Special Access

The ramblings and ruminations of suspense-thriller novelist, Mark A. Hewitt

Month: October 2015 (Page 1 of 3)

Hey, there’s no Hunter Hall….

Yes, there’s no Hunter Hall at the Naval War College. There is, however, a Hewitt Hall. And I thought this special episode in my life was such a good little story that I could hardly overlook inserting it somewhere. And as an author, I couldn’t name my protagonist after myself, no matter how suave and debonair he was. (Sarcasm off….) So I changed the name to protect the guilty and faithfully replicated the encounter I had with a very special person in the parking lot of the school. Minus the racecar, of course.

From Special Access:
Duncan Hunter showed his retired military ID card to the gate guard, who reviewed it suspiciously. After handing back the dark blue card, the guard provided verbal and hand directions to the appropriate parking area. Hunter drove away from the guard shack, negotiating the black truck and trailer combination through the concrete Jersey barriers; an old bright yellow Corvette race car rested atop the road weary trailer. After successive right turns and up a short hill was an elevated and near empty parking area that could hold about a hundred vehicles. For a Sunday, finding a place to park was quick and Hunter pulled into a slot which made it easy for him to pull straight ahead and depart. As Hunter stepped out of his truck, a short and rotund woman with heavy spectacles and in a long drab dress appeared from nowhere and passed in front of the truck. Hunter was startled at the woman’s sudden appearance and took the initiative for some directions.
“Excuse me ma’am. Could you direct me to where I need to check in?”
The lady paused and turned; her eyes drifted from the car and then to Hunter. She pointed at the large building near the bay and said, Hunter, two oh four.” She then turned and resumed her way.
Taken aback, Duncan called out to the little large lady, “Excuse me ma’am.”
Almost stopping; “Yes?”
“I’m sorry, um, but how did you know my name?”
She stopped, confusion on her face: “What‘s your name?”
“Duncan Hunter”
A big smile and a chuckle—and she jiggled. “Duncan, you need to go to Hunter Hall, room 2 zero 4.”
A little flushed with embarrassment—“Thank you very much.” Duncan Hunter reached into the truck and extracted the black Zero Halliburton briefcase from behind the driver’s seat. When he stood back up, she was gone. Under his breath, “That lady might be big but she is fast.”

More to follow.

Pumpkin Papers Irregulars

I attended the 38th Annual Pumpkin Papers Irregulars Dinner tonight. A marvelous group of unreconstructed cold warriors, intelligence experts and interested observers met to honor the memory of Whittaker Chambers and his triumph over the traitor Alger Hiss. Diana West, author of American Betrayal, was given the annual honor of lighting the pumpkin and later addressing the assembly. Highlights of the evening included warm tributes to fallen Cold Warriors, the Communist and Islamic threats today, as well as announcing this year’s “coveted” Victor Navasky Award, which was presented by Sebastian Gorka, whose humor was penetrating, insightful and just damn funny. The winner of the award, which is named after one of the most egregious lying journalist, editor ever to write material destined for the bottom of a birdcage went to the well deserved fellow traveler, socialist, and otherwise useful idiot, John Harwood, for his brilliant questions during last night’s Republican Debate.

The keynote speaker was Fox News’ Catherine Herridge. She discussed the Benghazi hearings, the interesting case of Anwar al-Awlaki, as well as the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton’s efforts to subvert the Constitution and the bring on the downfall of the Republic. She is a gifted speaker and her’s was one of the finest speeches I’ve heard. Bravo!

Look forward to next year’s event.

More to follow.

Today’s Alger Hiss

From a previous post we learned that sixty-five years ago, the senior State Department official, Alger Hiss, was a Soviet spy and the guy who “ran” him was Whittaker Chambers. Unable to definitely state the reasons why Alger Hiss became a traitor and wanted to work as a Soviet spy, Whittaker Chambers offered his best assessment: Hiss may have been a “romantic communist.”

Today’s “romantic communist” should be in jail for espionage but is running for the highest office in the land. She’s today’s Alger Hiss. The middle man in the middle of the espionage investigation is not a Whittaker Chambers-type of person but rather, a personally-owned computer server. Her staff, people with security clearances, transferred secret documents out of the State Department and onto the private server for one of two purposes, to avoid the government’s technical oversight of her (likely) illegal dealings as well as allow the technical access (that is, to be so unprotected as to be easily hacked) of those documents to “someone not authorized to receive them.” That’s raw unadulterated espionage, boys and girls. Unprecedented scale.

