Category Archives: constitution

Trump’s illegal act of war against Syria

Here is my letter to Senator Feinstein:

Dear Senator Feinstein,

I demand an immediate Congressional investigation into the apparent proxy war launched by Donald Trump, whom I believe to be insecure and unstable, against Syria, without authorization of the Congress and without sufficient evidence or even forethought of the consequences. The war in Iraq cost over a million lives and trillions of dollars, and the “regime change” effected there gave rise to the power of ISIS, who took swaths of territory in a country with no real government or infrastructure. The same thing is going to happen in Syria, and we can look forward to a huge ISIS expansion and takeover of Syria as well as Iraq. We need to keep Donald Trump’s twitter finger off the missile launchers and back on the tweet button where it belongs.

Sincerely,
Kenneth Eade
Author and constituent living overseas
info@kennetheade.com

PLEASE REACH OUT TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO OPPOSE THIS ACT OF WAR!  FEEL FREE TO CUT AND PASTE FROM MY LETTER!

To email your Senator: http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/peace/senate.html

To email your Congressman: http://www.conservativeusa.net/mega-cong.htm

#ISIS Recruiting and Internet Jihadism

When I began writing my latest novel, Paladine,  it was supposed to a be my attempt to write a “normal” assassination thriller.  An ex-Special Forces commando goes into business as a mercenary.  His targets: terrorists.  However, when I got into the research I was shocked.  I knew there had to be radicalized jihadists living in the United States because the FBI has arrested many of them in sting operations.[1] [2] However, there is evidence, readily available from Internet sources, that Sheik Mubarak Ali Jilani, a sheik from Pakistan, a suspected terrorist which the U.S. government alleges is the founder of the terrorist organization, Jamaat ul-Fuqra[3], is also the founder of  Muslims of America, Inc.[4] which allegedly has established jihad training compounds in the States which are classified by law enforcement as “classically structured terrorist cells.” [5]  A storage locker maintained by the group in Colorado Springs was raided by local police in 1989, who found a cache of firearms, grenades, plastic explosives and target practice silhouettes labeled “Zionist Pig” and “FBI Anti-Terrorist Squad.”[6][7][8][9]

Claims have been made by the anti-Islamic group, Christian Action Network[10] that the MOA trains men and women to be jihadists and to take action upon Gilani’s order.[11]  Reports by the Anti-Defamation League indicate that the group’s emails and web sites have featured writings by anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers and advocate jihadist violence.[12]

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was established in 2004 to serve as the primary organization in collecting and analyzing all intelligence pertaining to terrorism possessed or acquired by the U.S. government.[13]  However, according to a 2011 Congressional Report, it is powerless to do any of its own enforcement and, instead, must rely on other government agencies. The report provides: “Arguably most important, however, is the capability of ensuring that analysts are integrated into the counterterrorism effort, that operational planning is shared with analytical offices so that particular reactions or threats can be anticipated and assessed. The most important “wall” may not be the one that existed between law enforcement and intelligence agencies prior to 2001, but the one that often persists between analysts and operators. The latter may lack the time and opportunity to integrate analytical efforts into their ongoing work, but if the country is aiming for a “zero defects” approach to terrorism, close attention to intelligence is a prerequisite. Some experienced observers maintain that “zero defects” is unrealizable, some failures are inevitable and argue that it is more responsible to minimize failures and limit their effects. The use of intelligence by policymakers and military commanders is in largest measure the responsibility of the Executive Branch, but some observers argue that the quality of analysis may be enhanced when analytical efforts are regularly reviewed by congressional committees and hearings are conducted to ensure that they are properly prepared and fully used.”[14]

President Obama held a briefing with his national security team at the NCTC in December 2015[15] but it was largely symbolic, resulting in no change in policy.  As an example of enforcement’s shortcomings, the terrorists in that case were on both watch lists – TIDE and TSDB – but were cleared as potential threats by the bureau – twice.  After they were cleared, they went on to commit one of the most horrific terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

There is a growing threat from the so-called “lone-wolf” attacks, such as we have seen in Nice and other parts of Europe, but there are also jihadists recruiters for the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Nusra using social media to connect with potential jihadists for financing and soldiering.[16]

What is most alarming is that most of the recruits are young people; many of them teenagers.[17]  While recruiting used to be face-to-face, many recruits to ISIS and other terrorist organizations come from social media, where the terrorist organizations all have Twitter and Facebook pages.  The teenagers are exposed to the terrorist propaganda, and by the time they make contact to sign up, they have already been radicalized.

Current economic and social conditions are putting more than usual pressures on young people.  The virtual reality of the Internet creates an escape from real life that can be more destructive than drugs.  When suicidal tendencies turn into homicidal tendencies, it is easy to see how more lone-wolf terrorist attacks like the Bastille Day attack in Nice on July 14th could occur, not only abroad, but on U.S. soil.

While enforcement is a problem that must be addressed on a national level by connecting up law enforcement with the latest data on suspected terrorists, the radicalization of young people is a local problem that must be solved within families, schools and peer groups.  Perhaps religious leaders of traditional Islam can do more to reach out to these young people, using the binary, technical language of their generation.

