BRIGADIER GENERAL JACK D. RIPPER USAF (Sterling Hayden), in "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
," is the officer most to blame for "D-Day," the "D" standing for "Detonation" or "Doom."
As commander of the 843rd Bombardment Wing, Strategic Air Command, headquarted at Burppelson AFB, he first ordered an exercise called Operation Dropkick, that put the 34 B-52 Stratofortresses of his wing at their Fail-Safe points. He then ordered his executive officer, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake RAF, to transmit this order to the wing: "Wing Attack Plan R." And to impound all privately-owned radio sets.
Group Captain Mandrake showed up, a transistor radio in hand, playing a civilian music station. Oh, [censored], the general said to himself, he knows. Aloud, he sharply reminded his XO that he had given orders to impound all privately owned radios, and that the Officer Exchange Program, under which Group Captain Mandrake, and not an Air Force colonel, would be his wing vice-commander, did not give Mandrake any special prerogative to question his orders. And while he so reprimanded his exec, he locked the door to his office, so that Group Captain Mandrake could not get out. He made abundantly clear: he would not issue any recall code to recall the 843rd.
Years before, General Ripper had taken alarm about the campaign, begun in 1946, for fluoridation of water. He considered that program the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot America had ever faced. Foreign substances introduced, without the knowledge, let alone the consent of the individual, and sapping and impurifying one's precious bodily fluids. (In fact, tin (II) fluoride, sodium fluoride, sodium monofluorophosphate, and hydrofluoric acid are all neurotoxic to some degree. The therapeutic-toxic ratio for these ionic compounds is a matter of sharp dispute among dentists and between dentists and their patients.)
General Ripper first noticed the deleterious effect of fluoridation during the physical act of love. A profound feeling of weakness and emptiness overtook him. Luckily he was able to interpret these feelings correctly: loss of essence! Women sensed his power, and sought the Life Essence. He did not avoid women, but he did deny them his Essence.
In point of fact, as the testimony of Group Captain Mandrake makes clear, General Ripper was a latent homosexual. This tendency came out full force in the gun battle that broke out, when elements of the 23rd Airborne Division, under the command of Colonel "Bat" Guano USA, invaded the base and took it over. General Ripper unpacked a machine gun and personally returned the fire that shattered his windows and riddled his office.
When at last the base security force surrendered, General Ripper knew the jig was up. Instead of yielding up the recall code, he went into his private bathroom, drew his service semiautomatic, put it into his mouth, and pulled the trigger.