Obama Gets Nuclear "Football"

(Jan. 22) -A U.S. military aide carries the president’s nuclear arsenal command briefcase in his left hand in 2005 (Mark Wilson/Getty Images).
(Jan. 22) -A U.S. military aide carries the president’s nuclear arsenal command briefcase in his left hand in 2005 (Mark Wilson/Getty Images).

New U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday received the briefcase that would allow him to order a nuclear strike from any location, the New York Post reported (see GSN, Jan. 21).

A military aide carrying the 45-pound metal "football" positioned himself near Obama immediately after he was sworn into office. It will remain in the president's vicinity on a continuous basis.

Obama that morning had been briefed on the functioning of the device, receiving the personal identification number needed to confirm his identity and details on calling down a nuclear strike.

Inside the case are a handbook with battle plans covering nuclear and conventional conflict, a secure telephone for contact with command facilities at the Pentagon and other sites, and additional emergency-planning material (Chuck Bennett, New York Post, Jan. 21).

January 22, 2009
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New U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday received the briefcase that would allow him to order a nuclear strike from any location, the New York Post reported (see GSN, Jan. 21).