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.

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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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