The Erroneous Talibani showcases all the essential components of the classic espionage novel. Exotic settings, broken hearts, treacherous allies, love, violence, redemption and vengeance spin through the book, which moves at a breakneck pace worthy of the best examples of the genre.
Greg Damet, an Annapolis graduate with eight years in Naval Intelligence is recruited by the CIA where he meets and falls in love with Jacquie Dean. Together they are sent to Afghanistan to work with the Special Forces. Greg is sent into the field while Jacquie remains at Bagram Air Base.
During Greg’s tour of duty, his plane is shot down, eats raw snake to survive and is ultimately captured and beaten nearly to death by the Taliban. He is discovered by Aysha, the daughter of a tribal chieftain and she nurses him back to health. During his recovery, the two develop a romantic attraction for each other. It is also while he is recovering that he is able to obtain information that has dire international consequences, information supplied by a CIA mole. Armed with this information, Greg is forced to kiss a tearful Aysha good-bye and do whatever it takes to get to the American Embassy in Islamabad. Greg’s initial action there is key to unraveling the mystery of the mole’s true identity.
About Richard Asner
Richard Asner describes himself as having led a “very fruitful life,” and it would be impossible to dispute him. A veteran of the U.S. Marines, which he joined at 17, he went on to graduate from the Naval Academy, like his hero Greg Damet. He then spent eight years as a naval aviator teaching midshipmen at Northwestern University during the last three years of his flying career.
Mr.Asner moved his focus to engineering and spent thirty years working in that field in the Chicago area before retiring. His primary enthusiasm is working out in his health club, but the keyboard will continue to compete with the weight room as a focus for his energy.
Interview with Richard Asner
TM:What sparked the idea for the Erroneous Talibani?
RA: It was my concern over the rising tide of the Taliban in Pakistan and a remote possibility of them getting control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
TM:Is any of the book based on your life experiences?
RA:Yes! Both Greg Damet and I graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy.
TM:What kind of research did you have to do for the book?
RA: I used Google quite extensively. It’s amazing the amount of information that is available. I also used Google earth.
TM:What advice do you have for aspiring authors.
RA:Believe in your work. Have faith in your work and never give up. You will eventually win!
TM:Tell me about any upcoming projects.
RA:I have written two additional books. One is titled “Sixty Seconds to Armageddon” and tells of Roman Hawk, CIA agent sent to work with the Mossad to track down a portable nuclear weapon to be used against Israel. After losing track of the weapon, he is found in Tel Aviv at mid-night sixty seconds before the predicted nuclear blast. The other book is called the “Al Qaeda Message”. It’s about a letter sent to a number of Al Qaeda members that describes in code their next target. It is up to the reader to decipher the code.
Read an Excerpt
Hamid Khalifa is the head of the Mid-East Division of the CIA. Born in 1971, he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Hafez Khalifa who immigrated from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. in 1965. At 18 he attends Harvard University and is there the required time to earn a B.A. and then an MBA in business. After graduation, he joins the U.S. State Department and spends seven years with them before accepting a position as assistant to the head of the Mid-East Division of the CIA. Two years later, he is offered and accepts the job as head of the division.
It is now February 3, 2007 and Hamid makes a call to long-time friend Larry Lamont, the envoy to the deputy U.S. ambassador to Pakistan.
“Good morning, Larry, Hamid Khalifa!”
“Oh yes, Hamid. How have you been? Haven’t seen you since you left the State Department. How has the CIA been treating you?”
“I haven’t had a moment to call my own since I left there four years ago. It’s a real rat race, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
“Well, as you may remember, this place can get rather hectic at times too. So what can I do for you today, Hamid?”
“I was wondering if I could meet with you in your office sometime soon to discuss an item of some importance.”
“Of course, Hamid, would you care to give me some idea of the subject matter?”
“I’m sorry, Larry. It’s something I’d rather not discuss over the phone.”
“I understand. Why don’t we meet here tomorrow at eleven o’clock and perhaps we could have lunch together afterward. Would that fit your schedule?”
“That sounds great, Larry. See you at eleven.”
It is eleven A.M., February 4 and Hamid approaches Larry’s secretary. “Hamid KHalifa to see Mr. Lamont.”
“Oh, yes, Mr. Khalifa. Mr. Lamont is expecting you. Go right in.”
“Hamid, you’re a sight for sore eyes. You look great. Have you been working out?”
“Working in, would be more like it, Larry. Working out is not part of my life right now. I wish I had the time.”
“Well if you’re that pressed for time, this meeting really must be important. I hope you’ll have time for lunch.”
“Of course! I always have time to visit with old friends.”
“Well, let’s get to the point. What’s on your mind?”
“I have recently learned of the negotiations that have taken place between the U.S. and India as well as the U.S. and Pakistan. As the CIA is responsible for the securing and safeguard of all intelligence that is needed in times of crisis, the information you have regarding the safeguards used by the Pakistani government to secure their nuclear weapons is information that should be available to and guarded by the Central Intelligence Agency. This information should be readily available for our agents to act on a moment’s notice. I strongly feel, as head of the Mid-East Division of the CIA, this is information the Agency should have.”
“I heartily agree with you, Hamid. However, I’m sure you understand I must clear this with the ambassador.”
Final agreement is reached and the requested information is released to the CIA on February 27.