Buzz Cut: The Hypocrisy of ‘Records’ - Part Two

Townhall Media

Hey, everybody, Buzz Patterson here. Welcome to the Buzz Cut! My biweekly column bringing truth and reason, as well as a little US military perspective, to the forefront of political discussion.

 As the world is aware, former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was raided by the FBI on August 8th. From all we know about a heavily redacted affidavit, the Justice Department is pursuing Trump ostensibly for violations of the Espionage Act of 1917, the most serious charge in the warrant.  The Espionage Act can be used to prosecute incidents related to not only spying, but also mishandling classified documents. Typically, it’s been used to prosecute those who leak documents to news agencies and for “whistleblowers.” Some examples include Julian Assange and Chelsea (Bradley) Manning. Never, in the history of our nation, have senior politicians or officeholders been raided or charged for Espionage Act violations. Not until now, with the ruling party in Washington seeking to eliminate a future opposition candidate — none other than former President Trump.

This charade is nothing but a blatant attempt at influencing the midterms in November and illegally attempting to keep the former president from being the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in 2024. But why don’t we go ahead and take a look at how a previous president was treated under the same Act a few decades ago?

 In January 1998, I was the Air Force Military Aide to former President Bill Clinton. I was the first person on his calendar this particular day, as I was scheduled to brief him on the “Nuclear Football,” the processes involved, and to answer any questions he might’ve had. We did these approximately once a quarter. I walked into the Oval Office at around 7:00 that morning. His personal secretary, Betty Curry, was not at her desk and not yet at work and I walked right in. I encountered President Clinton seated at his desk, head in his hands, bloodshot eyes, and obviously, he’d been up all night. This very morning, the affair with Monica Lewinsky had been fully revealed. He knew he’d been caught.

Immediately, I understood that this wasn’t a great time to be standing in front of the president and I told him I’d be back at a more convenient time. He agreed and as I turned to exit, I asked him to verify that he had his “biscuit,” referring to the nuclear codes card that every president since John F. Kennedy has carried on his person since the Cuban Missile Crisis. It takes the president, his set of codes, and a military aide with the “Football,” to launch nuclear weapons on behalf of the United States. He confessed that he didn’t have them at that moment. They must be upstairs in the residence, he said, and that he’d retrieve them soon. “Soon” turned out to be never. We never did recover them.

I reported the loss to the Pentagon and they, of course, were rightfully stunned. There is no higher classified document in our nation. It had never happened before. The Pentagon reacted by creating a new set that was delivered to the president the next day. Similar nuclear codes were required to be changed in every nuclear asset our nation possesses — missile silos, bombers, and nuclear submarines. This is not an easy task. Here’s the catch: Clinton couldn’t remember how long it had been. Days, weeks, or even months. That’s the crime. As I was leaving, he asked me not to report the loss to anybody in the media. I agreed until I retired from the Air Force and wrote my book, “Dereliction of Duty,” in 2003.

 We were never raided.


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