Coup is the story of an upstart political party that hatches a dangerous plot to overthrow the two party system in the U.S. This new political force known as the Patriot Party plans to take over by using the ballot box, but must also overcome the Lions. A powerful and ruthless group of people who will go to any extreme to remain in power and who's tentacles reach into the White House itself. Aided by a legendary cast-off CIA agent who assumes the role of protector, the Patriot Party duels with the evil cabal to wrest away their power and return the government to the people.
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By Dane Valer
AuthorHouseTMCopyright © 2012 Dane Valer
All right reserved.
Chapter OneOn a dreary street in Queens amidst bodegas, specialty shops and ethnic restaurants, a tiny shop with painted over windows was leased for just this purpose. Other than an old wooden desk, several metal folding chairs and months of dust, it was vacant. As seven am approached, the makeup artist, who had labored in Hollywood for eleven years before the FBI recruited him, was busy. Cameron Margileux had taught several bureau agents his craft over the years and he was now considered dispensable; as he worked, a powerful, slow acting poison added to his morning coffee was killing him.
"There, a perfect overweight businessman," he said. His work was truly remarkable. Habib's black hair was straightened and parted on the side, the facial hair gone and all of his exposed skin was typical New York pasty white. Prosthetics gave him jowls, a couple of extra chins and a waddle commensurate with his sizable girth. He was the common obese American appearing to weigh some 300 pounds and his huge faux gut was packed with PVV-5A, a Russian plastic explosive. His briefcase similarly laden, promised an explosion on a grand scale with maximum carnage while causing significant structural damage.
Margileux did a final check of his charge, moving a strand of hair, spraying it in place, dabbing powder on an ear, a wrist. His attention to detail gave him a perfect record—his creations had never been detected. He fussed over Habib's pale, freshly shorn skin where his thick, black beard once resided, evenly blending the makeup to hide its recent existence. About an hour before show time Shane Qualls gave him half a blue five milligram Valium to counteract nervousness and keep his gait relaxed and fluid.
Qualls reminded Habib, "Remember, if you get to the platform and the train hasn't arrived, keep one hand on the newspaper, pretending to read, in the other the lollipop."
It seemed and was a very simple task.
Habib lurched to his feet. "Khcoda Chkoob e," God is great, he mouthed in Farsi dialect and began the short trek to his destination.
Qualls and Margileux wiped the shop clean and except for the dust disturbance, removed all evidence of their brief occupation. Donning disguises they left, the Team Black leader to a nearby hotel suite, the makeup man to his approaching death.
Shane Qualls was the kind of man most people looked at and immediately said, "This guy is an asshole." His swaggering walk, cocky, impudent air of superiority and aggressive speech patterns further cemented that impression and he often referred to himself in the third person as "The Alpha Male, The Dominate One, or The Big Swingin' Dick."
Qualls was built like an anvil, his dark eyes set tightly together in a close-cropped, flat-top head on a thick weight trainers neck with massive shoulders and arms. At five foot nine he suffered an extreme affliction of short man's disease, always driven to prove himself the equal of taller men. His movements were quick and cat-like with no wasted effort. He enjoyed being a direct participant in ops like this because as a self-described adrenaline junkie, he liked to be in on the kill. It gave him a sense of omnipotence and he derived sordid pleasure from looking into a man's eyes as he died.
Death for Qualls was a deeply personal matter, their last breath a catharsis. For the rest of his team, killing was strictly a business decision. They made it without hesitation or forethought as long as the price was right, and the U.S. government always had the right price.
Qualls was the leader of a freelance covert operations team that worked exclusively for NSA, CIA, and MI6. Team Black, as they called themselves would take on any job no matter how distasteful. Whether laying siege to a terrorist training camp in Yemen or blowing up a school bus full of children in Chechnya, they never batted an eye. They were ruthless, disciplined killers, mercenaries in every sense, operating with the skill of a surgeon and the conscience a jackal. As was SOP for most unaffiliated clandestine units, the rules did not apply.
The op they worked now was a rarity—it was on American soil.
Much of what they did created unrest in third world countries and occasionally in more civilized environs. They were experts at inciting hostilities among opposing factions and using diversions to foment instability in governments, ventures that rarely saw the light of day.
This operation however, would be a "front pager" as Qualls liked to called them, because it would land on the front page of newspapers and the lead on every newscast. Like many of Team Black's shadow ops, this one wreaked death and destruction. This time the death and destruction were aimed at the very heart of America. The blame would be placed where needed while producing the desired effect, and here, the desired effect was outrage and fear.
Qualls arranged for Habib Aghassi's visa to travel from his Iranian home to visit his terminally ill brother in New York. If required checks had been made it would have shown that Habib was an only child. Qualls would normally smuggle people in through unofficial government channels, but his instructions insisted this one have a paper trail connecting him to Iran.
As Qualls explained, "The easy part was finding some asshole with his laundry on his head and Death to America emblazoned on his heart," he said, laughing.
