Separation of Power, p.1Part #5 of Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn
SEPARATION OF POWER
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To Emily Bestler
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First and foremost, I have to thank my lovely wife, Lysa, for her patience and understanding while I labored over this novel-especially the last three months. Darling, you make it all worthwhile. To my agent, Sloan Harris, for all of his wise counsel and good humor. It has been great watching all of your successes over the last year. To my editor, Emily Bestler, for giving me the time and cover to finish this book. Once again, you've taken it to another level, and did so without giving me any anxiety attacks.
To Larry Johnson, an incredibly knowledgeable counterterrorism specialist, whose advice is always welcome. To Pat O'Brien, an old high school friend and a man who knows his way around the Hill. To Bill Harlow, an excellent author and the director of the CIA's office of public relations, thank you for patiently answering my questions. To Fred Mangel of the CIA's office of general counsel, for educating me on national security nondisclosure documents and Congressional Notification. To all of my sources who wish to remain anonymous, I once again thank you for your help. To Sessalee, Karen, Tommy, Edward, and Paula for our annual lunch in New York, where we always talk about much more than books. And as always, to all of the booksellers and readers, your enthusiasm and support make this a very fulfilling job.
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Dr. Irene Kennedy stood over the fresh mound of dirt and wept. It had been a small funeral; relatives and a few close friends. The others had already left the windswept cemetery, and were on their way back into town for a light lunch at an aunt's house. The forty year-old director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center wanted to spend a few moments alone at the grave of her mentor. Kennedy lifted her head and wiped the tears from her eyes as she took in the landscape. She ignored the biting chill of western South Dakota and let it all out. This would be her last chance to grieve so openly for the loss of the man who had taught her so much. After this it was back to Washington, and perhaps the greatest test of her life. During Stansfield's final days the director of the CIA had told her not to worry. He had made all the proper arrangements. She would take his place as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Kennedy did not relish the confirmation process that awaited her, but what really had her worried was measuring up to her old boss. He was the greatest man she had ever known.
Thomas Stansfield died on a cool fall morning surrounded by his children, grandchildren and Irene Kennedy. It was exactly as he'd wanted it to be. Just two weeks before his eightieth year, he wanted to go no further. Those last few days he had sat in his leather chair, a calm haze of morphine dulling both his mind and the stabbing pain of the cancer that was ravaging his insides. He stared out the window as the last of fall's leaves fell. This was the final autumn of his life. Thomas Stansfield's rise to the top of the Central Intelligence Agency was the stuff that legends were made of. Born near the town of Stoneville, South Dakota, in 1920, he came of age during two of his country's most difficult decades. The carefree days of his youth had been squelched by dry hot summers and apocalyptic dust storms that rose up from the southern plains and turned day into night. The Great Depression had taken its toll on the Stansfield family. One of his brothers, an uncle and several cousins had been lost along with two of the four grandparents.
Stansfield's parents had met in their teens, both fresh off the cattle cars that had sprinkled countless European immigrants across America in the years that followed World War I. His father was from Germany; his mother from Norway. Thomas Stansfield grew up mesmerized by the stories his parents and grandparents told of their homelands. He learned English in school, but at night by the fire it was the native languages of his parents and grandparents that was spoken. He excelled in school, and from an early age showed far less interest in farming than his brothers. He knew that someday he would return to Europe and explore his family's history. When he was given the chance at the age of seventeen to attend South Dakota State University on a full academic scholarship, he didn't hesitate.
College was not difficult for Stansfield. He majored in engineering and history and graduated at the top of his class. As the hot and hungry days of the thirties wound to a close Stansfield recognized something far more ominous on the horizon. While most of his classmates and professors were turned inward, obsessed with America 's problems, Stansfield kept an eye on the rise of fascism in Europe. His intellect told him that something foreboding was on the horizon.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt also knew that something innately evil was occurring in Europe and the Far East. But there was nothing Roosevelt could do in the late thirties. The political will to intervene was not there. America had lost too many other sons in the first World War, and its citizens weren't about to jump into another so quickly. It was Europe 's problem. So Roosevelt, always the keen politician, bided his time and prepared for war as best he could. One of the things he did was to call on his close friend Colonel Wild Bill Donovan. Donovan, a New York lawyer, had been awarded the Medal of Honor for leading the Fighting 69th infantry regiment in France during World War I and was one of Roosevelt 's most keen and intense advisors. At the urging of Donovan, Roosevelt authorized the formation of the Office of Strategic Services. One of the first things Donovan did was to scour the armed forces and American universities for young men with the language skills that would aid the OSS in analyzing intercepted Axis power messages. Donovan also had something else in mind. He knew it wasn't a question of if America would enter the war but a question of when. And when it did he wanted to be ready to insert Americans behind German lines to organize resistance forces, gather intelligence and if called on, assassinate the enemy.
