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Tommy this, an' Tommy that

A column for Remembrance Day weekend.


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One of your finest columns yet. Thank you for this.


I saw Tibbets - oh, it must have been late last year; just before I left the Pentagon for good. He had written a memoir, and the Air Staff organized a book signing for him; the line (much of it AF types, unsurprisingly) stretched the length of the concourse and wrapped around a corner - no small distance, as those familiar with the geography of the Puzzle Palace will confirm. He looked much younger than he was, and pretty vigorous.

Truman's assumption of responsibility was pretty much in character; there's a story somewhere - the standard McCullough bio, perhaps - about a similar meeting between Truman and Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer put in the narcissistic, "it's-all-my-fault, I-have-blood-on-my-hands" performance that prefigures the standard modern intellectual's pose, and Truman gave him the same response: "You didn't make the decision, I did."

Hell of a call. I would not have wanted to make it. Glad they did,though.


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