Trust no one. Learn the facts… the truth is out there. USS LIBERTY INCIDENT

USS-Liberty 1On June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, an electronic surveillance vessel, was steaming in international waters off the coast of Egypt. The Six-Day War was raging, and Israel was headed toward an unequivocal victory over the Arab Coalition.

It was a clear day, with good visibility. Without warning, Israeli military aircraft attacked the Liberty with rockets, machine guns, and napalm. Approximately 30 minutes later, three Israeli motor torpedo boats attacked, launching five torpedoes. Four missed, but one torpedo exploded against the hull of the Liberty, killing 25 of her crew.

These are indisputable facts.

And that’s about where agreement ends. What is known as the USS Liberty incident is still shrouded in mystery. The official position is, and has been since June of 1967, that the attack was a terrible mistake. Years later, Israel did pay a small amount as restitution to the families of the 34 killed and 171 injured crew members. And a token payment for damage to the ship was made to the U.S. government.

But the fundamental question—why did this happen?—has never been answered to the satisfaction of the surviving crew members, those in the intelligence community close to the initial reports, and the naval officers involved in the court of inquiry. The fact that the NSA still has not fully declassified all documents only fuels the conspiracy speculation.images

Why did the Navy order the crew of the Liberty to never speak about the events, under threat of imprisonment? Why did Admiral McCain order the court of inquiry to complete its investigation within a week of the attack, when a thorough investigation would take 6 months of longer? Why did President Johnson order Naval jets launched from the Saratoga, 400 miles to the west of the Liberty, to return to ship?

There are too many people with first-hand knowledge of the attack—crew members, intelligence officers reading teletype reports of the attack, military crewmen recording intercepted Israeli aircraft communications, and Naval officers involved in the aftermath investigation—who all insist, to this day, that the attack was unambiguously deliberate, to simply dismiss their statements. Many of these individuals have repeatedly called for a comprehensive and independent investigation to set the record straight.

Even if you disbelieve the firsthand reports, it is incredulous to think that the Liberty could be mistaken as anything other than a U.S. Naval vessel. She was flying an American flag (Israel disputes this, but it just doesn’t make sense that she would be sailed close to a war zone and not have her flag displayed), her hull number was clearly visible, and the ship’s name also visible on the stern.

But why would Israel want to sink the Liberty? And, more troubling, why would President Johnson be unwilling to intervene with every asset in the region to assist the Liberty? Many theories have been put forward. Israel wanted to block the Liberty from intercepting Hunting Savage BSradio transmissions on the eve of the invasion of the Golan Heights… Israel wanted to destroy evidence, possibly collected by the Liberty, concerning a massacre of Egyptian prisoners (this allegation is in dispute)… Israel wanted to draw the U.S. into the conflict by laying blame for the attack on Egypt.

As time passes and those involved in the incident die, and evidence is destroyed or lost, perhaps the truth will never be known with certainty.

To learn more, follow the links in this post. As far as motive goes, I’ve put forward my own hypothesis in my novel, Hunting Savage.

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An American in China

Karaoke booth

Karaoke booth

If you’ve followed me on social media, you know that my day job has me engaged in developing and commercializing clean-energy technology, primarily hydrogen and fuel cells. This work brings me to Asia every 2 months or so, as that region of the world is investing heavily in clean-energy products. One of the benefits of international travel is the opportunity to experience other cultures, and engage in conversation about international issues. Another benefit is that all that time on airplanes, waiting in airports, and sitting in solitude in hotel rooms is wonderful time to write my next thriller.

I want to share some photos taken in Eastern China on recent trips. Since I don’t speak or read Mandarin or any of the many dialects, there are still many mysteries to me as I travel around the

Shopping mall

Shopping mall

country. A good example is this photo taken in a gargantuan shopping mall in Shanghai (first two photos). I watched people enter and leave these colorful booths. Inside is a video screen, and the booth is large enough to accommodate two persons, who don a set of headphones upon entering. As near as I can decipher, these appear to be karaoke booths. There were at least a dozen in two rows at this mall.

One widely acknowledged challenge in China is air pollution. One significant contributor is vehicles, especially diesel engines. The government has implemented measures to ban diesel engines in heavy vehicles within a handful of years. As this photo shows, traffic can be gnarly. This picture was taken along a major highway travelling south toward Dongguan.