[1] Pfeiffer, Alex, 31 Suspected ISIS Terrorists Have Been Arrested in the U.S. In the Past Year, The Daily Caller, August 6, 2016

[2] Goldman, Adam, The Islamic State’s suspected inroads into America, The Washington Post, August 8, 2016

[3] Bocuher, Richard, Daily Press Briefing, United States Dept. of State, March 27, 2002

[4] Mauro, Ryan, Muslims of the Americas (MOA), The Clarion Project, February 12, 2013

[5] Brown, Carol, Muslims of America training compounds, American Thinker, September 20, 2015

[6] Hossenball, Mark, Another Holy War, Waged on American Soil, Newsweek, February 28, 1994

[7] Mauro, Ryan, Muslims of the Americas (MOA), The Clarion Project, February 12, 2013

[8] Brown, Carol, Muslims of America training compounds, American Thinker, September 20, 2015

[9] The Blaze, For the Record, Sleeper Cells Inside Our Nation?, Febraury 19, 2014

[10] Is There a Muslim Terrorist Training Camp Near You?, The Conservative Papers, May 7, 2013

[11] Brown, Carol, Muslims of America training compounds, American Thinker, September 20, 2015

[12] Muslims of the Americas: In Their Own Words, Anti -Defamation League, http://archive.adl.org/extremism/moa/

[13] NCTC website: https://www.nctc.gov/index.html

[14] Best, Richard A., The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Responsibilities and Potential Congressional Concerns, December 19, 2011, Congressional Research Service

[15] White House, Office of Press Secretary, Statement by the President After Briefing at National Counterterrorism Center, December 17, 2015

[16] Bardin, Jeff, What it’s like to be recruited by ISIS online, May 22, 2015, Business Insider

[17] Geiger, Gloria, This is How ISIS Uses Social Media to Recruit American Teens, November 20, 2015, Teen Vogue

Described by critics as “one of our strongest thriller writers on the scene,” author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, “An Involuntary Spy.” Eade, an up-and-coming author in the legal thriller and courtroom drama genre, has been described by critics as “One of our strongest thriller writers on the scene and the fact that he draws his stories from the contemporary philosophical landscape is very much to his credit.” He is the author of the “Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series”, the fifth installment of which, Killer.com, won best legal thriller in the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards, and the “Involuntary Spy Espionage Series”.Said Eade of the comparisons, “Readers compare me in style to John Grisham and, there are some similarities, because John also likes to craft a story around real topics and we are both lawyers. However, all of my novels are rooted in reality, not fantasy. I use fictional characters and situations to express factual and conceptual issues. Some use the term ‘faction’ to describe this style, and it is present in all my fictional works.”

Eade has written fourteen novels, which are now in the process of being translated into six languages. He is known to keep in touch with his readers, and offers a free Kindle book to all those who sign up at his web site, http://www.kennetheade.com.

Email: info@kennetheade.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KennethGEadeBestsellingauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KennethEade1

Source: Internet Jihadism

THE DIRTY BUSINESS OF WAR

One of our most distinguished and highest ranking military men, Major General Smedley Butler said, “War is a racket.  It always has been.  It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.  It is the only one international in scope.  It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

vietnam

Since the protests of the Vietnam War, it has been “business as usual” under every government since the Reagan administration.  Besides the war in Iraq, which was based on one of the most massive deceptions in recent history for which nobody has been held accountable, and which can be said to be a self-fulfilling prophecy (we now have ISIS in Iraq and Al Qaeda in Iraq thriving where it did not exist before) we are seeing this business rear its ugly head in the conflicts in Syria and the buildup of NATO in Eastern Europe and military advice to the Ukraine, to fight the non-existent threat and fantasy of Russian aggression.

“Perception Management” was pioneered in the 1980’s under the Reagan administration in order to avoid the public opposition to future wars that was seen during the Vietnam War.[1]  The United States Department of Defense defines perception management as: “Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator’s objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations, security, cover and deception, and psychological operations.”

At the onset of the Iraq war in 2003, journalists were embedded with US troops as combat cameramen.  The reason for this was not to show what was happening in the war, but to present the American view of it.  Perception management was used to promote the belief that weapons of mass destruction were being manufactured in Iraq to promote its military invention, even though the real purpose behind the war was regime change. [2]

Alvin and Heidi Toffler cite the following as tools for perception management in their book, War and Anti-War:1) accusations of atrocities, 2) hyperbolic inflations, 3) demonization and dehumanization, 4) polarization, 5) claim of divine sanction, and 5) Meta-propaganda.

In 2001, the Rendon Group, headed by John Rendon, was secretly granted a $16 million contract to target Iraq with propaganda.[3]  Rendon, who had been hired by the CIA to help create conditions to removal Sadaam Hussein from power, is a leader in “perception management”.  Two months later, in December 2001, a clandestine operation performed by the CIA and the Pentagon produced false polygraph testimony of an alleged Iraqi civil engineer, who testified that he had helped Sadaam Hussein and his men hide tons of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.[4]  Of course, we now know that there were no weapons of mass destruction hidden in Iraq.

A study by Professor Phil Taylor reveals the differences between the US and global media over the coverage of the war to be: 1) Pro-war coverage in the US made US media “cheerleaders” in the eyes of a watchful, more scrutinous global media; 2) Issues about the war were debated more in countries not directly affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; 3) The non-US media could not see the link between the “war on terror” and the “axis of evil”, and 4) The US media became part of the information operations campaign, which weakened their credibility in the eyes of global media.

President Bush himself admitted in a televised interview with Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News that, “One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.”  Vice President Dick Cheney stated on Meet the Press, “If we’re successful in Iraq…we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11.”

Prior to 2002, the CIA was the Bush Administration’s main provider of intelligence on Iraq. In order to establish the connection between Iraq and terrorists, in 2002, the Pentagon established the “Office of Special Plans” which was, in reality, in charge of war planning against Iraq, and designated by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to be the provider of intelligence on Iraq to the Bush Administration.  Its head, the Undersecretary of Defense, Douglas J. Feith, appointed a small team to review the existing intelligence on terrorist networks, in order to reveal their sponsorship states, among other things.  In 2002, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz wrote a memo to Feith entitled, “Iraq Connections to Al-Qaida”, which stated that they were “not making much progress pulling together intelligence on links between Iraq and Al-Qaida.” Peter w. Rodman, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security, established a “Policy counter Terror Evaluation Group” (PCTEG) which produced an analysis of the links between Al-Qaida and Iraq, with suggestions on “how to exploit the connections.”[5]

