I’m a little groggy after staying up well after midnight to finish a 576-page novel I’d only picked up yesterday morning. My head is still spinning, trying to digest a work of fiction nine years old that reads like a near-term future history and nightmare rolled into one.
Matthew Bracken’s Enemies Foreign and Domestic was first published in 2003. The parallels between the fictional world he created roughly a decade ago with the world as it stands before us are stunning.
A cleverly-conceived domestic terror attack sees more than a thousand killed in a professional football stadium by a stampede caused by a long-range sniper attack, all in from of network cameras. A suspect is killed, and a panicked Congress passes draconian gun control laws that eviscerate the Second and Forth Amendments.
Prominent players in politics and the media are only thinly veiled–the online story-breaking Sledge Report, for instance, or center-right news network TOP News–as an arrogant, virulently anti-gun President unleashes a rogue BATFE unit loose to seek “justice” against the “militia” blamed for the attack, and the situation spins wildly out of control into a dirty civil war.
The “plausible deniability” of the President’s covert war against gun-owners using a rogue BATFE agent to target innocent American citizens framed with nothing more than “probable culpability”–and eager media’s willingness to play their role–is stunning, and sounds a note shockingly close to current events.
It’s a good read, if unsettling.