Great Wall

Great Wall

China is so incredibly rich in history and culture, that it can be hard to understand and fully appreciate. The iconic Great Wall, was built relatively late in the history of China. This photo is of yours truly and my good friend (and interpreter, historian, and culture buff) David Lim. The section of Wall that I was fortunate enough to walk is just outside of Beijing, and probably the same section walked by Nixon and later US Presidents (including Obama). Beijing is a city I definitely want to visit as a tourist. My brief exposure to the Opera House and the Olympic Village was immensely enjoyable, but there is so much more to see.

Traveling south again to Shanghai and the surrounding area, I had the opportunity to visit

Jiaxing, old city

Jiaxing, old city

Jiaxing—a relatively small city of only 5 million inhabitants. This last photo was taken in a historic district, and provides a glimpse of what the city was like a few hundred years ago.

My travels have taught me that people are fundamentally the same around the world. Sure, we do not always agree, that’s true even within the US. But we all share the same needs and desires. I respect my friends and colleagues in China, but do not agree with all of their government policies. Expect to see China and US-Sino politics featured prominently in the next Peter Savage novel—Guarding Savage. It is based on my experiences with the people who call this fascinating country home.

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A new year, with some exciting news!

Deadly Atonement 1Happy 2018 to all, and I hope the holiday season was merry and filled with much laughter and good company.

The New Year was marked with the release of Deadly Atonement, a novella featuring Danya Biton, a former Mossad agent. You first met her as Nadya Wheeler in Hunting Savage. This short story (available only on Kindle, $0.99) provides a more in-depth exploration of this character. It is refreshingly fun to focus on a female, kick-ass protagonist, and I hope you like reading about her as much as I enjoyed writing about her. Expect to see Danya again alongside Peter Savage. Amazon is running a giveaway throughout January—10 lucky persons will receive a free copy of Deadly Atonement (no purchase necessary)—I hope you enter.

Also, my friends at Light Messages Publishing have shared with me that Amazon will be running a Daily Deal featuring the Peter Savage 4-book set on January 13. A huge “thank you” to Amazon for their continued marketing support. More to come, but mark your Jonathan 3calendar.

And finally, expect to see the release of Relentless Savage as an audio book in the first half of the year. I am thankful that Jonathan Horvath is reading again. He’s been spending time in the recording studio, which is always exciting. Ever the professional, Jonathan always asks good questions to get deeper into each character. I find this a very creative and enjoyable exchange.

So, stay tuned, as details are shared over Twitter and Facebook, as well as this web site. May 2018 be a great year for you!

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Holiday Spirit should last all year

imagesAs the Holiday season fast approaches, I find myself reflecting on the current state of global affairs and reminiscing on my childhood—a time when everything appeared so much simpler and innocent. I suppose that is a common memory of adults as they think back on a time when the daily news carried no interest at all. But, sadly, there are many children whose days are not filled with joyful play, who do not have the privilege to attend school on a regular basis—many children who may not know both their parents, or for whom every day is a struggle to survive.

You may think I am referring to Syrian or Rohingya refugees; or maybe Sudanese or Palestinian or Yemeni displaced civilians. And yes, you’d be right. But those aren’t the only people suffering. Strife, poverty, and conflict are present in every land occupied by humans. Indeed, it seems to be a fundamental trait of humans to inflict cruelty and harm on others. Why this is, I can’t say.

In your own city, there are the homeless who need shelter and food. It is shameful that in a land as wealthy and advanced as we live in, millions of people are living at or below the images (2)poverty level. In a country that mandates free universal education for children, tens of thousands of children sleep in a car every night, and the lunch served at school may be the only meal of the day.

It is not sufficient to point a finger of self-righteous blame at the government. Governments the world over have always placed far more importance on achieving and maintaining power than they have every placed on helping those genuinely in need. No, the answer lies not in government, but in the deeds of each of us, as individuals.

With 7.6 billion people in the world today, we have the power to effect whatever change we desire. Just imagine what could be done if even one tenth of the global population decided to make a difference? What if 760 million people made the conscious decision that we are of one race, the human race, and that every life is worthy of respect, dignity, the images (1)opportunity to live free of judgement, to have food and shelter.

