Essay: BRIEFINGS: A RITUAL OF NONCOMMUNICATION

ON first visiting Southeast Asia, a reporter, or any other designated VIP, usually undergoes a ritual of purification. Arriving at the Hawaii headquarters of the Commander in Chief Pacific Forces, he is led to a closely guarded building. Within its cavernous, arctic-cool auditorium, he is guided to a leather swivel chair beating a plaque with his name. On a table is a plump leather notebook full of blank paper awaiting his use. Standing in front of him, as august as an altar, is a divided projection screen. Above the screen, a row of clocks record the time in distant parts of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!