The Voice, by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

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                           - 22 -

"And give me a reason I should want to do that?"
Kendall turned cold. "Because Lord Gilbert wants your
book. And what Lord Gilbert wants, Lord Gilbert gets."

Rick had thrown me a left hook and I felt like I'd been
punched. Our last encounter had been over the issue of
Afghan "blowback," the fallout from America's secret war
there and it had been bitter. But now it was getting ugly.

Following our last meeting, American trained Mujihadeen
holy warriors had gone on to blow up the World Trade Towers,
bomb a half dozen U.S. embassies and trigger a nuclear alert
by invading the Indian province of Kashmir. Their stated
ambition had been to kill 250,000 people alone at the Trade
Towers, but their ambitions were global. Afghanistan had
become the home to Osama bin Laden, a man whose ultimate
goal was nothing less than the destruction of the Western
World and the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth. How
he planned to accomplish this was still a mystery, but it
was known he was welcomed as a savior by much of the Moslem
world and was probably getting military support from the
Chinese.

The unraveling of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan had
unleashed vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons onto the
world's arms markets, and now with its southern border
essentially unguarded, those stockpiles were flowing through
Afghanistan into every country of the Middle East.

But what seemed the capstone to this incredible story was
that the terror had not begun under the influence of the
"Evil Empire," or at the urging of some Islamic terrorist
like Kaddafy or Saddam, but by America itself-and Rick and
dozens of men like him had kept the lid tightly shut on the
secret so American democracy would not interfere.