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Vince Flynn On Battling Cancer And His New Thriller, Kill Shot

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HH: Morning Glory and Evening Grace, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. It’s quite a show today. Last hour Mitt Romney and Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix. This hour Mitch Rapp is back. Actually, Vince Flynn our friend is back. Vince, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

VF: Hugh, good to be back on!

HH: Terrific Kill Shot is terrific – your new book. I’ve got it linked over at HughHewitt.com. Are you out on the road promoting it?

VF: I’m holed up in a hotel room in New York City. I’ve been here since Sunday. I watched the Superbowl alone for the first time in my life as far as I can recall, and I’m doing the TV and the radio and all that fun stuff.

HH: I hope you know that Mario Manningham is from Warren, OH, Vince and that no one associated with Minnesota at all had anything to do with winning the Superbowl.

VF: (laughing). I didn’t even bother to think about it actually.

HH: Vince Flynn, a couple of questions. First, you’re from Minnesota. If you were in Minnesota tonight would you go to the caucuses?

VF: You know I haven’t been in a number of years and it’s kind of the neighborhood that we live in there’s no a lot of homes. There’s only about 300 homes. You know tonight might be kind of interesting. They meet at a little church called St. Anne’s, but the one I went to I walked away really frustrated. I’ve got to be honest. I walked out of the caucus and I turned to my roommate at the time and I said this is why politics is all screwed up. They were just crazy people.

HH: Yep.

VF: I think that’s probably changed. Turnout is a lot higher but if you don’t like the system, you better get involved and change it so I can’t complain.

HH: Now, I’ll come back and talk politics a little bit later but first people really want to know Vince Flynn how’s your recovery going? Last time you were on you were in the middle of treatment for prostate cancer and you were doing better. How are you feeling?

VF: I’m feeling good. I’ll tell you what, I was trying to get Kill Shot finished so I could stay on my fall pub schedule and I ended up in so much pain this summer that my doctors figured out that the bone-one of the bones in my pelvis was discinigrating so they said we’ve got to start radiation. So I went in and did the radiation and within two weeks I found relief. Now I’ve been pain free for about three weeks. My energy is slowly coming back and I feel good. I’m very grateful. I wake up everyday and thank the Lord for life.

HH: In the acknowledgements for Kill Shot you have this line: “I like working with people I admire and trust and I like stability. When you find out you have cancer this philosophy takes on a much deeper meaning.” How so?

VF: Well, you are surrounded by people who care about you instead of a bunch of complete strangers. I’ll never forget about a week after I was diagnosed I was down at the Mayo Clinic and I was talking with Dr. Kwan, my doctor, and we were walking through the hallways and I said Doc I don’t understand how people can go through this without faith and a spouse because Lisa has been there every step of the way. She’s just been fantastic. He said to me, Vince I got a phone call from a guy today-I’m sorry last week a guy came in and I had to break the news to him and he was a couple of years younger than you and it was way worse and it had spread over his whole body and I had to tell him. I said can we call anybody or do anything and he said my parents are dead and I’m not married. I wanted to reach out to the guy and he said because of ethics and so forth at the hospital I can’t give you the guy’s name or number. I still pray for that guy and I don’t know who he is but I pray for him. It just can’t imagine going through this without the support of friends and family and loved ones. The security of having all these people in New York that I’ve worked with for 13 years that I don’t have to worry about anything. That I know they are really pulling for me because not just that I make them a lot of money but that they like me and they care about me and my family it’s huge. It’s why I put this in the prelude or the acknowledgements and I really mean it. I’ve been saying for years I want to get through life with one agent, one editor, one publisher and one wife. I adore my wife and I trust my agent and editor and I have a great publisher and it makes life a lot easier. I’m not one of these people who thinks the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. It’s never been who I am. My mom and dad never allowed it. Be careful for what you wish for type thing!

HH: Vince, how long have you been married?

VF: Twelve years a couple of weeks ago. We were just in Mexico for our anniversary. We go every year. We had a fantastic time.

HH: That’s terrific. Mitch Rapp would not lead someone to believe that you were the long-term marriageable type if Mitch Rapp was autobiographical at all. I knew you were.

VF: I’m not! Obviously a part of me goes into every character but the problem with Rapp is he can’t doing what he does for a living it’s extremely difficult to have a normal marriage and relationship. What wife is going to support what he does (laughing). No, I don’t think he should go on this trip. There’s a good chance you’re going to die.

HH: In terms of Rapp I was looking to see as I read Kill Shot aware of the interruption in your schedule and the disease and how you fought it and battled back. I was looking to see if Mitch was different. I don’t think he is. I think he’s the same Mitch and exactly where you put him kind of inserted him between the prequel and the series so that it makes sense here. Was that the plan all along was to build him back up to the present?

VF: Yeah. I knew there was that missing decade when I started transfer of power that eventually I’d come back and I’d tell his origin story and there would be three or four prequels of Rapp in his 20’s. I’ve written two of them. They are going to be called the American Assassin series. Now for book 14 I’m going back to the here and now. Stuff with Iran and Pakistan is driving me nuts to not be out in front of it trying to predict what’s going to happen next.

HH: It’s very interesting about the trick here and I talked to Bernard Cornwell about this with Richard Sharp is everything has got to make sense and thus far you’ve pulled that off. Was there anything that I missed that is a tricky – I can see questions that have to be answered eventually in book 3 and 4 of American Assassins but is there anything that you’ve written yourself into a corner on?

February 8, 2012 – Vince Flynn

HH: Morning Glory and Evening Grace, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. It’s quite a show today. Last hour Mitt Romney and Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix. This hour Mitch Rapp is back. Actually, Vince Flynn our friend is back. Vince, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

VF: Hugh, good to be back on!

HH: Terrific Kill Shot is terrific – your new book. I’ve got it linked over at HughHewitt.com. Are you out on the road promoting it?

VF: I’m holed up in a hotel room in New York City. I’ve been here since Sunday. I watched the Superbowl alone for the first time in my life as far as I can recall, and I’m doing the TV and the radio and all that fun stuff.

HH: I hope you know that Mario Manningham is from Warren, OH, Vince and that no one associated with Minnesota at all had anything to do with winning the Superbowl.

VF: (laughing). I didn’t even bother to think about it actually.

HH: Vince Flynn, a couple of questions. First, you’re from Minnesota. If you were in Minnesota tonight would you go to the caucuses?

VF: You know I haven’t been in a number of years and it’s kind of the neighborhood that we live in there’s no a lot of homes. There’s only about 300 homes. You know tonight might be kind of interesting. They meet at a little church called St. Anne’s, but the one I went to I walked away really frustrated. I’ve got to be honest. I walked out of the caucus and I turned to my roommate at the time and I said this is why politics is all screwed up. They were just crazy people.

HH: Yep.

