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January 2015

Free Fire Zone- A Strategy to defeat Global Jihad

The Islamists are attacking all over the world. They are enslaving and killing innocents and the best the free world can come up with is more hashtags. I am glad to see some organizations standing up for freedom of speech and liberty, but it is maddening to watch the United States of America unwilling to even name the enemy facing us all. It is Islamist Extremists and they are proud to let us know. 

President Obama has no strategy and is anything has shown a complete unwillingness and inability to deal with the reality we face. The Center for Security Policy has taken the ball and in the absence of leadership from the Commander in Chief, written a comprehensive strategy for dealing with and defeating the Global Jihad. We will release the document tomorrow Friday, January 16 at 12 Noon at the National Press Club in DC. 

Book Review - "Dark Spies" by Matthew Dunn

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category on the right side bar.

9780062309464_p0_v2_s260x420Fans of thrillers have lost major author icons Vince Flynn and Tom Clancy.  If they are looking for someone who might live up to these legends, try Matthew Dunn. He writes about espionage and takes the reader on an intense journey with every storyline. His latest, Dark Spies, is a riveting and gripping novel whose main character, Will Cochrane, is a lot like Flynn’s Mitch Rapp, each willing to throw personal safety aside to protect their country.

Of this strong Spymaster series, Dark Spies is probably Dunn’s best. The storyline and characters are so very well developed. The plot begins with Will acting as a bodyguard for a deep cover CIA agent, Ellie Hallowes, as she attempts to extract information from a Russian asset.  Unfortunately, this mission goes south when assassins led by Russian spymaster, Antaeus, attempt to execute the US operative.  Will does not understand why Langley orders him to stand down, and instead takes matters into his own hands to save Ellie. Attempting to find the truth about the inexplicable orders, Hallowes returns to the US to seek out who is behind this scheme while Will, now a marked man and on the run, must outmaneuver deadly Russian assassins, an elite FBI team, and powerful self serving intelligence officials, one who outted him. 

The Ellie Hallowes character is someone readers root for.  She is the female equivalent of Will Cochrane.  Both are heroic, personable, tough, compassionate, kind, thoughtful, and lonely.  She is best described as Will’s kindred spirit for her similar experiences, background, and mindset.  The mission is everything to them and if they no longer were able to be spies they would drift endlessly emotionally and physically.  The other character introduced in this book is FBI Special Agent Marsha Gage.  She is intelligent, sharp, and is no nonsense while managing the many egos of the task force.  Dunn noted, “Ellie and Marsha are so very different.  Ellie is drawn into herself. If I stuck both in a room of a hundred people, Ellie would want to get out as quickly as possible because she lives in the shadows. On the other hand, Marsha would be very comfortable in that setting.”

The author has spent five years as a deep undercover agent for MI6 so he is able to use his experiences to write realistic stories.  As he explains in the book, he quickly understood that the major attributes of an operative are instinct and imagination. Dunn commented directly to blackfive.net, “This is something that cannot really be trained, the ability to use your ‘antenna eyes.’  Deep cover agents rely on finding out people’s characteristics.  I want to show in this book how operatives are addicted to finding the truth, stealing secrets is in their blood. They find it difficult to break this habit. People also need to understand that deep cover officers put themselves in severe danger, operating on a limb.  There is no diplomatic cover and immunity.  Spies typically operate in extremely hostile locations.  If caught, at best they’ll get jail time and at worst they will be executed. It is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.”

The plot hammers the point home that the intelligence community needs to consider multiple fronts.  The book’s plot exemplifies how countries such as Russia could manipulate circumstances to their advantage. It also shows the need for HUMINT, to gain information through interpersonal contact.  In this case Russia tried to manipulate Great Britain and the US to react to a perceived situation of a terrorist meeting that would have had a catastrophic result, had it not been for Ellie’s due diligence. It became evident that the dangers lie with major rogue states that can destabilize the world order.

Dark Spies conjures up memories of Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal, including the collaboration of agencies and the movement through multiple countries and continents. The characters search for the truth provides an exciting read that is solidly grounded in the real world.

Book Review - "A Fine Summer Day" by Charles Todd

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.

9780062237125_p0_v2_s260x420A Fine Summer’s Day by Charles Todd is being billed as a prequel to the Ian Rutledge series.  But it is much more that that, as the authors put the readers right in the middle of the hysteria about going to war at the beginning of the 20th Century.  Intermingled with World War I facts is the backstory of Ian Rutledge, examining who he was before the war. 

