2nd book claims Clinton lost nuclear codes while President

posted at 9:30 am on October 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

We’ve all misplaced items around the house before — our keys, or a wallet.  How many of you are certain where your TV remote is at the moment?  Of course, you don’t need a TV remote to command the nuclear forces of the US, either:

When you’re President of the United States, you can lose a vote, you can lose popular support, and you can lose a round of golf. But you’re never, ever supposed to lose the biscuit.

That’s what they call the card the president is meant to keep close at hand, bearing the codes that he has to have in order to launch a nuclear attack. And for several months during the Clinton administration, a former top military officer says they lost the biscuit.

Gen. Hugh Shelton, who served under Clinton as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tells the story in his just-published memoir, “Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior.”

“At one point during the Clinton administration,” Shelton writes, “the codes were actually missing for months. [...] That’s a big deal — a gargantuan deal.”

Did they look under the sofa cushions?  That’s where my remote usually winds up.

It may have happened more than once.  Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson carried the “football” during part of the Clinton presidency, and saw enough while on the inside to turn into a fierce critic of Clinton, writing a book about it called Dereliction of Duty.  (Patterson just published another book about Barack Obama, Conduct Unbecoming.)  In Dereliction of Duty, Patterson describes a similar incident in 1998, while Shelton’s anecdote comes from 2000.  Patterson left the White House in 1998, so either Shelton’s dating of the incident is in error, or Clinton lost the biscuit twice.

Obviously, the probability of using the biscuit was low at any time, and even less likely in the post-Soviet era.  However, hiding his loss of the biscuit for months rather than admitting his error immediately and rectifying the situation sounds like classic Bill Clinton, doesn’t it?  And in this case, he misplaced the security of the United States and either didn’t care enough to act to correct it or worried more about his own embarrassment than his ability to respond to a nuclear attack.  So much for Clinton nostalgia.


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First time in 1 and a half years I’ve been surprised reading a political story.

Dude.

B Man on October 21, 2010 at 9:33 AM

He wrote them on a cigar for safe keeping, but they got rubbed off.

Akzed on October 21, 2010 at 9:34 AM

He didn’t lose it, he sold it to China!

Tony737 on October 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Did he check Monica’s blue dress for the biscuit? Of course he did; but not that biscuit.

mizflame98 on October 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

But…But…We wouldn’t want an idiot like Palin with the nuclear codes!/liberal

Vera on October 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

He lost the biscuit while he was playing hide the salami, no doubt.

NoDonkey on October 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM

He left it with his scruples.

The Zoo Keeper on October 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM


That’s a big deal — a gargantuan deal.

Or as Joe Biden would say …

Tony737 on October 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

He gave it to Monica as a token of his love for her.

Bishop on October 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM

However, hiding his loss of the biscuit for months rather than admitting his error immediately and rectifying the situation sounds like classic Bill Clinton, doesn’t it?

indeed…

cmsinaz on October 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Months? This sounds like someone who might not take incoming intelligence about Al Queda chatter to seriously either.

Cindy Munford on October 21, 2010 at 9:40 AM

So anyone want to take a wild guess at exactly how many times between now and November 2, when Clinton is out endorsing whoever out there on the campaign trail, that reporters will ask him about this rather serious accusation?

Unless the reporters are from Fox News, try somewhere between ZILCH and NADA!

pilamaye on October 21, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Did they check with the Hamburglar?

tree hugging sister on October 21, 2010 at 9:41 AM


However, hiding his loss of the biscuit for months rather than admitting his error immediately and rectifying the situation sounds like classic Bill Clinton, doesn’t it?

Imagine him holding a press conference … “I ask that every American please look under your sofa cushions …”

Tony737 on October 21, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Wow…surprised and horrified.

And doubly shocked that ABC news would run this story instead of spiking it.

Asher on October 21, 2010 at 9:42 AM

P
O
S
…but still more likable than his wife.

Extrafishy on October 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again. I did not lose the nuclear codes. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never

Chris of Rights on October 21, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Unless the reporters are from Fox News, try somewhere between ZILCH and NADA!

pilamaye on October 21, 2010 at 9:40 AM

you would be correct

cmsinaz on October 21, 2010 at 9:45 AM

“At one point during the Clinton administration,” Shelton writes, “the codes were actually missing for months. [...] That’s a big deal — a gargantuan deal.”

