cover image Enemy Within

Enemy Within

Phillip Thompson. Salvo Press, $11 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-9664520-2-0

The managing editor of the Marine Corps Times envisions a chilling near-future when a U.S. president without prior military experience orchestrates congressional repeal of the Posse Comitatus Law, thus freeing him to use the military to intervene in matters of civil law. This shift in power plays into the hands of militia groups across the country, who have prophesied this critical development and will use the ensuing erosion of civil rights to activate their violent plans. ATF Special Agent Wade Stuart knows this, as he has infiltrated the Mississippi People's Militia, a terrorist group, to prevent their plot to assassinate Mississippi's governor and take control of the state. When the MPM napalms the Mississippi state courthouse, Stuart, faced with lack of support from his feckless ATF superiors in Washington, must rush to beat the president's deployment in Mississippi of the 2nd Marine Division, with its attendant risk of widespread carnage. The mission becomes even more desperate when his sexy new girlfriend, Lee Ann Weatherby, is kidnapped by henchmen of her 77-year-old great-uncle, the MPM's fanatic leader. However stylistically inept--Thompson's narrative voice leaps awkwardly between journalistic authority and clunky attempts at the interiority of fiction--this earnest if heavy-handed little fable is as timely as the morning headlines. Without trying to impose answers, the author asks some probing questions about national apathy, the abdication of responsibility for one's own country and the resulting decay of U.S. civil rights. (Apr.)