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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You can't make this stuff up

Good grief.
How much do you think Osama bin Laden would pay to know exactly when and where the President was traveling, and who was with him? Turns out, he wouldn't have had to pay a dime. All he had to do was go through the trash early Tuesday morning.

It appears to be a White House staff schedule for the President's trip to Florida Tuesday. And a sanitation worker was alarmed to find in the trash long hours before Mr. Bush left for his trip.

It's the kind of thing you would expect would be shredded or burned, not thrown in the garbage. Randy Hopkins could not believe what he was seeing.

There on the floor next to a big trash truck was a thick sheaf of papers with nearly every detail of the President's voyage.

“I saw locations and names and places where the President was going to be. I knew it was important. And it shouldn't have been in a trash hole like this,” he said.

Hopkins works in sanitation. He's an ex-con, and he's worried about fallout from talking to us, so he's asked us not to say exactly where he's employed. But he also felt it was his civic duty to tell somebody about what he'd found.

“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,” he said.

The documents details the exact arrival and departure time for Air Force One, Marine One and the back up choppers, Nighthawk 2 and Three.

It lists every passenger on board each aircraft, from the President to military attaché with nuclear football. It offers the order of vehicles in the President's motorcade.


We faxed a copy to the Secret Service, which as usual rule declined to say much, other than insisting that it was a White House staff document, not a Secret Service document.

A spokesman traveling with President Bush says officials are still trying to learn more about the papers. The White House confirms the 9 News story and says many White House offices have "burn bags" that are used to discard sensitive documents like the schedule. However, it appears this one ended up in the general trash.