Superpower Like Us

Dana Parsons at the Times Orange County had better watch his step. Should we point out the obvious—that Gordon Dillow has a rat face—The Orange County Register columnist would be wise to keep his sidearm holstered. In fact, we think it's about time all Orange County scribes knelt before the master. We demand respect, damn it, and like Veruca Salt, we demand it now.

What's got us going off half-cocked?

Clockwork got the Bomb.

Actually, our nuclear arsenal isn't quite put together. We're still interviewing eggheads. We haven't saved enough for the deposit and first and last for a high-tech lab. And there's that weapons-grade plutonium to acquire. But after those minor details are ironed out, it'll only be a matter of time before Clockwork is slamming our shoe on the UN table, blowing up South Pacific islands for the hell of it, and having the Sixth Fleet hovering around us with cannons drawn whenever we fuck with American business interests abroad.

We achieved sudden superpower status after exploring the report issued by the congressional committee headed by Representative Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach) that alleged decades of Chinese spying have damaged U.S. national security. The vaunted Cox Report focused mostly on a veritable army of Chinese students, businesspeople and visiting scientists, who, the report claimed, infiltrated poorly guarded U.S. labs and walked away with sensitive secrets to modernize China's antiquated weapons systems.

Among those eager to challenge the report, naturally, are Chinese government officials. Zhao Qizheng, China's minister of information, called the army-of-spies rhetoric "racist" and noted that his country launched its first atom bomb in 1964, 12 years before the U.S. established diplomatic relations with the communist regime that would lead to the eased trade restrictions that apparently allowed China to soak up sensitive information.

Zhao hosted a demonstration on May 31 to show how the secrets Beijing allegedly stole are accessible to anyone with a computer and a modem. He had a "professional Web surfer" search through Yahoo! and pull up detailed information on the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal, including performance data on different types of U.S. nuclear warheads and the size and scope of America's strategic nuclear forces.

Like our good buddy Cox, Clockwork wasn't about to trust no stinkin' Reds. Though we're not exactly seasoned Netizens—we struggle to steer a moped on the Information Superhighway—we decided to see how much nuke tech we could fetch on the Net. Sure enough, in one 22-minute span, we downloaded detailed descriptions of: Israel's short-range ballistic missiles (the Jericho I is sucky compared with the righteous Jericho II); China's full arsenal (including where they keep 'em stashed); the U.S.'s roster of land-, sea- and air-based strategic weapons (gravity bombs are dope!); converting reactor-grade plutonium into "powerful and reliable nuclear weapons" (there's a lot of talk about heat evolution, fuel fabrication and continuing neutron emissions, but we're convinced it's all in the wrist); and, in case anyone's still interested in this shit, the proper steps for dismantling, storing and disposing of nuclear warheads (accelerator-assisted subcritical reactors rock!).

Clockwork got a click away from a site with actual nuclear-weapons blueprints before getting one of those nagging "proxy not found" messages. No worries. We simply recruited the Weekly's professional Web surfer Anthony "Fingers" Pignataro. Lickety-split, Fingers had our printer spitting out missile nose-cone photographs; engineer drawings for tail fins; forward couplers and altitude-control stations; 12 pages of highly detailed data on an inexpensive booster rocket; and a sort of illustrated history of what has gone into the development of McDonnell Douglas' Delta III, "a next-generation expendable launch vehicle" that was designed and developed right here in OC (Huntington Beach).

Of course, we don't really know what to do with all the stuff we downloaded, but as China has proved, it is possible to take a crude nuclear-weapons program and—thanks to the Internet—modernize appropriately. So, any time now, Cox and his buds should be coming down with a mean case of the willies. Membership in the World Nuclear Bomb Club has its advantages.

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