Now, will the FBI actually do something? Doubtful. In Shoot Down, the previous democratic administration squashed a major terrorism event and blamed the airplane. The “romantic communist” that used to be at the State Department squashed a major terrorism event which killed four Americans, and one Ambassador, and she blamed the dead Ambassador. I understand the protocol of blaming the dead guy; I taught an accident investigation course. Nothing new with that. In 1996, the FBI was essentially pulled off the case; they “investigated” the aircraft accident but didn’t really investigate. Never even interviewed any of the people who claimed to have seen what looked to be a missile rising from the ocean. What makes anyone think 2015’s FBI, stacked with democratic officials from this administration, will be any different?

More to follow.

Communist Infiltration….

In addition to the Whittaker Chambers thread, other underlying themes I’ve tried to weave throughout the Duncan Hunter books can be ripped from the writings of Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” and to the variously ascribed, “When you are up to your ass in alligators it’s difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.”

Like Whittaker Chambers did in the 1950s, Hunter recognizes the threat and is concerned about the widespread communist infiltration of the US government. From No Need to Know: Hunter was confused and his furrowed brows and scowl only telegraphed his concern. “About friggin’ time. What changed from the last time we had this discussion?”
“I know it’s an old joke. State, Justice and much of the FBI is infiltrated….” Lynche gestured with his hands in the ether.
“I could have told you that; hell, that’s not news.”
“Well, now we’re going to find out whose side they’re really playing for. The infiltration is unprecedented, and I told the President it has to stop or we’ll lose our country.”
Hunter blurted, “Greg! The White House was a sleeper cell!”
“Why do you think I’m having everyone poly’ed?”
“You’re starting to sound like me. That’s spooky, Greg. Whittaker Chambers effectively said the same thing, and the House Un-American Activities Committee essentially proved the closet communists overran the government. Venona decrypts, Vassiliev Papers, Mitrokhin archives. Open source proof.” Hunter’s interest was piqued. “And I didn’t need a polygrapher to prove it. I’ve even said so—how many times have I said Foggy Bottom is nothing but a snake’s den of closet commies and liberals. They’ve hired their fellow traveler buddies for decades. You couldn’t get a Republican in there even if he parachuted onto the building.”

In No Need to Know, Duncan Hunter finds himself up to his ass in more alligators.

More to follow.

Spies, Lies, and Paranoia

Whittaker Chambers’ story, and its ultimate significance, was the revelation of the existence of Communist infiltration in high places. In the Duncan Hunter books, starting with the State Department and spreading out, metastasizing like a cancer, big C Communist infiltration “in high places” continues to this day. But it’s more than that, a simple accusation that Communists and Islamists have infiltrated high places is insufficient. In Shoot Down, the President speaks of the unholy alliance between liberals and the radical Islamists: Hunter’s demeanor changed and he sat expressionless. His mind juggled options, anticipating the possibilities. His curiosity stopped when the President said, “You’re probably aware there has been a noticeable and palpable shift in Islamic extremism. I could say there is an even more disturbing trend of liberals having an unholy alliance with them but that’s another topic for another day.”

The dirty little secret is that the Communists have hijacked the Democratic Party. It may be more appropriate to say that the liberal left opened its arms and legs like a ten-dollar hooker to embrace the quiet closet Communists and their progeny, the radical Islamists. The Left will say, “There are no spies” and “It’s all lies,” and that the Right is “paranoid.” There is an inescapable fact–whenever the Left says, “There are no spies,” and “It’s all lies,” and that the Right is “paranoid,” you know they are lying by their actions–and their lips are moving. If their lips are moving, they’re lying.

