Oct 21, 2010
For several months during Bill Clinton’s administration, a former top military officer says the White House lost the card with a set of numbers for opening the briefcase containing the codes for a nuclear attack.
Gen Hugh Shelton, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, said in his new memoir, “Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior” that “the codes were actually missing for months. That’s a big deal — a gargantuan deal.”
A similar claim was made by Lt Col Robert Patterson, a former aide, in a book published seven years ago. He was one of the men who carried the briefcase, known as the “football”, and he said that the morning after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke that he made a routine request of the president to present the card so that he could provide an updated version.
“He thought he just placed them upstairs,” Lt Col Patterson recalled. “We called upstairs, we started a search around the White House for the codes, and he finally confessed that he in fact misplaced them. He couldn’t recall when he had last seen them.”
This article was posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 3:55 am