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May 2022 Book of the Month

ESPIONAGE THRILLERS BY JAMES BRUNO

JAMES BRUNO served as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State for twenty-three years. He served previously in military intelligence. His assignments have included Cuba, Guantanamo Naval Base (as liaison with the Cuban military), Pakistan/Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Washington, DC. He has spent ample time at the White House and has served in a Secret Service presidential protection detail overseas. He also knows the Pentagon, CIA and other foreign affairs agencies well.

 

*  TRIBE

Afghanistan: Battlefield of Power – Graveyard of Reputations

CIA ops officer Harry Brennan put months of careful planning into Operation TALISMAN, aimed at giving a knockout blow to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Then CIA headquarters shuts it down with no explanation. As he investigates why, Harry, a rebel at heart, runs afoul of the CIA’s leadership and the White House as he gets in the way of a huge oil deal, one that promises to ensure a President’s re-election, troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and vast wealth to the oilmen who are behind the plot.

Harry’s life is in danger. Worse, so is that of his daughter, Laurie, who is kidnapped by Islamist terrorists in Yemen.

Harry Brennan sets out to expose a conspiracy and in doing so, save his daughter’s life. In Yemen to rescue Laurie, Harry becomes the target of Predator drone missiles–aimed by his CIA boss…

Written by a former insider and censored by the U.S. government, TRIBE resonates with authenticity rarely seen in the political thriller genre.

 

*  CHASM

These really happened:

A top secret program to resettle war criminals in our communities, men guilty of the most horrendous crimes imaginable.  An American diplomat who blugeoned his family to death, disappeared and remains free to this day.  A massive White House cover-up.

Operation Paperclip, run by the CIA, gave us Nazi scientists and SS murderers.  William Bradford Bishop massacred his mother, wife and three young sons in 1976 and has been on the lam ever since.  CHASM is based on these true covert programs and evildoers.  Don’t read it before bedtime.  You won’t be able to sleep.  Promise . . .

. . . Peace in the Balkans is fragile. The White House’s political fortunes hang on ensuring that shaky peace deals hold firm. In a top secret codicil, the U.S. agrees clandestinely to take in scores of Balkan war criminals. This super-secret program is Operation CHASM. CHASM gets out of hand as war criminals go on a rampage of arson and murder across the U.S. Mike Gallatin’s young daughter is almost killed. Drawing on his detective skills, the Cleveland investigator finds out about CHASM — but almost at the cost of his own life as the ruthless National Security Adviser, John Tulliver, orders Gallatin’s “recall.” Written by a former insider, CHASM is about Washington powerholders, who, in pursuit of their own ambitions, take actions which trample on the little guy. But one average citizen, a victim of their policies, embarks on a quest to expose the hypocrisy and lies. It also demonstrates how malicious policies can overwhelm their implementers, dragging them into hellish behavior and self-destruction.

 

*  PERMANENT INTERESTS

Permanent Interests authentically captures political intrigue, greed and treachery in the highest levels of government. And it all comes crashing down in face of relentless pursuit of the truth by the system’s would-be victims.

In this taut political thriller, corrupt White House officials sell out to the American and Russian mobs to re-elect a weak President Corgan at all costs.

American ambassadors and Russian spies who get in the way are killed. Diplomat Bob Innes falls into this conspiracy of political intrigue and murder and becomes the target of hired assassins and Russian mafia hitmen. He and Lydia, a beautiful Russian escort to powerful men, work with the FBI to bring down the President’s men and the Russian mob’s Godfather.

Al Malandrino, a colorful New York mob boss, becomes their unexpected ally.

 

*  HAVANA QUEEN

Political turmoil engulfs Cuba. As the Castros’ rendezvous with mortality finally arrives, FBI Agent Nick Castillo is swept up in a maelstrom of espionage, intrigue and guerrilla war.

Cuba roils with political unrest as Fidel and Raul Castro sink deeper into dementia and failing health. In a desperate ploy to save the communist regime, sultry Cuban spymaster Larisa Montilla takes on the CIA in a tit-for-tat shadow war of assassination. As the bodies pile up, FBI Agent Nick Castillo defies orders and travels clandestinely to Havana. Nick gets more than he bargained for, falling into a trap set by Montilla, Fidel’s heir to power. But Montilla’s leverage over Nick is matched by his discovery of a deep secret in her past, leading to a war of wits.

Nick returns to ferret out a web of spies deep inside the U.S. government which Havana has patiently built up over the years — traitors who are hemorrhaging official secrets. But he must navigate a wilderness of mirrors that leads him to an assassination plot against the Castros’ No. 1 enemy – the President of the United States.

 

*  THE FOREIGN CIRCUS

why foreign policy should not be left in the hands of diplomats, spies and political hacks

An ambassador orders his staff into the lawless interior of a civil war-torn country as guerrillas are targeting foreigners for assassination. Hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S.-bought weaponry are channeled to Afghan religious fanatics, the future Taliban. White House players leak classified information to the media, then blame the leaks on career civil servants. Diplomats succumb to the temptations of exotic overseas sexual playgrounds. Political hacks and campaign money bundlers are rewarded with ambassadorships in a diplomatic spoils system that hearkens back to the Robber Baron age. Computer nerds Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning steal a veritable Croesus of sensitive national security information and give it away free to our adversaries.

What’s wrong with this picture? Everything.

Our foreign policy is in the hands of the clueless, the self-serving and the politically corrupt.

This is a first-hand view from inside the belly of the beast of the U.S. foreign policy establishment. Bruno’s insights are so spot-on that government censors have blocked out whole sections of text. The Foreign Circus will have you alternatively laughing and shaking your head. And when you read tomorrow’s headlines, you’ll have a better appreciation why Washington screws up.

 

MORE FROM JAMES BRUNO:

How to Make Russia Bleed

Vladimir Putin must pay a heavy price for his invasion of Ukraine. Here’s how we did that to the Soviets in the 1980s.

By James Bruno — Washington Monthly

It’s time to make Mother Russia bleed for her crimes. We’ve done it before. We can do it again.

LINK:

Time to Dust Off the Containment Doctrine

By James Bruno — Utica University Center of Public Affairs and Election Research

Putin was just one in a wave of budding siloviki – men who entered post-Soviet politics from the KGB, military or other security services. Quick to adjust their professional lives, few changed their mindsets, locked in hoary Russian insecurities and Soviet paranoia. Many became millionaires and billionaires during the Wild East days of free-for-all privatization of Soviet industry.

LINK:

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“The thing about long-serving autocrats is that they become increasingly detached from not only the truth but also from being able to tolerate criticism.”
James Bruno

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The Heartland Theory & Vladimir Putin

Back to the 19th Century

By James Bruno — Dispatches From Exile

Putin aims to return the world to a hierarchical and largely anti-democratic time when Great Powers called the shots. He must be stopped.

In many ways, the world has been harkening back to the 19th century, Halford Mackinder’s century which was lorded over by kaisers, tsars, emperors and sultans, when realpolitik was marked by the moral conscience and actions of junkyard dogs, when cultural communities were divvied up like so much real estate and potentates drew lines on the map delineating spheres of influence. Vladimir Putin aims to return the world to this hierarchical and largely anti-democratic time when Great Powers called the shots.

He must be stopped.
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