March 17th, 2010
In 1996-1997, while working as a veteran detective on an anti-crime task force in my police department I wrote articles for the American Enterprise Institute magazine in Washington. During the same time I wrote a draft manuscript in which the plot consisted of a single question. “What if?” What if the President of the United States was a sleeper agent for the Soviet Union? What if the Soviet Union, no longer communist, was unaware or worse didn’t want him to activate? What if the President decided this was the time to take the country over and remold it into his vision of what America should be? And what if the citizens of the United States had become conditioned not to care?
The plot of the book centers on a small isolated town in Idaho. Farmers and ranchers, all honest hardworking men and women begin to make a stand against a government gone out of control. But unknown to them, they are playing into a trap long planned by a small group of men in Washington D.C. and Moscow. Assisted by two veteran police officers, the townspeople begin to resist the increasingly violent assaults against their town. The book is packed with action with events taking place across the world; from the secret archives of the KGB, to behind closed doors of the White House, to battles in the remote mountains of Idaho. The hero of the book is a veteran detective from Florida, who years earlier encountered another government operation gone wrong. That case cost him his wife, and changed him forever.
Twelve years later, in 2008, the financial bubble finally burst causing trillions of dollars to be lost; people panicked, savings were destroyed and companies teetered on extinction. The government quickly stepped in and for the first time in history began to control large segments of the economy directly, with plans to take over more. Like many of the fifty nine million people who voted for less government in the last election, I found myself unsure of our future. I began to wonder if the question was no longer “What if?” but now simply, “when.” Many, many citizens have an unconscious fear haunting them; they feel something has gone horribly wrong with their nation. The book addresses those fears. I believe that millions of Americans will find the book exciting and full of hope as it reminds us that we are, after all, different than the rest of the world, we are Americans.
March 9th, 2010
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November 8th, 2009
Before Crawford and James reached Rockledge with their prisoner, Childs and Roberts had already had a big day. Early in the morning in a clearing just outside town, they assembled about one hundred and fifty men of all ages. The men were dressed in various types of hunting gear and old military fatigues collected from old trunks and backroom closets; soldiers may finish their tour, but they never leave their past. Roberts watched them as they stood either silent or holding quiet conversations between them. They were armed with all types of weapons: shotguns, semi auto rifles, and bolt action rifles with scopes. Even Tom Barns outfitted himself in his favorite deer hunting camouflage bib overalls. Barns held his old double barrel loosely in his arms as he quietly talked to the man next to him.
At the head of the group, Roberts climbed up on a crate somebody had dragged out and began to speak. “Gentlemen, you have chosen to be here today for a number of reasons. Some of you are here because you are pissed. Some because you feel the government must be reined in. Some here because this is your land and be damned if anyone is going to take it from you.” There were quite a number of affirmative nods from the crowd. “And some of you are here because your friend or your family is here, and you feel obligated to follow.” Roberts paused. “Whatever your reason, I feel that I must tell you what you are up against.” He turned and waved his hand towards Childs standing behind him. “This is John Childs. Some of you might know him, others might not. John has seen more combat than most of us ever dreamed of. He has scouted the area around our town and has something to share with you. Before he gets into the details, let me tell you in short what is happening. I…we believe that the situation here was not an accident gotten out of hand. It is part of a plan bigger than we may even suspect. The problem is that no one but us seems to believe it. I fear that we are going to be made an example of and that means that those people wanting to make that example are coming here. They aren’t going to be friendly, and I don’t think they will be looking for prisoners. You see, the trouble with prisoners is that sooner or later they get to tell their side of the story.
“Like Waco.” A man shouted from the crowd. Roberts recognized the man as being from an isolated ranch north of town. Roberts remembered him as pulling no punches as to how he felt about the intruding government.
