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Intelligent Thumbs

  • John Peters
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


Basically my description is,

you want the intelligent thumb on that red button,

and I said right up to the moment, a quarter-second before,

if it doesn't feel right you don't press that button.

You know, because something's wrong.

And one guy got really angry, like,

"But you've been ordered to do that," you know.

And you go whoa whoa whoa, first of all it's a big decision.

Secondly, if you just, you know,

drop a nuclear bomb, yes sir, no sir,

you're not following orders, you see.

That's why you have an officer

with a finger on a nuclear bomb;

you don't want him to go "Yes sir, certainly," bang,

because that's what we called the Nazis.

You know, "I was just following orders"

as I killed, you know, all the Jews.

You go no, you want someone who's thought about this,

and even at the time, for all the political discussion,

for all the squadron, field, or whatever orders,

you go, "There's something wrong," and you refuse to do it.

And you want moral officers, you want moral aircrew,

people who are prepared to make that judgment call,

because at the end of the day it is your responsibility.

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