VF: I think that’s probably changed. Turnout is a lot higher but if you don’t like the system, you better get involved and change it so I can’t complain.

HH: Now, I’ll come back and talk politics a little bit later but first people really want to know Vince Flynn how’s your recovery going? Last time you were on you were in the middle of treatment for prostate cancer and you were doing better. How are you feeling?

VF: I’m feeling good. I’ll tell you what, I was trying to get Kill Shot finished so I could stay on my fall pub schedule and I ended up in so much pain this summer that my doctors figured out that the bone-one of the bones in my pelvis was discinigrating so they said we’ve got to start radiation. So I went in and did the radiation and within two weeks I found relief. Now I’ve been pain free for about three weeks. My energy is slowly coming back and I feel good. I’m very grateful. I wake up everyday and thank the Lord for life.

HH: In the acknowledgements for Kill Shot you have this line: “I like working with people I admire and trust and I like stability. When you find out you have cancer this philosophy takes on a much deeper meaning.” How so?

VF: Well, you are surrounded by people who care about you instead of a bunch of complete strangers. I’ll never forget about a week after I was diagnosed I was down at the Mayo Clinic and I was talking with Dr. Kwan, my doctor, and we were walking through the hallways and I said Doc I don’t understand how people can go through this without faith and a spouse because Lisa has been there every step of the way. She’s just been fantastic. He said to me, Vince I got a phone call from a guy today-I’m sorry last week a guy came in and I had to break the news to him and he was a couple of years younger than you and it was way worse and it had spread over his whole body and I had to tell him. I said can we call anybody or do anything and he said my parents are dead and I’m not married. I wanted to reach out to the guy and he said because of ethics and so forth at the hospital I can’t give you the guy’s name or number. I still pray for that guy and I don’t know who he is but I pray for him. It just can’t imagine going through this without the support of friends and family and loved ones. The security of having all these people in New York that I’ve worked with for 13 years that I don’t have to worry about anything. That I know they are really pulling for me because not just that I make them a lot of money but that they like me and they care about me and my family it’s huge. It’s why I put this in the prelude or the acknowledgements and I really mean it. I’ve been saying for years I want to get through life with one agent, one editor, one publisher and one wife. I adore my wife and I trust my agent and editor and I have a great publisher and it makes life a lot easier. I’m not one of these people who thinks the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. It’s never been who I am. My mom and dad never allowed it. Be careful for what you wish for type thing!

HH: Vince, how long have you been married?

VF: Twelve years a couple of weeks ago. We were just in Mexico for our anniversary. We go every year. We had a fantastic time.

HH: That’s terrific. Mitch Rapp would not lead someone to believe that you were the long-term marriageable type if Mitch Rapp was autobiographical at all. I knew you were.

VF: I’m not! Obviously a part of me goes into every character but the problem with Rapp is he can’t doing what he does for a living it’s extremely difficult to have a normal marriage and relationship. What wife is going to support what he does (laughing). No, I don’t think he should go on this trip. There’s a good chance you’re going to die.

HH: In terms of Rapp I was looking to see as I read Kill Shot aware of the interruption in your schedule and the disease and how you fought it and battled back. I was looking to see if Mitch was different. I don’t think he is. I think he’s the same Mitch and exactly where you put him kind of inserted him between the prequel and the series so that it makes sense here. Was that the plan all along was to build him back up to the present?

VF: Yeah. I knew there was that missing decade when I started transfer of power that eventually I’d come back and I’d tell his origin story and there would be three or four prequels of Rapp in his 20’s. I’ve written two of them. They are going to be called the American Assassin series. Now for book 14 I’m going back to the here and now. Stuff with Iran and Pakistan is driving me nuts to not be out in front of it trying to predict what’s going to happen next.

HH: It’s very interesting about the trick here and I talked to Bernard Cornwell about this with Richard Sharp is everything has got to make sense and thus far you’ve pulled that off. Was there anything that I missed that is a tricky – I can see questions that have to be answered eventually in book 3 and 4 of American Assassins but is there anything that you’ve written yourself into a corner on?

VF: (laughing). You know I’m on these darn hormones now which really affected my memory so if I have painted myself into a corner I will conveniently forget it! I will just write myself just right out of it. To the best of my knowledge, no I have not handcuffed myself.

HH: That is very interesting. Paris is very big in Kill Shot. So I put the book down and I’ve only been there twice and I thought to myself gosh he’s not really a fan of Paris but he’s in love with the city so tell me what the relationship is with Vince Flynn.

VF: Well it’s interesting – I’m not typically a fan of France. Here’s my love/hate relationship with France and I think it’s told in the story of the French Revolution and the American Revolution. You’ve got these guys all these great renaissance minds that help shaped our Constitution eventually come out of France and they affect Benjamin Franklin, they affect Jefferson and Madison and all this stuff goes into the American Revolution. They support us during the American Revolution and then they turn around and have one of the most heinous revolutions that the world has ever seen in the last 500 years at least and it’s ugly. Their revolution was ugly. Ours was definitely more civil and then the big problem I think most of us have is you then move onto World War II and we bail them out and then De Gaulle in the 50’s and 60’s treats us like we are second class citizens. I know you remember it well and then Reagan goes to bomb Libya and we send the F-111’s to go bomb and the French won’t let us fly over their air space and we lose a crew on the way back. That stuff really sticks in your mind. And with what I write about, I intentionally put it in this book that the French have had these little under the table agreements with the PLO and Hamas and Hezbollah and listen if you don’t blow anything up in our country we’ll kind of look the other way. You can come here and do some of your banking and recruiting and stuff like that. It’s frustrating and I think Sarkozy had been a lot better but the actual city of Paris how can you not fall in love with it. It’s probably the most gorgeous city on the planet. The people, I don’t know.

HH: Could you go there and walk for example some of these left bank alleys. There is a fabulous segment in Kill Shot.

VF: I walked those alleys but I did not go there for this trip.

HH: I thought you must have gone.

VF: First of all, I couldn’t have travelled because of my treatments, but I have a pretty good memory about that stuff and it’s just architecturally it is a phenomenal city. Every other block in Paris is a church that would be shrine in the United States. It’s a spectacular place.

HH: In Kill Shot obviously people are going to be carrying it around now and trying to find every space you describe here and the churches that you describe. Has Rick Steve’s called you up and asked for rights to reprint Kill Shot yet?

VF: No, he has not (chuckles).

HH: When we come back from break America my guest is Vince Flynn once again a number 1 New York Times Bestselling author, the brand new book is called Kill Shot. It is the second in the American Assassin thriller which is the 13th or 14th Mitch Rapp book?

VF: Well it’s twelfth Rapp book, it’s the thirteenth book.