And so, I am issuing this challenge. With eyes wide open, look for those in your neighborhood who could use a little help. Don’t judge them, don’t ask for anything in return. That guy standing on the corner, holding a cardboard sign in the rain could use a buck or two. How about the haggard woman trying to buy a tin of discount cat food at the supermarket, only to realize she is a few coins short? For the price of a Starbucks latte, you can make a significant difference in a real human life, right before your eyes. Not forever, but for the moment. That’s where it begins. Solutions don’t have to be grandiose, they just have to happen.

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4-Book set makes USA TODAY Bestseller list!

US Today Bestseller squareIt’s official–the Peter Savage thrillers four-book set is now a USA TODAY bestseller, Apple iBooks bestseller, and Amazon bestseller. Thank you to my reading fans for you support and encouragement. And thank you to my publisher, Light Messages, for executing a fantastic publicity campaign through the last days of October and into November. When I began this journey with Peter Savage and friends, the though of achieving USA TODAY bestselling status was the stuff of dreams. Now that dream has become a reality, and I am absolutely thrilled.

The four-book set is only available in ebook format (click here for Amazon and here for Apple iBooks).

CoverThere is plenty more to come, as Guarding Savage is in production for release in 2018. In this latest thriller, Peter forges new friendships and faces new adversaries in Brunei and the South China Sea. And, I am happy to report that Diesel returning to the front lines, helping to defend Peter and friends.

Just a reminder, if you enjoy audio books, Crossing Savage is available through Audible. The production features the artistry of Jonathan Horvath as the reader. Light Messages has begun production of Relentless Savage in audio book format (scheduled for release late 2017), and Jonathan is again engaged to be the reader. It is truly a pleasure working with Jonathan, and feeling the emotion and drama he conveys with only his voice.

Finally, I have drafted a short story based on the character of Nadya Wheeler from Hunting Savage. More to come as this manuscript enters production. A release date has not been set yet, but I’ll pass along when it is.

Cheers!

 

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New page–Book Reviews !!

should-you-self-publishI really enjoy reading action thrillers. Always on searching for a fresh voice, my reading list usually emphasizes new and emerging authors. Since book reviews are vitally important to authors, I also post a large number of reviews–mostly on Amazon and Goodreads. Occasionally, I’ll even write a concise endorsement that authors may use on the front cover or back cover of their book. Over the years, a long list of people have helped advance my writing career, and I want to do the same through fair and honest reviews that draw critical attention to other author’s work.

So, in this spirit, I’ve just kicked-offed a Book Reviews page on my website. If you are an author or publisher seeking an honest review, let me know. I love reading action thrillers spiced up with some political intrigue, or military events, or science twist (think Matthew Reilly, James Rollins, Steve Berry, Clive Cussler, Lee Child, Shane Brown, Rick Jones, David Lynn Golemon, Tom Clancy, and Michael Crichton). And what better book to begin with than Steve Berry’s The Lost Order.

My review policy is at the top of the page (click here). My goal is to make this process simple and easy. So, I hope to hear from a bunch of authors trying to get their latest novel 21371041_1076773622459129_5593897449798919160_nreviewed. Don’t be shy!

Oh, and as a reader, please do post reviews of those novels you enjoyed reading–pay it forward!

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Of course Russia tried to influence our election–here’s why!

images (3)Did the Russian government truly attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election? This is the question that seems to dominate our national dialog. Time will tell as the investigations run their course and the evidence is released. However, in my opinion, the answer is: “Yes, of course Russia tried to influence the election! And I’d wager they have tried before.”

How can I be so certain? The answer is clear—because we’ve done it to other countries. Yes, sad but true. The United States—champion of liberty, democracy, freedom—has engaged in many actions aimed at influencing the choice/selection of government of other countries. No, not only meddling in elections—no, we’ve used the CIA to play hardball. I’m talking coups; overthrowing governments by force (think Bay of Pigs attempted invasion); funding, arming, and training anti-government rebels; assassinations; and the like. When it comes to playing dirty to change a government not to our liking, the CIA pretty much wrote the book. Well, the CIA and the former KGB.

