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Re: Gleason - Sandow

From: Greg Sandow <greg@gregsandow.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 11:07:32 -0400
Fwd Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 18:53:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Gleason - Sandow

 >From: Robert Gates <RGates8254@aol.com>
 >To: ufoupdates@virtuallystrange.net
 >Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 01:23:59 EDT
 >Subject: Re: Gleason

 >Slight disagreement with Jerry. If a President of the United
 >States wanted to take his best buddy to some AFB to show them
 >something Top Secret, who would be in authority to stop the

There's an eye-opening story in the memoirs of Charles Colson,
one of Nixon's aides.

One evening, Colson was the ranking staff member on duty at the
White House. He was also young and new to his job. Around 9 PM,
Nixon decided he wanted to go to a show. What was available?
Maybe something at the Kennedy Center, they all thought. So they
tried to call the Kennedy Center to find out what was playing.

That was their first problem. The box office was closed. The
administrative office was closed. Finally they reached a
restaurant at the Kennedy Center. Whoever answered the phone had
trouble believing the president's staff was on the line, but
eventually Colson learned that one of the military bands was
performing that night.

Very suitable for the president, but now there was a second
problem. They had to let the theater know that the president was
coming. The band had to be told to play "Hail to the Chief" when
the president entered his box. (A curious American custom that
list members from other countries are free to giggle at!) This
disrupted the concert. Nobody was happy.

The next morning, the chief of staff, Haldeman, came into work
and heard about what happened. He reprimanded Colson for letting
Nixon cause all that trouble. Nixon, Haldeman said, shouldn't
have been allowed to go to the concert. "The president rattles
the bars of his cage," Haldeman said. "But we can't let him

Presidents aren't nearly as free as we might imagine. Nixon
couldn't simply go by himself to bring his buddy to see the
alien bodies, or whatever he's supposed to have done. The Secret
Service would have to go along. Whoever carried the nuclear
"football" - the device that allows the president to authorize
the use of nuclear weapons, should that be necessary - would
have to go, since this person never leaves the president's
immediate vicinity. The military base where the bodies allegedly
were would have to be notified. A visit from the president is
one of the biggest events that could happen on the base. The
base commander would have to be notified. Plans would have to be
made. Any movement the president makes has to involve an
astonishing number of people, and the arrangements have to be
made by staff aides, whose chief can effectively delay, hamper,
or even forbid some of the things the president wants to do.

High officials tend to be very effective bureaucratic
infighters. The commander of the base where the alien bodies
supposedly were might not have liked the idea of the president
bringing a civilian in, and could oppose it, both overtly and by
sheer stubborn inaction. The president could argue with his
aides (including such high-ranking people as the national
security advisor, who might also be appalled by something like
the Gleason visit). The aides will argue back. The president
can't turn everything into a confrontation. Like anyone in a
bureaucratic situation, even the top people, he or she depends
on good working relations with subordinates. Only rarely can a
president, or any CEO, simply order something to be done when
most or all of other top officials are against it.

There's also President Truman's comment, about what his
successor Eisenhower would find when he took office. "He was the
commander in chief of the Army," Truman said, or words to that
effect. "When he gave orders, they were obeyed. When he's here,
he's going to sit at that desk and tell people what he wants
done - and nothing will happen."

Greg Sandow

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