Don't Call Him Bobby Ray: Portrait of an Operator

When Bobby Ray Inman goes up to Capitol Hill for confirmation hearings in January, he will not have any talking dogs with him. He doesn't need them. "Talking dogs" is what the Pentagon calls the notebook-carrying aides who sit behind senior officers, looking things up to whisper into their "masters' " ears. Inman has a memory that is close to total recall. He can, and does, speak cogently for half an hour without notes and answer questions on almost any topic. It is a skill that has helped make the retired admiral a legendary figure in Washington, though most Americans have...

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