HH: All right. That’s how he phrases it. We’ll come back and talk it specifically and the issues that it raises. It’s linked over at HughHewitt.com, in bookstores everywhere, available at amazon.com. Vince Flynn is here don’t go anywhere or we will find you on the Hugh Hewitt Show

——–

Twenty-one minutes after the hour, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. Coming up next hour I’m going to replay for you my conversation with Mitt Romney. I’m also going to talk to Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, but this hour I’m spending with Vince Flynn, internationally known thriller writer. His brand new book Kill Shot is in bookstores everywhere. Its available at amazon.com. Kill Shot is a terrific new read. I’ve already gone through it and my notes will reflect that. Vince, you said something in the last segment that was on my notes at the very end so I’m going to take them out of the order. On page 331 you reference specifically the policy of France to keep the carnage out of France. This is what the trick of this book was. This was the real policy in the 80’s in France. It may still be the policy there in 2012 and it iscorrupt and deeply devastating to the West and I’m glad you’ve taken it on, but explain to the audience when you say, “keep the carnage out of France,” what they were doing.

VF: Well what did is that they would look the other way. It’s one of the reasons why they would not let Reagan fly the F-111’s directly over France and cut-off a massive amount of the trip and you know we had to go up and do mid-air refueling and again we lost one of the planes. These pilots for the Libyan raid were in the air for 22-hours or something like that. At the time a lot of people were upset. Again, you go back to World War II and Vietnam and a lot of other things and we really bent over backwards to help France and nobody could understand why they were-terrorism is evil and it’s wrong and people couldn’t comprehend why France wouldn’t just let us fly over their airspace for NATO allies and you can go right on down the list. What the rumor was at the time and it’s pretty hard to verify is that there was cash being exchanged between Suerte, which was the French Intelligence Agency and it turned into the DGSE, that these guys were taking cash and they were letting the PLO and other terrorist organizations come hang out in their country and basically giving them a safe haven. And their agreement was listen you pay us a little cash, we’ll keep the Americans and the Brits off your back. You can come here but don’t cause any trouble in France. That was their deal. I think a lot of it was probably shaped by what happened in Munich, but it’s not exactly, it’s nothing even close to an honorable course of action.

HH: Well they’ve got a history of appeasement there which is second nature to them. We’ll come back to that in the second. You also reference in Kill Shot the Dreyfus Affair and that’s a lot of history for a thriller reader, but why did you think it was necessary to let people know what’s lurking in the background there?

VF: I think the Dreyfus Affair is a fascinating story about how when powerful forces high up in government decide that they don’t like the reality of the situation. They look at something and they say holy crap this person has basically committed treason. You know what? They are guilty but it’s going to be too embarrassing if we try them so let’s try this other guy that nobody cares about because he’s Jewish. It turns into an international affair and this poor guy Dreyfus ends up getting sent off to Gianna to serve out 5 years or 6 years in one of the worst penal colonies on the planet and some people back in France keep working and they finally prove his innocence. That story you are obviously familiar with it. I just think is just a great-it reads like fiction. You think how could this happen? This stuff and you follow Washington this stuff happens all the time. Where are the honorable men? I don’t know if you saw that we decided, we the Congress and the White House, decided we were going to prorate combat pay down to a day-by-day basis when these guys are in the theatre. Who are they? If you were in there for a week, they gave you the whole month. Now they are going to pay you 7 days.

HH: I did not see that, Vince. Wow!

VF: Yes, it just happened the other day. Here’s the problem: These guys because of the Super Committee they are now looking-we got to cut out all this money out of the Pentagon because that was part of the Super Committee agreement. Well, the last place to start cutting money right now is with our men and women in the military who start at about $18,000 a year. They don’t get paid any overtime and you know how hard they work especially these Special Forces and Special Operators-the SEALS-there isn’t a SEAL out there that’s put in less than-they put in 60, 70, 80-hour weeks. They don’t get paid a dime. San Diego bus drivers get paid more than SEALS do.

HH: Have you seen Act of Valor yet, Vince?

VF: I’ve seen the preview for it. It looks very interesting.

HH: I’ve seen the whole movie and you’ll love it given the guys you run around with. You will think this the greatest movie every because it is when it comes to the realistic depiction of what they do.

VF: Hugh, my point is we keep hearing how our politicians are going to be leaders and were going to lead. If you guys are going to lead, why don’t you cut your pay by 10%. Why don’t you cut your Coke and flower budget. What Nancy Pelosi spent $800,000 on flowers that one year when she was speaker of the house? Their staffs keep getting bigger and bigger and they keep giving themselves raises and they have the gall to go nickel and dime our troops who are in a combat zone. It’s just infuriating.

HH: There is also in Kill Shot-talking with Vince Flynn his brand new novel is out today. Kill Shot is available at amazon.com. It’s in bookstores everywhere. There’s an old, old priest and he works with the resistency he helps France the best he can and say on page 97, “the priest had seen first hand the horrific results of appeasement”. I’m glad that you put that in there because it remain the scar on France’s honor that they really never really want to talk about.

VF: No, they don’t. It’s like the Minnesota Vikings losing four Superbowls (laughing) it’s just painful! There’s nothing good. The Buffalo Bills-it’s something that you can’t live down for the rest of your life.

HH: And so does this book do well in France? I mean have you heard anything yet-you must have a large. . .

VF: It hasn’t been published in France yet. The English version is in some of the Essenix book stores over there but the French write-I think it comes out next month. That might be interesting because there are some good French people in the book it’s not like they are all jerks.

HH: But the DGSE isn’t going to like this book much!

VF: No, they aren’t. They have a different – France is a different country. Just look at it from the monogamy standpoint. They think it’s fine if men and women both have dalliances-if they have affairs. It’s part of their culture. Now obviously, not all French people buy into that, but it’s socially acceptable to the point where they are not shocked when they find out that their political leaders are having affairs.

HH: Now the DGSE is the CIA of France and it is pretty-it was very corrupt in terms of the side deals for many years and everybody knew-in fact, all of the French government was very corrupt. Do you still think it’s that way? Do your sources tell you that it’s still that way?

VF: My sources do not have an answer on that. I asked one of them and his response was the media has a handle of the DGSE and because there is more transparency it’s harder for these guys to take cash, but I find it hard to believe that these guys still don’t take some money when they are overseas and they are doing stuff. They are a-the French have some big problems. I think I’ve made a comment on your show before. I am all for legal immigration but we are very lucky to have a bunch of Catholic Mexicans to our southern border. France’s problem is that they have a bunch of Islamic Radical Fundamentalists across the Mediterranean and they’ve allowed a lot of them to come in and given them citizenship and they are creating all kinds of problems for the country.

HH: I’ll be right back with Vince Flynn. His new book is Kill Shot. Mitch Rapp is back and with all the vigor you’d expect. Kill Shot available in bookstores. I’ll be right back.

——–

Thirty-four minutes after the hour, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt joined this hour by Vince Flynn, bestselling author extraordinaire and another number one bestseller is out today, Kill Shot is the latest in the American Assign thriller series. It’s the second prequel from Mitch Rapp. I got to mention in my notes here Vince Flynn, you talk about the hideous Pompidou Centre. I’m glad that you’re as open with your opinions on architecture as you are on espionage.

