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Author's Note

I completed this manuscript in October 1994. At that time, I'd structured the events which occur in Chapter Nineteen because I could think of no more loathsome, despicable, and cowardly act any individual or group of individuals could commit. It is my belief that the sentence "The end justifies the means"—that suppression, repression, and/or murder become somehow acceptable if committed in the name of a "cause" or belief which reduces individuals to expendable pawns—is the vilest of human poisons, and that terrorism, regardless of the terrorist's "cause," is the ultimate act of dehumanization. I did not expect that between the time I wrote this novel and the time it was published a United States citizen in Oklahoma City would demonstrate an even worse contempt for human life and the fundamental values of his own society or prove capable of an act even more despicable than my fictional villains. That some human beings are capable of such atrocities is an inescapable lesson of history. That we cannot allow those acts to go unpunished or extend to those who commit them any shred of respect, whatever the "cause" which motivated them, is a lesson the civilized human community must teach itself.



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