Thomas Stansfield was one of Wild Bill Donovan's greatest recruits. The thin farm boy from the western steppes of South Dakota was fluent in German, Norwegian and spoke decent French. During the war Stansfield was parachuted into both Norway and later, France. Still in his early twenties, he was the leader of what was to become one of the OSS 's most effective Jedburgh Teams. After the war General Eisenhower would say that the invasion of France would not have been possible if it were not for the efforts of the courageous Jedburgh Team
After the war Stansfield continued to serve his country. When the CIA was formed in 1947 he became one of its first employees. He stayed in Europe for much of the next four decades, almost all of it behind the Iron Curtain. He was one of the Agency's most effective recruiters of foreign agents. In the eighties President Reagan was so impressed with the man's steely demeanor he made him the Moscow Station Chief because he knew Stansfield would drive the Russians nuts. After Moscow he was brought home to become the deputy director of operations and then finally director of Central Intelligence. He had served his country well and had sought no recognition. On his deathbed President Hayes had come to visit him. The President told Stansfield that preparations were under way for a full military burial at Arlington National Cemetery. The President also expressed his interest in eulogizing Stansfield himself. It was the least the country could do for a man who had given so much. Stansfield in his typical humble way declined, and told the President that he wanted to be buried where he'd been born. No pomp and circumstance, just a simple private ceremony for a very private man.
Kennedy brushed a moist strand of brown hair from her face. She missed him. Standing in the cold wind, the gray bleak sky overhead, she felt alone and isolated, more so than at any other time in her life. When she lost her father to a car bombing in Beirut it had been extremely painful, but there was one major difference. Back then nothing was expected of her. It was all right to check out for six months and travel the world in search of answers. This time she had no such luxury. First there was Tommy, her extremely inquisitive six-year-old son. There was no running from that responsibility. Tommy's father had already done that and Kennedy wasn't about to disappoint the most important person in her life for a second time. If it were only Tommy, she could handle it. But it wasn't. There was Washington.
Kennedy looked to the west, at the rise of the Black Hills and their strange ominous beauty. For a moment the thought of running flashed across her mind. Take Tommy, quit the CIA and run. Never look back, and avoid the whole mess. Let the self-serving vultures go after someone else. She lowered her eyes to the grave of Thomas Stansfield and knew she could never do it. She owed him too much. She knew he had counted on her to keep the CIA politically neutral. Kennedy could think of no one she admired more than Thomas Stansfield. The man had given close to sixty years of his life to his agency, his belief in democracy and his country. And she had given him her word. She would return to Washington.
Kennedy sighed heavily and took one last look at the grave. She let the rose in her hand fall to the mound of black dirt, and she wiped the last of her tears from her face. A final silent good-bye was uttered and a simple request; that he would guide her through the difficult months to come. Kennedy turned and started for the car.
Bahamas, Friday evening
Williams Island was one of hundreds of tiny land masses that make up the Bahamas. But unlike other similar islands in the Bahamas, it had a new landing strip capable of handling executive jets. This was due to a prominent inhabitant who owned a private compound on the island's western end. With the sun less than an hour away from setting, the distinctive whine of turbine engines could be heard in the distance. A gleaming Gulfstream personal jet suddenly appeared with the bright orange orb of the Caribbean sun as its backdrop. The plane steadily descended, its approach looking like a mirage as the heat shimmered off the runway. With barely a noise, the wheels gently touched down and rolled along the runway. There was no control tower at the small airport, just a hangar and maintenance shed. The plane came to a stop in front of the hangar and the engines were silenced.
A shiny new Range Rover was parked by the hangar, the driver standing next to the vehicle, hands clasped in front of him in kind of a nonmilitary version of parade rest. The native Bahamian had been sent by Senator Hank Clark, the man who owned the compound at the other end of the island. He was also the man who had helped to secure financing and donations for the new runway.
The door of the glistening jet opened and out stepped a man and woman in business attire, both of them in their early thirties, both of them with black leather Tumi laptop bags over their shoulders. The two were barely on the tarmac and out came the phones. They punched the numbers in as fast as they could and waited impatiently for the phones to connect with the nearest satellite. After a moment a third individual appeared in the plane's doorway. This man was not dressed in standard business attire.
