Years later, when he read a newspaper article that said Beckwith had a sign on his desk at his Texas-based security company which read, “kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out” he had been disappointed in the man he now considered his mentor.  He wrote him a scathing letter, and one of the former Delta officers who worked with Beckwith, Wade Ishimoto, told Sadler that when Beckwith read the letter that he replaced the sign.  The most precious thing on the face of the earth is a human life.” -Excerpted from “A Mission for Delta” by L.H. Burruss

This obscure novel, published in 1991, offers a small glimpse into the covert world of espionage and counter-terrorism as few could ever describe, the author having served as the deputy commander of Delta Force.

In part one of this review, the first half of the book is unpacked as we read about a Delta operator named Matt Jensen who tracks down a rogue Green Beret named Raul Valenzuela in El Salvador, the character clearly based on the real life Special Forces soldier David Baez who died under mysterious circumstances in Honduras.  In the novel, Delta conducted the snatch and grab at the CIA’s request because it is believed that Valenzuela constructed an improvised nuclear device, a loose nuke that is now missing.  Unfortunately, Valenzeula was killed during the mission by an errand shot fired by a Cuban helicopter.  The Delta operators did manage to pick up his pregnant girlfriend though and smuggle her back to Delta’s compound on Fort Bragg.

With Valenzeula dead, it is decided that Delta and one expert from NEST will begin the hunt for the improvised nuclear device which is suspected to be somewhere in the U.S.  A Spanish-speaking operator will begin working to win the trust of Valenzeula’s girlfriend, while a small team is put together to snatch Hakim Nidal (obviously based on the real like Abu Nidal who also had an interesting relationship with the KGB as does his fictional counter-part) who has left Lebanon and is vacationing in Cyprus as it is suspected that Valenzeula was going to sell Nidal the bomb, meaning the notorious terrorist may have additional information that could lead the Americans to the weapon.