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Mission Compromised

Mission Compromised

4.7 37
by Oliver L. North, Joe Musser

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The New York Times bestselling novel from controversial military legend Oliver North.

Major Peter Newman, US Marines, was a highly decorated hero, content doing his job – leading his troops into harm's way. He was good at it. But the White House has other plans for him.

When Newman is handpicked for a dangerous clandestine operation as the head of


The New York Times bestselling novel from controversial military legend Oliver North.

Major Peter Newman, US Marines, was a highly decorated hero, content doing his job – leading his troops into harm's way. He was good at it. But the White House has other plans for him.

When Newman is handpicked for a dangerous clandestine operation as the head of the White House Special Projects Office, his orders are clear – hunt down and eliminate terrorists before they attack the United States with weapons of mass destruction.

From the corridors of power in Washington to the heart of the Middle East, Newman finds himself on an assignment so sensitive that it's known only to a handful of officials, as he becomes entangled in a nightmarish web of intrigue, revenge and betrayal.

When the mission is compromised, Newman embarks on a personal odyssey that threatens his career, his life and his loyalty to Corps and country.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's hard to figure out just what North has in mind here: a little payback, perhaps, for some of the controversial ex-Marine's treatment by the Beltway establishment? A Christian tract disguised as a topical thriller? An attempt to use every single governmental abbreviation-from AmCits (American citizens) to WHDB (White House Data Base)-in one book? This giant novel (the first in a projected series of three) fits every one of those criteria, and also has a plot so convoluted that a snake might get motion sickness and characters so thin they make Tom Clancy look like Jane Austen. After flashbacks to three sets of killings in 1986, the narrative skips to 1994, when a career Marine Corps officer, Maj. Peter Newman, arrives at the Clinton White House to head a special projects office that hasn't been manned since another Marine-Oliver North-was booted out in 1987. "Look, if you think I'm going to accept a job only to go down in flames like he did, you'd better think again. I'll resign my commission first," Newman growls. But the major, who lost a younger brother in the military disaster at Mogadishu recounted in Black Hawk Down, takes the job when he realizes it will let him go after the warlords (including a rich Saudi called Osama bin Laden) responsible for that debacle. In a preface dated December 14, 2001, Fox News reporter North writes from aboard a U.S. warship with troops bound for Afghanistan, thanking coauthor Musser for his "gift for words" that "has made my military phraseology comprehensible to civilians." Perhaps those thanks were premature. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
North's debut thriller, the first of a three-novel series, is set in the mid-1990s and revolves around Maj. Peter J. Newman, a U.S. Marine assigned to a top-secret National Security Council staff position at the White House. (Guess whose old job and office Newman occupies.) Newman is ordered to coordinate a covert operation to eliminate a group of international law breakers including Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. When the mission is compromised, Newman and his personnel are left hanging, and a series of events unfolds exposing God's hand in Newman's life. While there will be strong demand from North's legion of fans and where T. Davis Bunn is popular, this novel is an irritating act of hubris. By having his character conveniently discover evidence that proves North acted with the full authority of the White House in the Iran-Contra scandal, the author uses fiction to clear his muddied name and get his version of the truth out to the public. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.31(d)

Read an Excerpt


By Oliver North with JOE MUSSER

Broadman & Holman Publishers

Copyright © 2002 Oliver L. North
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0805425500

Duty Station

1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Office of the National Security Advisor

The White House Washington, D.C. Tuesday, 29 November 1994 1000 Hours, Local

Major Peter J. Newman, U.S. Marines, reporting as ordered, sir.

"You don't have to call me, 'sir,' Major. I'm a civilian," replied the President's National Security Advisor seemingly absorbed by the papers on his desk. For more than a minute he never looked up.

Major Peter Newman was a startling contrast to the bloated and disheveled man in the two-thousand-dollar Armani suit seated before him. The Marine stood just over six feet and was trim and muscular. He was thirty-eight but looked much younger. His only "blemishes" were a broken nose that he'd earned during the second round of a Naval Academy boxing match and a two-inch scar above his left eyebrow made from a piece of hot shrapnel during the Gulf War. Major Newman stood at rigid attention in front of the desk.

