The card with the nuclear launch codes on it that is always supposed to be near the president is referred to as “the biscuit.”
The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs claims then President Clinton lost it, and for several weeks. Gee, he wouldn’t have been distracted by anything else, would he?
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.”
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.”
Somewhere there’s a copy of “Leaves of Grass” with the world’s most potentially dangerous bookmark in it.
I can see where there might have been a misunderstanding. Shelton or Patterson might have asked through a locked Oval Office door, “Mr. President, do you have your hands on the biscuit?” Bill would have said back, “Um, as a matter of fact, yes.”
If he’d have been asked to recite the numeric code, it would have been “oh oh oh oh oh oh!”
Clinton might not have been the first to misplace the nuke codes though:
Consider the old story that Jimmy Carter left his biscuit in a suit that got sent to the dry cleaners. Today, no one will confirm the story, but no one will deny it either.
We can be fairly certain that if the Clinton launch codes ended up where I think they might have, they did not go to the dry cleaners.
The story from ABC News: