Po­lit­i­cal Shenani­gans

For­mer in­sider’s tale of in­trigue, where does truth be­gin

Times of the Islands - - Departments - BY DOUG GALLOGLY

hen Gen. Jim Miller re­ceives an ur­gent sum­mons to the White House and Pres­i­dent Ge­orge Kean­nealy in­forms him of 200 pounds of weapons-grade ura­nium gone miss­ing, he im­me­di­ately agrees to take any nec­es­sary steps to find out what hap­pened. A po­ten­tial nu­clear dis­as­ter is just the be­gin­ning, and Whis­tle Blower and Dou­ble

Agents by R.J. An­der­son (The Pep­pertree Press, 2015, $28.95) quickly builds like an un­con­trolled chain re­ac­tion. And it is based on ac­tual events.

Miller be­gins his un­der­cover as­sign­ment as chair­man of the Atomic En­ergy Com­mis­sion, with two FBI agents po­si­tioned as his as­sis­tants. His in­ves­ti­ga­tion soon re­veals both the cul­prit and the coun­try that paid for the miss­ing ura­nium, but Wash­ing­ton pol­i­tics quickly takes over. In­fi­delity and mur­der di­vert Miller’s at­ten­tion, and a new pres­i­dent de­cides his find­ings should be buried, af­ter a late-night visit by the ghost of the pre­vi­ous pres­i­dent. Just an­other day in Wash­ing­ton, it seems, and ro­mance proves a wel­come dis­trac­tion from his trou­bles, as Miller does his best to pro­tect an in­creas­ingly er­ratic pres­i­dent.

Now liv­ing in Florida, Ruth J. An­der­son writes as a Wash­ing­ton in­sider, per­haps be­cause she was with the U.S. Nu­clear Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion dur­ing the in­ci­dent on which this book is based. It gives her writ­ing rare au­then­tic­ity, al­low­ing a glimpse into the dirty, grind­ing ma­chin­ery that un­der­pins gov­ern­ment. She spent days in­ter­view­ing the whistleblower, pro­vid­ing a foun­da­tion on which she built the story. How much is truth, and how much is An­der­son's skill­ful em­bel­lish­ment? See if you can fig­ure it out. Doug Gallogly lives with his wife, Jackie, in Fort My­ers.

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