The Advocate-Messenger from Danville, Kentucky on May 8, 2005 · Page 25
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Advocate-Messenger from Danville, Kentucky · Page 25

Danville, Kentucky
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 8, 2005
Page 25
Start Free Trial

WWW.AMNEWS.COM I THE KENTUCKY ADVOCATE NATION I WORLD SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2005 C5 Washington's football carriers hide in plain sight By NANCY BENAC Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON They are always there, at the president's side or' nearby, hiding in plain sight At any given time, five people hold the title of White House military aide, a not particularly revealing description for the men and women who take turns carrying "the football," - the leather briefcase stocked with the classified nuclear war plan. It is a plum assignment and a burnout job, in the estimation of those who have done it But do not ask those who carry the football for President Bush; they are not allowed to talk about it "You're always kind of onv edge," recalls Robert "Buzz" Patterson, who carried the football for President Clinton as an Air Force major and then lieutenant colonel. "I opened it up constantly just to refresh myself, to always be aware of what was in it, all the potential decisions the president could possibly make." Bob Barrett, who carried the football 20 years earlier for President Ford as an Army major, still vividly recalls the job's benefits and burdens: an intimately close-up view of the presidency and the responsibility of being constantly prepared to assist the president in the event of a nuclear attack. "You're wonderfully overwhelmed by it," said Barrett, who became so close to Ford that he left the military and served on Ford's staff when the president left office. Barrett also remembers the palpitations he felt during a trip to France when the football inadvertently was left behind at the airport as Barrett departed in a motorcade with Ford. Before long, a US. security official passed the suitcase through the window to him from a moving car that caught up to the motorcade. The football is more properly known as the president's emergency satchel. It got its nickname because an early version of the nuclear war plan the SIOP, or Single Integrated Operational Plan was code-named "dropkick." The small black bag first appeared, without public announcement, during the Kennedy administration in the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis, when the government saw a need for the president to have nuclear decision-making tools at the ready, even when away from the White House. Now, long after the end of the Cold War, the lethal luggage still shadows the president The war plans still are updated regularly. Those who carry the satchel still are trained to help the president prepare for a nuclear attack in mere minutes. ; Some question whether that is still necessary; others believe it is needed now more than ever. Specifics of the football's contents are classified. It is known to contain a handbook detailing options for unleashing U.S. nuclear weapons "everything from firing a tactical nuclear weapon, one of them, to full-born Armageddon," Patterson said. TJie plans wjere so complex that Jimmy Carter, the only pres- glsnc! Aucj: Monday, May 9 6:30 PM Located 6 Miles South Of Danville Off Old 127 on Hwy. 2141 HUGE SALE! Items Too Numerous To List This is the sale you don't want to miss! INFO: 859-332-4533 OR: 270-4S5C31 1 OR: 270 843-5233 Email: AUCTIONEER MARVirJ WILSON P2770 5 - -A ; Vs j - " X q - r s j ( AP PhotoRon Edmonds Navy Lt Commander Keith Davids carries, the "football," foreground, containing nuclear codes April 18 at the White House. They are always there, at the president's side or nearby, hiding in plain sight. At any given time, five people hold the title of White House military aide, a not particularly revealing description for the men and women who take turns carrying "the football," the leather briefcase stocked with classified U.S. nuclear war plan. : : ident to really study them closely, ordered that a simplified summary be included, said Bruce Blair, president of the private Center for Defense Information and a former Minuteman launch officer. Blair says one source described the summary to him as "virtually a cartoon version." Patterson equates it to "a Denny's breakfast menu." ; "It's kind of like picking one out of Column A and two out of Column B," he said. There is speculation the briefcase was opened during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, because it contains information about maintaining the continuity of government and about communication and evacuation -procedures during a national emergency. "There was a continuity of government plan that was put into effect, and the documents that lay out what the president should do would be found in the suitcase," Blair said. Rules for handling the football are classified and probably have changed over the years. Former White House aides recall strict guidelines for keeping it close to the president It should always be on the same elevator with him, for example, and always on the n 1 n n r same helicopter. Some aides kept it in hand while jogging with the president. Patterson said he would stow the reinforced briefcase, which he esti mated weighs 45 pounds, in one of the secure vehicles that shadowed Clinton on his runs. "It's not difficult to carry around," says Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., who carried the football for Carter and Reagan as a Marine. "You can put it down, and I did often." When the president is at the White House, the football is kept in a secure location. One of the military aides always is abje to retrieve it quickly. There also is a spare football ABSOLUTE AUCTION Wednesday 6 p.m. May 11 Home, GarageWorkshop on wooded 3.75 acres 1 j -- "111 1450 Neals Creek Road Stanford, Ky This 3 BR home with 2 baths has living room, kitchen w dining are, utility room with wd hookup plenty of closet space family room, carportrear porch; large garageworkshop, central heat & air. Directions: from stoplight at Hwy. 150 in Stanford, continue on 27 south 4 miles turning right onto Neals Creek Road then going 12 mile to property on right. Watch for Auction Signs! Open House: Sunday 58 from 2 to 4 p.m. Sale authorized by United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, Lexington Division, Hon. Anna C Johnson, Trustee, Case No. 01-53130 Terms: 10 and Auction Purchase Contract day of Sale, Balance, Deed and Possession on or before 30 days. Announcements date of Sale take precedence over prior information. View pictures and info at Website. McConnell Real Estate, Inc. Bill T. McConnell-BrokerAuctioneer (859) 987-3212 (859) 252-2018 "Available for all your real estate and auction needs" at the White House, and a third satchel that remains close to the vice president ' :: ' : -. The bags are manufactured by Utah-based; Zero Halliburton, which makes much of the fact that its aluminum cases appear in movies including "Men in Black" and "Spy Kids." Otherwise, the company stays mum about what may be the ultimate in product place-ment Football fumbles are rare but do happen. Clinton once departed a Washington meeting in such; haste that he left behind his military aide, who ended up walking 4 12 blocks to the White I All about the football - not quite For all the fascination with the nuclear football, former military aides at the White House say carrying the black bag was a small part of their job. The aides also help plan the president's travels outside Washington and coordinate other military operations that support the president, such as Air Force One, the presidential helicopters, motorcades and the White House Communications Office. The president has five military officers one from each branch of the armed forces, including the Coast Guard who serve two-year assignments. v Most of the aides have been men. They are selected from Pentagon candidates so carefully screened that the investigation can take a year or moreUltimately, each receives the "Yankee White" clearance necessary to work in such close proximity to the president. Former aides say there are plenty of other misconceptions about the football. Among them: MYTH: It is handcuffed to the military aide. FACT: It has a leather cinch strap that can be looped around the wrist. MYTH: It contains nuclear launch codes. FACT: It contains codes the president would need to order the Pentagon to launch nuclear weapons. MYTH: It is always at the president's side. FACT: It must always be easily accessible but sometimes is kept nearby, in another room or vehicle, for example. MYTH: There is only one football. FACT; There are three. The president has one, the vice president has one and a backup is stored at the White House. House, football in tow. Former military aide Peter Metzger recalls when Reagan aide Mike Deaver steered him into a different elevator than the president and fooled him into thinking he had missed the motorcade. Metzger said his heart was racing "like a geirbil in a cage" until he realized it was a ruse. The White House Military Office, which oversees the president's military aides, would not talk about the classified duties. But the aides themselves