Blue Scare: An Interview with Derek Manner

Posted: March 20, 2013 in Interview
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The following is a very special interview with the star of my latest short story Blue Scare, Derek Manner.

Author: Derek, welcome.  It’s a pleasure to have you here tonight.

Derek M: Thanks a bunch.  It’s good to be here.

A: Alright, I suppose we should start by saying that you are the central protagonist of the short story Blue Scare.  A story about America, about John F. Kennedy, about justice in an unjust world.

DM: That’s right.

A: Why don’t you tell us about yourself Derek.  Who are you?  What’s driving you on this quest?

DM: [laughs] Well you could probably write a book about all the things that drive me.  Hell, maybe you will someday.

A: I’ve thought about it.

DM: I’m sure.  Well anyway, I’m Special Agent Derek Manner.  I work for the Department of Internal Justice and have been wearing this badge for 24 years now.

A: Tell us about the Department, the DIJ if you will, please.

DM: Certainly.  The Department of Internal Justice was established in late 1965, during John Kennedy’s second term in office, which if you’ll recall wasn’t long after the failed assassination attempt.  The guy was a trooper, I’ll tell you what.  He had always taken to heart, President Eisenhower’s farewell address about the “Military Industrial Complex” and unfortunately for him, he learned just how bad it had gotten in the hardest way possible.  A formal investigation of the assassination attempt followed and he learned that it had mainly originated from the Central Intelligence Agency.  Now, ya gotta remember, Kennedy didn’t trust the Agency, in fact he had already fired their primary architect, CIA Director Allen Dulles.  In addition to that he had also signed into law National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 55, which essentially stripped the CIA of all covert operational power and handed it over to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, namely Lyman Lemnitzer who was the Chief of the JSC at the time.  He neutered them, and apparently they didn’t take too kindly to it.  The attempt on his life was the final spark that set off the inferno.

A: I’m sure it was.  So, what prompted you to join the Department?

DM: Well, a lot of things really.  Like most kids then, I got swept up in the anti-CIA hysteria that followed.  The things they were doing or at least planning on doing were downright shocking when it came out.  I mean these guys were professional over-throwers of elected governments, they had their people inside the media, inside Hollywood, they were everywhere. They had an entire coverup outlined and ready to go, they were gonna blame some kid Oswald or something for it, and well [chuckles] frankly I have a hard time thinking that people would actually be stupid enough to believe that crap. Mostly I joined the Department because I hated being lied to, and manipulated by people, I suppose thanks to my father at the time. He was a hardline right winger who thought the world would be so much better if that “damned Kennedy had just got shot”.  I couldn’t take that anymore, I mean this is America.  We elect officials with votes not with bullets. If the guy turns out to be bad we just don’t elect ’em again, right?

A: Exactly.

DM: So anyway, I got out of college and wanted to sign up, so I did.  I haven’t looked back since.

A: So tell me what happened immediately after the investigation into the assassination attempt.

DM: Oh, Kennedy kept good on his promise to “smash the agency into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the wind.”  The CIA was formally abolished and suspected conspirators were rounded up, well the few they could find anyway.  These guys were ghosts, spooks, real cloak and dagger type stuff.  I was just a kid when it all went down but man, the Blue Scare was on, I’ll tell you what.

A: Ah, that would explain the title of the story.

DM: You’re damn right. You see, after World War II, the CIA’s propaganda machine kept pumping out all of this “Red Scare” garbage.  The “evil commies” are coming to get us, the nukes were going to fly and yadda, yadda. Who would’ve thought the real threat was going to come from within, am I right?  But in any case that’s how that came about.

A: So now, what exactly is this story about?

DM: Well, me and my partner Ollie get a call at lunch.  The DIJ is one of the most specialized government bodies.  In short we’re spook hunters and there’s been a long standing prize that every agent in the place dreams about.  That’s finding the assassins who almost took out Kennedy back in ’63.  These guys were pros, when the bullets stopped flying they disappeared into the mists, never to be heard from again… until now.

A: Oh, that’s intriguing.  Go on.

DM: I’m only gonna say this.  I’ve dreamt about this moment since I was a kid and now, me and my partner have finally gotten the tip of a lifetime.  We’re gonna take down one of those gun totin, fascist sons of bitches for good. I promise you.

A: Well that certainly sounds like an exciting story, one that I can’t recommend enough to my readers.

DM: Glad to hear it.

A: I was glad to have you here, Derek.  Blue Scare. The latest short story by yours truly, K.R. Krause.  It’s available exclusively as an e-book on Kindle and now for the first time on Nook.  It’s only ¢99 so get your copy now.  Derek, it was a pleasure.

DM: Thank you very much.


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