National security? It's in the trash

A sanitation worker finds detailed information about the president's travels in the garbage.

Tim Grieve
May 10, 2006 9:55PM (UTC)

If the White House is serious about cracking down on national security leaks, perhaps it ought to figure out who dumped detailed information about the president's travel plans -- the exact arrival and departure times for Air Force One, the order of the cars in the presidential motorcade, the identity of the military aide carrying the nuclear "football" -- in the trash where a sanitation worker found it.

A Washington TV station says that an "ex-con" named Randy Hopkins couldn't believe what he saw when he found the president's Florida itinerary in Washington Tuesday. "We're going through a war, and if it would have fell into the wrong hands at the right time, it would have been something really messy for the president's sake, Hopkins said.


The White House says it's trying to learn more about the incident, but don't expect to see an "accountability moment" anytime soon. In March 2004, a Pentagon aide named Eric Ruff left talking points for Donald Rumsfeld -- together with a hand-drawn map to Rumsfeld's house -- at a D.C. Starbucks. Last week, Ruff was promoted to the job of Pentagon press secretary.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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