Whittaker Chambers came to a point in his life which saw the disappearances and deaths of party members who became disaffected and tried to leave the party. Once those thoughts are imbedded in your head, to leave the party and to fight against Communism, also means you have seen the light, and have quit living the lie. In No Need to Know, the correspondent Demetrius Eastwood interviews “imams that defected from Islam.” The similarities between Whittaker Chambers becoming disaffected and leaving the Communist Party and Muslim imams becoming disaffected and leaving Islam–and having to run away to save one’s life and protect their family–are not mere coincidences. Like the Communists, radical Islamists go after the defector’s family with the sole purpose to inflict as much pain as possible before killing them.

In the Hunter chronicles, like Whittaker Chambers before him, Duncan takes on those Communists and Islamists that would harm his family, in the only way he knows how. Chambers went to the FBI. Hunter finds them in his quiet airplane and kills them. Look for book four next year.

More to follow.

The Whittaker Chambers model

Whittaker Chambers was a Communist Party USA member and Soviet spy. His official cover was as a writer and editor. After several years of running high-level spies for the Soviet Union, he “saw the light,” renounced communism and became an outspoken opponent. He spoke to the FBI and fingered a senior State Department executive–Alger Hiss–where he testified at Hiss’ perjury and espionage trial. His book “Witness” was published in 1952. It is a gold mine of information as is the WhittakerChambers.org website.

Readers of “Witness” and the Hunter series of books should have no problem recognizing a similar theme. Nazy Cunningham was an Islamic apologist and tried to spy on Duncan Hunter. Somewhere between being run by a nasty imam, she “saw the light,” renounced Islam and became an outspoken opponent by interrogating al-Qaeda and Taliban officers. Duncan Hunter was largely apolitical while being a natural anti-communist as a Marine Corps fighter pilot–it was part of the job to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. After several years of observing the political environment, where democratic administrations brazenly did everything in their power to rip the Constitution to shreds, Hunter saw “saw the light,” denounced liberals, progressives, and other closet communists and became an outspoken opponent of the democratic party and their anti-Constitution and pro-communist (and pro-radical Islamic) ways.

The Duncan Hunter books are unabashed pro-America, pro-military, pro-law enforcement, and are anti-communist, anti-radical Islamic, and anti-liberal. Hunter wades into the sensitive area of the unholy alliance between and the communists, the radical Islamists, and the liberal democrats that conspire to overthrow the U.S. government. Hunter is credited exposing a liberal democrat president who was being “run” by radical Islamists. A CIA file proves the president is not who he claims to be and Hunter gains access to the file, releases it in a way Eric Snowden could never conceive, and forced the president to resign and leave the country. This is the fictional world of Duncan Hunter and his band of merry men and Nazy Cunningham.

More to follow.

Race Cars and Duncan Hunter

Readers of Special Access are introduced to the (GT) Grand Touring racing–Duncan Hunter has an old racecar he dragged to the Naval War College and spends time on the nation’s racetracks when he can. He and Greg Lynche jump in the old yellow Corvette and race around the banked track at the Texas Motor Speedway. Hunter follows the yellow Corvettes racing at the most famous racetracks–Daytona, Sebring, LeMans, Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, Lime Rock, Elkhart Lake. He reads the BS Levy books–The Last Open Road through to The 200mph Steamroller. And he gets LeRoy Neiman to paint a brilliantly colored, stunningly energetic painting of Hunter and his Corvette racecar—-flying through the air—-at a Monterey, California racetrack. Kallberg_68

Driving a car as fast it can mechanically go is a breathtaking experience, especially if it is in competition with others trying to push you off the course. The driving skills to compete in a high performance racecar are similar to those of a fighter pilot.

And then there’s a related skill–defensive driving. From Special Access: A couple of punks in an old truck in broad daylight tried to crowd him off the road toward a deep ditch along a long clear stretch of Highway 90 between Del Rio and Brackettville. They had obviously been waiting for him as the black Silverado passed through the former home to Buffalo Soldiers, John Wayne’s Alamo, a German prisoner-of-war camp, and now a small Border Patrol Station. Hunter immediately felt the act was intended to be more lethal than lazy or poor driving technique, and countered the aggressive move with skills learned from a survival and defensive driving course; Hunter braked heavily then modulated the pressure on the brake pedal while steering into the rear bumper of the other truck at the proper moment and angle. The maneuver of Hunter’s heavy brush guard’s firm bumping of the truck’s rear quarter panel unweighted the Ford’s truck bed just enough to impart a sideways skid to the old truck. At 70 mph and suddenly finding themselves going sideways, the driver tried to compensate with a hapless overcompensating maneuver which for the moment found the Ford skidding perpendicular to the roadbed when its tires hit an expansion joint and stopped; the truck overturned, and then rolled down the middle of the highway. Hunter slammed on his brakes and watched the vehicle as it shredded parts and humans with every revolution. Hunter sat in his lane, engine idling, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel and thought, “What was that all about?” Hunter reversed direction and returned to the Border Patrol Station in Brackettville, and reported the incident to the Chief Patrol Agent and Greg Lynche: “If I didn’t know any better, I swear they were trying to kill me.”

