You have probably heard the rumors that the US president carries with him a black briefcase everywhere he goes. But why is this necessary? What is hiding inside this top-secret briefcase?
1. Meet the “President’s Emergency Satchel”
The satchel seems like an ordinary piece of luggage. However, it’s a mysterious briefcase with extremely classified items inside of it.
2. The “Nuclear Football”
The briefcase is usually carried by 1 of 5 military aides of the president, and it is tied to the wrist of the person who carries it to ensure its safety.
3. What’s Hiding Inside?
The purpose of the briefcase will surprise you: it is used to authorize nuclear attacks! If the president is away from command centers, the briefcase contains everything that the president needs for authorizing an attack.
4. Fully Equipped
The briefcase doesn’t have a big red button that launches nuclear warheads. Instead, it contains a card with authentication codes, a folder with instructions, and two black books. One book keeps classified information about private locations of shelters for the president, and the other has nuclear strike options.
5. Origins of the Briefcase
The briefcase was introduced in 1962. This was after the Cuban missile crisis.
6. Since Then, Every President Was Required to Carry It
Robert Patterson, Air Force Major, carried the briefcase for Clinton. He explained: “I opened it up constantly just to refresh myself, to always be aware of what was in it, all the potential decisions the president could possibly make.”
7. The Possibility of Nuclear Attack
Carrying the 50-pound nuclear football is a heavy burden. But making the decision is even harder.
8. The President Has Full Control Over Nuclear War Plans
The president was given unlimited access to nuclear plans by asking these questions.
9. Today, President Obama Carries the Briefcase Too
His military aids are highly trained to ensure that the briefcase doesn’t get stolen.
10. Nuclear Threat
The briefcase travels everywhere with the president. Apparently, there is a communications system inside it, and there are instructions for the Emergency Broadcast System. This system is activated in the event of a nuclear attack.
11. The Codes
The codes are printed on plastic cards. But, the president keeps copies on his person at all times.
12. A Huge Responsibility
In the case of a doomsday attack, the U.S. can strike back with just a phone call. However, this is a huge responsibility and keeping this bag and the president safe is the top priority of experienced army majors. In the case of a nuclear attack, the president will have to make a difficult decision quickly.