Lucas Garfield is the chairman of the NSAC.
That acronym stands for National Security Advisory Committee. Being a part of this impressive group would probably be enough to warrant membership in this compendium but Garfield goes a step or two more. Indeed, we are told that at the time we encounter Garfield he has spent "a lifetime in government service and fifteen years in the mainstream of national security".
Garfield is by no means a young fellow when we meet him. He is sixty-eight years old though he looked younger such that most people would have guessed the mid-fifties. "He has been blessed with a baby face that belied his age treacherously for the first forty-five years of his life and then carried him into a puppy-fat old age." He had "a face still without lines; it wasn't in his character to overindulge himself with smiles, scowls, or anxiety".
The activities of the first recorded adventure take place in late 70s with Garfield happily allowing himself the luxury of retirement. This is well earned as his litany of assignments first in the diplomatic corps and later elsewhere is very impressive. This includes being a high-ranking diplomat to London arriving just days before Hermann Goring started his bombardment early in WWII and remaining there throughout the War despite the constant danger. It was shortly after D-Day that he was "dragged, protesting, to Washington to help draw up the blueprints that finally converted OSS into the CIA."
"From that moment on, he liked to tell himself, he was a bartered bride, the unidentified chattel of an unholy marriage between the President and State." "By 1974, Lucas Garfield was a monolith, still invisible, still without credit in his own calling, but more powerful than any of his contemporaries."
For all his history and his unspoken authority, Garfield wanted to be allowed to disappear into retirement. Events not at all of his choosing or his liking will force him out of his easy chair and into the shadows.
- "It was [Garfield's] experience that no performance ever matched the promise made for it, good or bad.
- "Habit and practice and professional conviction told him to apply the first principle of tradecraft: disbelief."