“In February 2003, when former Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the U.N., he described “a sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al-Qaeda network,” stating that “Iraq today harbors a deadly network headed by Zarqawi’s forces, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden,” and that Zarqawi had set up his operations , including bioweapons training, with he approval of the Sadaam Hussein regime.  This has since been discredited as false.  However, in October 2004, due to the fact that the Iraqi insurgency was catching on as a cause in jihadist circles, Zarqawi pledged his allegiance to Al-Qaeda.  This was after his group had exploded a massive bomb outside a Shiite mosque in August 2003, killing one of Iraq’s top Shiite clerics and sparking warfare between the Shiite and Sunni communities.  The tipping point toward a full-blown civil war was the February 2006 attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra, which is credited to Haythem Sabah al-Badri, a former member of Sadaam Hussein’s Republican Guard, who joined Al-Qaeda after the U.S. invasion.  This gave birth to the AQI, Al-Qaeda in Iraq[6]

General Wesley Clark, the former NATO Allied Commander and Joint Chiefs of Staff Director of Strategy and Policy, stated in his book, Winning Modern Wars, “As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”

In 2004, John Negroponte, who had served as ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, was appointed as ambassador to Iraq with the specific mandate of implementing the “Salvador Option”, a terrorist model of mass killings by US sponsored death squads.[7]

In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld sent Colonel James Steele to serve as a civilian advisor to Iraqi Paramilitary special police commandos known as the “Wolf Brigade”.  Steele was a  counter-insurgency specialist who was a member of a group of US Special Forces advisors to the Salvadorian Army and trained counter-insurgency commandos in south America, who carried out extreme abuses of human rights.[8]  The Wolf Brigade was created and established by the United States and enabled the re-deployment of Sadaam Hussein’s Republican Guard.  The Brigade was later accused by a UN official of torture, murder and the implementation of death squads.[9]  The techniques used by these counter-insurgency squads were described as “fighting terror with terror”, which was previously done in other theaters, such as Vietnam and El Salvador.[10]

The use of death squads began in 2004 and continued until the winding down of combat operations in 2008.  In addition to the death squads, regular military units were often ordered to “kill all military age males” during certain operations; “dead-checking” or killing wounded resistance fighters; to call in air strikes on civilian areas; and 360 degree rotational fire on busy streets.  These extreme measures were justified to troops in Iraq by propaganda linking the people to terrorism.[11]

Colonel Steele, with the help of Col. James Hoffman, set up torture centers, dispatching Shia militias to torture Sunni soldiers to learn the details of the insurgency.[12]  This has been attributed as a major cause of the civil war which led to the formation of ISIS.[13]

The operation of death squads as counter-insurgency measures was also common knowledge at the time.     [14]

Private contractors, such as Steele, were often subject to different rules than the military forces they served and, in some cases, served with.  As of 2008, an estimated 155,286 private contractors were employed by the US on the ground in Iraq, compared to 152,275 troops.  The estimated annual cost for such contractors ballooned to $5 billion per year by 2010.[15]

In August 2006, four American soldiers from a combat unit in Iraq testified in an Article 32 hearing that they had been given orders by their commanding officer, Colonel Michael C. Steele, to “kill all military age males”.[16]

The “targeted killing” program that has been developed under President Obama’s watch is being hailed as the most effective tool against fighting terrorism.[17]  Unfortunately, no mention is made in the mainstream media of the innocent victims (collateral damage) caused by this assassination program, nor its lack of authority under international law.[18]  According to the journalist Glen Greenwald, all military age males in strike zones of the latest drone aircraft strike programs are considered militants unless it can be proved otherwise.  Some say that this has resulted in more civilian casualties than has been reported by the government.[19][20]

BW1

Kenneth Eade is a political novelist and author of “A Patriot’s Act” and “Beyond All Recognition”, both of which are available in bookstores and Amazon.com.

noname

[1] Parry, Robert (December 28, 2014) “The Victory of Perception Management” Consortium News

[2] Brigadier BM Kappor (2016) The Art of Perception Management in Information Warfare Today, USI of India

[3] Bamford, James (November 18, 2004) The Man Who Sold the War,Rolling Stone

[4] Brigadier BM Kappor (2016) The Art of Perception Management in Information Warfare Today, USI of India 2016

[5] Richelson, Jeffrey (February 20, 2014)  U.S. Special Plans: A History of Deception and Perception Management, Global Research

[6] Cruickshank, Peter and Paul (October 31, 2007) Al-Qaeda in Iraq: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy, Mother Jones

[7] Chossudovsky, Michel (November 17, 2013)  “The Salvador Option for Syria: US-NATO Sponsored Death Squads Integrate ‘Opposition Forces’” Global Research

[8] Mass, Peter  (May 1, 2004) “The Way of the Commandos” New York Times

[9] Buncombe, Andrew (February 26, 2006) “Iraq’s Death Squads: On the Brink of Civil War” The Independent

Spencer, Richard (October 25, 2010) “WikiLeaks War Logs: Who are the Wolf Brigade?” The Daily Telegraph

Leigh, David (October 24, 2010) “The War Logs:  Americans handed over captives to Iraq torture squads” The Guardian

 

[10] Snodgrass Godoy, Angelina (2006) Popular Injustice: Violence, Community and Law in Latin America, Stanford University Press, pp. 175-180.

[11] Davies, Nicolas J. (November 20, 2014) Why Iraqis may see ISIL as Lesser Evil Compared to U.S. Backed Death Squads, AlterNet

[12] “US trained death squads organized torture sites across Iraq” Russia Today (April 8, 2013)

[13] Freeman, Colin (June 29, 2014) “Death Squads, ISIS and a new generation of fighters – Why Iraq is facing break-up”

[14] Cerny, Jakub (June 2006) “Death Squad Operations in Iraq, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom

[15] Dunigan, Molly (March 19, 2013) “A Lesson From Iraq War: how to outsource war to private contractors”, The Guardian

[16] Von Zielbauer, Paul (August 3, 2006) GI’s Say Officers Ordered Killing of Young Iraqi Men, New York Times

[17] Jaffe, Greg, “How Obama went from reluctant warrior to drone champion”, Washington Post, July 1, 2016

[18] ACLU, U.S. Releases Casualty Numbers and New Executive Order on Targeted Killing, ACLU Press Release July 1, 2016

[19] Greenwald, Glenn (May 29, 2012) Militants: Media Propaganda,Salon.com

[20] Obama’s Kill List –All males near strike zone are terrorists (May 30, 2012) RT America.

