INVESTIGATIONS: Experts & Explanations

Peering benevolently over the tops of his reading glasses, Georgia's canny Representative Carl Vinson clapped down his gavel and brought the proceedings to order. His Armed Services Committee had met to consider grave charges: that the Air Forces' controversial B-36 bomber, the nation's prime strategic weapon,,was a product of political finagling and outright crooked practices in high places.

Chairman Vinson had promised that there would be no whitewash—and no fishing expeditions either. "I didn't catch the question," Vinson remarked blandly when one witness began to wander. "I was smoking a cigar."

But Vinson was all attention as the airmen began to...

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