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Updated on April 6, 2016


The Reader's Guild LLC has named "Duly" as"One of the best contemporary self-published books" and will include it in an upcoming anthology!


The Secretary of Defense has announced that women can now serve in combat. Already there is talk of lowering physical standards to accommodate women. In addition, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was dropped not too long ago. Both of these were predicted in this novel, "Duly Constituted Authority." Read it and see what else may be coming!

Further Update - June 2013

"A military analyst says violence against military women, already growing at an alarming rate, will increase in the U.S. armed forces if women are allowed in front-line combat units.

"The Pentagon plans will increase combat and sexual violence against women because, among other things, unresolved problems will be extended into the combat arms," says Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to move ahead with a plan to allow women to serve in tip-of-the-spear combat arms positions. The plan says women could start training as Army Rangers by mid-2015 and as Navy SEALs a year later." 18 June 2013

"A conservative military watchdog says the newly announced plan to allow women in front-line combat units will do nothing but degrade tough training standards." 18 June 2013

Some people maintain that this all about "diversity" and "political correctness" and not combat readiness. When I wrote this book, it was because I could see it coming. "Duly Constituted Authority" is available at all major ebook sellers.

The Plot

What happens when a president of the United States goes off the deep end? Imagine a president giving one unreasonable order after another to the US military in the name of “social reforms,” without considering the effects on combat effectiveness and military preparedness. Aided by a radical secretary of defense with a personal ax to grind, plus enough allies in Congress willing to go along, and you have the recipe for a constitutional crisis the likes of which the nation hasn’t seen since Truman versus MacArthur. It’s Seven Days in May in reverse, with the extremist in the White House and the Joint Chiefs of Staff standing in the way of the decline of the US as a superpower. The world watches and our nation’s enemies wait to see the outcome as the White House takes on the Pentagon. Can the cops and the FBI prevail over tanks and jet fighters? A political “potboiler” in the mold of Allen Drury with a bit of Tom Clancy thrown in!

This is the basis of my novel, “Duly Constituted Authority,” which is now available for all popular formats at I have worked for the Defense Department most of my adult life as a military intelligence analyst. Having witnessed the results of the never-ending quest for "diversity" and "multi-culturalism," the majority of them negative, I asked myself what would happen if a courageous, high-ranking DoD official or flag officer just stood up and said "Enough. No more." Thus was born the novel which I would characterize as a political potboiler/thriller. If you remember Allen Drury and the type of books he wrote (Advise and Consent for example), you will find “Duly” fits in that mold (with a bit of Tom Clancy as well). Here’s a sample chapter:

Moscow, Russia -- The Kremlin

The aide gently opened the door to the president’s bedroom intending to wake the old man as he had on most mornings for the past three years. Usually he would walk over to the big window facing the president’s bed and draw the curtains, letting in a shower of light, and usually the president would wake up and say “Good morning, Sasha.” The president had stopped sleeping with his wife long ago, so there would be no invasion of privacy.
On this day Sasha drew the curtains and awaited for the words which, this particular morning, did not come. Aleksandr Bakunin, affectionately called Sasha by the president, walked over and stared at the old man who appeared to be fast asleep. Sasha waited a few moments and decided simultaneously that the president probably had a bit too much vodka last night and that he, Sasha, would let him sleep some more.

Some thirty minutes later, Sasha checked on him again. The old man’s position had not changed nor had his facial expression. Gingerly, he touched his president’s arm but there was no response. He touched the forehead but it was cold. Sasha anxiously started shaking the old man, throwing decorum to the wind. Nothing. He rushed to the telephone. “This is Sasha, send the doctor in immediately! It’s . . . it’s the president. I think he’s -- just send in the doctor. Hurry!”

In a very few minutes, several doctors and aides, as well as his wife who had been sleeping in an adjoining room surrounded the president’s bed. The chief doctor tried to take his pulse. Still nothing. He looked at the president’s wife and then at the other people in the room. “I’m sorry but I believe he is no longer with us.” The president’s wife, a small woman named Ekaterina, sobbed quietly as the rest of the people talked in hushed tones. Sasha merely lowered his head. Grigory Mihkailovich Goldunov, president of the Russian Federation, heir to the leadership of the old Soviet Union, was dead.

On the other side of the world, Goldunov's American counterpart sat in the living room on the upper floor of the White House, in the part that tourists never get to see. His wife sat across from him dressed only in her bathrobe, her “dirty-blonde” hair piled up on her head. Merilee Ramsey regarded her husband as he sat in his favorite chair, reading The Washington Post. Tall, handsome, athletic, with his just-now-graying hair combed straight back, accenting his steely-blue eyes . . . and he was the president of the United States. I think I did all right when I picked him. After a moment she said “What ‘cha reading?”
“Oh, the latest crap the opposition is saying about me.”
“Anything special, or the usual vile, filthy innuendoes and ridiculous rumors?”
“Well, I’m supposed to be the head of the most scandal-ridden, immoral, and incompetent administration this country’s evah experienced. Other than that, nothing special.” He smiled that infectious and disarming smile of his.
“Is that all? Who’s saying all that?”
“The usual.”
“Senator Bell?”
“The one and only.”
She wrinkled her nose. “Why does that old fossil continue to carp at you? What does he expect to gain from it?”
“Are you kidding? He wants my job?”
“Your job? Why he’s at least sixty-five, isn’t he?”
He put the paper down. “Merilee, we’ve had olduh presidents. Remember Ronald Reagan?”
She rolled her eyes upward. “How could I forget?”
“Well, the senior senator from Arizona is still youngah than Reagan was when he took office. And he’s wanted this job for a long time. As a mattah of fact, he’s probably a shoo-in for the nomination.” His Boston accent was coming through loud and clear as it did when he got “wound up.” “And I’ll tell you something else, he cahn’t be dismissed all that easily as an opponent, let me tell you.” A buzzer sounded and he immediately picked up the phone. “Ramsey.” A pause. “Hmmm. I see. Okay, keep me posted as to new developments, will you? Thanks.” He hung up. “It seems something’s up in Moscow.”
“We don’t know for sure, but something might have happened to President Goldunov. It’s not confirmed yet, the Ambassador thinks he might have died.”
“Hmmph. Probably drank himself to death.” She noticed him staring off into space. “What are you thinking about, attending the funeral in Moscow?”
“No actually, I was wondering what would happen over theah if he is gone.”
She frowned. “Well, nothing terrible I hope. We’ve finally managed to get that damned defense budget cut. I’d hate to see another Cold War situation.”
He looked up at her. “We?”
“Theodore Ramsey, aren’t I a part of this administration?”
That smile again. “Of course, my deah, of course. Well, hopefully the democratic process will prevail.” He picked his newspaper up again, trying hard not to display the depth of his anxiety. But he was not fooling his wife who watched him as he thumbed through the pages. She knew him too well.