A Tale of Two Books

camp delta

It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times.  On January 20, 2015, two books were published about the atrocities committed at Guantanamo; both eyewitness accounts but from entirely different perspectives.  One was from the perspective of a Staff Sergeant, charged with guarding the infamous detention camp, and the other from a prisoner there (they call them “detainees,” as if that would make any difference.)  Both tell harrowing stories of prisoner abuse; one from the shocking events observed by a career Army Staff Sergeant, and the other the personal experiences of a detainee in interrogation and confinement.  Both are compelling and should be read by every American citizen.  I pre-ordered both of them, and read them back to back.  Here are my thoughts:

Murder at Camp Delta by Joseph Hickman

“When I heard people complain about the legality of the place, or the Bush administration’s actions, I thought they simply didn’t understand the new, harsh realities facing America.  I also believed that while the United States’ actions might not conform to the letter of the Geneva Conventions, they upheld the spirit.  I trusted my government and my military to uphold basic American principles of decency.”

We all were shocked by 911 and we all trusted the government to keep us safe from terrorism.  However, in the process, the government not only took away the basic human rights of suspected terrorists, they took away our civil liberties as citizens as well.  And, as Mr. Hickman explains, they tarnished our pride and our dignity as Americans.

“For the first time in uniform, at the end of that day, I started to feel shame, both in myself and in my military.”

Joseph Hickman is an American patriot, a professional soldier, and an experienced security professional with corrections experience. What he witnessed while on duty at Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is something that one would normally not believe. However, after the publication of the torture memo, it not only becomes believable, but, as an American, you feel the shame of it all as well. Mr Hickman has told his story at great personal risk to himself, because he believes, as I do, that America is a nation of laws and must stand up for the principles that make this country great. One of these principles is that we do not abuse prisoners in our custody, and we certainly do not kill them. Both happened at a Guantanamo and his story is one that had to be told so that we can avoid the terrible shortcuts and violations of civil liberties and human rights that our government committed after 911. This is a book that every American citizen should read, and we should not only demand a full investigation but also prosecution of those involved. The story is so well written, it feels like you are one of Hickman’s colleagues, living the entire experience with him.

Guantanamo Diary, by Mohamedou Ould Slahi

“The law of war is harsh. If there’s anything good at all in a war, it’s that it brings the best and the worst out of people: some people try to use the lawlessness to hurt others, and some try to reduce the suffering to a minimum.”

This certainly is an important story. However, I’m not sure that this diary tells the whole story. To begin with, I understand that the redaction (as can be seen on the cover) is making a statement about censorship, and it is not a very good one for our government. The U.S. Government has no business editing anyone’s manuscript, especially in light of the fact that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and, in this case, also the press. I can understand changing or redacting names to protect the identities and covers of the spooks, but names of military personnel certainly need not be secret, and it seems that it was done to protect the criminals who perpetrated the crimes, which is not acceptable in a civilized society, war or no war. In this regard, the truth should really be told. Also, whole portions of the diary were redacted, probably to keep secret what was actually going on, and we know the things that were going on from other accounts.

All that being said, this book is by no means literature, but is a story that needed to be told. A story of solitary confinement, of coercive interrogations and coerced confessions, and of torture and abuse. A story of physical torture, psychological torture, sexual torture, beatings, ice cube torture, sleep deprivation, and of forced drugs. It is a story of religious and cultural intolerance, of verbal abuse, and of depriving prisoners of their basic needs, like soap and toilet paper, and exercise. No prison in the United States could ever stay open if it engaged in such practices, except, of course, for solitary confinement, which should also be banned in U.S. prisons. Mr. Slahi has been imprisoned in Guantanamo for 12 1/2 years, never having been charged with a crime; and even though he was ordered released in 2010 by a federal judge, he remains incarcerated. As I stated, it is a story that needed to be told, but it’s just too bad that Slahi did not get a chance to tell it to us, and I hope he comes out alive so he can fill in all the blanks.

Behind the Scenes of “A Patriot’s Act”

This story is fictional but based on true life events.  In 2004, Brandon Mayfield, an American lawyer was arrested on the basis of evidence concocted by the FBI and CIA, based on his fingerprints, which showed a possible match to the Madrid train bombings.  He was arrested at his home in Oregon, held, without charge, for two weeks, and his home was searched without a warrant, under authority of the Patriot Act, which has virtually thrown the Fourth Amendment out the window.  In 2006, two private American citizens working for private security contractors in Iraq, were arrested, tortured and held indefinitely in a U.S. military prison in Iraq; one for six weeks and one for three months.

Since the U.S. government takes the position that anyone who is arrested on suspicion of terrorism outside the United States, and particularly in an area of conflict, is not entitled to any due process, I thought it would be interesting to follow the case of a naturalized American citizen who is arrested while visiting his brother in Iraq, thrown into Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and subjected to torture.

Amnesty international has called the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp the “gulag of our time.”  Since President Obama’s order to close the camp within one year on January 23, 2009, it has remained open because the president decided to amass political capital to use for his domestic agenda. On January 7, 2011, Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, which placed restrictions on transferring prisoners to the United States.  As of May 2014, there were 149 detainees being held, at a cost to the government of roughly $1 million per detainee.  46 of them have been declared by the government to be too dangerous to release, but they cannot be tried for any crime because there is insufficient evidence to try them.  Approximately half of the detainees held today have been cleared for release, but may never regain their freedom.  Many of their native countries have refused to repatriate them, and, because of the new legislation, they cannot be transferred to prisons in the United States.

