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  • Writer's pictureKevin Alkhas

What We're Reading: The President is Missing



When craving a good piece of literature, nothing quite hits the spot like a good mystery thriller. Now, imagine if this aforementioned mystery thriller had to do with the president of the United States dealing with a cyberterrorist group called the Sons of Jihad. Pretty interesting stuff, right? One more thing, what if this novel was co-written by an actual former United States president? Does that have your attention yet? That’s right, what we’re reading is a novel written by James Patterson and Bill Clinton titled The President is Missing.

Clinton and Patterson’s novel tells the tale of how a sitting president deals with terroristic threats and actions. Considering that President Clinton wrote a sizable portion of the novel, it was incredibly interesting to see his take on the matters that were mentioned in the text. Being that Clinton is regarded as the first president to have written an email, he never had to undergo much hardship when it came to cyberterrorism, since the internet was still in its infancy during his presidency. However, writing about such an ordeal in the novel- warns the reader that cyberterrorism is a valid threat in the real world and must be dealt with appropriately.

Without spoiling the gist of the novel, a cyberterrorist group launches a mass-scale computer virus called “Dark Ages.” Just as the title of this virus states, it threatens to take the world back to the literal dark ages as it attempts to clear everything that is on computer servers around the world. This is a problem that could very well be a reality in the near future. With the exception of a nuclear launch, viral disease, and electromagnetic pulse attacks, it is regarded that cyber attacks could truly reshape the world that we know for the worse.

The Sons of Jihad created this virus so that the United States would be economically crippled and susceptible to further attacks. With that being said, this would theoretically force the United States to effectively retreat from their foreign policy objects, particularly in the Middle East. It is up to you to read the novel and see just how a matter such as this is solved or if it is unsolvable and doomed to crippled America’s cyber security. The novel does an exceptional job of putting the reader in the shoes of the president. It really makes the reader wonder how they would solve a problem like this if they had the authority to deal with it.

In conclusion, The President is Missing is a fantastic read. It really places an emphasis on real-world problems that may find themselves on our homeland’s doorstep. It is entirely speculative on how our nation is prepared when dealing with cyberterrorism, but it is an approach that we clearly have not perfected. Just look at the cyberterrorism that was encountered in Las Vegas this past month where millions of dollars were hacked from casinos. This is an ongoing domestic and global issue. We are lucky to have Clinton and Patterson write a novel such as this one to help shed light to the matter of cyberterrorism.





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