BUZZ CUT: Biden and the Bomb

My family and I escaped the summer heat over the weekend and went to see the new blockbuster film “Oppenheimer.” If you are unaware, it’s about the guy who was instrumental in organizing the Manhattan Project and prepping for the use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ultimately, those bombs brought an end to our conflict with Japan in the Pacific.

As some of you may know, at one point in my career as an Air Force officer, I carried the “Nuclear Football” for President Bill Clinton.  The “Football” is the American arsenal power in a briefcase, and a select few military officers have ever been asked to carry it. It’s not a position you can apply for; they select you. So, obviously, I was curious to know more about Robert Oppenheimer, the bomb, WWII, and how we got to where we are today.

The movie is good. It’s a tad long and it focuses primarily on Oppenheimer, the man, his family, and his relationships with those around him as they successfully deployed nuclear weapons to decide the outcome of a war. It illustrates the world-changing introduction of nuclear weapons, what a weirdo Oppenheimer was as a person, and the impact that creating such an apocalyptic force would have on its creator.

More importantly for me, as I walked out of the theater, were questions about our current nuclear weapon chain of command, the turbulent times we live in, and who exactly controls the nuclear codes and the launch processes. Is it the increasingly senile and irrational Joe Biden who often seems drugged and confused? Or is it a senior advisor we aren’t aware of? If we get this wrong, the Biden administration won’t be able to spin it. It will be too late. Far too late.

Today, right now, a military officer (Military Aide or “MILAIDE”) is with Biden with the Nuclear Football: White House, Marine One, Air Force One, Camp David, Delaware beach house weekends, G-7 conferences, international summits, you name it, there’s a military officer with the black bag. It’s 24/7, around the clock, with an office and a bedroom for the MILAIDE. Don’t get excited; it’s not the Lincoln Bedroom. Think Naval submarine meets really old building.

In a nutshell, the process involves the President carrying his/her nuclear codes, a military aide with the Football, the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center, and the unified commanders across the entirety of the U.S. military. 

Needless to say, given the weapon’s capability and potential for the destruction of the human race, it’s absolutely critical for the launch or retaliation process to be airtight. And it requires a POTUS of sound mental faculties. Joe Biden isn’t it.

A quick Football history tutorial: the President’s Emergency Satchel, a/k/a the Football, was created during the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration and further developed under John F. Kennedy. The Cuban Missile Crisis further highlighted the need for the president to have the ability to react immediately with nuclear weapons. If the U.S. were launched on by, say, China, Russia, Pakistan, or North Korea, there are scant minutes to rally the president, develop a decision, transmit that decision to the Pentagon, and notify American missile silos, bombers, fighters, and Naval ships and submarines to execute the plan.

So, the commander-in-chief at the top of the ziggurat matters. It matters a lot. The entire sequence depends on a responsible and sober POTUS. During my time with the satchel, I was routinely concerned with Clinton’s focus and ability to handle the 2 A.M. phone call. In fact, when I was carrying the Football, Bill Clinton actually lost the nuclear codes. It occurred concurrent with the Monica Lewinsky affair going public (and is detailed in my book “Dereliction of Duty.)

Let’s fast forward to our current “leader.” As many sleepless nights as I had when I worked for Clinton, I wonder what the poor current military aides are going through with this moron. He can’t finish a cogent thought; he’s spent his political career shaking down adversaries for millions by selling his position and influence; and I don’t trust him with the codes and the Football. He’s not capable.

When and what will Biden mess up when it comes to our men and women in uniform? When it comes to a potential Third World War, is he the guy we want with the trigger?

 If we get this wrong, the Biden administration won’t be able to spin it. It will be too late. Far too late.


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