Ex-Sen. Bob Graham’s new novel is cleared by the CIA

Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) is well-known for jotting down the big, as well as the mundane, events of his everyday life.

While some have mocked Graham for his recordkeeping, Graham’s meticulous notes helped him write his first novel, titled Keys to the Kingdom.

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In a recent interview with ITK, the former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman said much of the book is based on fact, with some of the details changed.

For example, Graham consulted his notebooks and used much of a 2002 conversation that he had with Tommy Franks, the four-star general who directed the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Graham notes his book was cleared by the CIA, adding the review took about a week and didn’t lead to any substantive changes.

The Florida senator based a character on Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), whose alter ego helps save the U.S. from nuclear Armageddon.

Rockefeller, who was governor of the Mountain State from 1977 to 1985 before being elected to the upper chamber, is the obvious model for Sen. Stoner, described in the novel as a former governor and “the tallest member of the Senate.”

With the help of a Cuban ex-Special Forces operative, Stoner defuses a nuclear confrontation between Pakistan and India and averts a nuclear terrorist attack on the U.S. by al Qaeda.

Rockefeller’s cover was officially blown Tuesday night when Graham, who told Rockefeller and at least 75 other guests at a reception at the home of Greg and Lynn O’Brien in McLean, Va., that the senior senator from West Virginia was his inspiration for Sen. Stoner.

Graham, who has written three nonfiction books, said it took him about four years to finish the tome. And there might be a sequel.

“The publisher has asked me to do another,” Graham said.

Asked if the thriller might hit the big screen, Graham smiled and responded, “We’ll see.” 


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