The long and financially-lucrative relationship between Harvey Weinstein and Clinton is apparently over with Hillary's qualified condemnation of Weinstein yesterday. Although we're still waiting for Bill to denounce his close friend and ally. That might never happen based on Bill's on perverse history. I'm not holding my breath. But it wasn't just a complete lack of integrity and moral fiber that our nation had to endure during those eight years, it was also the Clintons alarming prioritization of their careers and personal interests over national security. As I experienced personally while serving at the president's side.
On January 21st, 1998, I was the first person on President Bill Clinton's schedule. At seven in the morning, I was going to give the president his annual nuclear code update and reconfirm that he had set of nuclear "go codes." The launch codes necessary for the president to initiate a nuclear attack or respond to one.
I arrived early, notes in hand, anxious to instruct him and answer his questions. I walked into the Oval Office's outer area, the office of his secretary Betty Curry. Betty wasn't in yet, but Kris Engskov, the president's personal aide, met me and advised me to wait.
I walked over to Betty's desk and glanced down at the morning's Washington Post. The headline was "Clinton Accused of Urging Aide to Lie: Starr Probes Whether President Told Woman to Deny Alleged Affair to Jones's Lawyers." The aide was Monica Lewinsky and "Jones" was Paula Jones, another target of Bill's.
I had heard rumors about the president conducting an illicit affair with a young intern. I'd even seen the intern a few times in and around the Oval Office. I asked a Secret Service agent who she was one day and he colored between the lines for me. Now I knew why.
Kris motioned me into the Oval Office. Clinton was seated behind his desk. He looked tired and beaten, blanched and swollen. He looked up at me from behind his reading glasses. He could see that I knew. I could see that he knew he'd been caught having an affair with a young intern. It was not going to be a good day, or several days, working in the White House.
With discretion being the better part of valor, I said: "Sir, if you'd like, I can come back for the briefing and confirm you have the nuclear codes later."
"That'd be fine Buzz. Thank you."
Upon return, I was in for a surprise. I arrived at the Oval Office as scheduled. After briefing the president on the process and refreshing him on the "nuclear football," I pressed him to see the codes fully expecting that my meeting would be over and I'd be on my way. Instead, President Clinton looked up sheepishly and confessed, "I don't have mine on me. I'll track them down and get them back to you."
He is required to have the codes on him at all times. Every president since John F. Kennedy has had that obligation. After several frantic hours of searching the White House residence, we realized that, for the first time in our nation's history, our president had indeed lost the codes. My military aide compatriots and I were dumbfounded--the president losing his nuclear codes. He wasn't truly concerned with the loss of potentially the nation's most critical national security document, however. His overarching concern was that the story not leak to the press and further bury him in scandal.
After the Lewinsky affair broke, the senior staff and Hillary Clinton tried to insulate the president from further problems. Their intent was to keep him "safe" from women. With the president's help, the staff developed a code word for attractive females: they called them "security risks." In my opinion, they weren't the security risks.
The biggest security risk was the president himself.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson, United States Air Force (Retired), is a military combat pilot, distinguished White House military aide, bestselling author, and popular conservative public speaker. Among Patterson’s literary efforts include two New York Times best sellers, Dereliction of Duty and Reckless Disregard. His most recent books include War Crimes and Conduct Unbecoming. Patterson was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Air Command and Staff College; he has his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech University and a Master's in Business Administration from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. He, his wife and their three children currently reside in California.