So, you may wonder how many times America has attempted to remove a foreign government from power? Other than the aforementioned Bay of Pigs invasion—President Kennedy’s effort to remove Fidel Castro from power—the answer is a hell of a lot! There have been more than 50 regime change actions by our government since the end of WWII. And this practice, most often using force, goes back to the late 19th century. Fortunately, there has been ample reporting on this subject. See the selected links below; many more references can be found through an internet search.images (2)

In more recent history, we have President Bush fabricating a war with Iraq for the stated goal of removing Sadam Hussein from power. It worked, but left the Middle East in a mess, and the U.S. embroiled in yet another conflict in that region.

President Obama was not averse to playing this game as he affected regime change in Libya. Again, the unintended consequences of that action include a wave of civilian refugees fleeing their former homeland, and a power vacuum that nurtured many militant factions. Bad enough, but that action pales in comparison to the Mr. Obama’s program of regime change in Syria. True, this effort started under President Bush, but was escalated first in 2009 and again in 2013 to include funding, weapons, and training of anti-government militias using a black-ops program carried out by the CIA. We all know the result too well. Syria is mired in a horrendous civil war causing the worst humanitarian crisis of this decade. Russia has allied with the government of Assad, bringing U.S. forces and Russian forces into potential conflict.

It would be quite accurate to say that when Uncle Sam decides to mess around with changing a foreign government, we do so with a very heavy hand. Not the program of misinformation, hacking of the DNC data bases, and candidate smear campaign that Russia is alleged to have carried out to influence which candidate voter selected in the November 2016 election.

Should we accept that a foreign government might attempt to influence our elections? Well, bear in mind that wealthy individuals and corporation use their money to do just that. But, they have that right as citizens of America. No, I don’t advocate that we accept interference from outside parties. But we do need to be realistic. If the U.S. is going to continue with this policy of regime change—through force or influence—then we better be willing to accept the same will happen to us.

new-hs-coverThose members of Congress who display such indignant outrage for journalists, need to drop the act, stop being hypocritical, and clean up OUR actions. America must be the epitome of justice and free choice. We must change our policies and bring an end to these black-ops aimed at changing the rightful governments of other nations.

The American-led intervention in Syria under Obama (but dates to 2005 with arming of anti-government militias) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-led_intervention_in_Syria

Focuses on Obama and H. Clinton, including drone assassination program https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/08/regime-change-madness-hillary-obama-and-murderous-mayhem-in-the-muslim-world/

List of successful and attempted efforts to overthrow legitimate government (since WWII) https://williamblum.org/essays/read/overthrowing-other-peoples-governments-the-master-list

Newsweek and Foreign Policy on U.S.-led regime change http://www.newsweek.com/cia-has-been-undermining-governments-years-531609      http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/20/mapped-the-7-governments-the-u-s-has-overthrown/

My latest release, Hunting Savage, deals with secret deals between the U.S. government and foreign nations. The story is based on true event from the 1967 Six-Day War, in which the USS Liberty was attacked by air and naval forces of Israel and nearly sunk. The manuscript was completed last year prior to the Presidential election and charges of Russian meddling.

 

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Subject: Nailed it

CVN76This morning I received an email (below) from an active duty seaman serving on the USS Ronald Reagan. Being able to connect with readers is what makes writing so rewarding, and I wanted to share this and encourage comments from other readers. Every email that comes through my web site, I read. And I promise to get back to you.

From: [NAME REMOVED]@CVN76.Navy.mil

Subject: Nailed it.

Message Body:

Mr. Edlund I downloaded hunting savage before we left for deployment and didn’t think much of it just a good book to read hopefully. Man was I in for treat and truly uncovered a real gem. Immediately after I finished hunting savage I ended up downloading the other three books not knowing that I had just read the 4th book of the series. Didn’t matter though because it didn’t spoil anything for me throughout the other books. As of now I have finished all of them but deadly savage which I just started. Its a win lose thing because I know its going to be a great book but really don’t want to be done with the series. Anyway I loved to read growing up but lost a lot of that interest throughout my teenagenew-hs-cover years and early journey through adulthood. Can honestly say these books have rekindled my thirst to read and they set the bar extremely high to say the least. Currently I’m serving in the Navy and just want to say thank you for your books and your appreciation for the military that you so clearly show in your books. Great books, great storyline, and am looking forward to the 5th book of the series. Keep on keeping on. Cheers. – Chap