Tess couldn't possibly have known.
She would not have made such a fuss over her thinning white hair or her dated, ill fitting pant suit. The chipped red nail polish and scuffed black shoes would have been acceptable, along with the flawed eyeliner and too much rouge. Such things are irrelevant to the dead. Now 61 years old, she looked into the mirror that showed still more weight loss. I'm just so tired, she thought, making a futile attempt to smooth a wrinkle.
As she stepped through the doorway of her seedy second floor Bronx walkup, tugging on the sagging door, she was grateful the rains had been chased out to sea by the warm, dry winds.
Tess twisted the key in both of the dead bolts and was struck with a sudden, nearly overpowering longing for the safe serenity of her now lost Connecticut home where locking doors was an afterthought. Each morning as she coaxed her balky knee down the stairs, the scarred, dirty hand rail her trusted assistant, she lamented returning to the work force. It seemed like yesterday that she had retired after 39 years with the same company only to see an under-funded pension plan revealed when the economy tanked and the skillful accounting that kept it hidden for so long exposed. The perpetrators served less than three years in prison while Tess lost most of her pension, her lovely home in the Connecticut countryside and much of her dignity. She fretted about what they had done to her life, the government, the bankers. They are all in cahoots.
Ruined was her leisurely stroll through the golden years, precious time with children and grandchildren, dalliances with artsy pursuits and impulsive trips to exotic lands. Those dreams were gone, swirled away like a leaf down a storm drain along with her medical insurance and a desperately needed knee replacement. Gone, like her prescription ointment for a persistent rash, its itch a constant reminder of her hopeless situation. In its place festered a roiling rage and intense hatred for those responsible.
She limped on the sidewalk, slowing to carefully navigate the subway stairs one step at a time, making her way down into the bowels of the city. New Yorkers disgusted her and she despised the commute, especially the subway where vulgarities and incivility ruled the day.
She caught the 6 train to Grand Central Terminal and disembarked, willing herself up the stairs to catch the 7 train into Queens. The air was warm and heavy as she struggled to ascend the stairs. Young professionals and brusque blue collars brushed by her, none offering to help or even make eye contact.
Topping the stairs, she clung to the wall as she made her way through the tunnel, feeling vulnerable and alone. She pulled herself inward, striving to become small and unnoticed as hurried urbanites sped past and street urchins eyed her purse. Relief from making it to the platform was quickly replaced by anger and bitterness. A neighbor told her it was easier to catch the 7 on the way to Times Square, before it returned to GCT. He was wrong. The crush of people was repulsive and the dank, acrid smells stomach turning. "God what a pathetic existence," she muttered.
The 7 train roared into the station, the rush of air intensifying the offensive odors. Before the riders began their exodus some on the platform surged towards the doors, pushing and shoving to get to the train. Tess cringed, nearly losing her balance as bodies pressed against her and briefly looked into the eyes of a man standing in the doorway.
He shouted something-to her? Then, for the briefest of moments, she saw the brilliant white light.
That meeting of the Lions was part business, part celebration. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Tate Flanigan had raised his glass. "I can't believe we pulled this off!" he said incredulously.
He was instrumental in the bill's implementation and had leaped numerous, seemingly insurmountable hurdles en route to its passage. The economic stimulus, Troubled Asset Relief, corporate bailout—it had different names depending on who was talking—was worth almost a trillion dollars. At least that's what the public was told. As several others raised their glasses in a toast, they were all well aware the actual far reaching cost over time and various economic sectors was much greater. But controlling the media and thereby shaping what the American people believed was an integral part of the deceptions. These were renewal scams perpetrated by the most powerful men in the world, elitists lacking scruples, remorse, or empathy.
Benjamin Weurtz, a six term Senator and Majority Leader, had been privy to these tactics for decades, long before he "won" his seat, a position bought and paid for by corporate giants and facilitated by political insiders. As he reminisced about that meeting he recalled his initial shock when some of this was revealed to him. He was visiting at his father's Texas ranch when Secret Service agents suddenly surrounded the house. "POTUS is dropping by," the lead agent told his father. POTUS was President of the United States, an acronym long used by the Service for whoever was in the White House. President Craven's private estate was just three miles from his father's residence and he often visited when he was in town. Usually he was drunk and this time was no exception.
"Your Granddaddy and my Granddaddy seen that this country was ripe for a pluckin'," the President said, "so they made up the federal reserve to take control." Ben was embarrassed for the President as he stumbled through the words and noticed his eyelids drooping almost closed.
"That was 1913. By 32, the depression was upon us and people were desperate for hope and open to anything. So they took their gold." He started laughing uncontrollably. "When they pulled that off ... well, they knew anything was possible," he slurred. "It was the start of many beautiful things," he said and slumped over sideways. The leader of the free world slid down in his chair and passed out.
Weurtz, familiar now with much of what went on, had read about the gatherings on Jekyll Island that changed the world forever and marveled that such blatant fleecings had continued unchecked for so long. It was a testament to their ingenuity and adaptability ... and the ignorance of the American people.
