Armed Forces: Satisfactory, or Satisfactory?

While armed guards kept outsiders out, a Navy board of inquiry last week continued hearings into the death of the nuclear submarine Thresher. Much of the testimony, taken from Thresher crewmen who were on leave during the sub's fatal test cruise, and from technicians and nuclear-power experts, was classified as secret. But what did become public was enough to make any landlubber stay just that.

Reviewed in grim detail were the technical problems that had kept Thresher in overhaul for nine months at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The sub's defects, witnesses insisted,...

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