The story’s timing occurs just before World War I begins, in June 1914.  While most are focused on the assassination of the Archduke in Sarajevo, Rutledge is concentrating on a case involving a series of murders across England, which are seemingly unconnected. He is also pre-occupied with his engagement to Jean Gordon, someone whom he dearly loves despite the reservations of his friends and family.

Readers get a clearer picture of Jean’s personality before the war began. She is seen as superficial, which creates an understanding of why she slighted him after he came back from the war with shell shock.  The authors show her as having a personality without a lot of depth and spoiled by her parents.  She measured herself with regard to her friends, always wanting to keep up appearances.  Jean is almost the direct opposite of her friend Kate who is also beautiful and charming, but who is someone readers can like. 

Through the character’s eyes the authors show how people at that time were swept up in the glory of war.  The Todds noted to blackfive.net, “We put this quote in the book by Ian who is the voice of reality, ‘And now everyone was mad for war.  As if the excitement was all they saw… It’s not all parades and bands and uniforms, it’s cruelty and misery and destruction.’ He was not swept up in that mad rush.  He had no illusions since as a policeman he had seen dead bodies.  At first he saw himself not as a soldier but as a policeman who had a duty to solve this case.  While working on the case he placed his obligation as a policeman before his duty of King and Country. After solving the case he enlisted because he felt he was needed. Britain was pressed for men considering the massive German army, and needed good officers who could command men.”

A Fine Summer’s Day is a gripping novel that captures people’s thoughts and experiences regarding the pre-World War I years.  The authors are able to skillfully intermingle this within a very riveting murder mystery.  This book is a page-turner that readers will not want to put down.

Charlie Hebdo, The Short Response

Pour les porcs d'amour lâches qui n'ont pas la virilité pour plaire à une souris: apporter. Comme vous l'avez semé le vent, vous pouvez récolter la tempête et il peut détruire ce qui vous soutenez. Que le monde et des milliers d'intensifier dessiner et écrire de vous et ce que vous soutenez moquer. Vous avez tué, et peut tuer plus, mais vous ne pouvez pas tuer une idée, et le rire vous moquer encore et de l'écho à travers les âges. Nous ne sommes pas peur, et nous sommes fiers de dire Je Suis Charlie!

Islamists slaughter cartoonists in Paris

Ooops I mean non-affiliated, men with an unknown beef violate gun laws to kill random civilians for no apparent reason. What an insult it would be to the brave folks from the Charlie Hebdo magazine if the fact that Muslim terrorists killed them for having the audacity to believe they had freedom of speech.

Twelve people have been shot dead at the headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, say police.

Three masked gunmen stormed the offices of the controversial publication, which has previously been attacked over its portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed.

They were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and are also believed to have had a rocket-propelled grenade.

In one video clip, the attackers are heard to shout: "We have avenged the prophet."

The caving in has already begun as other publications decide they do not want to stand up and face the barbarians.

And to top it off renowned ass clown and Presidential liar Josh Earnest trotted out the lame ass Islam is a peaceful religion BS. WRONG. When more than a quarter of your adherents believe you can kill unbelievers, you have a death cult. Time for us to start acting in accordance with THEIR actions.

Book Review - Tom Clancy's "Full Force and Effect" by Mark Greaney

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the far right sidebar.

9780399173356_p0_v2_s260x420Tom Clancy’s Full Force And Effect by Mark Greaney keeps the Jack Ryan legacy alive.  The characters of the Campus organization are still fighting evil, evoking the Clancy style.  The classic trademarks and cast include, Jack Ryan Jr., his cousin Dom, John Clark, and Adam Yao, who are alive and well within the plot twists, a great espionage story, and well-written action scenes.  There are some technical details but not quite so many as to overburden the plot. 

The author noted to blackfive.net about continuing the series, “Clancy died in October 2013.  Within a couple of weeks I was told by Putnam they wanted to contract with me to continue his books.  I am blown away and happy that the book is being so well received by fans. His writing influenced me since I was such a fan.  Being a reader I knew what fans want from these books.  I tried to stay true to the characters, such as continuing to write Jack Ryan as a normal American. From having written with Tom, I certainly know the voices of the different characters. Once I began this novel, I told myself not to do anything differently from when we collaborated, except this time, I would be solely taking the entire project all the way through. Working with him gave me the confidence to take this project on, and write an aggressive story. I did create some characters.  For example, the logistics coordinator Adara Sherman was someone who I came up with and expanded her role.”

