The Nation: Insecure Council

In the shrouded pyramid of ascending levels of governmental secrecy, the National Security Council stands at the apex. Yet when it meets and turns out the lights for a briefing, an outsider can walk right in. So, at least, claims former Presidential Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, who reveals that such a bizarre incident in his first novel, On Instructions of My Government, was based on an actual happening in 1961.

As Salinger tells it, Seattle Television Executive Elroy McCaw (who died in 1969) arrived in Washington to attend a Pentagon meeting of a volunteer citizens' advisory group of which he was a...

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