Dr. Simon Harrod looked up at the ramrod-straight Marine standing in front of him, eyes fixed at the wall in the space above Harrod's head. Harrod was annoyed. Apparently letting this military martinet cool his well-polished heels for two hours in the West Wing reception lobby hadn't done much to instilltimidity. He decided to put this Marine in his place right away.

"Look at me when I'm talking to you, not the wall! In this administration, we don't go for all that military mumbo jumbo!" Harrod barked.

"Whatever you say, sir."

It wasn't that Simon Harrod, Ph.D., disliked military men. Like the President, he loathed them. He'd had his fill of these close-cropped, cleanly shaven boneheads when he had been a professor of international studies at Harvard's Kennedy School. Now the grossly overweight, rumpled, former antiwar activist had a dozen high-ranking Army, Navy, and Air Force officers toiling for him on the National Security Council staff. And he knew that behind his back, they contemptuously referred to him as "Jabba the Hutt." He didn't care. He was content that now they had to dance to the beat of his drum or their careers were finished.

"Sit down." The Marine did as ordered, and Harrod went back to perusing the Officer's Qualification Record and Confidential Personnel Summary before him in the disarray of his desk. Newman's "short" bio ran seven pages, and the National Security Advisor took his time with it even though he already knew everything he needed to know about the officer now sitting as stiffly as he'd been standing. Without looking up, Harrod ticked off the high points: "You're a regular military machine aren't you, Newman? Father is a retired Army brigadier ... mother was an Army nurse ... born at the post hospital at Fort Drum, New York ... graduate of the Naval Academy ... served in Grenada, Beirut, Panama, Desert Storm." Newman said nothing as Harrod continued reading.

"It says here that you didn't want this assignment, Major Newman. Why?"

"I'd rather be commanding Marines, sir."

"I told you not to call me 'sir.' I thought Marines were capable of following a simple order."

"What do you want me to call you-Mr. Harrod?"

"Dr. Harrod will do," said Jabba the Hutt.

Newman nodded but said nothing, so Harrod went back to the file and the Personnel Summary and started asking questions to which he already had the answers.

"You're married. What does your wife do?" asked Harrod in a more conciliatory tone.

"She's a flight attendant."



"You talk to your wife about your work?"

"Not if I'm not supposed to," replied the Marine.

"Well, here you're not supposed to. You got it?"

Newman nodded, knowing as he did so that he and his wife were barely speaking about anything of significance anyway, so this directive hardly mattered.

"what year did you graduate from Annapolis, Newman?"

"Class of '78."

"What was your class standing?"

"Number 143, top 15 percent."

"It says here you were 'deep selected for captain and major.' What's 'deep selected' mean?"

"I was promoted early, as they say, 'ahead of my peers.'"

"Is that because you have the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart from Desert Storm?" Harrod asked with a thinly disguised sneer.

"I don't know."

"Well, I'm not impressed. If you guys had done the job right, we wouldn't have this mess on our hands with Saddam Hussein."

Once more Newman didn't reply, so Harrod again buried himself in the officer's paperwork for a full five minutes. The Marine looked around the well-appointed office. Thick carpet. Nice furniture. Three phones. Large mahogany desk covered with piles of paper, many bearing classified cover sheets labeled TOP SECRET. Several bore the additional admonition EYES ONLY FOR THE PRESIDENT. On the walls, an eclectic collection of what appeared to Newman's unschooled eye to be original artwork: he recognized some of them-a Wyeth nude, a Remington landscape, and several modern pieces that he didn't recognize. Behind the cluttered desk was a watercolor of uncertain origin, depicting what could only be the grisly violence of General George Armstrong Custer's final moments at the Little Big Horn.

The National Security Advisor looked up to see Newman staring at the painting. "It's by a Native American artist. I got the idea from Hafez al Assad. In his presidential palace in Damascus, he has a painting of Saladin and the Saracens butchering crusaders. It reminds his visitors whom they are dealing with. I put this one here to remind all you green- and blue-suit types how stupid and costly military operations can be."

Harrod glanced down at the file and then back at Newman. "Now, it says here that up until yesterday you were assigned to the Operations and Plans Division at the Marine headquarters here in Washington. Is that right?"

"At the Navy Annex, yes."

"What did they tell you when they ordered you to report to the Secretary of the Navy and SecDef? Did any of them tell you what your assignment here on the NSC staff was to be?"

"No, I was only told that I should report to you for a two-year assignment."