A Patriot’s Act is on sale at amazon.com today for 99 cents: http://amzn.com/B00MQ9TK0O

3d14

A Patriot’s Act has been critically acclaimed.  Here are just a few highlights of how the press has received it:

  • “Eade, a lawyer by profession, weaves legal dialogue, corruption and international action to create a pacey read with echoes of Grisham, Baldacci and Clancy nipping at his writing heels. Law issues as well as forensics and police procedures are clearly explained with such authority as to add gritty realism in and out of the courthouse, but it’s within the court drama that Eade really packs some punch. With some success with the first book of the series, Predatory Kill, this second saga looks sure to satisfy his growing base of readers.”  SPR Review
  • “It’s all about delicate balance of power and experience – something gone awry in A Patriot’s Act, and something explored through intimate descriptions.  As Eade deftly juxtaposes the lives of two very different Americans experiencing two very different circumstances, he delves into the politics and processes of prisoners and military men alike, exposing the wounds of their experience and psyches and the points at which man’s inhumanity stems from a worldview that dehumanizes and rips apart systems and people.   D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review.
  • “Kenneth Eade is a master of suspense and unexpected twists, which makes “A Patriot’s Act” an exciting, unpredictable page-turner, and a must-read for anyone who loves legal thrillers.”  I Publisher News
  •  An edge-of-your-seat thriller that could easily be transformed into a dramatic film. Simply riveting, start to finish! InD’ Tale Magazine
  • The brilliant set up creates this sense of urgency that just leaves you rooting for Brent while questioning some policies that affect civil liberties in ways that blur the lines that separate patriotism and blind nationalism.  Markus Reviews

#Free First Six Chapters of A Patriot’s Act

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CHAPTER ONE

 

Ahmed felt the butt of the rifle strike his spine between his shoulder blades as his knees buckled, and he hit the floor. The sensation of falling was even stranger because he couldn’t see anything.  It was as if he were in slow motion, spiraling out of control.

His hands were shackled behind his back, so there was no way to break his fall.  He landed on his side, slamming his shoulder into the cold concrete floor.  He could feel the fibers of the black hood against his lips, and smell the sweat of the last person who had been forced to wear it. He stood up and started to walk again.

“Move faster Haji!” commanded an authoritative voice in a Southern American drawl.  Ahmed felt the rifle butt hit hard against his spine again and he shuffled faster, within the confines of his ankle chains, which allowed only a minimum of movement.  Thoughts of his wife Catherine, her silky brown hair, soft brown eyes and captivating smile, and their two small children, Karen and Cameron, back in their home in Santa Barbara, flooded his brain. These thoughts were the only thing lately that kept him sane.

“Up against the wall! – Stop there! Up against the wall I said – now!”

Ahmed stopped and did as he was commanded.

“Listen up!” barked a mechanical voice in the darkness, “My name is Sergeant Brown.  You have been placed in my custody.  You’re here because you have refused to cooperate in interrogations.  The decision has been made to execute you by firing squad.”

“Wait!” said Ahmed, “I’m an American citizen.”

“Sure you are, A-hab.”

“My name is Ahmed.”

“Your name is A-hab.  A-hab the A-rab and the only thing I need to hear from you today is whether you want your mask on or off.”

“Off.”

Ahmed felt the black bag ripped from his head and, for the first time, faced his aggressors.  The man who had ripped off his bag was a young man in military camouflage fatigues, holding an M16 to his chest.  In front of him was an eight-man firing squad, also in camouflage fatigues, with rifles at their sides in ready position.  Standing at their side was obviously Sergeant Brown, a hefty black man with huge hands, the only one not holding a weapon.  For a 25-year-old man like Brown, who was always inept in every way outside the service, power was orgasmic.  He basked in it like the sun, as if he was on a white sand beach in Maui.

Brown was proud to be in United States Army, the finest military service of the greatest country in the world, a beacon for freedom, the leader of the New World Order.  The Army was his life, a life that had so much more depth, meaning and importance than it did before.  He was entrusted with the valuable task of shaping young men and women under his charge to destroy the enemy and wipe terrorism from the planet.  The enemy was the low-life, stinking Arabs, those sand niggers, the little maggots who had strapped bombs to themselves and had blown his comrades to bits in Iraq.  They were like a disease, a plague that had to be wiped out.

“I have the right to talk to an attorney,” Ahmed pleaded.

“You what?  You don’t have any rights, A-hab,” said Brown, “You’re a terrorist. The only right you have is to choose to wear the mask or not, and you already exercised that right.”

The young soldier fastened a leather strap around Ahmed’s waist, pinning his spine to a wooden post.  He turned his head to look behind himself at the canvas wall, pocked with gunshots.  The soldier then strapped his ankles to the post.

“Please, let me call my lawyer. This is all a big mistake!”

“Yeah, yeah, a big mistake. I’ve heard that one before.  All you fucking Hajis say the same goddamn thing – it’s programmed. You should have cooperated when we asked about your superiors in al Qaeda.”

“I don’t know anyone in al Qaeda.”

“Don’t bullshit me, boy!”

Brown, like a machine, pivoted, walked a few paces, and then pivoted again, so he was face to face with Ahmed, took a piece of paper from his pocket, unfolded it and recited in a military monotone, “You have been found guilty of terrorism. The penalty is death by firing squad.  Do you have any last statement?”

“But I…”

“I repeat, do you have any last statement?”

“Yes, please, I want to cooperate, I really do, but I don’t know what you want from me.  I don’t know anything!”

The young man with the M16 then approached Ahmed, pinned a white heart onto his chest, and moved back.  Brown marched off to the right of the firing squad.

Sweat was dripping into Ahmed’s eyes, stinging them.  He said a silent prayer, thought about his wife and children, then looked at Brown with defiant eyes.

“I’m not a terrorist.  I am an American citizen.  I have the right, like any other American citizen, to a lawyer and a trial before any execution.  I have been denied these rights.  You will answer to God for your crimes.”

“To hell with your rights, boy.  We got all the rights here,” said Brown, who raised his arm and shouted, “READY!”

The eight marksmen cocked their rifles.

“AIM!”

The eight pointed their rifles at Ahmed, who shivered uncontrollably.  His knees gave way and he hung on the post like a man crucified.

“FIRE!”