VF: (laughing) Well, in that town and in that district, you’ve got all this magnificent architecture that building looks like the biggest pile of you know what I just don’t understand it.

HH: (laughing) Okay, you’ve got Mitch Rapp at one point I love this bit of trade craft. He needs to find a mule in essence so he goes down and he hangs out with the small time down druggies of the left bank, is that real trade craft as related to you or is that how you would like it to work?

VF: Well, you know I’ve heard so many hilarious stories over the years from retired operatives who are-you have a few cocktails with them down in DC or other parts of the country and they start to tell you some really funny stories about stuff they did back in the day. It sometimes is something that they’ve been taught and there’s other times where they just go with it. They are just flying by the seat of their pants and if an opportunity arises, they take it.

HH: I just re-read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable School Boy and Smiley’s People and I was looking for an eye on trade craft. They are set roughly 10 years prior to Kill Shot and some of this stuff that le Carre uses is very reminiscent of the details-different kind of stuff but down to the details. Are you consciously working at trying to add more trade craft into these books because people like it?

VF: Yeah. In this-when I sat down to write this one even more so than American Assassins I had it in my mind I was such a fan Robert Ludlum’s in the Born series and the Gemini Contenders and all that stuff that he wrote in the 70’s and 80’s and I thought I want this to be kind of a homage to Ludlum. I want it to have that feel that a Ludlum novel had and I’ve been compared to Ludlum before so I don’t know how much-my other books consciously or subconsciously are similar with Ludlum’s, but I love the way that Robert told a story. So that’s what I sat down and tried to do and because it’s Rapp alone for a large part of this book, battling terrorists in his own government and all kinds of people you have to-the best way to let the reader understand the paranoia and the understandable paranoia of the main character is to show them how thorough they must be in everything that they do so that they don’t get caught.

HH: Yep. I don’t know if you’ve even seen the preview yet. Denzel Washington has a new movie coming out where he plays a CIA agent who is obviously at war with his own agency and I saw the preview after finishing Kill Shot and said well Vince has timed this nicely.

VF: So here’s what’s interesting: We were in negotiation with him last late November, early December. Ed Zwick was brought on to direct American Assassin and they-we went out and gave a 15 million dollar offer to Denzel and we said we want you to play Stan Hurley. He and his people read it and they came back and said we love it but you know what we just wrapped a movie that is pretty similar to what this book is so we’re going to pass.

HH: He’d be a great Stan Hurley. So, where is the movie right now? That was my next question.

VF: Well, the movie is in an interesting spot. I gave them a one-year extension last spring to bring on Ed Zwick who did The Last Samurai and a bunch of other good things and Marshall Herkovitz and so all of a sudden Ed bails in December because Denzel says no so Ed says I’ve wanted to do this film about the Great Wall for the last 10 years so he leaves to go do that. Now we don’t have a director and the clock is ticketing. CBS films has until the end of April to get this thing off the ground. Now they are rushing around trying to find another director, actors and it’s going to be interesting.

HH: This must be very-you know you’re in charge of your own life when you’re writing a book and you’ve got no control at all when it’s Hollywood, do you?

VF: None. Well I’ve got great producers and CBS Films has been good to me. They consult-I don’t get surprised by anything. They pick up the phone and they tell me what’s going on and I’m very grateful for that. Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Nick Wechsler, who are the producers have been-gosh, I’ve been with those guys for about seven years now and they’re trying their hardest to get a Mitch Rapp film made and I kind of have that attitude that when the time is right, it’s going to happen and before then I’m going to try and not get too frustrated.

HH: Good policy. Vince Flynn is my guest. He’s coming right back. Don’t go anywhere except maybe to buy Kill Shot at your local bookstore. It’s linked at HughHewitt.com or go to VinceFlynn.com his website.

———–

Welcome back, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. Vince Flynn is my guest this hour. Coming up next hour I’m going to replay my conversation with Mitt Romney which if you were here in the first hour you heard. Plus, Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker is swinging by to talk about the new swing voters so don’t miss next hour.

Vince Flynn, let’s talk about Chet Bramble who is a central character to Kill Shot, very complicated character, very surprising, I’m not going to give anything away here. How long did Chet Bramble wonder around in Vince Flynn’s mind taking shape?

VF: You know the Chet Bramble deal-he was in the last book and what he-you are so good! I was not planning on making this admission but because it’s you, I’ll give it up. The character is based on a guy that I played football with in college.

HH: Oh! On your side?

VF: He was a little off his rocker.

HH: Was he a middle line-backer?

VF: Yes, he was.

HH: There you go!

VF: And he actually had a great personality and he could be as nice as you could imagine one minute and then the next minute he was absolutely screwing whoever he needed to screw to get whatever he wanted and break every rule. I was raised to play football the clean way and this guy would try and gouge people’s eyes out in the pile and say all kinds of things about their mother and (laughing)

HH: Well here’s . . . about Chet Ramble the back story is the family member that he has to defend and so you make him ambiguous from the beginning.

VF: Yeah. He-it’s really hard to condemn a child so I wanted to tell that story so people could see a human side to Chet because he was in the book such a monster and such a jerk that he’s too easy to hate. So, I wanted to go back and show what he was like as a kid and how he grew up and make him a little bit more sympathetic-or least an ambiguous character so the reader wasn’t entirely sure how much they should hate this guy and if in the end he would find salvation or not and that’s of course we can’t get into that but I have had more fun in the last two books writing jerks.

Hurley in American Assassin I think his dialogue and his character-you won’t here me say this very often because I don’t like to talk about my own writing but that’s definitely some of the best writing that I’ve ever done.

HH: Hurley is a terrific character. I was curious on my notes here does he exist or have you heard about him? Not in a composite sort of way.

VF: Hurley?

HH: Yeah.

VF: Yeah. I do know someone that’s very much like Hurley (laughing). The guy is an absolute character. He was a SEAL and he was a take no crap, tough as nails guy who let me see, when I met him I was probably 33-34 and this guy was already 60 years-old. I was in really good shape and this guy I wouldn’t have dreamed of taking a shot at him.

HH: It’s a fascinating . . .

VF: He could tear me and my four brothers apart in 30 seconds.

HH: I hope that the agency has people there working for them. Let me ask you about the less than flattering journalistic duo of Bernstein and Jones and your assessment of those who now want no one to know that they used to take a little money under the table or they got helped out along the way and it was very common practice for the agency to do that and boy do networks hate for that to be known.

