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The Children’s Milk Fund It was 1986, during the Cold War, and I had finished my session at a large conference focused on topics related to nuclear war. It was lunchtime. I walked into the lunchroom. I noticed that former senator Albert Gore Sr. was sitting by himself in the corner of the room. I walked over and asked Senator Gore if I could join him for lunch. He replied, “Sure, general, sit down.” “Sir, I am a colonel.” “You should be a general, and I hereby promote you to that rank for the term of our lunch. What do you do in your present assignment?” “Sir, I work in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Special Assistant for Air Force Nuclear Matters. That means I deal with issues pertaining to Air Force nuclear weapons.” MILK HAVE YOU SEEN ME? “I have always loved nuclear weapons. General, do you want to know why?” “Yes sir, I would!” “In 1940 I was a young congressman from Tennessee, serving on several committees that arranged funding for public services and works. One of these was the Children’s Milk Fund. This fund subsidized milk production and provided excess milk, free, to the nation’s public schools. One day, Speaker Sam Rayburn called me into his office. ‘Albert,’ he said, ‘I want you to hide a couple hundred million dollars in the federal budget.’ “No questions asked, I left Speaker Rayburn’s office and immediately started putting away two million dollars here and five million dollars there. I could do so because, at that time, there were lots of opportunities. For example, there was a spike in funding for the Children’s Milk Fund and for highway programs, and there were more dam construction projects than we had water to fill them. I was able to hide lots of this ‘excess’ money. I never stopped to ask how this money was going to be used . . . “Then in 1945 I and several other congressmen were on a trip to the Pacific to see how the war was going. Before landing on Tinian Island [where the nuclear bombers that attacked Hiroshima and Nagasaki were based], we had flown over hundreds of warships and troop transports that were stacked up awaiting the imminent invasion of the Japanese mainland. I knew that those ships held thousands of good ol’ Tennessee boys, and I knew that many of those boys would never live to see the green hills of Tennessee again. I felt extremely saddened by that prospect. When we got to Tinian, the length of the airstrip was lined with new wooden coffins, stacked 10 high. 20 Los Alamos National Laboratory