The deafening explosion of the eight rifles was the last thing Ahmed heard.  He felt the bullets hit his flesh and his body crumpled forward, hanging lifelessly from the post like a scarecrow.

CHAPTER TWO

 

Catherine Khury sat in the plain-wrap waiting room of the FBI’s Santa Barbara field office, fidgeting in her purse for her phone. Hold it together, Cate! she told herself.  She had been living in hell the past few weeks.  She was an attractive woman, but her ordeal made every one of her 30 years appear as if she had lived her life without sleeping.  She looked at the time.  Only five minutes had passed since the last time she had checked.  A friendly looking, pretty young woman entered the room.

“Hello, ma’am, I’m Agent Wollard,” the woman said, extending her hand, which Catherine shook.

“Catherine Khury.”

“Would you please come in?”

Catherine sat in a small steel and vinyl black chair and Agent Wollard behind an aluminum desk with a false wood veneer surface.

“How can I help you, Mrs. Khury?”

“My husband, Ahmed, is missing.”  Catherine’s bottom lip began to quiver, as she fought back tears.  She had to remain strong; strong for her husband, and especially for her children.

“Mrs. Khury, we don’t really look for missing persons here at the FBI.”

“That’s not what I heard.”

“Well, we do maintain a database of missing persons, but unless it’s a child, and foul play is suspected, we don’t really get actively involved.”

“Agent Wollard, I don’t know where else to go.  My husband and his brother have been missing since my husband went to Iraq to help him.”

“Your husband is in Iraq?”

“The last I heard.  But nobody has seen or heard from him in days,” Catherine sobbed, struggling to keep her composure.

Angela handed her a tissue from the box on her desk.  “Is your husband a United States citizen?”

“Yes, he has been for many years.”

The tears finally made their way over the spillgates, and Catherine emptied them into the tissue.

“Have you tried to find him in Iraq?”

“Yes, but the only person I know there is his brother and he’s not answering.  I don’t have anyone else to call.”

“Well, the best I can do is to take a missing persons report and make a couple of phone calls.”

“Would you please?”  Catherine felt instant relief.  Even though this Agent Wollard didn’t promise a solution, just having any kind of help made her feel less hopeless.

“Yes, of course.  Please, fill out these forms and, when you’re done, I can enter the information into our missing person’s database.”

“Thank you Agent Wollard.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t do more.”

***

After Mrs. Khury left, Angela processed the report, and then called Bill Thompson, one of her contacts in Washington.

“Bill, I’ve got a missing persons case that I may need your help on.”

“Since when does the bureau really ever work a missing person’s case?”

Angela chuckled.  “I’ve been known to do it from time to time.  Listen, he’s an Iraqi born, U.S. citizen, who went to Iraq last month and nobody has heard from him in about a week.  His wife is worried to death.”

“Send me an email and I’ll make some calls.”

“Thanks Bill.”

 

CHAPTER THREE

Ahmed opened his eyes to complete blackness.  Am I alive?  Panicking, he put his hand in front of his face and he couldn’t see it.  He moved his fingers.  Still nothing.  Ahmed’s frantic eyes moved back and forth and there was not a sliver of light.  I’m blind, he thought.  A sudden surge of adrenalin compelled him to action.  His brain sent a signal to stand up and, as he did, the pain shot from his feet to his head like a hammer hit on a high striker in a carnival.  Gravity pulled his broken body to his knees and he collapsed.  He felt his body: No clothing.

What happened? Am I dead?

No, he thought, I must be alive.  He was in too much pain to be dead.  He felt his chest for bullet wounds, but found none.  Except for some tender spots on his chest and back and some scrapes on his knees, there was nothing. They must have used rubber bullets.

Ahmed strained to see, but it was no use.  He felt his face: It was swollen and bruised.  They must have blinded me in the shooting, he thought.  As his other four senses came to life, he realized that he was sore all over.  He tried to stand again, but his legs would not cooperate.  He felt them with his new eyes; the bones felt straight and unbroken.  Must be sprains, but why am I blind?  He struggled to control the panic and the terror.  Think, think.  Have to think.

Ahmed crawled on his hands and knees and propped himself up against the wall, which was as cold and damp as the floor.  He felt along the walled boundaries of his confinement.  One, two, three, four, five, six, about seven feet in one direction.  One, two, three, four, about five feet in the other direction.  Next, he negotiated the circumference on his hands and knees.

How did he get himself into this mess?  From his cozy home in Santa Barbara, to the battered and occupied Baghdad, to this.  His brother, Sabeen needed his help, so he went.  It was as simple as that.  The next events were a blur to him; The raid, his capture.  Now he was in some kind of military prison.

Since his capture, Ahmed had been stripped naked, cavity searched, shaved bald, beaten, kicked and spat on.  And then the mock execution.  It made his current confinement in this dark cage somewhat of a relief, not at all what it was designed for.  The walls were as cold as a headstone.  He felt around them until he came to a steel door.

He thought of his wife, Catherine.  She must know he was missing by now.  But even if he was to be rescued, what good is a blind husband?  An accountant by trade, there was no way he could work with figures as a blind man.  He would be a complete burden on the entire family.  The best thing to do is to kill myself, he thought.  He had some life insurance, and wondered if it would pay off in the event of his suicide.

***

The time passed, but Ahmed had no way of measuring it.  How long have I been like this?  Ahmed concentrated on his other senses, but there was no input, save the sound of the pounding of his own heart.  His mouth was as dry as a slab of jerky, so he tried to wet his broken lips with his tongue.  In despair, he dropped to the floor.  Lying there on his back, he rubbed his eyes and, suddenly, he saw tiny stars above him in the blackness.  Light!  I can see light!

The tiny stars spread out in a geometric pattern, like symbols in a matrix.  Those can’t be stars. They’re not random. Ahmed’s accountant’s brain analyzed the patterns of light, but then they turned into eyes, angrily staring at him.  Stop! Stop!  Please, somebody help me!  Then the eyes pulled back to reveal a miniature firing squad, with their rifles trained on Ahmed.  He heard the blast of their rifles, almost in slow motion, and felt the bullets ripping through his flesh as his brain switched off.