"You may not last two years if you don't lighten up. You probably know this already, but I want to reiterate-you're the only Marine on the White House staff besides the captain who's assigned as one of the President's military aides."

"That's what I understand."

"Do you also understand that as long as you are assigned here you are to have nothing to do with the White House military office or your Marine Corps, and that after today you are not to wear a uniform here, ever, and that as the head of the NSC's Special Projects Office, you report only to me?"

"I do now."

"Good. I want you to go now and take care of the necessary paperwork to keep the paper shufflers happy. After you've done that, go home and get out of that monkey suit with all those ribbons, bells, and whistles. Medals and ribbons don't impress me or anyone else around here. Put on some civilian attire. You do have real clothes, don't you?"

"Yes," Newman said to the bloated figure behind the desk.

"Good. After you take care of filling out all the forms and get changed, come back here at 3:00 P.M. sharp. Tell my secretary to take care of getting you a White House ID badge. And tell her I said to get you a staff-parking pass to hang on your rearview mirror so you can park inside 'the fence.' That's a big perk around here. And as fast as you can, grow some hair on your head. That GI haircut looks ridiculous. Go."

Major Newman stood, did an about-face, and left. It felt good to get a final military dig at his new boss.

* * *

Notwithstanding rumors Newman had heard to the contrary about this White House administration, the National Security Council's administrative and security office in the Old Executive Office Building was a hub of efficiency. The people who worked in the third-floor office of this gray stone building next door to the White House were older. He surmised that these were professionals, not political appointees. Unlike others he had seen that morning in the West Wing, the men were wearing coats and ties instead of jeans, and the women had on dresses and skirts. He noted, as any U.S. Marine would, that the men in this office had what he considered to be decent haircuts, and here, at least, it was the women who wore ponytails and earrings.

A woman who introduced herself as Carol Dayton, and identified herself as the NSC's administrative and security officer, handed Newman a checklist of offices to visit, forms to fill out, and documents to sign. In less than two hours, the Marine major had taken care of all the obligatory paperwork, been photographed for the treasured blue White House pass, had his retinas scanned, had his fingers printed, had signed reams of nondisclosure agreements for classified security "compartments" he had never known existed, been issued access codes for the White House Situation Room cipher locks, and been taken on a quick, cursory tour of the old structure so he wouldn't get lost on his way to work. He still didn't have an office, a desk, or a phone, and each time he asked one of the otherwise helpful and amiable administrative clerks where the Special Projects Office was, they shrugged or replied, "I dunno. Guess that's up to Dr. Harrod."

It was, all in all, relatively painless-even the stop at the small medical clinic on the second floor, where a Navy corpsman drew three vials of his blood. He asked why, given that the Marine Corps already maintained his medical records, but the young man only shrugged and said, "Got me, Major Newman. Guess they just want to have your blood type on hand in case you get a paper cut."

The corpsman thought this line was hilariously funny. But Newman made a mental note to keep one of his military dog tags, with his blood type stamped into it, on a chain around his neck, even if he wasn't allowed to wear his uniform.

By the time he had finished crossing all the t's, dotting all the i's, and all but signing his life away, it was shortly after noon. Newman decided he had just enough time to race out to his house in Falls Church-where he and his wife sometimes lived together-for a change of clothes.

As he strode out of the towering gray granite structure, a cold autumn rain was being wind-whipped up West Executive Avenue between the West Wing of the White House and the Old Executive Office Building. He turned right, toward the South West Gate, the wind and rain lashing his gray, military-issue raincoat, the drops darkening it as he walked. By the time he reached the Ellipse, where he had left his six-year-old Chevy Tahoe, Newman was soaked.

He found his car and a ticket citing him for parking without a White House sticker. Newman got in, backed out, and wheeled around the circle, south of the white mansion he had already come to dislike, and headed west on Constitution Avenue, across the Roosevelt Bridge, and onto Route 50 into Virginia and toward his home, five miles away, in Falls Church.

* * *

Newman and his wife Rachel had bought the three-bedroom, brick split-level on Creswell Drive nine years earlier-when they were still in love with each other instead of their separate careers. Newman had met Rachel on a blind date arranged by his sister Nancy. She and Rachel had been roommates at the University of Virginia, and they had driven up from Charlottesville on a lark to "meet some Marines" while Peter was attending the Officer's Basic Course at Quantico in September '78, after he'd graduated from the Naval Academy.

