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Biden speaks at Wake Forest - does not disclose nuclear launch codes

By Jimmy Orr / May 18, 2009

Vice President Biden spoke at Wake Forest University yesterday reportedly without revealing any top secret information. This marks an improvement over a dinner conversation last March where he reportedly disclosed former Vice President Cheney's undisclosed location during a dinner conversation.

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Good news for Vice President Biden's office! The Veep successfully delivered the commencement address at Wake Forest University without disclosing top secret information.

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The problem is, he may have done that a few weeks ago.

Newsweek is reporting that Biden may have revealed where former Vice President Cheney's undisclosed location was.

After the 9/11 attacks, Cheney's whereabouts were frequently unknown. And that was on purpose. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer coined the phrase "undisclosed location" and it stuck. And no one, save a few with the highest of clearances, knew where it was located.

Dinner

Enter Joe Biden. Known for his entertaining conversational skills, the vice president apparently thought the topic might be interesting. So while chatting at the Gridiron Dinner last March, he brought it up.

He reportedly told his companions that the secret location was a "bunker-like room" at the the Naval Observatory. This is where all the vice presidents have lived (not together) since 1974.

Writes Eleanor Clift:

"He said the young naval officer giving him a tour of the residence showed him the hideaway, which is behind a massive steel door secured by an elaborate lock with a narrow connecting hallway lined with shelves filled with communications equipment.
"The officer explained that when Cheney was in lock down, this was where his most trusted aides were stationed, an image that Biden conveyed in a way that suggested we shouldn’t be surprised that the policies that emerged were off the wall."

The Vice President's office has not yet issued a clarifying statement. Nor has Robert Gibbs explained to the press what Joe Biden meant to say.

Update:  The Vice President's office has issued a clarifying statement (they are very good at these).

"What the vice president described in his comments was not - as some press reports have suggested - an underground facility, but rather, an upstairs workspace in the residence, which he understood was frequently used by Vice President Cheney and his aides," said Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander.

"That workspace was converted into an upstairs guestroom when the Bidens moved into the residence,'' she said. "There was no disclosure of classified information.''

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