Inside The Secret War Council

How an unpaid CONSERVATIVE BOARD that holds private MEETINGS and puts NOTHING IN WRITING gets heard at the Pentagon

If you could slip past the soldiers toting M-16s at the door, the Pentagon's 17 miles of corridors might remind you a little of an inner-city apartment building: every other door is plastered with alarms, fortified latches and ugly combination locks. You would buzz past signs bearing mysterious acronyms--WELCOME ABOARD J3/SMOO--that blur rather than clarify what's cooking behind those doors. Asked what goes on inside, officers get that "Don't ask, don't tell" look--and don't even reply.

So it was alarming when one secret agency's work spilled into the open recently, only to be dismissed by almost everyone involved. Meeting last month...

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