Gen Hugh Shelton, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, said in his new memoir, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior, that “the codes were actually missing for months. That’s a big deal — a gargantuan deal”, said The Telegraph. A similar claim was made by Lt Col Robert Patterson, a former aide, in a book published seven years ago.
He was one of the men who carried the briefcase, known as the “football”, and he said the morning after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke he made a routine request of the president to present the card so that he could provide an updated version.
“We started a search around the White House for the codes, and he finally confessed he in fact misplaced them. He couldn’t recall when he had last seen them.”
The daily quoted him as saying that the president lost the card holding the codes, known as the biscuit, in 1998. But according to Gen Shelton, the card went missing in 2000.