Biscuitless Bill

While George Bush has been accused by ideological opponents of being – amongst other things – Lord of the Presidential Idiots, a new contender has emerged.

bill clinton idiotWhen you’re President of the United States, you can lose a vote, you can lose popular support, and you can lose a round of golf. But you’re never, ever supposed to lose the biscuit.

That’s what they call the card the president is meant to keep close at hand, bearing the codes that he has to have in order to launch a nuclear attack. And for several months during the Clinton administration, a former top military officer says they lost the biscuit.

Gen. Hugh Shelton, who served under Clinton as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tells the story in his just-published memoir, “Without

“At one point during the Clinton administration,” Shelton writes, “the codes were actually missing for months. […] That’s a big deal — a gargantuan deal.”

Similar Story Told By Air Force Man

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.

Of course, in my mind, there is only one who rightfully deserves the title.

President Sends the ‘Biscuit’ to the Cleaners?

If the facts seem murky, that’s not unusual when national security matters are involved. 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.

Update: I couldn’t resist.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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  • Jim from Iowa

    I don't think "idiot" quite covers either Bush jr. or Clinton. I would describe Clinton as arrogant and reckless in how he approached the presidency. Additionally, his veep summed up Clinton perfectly when he said that everything Clinton did had a political calculation behind it. With Bush II, it was not so much stupidity as it was making life or death decisions based on what his gut told him was right. Alternately, Bush ascribed some actions based on the devine guidance his evangelical Christian faith provided him. It troubles me that these two men with these limitations could both have been two-term presidents. And if you think Obama falls short of the mark, wait till you see who the tea party crowd comes up with in 2012. Buckle up; it's going to be a bumpy ride.

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      Actually, that's what I LIKED about Bush. (Actually, I tihnk people exagerate this, like they exagerate "Nancy's" influence on Reagan.) There was one common issue with the CRITICS of Clinton and Bush II, and that is that they ignored the admonition that politics stopped at the water. The Republican's carping at Clinton ("where's the exit strategy?") likely caused him to take the wishy-washy actions the led to the 9/11 attacks, and the constant attacks on Bush II lost us the momentum we had originally, when we scared both Pakistan and Libya into giving in without a fight.
      (Of course, Clinton was so untrustworthy that it's hard to blame his critics; while "wag the dog" was probably meant as an attack on Bush I – Hollywood being Hollywood – it's ironic how closely it mirrored his actions.)

      • Michael Zvi Krumbein

        spelling checked failed.

        • Michael Zvi Krumbein

          "Spelling checked failed"? Oh, well. :-)

      • juvanya

        I remember that one accompilshment of Bush: scaring Libya. and frequently noted that they never played it up at all. So its the lost story of his presidency.

        • Jim from Iowa

          My vote for most under-reported story of the Bush presidency was the intervention of fate (or the Almighty, if you prefer) to save the president's life when he choked on a pretzel and passed out, thus saving the world from a President Cheney. It's nearly impossible to calculate how much worse a President Cheney would have been than a President George W. Bush.

          • Michael Zvi Krumbein

            Much more pro-Israel.

            • Michael Zvi Krumbein

              I was really xorry Chaney gave in to the nasty attacks on his age and took himself out of the running. We was just about the most pro-Israel member ofthe administation.

          • nanaloshen

            I'm not sure what you beef is with GW. I think he's been misjudged by people who think he is stupid. No one could have withstood the press attacks he had and still have a sense of humor. If BP had happened on Bush's watch, the press would have freaked out. Instead we had a near news blackout. I trusted Bush more than I ever will Obama. Are we living the same country?

            • Jim from Iowa

              My blood pressure soars when I really think about the Bush presidency, so I'll give a condensed response. Notwithstanding the events of the Florida recount and the subsequent US Supreme Court's political decision to favor Bush and thus throwing the validity of a Bush presidency into question, Bush acted as though he had this huge electoral mandate to act in a highly partisan manner. Uninformed, dishonest, obstinate, partisan, corrupt, shallow are just a few of the terms that come to mind when I think of George W. Bush. But more than anything else, his handling of the Iraq War is the shameful hallmark of his failed presidency. He has the blood of innocent Americans on his hands in prosecuting a completely unnecessary and illegal war. And that is unforgivable.

              • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                This is sad. Gore almost stole the election (as did countless lower-level Florida Democratic politicians using "Hanging chads") and you call the decision political. He acted like he had a mandate because we were attacked, and at that point the country was with him. he didn't do ANYTHING without Congress behind him. Reminds me of the Viet Nam war, when people acted like the Presidents did it on their own, without congress.

                Illegal war? People are shooting at our planes and it is illegal to attack. Well, at least this explains why you aren't pro-Israel (except in your own mind).

                • Jim from Iowa

                  You sound like the last guy that got off the train from Crazy Town. You are so profoundly wrong in your analysis of these facts, it defies a response. You must be drinking from the Tea Party Express water bucket and it doesn't agree with you, Michael. You don't look at all well, Michael. Bumps will make you lumpy and lumps will make you bumpy and it'll make your body jump and twitch. And then everything will go all black. The end.

                  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                    Not analysis. Facts. I heard an interview with a guy who had spoken with a Democratic lawyer who ADMITTED stealing his assembly seat in Florida. The country didn't back Bush at the time? Congress didn't? Congress didn't fund Viet Nam, even enacting a tax? Iraq wan't shooting at our planes? We weren't in a state of war with them since Kuwait?

