Biden’s not-so-secret disclosure

BIDEN’S NOT-SO-SECRET DISCLOSURE…. Fox News has an attention-getting headline, which is bound to get conservatives talking: “Biden Reveals Location of Secret VP Bunker.”

Vice President Joe Biden, well-known for his verbal gaffes, may have finally outdone himself, divulging potentially classified information meant to save the life of a sitting vice president.

According to a report, while recently attending the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, an annual event where powerful politicians and media elite get a chance to cozy up to one another, Biden told his dinnermates about the existence of a secret bunker under the old U.S. Naval Observatory, which is now the home of the vice president.

The bunker is believed to be the secure, undisclosed location former Vice President Dick Cheney remained under protection in secret after the 9/11 attacks.

As the story goes, Biden, while chatting with head-table dinner attendees back in March, alluded to a bunker-like room in the Naval Observatory. No one who heard the vice president said anything, until Newsweek‘s Eleanor Clift mentioned it on Friday. This, naturally, prompted Fox News to report that Biden has “revealed” the location of a “secret” bunker at the Naval Observatory.

It seems like the kind of thing that might make the rounds quickly in conservative circles, so let’s nip it in the bud.

First, the notion that there might be a bunker-like room at the vice president’s residence is hardly a surprise. In 2002, construction crews spent eight months at the Naval Observatory, and the neighborhood complained about a series of blasts that shook nearby homes. Of course they were building a bunker for the vice president. As Michael Crowley noted, “The real surprise might be that there wasn’t already a bunker down there.”

Second, as Steve M. noted, way back during Bush’s first term, Time and a variety of newspapers had reports on something called “Site R,” which was described as Cheney’s “underground Pentagon,” close to the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. That, apparently, was Cheney’s “undisclosed location.”

Biden’s revelation? Not too big a deal.