VF: They can’t stand it and you’re right there was a lot of people over the years that have been rumored to take some cash on the side for the CIA, do some favors but I wanted to have some fun with that because in this day and age what a lot of people forget is I don’t care if it is talk radio, writing books for a living, being a reporter, there are some massive egos involved. There are good people and there are bad people and people somehow lose the sight. Journalists are not referees. They are not independent. They are not unbiased. They are people who want to be loved, who want to advance their career and many of them are willing to sensationalize and do all kinds of things to please their bosses to advance their career. That’s going to be a theme that I’m going to return to.

HH: Oh, I love that theme. I think . . .

VF: It frustrates me that people actually think and fewer and fewer people think by the way that for instance NBC News is an unbiased news organization, but you have to be very skeptical of everything that you read in the New York Times and the Washington Post and you always have to think what is their motivation? What are they doing? What’s their political bias?

HH: And every journalist has a back story. We never learn it and every one of them comes from somewhere and done some things that they don’t want people to know about. That’s why I love these characters. I must speak up. We are on the air right now in Orlando, Vince. Page 248: “It was part of his legend that Kennedy had meticulously prepared Orlando was vanilla. People visited but were hard pressed to actually know anyone who grew up in the city that Disney built. The metropolitan area had grown from several hundred thousand people to over a million and in just two decades it was still expanding. Tourism and retirement communities were the anchors of the local community. They both attracted a lot of workers from out of state. It was home to the University of Central Florida, the second largest university behind Arizona State which according to Rapp’s legend was his alma mater. The fast growth of the population , the transient nature of the work force gave Rapp a near ideal cover.” It’s a wonderful back story but on behalf of the people of Orlando when are you doing a book signing down there? (laughing)

VF: (laughing) You know what the equivalent is? You’ll get this because the west coast has their Orlando and it’s Las Vegas.

HH: Oh, you bet.

VF: How many people have you ever met who grew up in Las Vegas?

HH: You’re right, but I think the Orlando people are going to say that they are much less transient than the Vegas people are. When did you figure out Rapp’s legend was going to be Orlando? Was that years ago?

VF: I didn’t until I sat down to write this book.

HH: Ok, so you just had to invent him in the real time and in the real place.

VF: Well, no. I went back to that time when Kennedy had recruited him I looked at it and I thought they’ve got to figure something for this guy in case he runs into people. The Orlando legend was-it’s usually easier to have somebody be from a big city because there is too much confusion, the variables are such that you’re only one of ten million people in New York City so it’s going to be really hard for somebody to say I should have known you. If you say they’re from Toledo, Ohio it’s a whole other ballgame.

HH: You are absolutely right and that’s why it’s wonderfully written. I had never really thought about where you would put the legend. We have 30 seconds until break, Vince. A legend is? Explain it to the audience.

VF: Well a legend is a back story so you are a CIA operative. You have to have a cover that you have to memorize so that when you are being Joe Hewitt overseas you can’t be Joe Hewitt from Columbus, Ohio. You have to be a whole new person.

HH: And that is the legend and how you get one is described in Kill Shot. One more segment with Vince Flynn. Don’t go anywhere, America. It’s the Hugh Hewitt Show.

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Fifty-five minutes after the hour, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. Vince Flynn has been my guest this hour. His brand new book is Kill Shot. You’re going to love it. It’s available in bookstores everywhere, at amazon.com. Vince, I want to finish in our three minutes talking about the Central Intelligence Agency. You write a lot about this, it’s place in D.C., the hierarchy within it and how it operates. How do you think General Petraeus is doing there?

VF: Well, you know I know him and I have a lot of respect for the guy and so I’m not going-I’ll let my motives be known to your audience ok? I like General Petraeus. He was a great General, very dignified career in the Army. I personally don’t think he’s the right one to be running Langley.

HH: And why is that?

VF: Because of his Army experience. It’s two completely different things nor would I expect a career CIA officer to go run the Pentagon. This is something that you probably understand Hugh, but there are turf battles in Washington that you could write a soap opera about. The Pentagon budget, the CIA and the Intelligence budget and people are home towners. You come out of the Army and you come out of West Point and you are going to have certain biases towards the military and I know this personally from talking to General Petraeus. He and I had a very interesting conversation one time about the difference between a Navy SEAL sniper shooting a guy from a half-mile away vs. a predator drone, firing a hell fire missile into a mud hut and the way I couched it was let’s find a terrorist, they are in a city and we go whack him with a SEAL sniper and he was emphatically against that. He said no we can’t do that. That’s against our Constitution and we can’t do it and I’m thinking so what’s the difference between hitting him with a hell fire missile out of a predator where we might end up killing – there’s going to be some collateral damage vs. a clean shot by a SEAL team sniper. I don’t fault the General for this, it’s the world that he has come out of.

HH: Interesting. That’s going to be in the next book. I’m sure that’s going to be interesting! Let me conclude by asking you how tense the world looks to you right now.

VF: Oh Hugh, I’m not happy. Iran-I just started that book How To You Kill Eleven Million People? and it’s right up your alley. It’s very philosophical and he goes back and talks about the holocaust and how there were all these signs and everybody ignored it. I’m looking at Iran right now and week doesn’t go by where the Ayatollah or Ahmadinejad or somebody else stands up and says you know let’s kill all the Jews and wipe Israel off the face of the planet.

HH: Yes, the clock is ticking.

VF: This thing with Israel – how could anybody blame them, they have to attack at some point.

HH: They can’t be blamed. Vince Flynn, thank you my friend. Kill Shot is the new book. It’s linked at HughHewitt.com. Stay tuned, America. It’s the Hugh Hewitt Show.

VF: (laughing). You know I’m on these darn hormones now which really affected my memory so if I have painted myself into a corner I will conveniently forget it! I will just write myself just right out of it. To the best of my knowledge, no I have not handcuffed myself.

HH: That is very interesting. Paris is very big in Kill Shot. So I put the book down and I’ve only been there twice and I thought to myself gosh he’s not really a fan of Paris but he’s in love with the city so tell me what the relationship is with Vince Flynn.

VF: Well it’s interesting – I’m not typically a fan of France. Here’s my love/hate relationship with France and I think it’s told in the story of the French Revolution and the American Revolution. You’ve got these guys all these great renaissance minds that help shaped our Constitution eventually come out of France and they affect Benjamin Franklin, they affect Jefferson and Madison and all this stuff goes into the American Revolution. They support us during the American Revolution and then they turn around and have one of the most heinous revolutions that the world has ever seen in the last 500 years at least and it’s ugly. Their revolution was ugly. Ours was definitely more civil and then the big problem I think most of us have is you then move onto World War II and we bail them out and then De Gaulle in the 50’s and 60’s treats us like we are second class citizens. I know you remember it well and then Reagan goes to bomb Libya and we send the F-111’s to go bomb and the French won’t let us fly over their air space and we lose a crew on the way back. That stuff really sticks in your mind. And with what I write about, I intentionally put it in this book that the French have had these little under the table agreements with the PLO and Hamas and Hezbollah and listen if you don’t blow anything up in our country we’ll kind of look the other way. You can come here and do some of your banking and recruiting and stuff like that. It’s frustrating and I think Sarkozy had been a lot better but the actual city of Paris how can you not fall in love with it. It’s probably the most gorgeous city on the planet. The people, I don’t know.