Chapter TwoShane Qualls and his men had planned it well but without the help of the NSA they never would have found the Iranians they needed to pull it off. Mahmoud Bahar and his boyhood friend Khashen Dashti had immigrated to the United States with their wives ten years earlier and were living the American dream. They all shared a large suburban home east of Chicago, had good paying jobs, were accepted by their neighbors and were proud to be Americans. They were also devout Muslims.
"NSA did a good job finding these patsies," said Qualls with his usual indifference for human life. The Imam of their mosque was viewed by American intelligence as somewhat radical and was on the watch list. Of late he had been very vocal about the U.S. government's posture towards Iran.
"The U.S. government is looking for any reason to pick a fight with Iran so they can invade and occupy another Muslim nation. We as a people must not tolerate these overt acts of aggression, "intoned the Imam. Qualls loved him.
"He's the perfect piece to the puzzle, the connection to radical Islam and the public will eat that shit up. We needed two and they got us two great subjects."
When the fathers left with their sons for a soccer match, they were pulled over by police.
"You have outstanding warrants for your arrests for failure to pay your taxes, but I can assure you this is just a formality. As soon as you sign a form at the station promising to appear for an audit, you will be released." It all sounded harmless. "We'll even let your boys ride with you." Three hours later Team Black operatives had letters to their wives written in their own hands.
They detailed a plot they were involved in to blow up the former Sears—now Willis—Tower. If they failed they were likely dead. In that case, their wives were to obey a man named Taqi and join them in paradise.
Sofia Rahmani and Narges Yazdani were watching a daily TV soap program while they waited for their husbands and sons to return. The programming was suddenly interrupted with a news flash.
"We have breaking news. The FBI, acting on an anonymous tip, were attempting to apprehend two Iranian émigrés in a secluded area off LaGrange in rural Pioneer Woods. The men, believed to be Mahmoud Bahar and Khashen Dashi of suburban Chicago, were heavily armed and despite having two young boys in the vehicle with them, began shooting at agents, who returned fire. Agents said they believe the men were transporting explosives because of the blast that occurred when they careened into a tree killing all the occupants. Initial reports say the men were involved in a plot to blow up the Willis Tower and that their wives were involved in the plot." Pictures of the men and their wives were flashed on the screen. Sofia and Narges looked at each other in stunned silence, broken by a knock at the front door.
A man speaking their native tongue said, "My name is Taqi Mohammadi and I have information about your husbands." He showed them the letters, the authorship beyond doubt.
"We must hurry," he said. "Agents of the U.S. government will soon arrive and arrest you. Both of you will spend the rest of your lives in a maximum security prison."
The women looked at him as if in a daze. "Come now, leave everything."
Taqi took them to a safe house and went immediately to work.
"Damn he's good," said Qualls to Zachary Hoff as they watched the feed from hidden cameras.
"Taqi is an Arab infiltration specialist who has extensive training in, well, to use a layman's term, indoctrination," said Hoff. "He speaks perfect Farsi and has convincingly altered his speech to match the Alvari dialect of the Markazi Province in Western Iran, from where the two families had emigrated to the U.S." Team Black members and Hoff watched with rapt attention as Taqi showed the women news clips of agents tearing up their home and the media splashing their names and pictures across the video screens on every station.
"Narges and Sophia you must accept this. You are the subject of a nationwide manhunt and they will stop at nothing to find you," Taqi said solemnly.
Qualls marveled: "He keeps hammering home the desperation of the situation, making sure they see multiple newscasts each day where they are public enemy number one. He intersperses these with internet speeches by radical clerics who advocate violence against the United States, the evil Satan." In less than a week, Taqi was prepping them for jihad.
Pierce Carrington had been patriarch of the Lions since the 1950's. He appeared thin and wan. Never a robust figure, he now leaned cadaver with a face like an axe, pewter hair that furrowed back from a widows peak and deep set glaring eyes. Captains of industry and political leaders had been meeting for over a hundred years but before 1900 their focus was on improving the country and the lives of its citizens. That focus had changed. The original Lions were men of vision who saw the immense wealth that could be generated by a nation so rich in natural resources, with many keen, inventive minds and a staggering industrial might.
They wielded their power with virtual impunity, the only accountability, fellow Lions, the only parameters, furtherance of their wealth. Most other members had been selected in the 1980s and 90s and thus were subservient to the hierarchy and adhered to an unremorseful, ruthless business paradigm and a nearly total disregard for life. Strict secrecy was a given.
Excerpted from BLOODLESS COUP by Dane Valer Copyright © 2012 by Dane Valer. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouseTM. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Coup starts off a little slow but quickly builds to a hard to put down book. Had to recharge my ereader twice to finish it. A good long read that at times had me wondering how the politicians and financial people have been able to get away with this stuff for so many decades. Loved the end and look forward to sequel.