Editor Note: Due to technical problems, this Book Salon is being re-scheduled, date to be announced

Sting of the Drone (novel)

Chat with Richard A. Clarke about his new book, hosted by spocko. Today at 5pm ET, 2pm PT.

In Washington, the Kill Committee gathers in the White House’s Situation Room to pick the next targets for the United States drone program. At an airbase just outside Las Vegas, a team of pilots, military personnel and intelligence officers follow through on the committee’s orders, finding the men who have been deemed a threat to national security and sentenced to death.

On the other side of the world, in the mountains where the drones hunt their prey, someone has decided to fight back. And not just against the unmanned planes that circle their skies, but against the Americans at home who control them.

Richard A. Clarke served for thirty years in the United States Government, including an unprecedented ten continuous years as a White House official, serving three consecutive Presidents. In the White House he was Special Assistant to the President for Global Affairs, Special Advisor to the President for Cyberspace, and National Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism.  Prior to his White House years, he served as a diplomat, including as Assistant Secretary of State and held other positions in the State Department and the Pentagon.  Since leaving government in 2003, Mr. Clarke has served as an on-air consultant for ABC News for ten years, taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for five years, managed a consulting firm, chaired the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute, and written six books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the national number one bestseller Against All Enemies and Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It. (Thomas Dunne Books)

Yahoo News has an interview with Clarke about the book, and his concerns about the military use of drones, it’s not embeddable but can be viewed here.

“What I try to do in the book is to let you see the real people involved in this,” Clarke said. “The real people are in Las Vegas. The planes may be flying in Afghanistan or Pakistan, killing people in Pakistan, killing people in Yemen, but the pilots are Americans living outside of Las Vegas.”

Clarke has woven certain truths about the drone program throughout his work of fiction, he said, in an effort to simultaneously entertain and educate his readership.

“Most Americans don’t realize that at the high point of the Iraq [and] Afghanistan wars, we would have 50 drones up around the world simultaneously,” he said. “Most Americans wouldn’t know that we’ve killed over 2000 people with drones in 5 countries and that we’re still doing it.”