View Full Version : How Bill Clinton mislaid his biscuit

10-23-2010, 09:52 PM

It emerged last week, in the memoirs of a retired US general, that President Clinton had lost "the biscuit": the plastic card inscribed with a set of codes that would allow him to sanction a nuclear attack. Indeed, it apparently went missing for months, during which time Clinton may have assumed that it was held by his aide, who didn't have a clue where it was either.

Imagine the scene if someone had said: "Sir, we need you to authorise a nuclear attack. Now." Cue gut-liquefying panic, with Hillary urging: "Just think back to when you last saw it," and – after much brow-furrowing – Bill answering: "I think I had it that night we went out to that great clam-chowder shack in Maine, you know, because I remember seeing it next to my credit card… or it could be in the inside pocket of the blue suit that went off to the dry cleaners."

I have some sympathy with this, being a frequent mislayer of crucial objects myself: house keys, mobile phone, that little brass thingumajig that lets air out of the radiators… But although Clinton was famed for his easy-going charm, losing this item takes – well - the biscuit.