Magazine April 18, 2011, Issue

NSA Document Extract

Former President George W. Bush looks at Former President Barack Obama (L), as former President Bill Clinton (R) stands by his side during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., January 7, 2009. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
POTUS Secured Communications

03.24.11 09:33EDT
Begin Extract
Static. Ringing.

Unidentified Male Voice: Hello?

POTUS: Mr. President? It’s Barack Obama.

UMV: Well hey. Hey! Barack Obama. Lemme just — Barb, can you turn that down? It’s Barack Obama. 

Unintelligible conversation.

UMV: Barbara, I’ve got no earthly idea, which is why I want you to turn that down.

Noises. Thumps. Silence.

UMV: Okay, Mr. President, all clear. What’s up?

POTUS: The reason I’m calling, Mr. President –

UMV: Call me George.

POTUS: Okay. George. And please call me Barack.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH: Not happening.

POTUS: The reason I’m calling is to ask some advice –

GEORGE H. W. BUSH:  — about Libya, right? Here’s what I’d do. Get the

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