= CON2: Washington Under Siege =
Prophetic Political Thriller by John T. Cullen
Homage Statement. When I was writing this novel (my first big thriller), I enjoyed many powerful influences both in books read and movies seen. The Number One influence, as I was writing this in the early 1990s, was the movie *Seven Days in May* which involves a coup against the U.S. Government. Interesting side note: I toyed with playing with an homage title like *Seven Days in October* but backed away in favor of using something more personally original.
*Seven Days in May* was written as a novel and soon filmed as a movie (screenplay by, of all people, the great Rod Serling of *Twilight Zone* fame!) during the paranoid 1950s (McCarthyism) and today my novel is more relevant than ever because we are reliving the divisive 1950s in a stark new black-and-white dystopian form. I especially point to the attempted coup of 6 Jan 2021 as an indicator that we need to be ultra-vigilant about the wrong-wing influencers hijacking our U.S. Constitution again for the usual reasons: money and power for the oligarchs who own the media and poison the air with their lies. *Divide and Conquer* is an old truism coming back to life more real than ever.
Other paranoid political thriller movies that influenced me included *Three Days of the Condor* and *The Parallax View* and *The Manchurian Candidate*. There are numerous other influential classics in the genre, like *Riddle of the Sands*. To name just one more: *The Day of the Jackal* centered on an assassination attempt against French President Charles de Gaulle. Here is further good info about Political Thriller films.
Dystopian novels of the literary-political subgenre include George Orwell's 1984 (written in 1948), Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here (1935), Jack London's The Iron Heel (1908), Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (1954), and others.
This special January 2021 edition (*Washington Under Siege*) was issued in response to the deadly, terrifying 6 January 2021 coup attempt in the U.S. Capitol. We should see that as a stark warning of what is likely yet to come as ruthless manipulators with money and power manipulate the ignorant and gullible masses, and continue to orchestrate ways to kill democracy, banish the Enlightenment, wipe out a quarter millennium of remarkable nationhood, and usher in a new dark age of tyranny. Behind it are always the tiny minority of all-powerful oligarchs who own all the money and all the power. It's nothing new: we saw it with the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Milosevic to name just a few, and today's dumpsters blindly fall right into the same ditch leading to mass death and destruction.
Hotel Generals That's what they are called. Originally brought in to protect CON2 (the Second Constitutional Convention) they are really a tyrant force waiting to pounce as soon as CON2 descends into chaos.
Immunity Above The Law. What nobody has thought through, apparently, is that when and if Section V of the U.S. Constitution is invoked, a CON2 will of procedural necessity enjoy a total immunity from interference beyond the reach of all three existing branches of Government. I see this as precisely parallel to 'diplomatic immunity' also enjoyed in capitals of diplomacy, but far scarier and farther-reaching. Once the gavel does down, and CON2 is in session, nobody can do anything to prevent the coup plotters from tearing the Constitution to pieces in favor of a new fake ('biblical' etc to confound the gullible).
Blueprint for Chaos and Tyranny. Once the dark money operators (cynical disinformation news broadcasters, corrupt politicians on the corporate take, dishonest pseudo-religious leaders whipping up mass frenzies, etc.) have achieved their goal of reducing the U.S. Government to chaos (because nobody can touch the Convention) then the so-called Hotel Generals step in to crush democracy with blood and tanks.
"I Am In Control Here." The hidden Hitler figure behind it all? I could not resist using (out of context, but fun) the terrifying pronouncement after President Ronald Reagan had been shot and was in critical condition in a Washington D.C. hospital, made by the White House Chief of Staff when reporters from major news networks rushed to contact the White House for information. The Chief of Staff, General Alexander Haig, stated in words meant to show leadership, but instead sending chills through the country: "I am in control here."
So says the leader of the Hotel Generals in my novel CON2 as the Convention fails and the Capital is blazing with blood and steel in a new civil war. My own trusting analysis back then is now called into question by Haig's later statements quoted in this : Wikipedia article. What Haig actually failed to convey was a sense that the lawful succession of power is established by the Constitution and does not pass through the White House Chief of Staff in the event the elected U.S. President is killed or otherwise incapacitated. The real person in control of the Government (rather than running tea services, etc. inside the White House) should have been Vice President George H. W. Bush. Bush was quickly on his way to Washington D.C. but failed to make the appropriate claim to assuming presumably temporary power as President. Whatever way we want to slice & dice it, this was a blunder of historical and potentially catastrophic consequence if the coup plotters from my novel had been running things as they do in my story.
Please, let us not be rushed into a CON2 by the sorts of people described in my novel; there are plenty of them ready to pounce, and 6 Jan 2021 was only a small sample of things yet to come. Let's not go there. Please.
Let's Save the USA From Chaos and Tyranny
As a literary, philosophical work, my novel clearly demonstrates in logical steps why CON2 must never happen. Thoughtful readers will see the carefully developed, step-by-step warning thesis under an enjoyable candy wrapper of an entertainment.
Bottom line: there must never be a Second Constitutional Convention (CON2) as outlined in Section V of the U.S. Constitution. Even with amendments, Article V opens the door to potential horrors of historical consequence.
Stated simply: once the gavel comes down, and CON2 is in session, the Convention and its delegates are totally beyond the reach of all laws. Even the U.S. Constitution hangs in limbo. Of necessity, the Convention falls under a form of diplomatic immunity. All levels of government stand helplessly by as madness unfolds. That is the warning I have attempted to convey after thinking it all through in the early 1990s. NOTE: several leading U.S. university law schools did accept copies of my novel as reference works.
From The Amazon and Other Retail Blurbs:
The author could have written a dry academic thesis outlining his insights. Instead, he chose to write a philosophical novel that is both a thought experiment ('what if') and a rousing fictional entertainment. Washington Under Siege as entertainment is at once a suspense thriller, a murder mystery, a prescient 1990s techno-cyber-thriller, and a love story.
As an entertainment, this novel is one of several adventure thrillers by John T. Cullen involving underlying progressive political themes (among some 50 books he has written in various genres). See his other thrillers for underlying progressive themes (e.g., *Siberian Girl*, *Orbital Sniper*, and *Valley of Seven Castles, a Luxembourg Thriller*.
Two young U.S. Army officers, serving in differing intelligence units in frightened, beleaguered Washington, D.C. as CON2 begins, join forces in a puzzling murder investigation. Captain David Gordon and Lieutenant Victoria (Tory) Breen are on the trail of a missing Coast Guard computer genius. The trail takes them to a military/commercial cyber world named CloudMaster, in whose corridors they find the keys to a grand conspiracy aimed at hijacking CON2. Not long ago, the U.S. Vice President was murdered by domestic terrorists . From there, we track a cabal of generals, admirals, and others who are determined to save us from ourselves, scrap all that evil liberal and godless nonsense in the Constitution, and provide us with a robust scriptural tyranny that would make Oliver Cromwell, Savanarola, or Cotton Mather envious. Not to mention enriching the cynical, dishonest oligarchs laughing in the shadows, as they count their billions while hiding behind all that phony patriotic and religious blather, perversions of genuine noble ideals.
*CON2: Washington Under Siege* (Jan 2021) is a special edition of the 1992 classic political and philosophical thriller by John T. Cullen, praised on its first release by the late Sen. John McCain and Justice Robert Bork among others. Several major law schools accepted copies for their law libraries as thought experiment research exemplars. The author is an Active Member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW). He holds several college degrees including an MSBA (Boston University) earned while serving five years in Europe with the U.S. Army.