Expect more racing and defensive driving in future Hunter books.

More to follow.

Racquetball and Duncan Hunter

In Special Access, Duncan Hunter is featured in several scenes playing racquetball. The most amazing athletes play racquetball. What other sport can a 50+ year old man, or a youngster with a prosthetic leg can compete with the best players on the planet? Only one–racquetball. The sport requires lightning fast reactions, for the airless ball can easily reach speeds of 150 mph when pounded by a muscular player. In many ways, it is a sport for warriors with a great understanding of geometry. Players carom balls off the back wall, side walls, and as low to the floor as possible–without touching the floor–all in an attempt to score a point. It should come as no wonder that so many Marine Corps and Air Force fighter pilots play (played) the sport.

Of course, when Duncan first laid eyes on Nazy Cunningham, it was in a racquetball court. From Special Access: Hunter would have been blind not to notice her in the seats and on that first day when she walked along the elevated seating to take a seat, Hunter chased a ball to the back wall, caught a glimpse of the leggy brunette but tried to recapture the moment of why he was in a racquetball court, lost focus, swung his racquet and completely missed the ball. His follow-through upset his balance and he cartwheeled to the floor. Lying there, looking up at the ceiling lights he shouted, “Hinder!” His doubles teammate asked incredulously, “Hinder?”
“I could not concentrate with that dark haired goddess sitting there.” The pause became comical as the other men tried to inconspicuously take a peek at the stunning brunette, sitting there in a puffy white leotard with her breasts trying to ooze out of the top as Duncan rolled over onto his knees and stood.

Hunter competed in as many tournaments as he could enter, to compete, to get better, to qualify for the National Singles or National Doubles or the U.S. Open. There’s nothing like a world class racquetball tournament. Hunter’s office is filled with trophies.

Bill McGee’s girls picked up the sport and plays Duncan in Shoot Down. Much fun is had by all.

Next Race Cars and Duncan Hunter.

More to follow.

They are not on our side.

I had breakfast with a good friend the other day, and he indicated No Need to Know, “didn’t have as much politics” as my first two books. His observation is probably true, I’m not scaling the novels in some way to reflect a level of “politics.” It is no secret to the readers of this blog that Duncan Hunter is conservative, politically. There have been earlier posts to reflect his philosophy, such as “Duncan Hunter’s Political Awakening.” It’s clear Hunter is a conservative and his best friend and boss, Greg Lynche, is socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Some books have drunks as protagonists; the Hunter novels reflect an element of American politics, especially in today’s politically-charged environment.

In No Need to Know, Hunter doesn’t have a lot of time “going off” on the amazing virtues of liberals and democrats. (Sarcasm off….) So, the storyline for book four, shifts a little to the evils of communists in high places and what their true motivations and goals are/were. In the case of all my books, they have an aviation twist (or twists, hopefully). In the 30s, 40s, 50s, and even in the 60s, communism was largely romanticized in Hollywood, the media, and in literature. During that period, there was a current, fostered by other closet communists, to embrace and accept some utopian future of equality and other such social justice drivel while ignoring the charter of the Communist Party of the USA, and that is that all the “real commies” just want to destroy the US, that they have little use for “social justice” unless it contributes to the eventual downfall of America. Liberals and democrats embrace the former and ignore the latter. If you pay attention to their actions, attacking the 1st and 2nd Amendments as aggressively as they do, in my cynical view, those are the actions supporting the violent overthrow of the USA. Duncan Hunter says, “They are not on our side.” And they are not.

