"Something big, something really big is coming," the leader of extremist group Rescue America warns reporter Jerry Reiter. It is the first hint of new terror to come in Pensacola, Florida-already "ground zero" for the nation's Culture War. As Reiter goes there to cover the murder trial of the first doctor slain in the holy war over abortion, he meets radicals from the Ku Klux Klan, Operation Rescue, and a militia man with duffel bags filled with semiautomatic weapons. Each person Reiter interviews offers up a different part of a frightening puzzle pointing to a plot with the potential to be the nation's worst act of domestic terrorism.
Reiter is told by future assassin Paul Hill, "You are about to see an IRA-type reign of terror." Twists and turns in the real-life plot pull the reader along into a strange subculture where terrorism is seen as a sacred virtue, and the irony of "pro-life killing" is lost on a fanatical national network of zealots. Reiter is given a string of hints that lead him to suspect a nightmarishly violent attack will take place at a candlelight vigil on the anniversary of the doctor's death as hundreds of abortion providers and feminist leaders from around the nation will be gathered to remember their fallen colleague. Standing in the dark of an open grassy area, they will not be able to see the armed men who wish them harm until it is too late.
The hints are tantalizing, but Reiter is not sure if he has enough evidence to lead to arrests and the foiling of the potential plot. And the situation is personally ironic for Reiter; two years earlier he had put his broadcasting career on the line for the sake of Operation Rescue, working out of the state headquarters of the Christian Coalition of New York as a media coordinator in a national protest. Now he faces the prospect of either putting his very life on the line for abortion providers or allowing a cold-blooded mass murder plot to take place.
The trail of blood that Reiter uncovers both takes him back to the mysterious circumstances of the first slaying, and down a road that will eventually lead him to become a reluctant informant for the FBI. With help from the FBI he will later witness a merger between militias and militant antiabortionists that will send chills down your spine. Reiter's own life is changed forever by his experiences in the nation's culture war and his subsequent role as a leader in a movement called "The Common Ground Network for Life and Choice." Where he comes out at the end of the journey will surprise both pro-life and pro-choice people.
Reiter, a founding member and activist in the Christian Coalition, shows that there are shockingly close (albeit indirect) ties between radicals and respectable conservatives, including such national figures as Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan and the "compassionate conservative" philosophy of George W. Bush. For instance, the legal defense for anti-abortion assassin Paul Hill is provided by an attorney working full-time in Robertson's legal machine, the ACLJ, the religious right's version of the ACLU. And by the end of the book, the reader will know where the religious right went wrong.
Jerry Reiter now works as development director for the Center for Inquiry International
Book Binding: Hardcover
Shipping Weight: 1lbs