The storyline includes an attempted assassination of US President Jack Ryan, North Korea attempting to buy ICBM missiles to enhance their nuclear capabilities, rogue FBI agents working with the Koreans, and the murder of a CIA officer in Vietnam. Greaney intertwines these brilliantly and is able to mimic many of the real life situations of this region.  Especially when President Ryan challenges North Korea’s effort to extract trillions of dollars worth of rare minerals that would allow them to buy nuclear weapons and influence.  Readers can connect the fictional Choi Ji-Hoon with the real-life ruler, Kim Jong-Un, including the actions taken against his uncle. The storyline is insightful and relevant considering North Korea was in the headlines with the hacking of the Sony Corporation.  Putnam and Greaney might be wary or they too might end up in the crosshairs.

Greaney commented, “When I was up in New York this summer people said they would not be surprised if North Korea came back into the headlines.  I do not think anyone could imagine the magnitude of what they did.  There is a small coincidence.  Columbia Pictures, a part of Sony, is developing a film based on my own first book, The Gray Man. Some of the hacked emails were from the directors assigned to my film.  The comic world websites recognized that my directors are also the directors of “Captain America” and “The Avengers” movies.  They briefly spoke about The Gray Man in their hacked emails.”

Full Force And Effect shows that Greaney can carry the torch of Clancy’s books.  Readers should be happy that he was contracted to continue writing this marvelous series, especially since Jack Ryan Sr. and his supporting cast are allowed to continue to battle the evil powers that exist around the world.

He also gave a heads up about his next books.  The Clancy book will be out next Christmas and might continue the plot of Command Authority, where Russia and Putin will be highlighted as a major threat.  He is also writing the fifth book of his own The Gray Man series, about an operative burned by the CIA. 

Book Review - Mike Madden's "Blue Warrior"

The following book review is a special for Blackfive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the books category link on the right side bar.

9780399167393_p0_v1_s260x420Blue Warrior by Mike Maden is another novel involving drone technology.  Besides being a techno-thriller his book includes politics, power corruption, and a backstory about his former romantic interest.  He is able to weave into the storyline the legal/political implications of drone warfare, privacy issues related to surveillance technologies, and China’s desire to monopolize Africa’s rare earth element deposits. 

The bookis set in the remote Sahara Desert, where a recently discovered deposit of strategically indispensable “Rare Earth Elements” (REEs) ignites an international rush to secure them. Standing in the way are the Tuaregs, the fierce tribe of warrior nomads of the desert wasteland, who are fighting for their independence. They not only are fighting their own government but the Chinese who are working behind the scenes. Maden remarked about this region of the world, “I am fascinated with the amazing ancient African warrior.  The men wear the veils, not the women, to hide their identity.  When they sweat the blue dye washes up on their faces, thus the name. The theme of this book includes what it means to be a warrior.  Mossa, the leader of the Tuaregs, reminds Troy Pearce that he has a responsibility to serve his people.”

Troy Pearce is a Wyoming mountain boy that used to work for a CIA Special Operations Group in Iraq and Afghanistan. He now runs a private contracting company that specializes in the deployment of “remotely piloted vehicles,” which allows him the discretion to choose jobs that are consistent with his moral compass. Pearce still loves his country but hates politics. As a consequence, his loyalty to former U.S. President Margaret Meyers, along with a desire to help friends in need, draws him into a complicated web of international business, political intrigue and nontraditional conflict.

With the second book in the series it becomes evident that Maden distrusts large government. His characters, former President Margaret Myers and Troy Pearce, battle the moral hypocrisy in government and partisan politics. Myers is a popular character for her toughness, fairness, and her desire to put her country ahead of any political interests.  To counter Myers point of view is the character Cella who does what is in her own best interest, thinks borders are silly, and that everyone should go along to get along.

Maden commented to blackfive.net, “I see fiction as a way to tell the truth, Americans are crying out for the anti-Hillary Clinton and the anti-politician.  In this book I introduced a character, David Lane, who will be front and center in my next book, Drone Command.  He is a Kennedy type politician who quotes and believes in the phrase ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ I specifically link Lane to Kennedy to bring back these ideas.  Myers, Lane, and Pearce all believe in more personal responsibility and less government except for national security.  They believe in securing our borders, balancing the budget, standing up to countries like China, and having fair trade.”

Blue Warrior has characters whose views would impress the Libertarians of the world.  Through the plot, in very subtle ways, Maden shows how power corrupts.  There are many action intense scenes which keeps the plot moving at an accelerated pace.