Roberts held up his hand. “I am not sure if the two can be compared. But the end result may be the same. The fact we can’t communicate with the outside world is no accident. I believe somebody only wants one side of the story told… and that is their side.” Roberts looked at the crowd of men. He had their total attention now. “Gentlemen, most of you have known me for better than fifteen years. Some of you have known me since I was a kid. I’m not afraid to say I’m a little scared. This is very serious. The only way I can see us getting out of this in one piece is to hold together. We have to outlast them and keep them off of us until the truth gets out. We are working on that right now. John here will be in charge of the tactical commands. He has already gotten with a few of you that are helping with the roadblocks. One of them reported back that there is some more activity on the north road.” Roberts looked at the men, his jaw set in grim resolve. “Whatever is going to happen may happen soon. Nobody is going to be upset if any of you decided to sit this out. But if you stay, mean it. We can’t afford to have anyone bugging out at the last minute.”
Roberts waited for someone to speak. Finally, a voice came from an old rancher standing in the back. “Hank, you mind getting down? We need to get started, and time’s a wasting.” The crowd laughed at the comment. Roberts smiled. He had to say what he did, but he knew in his heart there would be no quitters in this crowd. It is their land after all. Isn’t that the point?
October 18th, 2009
The college boy also agreed. ”Yeah, all we should have left when this first started. I would have been home by now. This isn’t my fight. These guys are all nuts. The government isn’t out to get them.” Again the two longhaired, mid-aged, hippies nodded in agreement.
The column slowly came around a rocky point. The college kid’s young eyes were first to pick out the low flying helicopters approaching out of the sun. ”Hey, look here comes the Calvary now.” The businessman instructed the kid to stop. They got out and waved to the helicopters which now had slowed to a hover several hundred yards away. The businessman straightened his green polo shirt and tan pants; it always paid to look good when dealing with unknown competition. Then he held up his hands and pointed to the white flags in the cars. Others were getting out of their stopped vehicles and were starting to wave.
Seminko leaned over the pilot and looked through the windshield. He could see the ten or so cars parked in the middle of the road. There were figures waving and pointing to the limp white rags. Fools. Stupid, weak fools. Seminko knew what he had to do. He punched the button on his throat mike and gave the instructions to both helicopters.
The college boy watched as the two helicopters banked away from each other and began to fly towards them. At three hundred yards he saw the nose of the ships dip down. The boy realized they weren’t going to land. At one hundred and fifty yards the first burst from the thirty caliber mini-gun mounted under the wings of the first chopper raked the car and hit the businessman squarely in the head blowing brain matter all over the front of the car. The one old hippie yelped and went down, blood soaking through his genuine earth friendly tan hemp shirt. The other one, stoned by now, stood looking at his fallen friend and said, “Hey man, that isn’t very cool at all.”
September 14th, 2009
When I wrote the book I asked myself how could you create enough fear to make people willing to let the government control their lives in exchange for “security.” First the government would have to create an enemy. Then it would have to create an incident proving the threat the enemy poses.
It was the Friday morning rush hour in the downtown New York subway. People crowded together as they pushed and prodded their way along the subway platform. The people were too concerned about their own problems to have noticed two dark haired men put down identical paper bags at each end of the platform near the exits. The two men then slowly worked their way out to the stairs leading to the surface. As they met at the top one man reached into his pocket and pulled out a small radio transmitter. He flipped a switch and noted the red light went on as expected. He lifted a safety cover over another switch and flipped it up. Immediately, two low level explosions could be heard coming from the subway followed by screams. The two men walked quickly away from the location before the gas could make its way to the surface. A lethal cloud of nerve gas quickly filled the platform killing hundreds of men, women and children. Within minutes a recorded voice would call the local NBC affiliate and claim responsibility for the attack. It would say that the battle for freedom had started. The militias had declared war.
August 10th, 2009
Alex Davis got into his 2008 red Cadillac and started across town to the radio station. The Cadillac was one of the few perks left from the “old days” when GM was a sponsor of his show. The “former GM”, he reminded himself. Things had certainly changed. The station was located up in the mountains several miles outside town. He cruised along in the late night at his usual breakneck speed; the Cadillac still rode like a dream, not like the forced to be built eco-friendly cars now being produced. Carbon footprint my ass! Davis stroked the leather seats. We are Americans. We deserve to live like this.
