Saturday, July 1, 2006

Just finished: "Direct Action" by John Weisman

Just Finished: Direct Action by John Weisman, 2005, 0060757515.

Weisman co-authored several of the Rogue Warrior shoot em up series with Richard bat shit crazy weirdo Marcinko. After seeing a good review for Weismans '03 novel SOAR I read that and liked it.

Direct Action is like the Rogue Warrior series in that it is real didactic; there is constant preaching throughout the novel about what is wrong about U.S. policy and military/covert actions. Weisman has definite opinions and writes persuasively about them. I reservedly agree with most of what Weisman says, but the preaching gets annoying, and heck, what do I know about the CIA and military intelligence? I agree with the guy because he presents his argument as fact and the opposing side as folly.

Weisman really annoyed me when he wrote about the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing and the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing. Weisman writes this about the investigators in the 1993 bombing: Initial reaction to the bombing was that it had been perpetrated by a domestic group because the modus operandi resembled the attack that had brought down the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. What the hell!? Was Weisman half asleep when he wrote that? What other stuff is Weisman screwing up? Where the hell is his editor?

Yeah, this is a just novel. I should not treat it like a non-fiction book. But, when you weave in real people, real history, real surveillance and spy recruiting methods, and black out names and information like a FOIA document, and you have book blurbs about how knowledgeable you are then you should not stretch things.

Anyway, I still liked the book. The focus is on main character Tom Stafford who is trying to find out what a bomber for hire is up to and who has hired him to bomb what. Tom resigned from the CIA to work for the 4627 Company as an intelligence dude. The CIAs failure to recruit spies and gather intelligence means they farm those jobs out to private companies like 4627. Not a lot of dialogue in the book, it is mostly description and story. Not a shootin', bombin', punchin', bloody novel with lots of gun talk either.

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