“Five seconds.”
Benson Williams regarded his colleagues around the table as he waited for the red light to go on.
“Three, two, one , you’re on.”
Williams looked at the camera through his wire-framed glasses. “Good evening and welcome to World In Review. My colleagues tonight are Marissa Spencer from the Times, John Terella from the Post, and of course Neal Tomlinson from News of the I’m Benson Williams, your host. We have a lot to talk about tonight so let’s get started, shall we? Marissa, let’s start with you. What do you think will happen to relations between the US and Russia in the wake of the death of President Goldunov?”
Spencer crossed her legs under her green dress and tried to look thoughtful. “Well, Benson, that depends entirely on who follows him of course. No surprise there. If Nosenko takes over, we might see a stronger Russia and a bit more of the old US-Soviet rivalry, but I don’t think he’s a Communist at heart. Golovkin, on the other hand, . . . ”
Williams broke in. “Marissa, for the benefit of our viewers, we are talking about Russian Defense Minister Gennady Nosenko and head of the Russian Socialist Union Dimitry Golovkin.”
“Yes, well the RSU is really the old Communist Party of the Soviet Union for all intents and purposes. The RSU controls a large number of seats in the Russian parliament, the Duma. We don’t know of course just how dedicated this group is to restoring the old USSR but they’re certainly to the right of Nosenko.”
“To the left you mean,” said Terella.
Tomlinson spoke up. “Benson, there’s no doubt that the ascendancy of either Nosenko or Golovkin will mean a Russia which will be a bit more truculent. Certainly Golovkin presents the bigger problem for us, although I doubt seriously that we will see a return of the Cold War.”
Spencer eyed him coolly. “How can you be so sure, Neal? This guy’s a dedicated Communist as far as we can tell.”
Tomlinson smiled. “I’m glad the Times has a man inside the Kremlin allowing you to be so sure of that Marissa. In any case, Russia doesn’t have the means any more to pose a threat the way the USSR did.”
Williams turned to Terella. “What about it John? Does your newspaper have a spy in Russia too?”
Terella chuckled. “No, not quite. But I think Marissa may be closer to the truth unfortunately.”
“In what way?”
“Well, we’re seeing potential enemy regimes, or at least rivals, flexing their muscles all over the world. Not too mention the apparent resurgence of extremist, leftist parties in places like Italy and France. And the way this president’s cutting our defense budget, well . . . and don’t forget terrorism.”
Tomlinson cleared his throat. “Oh, here he goes again. Look, John, I don’t think we need to get into your ‘September 11th’ argument. You know the threat’s lessened. Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda are long gone. And you also know we’ve got bigger domestic fish to fry.”
Before Terella could respond Spencer chimed in. “Neal, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in the world.”
“How so?”
“First of all, in spite of waiting for years for China to ‘mellow,’ it’s still communist and stronger than it’s ever been. Hong Kong was supposed to remain capitalist and look what happened. Now Taiwan’s about to bite the dust the same way. Pakistan, India, and Iran all have nuclear weapons, and so does North Korea and no one’s done a damn thing about it. You know, if Golovkin does take over in Russia, I wouldn’t be surprised if North Korea tries to resuscitate the old Moscow-Pyongyang alliance. And how do we know Al-Qaeda is really finished?”
At that, everyone started to speak at once causing Williams to break in. “All right, I see we’re not going to solve this one. Let’s take a break for our sponsors and, when we come back, we’ll discuss the recent goings-on in the congress with the ever-perplexing issue of “gender-norming” in our nation’s armed services.”
As the bright lights temporarily dimmed, Terella reached for a water glass. “That ought to be fun.”


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    • AlexDrinkH2O profile image

      AlexDrinkH2O 2 years ago from Southern New England, USA

      "DULY CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY" has been selected by Readers Guild to be part of an upcoming anthology of thrillers! "Duly" will no longer be available as an individual work due to contractual stipulations until further notice. I will provide the link to the anthology as soon as it is published.

    • AlexDrinkH2O profile image

      AlexDrinkH2O 4 years ago from Southern New England, USA


    • AlexDrinkH2O profile image

      AlexDrinkH2O 5 years ago from Southern New England, USA

      Now available at all major ebook sellers.

    • AlexDrinkH2O profile image

      AlexDrinkH2O 5 years ago from Southern New England, USA

      "Duly" is now available for other formats besides the Kindle on In a few days, it will be available on Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Apple and others.