HH: Could you go there and walk for example some of these left bank alleys. There is a fabulous segment in Kill Shot.

VF: I walked those alleys but I did not go there for this trip.

HH: I thought you must have gone.

VF: First of all, I couldn’t have travelled because of my treatments, but I have a pretty good memory about that stuff and it’s just architecturally it is a phenomenal city. Every other block in Paris is a church that would be shrine in the United States. It’s a spectacular place.

HH: In Kill Shot obviously people are going to be carrying it around now and trying to find every space you describe here and the churches that you describe. Has Rick Steve’s called you up and asked for rights to reprint Kill Shot yet?

VF: No, he has not (chuckles).

HH: When we come back from break America my guest is Vince Flynn once again a number 1 New York Times Bestselling author, the brand new book is called Kill Shot. It is the second in the American Assassin thriller which is the 13th or 14th Mitch Rapp book?

VF: Well it’s twelfth Rapp book, it’s the thirteenth book.

HH: All right. That’s how he phrases it. We’ll come back and talk it specifically and the issues that it raises. It’s linked over at HughHewitt.com, in bookstores everywhere, available at amazon.com. Vince Flynn is here don’t go anywhere or we will find you on the Hugh Hewitt Show

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HH: Twenty-one minutes after the hour, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. Coming up next hour I’m going to replay for you my conversation with Mitt Romney. I’m also going to talk to Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, but this hour I’m spending with Vince Flynn, internationally known thriller writer. His brand new book Kill Shot is in bookstores everywhere. Its available at amazon.com. Kill Shot is a terrific new read. I’ve already gone through it and my notes will reflect that. Vince, you said something in the last segment that was on my notes at the very end so I’m going to take them out of the order. On page 331 you reference specifically the policy of France to keep the carnage out of France. This is what the trick of this book was. This was the real policy in the 80’s in France. It may still be the policy there in 2012 and it iscorrupt and deeply devastating to the West and I’m glad you’ve taken it on, but explain to the audience when you say, “keep the carnage out of France,” what they were doing.

VF: Well what did is that they would look the other way. It’s one of the reasons why they would not let Reagan fly the F-111’s directly over France and cut-off a massive amount of the trip and you know we had to go up and do mid-air refueling and again we lost one of the planes. These pilots for the Libyan raid were in the air for 22-hours or something like that. At the time a lot of people were upset. Again, you go back to World War II and Vietnam and a lot of other things and we really bent over backwards to help France and nobody could understand why they were-terrorism is evil and it’s wrong and people couldn’t comprehend why France wouldn’t just let us fly over their airspace for NATO allies and you can go right on down the list. What the rumor was at the time and it’s pretty hard to verify is that there was cash being exchanged between Suerte, which was the French Intelligence Agency and it turned into the DGSE, that these guys were taking cash and they were letting the PLO and other terrorist organizations come hang out in their country and basically giving them a safe haven. And their agreement was listen you pay us a little cash, we’ll keep the Americans and the Brits off your back. You can come here but don’t cause any trouble in France. That was their deal. I think a lot of it was probably shaped by what happened in Munich, but it’s not exactly, it’s nothing even close to an honorable course of action.

HH: Well they’ve got a history of appeasement there which is second nature to them. We’ll come back to that in the second. You also reference in Kill Shot the Dreyfus Affair and that’s a lot of history for a thriller reader, but why did you think it was necessary to let people know what’s lurking in the background there?

VF: I think the Dreyfus Affair is a fascinating story about how when powerful forces high up in government decide that they don’t like the reality of the situation. They look at something and they say holy crap this person has basically committed treason. You know what? They are guilty but it’s going to be too embarrassing if we try them so let’s try this other guy that nobody cares about because he’s Jewish. It turns into an international affair and this poor guy Dreyfus ends up getting sent off to Gianna to serve out 5 years or 6 years in one of the worst penal colonies on the planet and some people back in France keep working and they finally prove his innocence. That story you are obviously familiar with it. I just think is just a great-it reads like fiction. You think how could this happen? This stuff and you follow Washington this stuff happens all the time. Where are the honorable men? I don’t know if you saw that we decided, we the Congress and the White House, decided we were going to prorate combat pay down to a day-by-day basis when these guys are in the theatre. Who are they? If you were in there for a week, they gave you the whole month. Now they are going to pay you 7 days.

HH: I did not see that, Vince. Wow!

VF: Yes, it just happened the other day. Here’s the problem: These guys because of the Super Committee they are now looking-we got to cut out all this money out of the Pentagon because that was part of the Super Committee agreement. Well, the last place to start cutting money right now is with our men and women in the military who start at about $18,000 a year. They don’t get paid any overtime and you know how hard they work especially these Special Forces and Special Operators-the SEALS-there isn’t a SEAL out there that’s put in less than-they put in 60, 70, 80-hour weeks. They don’t get paid a dime. San Diego bus drivers get paid more than SEALS do.

HH: Have you seen Act of Valor yet, Vince?

VF: I’ve seen the preview for it. It looks very interesting.

HH: I’ve seen the whole movie and you’ll love it given the guys you run around with. You will think this the greatest movie every because it is when it comes to the realistic depiction of what they do.

VF: Hugh, my point is we keep hearing how our politicians are going to be leaders and were going to lead. If you guys are going to lead, why don’t you cut your pay by 10%. Why don’t you cut your Coke and flower budget. What Nancy Pelosi spent $800,000 on flowers that one year when she was speaker of the house? Their staffs keep getting bigger and bigger and they keep giving themselves raises and they have the gall to go nickel and dime our troops who are in a combat zone. It’s just infuriating.

HH: There is also in Kill Shot-talking with Vince Flynn his brand new novel is out today. Kill Shot is available at amazon.com. It’s in bookstores everywhere. There’s an old, old priest and he works with the resistency he helps France the best he can and say on page 97, “the priest had seen first hand the horrific results of appeasement”. I’m glad that you put that in there because it remain the scar on France’s honor that they really never really want to talk about.

VF: No, they don’t. It’s like the Minnesota Vikings losing four Superbowls (laughing) it’s just painful! There’s nothing good. The Buffalo Bills-it’s something that you can’t live down for the rest of your life.

HH: And so does this book do well in France? I mean have you heard anything yet-you must have a large. . .

VF: It hasn’t been published in France yet. The English version is in some of the Essenix book stores over there but the French write-I think it comes out next month. That might be interesting because there are some good French people in the book it’s not like they are all jerks.

HH: But the DGSE isn’t going to like this book much!