There was very little traffic in town this late at night. Davis never paid attention to the single set of car lights following him at a discreet distance. His thoughts were on what he was going to say tonight. He glanced down at the folder next to him. He had studied the documents all day. Davis took a deep breath. Years ago, when he had a huge national radio program, he did his level best to warn America of exactly what was happening now. Admittedly some of it may have been hype. But now for the first time, he was afraid. He always figured this march towards socialism Fontaine was on would be turned back by men and women with a sense of what this country really stood for. Now he wasn’t so sure. The way things were, America may never be turned around.
As his car rounded a curve and started down a long decline between two ridges he noticed the car behind him closing the distance between them. That’s strange, Davis thought. He sped up a little and saw the other car was keeping pace about fifty yards behind him. The Cadillac’s smooth ride disguised its speed. Davis looked down at the speedometer and saw he was going almost seventy. He realized he better slow down before the next turn and began to apply the brakes. Davis glanced up to see the car behind him accelerate towards him. What in the hell is that guy’s problem? Davis thought to himself. The car rammed the back of Davis’s Cadillac causing the tires to lose traction for a second. Davis fought to keep the car on the road. The other car hit him again as Davis’s car approached the sharp turn. Davis knew the road. It was cut into the side of the mountain. There was a sharp slope on the left side, and a sheer drop on the other. Davis gripped the wheel harder as he tried to apply the brakes again. The other car hit him hard in the rear bumper then jerked sideways forcing the rear tires on Davis’s Cadillac to break their grip. It was a perfectly executed “pit maneuver.” Davis realized too late he was out of control. The Cadillac began to spin sideways and hit the guard rail with a terrific impact. The car flipped up on its side and seemed to hang in the air for a split second before tumbling over the edge and down the steep slope. Pieces flew off the Cadillac as it plummeted down the rocky embankment with increasing velocity. Davis wasn’t wearing his seatbelt, another bad habit he never broke. On the eighth violent revolution, Davis’s unconscious form was ejected from the car and into its downward path. Davis hit the ground with enough speed to split his head open on the rocks. As if an unseen jester wanted to add a macabre punch line, the car then smashed into his lifeless body crushing it into mass of amputated limbs and strewn intestines.
The old dark Ford sedan pulled up where Davis’s car left the road. Two large African American men in black clothing got out and looked over the edge of the void. They were part of Fontaine’s “National Civil Defense Force”, a civilian Para-military organization, initially organized in the third year of Fontaine’s administration. Fontaine sold the force as a way to have enhanced neighborhood security. Some described the force as the Guardian Angels on steroids. At first the crime rate did substantially drop in the neighborhoods where the NCDF operated. But the reason for the decline was that a substantial number of the recruits came from the same criminal ranks Fontaine was supposedly targeting. Through multi-million dollar grants, Fontaine was able to empower members of gangs, the new Black Panthers, and other like organizations in order to gain control of the inner cities. Over time two elements emerged from the NCDF. One was the street level group that watched over the neighborhoods. It encouraged the almost mandatory adherence to Fontaine’s “new way of doing things” he advocated in his campaign. The NCDF used community pressure to make citizens follow the rules of behavior. Anyone out of line, from a crack dealer to a business owner could be paid a late night visit from a couple of metal bar wielding attitude adjusters. The second part of the NCDF was a more professional unit executed special operations for Fontaine. These members were selected from the more committed recruits and professional criminals. Fontaine made sure members from the special units were positioned throughout the country. They were in effect a quick reaction force. Just hours earlier, the two men standing on the edge of the road had received a call from Zabgrid. He had been right; there wasn’t much time to be fancy.
The larger of the two men smiled in the dark. “I told you it would work.”
The second man nodded in somewhat disbelief. “So you did. I must remember to make sure you don’t get pissed at me.”
