Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson was a military aide to President Clinton from May 1996 to May 1998 and one of five individuals entrusted with carrying the "nuclear football"—the bag containing the codes for launching nuclear weapons. This responsibility meant that he spent a considerable amount of time next to the president, giving him a unique perspective on the Clinton administration. Though he arrived at the job "filled with professional devotion and commitment to serve," he left believing that Clinton had "sown a whirlwind of destruction upon the integrity of our government, endangered our national security, and done enormous harm to the American military in which I served."
Dereliction of Duty is not a personal attack on President Clinton or a commentary on his various scandals; rather, it is a "frank indictment of his obvious—to an eyewitness—failure to lead our country with responsibility and honor." Lt. Col. Patterson offers a damning list of anecdotes and charges against the President, including how Clinton lost the nuclear codes and shrugged it off; how he stalled and lost the opportunity to launch a direct strike on Osama bin Laden at a confirmed location; how the President and the First Lady, and much of their staff, consistently treated members of the military with disrespect and disdain; and how Clinton groped a female Air Force enlisted member while aboard Air Force One, among other incidents large and small. A considerable portion of this slim book is devoted to the myriad ways in which President Clinton undermined the military, and hence the security, of the nation. He seriously questions Clinton's decisions to send troops to Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti, and Bosnia to accomplish non-military tasks without clear objectives. Having participated in each of these engagements, Lt. Col. Patterson personally "experienced the frustration of needlessly wasted lives, effort, and national prestige" as well as the alarmingly low morale that Clinton inspired.
This is certainly not the first anti-Clinton book, but it is different in that Patterson does not seem to have a political ax to grind. In fact, at times, he appears apologetic about having to write about his ex-commander in chief. Yet, in the end, this retired soldier felt his last act of service should be to share his experience with his country. --Shawn Carkonen
Here is the ultimate insider's account from the highest and most sensitive levels of the Clinton administration, revealing how the irresponsible use of power can lead to a terrible price paid by all Americans.
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