Answer TWO of the following:
Q1: What was Channon’s idea for a First Earth Battalion such a radical concept? Where did he get his inspiration? And related to this, why might the armed forces have been receptive to such an “out there” suggestion?
Q2: Do you get the impression that Ronson believes half the stories that people tell him about the Goat Lab and the Staring exercises? What is his tone throughout the piece, and why do you think he decided to write a book about these interviews and experiences?
Q3: Channon says something interesting in Chapter 3 about the average soldier: “The kind of person attracted to military service has a great difficulty...being cunning. We suffered in Vietnam from not being cunning...You might get some cunning out of other agencies in the American government, but you’d have a hard time finding it in the army” (31). According to him and others in this book, why might the conversation about war be more about cunning than fighting? Why does Channon believe that “cunning” is the future of the American army?
Q4: Ronson poses four possible scenarios in Chapter 2 for the stories about the Goat Lab, the last one being, “The U.S. Intelligence community was, back then, essentially nuts through and through” (10). While he’s obviously being facetious here, what might he be actually driving at? Why might the various bodies of U.S. Intelligence be more “nuts” than we assume? And why might it be in their best interests to be at least a little more “nuts” than the average person?