The Republicans wouldn’t really try to steal an election, would they? According to former CIA operative Kolb (Overworld, not reviewed), you bet they would.
A story that’s murky but exciting from beginning to end, Kolb’s narrative opens with a hushed inquiry in a Hollywood restaurant, where an attorney with deep connections to the shadow world asks what he knows of a man named Robert Sensi, chairman of Republicans Abroad. Well, Kolb answers, he worked for the CIA, with close ties to Bill Casey and George H.W. Bush, and he went bad. A strange picture forms: Sensi and an ally, Robert Hirschfeld, have arranged for a Turkish entrepreneur with connections to bin Laden and company to make a contribution to John Kerry’s 2004 campaign, with the idea of then exposing it as terrorist money. It’s circumstantial, but Kolb knows what buttons to push: Given that Karl Rove was a disciple of Donald Segretti, chief of dirty tricks in the Watergate affair, “would Rove balk if Hirschfeld or an intermediary approached him with a scheme to link Kerry with Al Qaeda? Read Rove’s record, and you decide.” It gets murkier when Kolb takes the evidence he’s accumulated to Kerry’s camp, where it’s immediately leaked to the Bush people, and Kolb is running for his life. Along the way, he lends credence to the notion that Casey engineered the October surprise by which the Iran hostages were freed to influence the election of Ronald Reagan (“A very dirty trick, if it was true. And without quite saying it, Sensi seemed to be telling me it was true”); casts serious doubt on the efficacy and morality of the drug war; and gives good reason to doubt everyone with an ounce of political power.
“Like so much of the rest of the true story of my life . . . it’s preposterous,” Kolb says in passing. Look at the record, and you decide.