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...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Football Arrives

I did not know the briefcase containing the nuclear codes had to follow the President even to the State of the Union address. Here it is, carried by an unnamed military aide, arriving at Statuary Hall.

Thanks to Wikipedia, we learn the following about the so-called "football":

The case itself is a metallic, possibly bullet-resistant, modified Zero Halliburton briefcase which is carried inside a black leather "jacket." The entire package weighs approximately 40 pounds (18 kg). A small antenna, presumably for the SATCOM radio, protrudes from the bag near the handle. A common misconception is that the football is handcuffed to its carrier. Rather, a black cable is employed that loops around the handle of the bag and the wrist of the aide.

That's a sobering thought. Perhaps much more reassuring than also learning via Wiki of something that happened back when, to President Jimmy Carter.

"Jimmy Carter once left nuclear launch codes in his suit when it was sent in for dry cleaning."

Never mind "ineffectual". Try incompetent.

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  • Never mind "ineffectual". Try incompetent.

    "Retarded" is the word I would use.

    I think the football has to follow the president everywhere. I've never heard of a case where the US president has been close to using it, though Boris Yeltsin came very close to using his. I think they had it open and were preparing to use it when they realized that the missile they thought was coming for them was actually a scientific sounding rocket.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Wed Feb 25, 07:59:00 am GMT-5  

  • Here's another tidbit. Author Tom Clancy was trying his fictional best to create a 'worst case scenario' for one of his novels and he came up with a joint session of Congress with the President in the Capitol being destroyed. Poof! There goes our leadership. Somehow, Clancy talked about this with a cabinet member who looked a little guiltily stupid. So? Who stays back?

    --No one. Until now.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Wed Feb 25, 11:03:00 am GMT-5  

  • If that's true about Carter, then that's sad. He's ex-Navy. And not just Navy, but he was an ex-Nuc too, IIRC (although in attack subs, not ballistic missile ones).

    My point here is that if it's true, he should've known better.

    By Blogger Tibore, at Wed Feb 25, 01:37:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Ruth Anne, you're talking about Debt of Honor. The novel that makes Jack Ryan president. Clancy had well and truly jumped the shark.

    Tibore--yes, Carter was a squid. It's telling though that when the Navy saw fit to name a sub after him, it was a research sub. (I don't know what its nickname is, possibly "Malaise" or "Killer Rabbit".)

    By Anonymous Starless, at Wed Feb 25, 05:04:00 pm GMT-5  

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