Gen. Hugh Shelton, who served under Clinton as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has reported in his new book that President Bill Clinton lost the “biscuit,” the launch codes for a nuclear attack, for months before telling aides. He recounts how Clinton first told his security detail that he left the codes somewhere upstairs in the White House but, after an exhaustive search, admitted that he had lost the codes months earlier.
The account is found in Shelton’s new memoir, “Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior.”
Ret. Air Force Lt. Col Robert Patterson also revealed the incident in his book. Patterson carried the football and says that he made a routine request the morning after the Lewinsky scandal broke for the president to present the card so it could be swapped for the new card. He recounted how “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.” I guess it depends on the meaning of “lost.”
The two authors, however, disagree on when the card was lost in 1998 or 2000.
I now can understand the logic behind Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy.