Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Classified presidential document do’s and don’ts

President Joe Biden (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

It’s obvious to this Southern woman some of y’all in the Oval Office don’t know what a burn barrel is, and it shows. Every Southerner knows that’s where you put all the stuff you don’t need anymore (like, say, a classified document) and you don’t necessarily want anyone else to find it. Do it at night with a couple of oil-soaked rags, drop in a match and…problem solved.

I imagine Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter had burn barrels installed right there in the rose garden for just such a purpose. Although he wasn’t technically a Southerner, George W. frequently escaped to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, to “burn brush.” Wonder if there were some docs that didn’t need to see the light of day. Hmmm?

Learning all the places highly classified documents in Biden’s care have shown up—think-tank closets, garages — is like reading a Nancy Drew mystery. Will Nancy and her chums find a list of key U.S. “assets” in the basement of Scranton’s famed Houdini Museum? Now you see them, now you don’t!

We the people are this close to learning the nuclear launch codes have been folded into a matchbook-size square to remedy the wobbly kitchen table at Biden’s beach house.

In Biden’s case, the classified documents that keep popping up like yard onions seem to be more a matter of poor housekeeping than in Trump’s case, where he deliberately took them to Florida, made sure they stayed hidden and only handed them over after being forced to by Department of Justice subpoenas. I tend not to believe Trump who always seems one more bankruptcy away from standing on a street corner offering to guess your weight for a quarter.

This is not to say Biden’s current document drama isn’t bad; it is. The carelessness reminds me of the discovery of several vials of active smallpox virus at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., in 2014.

The vials had been tossed into a CARDBOARD BOX and stashed in a closet where they were discovered decades later. The NIH and FDA apologized for the oversight but let’s be clear here. This wasn’t just some dust bunnies on the baseboards. This was smallpox! A disease we had eradicated but, if spread today would…still not be vaccinated against by parents who won’t get their kids a measles vaccine because wackadoodle.

While some of the Biden classified docs were marked “secret” there were a few that were essentially labeled “Whoa, Nelly! Double-secret probation levels of classified!!!!”

The solution to the docu-drama is obvious: Hire Marie Kondo to oversee the organization of all classified documents in future administrations.

“Mr. President, does this top-secret analysis of our military plans, weapons and operations regarding Ukraine bring you joy?” she will ask as she sits in her accordion pleated skirt and cardigan set while perched on a couch that swallows her tiny self.

Similarly, she will hold up documents labeled “confidential” and “just plain secret” and will arrange “keep,” “toss” and “give away” boxes ensuring classified documents are safely stored or discarded.

The Republicans are spittin’ nails about the Biden docs so I think it would be great fun if Biden, like Trump, claimed the documents were no longer classified because he had “declassified them in my mind.” Sounds crazy now, doesn’t it?

House Republicans are at Level 10 on the hissy fit scale demanding to see “visitor logs” at Biden’s private residence. (There aren’t any and never have been because it’s a private residence and such logs aren’t required.) Perhaps they should remember Trump did away with the practice of public sharing of visitor logs at the White House citing national security.

I suspect it he was embarrassed by the frequent sign-ins from, you know, Voldemoort, Scar from the Lion King, Pennywise, the shark from “Jaws”… Just a guess.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Write to her at [email protected].

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Celia Rivenbark
Load More In Commentary

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

For nearly two decades, people who care about North Carolina’s most vulnerable, who relish understanding the… [...]

Bill introduced at the behest of Blue Cross Blue Shield will be heard in a state… [...]

Last week the U.S. House passed H.R. 5 -- a federal “Parents Bill of Rights” that's… [...]

As North Carolina moves closer to legalizing sports gambling, cautionary tales -- especially for young men… [...]

Twenty-five years ago, when a powerful state Senator quietly and suddenly advanced a bill that would… [...]

* Inspired by this news story. The post A campaign of hate appeared first on NC… [...]

Bills that elevate politics over science, research and training are an attack on the integrity of… [...]

Cannabis – aka marijuana. Most Americans already live in a state where it’s lawful to sell,… [...]


You may republish this article online or in print under our Creative Commons license. You may not edit or shorten the text, you must attribute the article to The Pulse and you must include the author’s name in your republication.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]


Creative Commons License AttributionCreative Commons Attribution
Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Classified presidential document do’s and don’ts