General: Bill Clinton Lost Nuke Codes for Months

He 'misplaced' them after Lewinsky scandal broke, says another commander
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Suggested by Aarontco
Posted Oct 21, 2010 2:19 AM CDT
Updated Oct 21, 2010 6:00 AM CDT
Former President Bill Clinton holds his head as he stumps for Democrat Senator Michael Bennet at a rally this week in Colorado.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

(Newser) – Bill Clinton lost a card carrying the top-secret codes to launch US nuclear missiles for several months when he was in the White House, a general has charged in his new memoir. "That's a big deal—a gargantuan deal," writes General Hugh Shelton, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Clinton. The former president apparently misplaced what's known as the "biscuit"—the card with the codes—in 2000, he writes.

Another military commander has made the same charge, but says the biscuit was actually lost in 1998, on the morning after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. In retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Robert Patterson's telling, the president "confessed" to him that he "misplaced" the codes, reports ABC News. "He couldn't recall when he had last seen them," Patterson has revealed in his own book. Patterson was one of the men charged with carrying the nation's nuclear "football," a mobile computerized command hub in a locked briefcase that the president can use to launch a nuclear attack no matter where he is. That's why he needs the biscuit with him at all times.

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