…yea right……and liberals say Palin is the dumb one…

So this is why Bill let Osama walk about 8 times…he was to busy looking for his nuke card.

Baxter Greene on October 21, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Extrafishy on October 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Yes, Bill would be a good guy to go out drinking with.

His wife would be a good reason to start drinking.

NoDonkey on October 21, 2010 at 9:46 AM


Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson carried the “football” during part of the Clinton presidency, and saw enough while on the inside to turn into a fierce critic of Clinton, writing a book about it called Dereliction of Duty.

That’s a great book, by the way.

So Jimmy sent his “to the cleaners”, eh? How appropiate.

Tony737 on October 21, 2010 at 9:46 AM

It was probably tucked between FBI files that Hillary!! was “researching.”

onlineanalyst on October 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Are you sure you want to play Thermo-Nuclear War?
How about a nice game of Chess?

tomg51 on October 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

I can’t think of why Clinton, or any president, would have possession of the codes. Have someone with them close at hand, yes. But personal possession? Sorry, it just doesn’t pass the smell test.

PersonFromPorlock on October 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Since they were never “lost”, address the criticism to Clinton’s choice to lend out our nation’s nuclear codes to China, and what Clinton got out of it. PERSONAL FORTUNE. There was nothing SACRED in national security that Clinton didn’t prostitute for his own personal profit.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

I think we can call him Fumbles.

steveegg on October 21, 2010 at 9:48 AM

They finally found the biscuit in Sandy Berger’s sock.

sandspur on October 21, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Jimmy Carter supposedly sent them to the dry cleaner in his coat pocket.

Oldnuke on October 21, 2010 at 9:49 AM

And doubly shocked that ABC news would run this story instead of spiking it. – Asher

Yeah, same here. But they didn’t say who FOUND the codes and where.

Tony737 on October 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Did they check with the Hamburglar?

tree hugging sister on October 21, 2010 at 9:41 AM

The Hamburglar could not be reached for comment.

steveegg on October 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM

“At one point during the Clinton administration,” Shelton writes, “the codes were actually missing for months. [...] That’s a big deal — a gargantuan deal.”

Clinton found them in Burger’s socks…..

“No idiot…I said secret documents….not secret codes!!!!!”

Baxter Greene on October 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM

PersonFromPorlock on October 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

During the Cold War, movies portrayed the codes secured in the Oval Office. Whether or not that was factual, Clinton always used the media to project his version of reality for Americans who swallowed the swill ever so willingly in order to enjoy vicariously his popularity.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM

They finally found the biscuit in Sandy Berger’s sock. – sandspur

Thread winner!

Tony737 on October 21, 2010 at 9:52 AM

But you’re never, ever supposed to lose the biscuit.

backstroke lover always hidin’ ‘neath the covers
till I talked to your daddy, he say
he said “you ain’t seen nothin’ till you’re down on a muffin
then you’re sure to be a-changin’ your ways

I met a cheerleader, was a real young bleeder
oh, the times I could reminisce
’cause the best things of lovin’ with her sister and her cousin
only started with a little kiss
like this
!

baked goods….from both Billy Jeff, and Aerosmith.

ted c on October 21, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Play it again, Sam.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Are you sure you want to play Thermo-Nuclear War?
How about a nice game of Chess?

tomg51 on October 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

why hello….joshua.

ted c on October 21, 2010 at 9:54 AM

I can’t think of why Clinton, or any president, would have possession of the codes. Have someone with them close at hand, yes. But personal possession? Sorry, it just doesn’t pass the smell test.

PersonFromPorlock on October 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Um yes, personal possession.

He’s the president.

Why shouldn’t the president carry the codes himself?

NoDonkey on October 21, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Well, it was nicknamed the ‘biscuit’. Maybe he was ashamed to admit that he tried pouring gravy over it and eating it for breakfast.

Asher on October 21, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Has he checked the back of the cigar wrapper he used in Monics’s Twat?

Egfrow on October 21, 2010 at 9:56 AM

The Pnone rings at 3A.M… Hillary I lost the Damn codes!..:)

Dire Straits on October 21, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Compare God Bless the Child Who’s Got His Own with Clinton’s lesser performance skill level on the sax with Heartbreak Hotel. Nothing says hoax like cameras that fail to portray close ups of face with fingers while blowing, and distance shots showing what the band sax player is busy playing.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Given that Clinton is the Dems’ best campaigner right now, can the GOP get any mileage out of this?

If nothing else–and it’s too much to hope for–but some wall-to-wall comedy coverage could stoke the historical meme that Dems are dim on national security. SNL (where’s Phil Hartmann), Jon Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, and even Letterman.

Someone keep a scorecard.

BuckeyeSam on October 21, 2010 at 9:59 AM

We should have told him they phone numbers to interns.

Oil Can on October 21, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Did anyone check Sandy Berger’s socks?

didymus on October 21, 2010 at 9:59 AM

tomg51 on October 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Love that movie.

Cindy Munford on October 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM

He wrote them on a cigar for safe keeping, but they got rubbed off.

Mmmm. That tastes good!

jfshaughnessy on October 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM

The Pnone rings at 3A.M… Hillary I lost the Damn codes!..:)

Dire Straits on October 21, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Thanks for bringing her into his quagmire, given that Hillary lost her own scandal documents (White Water investment affair) that somehow reappeared magically when a maid was dusting in the White House.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM

At least Obama won’t need to know where the biscuit is. He can destroy the world with the stroke of his Marxist pen.

Rovin on October 21, 2010 at 10:01 AM

I can’t believe the story didn’t get spiked until NO-vember 3rd…

Khun Joe on October 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Has Bill tried looking on the back of the Cigar Wrapper he used on Monica?

Egfrow on October 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Someone keep a scorecard.

BuckeyeSam on October 21, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Cue: MARK STEYN

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Good point..:)

Dire Straits on October 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Has Bill tried looking on the back of the Cigar Wrapper he used on Monica?

Egfrow on October 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM

I thought that is what Monica was doing under the desk was looking for the codes..:)

Dire Straits on October 21, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Yes, Bill would be a good guy to go out drinking with.

His wife would be a good reason to start drinking.

NoDonkey on October 21, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Check…and mate.

Extrafishy on October 21, 2010 at 10:05 AM

The reassuring thing is that I’m sure the current administration would never be so careless.
/runs for the hills

hoosiermama on October 21, 2010 at 10:06 AM

At least with Clinton you know it was probably an accident.

I can imagine B.O. playing the warmer/colder game with his staff when they’re desperately trying to find it in the Oval Office some day.

Youngs98 on October 21, 2010 at 10:07 AM

2nd book claims Clinton lost nuclear codes while President

Reminds me of the old joke..”If you would help me find my car keys we can drive out of here…”

Caper29 on October 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Hillary had them and threatened to use them unless the bimbo eruptions stopped.

maryo on October 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Retaliation from Clinton’s spokesperson, calling the claim a complete fabrication and the claimant totally untrustworthy in 3…2…1…

piraticalbob on October 21, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Maybe try under the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom underneath Mao Zedong’s Slippers.

Egfrow on October 21, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Anyone know where Sandy Berger errrr Burgler was that day?

Harry S on October 21, 2010 at 10:13 AM

White House Releases Clintons’ Sleepover List
September 23, 2000|JOSH GETLIN and SUNNY KAPLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITERS
NEW YORK — Insisting that the Lincoln Bedroom and Camp David are not for sale, the White House on Friday released the names of 361 overnight guests in an attempt to deflect Republican charges that contributors to First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate campaign had gotten perquisites in return for money.

An estimated 99 people on the list gave cash to Clinton’s New York campaign, including $108,000 in direct contributions and $516,000 to political committees boosting her campaign. The guests included personal friends, political heavyweights–such as Los Angeles attorney and mayoral fund-raiser William Wardlaw–and celebrities such as director Steven Spielberg. They visited the White House or the Camp David retreat in Maryland between July 1, 1999, and Aug. 31 this year.

There you go.

fourdeucer on October 21, 2010 at 10:17 AM

I’m enjoying the witty reparte going on at Clinton’s expense, especially since I do not have any fondness for him either as a human or as a president, but I have a serious question regarding this quote from Ed:

However, hiding his loss of the biscuit for months rather than admitting his error immediately and rectifying the situation sounds like classic Bill Clinton, doesn’t it? And in this case, he misplaced the security of the United States and either didn’t care enough to act to correct it or worried more about his own embarrassment than his ability to respond to a nuclear attack. So much for Clinton nostalgia.

Wouldn’t the idea of hiding the loss from anyone (media and foreign enemies) fall under the heading of national security? I mean, these are the nuclear codes after all; if a hostile foreign power knew that the president didn’t have them at his fingertips, wouldn’t it be a good time to launch an attack on either the U.S. or one if its allies? Or even to start threatening to? It doesn’t have to be a nuclear attack, especially if you don’t think your enemy can retaliate. Maybe it was “no big deal” after the Cold War, but I can see some strategic reasons for not letting it be known he’d lost them.

I’m not letting Clinton off the hook; I’m just wondering. I mean, what if we find out either of the Bushes lost the code? Or even President Reagan?

theotherone on October 21, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Ran out of cigars.

Hening on October 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

OK wingnuts, give him a break! Who’s got time to keep up with petty stuff like nuclear codes when you’re busy abusing the power of your office and not having sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky?

ncborn on October 21, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Billy C.: “Hmmmm. Now, the last time I had the biscuit, I was taking a cigar out of my humidor….CRAP!”

AubieJon on October 21, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Well it was one of those code-word mix-ups, obviously… when you are playing hide the cigar you could easily mix that up with hide the biscuit. There he is with Monica playing hide the biscuit and she puts it some place while he was meaning the other hiding game and it was soon musical chairs and ‘what happened to the blue dress’ and the biscuit tossed out with the rest of the garbage then phoning up the cleaners to see if the blue dress got to them, meanwhile the biscuit is found by a Rahm Emmanuel rooting through the WH trash…

Yes, all sorts of fun things go on when you are staging a cover-up or three and using code words. No wonder he had a problem with the word ‘is’.

ajacksonian on October 21, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Months at a time? Aren’t these things changed often? if not daily or maybe weekly?

Rocks on October 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Did they look under the sofa cushions Ed asks. Did they look under the desk?

Hummer53 on October 21, 2010 at 10:31 AM

On the news this morning, they also said Carter had his in his pocket, and left it there, when he sent the suit to be cleaned. UGH!!!

I think Clinton thought it was a room key, and in his frustration at the door not opening with it, he threw it, and just…forgot??? LOL

And they ALL said Bush is stupid? Welcome to your new reality libtards.

capejasmine on October 21, 2010 at 10:32 AM

It was in Hillary’s Purse.

portlandon on October 21, 2010 at 10:38 AM

What if Bush did it?

ericire12 on October 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM

What if Bush did it?

ericire12 on October 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM

ROFLMAO!!!

And that’s probably just what the doofus will do. Try to lay blame on the right, or specifically…Bush.

capejasmine on October 21, 2010 at 10:44 AM

“I did not have sexual relations with that silo…..er…ah… in that silo…..

CynicalOptimist on October 21, 2010 at 10:51 AM

No surprise.

It seems that Democrats treat the Presidency as some kind of all-expense-paid vacation for themselves and their friends. To them, the responsibility of the office is just an annoyance which interrupts their partying at inconvenient times.

Carter-Clinton-Obama: same problem – just a matter of degree.

landlines on October 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Months at a time? Aren’t these things changed often? if not daily or maybe weekly?

Rocks on October 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Shhh! Who cares if it’s not true. The jokes make up for it.

Egfrow on October 21, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Ahhh memories… at the 1.25 mark. Matt Damon was so right to be so concerned about those nuclear codes…

canditaylor68 on October 21, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Fake But Accurate!

Egfrow on October 21, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Of course, you don’t need a TV remote to command the nuclear forces of the US

Be cooler if you did!!