Despite their differences, Newman was smitten by his sister's friend. Like Newman's sister, Rachel was a nursing student, but Rachel didn't want to work in a hospital-she wanted to fly. "Didn't you know that the first flight attendants all had to be nurses?" she asked him one day. Besides, she said with her ravishing smile, "Flying is more romantic."

Rachel really was a romantic. She had grown up on a comfortable farm in Culpepper, Virginia, riding horses and searching for wildflowers in the meadows. Often she'd ride horseback into the countryside with a picnic lunch and spread a blanket to read sonnets or write poetry. He, on the other hand, was both a military man and a sports nut. Many of their early dates consisted of football games at UVA and Annapolis, parades at Quantico and Washington, and visits to the many Revolutionary and Civil War battlefields that dot the Virginia countryside.

After graduating from the Officer's Basic Course, Newman had been ordered to take command of a rifle platoon in the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. And until he deployed to the Mediterranean with the Third Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment later that year, he spent every weekend when he wasn't on duty somewhere between Camp Lejeune and Charlottesville, trying to be near Rachel while she finished up her last year at "Mr. Jefferson's University."

When Rachel graduated in June of '79, she did what she said she was going to do: She got hired by TWA and went off to their flight attendant training school. By the time she finished the TWA training course in Saint Louis, Missouri, Newman was deployed with his infantry company in the Mediterranean aboard the USS Fairfax County. He wrote to her every day and proposed to her over the phone from Athens, Greece, while the ship was in port for repairs.

They married in the chapel at Camp Lejeune soon after Newman returned from his first deployment, which coincided with his promotion to first lieutenant. By then TWA had decided that Rachel should be based at Dulles Airport in Virginia-meaning that her flights would originate and terminate there, even though she was trying to make a home for herself with her new husband on the coast of North Carolina.

Rachel had a difficult time adjusting to military life. In fact, she never quite did, though to be fair, she did her best. She watched how many other new service wives reacted to their husbands' line of work, but she never felt like she fit in. No matter how hard she tried, Rachel couldn't tell a corporal from a colonel and wasn't about to surrender her life to simply become an extension of her husband's career. And with deployment following deployment, she figured out why her husband's friends would joke, "If the Marine Corps had wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one." Stuck miles from her family and exhausted from racing up and down Interstate 95 for her flight assignments, Rachel was heartsick and terribly lonely. When he was home, her husband seemed totally unaware of the problem.


Excerpted from MISSION COMPROMISED by Oliver North with JOE MUSSER Copyright © 2002 by Oliver L. North
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

What People are Saying About This

Charles C. Krulak
Superb read! A primer to the hidden works and inner mechanisms of the White House and the National Security Council.
USMC (Ret.), 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps
What a sly thriller about terrorism. The talk shows will be queuing up for this one!
Parade magazine, author of Warning of War
Joe Foss
An exciting, solid, action-packed adventure about a Marine who, like the author, knows the meaning of Semper Fidelis.
Brig. Gen. USMC (Ret.), WW II Ace and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

Meet the Author

Oliver North is a combat-decorated Marine, a syndicated columnist, the host of a nationally syndicated daily radio talk show on the Radio America Network, and the host of "War Stories" on the FOX News Channel.

North was born in San Antonio, Texas, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and served twenty-two years as a U.S. Marine. His awards for service in combat include the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for valor, and two Purple Hearts for wounds in action. Assigned to the National Security Council Staff in the Reagan administration, Lt. Col. North was the U.S. government's Counter-Terrorism Coordinator from 1983 to 1986. He was involved in planning the rescue of medical students on the island of Grenada, and played a major role in the daring capture of the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro. After helping plan the U.S. raid on Muammar Gaddafi's terrorist bases in Libya, North was targeted for assassination by Abu Nidal, one of the world's deadliest assassins.

North's first two books, Under Fire and One More Mission, were international bestsellers. North is the founder of Freedom Alliance, a foundation which provides scholarships for the sons and daughters of service members killed in action.

Joe Musser has authored or co-authored more than forty books and twenty screenplays. He is the co-author with Oliver North of Mission Compromised and The Jericho Sanction.