 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

Ahmed opened his eyes to complete darkness again.  He was still blind, but the need to urinate affirmed that he was still alive.

His nostrils filled with the sweet smell of food: chicken…thyme…rosemary…potatoes.  Soup!

But was it real?  On his hands and knees, he crawled the surface of the concrete floor, looking for the soup and for something to pee in, just in case he had to drink his own urine to survive.  If worse came to worse, he could eat the soup and then pee in the container.

Gingerly, his hands methodically covered the surface of the floor, until they met resistance.  Gripping it with his fingers, he realized it was a Styrofoam cup, about 12 ounces in capacity.  He explored inside, the cup with one finger.  Water!  But Ahmed resisted the impulse to drain the cup.  Instead he smelled it, and, sensing no foul odor, tasted just a bit on his tongue.  It was fresh and cooling, which immediately gave rise to the instinctual urge to gulp it down.  Not wanting to throw it up, Ahmed took a mouthful and swirled it around with his tongue before swallowing.  The taste of minerals and the cool wetness was the most pleasing thing he had experienced in such a long time.  Ahmed slowly savored every drop of the precious water, and then continued on his quest refreshed.

***

The soup was still lukewarm when Ahmed found it.  He grasped the small bowl with both hands as the aroma filled his lungs, and sipped on the broth, then reached in and pulled out a piece of potato.  It was the best thing he had ever tasted.

There was no telling how long his stomach had been empty.  The pangs of hunger had subsided long ago and, since he had no way of tracking time, that concept had fallen away from his consciousness, as the hunger had.  Ahmed knew that this first taste of food in who knows how long may be his last for a while, so he saved half the bowl for later, knowing that the hunger would return as soon as his body realized it had been nourished once again.

He had only spent a few days with Sabeen before the military police took them away and separated them.  Sabeen was a grocer!  Why would they think he was a terrorist?    Since then, Ahmed had lived the nightmare of his new life in captivity, first aboard a military transport, then on a huge jet, all the while with bound hands and feet and a hood over his head, until he was dumped on the ground, naked, in this new prison, wherever it was.  He couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten before such delicious chicken soup.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE

Angela put on her sweater and looked at herself in her pocket mirror.  She wiped off a bit of the stray mascara around her green eyes and put a brush through her hair.  Just as she was about to lock up the office, the phone rang.

“Agent Wollard,” she answered.

“Angie, it’s Bill.  I’ve got some info on your Mr. Khury, but it’s not something you want to get involved in.”

“I’ll decide that Bill, what’ve you got?”

“Khury shows up in Baghdad about three weeks ago.  His brother, Sabeen, is a suspected money launderer for al Qaeda.”

“I see.  CIA talk.”  The CIA was always looking to tie every kind of criminal activity in the Middle East to al Qaeda.

“You got that right.”

“Since when does the CIA tell the Bureau what to do?”

“Since we have no jurisdiction.  Khury’s in Guantanamo.”

“That shit hole is still open?”

“Damn right it is.  Please, don’t tell anyone I told you, and for God’s sake, don’t get involved.  This is classified stuff.”

“Who says?”

“It comes from high up.”

“How high?”

“Lose your job high, get it?”

“I do Bill, thanks.”

“We’re square now, Angie, this was a big one.”

***

“You’re late again.”  Rick Penn stood up and smiled, his six foot six inch frame towering over the small table as Angela nervously paced into the restaurant.  Rick was a retired FBI agent, now a private investigator, and had been Angela’s mentor during her first days in the bureau.  At 54, he had served out his last days with the Bureau in Santa Barbara, and then retired there.  Now he could take it easy and be his own boss.  For years, Rick had worn the same type of G-man suit, but now he was free of those chains and could wear whatever he pleased.  But, for his meeting with Angela today, he dressed up in a white shirt, tie and baggy pants: The Columbo look.

“I’m sorry, it’s my job.”

“I know.  All is forgiven.  They saved us the best table.”

The maître d’ led them to a nice table in front of a crackling fireplace.  Santa Barbara had many cozy restaurants like Cava.  Nestled on Coast Village Road in Montecito, having a meal there was comfy, like being in your own living room.

“Rick, I know somebody who needs your help, but I could lose my job for telling you about it.”

“You could always join my PI firm, retire early like me,” Rick smiled, “Now tell me about this potential client?”

“He’s a naturalized citizen, being held at Guantanamo.”

“Guano-mo, huh? The neo-Nazi concentration camp.”

“Yes. His wife came to me to file a missing person’s case.  I think you should talk to her.”

Rick brushed his graying hair out of his eyes. “You’re a few weeks shy of a haircut, aren’t you Rick?”

Rick chuckled.  “At least I have some hair left.  Just email me her contact info and I’ll give her a call.”

“Thanks Rick.”

Rick had read a lot about the suspected terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely.  It was the kind of case that Rick’s best friend, lawyer Brent Marks, had always dreamed about: Going against the grain to fight for an individual’s rights.  After 18 years of slugging it out as a “poor man’s lawyer” Brent had gained plenty of experience righting wrongs, but there was only so much you could do with a drunk driving or spousal abuse case.  This case sounded like fertile Constitutional Law ground for Brent, and Rick would keep the investigation gig on the case.

The military prison at Guantanamo was the equivalent of any concentration camp in Nazi Germany, the most shameful example of the cruel and complete abolition of all human rights by the Government, all in the name of the war on terrorism.  Two days after the September 11th attacks, the Congress gave authority to the president to use military force, and, since then, the military, not the U.S. courts, had jurisdiction over anyone suspected as an “enemy combatant,” And could do with them as they pleased, without the constraints of the U.S. Constitution.