and the football are there for all to see whenever the president is in public. Frequently, the aides and the satchel are caught in the same camera shots that track the president. Sometimes an antenna can be seen poking out of the satchel, suggesting communications equipment inside. : A retired football is on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, accompanied by a deliberately vague explanation of its purposes. Former aides speak in fairly general terms about the nature of the work; some are happy to mention it prominently on their resumes. : Kline parlayed his tenure as a military aide into a pitch for reelection to Congress. Last year he ran a television ad that : HIGHWAY 49 BRADFORDSVILLE, KY ii -', We have been commissioned by the Ellis & Hasty family to at ABSOLUTE AUCTION on the above date and time the 400 ACRES t, FARM MACHINERY i EQUIPMENT, This property has more than 90 acres of river bottoms and over 323 acres of woods and pasture. Record deer harvest here. Contact Listing Broker DOUG RAY to show you Ihls land. ORDER OF SALE: OFFERING 1 - 328.783 ACRES SALE t1 - 328.783 ACRES ACRES AS A WHOLE BY THE ACRE SALE 2 - TRACTS 1 thru S - 59.282 ACRES - BY THE ACRE SALE 3 - TRACTS 7 thru 12 - 269.501 ACRES BY THE ACRE SALE 4 - TRACTS 1 thru 8 - PICK & CHOOSE - BY THE ACRE TRACT 1 -1.00 ACRES TRACT 2 - 9.623 ACRES TRACT 3 - 16.806 ACRES TRACT 4 6.408 ACRES TRACT 5 - 16.291 ACRES TRACTS -7.154 ACRES SALE 5 TRACTS 7 thru 12 - PICK ft CHOOSE ACRE TRACT 7 - 25.247 ACRES . TRACT 8 38.116 ACRES TRACT 9 - 27.397 ACRES TRACT 10 - 50.848 ACRES TRACT 11 - 49.788 ACRES TRACT 12- 76.105 ACRES OFFERING 2 - 84.617ACRES SALE 1 84.617 ACRES - AS A WHOLE - BY THE ACRE SALE 2 TRACTS 13 ft 14 with BARN 32.256 ACRES - BY THE ACRE SALE 3 - TRACTS 15 ft 16 - 52.361 ACRES - BY THE ACRE SALE 4 INDIVIDUALLY - BY THE ACRE TRACT 13-16.100 ACRES TRACT 14 - 16.156 ACRES TRACT 15 - 20.581 ACRES TRACT 16 - 31.780 ACRES TS 110 FORDNEW HOLLAND Tractor with cab ft low hours, SUPER C FARMALL Tractor with cultivator, M6800 KUBOTA Tractor with 361 hours, 678 New Holland Auto Wreo Baler. 273 New Holland Square Baler, 616 New Holland Disc Mower, 163 New Holland Hay Tedder, H S 10 Wheel V Hey Rake, Woods Bush Hog, 2 Fist wagons, wheel disk, cultivators, 3-bottom plow, hay elevator, 6-3 point hitch disk, aeed sower. 3 point tractor lift, water tank, some old ANTIQUE machinery ft tools, one row tobacco setter, tractor apayer, creep feeder, hayrtnge, aclaaor hay fork, many many other miscellaneous tteme. T 12 BUYERS PREMIUM ADDED TO ALL FINAL BIDS OF THE REAL ESTATE. 10 BUYERS PREMIUM ADDED TO ALL FINAL BIDS ON THE FARM MACHINERY EQUIPMENT PLUS 8 KENTUCKY SALES TAX IF APPLICABLE. 1. Real Estate - Twenty percent (20) down dey of aale and balance due on or before thirty (30) daye, June 14, 2005. 2. Farm Machinery - Cash day of sale. ' 3. Possession of Property shall be given with deed. 4. 2005 Property Taxes to be Proreted. 5. Complete Inspection of property la encouraged prior to sale. Announcements made dey of eale take precedence over all prior advertising whether oral or written, DOUO RAY (270) 692-7467 - LISTING BROKER DOUG THOMPSON - AUCTIONEER JOE PAUL OAUGHERTY - BROKERAUCTIONEER Visit our web site st opened with images of a black briefcase against a dark background. "In this briefcase lies the fate of the world," an announcer intoned "It contains top secret codes to launch a nuclear strike. Two presidents one from each party trusted a young Marine named John Kline to safeguard it." The football's constant presence near presidents has created plenty of odd juxtapositions; Reagan, for example, standing in Moscow's Red Square with a military aide and black suitcase at the ready. ; One Sunday, as President Bush was attending church near the White House, his football-toting military aide was seated at the rear of St John's Church. When the minister directed members of the congregation to greet their neighbors, the aide turned to someone close by and said, "Peace be with you." The response had extra emphasis: "Peace be with YOU." On the Net: An interactive look at the nuclear football is available at: , http:wid.ap.orgseriesinsi -dewashfootbalLhtml Football photos: wmdsystemsnuclear-football- piCS.htm ELLIS & HASTY'S 413 ACRES -16 TRACTS FARM MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT It - BY THE BaHHaaii 12 y I 11 76.105 49.788 ac. .ac- ' ; 50 848 J277 j ac. I I fl Sfl6 L!5.247 i atj 16 1 31.780 ) ac. 15 20.581

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 16,500+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Advocate-Messenger
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free