- May 2, 2007
March 19, 1967. Washington D.C., United States.
Gregory Madison, Ph.D. (History), entered the Library of Congress with his notebook and a sense of purpose. He was about to become one of the first historians to read some of the Depression cabinet documents, finally being unlocked after their 30 years in storage.
30 years, he thought, was a long time. A very long time. Madison was in his forties - the grey hairs had begun to spring up, finally showing a physical sign of the many years he had endured. Madison had landed on Utah Beach with the 8th Infantry Division as a private on D-day, and had served in the East, too, fighting in the Philippines following the redeployment of the 8th to the Pacific. And now, he began to look at the decisions which lead up to the war.
Madison's trip to the Library, however, was not without issue. For one, the relatively new Beltway around D.C. had its problems - the traffic was terrible. Following on, he'd run into someone on the way in, and nearly knocked him down a flight of stairs. Madison's excitement, however, meant that he kept going, ignoring the person he'd just knocked over.
Entering the Library, the desk beckoned for him. Books, archives, records of all sorts were kept here - one of the greatest libraries in the modern world. He'd had his name down to review these documents for two years now, and was similar to a small child just before Christmas - he could hardly hide his anticipation.
The lady at the desk asked for some identification, which Madison duly delivered. She sighed. 'Are you going to be back here in 30 years to review the decisions leading to another war, Mr Madison?' looking at the paper next to her, announcing further advisors to be sent to South Vietnam within the next month. Madison smiled. "While I know that the Viets are tough, surely this isn't something America will involve herself in - it's a nationalist fight, and those are the ones that we can't get in the way of. Especially after what happened to the French in '56. Bobby wouldn't be that stupid - his brother might have been, especially with the Cuba debacle, but Bobby's far more sensible than Jack ever was."
"I hope you're right, Mr. Madison. Here they are. Cabinet Documents, 1936."
Author's Notes: This AAR utilises WiF by Fernando Torres, thanks to him. This is my second attempt at a US WiF AAR - they're a lot of fun to play, especially in the European war.
While the classification system I am using was not implemented until the Nixon Administration (Executive Order 11652, March 8, 1972), it is generally accepted now that there is a 30-year wait before the release of classified documents, and as such, this makes it more consistent from a storytelling perspective.