American nuclear chief investigated over casino cheating
Navy Vice Admiral Timothy Giardina is accused of using counterfeit poker chips at an Iowa casino
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Sunday 29 September 2013
Apparently, the US military would prefer the officers in charge of its nukes not be the gambling sort. Over the weekend it emerged that Navy Vice Admiral Timothy Giardina, the second-in-command of the US nuclear arsenal, is the subject of an illegal gambling investigation into the use of counterfeit poker chips at an Iowa casino. Admiral Giardina, who has not been arrested or charged, was suspended from his duties on 3 September, officials said on Saturday.
The admiral, a highly decorated submariner, graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1979 and has been awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, among several others, during his 34-year career. Before taking up his current post at the US Strategic Command in 2011, he was the deputy commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
The Iowa authorities reportedly launched an investigation of Admiral Giardina on 16 June, after being alerted to the possible use of counterfeit gambling chips in poker games at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Robert Kehlerr, the Air Force General who heads Strategic Command, learned of the investigation a month later, and referred Giardina’s case to the US Naval Criminal Investigation Service. Special agent David Dales of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation told the Associated Press that the case involved “a significant monetary amount”.
The Strategic Command is based around 18 miles from the Horseshoe, across the Missouri River at Offutt Air Force Base outside Omaha, Nebraska. It oversees the military’s nuclear-armed submarines, its nuclear bomber planes and its land-based nuclear missiles, as well as its satellites and cyberwarfare operations. Giardina remains assigned to the Command, but has been suspended from nuclear-related duties and other activities requiring security clearance, according to Command spokesperson Captain Pamela Kunze.
It is not known whether Admiral Giardina’s alleged actions compromised national security or Strategic Command operations, but Kunze said General Kehlerr had recommended he be reassigned. Admiral Giardina was previously scheduled to rotate out of his post later in 2013.
The US nuclear establishment had already been having an off year. In May, 17 launch control officers assigned to the maintenance of nuclear missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota were sidelined following a safety inspection. The officer in charge of their training was later relieved of duty. Last month, a missile unit at Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base also failed a nuclear safety and security inspection; the commanding officer there was also relieved of duty.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 3 Katie Hopkins has just written a piece so hateful that it might give Hitler pause – why was it published?
- 4 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
- 5 Cancel Sky at your peril: man spends 96 minutes in chat but fails to get rid of service
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...
£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...