Hillary Clinton made history by being the first woman nominated by a major party for president of the United States. She delivered a speech that laid out a progressive vision for America’s future, along with assurances that she is the person who will bring certainty and resolve in our foreign policy, especially in the war on terror. It was a brief bit in her speech, but it was said nonetheless. The problem, of course, is that Clinton left our state secrets vulnerable to foreign actors through her private email system that wasn’t approved by the State Department.
Yet, let’s lay off on Hillary’s emails for a bit because she said something interesting last night about Trump. She said that we couldn’t have people near the nuclear codes if they’re easily baited by tweets. A helluva zinger until you find out that Bill lost the nuclear codes while he was president.
Towards the end of his presidency, “the biscuit,” the card containing the nuclear codes, went missing. There are two stories and maybe both are true. ABC News reported back in 2010, that former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Hugh Shelton, wrote a memoir, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior, where he states that the codes were missing for months. Yet, there’s this other version that dates back to 1998 from a book written by retired Air Force Col. Robert Patterson:
Shelton claims the story has never been released before, but Ret. Air Force Lt. Col Robert Patterson told a very similar account in his own book, published seven years ago.
Patterson was one of the men who carried the football, and he says it was literally 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 swap it out for an updated version.
"He thought he just placed them upstairs," 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."
In Patterson's telling of the story, the President lost the biscuit in 1998, but according to Shelton, the card went missing in 2000.
CNN added that the codes were definitely missing by 2000 when it was time to replace the codes:
Once a month, Defense Department officials conduct an in-person verification to make sure the president has the right codes. At least twice in a row, Shelton writes, a White House aide told the Pentagon checker that the president was in a meeting but gave a verbal assurance that the codes were with him.
Then one month around 2000, according to Shelton, when the time came to replace the codes with a new set, "the president's aide said neither he nor the president had the codes -- they had completely disappeared."
Shelton writes that all this happened likely without Clinton's knowledge.
Yes, even if someone had found the old codes, no launches could be executed without the football. And maybe Clinton didn’t know about it—but this is…extremely careless, no? Usually the president’s aides are the ones who keep "the biscuit" within earshot of the commander-in-chief, so to lose it no only shows said carelessness but also incompetence. How do you lose a piece to one of the most destructive weapons in our arsenal? It’s almost as bad as the story involving former President Jimmy Carter, who sent the nuclear codes to the dry cleaners.
Marc Ambinder, then-contributing editor to The Atlantic, elaborated also in 2010, why losing "the biscuit" presents a total nightmare situation:
So what happens if the President doesn't have his identifier?
The commander in chief of NORAD resorts to the next person the NCA list, the Vice President.
This is a survival mechanism built in during the Cold War, in the event that Washington was decapitated without warning in a nuclear strike. NORAD continues down the list until it finds a capital P-Principle, who provides that identifier and assumes the duties of the Commander in Chief.
Sounds like no big deal, right?
Here's the reality: Losing that identifier card had the potential to create a vast disruption in nuclear command and control procedures.
So Al Gore gets "the call" because Clinton can't properly ID himself. Gore is confused, lives in Washington, knows the President is fine. He tells NORAD to hold while he tracks down the President, who can't verify his own identify anyway. Precious minutes (and I do mean precious, seconds count in the nuke business) are lost while civilian and military leadership sort things out.
And that says nothing of the fact that the President would be in gross violation of his duties by allowing the VP to execute an order that is lawfully the President's to make.
What a mess.
Granted, I’m sure Hillary supporters would shrug and say, “what difference does it make?” That’s precisely wrong—and another reason why the Clintons are a gruesome twosome. Moreover, it shows that Hillary has an appalling lack of self-awareness when she says that Donald Trump is too unstable to be trusted with the codes. Honey, your husband lost them…for months.
Hillary Clinton’s server was kept in her basement, which was an unsanctioned and unsecure location for the transference and collection of such sensitive data. She also said that no classified information was sent through her server—all of which was a lie. She also lied about seeking State Department approval for the system. If she had, officials at State said it would not have been approved.
FBI Director James Comey delivered all but an indictment against the former first lady, who torpedoed her entire narrative behind the server, but also noted that she and her staff were “extremely careless” in handling classified information. The point is that if Hillary Clinton can’t be trusted with keeping state secrets secure, why should we trust her with any foreign endeavor, especially with making sure “the biscuit” is secure? Your other half already lost it.