Garrett Graff’s "Raven Rock" and the ugly truth about the continuity of government in the event of nuclear war.
- By Sharon WeinbergerSharon Weinberger is the executive editor for news at Foreign Policy. Previously, she was the national security editor at The Intercept, where she directed the publication's defense and intelligence coverage. Her most recent book, published in March 2017, is The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World (Knopf, 2017). She was a Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard in 2015-2016, a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2008-2009, and she is currently a non-resident global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has also been an International Reporting Project Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, an Alicia Patterson Fellow, a Carnegie Fellow at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, a Nation Institute Investigative Fellow, and a Carnegie Newhouse Legal Reporting Fellow. She received her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and holds an M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Nature, Discover, BBC.com, Slate, Wired, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and the Financial Times, among other publications. She was previously a senior editor at Aviation Week and a co-founding writer and editor for Wired's national security blog, Danger Room.
On this week’s first episode of The E.R., Sharon Weinberger, Elias Groll, and Ryan Gallagher are joined by Garrett Graff to discuss his latest book, Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself — While the Rest of Us Die, which was released last month. For over sixty years, the U.S. government has operated a “continuity of government” contingency plan in the case of a nuclear attack, or some other crippling event. First created during the Cold War, these secret programs are meant to protect the highest-ranking officials in government. The plans include extensive evacuation procedures, bunkers made to withstand a nuclear blast, and post-Apocalyptic instructions for the continuation of the republic.
Most of these measures were put into place during the epochal contest with the Soviet Union, but with a rising threat of nuclear terrorism, biological weapons, and the ramp-up of tensions with North Korea, there are still plans and structures in place to protect all three branches of government. Graff gives listeners a riveting history lesson on these top-secret programs, and an inside look into how the U.S. government plans to save your elected and appointed officials … while we all burn to a crisp.
Garrett Graff is a journalist and author of Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself — While the Rest of Us Die, which was released in May 2017. Follow him on Twitter: @vermontgmg.
Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World. Follow her on Twitter: @weinbergersa.
Tune in, now twice a week, to FP’s The E.R.