 

CHAPTER SIX

 

Rick called Brent and arranged to meet later that day after work.  That could be a somewhat vague term for Brent, who was quite the workaholic when he was on a case.  They had met about eight years earlier, when Rick had walked into Brent’s office and scared the crap out of him by flashing his FBI badge.  It turned out Rick was just looking for some legal advice for a case he was working on.  The two stayed in contact and became close over the years.

Brent was wrapping up an interview with a potential client, an Indian guy who had been accused of a hit and run, not the type of a case he had been dreaming of, but the kind he had been known to take to keep the doors open.  The client was trying to explain his case to Brent, but it seemed he didn’t have much of a defense.

“I’m having a little trouble following your story, Mr. Babu.  You’re telling me that you hit the car, and you didn’t stop, right?”

“No, no, that’s not it at all.  I hit the guy, and then I look around, and I don’t see him.  Then I drive around and around and around, and I still do not see the guy, so I go home.”

“So you didn’t stop?”

“How could I stop when I did not see the guy?”

“Mr. Babu, if I take your case, I’m going to require a retainer up front.”

“But I don’t have any cash.  Look, look, my cousin is a tailor in Hong Kong.  He makes the best suits in the world.  Do you need a suit?”

“You want to pay me in suits?”

“Yes, please, look, look, I have the swatches right here.”  Babu pulled some material samples from his bag, and held them out to Brent.  “Feel the material.  It is the finest material in the world!”

“I don’t know, Mr. Babu.”

“Please, Mr. Marks.  You must take my case.  I will pay you in suits now, and then, when I get some money, I will give you money.  You must help me.  I cannot sleep, I cannot make love with my wife.  It is like a death in the family!”

It was almost a comedy.  Brent felt the urge to look around the room for the hidden camera.  He suppressed a grin.

“It’s late, Mr. Babu.  Can I call you tomorrow with my decision?”

“Yes, yes, thank you Mr. Marks, thank you!”

***

Brent closed up the office and left.  With 18 years of practice under his belt, he was close to being able to decline the Mr. Babu’s and focus on more important cases.  He thought of the comical interview and laughed to himself.  Brent was the first American of his generation, so he had a soft spot for the immigrants.

His father, Jose, had emigrated from Spain and completely assimilated into American pop culture, even changed the family name from Marquez to Marks.  Thankfully, his father spoke Spanish at home to Brent and his brother John.  It was an advantage that came in handy in the practice of his profession.

At about seven, Brent walked into the Press Room on Ortega Street to find his friend Rick waiting at the bar.

“There he is!  What’s up, Big Dog?”

“Hey, Rick.”

Rick rose from the bar stool, so tall a man that it seemed he would hit the ceiling, and swung into a power handshake with Brent.

“Good to see you, buddy,” said Rick.

“You too.  It’s been a long time.”  Brent slid into the chair next to Rick at the sticky bar counter.

“Dude, you’re supposed to be a bachelor.  Only married men have your dead boring social life.”

“Yeah, well I’ve kind of been seeing somebody.”

“Do tell.  Come on, give me all the details, and don’t leave out the measurements.  36-24-36, D cup?”

“Come on, man!”

“No, dude, I’m happy for you whenever you have a relationship that lasts more than three weeks.  It’s not that piece of ass secretary of yours – Melinda – is it?”

“No, no, her name is Debbie.”

“Debbie?  As in dumb blonde Debbie Does Dallas, something like that?”

“Dude!  It’s not like that.  I’m really enjoying her company.”

“So, a meaningful relationship.  Dude, have fun, but wear a condom, that’s all I can say.”

“Very funny.  What’s this new case that you’ve taken on?”

“Really interesting.  And it’s your kind of case.  Not one of those nut jobs you take to pay the rent.”

“I’ve still got a few of those.”

“I know, but this one is really juicy.  This rag head marries an American girl, right?  He’s the gung-ho, I love America kind of immigrant, accountant, two kids, the house, the whole nine yards.  Becomes a U.S. citizen…”

“Yeah?”

“Then his brother calls him with some kind of family crisis back in Iraq, and he goes, right?  Well, his brother is involved in some kind of money laundering operation back there – he’s got this cash grocery business – and he gets raided by MPs.  Our guy gets picked up and shipped to Gitmo.”

Brent almost choked on his beer.  “What?”

“That’s right.  They’re keeping him there; think he’s some kind of terrorist.  No charges, no counsel, no visitors.  A virtual Nazi prison camp.”

“Whoa, watch it.  I thought you were a flag-waving Republican.”

“Dude, this transcends politics.  George W. Bush is wiping his ass with the Constitution.”

“Careful, that’s your ex-boss you’re talking about.”

“Yeah, the same one who said to the Brazilian president, ‘Oh do you have blacks too?’” Rick snorted and took a gulp of beer.

“How about, ‘Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease,’” said Brent, wiping away tears he was laughing so hard.

“It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.” Rick gargled his beer between laughs.

“My favorite one is, ‘this foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating.’  Like he’s learning it in high school or something.”

“How about, ‘I know what I believe.  I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe. I believe what I believe is right.’  It’s almost enough to make me turn into a Democrat, like you.”

“Dude, I’m not a Democrat, I’m a Libertarian.”

“A Libertarian’s just a Democrat whose vote doesn’t count. Same thing.”

“How’d you find out about this case anyway?” asked Brent, trying to get back on a serious track.

“Dude, I’m a secret agent man.”

“From someone in the Bureau.”

“Exactly, a confidential source.  Look, I’ve talked to his wife and I recommended you for the job.”

Rick was right.  Brent was so enthusiastic about the case he had to practically fight him not to go back to the office.

“I can’t wait to take this case, Rick.”

“Dude, chill out.  It’ll still be there in the morning.  I’m not letting anyone else have it.”

Copyright 2014 Kenneth Eade

Author Kenneth Eade launches new author web site

Please visit and check out my new web site, http://kennetheade.com for information and news about my books, An Involuntary Spy, and the Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series; A Patriot’s Act, Predatory Kill and HOA Wire.  Sign up for free offers, and read the latest news regarding bank fraud, Guantanamo Bay, The USA Patriot Act, and other issues that the books touch on.

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