                    I know – don't confuse me with facts. (BTW, the Supreme Court had backed Bush by high margins in the preceding decisions, only the last one was 5-4; sounds like the 4 was political, not the 5.)

              • hizzonor

                RE: Bush stole the election- try the book by William Sammon,"How Algore tried to steal the election."
                Florida panhandle pop. was told not to vote because tommyboy brokaw declared victory for his buddy at 7pm EASTERN TIME

                • Jim from Iowa

                  You mean "Fox News Contributor" Bill Sammon? I think I'll look elsewhere for my source material on the 2000 election, thank-you.

                  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                    Probably Media Matters. Honestly, sometimes you seem rational, and sometimes you go off into conspiracy-land.

                    The Florida stuff is precisely right. I heard about near when it happened; people were known to have stayed home because the news stations broke jounalistic rules and declared for Gore before the polls closed in the relatively conservative panhandle. It's kind of strange to claim in election was stolen for Bush in an area controlled by the Democrats, South Florida.

                    • Jim from Iowa

                      Maybe you should try more reliable authors on the subject: historian Douglas Brinkley or legal scholar
                      Alan Dershowitz or former prosecutor and noted author Vincent Bugliosi. They all claim the election was stolen by the Republicans- by political operatives in Florida and by Republican appointed justices on the Supreme Court. How can you defend the indefenseable, Michael? And to paraphrase VP Gore in response to an angry George W. Bush when told Gore's electoral concession had been withdrawn: "Well, you don't have to get snippy about it."

                    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

                      What authors? I'm talking about what was reported at the time.

          • Shy Guy

            I hope Obama chokes on his own narcissism and Biden gets to put his shoes up on the Oval Office desk.

            From worse to bad!

        • Michael Zvi Krumbein

          That's what I meant. We lost the momentum because of the incessant attacks on Bush, and probably lost the gains via Libya also.

      • walt kovacs

        bush was prez during 9/11

        bush ignored the admonitions by the clinton admin to pay attention to muslim extremists…and instead chose to try and restart the star wars program (russia doesnt want to destroy us anymore, they want to buy us out)

        clinton did tow the hard line against iraq and al quiada…and was laughed at when he sent in missiles and bombing runs

        so please…dont blame clinton for 9/11

  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

    WOW! Do you read what people write and just assume they say what you THINK they would say, instead of what they actually say? I said EXACTLY what you said about Clinton.

    But it wasn't Bush's fault either. Those warnings were very vague.

    On the other hand, SDI makes even more sense in today's world, with small numbers of missles possibly coming from countries like Iraq. This means both that we are more likely to need SDI (more likely to need an attack) and more likely for ity to work (fewer targets).

  • Michael Zvi Krumbein

    I received a job ad from an Aliyah organization, which I found fascinating:

    The Organization is a politically unaffiliated, non-profit organization serving Haifa's Palestinian community. Our programs combine community empowerment initiatives with rights education and legal advocacy in order to counter discrimination against the Arab community of Haifa.

    Now, I'm all for dealing with employment discrimination agaisnt Arabs, which I consider a scandal, but – "Palestinians"? We have non-citizens up here in the North? It's the State of Israel clear to the Jordan.

    Oh, if anyone cares:

    We can be reached as below:
    The Social Development Committee of Haifa
    21 Saint John's Street
    PO Box 4454
    Haifa, Israel 31043
    Phone and Fax: (972) 4 851 4648
    Email: [email protected]

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      In case it's unclear, the Aliyah organization sent the ad from the other organization. I don't blame them for sending it out.

  • Shy Guy

    Hey, aren't you the guy with the self confessed Bush deranged blood pressure problem? You forgot to take your meds again? Now we're all in danger:

    [youtube ry-rTHOpgxE youtube]

    • Jim from Iowa

      Without some level of self control, my feelings about George W. Bush might well become pathological. I try to erase Bush from my mind by singing show tunes, working on marriage equality iniatiatives here in Iowa, and talking to people with opposing points of view like you Shy Guy. But unlike me, Shy Guy, I'm not sure how aware you are of how angry you sometimes seem to others. I would really like to spend a day with Mrs. Shy Guy to get to know, to really know the man behind the grotesque, violent right wing curtain you've erected for yourself. Does Mrs. Shy Guy like coffee? We could meet at Starbucks.

      • Shy Guy

        I just made Mrs. Shy Guy the best cup of cappuccino around. Buy yourself one of these and you will never want to see the inside of a Starbucks again (plus you will save enough money to buy that GM Volt you must be dreaming of).

        In the meantime, to paraphrase Baghdad Bob, Shy Guy is in full control – in full control!

        • Jim from Iowa

          God bless Mrs. Shy Guy.

      • Shy Guy

        And heeeeeeeeeere's Bob!

        [youtube TrXhxmQJSS0 youtube]

      • Michael Zvi Krumbein

        Well, at least I know know Shy Guy IS Mr. Shy Guy, not Mrs. If he let that slip before, I missed it.

        • Shy Guy

          "Guy". That's:





          Now, Jim here – he's a muddenah briyah. o.0

          • Michael Zvi Krumbein

            Colloquially, it is used for both, in the U.S. today.

    • Michael Zvi Krumbein

      Um, graphic comic violence warning.

      • Shy Guy

        Relax! Watch some Happy Tree Friends cartoon episodes instead.

        Obligatory smiley: :D

        • Michael Zvi Krumbein

          You really should put a warning if you are going to embed.

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