VP Biden insisted ‘nuclear football’ remain behind his motorcade to preserve regular Joe image

EXCLUSIVE: VP Biden insisted the ‘nuclear football’ briefcase used for counterstrikes to protect the US remain a mile behind his motorcade in Wilmington to preserve his image as ‘a regular Joe’ – in yet another reckless action threatening national security

 

  • ‘The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents’ details how VP Biden wanted to preserve his image as a regular Joe
  • Author Ronald Kessler writes that while Biden was vice president, he engaged in reckless and dangerous actions that threatened our national security
  • Whenever Biden returned to his Wilmington home he would insist that the military aide with the nuclear football remain at least a mile behind him  
  • In the case of a nuclear attack, the distance between Biden and the football could mean nuclear disaster if it couldn’t reach the VP in time 
  • ‘You’ve separated vital assets from the vice president in Wilmington when he’s motorcading around,’ a Secret Service agent said 

Ronald Kessler is a former investigative reporter for the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal and the New York Times bestselling author of ‘The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents’ and ‘The Secrets of the FBI’

After disclosure of his careless handling of classified documents, President Joe Biden told Americans he is really careful about handling the nation’s secrets.

‘People know I take classified documents, classified information seriously,’ he said.

But while Biden was vice president, he engaged in reckless and dangerous actions that threatened our national security far beyond mishandling classified documents.

Whenever Biden returned to his Wilmington home – often several times a week – he would insist that the military aide with the nuclear football remain at least a mile behind him in his motorcade.

Even with no traffic, it would have been impossible for the aide to catch up with Biden as he toured around Delaware so Biden could launch a counterstrike in the event of a nuclear attack by Russia, China, or North Korea.

As revealed in my book ‘The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents,’ Secret Service agents say Biden simply wanted to preserve his image as a regular Joe. A long motorcade would have projected the wrong image.

When Joe Biden was vice president, he engaged in reckless and dangerous actions that threatened our national security to keep up his 'regular Joe' persona

When Joe Biden was vice president, he engaged in reckless and dangerous actions that threatened our national security to keep up his ‘regular Joe’ persona 

The nuclear football is a leather-covered titanium business case that weighs 40 pounds. It is secured with a cipher lock and contains a variety of secure phone capabilities and written options for launching nuclear strikes that the president may authorize

The nuclear football is a leather-covered titanium business case that weighs 40 pounds. It is secured with a cipher lock and contains a variety of secure phone capabilities and written options for launching nuclear strikes that the president may authorize

Whenever Biden returned to his Wilmington home he would insist that the military aide with the nuclear football remain at least a mile behind him in his motorcade. Biden's presidential motorcade is pictured on Sunday

Whenever Biden returned to his Wilmington home he would insist that the military aide with the nuclear football remain at least a mile behind him in his motorcade. Biden’s presidential motorcade is pictured on Sunday 

Never mind that if President Obama had been taken out, the country could have been obliterated by a nuclear attack because of Biden’s unparalleled irresponsibility and lack of judgment.

The nuclear football is a leather-covered titanium business case that weighs 40 pounds. Secured with a cipher lock, it contains a variety of secure phone capabilities and written options for launching nuclear strikes that the president may authorize.

Book 'The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents' details how Biden wanted to preserve his image as a regular Joe

Book ‘The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents’ details how Biden wanted to preserve his image as a regular Joe

The president authenticates his identity with codes found on a small plastic card he carries with him. In case the president is incapacitated or has died, an identical nuclear football is assigned to the vice president.

In the event of a devastating threatened attack on the US, the president – or vice president as his backup – would confirm his identity to the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon over a secure phone by reading codes from the Sealed Authenticator System card – also known as the ‘biscuit’ – that he is supposed to carry with him at all times.

Military leaders and White House national security advisors would then brief the president or vice president on the nature of the threat and the options for retaliating. If either man wanted to consult the written options, he could do so.

He then would choose a retaliatory option and his command would be read back to him. Once he confirms, the command center would use the military’s launch authorization codes to release nuclear missiles.

