Obama's Private Inauguration Ritual: Receiving the Nuclear Launch Codes

Obama will soon be sworn into office. Earlier this morning, before stepping in front of the pulsing millions, there was a quieter ceremony signaling the transfer of power: He received the nuclear launch codes.

A great story from George Stephanopolous: Before coming onstage, before going to church this morning, he went to his national security briefing, as he has for the last couple of months. What made this different from every other briefing though, is that at the end, a man with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist told Obama how to launch a nuclear strike using the codes inside.

Obama won't get the card to launch the nukes until he is officially sworn in, but as George Stephanopolous remarks, "the true transfer of power has begun." [ABC News, Image: MSNBC/AP]