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‘A Lone Wolf’
Kill Them All: A Review of Chapter 1 of Licensed to Kill by Robert Young Pelton
© 2020 James LaFond
Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror, Three Rivers Press, NY, 2006, pages 17-35
In Pelton’s smoothly executed memoir of state proxy mayhem, Billy Waugh comes off as a man out of time. Wanting to be a soldier he is denied enlistment in WWII due to his age of 15. He does fight in Korea and goes on to do 11 years in the Special Forces, which ended when he was shot to shit leading Laotian mercenaries against NVA regulars. Thence on, Billy would ever seek a war role and be assigned frustrating missions forever in the grey zone beneath recognition, fighting for a country so sissy it could not bear to applaud his actions.
As Pelton interviewed the man who straddled the Cold War and The War on Terror, the reader finds out that Billy drives between Florida and Washington D.C. often, refusing to fly because he has a need to pack heat. Instinctively, this old killer knows, in 2007, in his 70s, that the nation he fought for overseas was already becoming something akin to those shithole nations where he had served.
The most fascinating aspect about Billy’s career is his work in Shithole Central, Africa. First, he does an Agency job training Libya’s Special Forces for the very science-fiction writing dictator colonel that the U.S. would murder a decade and a half later. His boss was then thrown under the bus by the Agency, which lied to congress, I think, 51 times, in the process.
The reek of it still smells.
Then, he is tasked with tracking Osama Bin Laden in the Sudan and writes daily reports on how this so-called enemy of the U.S. who had previously worked with the U.S. against the Soviets, could be killed for the cost of “a 10-cent bullet.” Yet action was not taken on the man who could have been snuffed so easily by maimed-old Billy, some 35-years after he got shot to shit by the NVA.
Makes one wonder who Osama was working for?
Billy starts out his interview by pointing out that unless you are willing to kill non-combatants in your area of operations, that you will never be able to secure territory.
At some point in the life of many of those reading this, men like Billy will be training and directing the activities of military contractors and even mental patients, in the U.S. against its citizens. Perhaps they already have, in Vegas, Florida.
Pelton sketches out the veritable shackles of inaction that various presidential and congressional edicts and investigations had placed on the Agency, which seems to construe its purpose as killing enemy and even allied heads of state. The narrative naively fails to suggest the obvious implication, that by pissing off Bin Laden, and letting him build his operation, and then releasing many of his operatives on the eve of his planned attacks, that more than one intelligence agency which had been hamstrung by the soft American conscience against political murder, would once again be Licensed to Kill.
Like Col. Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein, other Islamic leaders in U.S. areas of interest, Bin Laden would be killed after having served the U.S. as an actor against other enemies, but ultimately as a boogie man to threaten the American people. One wonders what domestic agents of the Deep State agencies—perhaps McVey or the Vegas shooter—have or will be disposed of as boogie men to terrify the vast sheep fold of America?
Will someone like Billy, a man who believes with whole heart in his patriotism, be retooled from agent to threat to justify an ever more pervasive police state as we descend into the hive mind?
For those of you who will be hunted by mercenaries lead by veterans of the War on Terror enforcing the criminal Patriot Act, then reading Pelton’s light-hearted exposition will grant you the perspective of the morally justified murder profiteer of the sort that will one day serve the boot and shoot warrant to heroically relieve the American People of the threat posed by your gun ownership.
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