Short Story: When Devil’s Advocacy Fails… Bad Things Happen is now available

My WordPress CMS is looking less raw as I add content. Some of it will always be static. For example, if I publish a complete story rather than an excerpt, rather than make a sticky post I’ll put a link on the appropriate static page. I’ll announce the publication of that document as I am doing now in my blog. A perfect example of this is my short story When Devil’s Advocacy Fails…Bad Things Happen. It is historical fiction but based on fact. It now lives on my SHORT STORIES page as a .pdf.

Read the story

A great deal of historical research went into writing this story. I’ve been fascinated by the events in the Gulf of Tonkin that led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution since the days I served aboard an American destroyer in those same waters shortly after the incident. I experienced “Tonkin spook” first hand and know how confusing it can be. However, the inspiration for the TROPE system and the way the principals manipulated the decision makers (Robert McNamara and Lyndon B. Johnson) and the intelligence community is this statement in Hanyok (see the source citations in the Author’s note):

“The exact ‘how’ and ‘why’ for this effort to provide only the SIGINT that supported the claim of an attack remain unknown.  There are no ‘smoking gun’ memoranda or notes buried in the files that outline any plan or state any justification.  Instead, the paper record speaks for itself on what happened: …  From the evidence, one can easily deduce the deliberate nature of these actions.  And this observation makes sense, for there was a purpose to them: This was an active effort to make SIGINT fit the claim of what happened during the evening of 4 August in the Gulf of Tonkin.  The question why the NSA personnel handled the product the way they did will probably never be answered.”  [Emphasis added.]

A statement such as that in the historical record invites the writer of fiction to invent a plausible explanation, something I have attempted to do.

I welcome any and all comments.

Thomas

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