Saturday, 18 January 2014

Yes, Exxoneration, if only because it's inextricably linked with Ultimatum. Funny, I remembered it as being a sequel, but now see that it's more a reworking - at least for the first forty-four pages. After all that time and attention invested in Ultimatum I'm feeling cheated. All those meetings, briefings, phone calls, and behind the scenes consultations, and nothing on an operation that would've surely been the prime minister's chief concern.

In a way, it's like having a series reboot after just one episode. Remember in Ultimatum when President Blank placed an embargo on the transfer of American funds into Canada? Remember how Porter got really upset? Remember how he managed to get the president to back down? In Exxoneration we learn that not 24 hours later Porter closed the border, then closed the airports, then rounded up all the CIA operatives working in Canada. No mention of any of this in Ultimatum.

All this is in preparation for an invasion - anticipated and discussed entirely off-stage and off-page. What else do we learn in Exxoneration? Well, that the British are at our side, ready to shoot down American warplanes over downtown Toronto. So, how come Governor General Simpson, Her Majesty's representative, doesn't know this? How do Porter and the Chief of Defence Staff justify hiding the existence of Operation Reception Party from Simpson, who as Governor General is also Commander-in-Chief?

Hey, do you think it'll turn out that the Governor General is one of those CIA operatives?

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