‘As part of the conference call, the president is told how many seconds or minutes remain if the president would wish to respond, before he might not be able to do so because nuclear weapons will hit the White House or his current location,’ says John Stufflebeem, a former military aide who carried the briefcase and later oversaw the top secret program called the Sealed Authentication System when he was deputy director for global operations assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Kessler writes that if President Obama had been taken out, the country could have been obliterated by a nuclear attack because of Biden's unparalleled irresponsibility and lack of judgment

Kessler writes that if President Obama had been taken out, the country could have been obliterated by a nuclear attack because of Biden’s unparalleled irresponsibility and lack of judgment

Biden's home in Wilmington is pictured. A Secret Service agent on VP Biden's detail said, 'When he's home in Wilmington, he has told the service that he did not want anything other than the limousine he's in and the immediate Suburban that we're in. He wants everybody else out of sight'

Biden’s home in Wilmington is pictured. A Secret Service agent on VP Biden’s detail said, ‘When he’s home in Wilmington, he has told the service that he did not want anything other than the limousine he’s in and the immediate Suburban that we’re in. He wants everybody else out of sight’

Since either the president or vice president would likely have 15 minutes or less to respond militarily to an impending attack before the United States could be wiped out by nuclear-tipped missiles, the military aides who carry the satchels are supposed to be in close proximity to the two leaders at all times.

But as soon as Biden – code-named Celtic – took office in January 2009, he laid down a rule: Instead of the usual retinue of at least 15 vehicles preceded by a police escort in his motorcade, whenever he returned home to Delaware, he wanted a Secret Service motorcade of just two – the limousine or Suburban he rode in, plus a single follow-up Suburban behind him with agents.

Biden specifically ordered the Secret Service control vehicle, which carries the military aide and a doctor, to follow at least a mile behind his limousine.

‘When you go to any city outside Washington, you have a full-blown vice presidential motorcade much like the president’s motorcade,’ a Secret Service agent on Biden’s detail told me when Biden was vice president. 

‘Its length may be 15, 20, or more vehicles, including for staff and a counter-assault team. But when he’s home in Wilmington, he has told the service – and for whatever reason Secret Service management bends over and accommodates him – that he does not want anything other than the limousine he’s in and the immediate Suburban that we’re in. 

‘He wants everybody else out of sight. That includes the vehicle with the military aide and the doctor.’

As a result, the agent said, ‘You’ve separated vital assets from the vice president in Wilmington when he’s motorcading around. We are told, ”Don’t come near us, don’t let us see you, the vice president doesn’t want to see you.”’

In addition to putting the country at risk when he was in Delaware, Biden insisted on having only two Secret Service vehicles near him when he vacationed in places such as the Hamptons on Long Island, New York, instructing the military aide with the nuclear football to remain in another Secret Service vehicle at a hotel. 

Every second counts. By the time the command center would establish communication with the president or vice president through the nuclear football, nuclear missiles from a submarine could have already wiped out New York City.

Biden specifically ordered a Secret Service vehicle, which carries the military aide with the nuclear football and a doctor, to follow at least a mile behind his limousine

Biden specifically ordered a Secret Service vehicle, which carries the military aide with the nuclear football and a doctor, to follow at least a mile behind his limousine

By the time the command center would establish communication with the president or vice president through the nuclear football, nuclear missiles from a submarine could have already wiped out New York City, Kessler writes

By the time the command center would establish communication with the president or vice president through the nuclear football, nuclear missiles from a submarine could have already wiped out New York City, Kessler writes 

While the country’s ballistic missile defense system could counteract other incoming missiles, a retaliatory strike is essential to disable the enemy’s military capability and prevent further strikes.

That, in turn, depends on the president and vice president discharging their most important responsibility by making sure the military aide with the football is near them at all times.

Calling Biden’s order to keep the nuclear football a mile away from him ‘alarming,’ a Secret Service agent who was then on Biden’s detail said, ‘He wants to be Joe and he does not want the vehicles around him.’

If the House Homeland Security Committee interviewed Secret Service agents who were on Biden’s vice presidential detail and required them to testify publicly about what they saw, their testimony would put Biden’s mishandling of classified material into perspective and document his outrageous irresponsibility to enhance his image.

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