The first man laughed and slapped his friend on the back. “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
August 1st, 2009
Goldstein would have cursed himself for being so stupid if he could have mustered enough breath to do so. Tennis a couple of times a week simply didn’t keep him in shape enough to handle the steep trails, especially at this altitude. His breath was ragged and he felt like his lungs had caught fire. To make it worse, the trail he chose did not take him far enough around the roadblock as he hoped. He was trying to be as quiet as possible. But the suitcases he was carrying kept hanging up on the low branches in the forest. He stopped long enough to look down the ridge. Fear gripped him when he spotted at least four shadows making their way up the side of the mountain. He could see them in the beams of their small flashlights. Damn it! What was he going to do? Give up, or take off running? Running was out of the question; Goldstein was already just about done in. He could see the rifles the men carried were now un-slung. He knew he was in trouble. Goldstein redoubled his effort and started scrambling up the trail as quickly as he could. But it was futile; the soldiers were gaining on him. He could hear them shouting to each other as they maneuvered to cut him off. The beams from the flashlights began to play over the limbs of the trees he was fighting through. They were about thirty yards behind him when the first burst of automatic fire ripped through the trees next to his head. He flung himself to the ground and covered up. Holy shit, they were firing at him for no reason. They were going to kill him right there.
July 21st, 2009
Crawford stepped outside with Childs. Crawford looked up at the late summer night stars. “How long do you think before they will strike back?”
Childs looked up too. “Maybe three days, maybe a week. It will take some time to get organized after Friday.” It was Child’s turn to ask a question. “Do you think they’ll send in more feds?”
Crawford’s brow furrowed. “I don’t know. This is way bigger than a Waco situation or that guy in Texas who had his gun collection taken with an HRT raid by the FBI. He was just one man, and Waco was a compound in the middle of nowhere. Hell, this whole county is in the middle of nowhere.” Crawford laughed as he made a sweeping gesture with is arms. “I’m not sure they have enough agents in the entire western part of the country to handle this! Maybe that will delay them some.”
“Well at least they can’t send in the Army.” Childs smiled in the dark. “That is still against the law.”
Crawford didn’t answer, but something clicked in the back of his mind. He couldn’t grasp it right away, fatigue was setting in. But there was something bothering his subconscious. He knew he would think of it sooner or later.
July 7th, 2009
The blonde four year old girl picked up her favorite doll and stuck it back into the baby buggy she was pushing. She shook her finger at the doll and chastised her for not staying in the buggy, just like her mother did her on the days they went to the mall. She laughed and kissed the doll, forgiving all transgressions. She turned her head and looked up at the sky when she heard a deep thumping whine coming from the backside of the mountain behind her house. The noise grew louder as a dark shadow swept over her. The little girl looked up in time to see a black helicopter, with missile pods hung under its wings, swing low over her neighborhood, bank hard and then begin a straight run down her street.
Her mother was watching her daughter through the kitchen window when she saw and heard the same thing. The mother dropped a glass shattering it in the sink. She started to run for the door, yelling her daughter’s name. “Sally, Sally, come here honey!” The mother tried to control the panic in her voice. She didn’t want to scare the child but at the same time she wanted the girl to react quickly. Sally heard her mother and picked up her doll so she could go. Sally froze as she looked up at the noisy funny looking bird. It was flying right at her.
July 7th, 2009
At two a.m. Sunday morning, three unmarked Humvees, an armored personnel carrier and two large box trucks drove down a two lane road that ran through a town thirty miles south of Rockledge. The only witnesses to the small column were a couple of barking dogs. Had someone been around to take a closer look they would have noticed the grim faced soldiers inside the vehicle wore no insignias on their uniforms. The vehicles drove toward Wyatt County on one of the only three roads into the county.
At the same time two other identical columns were making their way in similar fashion along the other two roads. Approximately two hours later the columns halted just inside the county line. One truck continued up the access road to the sole cellular tower servicing the area. Another truck drove on to the repeater station that carried the local police channels. The rest of the column trucks parked in a flat area alongside the road. The soldiers jumped out and began taking up defensive positions around the vehicles. One soldier opened the back of the truck to reveal a bank of communications equipment with several soldiers at the controls. Another soldier strapped himself in a lineman’s belt and gaffs then climbed up to the top of the telephone pole next to the truck. After a few minutes he signaled down to the people inside the truck. At the cell tower and repeater station, the soldiers exploded charges at the base of the towers knocking them down. Wyatt County was cut off.