Craig Livingstone, the White House security chief hired by Hillary Rodham Clinton, wanted oversight of the "football".
The football is a cyptological communication mechanism carried everywhere with the President by aides from the White House Military Office. It contains the mechanism to which the President identifies himself in order to authorize a nuclear strike. The authorization codes are changed daily by the National Security Agency. It was such codes and nuclear SIOP options that Vince Foster and Hillary Rodham Clinton provided to the Israelis in the messiest espionage case in U.S. history. (For more on SIOP, see "Allegations Regarding Vince Foster, the NSA, and Banking Transactions Spying, Part XXVIII".)
No one, of course, really knows whether the football accompanies the President everywhere, such as on those secret midnight visits to the Marriott, or on those quiet cocaine forays back to Fayetteville.
In a letter sent to George Stephanopolous after Vince Foster's demise, Craig Livingstone said he wanted to be in charge of the White House Military Office. The job paid more, and (one assumes) Craig and Hillary could enhance their social prestige by exercising some control over the nuclear button.
Well, Craig Livingstone has departed, and Bill Clinton is still here. But if you want to know what is going on, ask the question: What happened to the football?
Where has the football disappeared to on Clinton's recent campaign journey? Did someone take it away from him? Were they afraid he might do something rash in a miasma of coke-induced sleeplessness?
Has the countdown begun on Bill Clinton's tenure as President? If not, then where, pray tell, is the football?
October 8, 1996
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