Killing terrorists: Is there a real Mitch Rapp?

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Ed Ross
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      Ed Ross

      Ed Ross is the President and Chief Executive Officer of EWRoss International LLC. He is the former Principal Director, Security Cooperation Operations, Defense Security Cooperation Agency; former Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs; and former Senior Director for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mongolia in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

      As a US Army Officer he served as the Assistant Army Attaché to the People's Republic of China, as a senior political-military analyst in the Defense Intelligence Agency, and as the Chief, Counterespionage-Counterintelligence, 500th Military Intelligence Group, Hawaii, where he directed operations in the Asia Pacific theater.

      His military service includes two tours of duty in Vietnam. As an artillery forward and air observer with the 9th Infantry Division's Mobile Riverine Force in the Mekong Delta, he flew more than 300 combat and combat support missions in O-1 and H-23 aircraft. As a military intelligence officer, he commanded intelligence-collection detachments of the 525th Military Intelligence Group in Pleiku and Nha Trang.

      Ed Ross’ civilian awards include the rank of Meritorious Senior Executive, conferred by President George W. Bush; three Secretary of Defense Medals for Meritorious Civilian Service, conferred by Secretaries Dick Cheney, William Perry, and Robert Gates; the Order of Resplendent Banner with Yellow Grand Cordon, presented by Republic of China Minister of Defense Lee Tien-yu, and the Outstanding Achievement Medal, presented by Philippine Secretary of National Defense, Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr.

      His military awards include the Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with "V" Device with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star, and the Aircraft Crewman’s Badge. Ed Ross was inducted into the Artillery Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame in May 1997.

      Ed Ross has completed extensive postgraduate work in International Relations and United States Domestic Politics at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He received his Master of Arts Degree in National Security Affairs, "With Distinction," from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Quincy College, Quincy, Illinois.

      He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.; the Defense Language Institute, Washington, DC; and the American Embassy School for Chinese Language and Area Studies, Taichung, Taiwan.

      He has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. He is the author of numerous articles on US-China-Taiwan military relations and other topics. He writes a weekly Internet column posted at EWRoss.com and The DailyCaller.com.

In Bob Woodward’s new book, Obama’s Wars, he reveals highly classified and sensitive information about lethal CIA clandestine counterterrorism operations, including drone attacks and secret CIA-run “counterterrorism pursuit teams” to kill terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Woodward does not reveal the identities of CIA covert operatives, but his and other revelations, including that President Barack Obama has authorized the killing of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, suggest that one or more “assassins” not unlike Vince Flynn’s fictional Mitch Rapp are out there.

For those of you who haven’t read any of the 11 popular Mitch Rapp novels, Rapp is the terrorist’s worst nightmare. They can’t hide from him, they can’t kill him, and they can’t outwit him; and when he catches up to them, their fate is sealed.

The most recent novel, American Assassin, is a prequel that tells the story of Rapp’s recruitment, training, and first missions. A former all-American captain of the Syracuse University lacrosse team, Rapp seeks retribution for the death of his first love on Pan Am 103 over Lockerby, Scotland. CIA covert operative and future CIA director Irene Kennedy recruits Rapp into the CIA’s Orion Team. It’s so secret that only a handful of people in the agency know about it; and it’s outside the CIA’s official structure and Congressional oversight. Its purpose is to kill the most dangerous terrorists and make the others live in fear for their lives.

As you might expect, over the first 10 books, Congress and the media learn Rapp’s identity and about his exploits, forcing him to battle the terrorists and those in Washington, D.C., who disapprove of his methods. The first three books in the series predated 9/11, President George W. Bush’s aggressive approach to the war on terror, and the covert operations revealed in Woodward’s book. They gave readers a glimpse, however, into what the terrorist threat was to become and the controversy it would cause. The books before and after 9/11 explore the political, moral, and practical dilemmas America must confront as it defends itself against Islamic terrorists.

Mitch Rapp, the protagonist Flynn uses to delve into these issues, is compelling and realistic; and the political conflict over interrogating and killing terrorists that Rapp confronts is hardly fiction. Flynn captures precisely the debate between those who believe CIA covert operatives were or are out of control and don’t reflect American values and those who are willing to push the envelope to protect American lives. He portrays through Rapp the frustration Americans in the covert counterterrorism world feel when they are attacked for putting their lives on the line for their country.

Flynn also nails the internal conflicts among presidential advisors, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and Congress that we watch play out in the media and that Woodward talks about in his book. As Rapp stalks terrorists, he and Kennedy must contend with self-aggrandizing politicians, political appointees bent on garnering power, and liberals concerned about terrorists’ rights and ridding the CIA of its covert operations capabilities. Only the support of a grateful president protects them.

When we read books like Flynn’s or movies based on them — a Mitch Rapp film is in the works — we tell ourselves it’s only fiction; there is no real Mitch Rapp. His exploits are too far fetched, and real assassins aren’t patriotic characters like Rapp.

  • JoeJ

    Killing Terrorists!

    We are to the point were we kill one, and five pop up!

    How stupid can this get – a world war maybe?

    What has Zionist wrought?