Mark Ellis stood perched in the doorway for a moment and surveyed the scene through a pair of black Revo sunglasses. He had a well trimmed brown beard that helped hide the acne scars of his youth. Ellis was dressed from head to toe in expensive Tommy Bahama casual wear. Silk tan pants, a short-sleeved silk shirt with a tropical design and a blue blazer. With the shoes the outfit cost close to a thousand dollars. His personal shopper from Semi Valley purchased the entire ensemble. The woman brought Ellis racks of clothes to look at each month. He never perused the bill and never asked if the items were on sale. Ellis usually listened to the woman's suggestions and the entire affair was almost always over in fifteen minutes or less. The woman would clip the tags and hang the clothes in his 1,200 square foot master bedroom closet. On the surface the closet might seem a little large, but in relation to the rest of the 36,000 square foot home, it was fitting.
Mark Ellis was a billionaire. At the height of the dot com craze Fortune magazine had put Ellis's net worth at twenty-one billion dollars. With the recent dot combust the number was now half that and it was driving him nuts. The recent downturn in his portfolio was why he was visiting the tiny island. Ellis was one of the biggest hitters in Silicon Valley, but unlike many of his neighbors Ellis made nothing. He didn't develop hardware, software or cutting edge technology; Mark Ellis was a professional gambler. Venture capital was his game. He bet on companies, preferably startups that no one else knew anything about. Fast approaching the age of fifty, Ellis had been in the VC game since the age of twenty-eight. Supremely confident, and sometimes competitive to a fault, he worked long hours and expected those around him to work even longer ones. Mark Ellis had a temper, and nothing could bring it out quicker than failure. Failure meant losing, and he hated to lose with a passion that surpassed even his zest for wealth.
There had been a lot of failures of late and Ellis was literally losing his mind, allowing it to be taken over by anger instead of rational calculation, which was what he needed. The only good news for him was that he recognized the problem. The bigger issue, however, was the solution, and there was only one, to reverse the trend of losses.
Ellis stroked the edges of his brown beard as he started for the Range Rover. Despite his reputation as a gambler, he hadn't been to the track or a casino in well over a decade. As far as legal gambling was concerned, he had two big problems; he didn't like the odds, and he didn't like playing by their rules. Mark Ellis didn't like playing by other people's rules-period. Whether it was the Catholic Church, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, or the government in general. Mark Ellis, born in Buffalo, New York to the son of a steel worker, believed that rules were designed to keep you down. They were designed to keep the masses in check. From an early age he had understood this, and he had made it his personal goal in life to never live by their rules.
Senator Hank Clark was a large man who inside the Beltway was affectionately referred to by some as John Wayne. Clark had the size, the swagger, and most notable, the gift of making people feel important when they were around him. Not to say that Hank Clark was altruistic. He wasn't. Clark had no aversion to making enemies in li
Clark looked out over the beautiful blue water of the Caribbean and smiled. He had done very well for himself. His private compound on the tip of the island had its own lagoon an dover fifty acres of lush privacy. Inside the compound were a gatekeepers house, a guesthouse that overlooked the quaint lagoon and the grand main house with commanding views of the ocean. All three were done in a tasteful Mediterranean style, Clark was standing on the terrace of the main house. Thirty feet below the surf pounded into the sheer rock cliff. Standing as he was, leaning out over the water, was like being on the bow of ship. The bright orange sun was slipping over the horizon. It was another day in paradise. He'd gone from trailer trash to the U. S. Senate, Clark smiled, took a drink and thought, Only in America could a kid grow up in poverty with a father and mother who were drunks and go on to to become a multimillionaire and a U. S. senator. Clark knew there were those who would find the line pat, but he doubted they had started out so low in life and risen so high. Not Clark though. Not a day passed when he didn't think of how far he had come, and how far he still intended to go.
His father was an abject failure in every sense of the word. So much so that he blew his head off when Hank Clark was a boy. The memories of his youth were a constant reminder of how bad things could be. No father, a mother who was drunk every day of the week and the stigma of living in a trailer park. Fortunately for Hank Clark his parents had unwittingly given him one true gift: a 90-mph fastball and a wicked curve. That was his ticket out: a full ride to Arizona State University. After school Clark had gone into commercial real estate and development in a fledgling suburb of Phoenix called Scottsdale. Clark 's life from that point forward had been one success after another. By thirty he had made his first million. By thirty-five he was set for life and decided to go into politics. He served one term in the U. S. House of Representatives and then it was on to the Senate, where he was now in the middle of his fourth term. One would think that this would be enough for most people, but not Hank Clark. He wasn't done achieving yet. There was one more job he wanted.
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