VF: No, they aren’t. They have a different – France is a different country. Just look at it from the monogamy standpoint. They think it’s fine if men and women both have dalliances-if they have affairs. It’s part of their culture. Now obviously, not all French people buy into that, but it’s socially acceptable to the point where they are not shocked when they find out that their political leaders are having affairs.

HH: Now the DGSE is the CIA of France and it is pretty-it was very corrupt in terms of the side deals for many years and everybody knew-in fact, all of the French government was very corrupt. Do you still think it’s that way? Do your sources tell you that it’s still that way?

VF: My sources do not have an answer on that. I asked one of them and his response was the media has a handle of the DGSE and because there is more transparency it’s harder for these guys to take cash, but I find it hard to believe that these guys still don’t take some money when they are overseas and they are doing stuff. They are a-the French have some big problems. I think I’ve made a comment on your show before. I am all for legal immigration but we are very lucky to have a bunch of Catholic Mexicans to our southern border. France’s problem is that they have a bunch of Islamic Radical Fundamentalists across the Mediterranean and they’ve allowed a lot of them to come in and given them citizenship and they are creating all kinds of problems for the country.

HH: I’ll be right back with Vince Flynn. His new book is Kill Shot. Mitch Rapp is back and with all the vigor you’d expect. Kill Shot available in bookstores. I’ll be right back.

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Thirty-four minutes after the hour, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt joined this hour by Vince Flynn, bestselling author extraordinaire and another number one bestseller is out today, Kill Shot is the latest in the American Assign thriller series. It’s the second prequel from Mitch Rapp. I got to mention in my notes here Vince Flynn, you talk about the hideous Pompidou Centre. I’m glad that you’re as open with your opinions on architecture as you are on espionage.

VF: (laughing) Well, in that town and in that district, you’ve got all this magnificent architecture that building looks like the biggest pile of you know what I just don’t understand it.

HH: (laughing) Okay, you’ve got Mitch Rapp at one point I love this bit of trade craft. He needs to find a mule in essence so he goes down and he hangs out with the small time down druggies of the left bank, is that real trade craft as related to you or is that how you would like it to work?

VF: Well, you know I’ve heard so many hilarious stories over the years from retired operatives who are-you have a few cocktails with them down in DC or other parts of the country and they start to tell you some really funny stories about stuff they did back in the day. It sometimes is something that they’ve been taught and there’s other times where they just go with it. They are just flying by the seat of their pants and if an opportunity arises, they take it.

HH: I just re-read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable School Boy and Smiley’s People and I was looking for an eye on trade craft. They are set roughly 10 years prior to Kill Shot and some of this stuff that le Carre uses is very reminiscent of the details-different kind of stuff but down to the details. Are you consciously working at trying to add more trade craft into these books because people like it?

VF: Yeah. In this-when I sat down to write this one even more so than American Assassins I had it in my mind I was such a fan Robert Ludlum’s in the Born series and the Gemini Contenders and all that stuff that he wrote in the 70’s and 80’s and I thought I want this to be kind of a homage to Ludlum. I want it to have that feel that a Ludlum novel had and I’ve been compared to Ludlum before so I don’t know how much-my other books consciously or subconsciously are similar with Ludlum’s, but I love the way that Robert told a story. So that’s what I sat down and tried to do and because it’s Rapp alone for a large part of this book, battling terrorists in his own government and all kinds of people you have to-the best way to let the reader understand the paranoia and the understandable paranoia of the main character is to show them how thorough they must be in everything that they do so that they don’t get caught.

HH: Yep. I don’t know if you’ve even seen the preview yet. Denzel Washington has a new movie coming out where he plays a CIA agent who is obviously at war with his own agency and I saw the preview after finishing Kill Shot and said well Vince has timed this nicely.

VF: So here’s what’s interesting: We were in negotiation with him last late November, early December. Ed Zwick was brought on to direct American Assassin and they-we went out and gave a 15 million dollar offer to Denzel and we said we want you to play Stan Hurley. He and his people read it and they came back and said we love it but you know what we just wrapped a movie that is pretty similar to what this book is so we’re going to pass.

HH: He’d be a great Stan Hurley. So, where is the movie right now? That was my next question.

VF: Well, the movie is in an interesting spot. I gave them a one-year extension last spring to bring on Ed Zwick who did The Last Samurai and a bunch of other good things and Marshall Herkovitz and so all of a sudden Ed bails in December because Denzel says no so Ed says I’ve wanted to do this film about the Great Wall for the last 10 years so he leaves to go do that. Now we don’t have a director and the clock is ticketing. CBS films has until the end of April to get this thing off the ground. Now they are rushing around trying to find another director, actors and it’s going to be interesting.

HH: This must be very-you know you’re in charge of your own life when you’re writing a book and you’ve got no control at all when it’s Hollywood, do you?

VF: None. Well I’ve got great producers and CBS Films has been good to me. They consult-I don’t get surprised by anything. They pick up the phone and they tell me what’s going on and I’m very grateful for that. Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Nick Wechsler, who are the producers have been-gosh, I’ve been with those guys for about seven years now and they’re trying their hardest to get a Mitch Rapp film made and I kind of have that attitude that when the time is right, it’s going to happen and before then I’m going to try and not get too frustrated.

HH: Good policy. Vince Flynn is my guest. He’s coming right back. Don’t go anywhere except maybe to buy Kill Shot at your local bookstore. It’s linked at HughHewitt.com or go to VinceFlynn.com his website.

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Welcome back, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. Vince Flynn is my guest this hour. Coming up next hour I’m going to replay my conversation with Mitt Romney which if you were here in the first hour you heard. Plus, Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker is swinging by to talk about the new swing voters so don’t miss next hour.

Vince Flynn, let’s talk about Chet Bramble who is a central character to Kill Shot, very complicated character, very surprising, I’m not going to give anything away here. How long did Chet Bramble wonder around in Vince Flynn’s mind taking shape?

VF: You know the Chet Bramble deal-he was in the last book and what he-you are so good! I was not planning on making this admission but because it’s you, I’ll give it up. The character is based on a guy that I played football with in college.

HH: Oh! On your side?

VF: He was a little off his rocker.

HH: Was he a middle line-backer?

VF: Yes, he was.

HH: There you go!

VF: And he actually had a great personality and he could be as nice as you could imagine one minute and then the next minute he was absolutely screwing whoever he needed to screw to get whatever he wanted and break every rule. I was raised to play football the clean way and this guy would try and gouge people’s eyes out in the pile and say all kinds of things about their mother and (laughing)

HH: Well here’s . . . about Chet Ramble the back story is the family member that he has to defend and so you make him ambiguous from the beginning.

VF: Yeah. He-it’s really hard to condemn a child so I wanted to tell that story so people could see a human side to Chet because he was in the book such a monster and such a jerk that he’s too easy to hate. So, I wanted to go back and show what he was like as a kid and how he grew up and make him a little bit more sympathetic-or least an ambiguous character so the reader wasn’t entirely sure how much they should hate this guy and if in the end he would find salvation or not and that’s of course we can’t get into that but I have had more fun in the last two books writing jerks.