Hunter would find the current crop of communists running for president despicable people and would have nothing nice to say about the charlatans who tout a ridiculous and inaccurate benign socialist philosophy while attacking people who actually stand for freedom and the Constitution. Hunter kills the “foreign” enemies of America, overseas before they can kill Americans at home. He would like to go after the domestic enemies of America, but knows the rules are different when confronting the community organizers, radicals, and liberals at home. Hunter knows that if there wasn’t a 2nd Amendment and liberals were in power, conservatives would be rounded up and neutralized. Duncan Hunter also says, “They should just start calling themselves the New Nazi Party.” Maybe in book five….

More to follow.

Espionage today and in the Duncan Hunter Novels

From Wikipedia: Espionage or, casually, spying involves a spy ring, government and company/firm or individual obtaining information considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, as it is taken for granted that it is unwelcome and in many cases illegal and punishable by law. It is a subset of “intelligence gathering”, which otherwise may be conducted from public sources and using perfectly legal and ethical means. It is crucial to distinguish espionage from “intelligence” gathering, as the latter does not necessarily involve espionage, but often collates open-source information.

What Duncan Hunter does in his quiet spyplane is espionage. He has permission, from the President, to enter another country to conduct special activities–whatever that may be–it might be to spy on someone to monitor their actions (e.g., narco-terrorists holding hostages in the mountains of Colombia) or once his special airborne sniper rifle is employed, to find, close with, and assassinate a terrorist or a group of terrorists. If Hunter were to be captured in the course of his work, like he almost was in Shoot Down, he’d likely be hauled before a tribunal, charged with espionage, and likely shot. A fifteen minute process. Readers understand the motive for conducting espionage–it’s part of the job; the bad guys have intel we’d like to have and so we try to go after it. And, the other part of Hunter’s job and motive, if you want to rid the world of terrorists, you need to go where they are and kill them before they come to the U.S. to kill us.

Sixty-five years ago, Alger Hiss was a rising star in the State Department. He was also a Soviet spy. His handler was a gentleman named Whittaker Chambers, a man who “saw the light” and escaped the communist party. He informed the FBI of his activities and accused Alger Hiss of giving him top secret documents to photograph for other Soviet spies. Hiss’ conviction was not a sure thing. While there was some compelling evidence, in the form of documents Chambers said had been given to him by Hiss, in the anti-communist climate which was prevalent in America at the time, the documents, ipso facto, were enough to sway the jury. What still confounded the jury was the question of motive. Hiss wouldn’t talk and Chambers could never offer the reasons why Alger Hiss became a traitor and wanted to work for the Soviet Union as a spy. The best Whittaker Chambers could offer was that Hiss was a “romantic communist.”

Today we have another “romantic communist” ( or maybe other “romantic communists”) running for the highest office in the land. Just like the presidential candidate did in Special Access, a certain group of people with security clearances knew what that candidate had done in the past; there was a substantial document trail. Today’s candidate is a modern day Alger Hiss, not needing a middle man to transfer his top secret documents out of the State Department and get them to “someone not authorized to receive them.” Today’s communication technology enables someone with access to classified documents to do many things with them, especially if they are federal employees. General Petraeus somehow avoided a jail cell for allowing access to classified documents to “someone not authorized to receive them.” Today’s situation is so much more egregious, we’ll just have to watch how this plays out. Duncan Hunter released the President’s CIA file (from Special Access) to very many “someones not authorized to receive them,” and having done so, leaders at the highest levels of the democratic party want to find the person who did that and forced their President out of office. If Hunter’s cover were to be broken, he and several others would likely be hauled before a judge, charged with espionage, and shot. A five minute process.

I’m not saying the presidential candidate is a “romantic communist,” or an old Soviet mole, but anyone who entitles their master’s thesis, “There’s only the Fight,” (variously ascribed to several old red diaper babies and other old communists) probably had one pissed off Moscow controller angry with that person for breaking cover. What we are watching today is a modern-day Alger Hiss under the spotlight of the FBI. The FBI has handled the State Department executive with kid gloves then, and now. Not expecting any action but inaction. Just saying.

That is such an old great line for a communist–There is only the fight–that I use it in book four. Of course, Stalin utters the phrase!

More to follow.

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