Oliver North has always had a strange relationship with the truth. It is no wonder that his latest works are in fiction.
The retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, now a best-selling author of nine books, served as counter terrorism coordinator from 1983 to 1986, a classified position on the U.S. National Security Council staff.
The sign on his door read, “Deputy Director for Political Affairs.”
Toward the end of his tenure, North was revealed to be the center of the Iran Contra-scandal, perhaps the grandest lie in American military history.
In North’s newest novel a thinly-veiled conservative political commentary sets the tone for election year 2032, which is all-too familiar to the past year in politics; a president’s alleged coverup of a terrorist attack during re-election; bombs dropping in Tel Aviv; a new health care law; The downsizing of America’s military.
“It’s part thriller, part political intrigue, it’s part love story because that’s the way my life is,” North said, in a recent telephone interview.
Most impressive are the novel’s not-so-fictionalized scenes of battle in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America — where North has traveled over the past year as a war correspondent for Fox News.
North, in this first solo attempt at fiction since breaking with co-author Joe Musser, said the stories are true, only the dates, times, places and names are changed to abide by security classifications and non-disclosure agreements he signed years ago.
“I get to go on missions other correspondents don’t get to cover, because I agree right out front that I am not going to expose those who are already at great risk,” North said.
During his research for the book, North spent weeks with Navy SEALs, Army special forces and private security contractors in Afghanistan.
Since the book was finished in Somalia this summer, North has taped more than 60 hours of live broadcasts and documentary footage for Fox News in Afghanistan, he said.
At the center of the novel is the mistake of what North calls, the country’s “progressive march toward disarmament.”
North openly criticizes the Obama administration’s focus on al-Qaida as the center of the war on terror — a central theme in the book.
He compares the situation to his own position during the Reagan presidency when he misidentified threats of obscure radical Islamists living in Afghanistan.
“We could put up in the White House situation room the wire diagram of every terrorist organization on the planet, the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof gang, the Red Army Faction and the (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine),” North said.
“What we did not have were the connections to the jihad, and how pervasive that had become.”
Most remarkable is North’s genuine fear that, if change does not come, his book may turn into prophesy — something Tom Clancy never had.
“Until we recognize the connections of these terrorist organizations we are very, very vulnerable and the outcome that’s in this book could very well happen,” North said.
“Heroes Proved,” is not without it’s obvious flaws — the unadvanced technology of the future, predictable plot twists, unthrilling lists of military acronyms and groan inducing references to author’s own failed political career.
But what is never absent is the author, who clearly has stories to tell.
The novel will leave you wondering what in it is true and what is fiction.
Contact Brandon Janes at email@example.com or (254) 501-7552