Jack Ryan 12 - The Teeth of the Tiger

Jack Ryan 12 - The Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy

Book: Jack Ryan 12 - The Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tom Clancy
discuss an entry-level job,” the former senator told him right away. He'd never been one for beating about the bush, which was one of the reasons he and his visitor's father had gotten along so well.
    “Doing what, exactly?” Jack asked, with his eyes perked up.
    “What do you know about Hendley Associates?”
    “Only what I've already told you.”
    “Okay, nothing of what I'm about to tell you can be repeated anywhere. Not anywhere. Are you clear on that?”
    “Yes, sir.” And just that fast, everything was clear as hell. He'd guessed right, Jack told himself. Damn.
    “Your father was one of my closest friends. I say 'was' because we can't see each other anymore, and we talk very rarely. Usually because he calls here. People like your dad never retire—never all the way, anyway. Your father was one of the best spooks who ever lived. He did some things that were never written down—at least not on government paper—and probably never will be written down. In this case, 'never' means fifty years or so. Your father is doing his memoirs. He's doing two versions, one for publication in a few years, and another that won't see the light of day for a couple of generations. It will not be published until after his death. That's his order.”
    It stuck hard at Jack that his father was making plans for after his own death. His dad—dead? It was a lot to grasp except in a distant, intellectual sense. “Okay,” he managed to say. “Does Mom know this stuff?”
    “Probably—no, almost certainly not. Some of it may not exist even at
    
    
     Langley
    
    
    . The government occasionally does things that are not committed to paper. Your father had a gift for stumbling into the middle of stuff like that.”
    “And what about you?” Junior asked.
    Hendley leaned back and took a philosophical tone. "The problem is that no matter what you do, there's somebody who won't like it much. Like a joke. No matter how funny it is, somebody will be offended by it. But at a high level, when somebody is offended, instead of calling you on it to your face, he goes off and cries his eyes out to a member of the press, and it goes public, usually with a great big disapproving tone attached to it. Most often that's careerism raising its ugly head—getting ahead by backstabbing somebody senior to you. But it's also because people in senior positions like to make policy in accordance with their own version of right and wrong. That's called ego. Problem is, everyone has a different version of right and wrong. Some of them can be downright crazy.
    "Now, take our current President. In the Senate Cloakroom, once Ed told me he was so opposed to capital punishment that he couldn't even have abided executing Adolf Hitler. That was after a few drinks—he tends to be verbose when he's been drinking, and the sad fact is that he drinks a little too much on occasion. When he said that to me, I joked about it. I told him not to say it in a speech—the Jewish vote is big and powerful and they might see it less as a deeply held principle than as a high-order insult. In the abstract a lot of people oppose capital punishment. Okay, I can respect that, though I do not agree with it. But the drawback to that position is that you cannot then deal decisively with people who do harm to others—sometimes serious harm—without violating your principles, and to some people, their consciences or political sensibilities will not let them do it. Even though the sad fact of the matter is that due process of law is not always effective, frequently outside our borders, and, on rare occasions, inside them.
    “Okay, how does this affect
    
    
     America
    
    
    ? CIA doesn't kill people—ever. At least not since the 1950s. Eisenhower was very skillful at using CIA. He was, in fact, so brilliant at exercising power that people never knew anything was happening and thought him a dullard because he didn't do the old war dance in front of cameras. More to the point, it was a

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