Hurley in American Assassin I think his dialogue and his character-you won’t here me say this very often because I don’t like to talk about my own writing but that’s definitely some of the best writing that I’ve ever done.

HH: Hurley is a terrific character. I was curious on my notes here does he exist or have you heard about him? Not in a composite sort of way.

VF: Hurley?

HH: Yeah.

VF: Yeah. I do know someone that’s very much like Hurley (laughing). The guy is an absolute character. He was a SEAL and he was a take no crap, tough as nails guy who let me see, when I met him I was probably 33-34 and this guy was already 60 years-old. I was in really good shape and this guy I wouldn’t have dreamed of taking a shot at him.

HH: It’s a fascinating . . .

VF: He could tear me and my four brothers apart in 30 seconds.

HH: I hope that the agency has people there working for them. Let me ask you about the less than flattering journalistic duo of Bernstein and Jones and your assessment of those who now want no one to know that they used to take a little money under the table or they got helped out along the way and it was very common practice for the agency to do that and boy do networks hate for that to be known.

VF: They can’t stand it and you’re right there was a lot of people over the years that have been rumored to take some cash on the side for the CIA, do some favors but I wanted to have some fun with that because in this day and age what a lot of people forget is I don’t care if it is talk radio, writing books for a living, being a reporter, there are some massive egos involved. There are good people and there are bad people and people somehow lose the sight. Journalists are not referees. They are not independent. They are not unbiased. They are people who want to be loved, who want to advance their career and many of them are willing to sensationalize and do all kinds of things to please their bosses to advance their career. That’s going to be a theme that I’m going to return to.

HH: Oh, I love that theme. I think . . .

VF: It frustrates me that people actually think and fewer and fewer people think by the way that for instance NBC News is an unbiased news organization, but you have to be very skeptical of everything that you read in the New York Times and the Washington Post and you always have to think what is their motivation? What are they doing? What’s their political bias?

HH: And every journalist has a back story. We never learn it and every one of them comes from somewhere and done some things that they don’t want people to know about. That’s why I love these characters. I must speak up. We are on the air right now in Orlando, Vince. Page 248: “It was part of his legend that Kennedy had meticulously prepared Orlando was vanilla. People visited but were hard pressed to actually know anyone who grew up in the city that Disney built. The metropolitan area had grown from several hundred thousand people to over a million and in just two decades it was still expanding. Tourism and retirement communities were the anchors of the local community. They both attracted a lot of workers from out of state. It was home to the University of Central Florida, the second largest university behind Arizona State which according to Rapp’s legend was his alma mater. The fast growth of the population , the transient nature of the work force gave Rapp a near ideal cover.” It’s a wonderful back story but on behalf of the people of Orlando when are you doing a book signing down there? (laughing)

VF: (laughing) You know what the equivalent is? You’ll get this because the west coast has their Orlando and it’s Las Vegas.

HH: Oh, you bet.

VF: How many people have you ever met who grew up in Las Vegas?

HH: You’re right, but I think the Orlando people are going to say that they are much less transient than the Vegas people are. When did you figure out Rapp’s legend was going to be Orlando? Was that years ago?

VF: I didn’t until I sat down to write this book.

HH: Ok, so you just had to invent him in the real time and in the real place.

VF: Well, no. I went back to that time when Kennedy had recruited him I looked at it and I thought they’ve got to figure something for this guy in case he runs into people. The Orlando legend was-it’s usually easier to have somebody be from a big city because there is too much confusion, the variables are such that you’re only one of ten million people in New York City so it’s going to be really hard for somebody to say I should have known you. If you say they’re from Toledo, Ohio it’s a whole other ballgame.

HH: You are absolutely right and that’s why it’s wonderfully written. I had never really thought about where you would put the legend. We have 30 seconds until break, Vince. A legend is? Explain it to the audience.

VF: Well a legend is a back story so you are a CIA operative. You have to have a cover that you have to memorize so that when you are being Joe Hewitt overseas you can’t be Joe Hewitt from Columbus, Ohio. You have to be a whole new person.

HH: And that is the legend and how you get one is described in Kill Shot. One more segment with Vince Flynn. Don’t go anywhere, America. It’s the Hugh Hewitt Show.

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Fifty-five minutes after the hour, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. Vince Flynn has been my guest this hour. His brand new book is Kill Shot. You’re going to love it. It’s available in bookstores everywhere, at amazon.com. Vince, I want to finish in our three minutes talking about the Central Intelligence Agency. You write a lot about this, it’s place in D.C., the hierarchy within it and how it operates. How do you think General Petraeus is doing there?

VF: Well, you know I know him and I have a lot of respect for the guy and so I’m not going-I’ll let my motives be known to your audience ok? I like General Petraeus. He was a great General, very dignified career in the Army. I personally don’t think he’s the right one to be running Langley.

HH: And why is that?

VF: Because of his Army experience. It’s two completely different things nor would I expect a career CIA officer to go run the Pentagon. This is something that you probably understand Hugh, but there are turf battles in Washington that you could write a soap opera about. The Pentagon budget, the CIA and the Intelligence budget and people are home towners. You come out of the Army and you come out of West Point and you are going to have certain biases towards the military and I know this personally from talking to General Petraeus. He and I had a very interesting conversation one time about the difference between a Navy SEAL sniper shooting a guy from a half-mile away vs. a predator drone, firing a hell fire missile into a mud hut and the way I couched it was let’s find a terrorist, they are in a city and we go whack him with a SEAL sniper and he was emphatically against that. He said no we can’t do that. That’s against our Constitution and we can’t do it and I’m thinking so what’s the difference between hitting him with a hell fire missile out of a predator where we might end up killing – there’s going to be some collateral damage vs. a clean shot by a SEAL team sniper. I don’t fault the General for this, it’s the world that he has come out of.

HH: Interesting. That’s going to be in the next book. I’m sure that’s going to be interesting! Let me conclude by asking you how tense the world looks to you right now.

VF: Oh Hugh, I’m not happy. Iran-I just started that book How To You Kill Eleven Million People? and it’s right up your alley. It’s very philosophical and he goes back and talks about the holocaust and how there were all these signs and everybody ignored it. I’m looking at Iran right now and week doesn’t go by where the Ayatollah or Ahmadinejad or somebody else stands up and says you know let’s kill all the Jews and wipe Israel off the face of the planet.

HH: Yes, the clock is ticking.

VF: This thing with Israel – how could anybody blame them, they have to attack at some point.

HH: They can’t be blamed. Vince Flynn, thank you my friend. Kill Shot is the new book. It’s linked at HughHewitt.com. Stay tuned, America. It’s the Hugh Hewitt Show.

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