My first book title, Special Access, was chosen to reflect the very special nature of the black programs the CIA manages. One must have Special Access in order to play in the counterterrorism games. My friends from the intelligence community were astounded when “their old place” allowed the title to stand as well as the subject material. It was a minor gamble the Agency wouldn’t allow the title (anyone can google CIA black programs to get the actual designation of black programs) or the subject (there is a CIA file that proves the President is not who he claims to be). But the publication review board approved them and life went on.
In Shoot Down, the PRB gets special mention. They are a good group of men and women who try to ensure crazy bastard authors like me don’t put something very sensitive “out there” for all to see. I may have mentioned I have to have my manuscripts approved before I can send them to my agent or an editor. It is a process I’m glad is out there. In an effort to write something that comes off as real-world, I do not want to let my imagination get away from me and spill some national secret I am not aware of (I can guarantee you, I don’t know of any). I don’t even get “pointers” from my former Agency friends. Re: Shoot Down, it would have to be a national secret for the president to allow the US to “negotiate with terrorists.” It used to be a well known standard, “America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists.” Our current President has no such qualms cozying up to terrorists. Such an action, in the real world, before our current President could be catastrophic politically, and would likely “shoot down” any additional or future presidential aspirations if the American people knew the treachery of their President.
No Need to Know is taken from the intelligence community’s “Need to Know” principle. If you don’t have a “need to know” certain information to execute one’s duties, you don’t get to know. There’s so many things that go on in the counterterrorism and counterespionage world that us mere mortals have no need to know, but Duncan Hunter, our hero not only has the clearances and the accesses, he has a “Need to Know” in order to do his contract work. And at the end, what Hunter does, the President makes the determination that no one anywhere has a “Need to Know.”
More to follow.