The BeMod Boss is the new political thriller from Thomas Del Signore that intertwines the lives of a budding American journalist, the ailing retired chief of the nation's top spy agency, and the ruthless operative who has conducted “behavior modification” – or BeMod, in intelligence lingo – on his nation's behalf for nearly 50 years.
In his Maryland suburb, Charlie Devine is the peace-loving, high-minded church leader who helps oppressed minorities in Central America. But among the intelligentsia, Devine is renowned as the BeMod Boss, the composed and heartless head of the CIA's secret torture and rendition apparatus that has infiltrated and graphically influenced key foes of America's foreign policy from Vietnam to Iraq.
Jim Davis is the young journalist for the Washington Press who gets the story of a lifetime when Devine's former boss, CIA director Wallace Honigford, spills all the details of the evolution of the agency's secretive behavior modification program from the rendition of Nazi sympathizers by the CIA's predecessor, the OSS, during World War II up to the horrific treatment of Iraqi soldiers and civilians during the second incursion into the Persian Gulf.
The potential serialization of the rise and fall of the BeMod Boss, and the subsequent release of sensitive government information puts Honigford and Davis in peril. When the ailing CIA chief dies suddenly from “natural causes” and Davis disappears before he gets to write his Pulitzer Prize-winning series of stores, the story of the BeMod Boss and the crimes he carried out in the name of U.S. foreign policy is destined to remain buried.
That is until Davis' editor at the Washington Press absconds with all the transcripts from the Honigford interviews and flees the country. With the help of an unlikely intelligence expert he meets in Belgium, Press editor Frank Stansler affects the release of the barebones data he stole from the newspaper's computer servers and the seamy underbelly of U.S. intelligence policy is exposed for all to see.
The BeMod Boss is a page-turner that richly chronicles, in graphic detail, the ugly, unspoken piece of the intelligence portfolio over the past 50 years as reflected in the person of Charlie Devine. The emergence of conscience, even within the psyche of the man who carried out with exacting precision torture and rendition for his country, is carefully woven into this historical fiction as is the conflict between the role of old media vs. new media in dissemination of information in a democracy.
- Thomas Del Signore, May 2011
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