EoA: A Judge Issues a Ruling

Edge of Apocalypse: pages 294-295 (Chapter Fifty-One)

The chapter has two segments in it, so I’ll tackle the short front-end here and then do the second part (with Josh Jordan as centerpiece, of course) in a separate post.

Judge Olivia Jenkins was in her chambers bright and early. She flipped open her calendar to see what was pending. She had a full docket. But one case in particular was on her mind. And it would be the first case she would call.

And sure enough, she starts off with that case. The lawyers are there. The judge is there. But not in the courtroom is one Joshua Jordan, and she’s a litle unhappy about that.

“Are you prepared to give this court the whereabouts of Mr. Jordan so he can be served with my bench warrant today?”

“I’m not, Judge.”

“What’s the reason for that?”

“Not anything I can discuss without breaching attorney-client confidentiality.”

“I recognize that,” Judge Jenkins said. “But it could be argued that the oath you took when you were first sworn in to be a lawyer–the oath to uphold our system of justice–is equally important. Maybe more so.”

Are lawyers really allowed to say “Judge” instead of “Your Honor” as a mode of address in a courtroom? I’m starting to wonder if Parshall’s inspiration for Judge Jenkins was Judge Judy.

Also, I don’t know how absolute attorney-client privilege is, but it seems like Parshall is trying to keep going back to the “big bad government stomping over little Joshie” thing. That said, Smythe manages to get an extension on the bench warrant juuust long enough for Josh to do what Packard McHenry (Patrick Henry, indeed! The real one wasn’t a covert agent for a government.) helped him get set up for.

Then she ruled. “Okay. End of business today. But that’s it. No more extensions. No more excuses. Unless there’s been a radical change of circumstances, at that time I will be issuing an order for the immediate apprehension of Joshua Jordan. From that point on he will be treated as a fugitive from justice by the federal government.”

And the iron dictates of the law have now been laid out – as if he hasn’t already been amateurishly trying to hide out in a way that any FBI agent or US Marshal would probably spot in a red-hot minute. This pretty much wraps up the chapter segment and sets the stage for Josh Jordan’s tête-à-tête with his fellow conspirators in getting AmeriNews switched on and live on everybody’s Allfone.

Follow-Up Post

I’d like to start this out by referring to an article written as part of the Liberalism Resurgent by Steve Kangas, back in the 1990s, to kind of get us in the right frame of mind.

It’s worth thinking about the fact that LaHaye and Parshall have introduced a former CIA agent into their story. The CIA itself conjures up generally rather shadowy and generally unpleasant mental images of an organization which, in addition to doing spying all over the globe, has exceeded that mandate by a considerable margin and is implicated in direct interference in the political affairs of other nations worldwide.

Given that of necessity, CIA agents are going to be bound by nondisclosure agreements of various kinds when they leave their jobs (I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the case; it could potentially cause serious problems if active CIA agents were compromised as a result of a book written by another agent), it also stands to reason that even ex-CIA agents are thus bound in some way to “The Company”, even if just by the need to get clearances if an agent wants to write a book or article that might touch on what he or she has done. A related mindset is the “blue line” – that mindset of police officers amply demonstrated by people like Frank Serpico, who have found that publicly going against the grain of the established culture in a police force can be a recipe for a lot of trouble.

So, given that people in intelligence tend to form a tightly-knit, insular community with certain mores and ethics collectively adhered to by individuals within that culture, it’s worth considering the potential ramifications Parshall has opened up to us, the readers, in introducing such a person into his book.

In Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Perkins has pointed out linkages between economic policy analysts and the people who are interested in molding the political scene in the country in question in order that the forecasts by the ecomomic policy analyst bear fruit. For example, he wrote, as I recall, a report in which he justfied large hydroelectricity megaprojects in countries that neither had the money for them nor had the demand for them, and so the only real use for such a thing was in attempting construction, then funnelling the money all around. The political angle to this, linking back to agencies like the CIA, is that were a country’s officials, elected or not, to start raising concerns about the usefulness or need for such projects, and the corrosive effect of the attendant corruption such projects tended to engender, said officials would be warned they could be replaced fairly easily.

And now Parshall effectively brings this full-circle back to the United States. Joshua Jordan has provided the political and media infrastructure, in the process of grinding his own ax against the US government, for a member of a shadowy right-wing non-state intelligence group to piggyback onto and, in effect, try the old mafia trick of “Nice Presidency you got here, Corland. Shame if anything were to happen to it.”

The implications of this are really quite staggering – Parshall has, in effect, endorsed not just the usual right-wing smorgasbord of the inherent supremacy of Christianity as the religion of choice in the USA, the inherent desirability of rigid gender roles which reinforce the man-first, woman-second mentality, and the primacy of the military; he’s also endorsed the validity and rightness of unlawfully altering the duly constituted government of the United States.

I can draw no other conclusion from the fact that “Pack McHenry” (Patrick Henry), an ex-CIA agent, has enough resources to assemble a crack team of people who can spy on others and direct those people to keep tabs on anyone who might be useful to him in his plan to, in essentials, create a pro-Christian, right-wing government by hook or by crook. Look at Ken Leary, who’s already in contact with John Gallagher. Gallagher, in turn, is about to be contacted by the Roundtable. There’s two active agents potentially capable of using their jobs not for the benefit of their nominal bosses, but for someone else. Or his spies who have followed Allen Fulsin and the corporate VP, Cheavers. And now, along comes Josh Jordan, with a ready-made turn-key media empire ready to begin placing headlines in front of peoples’ eyes that will slant to any message McHenry wants, because ultimately he and Josh have the same political leanings and goals.

There’s a reason why the CIA charter has always banned domestic surveillance and intelligence gathering: the political masters of the CIA have no desire to have a ready-made apparatus anyone can use to subvert or covertly overthrow the lawfully constituted government, considering how effective it has been in doing exactly this sort of thing to other nations. For a related example, look at East Germany’s Stasi and its effect on West Germany: a critical vote in the Bundestag in the 1970s was covertly affected by Stasi bribes. What would start happening if US Congresspeople or Senators or the executive could be swayed by someone in command of the covert surveillance apparatus of the United States?

It could be argued that the FBI serves this domestic function, but it operates under different rules and has more of a law-enforcement culture than the CIA does, so while there are legitimate dangers, such as the existence of COINTELPRO, the target of the FBI has always been in subverting and infiltrating relatively minor organizations that do not, as a rule, possess the kind of resources that governments do.

But now Pack McHenry, with potential contacts inside the CIA, is in a position to end-run that prohibition, and in doing so, effectively call on at least some parts of the US government to act illegally against another part of the US government. Joshua Jordan would, in any world but the world of Edge of Apocalypse, be in such massive deep shit at this point.