chris Wallace in the third presidential debate, “the bottom line on nuclear weapons is that when the president gives the order it must be followed. There’s about four minutes between the order being given and the people responsible for launching nuclear weapons to do so.”

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate. /Reuters
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate. /Reuters

While the major media ignored Clinton’s comment, the Internet exploded, with many saying the Democratic candidate announcing the nuclear response time is a blatant violation of operational security.

The twitterverse lit up:

“Did Hillary just leak TS information on national TV regarding nuclear response time?”

“Hillary disclosed classified information tonight. HIGHLY classified information. Our nuclear response time is top secret.”

“Why did hillary give away nuclear response time on international television? Let me guess … she didn’t know it was classified.”

Clinton’s defenders and supporters in the media pointed to an earlier tweet by the former secretary of state that gave the same information, but with slightly different wording.

“When the president gives the order to launch a nuclear weapon, that’s it. The officer has to launch. It can take as little as four minutes,” Clinton tweeted.

Her backers specifically point to the phrase “can take” rather than implying a more exact time of four minutes. Also, Clinton supporters cite an article in Bloomberg last month, which suggested launches can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, as evidence that she wasn’t giving any information away.

But Politico noted: “This four minute figure may be ‘out there,’ but it’s certainly alarming how casually Hillary Clinton talks about sensitive matters of national security. Almost as sloppy as hosting a private server without government security and transmitting classified and sensitive material via email.”

And as far as Trump being “casual” about using nukes, Clinton critics point to Vice President Joe Biden, who, in the middle of a speech about Trump’s unfitness to be in charge of the nuclear codes, “casually pointed out his military aid who at that moment was carrying the briefcase with the codes known as the nuclear football.”