In the wake of his document scandal, Joe Biden has scurried to project an image of being reliable and careful in his handling of national security. But history shows that his careless classified document handling should not be regarded with surprise. A book written based on secret service agents’ accounts reveals a pattern of reckless behavior exhibited by Joe Biden when he was Obama’s Vice President.
Investigative journalist Ronald Kessler released his book The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents, which detailed how Joe Biden, while VP, refused to follow protocol placing national security second to the image he wanted to portray. Secret Service Agents say Biden refused the long motorcade necessary for Presidents and Vice Presidents, who are supposed to keep a large detail of agents, medical staff, and the nuclear football close by.
“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 Delaware, meaning he would have been unable to launch a counterstrike in the event of a nuclear attack by Russia, China, or North Korea.”
Kessler also noted 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.”
Presidents and their VPs keep the nuclear football close to them at all times, so they are able to respond to an attack on the country. If anything had happened to Obama, Biden would have been expected to handle national security threats.
The nuclear football is a business case that weighs 40 pounds and is covered in titanium and leather. It is secured with a cipher lock, containing secure phone capabilities and written options for launching nuclear strikes that the President may authorize. An identical nuclear football is given to the VP in case the President is dead or incapacitated. The acting chief would likely have less than 15 minutes to form a military response before the US could be hit with nuclear missiles, which is why aides carrying the footballs are supposed to remain close to both leaders at all times. The football acts as the communication medium by which the command center establishes secure communication with the acting President to respond to national threats.
When Biden took office in 2009, he refused the normal 15+ vehicle motorcade, insisting that his vehicle would be accompanied by only one other vehicle of agents when he returned home to Delaware. He wanted to preserve his image as a regular guy, which meant separating himself from the proper security detail, medical detail, and nuclear football.
According to Kessler, an agent said he was told, “Don’t come near us, don’t let us see you, the vice president doesn’t want to see you.”
The question remains as to whether or not Biden deliberately put the country in greater jeopardy or if his actions show a careless disregard for national security.