This mail is sent via contact form on Peter Savage Novels http://www.petersavagenovels.com

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Remember the USS Liberty

USS-Liberty 1Memorial Day. We observe this holiday in remembrance of those who have died in service to their country, and it is fitting that we do so. It is important to never forget the sacrifices our service men and women have made, lest we take for granted those sacrifices and fail to avoid conflict whenever possible and humanely reasonable.

I am a firm advocate that every member of Congress and the President should spend time in front of the black wall (the Vietnam Memorial) across the street from the Lincoln Memorial. More than 55,000 Americans gave their lives in that fruitless political gesture.

Today, I’d like to bring attention to another event that cost American lives. This event imagesoccurred on June 8, 1967—nearly 50 years ago. The event I am referring to was the brazen daylight attack on the USS Liberty, a lightly-armed, American Naval surveillance vessel. At the time of the attack, the Liberty was in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Egypt. If you are a history student, you may already know that this event occurred during the Six-Day War. The Liberty was flying the Stars and Stripes when she was attacked without warning by Israeli aircraft. Strafed, rocketed, and napalmed for hours, the ship was already in bad shape, the crew suffering heavy casualties, when Israeli fast-attack boats fired torpedoes—four in total although only one struck and detonated on the hull.

Although the US flag was shot down, along with the antenna, the crew managed to raise both again, and a mayday was radioed begging for help. The US Sixth fleet was farther to the west, and aircraft were dispatched from the USS America, only to be recalled. A second time, planes were launched, and recalled again. The inexplicable decision to leave the Liberty defenseless and in danger of sinking came from none other than President Lyndon Johnson. By the time the attack ended hours after it began, 34 American seamen were images (1)dead, another 171 were wounded.

The event has been covered under a blanket of secrecy for decades. Immediately after the tragedy, survivors were ordered, under penalty of imprisonment, to remain silent. No reasonable and complete accounting has been offered by the US government, and the excuse that it was a mistaken attack by Israel, is ridiculous in light of the repeated waves of aircraft of naval vessels that attacked the Liberty for hours.

Full accounting is long overdue. The tragedy of USS Liberty incident should never be forgotten.

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Some heroes have four legs

Got your backCanis lupus familiaris, more commonly known as the domestic dog, has been serving his master in conflict for centuries. The Romans trained huge mastiffs for battle alongside the foot soldiers. Reportedly, one Centurion handler could manage four or five of these powerful dogs with leashes gripped in both hands.

Police dogs are fairly well known, but combat dogs less frequently get mention in the media, although they play a significant role, especially in the often chaotic battle with terrorist groups that prefer to mingle with civilian populations. soldier and dog 1Special Forces have integrated exceptionally-well trained dogs into their units, fitting the canines with some sophisticated kit including body armor, cameras, and tracking combatdog 1devices. Canines will deploy by parachute (tandem jumps) or other means, right alongside the two-legged soldiers. These dogs have a reputation for being fearless and exceptionally loyal.

A significant character in Hunting Savage is a red pit bull named Diesel. In the story, we learn that Diesel was rescued from the SEAL dogHumane Society by Peter Savage, and they develop a strong bond, enduring a deadly pursuit as Peter becomes both hunter and prey. To honor the work of the Humane Society and other non-profits and individuals who tirelessly strive to reduce the suffering of our four-legged companions, I am making a donation from each book sold to the Humane Society of Central Oregon.

I enjoyed bringing Diesel to life in the story, and find dogs fascinating as they often prefer to associate with humans even over their HSCO Logoown kind. While people continually focus on what makes one group different from another (race, gender, political affiliation, heritage, social standing, the list is long), dogs seem to be indifferent to the fact that humans and canines are entirely different species. How often dogs treat people with a measure of loyalty and friendship that is lacking in human-to-human interactions.

So it is, at times when the human race does not appear to be so civilized, I think we could learn a lot from dogs. After all, we really aren’t that different.

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