JohnGalt23 on October 21, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Of course, you don’t need a TV remote to command the nuclear forces of the US

I’d prefer a set of Wii nunchuks instead…

Iran–DONE! China–FINISHED!, North Korea–HERE IT COMES.

boomsticks.

ted c on October 21, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Clinton and Monica probably thought it was some type of new fangled sex toy….
“Never needs batteries, Monica, it’s nuclear powered! Just never push the big red button on it though. ‘Cause there goes Moscow!”

albill on October 21, 2010 at 11:19 AM

I can’t think of why Clinton, or any president, would have possession of the codes. Have someone with them close at hand, yes. But personal possession? Sorry, it just doesn’t pass the smell test.

PersonFromPorlock on October 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Doesn’t for me either, much as I’d not be surprised one bit if it did pass the smell test. Who carries the football with launch codes near the Prez’s person at all times since it’s obviously not POTUS himself?

I was always under the impression it was a military aide from a military unit…with military bosses. Yes, POTUS is CiC, but the implication is that it’s the military who let this SNAFU go uncorrected for months at a time, & I dunno. That seems fishy.

leilani on October 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM

“I did not have sexual relations with that silo…..er…ah… in that silo…..

CynicalOptimist on October 21, 2010 at 10:51 AM

ROFLMAO!!!

capejasmine on October 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM

P
O
S

Extrafishy on October 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

That’s the code!!!!

Shy Guy on October 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM

As more and more comes out, it’s painfully clear that he was more concerned about where to put a cigar than he was about running this country.

Sponge on October 21, 2010 at 11:27 AM

However, hiding his loss of the biscuit for months rather than admitting his error immediately and rectifying the situation sounds like classic Bill Clinton, doesn’t it?

He does tend to double down, doesn’t he?

Count to 10 on October 21, 2010 at 11:34 AM

theotherone on October 21, 2010 at 10:20 AM

If these are codes, then it is something that is only dangerous if you don’t tell the people that set the codes that you lost them. Once you do, they can correct the problem immediately, rendering the lost codes useless to whoever finds them.

Count to 10 on October 21, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Did they check Monica’s underwear?

Herb on October 21, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Obama is probably sharing the biscuit with Iran, Russia, China …

gh on October 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Folks, the progressives are probably okay with Bill losing the biscuit permanently. They have been trying to destroy the US military for years, this is just another angle. This is why this story goes nowhere.

slickwillie2001 on October 21, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Upon seeing this article, Barry gulps – “Oh, Jeez! Where are those f’n codes?”

eeyore on October 21, 2010 at 12:01 PM

not to defend Clinton…but there’s something odd about this story. Codes? What does that mean…I would think the Code would change periodically….algorithmically….and that yes, the guy who has the football has the codes.

I mean, the codes aren’t written on a piece of scrap paper, are they….I mean there is another person who knows the codes…someone, or something generates the codes.

If this is true, that there’s a book of codes that Clinton lost…I mean, really, that is beyond stupid. And, btw, since jayz and beyonce were in the war room…does that mean maybe they found it?

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m getting tired of the celebrity, cute, sexy, president types.

r keller on October 21, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Come on people. The biscuit wasn’t lost lost.

txag92 on October 21, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Maybe this isn’t true, but if it is, this is probably the only confirmation we’ll ever get, and if true, this seems a bit more serious than just not being able to respond to a nuke from Russia. What if the wrong people had found the codes? WTF.

Esthier on October 21, 2010 at 12:11 PM

This story is humorous, now. Ohdumbo was in town yesterday and I was reading the comments from lovesick Obots on the TV and newspaper websites and the thought crossed my mind that in 10 years I’ll bet the stories out of the Obama WH make Clinton look competent.
If they do, considering the biscuit, they are going to be whoppers.

ORconservative on October 21, 2010 at 12:17 PM

There was a SAC missile base in the late 70′s (Carter) that bumbled the code changeover, had a 24-hour period where they couldn’t have launched even if ordered.

Brig. General lost his job for that one, ended up counting seals in King Salmon, Alaska…

mojo on October 21, 2010 at 12:20 PM

They’re sitting at the bottom of some chunky girl’s underwear drawer.

Jaibones on October 21, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Heh.

Someday all will be revealed about everything BJ did. I’m sure my kids can read all about it. From the Chinese, to 9/11 to the serial sexual harrassment…

reaganaut on October 21, 2010 at 12:51 PM

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