Chapter 1The Lock-Up

Shortly after dawn on most weekday mornings, a strange ritual takes place in Washington, D.C. Two dozen select men and women leave their homes, grab their newspapers, and rush off to spend part of the day under virtual house arrest. Yes, house arrest—as in incarceration. Precisely where they go to be confined can vary day to day. It could be in a dilapidated government building one morning and a high-tech office complex the next. Regardless of the location, what occurs in all these places is always the same. They enter a strict, prison-like setting where contact with the outside world is cut off.

One Friday morning, this same group climbs a long set of steps to the side entrance of a sleek, white-stone building on 3rd Avenue ...

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