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4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dislike reviews that are so involved that there is no reason to read the book, let me aimply say that the book is a good read. Let me add that the reviews of the so- called professionals are biased because of their obvious dislike of the authors involvement in Iran-Contra. To them I say "grow up!".
Guest More than 1 year ago
That book was so good. I was reading it all the time, and as soo as I was done I had to start hte next book. When I first started it I was not sure if I would like ti, but it did not take long till I know that it was one of the best books I have ever read. I think it need way more then five stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Filled with suspense and intrige this novel keeps your attention from page one. It is a must read for anyone interested in Millitary or government!
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I enjoy watching news channels and being up-to-date on current affairs, I normally wouldn't have picked up a military fiction book. However, I am hooked! I disagree with the critique that basically says the use of military acronyms is too much. There is a definition section at the front of the book, and really the use of the acronyms pulls you into this special world of military family and makes you feel as if you've been given top secret info. In fact, it seems so plausible (given Col. North's background and experience) that you wonder just how much of this story was actually lived out in bits and pieces. I believe Col. North was unjustly served ANYWAY through the Iran-contra hearings, so if he should choose to insert a portion into a fictional book that says the truth without really saying the truth.....good for him. And as far as the spiritual aspect of the book..I don't see how any armed serviceman could go through situations like what the main character experiences in the book and NOT have some sort of desire to have a connection to God. Way to go Col. North!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome can't wait to read the rest
Pappy1943 More than 1 year ago
Very very good read! Hard to put down. Plan on reading some more later but want to spread it out a little (no all eggs in one basket :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband and I are reading this novel together and find it fascinating. We didn't expect a guy like Oliver North to create such an enthralling plot, which includes romantic and spiritual elements woven into a suspenseful tale. In fact, this story successfully weaves numerous threads together to form a whole that grabs your attention and holds it. We aren't sorry we chose this book for a cross-country road trip; we'd pick it again. Hoping for a sequel...
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IdahoPrincess45 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this story. The character were very real. the story had a christian overtone but don't off, it doesn't hit you over the head with it. But the story is very suspenceful and fast paced, and very very scary when you think it might be true as implied in the end.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book. Reading 'The Jerico Sanction' now and will get Assissins next. Semper Fi
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book as well as 'The Jerico Sanction' is a great primer for international politics and terrorism. So real in fact, that i question the fictional status. He writes in a way that is both informative and exciting
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have read. You have a hard time putting it down
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story has to make you wonder how often this happens to our military personnel around the world! Awesome storyline, christian beliefs of the Corps and the brotherhood of the Marine Corps 'Always Faithful' motto! Great Reading!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oliver North did an exquisite job with Mission Compromised, it is an action packed thriller. The book will keeps you on the edge,if you love war stories this is the book for you!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Olie North is a great marine but a great storie teller I loved it and couldn't put it down. I can't believe it's fiction but it is. It gives you lots of information the peronoid might even think the story is true. Well IS IT? Way to go Olie can't wait to read The Jericho Sanction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oliver North provided a necessary and vital function for this Country. Covert operations will always be needed by free nations and those who desire freedom. One can only wonder how much of this story parallels Col. North's own experiences, especially when he appears in his own novel. Theological interjections provide a welcome divergence from the standard intrigue novels. Well done, Col. North
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has a great plot and it is the type of book that you can't put down. I realy think that everyone should read it. Oliver North IS a true American Hero!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Happened to have read The Teeth of the Tiger just before Mission Compromised. The background for these stories, the formation of secret action groups to fight terror, would lead me to believe Clancy read this book too, before writing his. North's story is packed with more action and intrigue throughout the book. The book is a winner and it is surprising it never made the best seller list. Probably just not having Clancy's fan club.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book and I am glad that I read it...The ending was predictable,but I kept hoping that it wasnt gonna end that way....I cant wait for the next book in this series to come out....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oliver North wrties this book in a way all Clancey fans dream, short, concise, and action on every page. The catch is, when the books over you have to wonder if Oli is writing from personal experience. Great Read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Colonel North has hit a grand slam with his first novel. For those of us old enough to have vivid recollections of the '80's ordeal he went through, just knowing who wrote this and the perspective of the author, is enough to make the pages turn rapidly indeed. Some will compare him to Clancy, but Clancy never came close to acquiring the total immersion experience of Col. North which qualifies him to speak of the intrique and brutality of dealings with regimes, friendly or otherwise.