The Bastard Squad

John “Sparky” McLaughlin was the kind of guy other cops called ‘driven’ or to his closest friends ‘psycho’, because he didn’t care whose shoes he stepped on during an investigation. If you were ‘dirty’ you were ‘done in’ by “the Bastard Squad”, a pejorative term late labeled by the brass in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office when referring to the four Special Agents that had caused havoc up and down the East Coast and onto Latin America.

John began his career as in 1977, and moved on through Special Units (K9, Highway Patrol) and in 1992; he transferred to the Bureau of Narcotics Task Force. His immediate success earned him a spot as a “Narcotic Agent” with Pa. Attorney General’s Office in February of 1995.

In October of 1995, Sparky and his crew’s interrogation of Dominican national drug suspects marked the beginning of an investigation that would eventually document the funneling of U.S. drug money to the campaign of Dominican Presidential candidate Jose Francisco Pena-Gomez and the United States Vice President.
A victory for Pena-Gomez would insure that “narcotics would flow much easier into the U.S.” Pena-Gomez’s, Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) was backed by the Clinton C.I.A. and State Department. In fact, Vice President Al Gore was all too happy to attend a fundraiser held on his behalf, well attended by PRD officials who had DEA NADDIS (Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Identification System) numbers.

When Sparky refused to back off or cooperate with the C.I.A., he became a target. His life began to unravel.

All of his pending cases were thrown out. News stories began appearing indicating that McLaughlin was the subject of an ongoing “police corruption” investigation. The FBI confiscated folders connected with his cases. In short, his career was destroyed as the Philly DA and his former boss, under apparent direction from the CIA, pulled every conceivable nasty trick in their effort to punish John McLaughlin including personal attacks which were fended off viciously by Sparky’s former Police K-9.

The ‘damnatio memoriae’ method of disappearance was practiced in the Soviet Union. When an important political figure was convicted, for instance during the Great Purge, artists would retouch them out of photographs; books, records and histories would be recalled, rewritten or re-enacted; pictures, busts and statues would be taken down; people would be discouraged from talking about them, and the government would never mention them again. They were made to have never existed - unpersoned - in the same way as was used by the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Notable examples range from prominent Russian revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution but disagreed with Bolsheviks, to some of the most devoted Stalinists (for instance Nikolai Yezhov) who fell into disfavor. (Wikipedia)

But this is America, where a person is innocent until proven guilty. Sparky’s case was different. He knew too much. He had to be ‘disappeared’.

Since 2001, as part of its War on Terror, the United States' Central Intelligence Agency has operated a network of off-shore detention facilities, commonly known as black sites, which are used as part of the system of extraordinary rendition used to hold and interrogate "high-value" foreign combatants captured during the US's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ACLU has stated they consider extraordinary rendition to be an illegal form of forced disappearance and called for the detainees to receive trials and the camps to be closed; the US government argues that since the combatants are captured while participating in active military conflict against the United States and officially designated as "Illegal Combatants" under the Geneva Convention, the detentions are legal under international law.

Disappearances work on two levels: not only do they silence opponents and critics who have disappeared, but they also create uncertainty and fear in the wider community, silencing others who would oppose and criticize. Disappearances entail the violation of many fundamental human rights. For the disappeared person, these include the right to liberty, the right to personal security and humane treatment (including freedom from torture), the right to a fair trial, to legal counsel and to equal protection under the law, and the right of presumption of innocence among others. Their families, who often spend the rest of their lives searching for information on the disappeared, are also victims.

“Screw Them”

Simple, short and to the point; Sparky was pissed.

A civil rights lawsuit filed in 1997 on behalf of McLaughlin and fellow agent Charles Micewski was ultimately dismissed.

Undeterred, the agents filed a second lawsuit claiming the state attorney general and his deputies had retaliated against them for the first lawsuit. The jury agreed and awarded them $1,000,000 in punitive damages and $500,000.00 in actual damages.

Sparky’s problem’s weren’t over though, after winning the suit he found himself suddenly placed on the TSA terrorism “no fly list” despite filling out all the necessary paperwork and contacting his local Senator for help. By the way Sparky was entrusted on a daily basis with “secret classified” information and has powers of arrest for violations of weapons of mass destruction.

*The first public incident left his daughter crying at the first class counter as she thought her dad was being taken away instead of going on a much needed family vacation with his daughter he only had for one week a year.

*A mangled Black-Ops contractor finally gets identified through a central figure in the “Filegate” scandal. He had been attacked by Sparky’s K9 Blitz.

*A former Assistant United States Attorney out of New York is suddenly identified as the rogue CIA Agent now working as the “backroom fixer” for the world’s second largest Professional Services Firm.

  • Sparky McLaughlin /Jack Snyder
    Jack Snyder/ Fatal Call
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Writer Biography - Sparky McLaughlin /Jack Snyder

Jack Snyder’s Bio

Jack Snyder is an internationally award-winning filmmaker who has written, directed, and produced both features and short films.

In 2006, he co-wrote and directed the supernatural thriller, GHOST IMAGE, starring Elisabeth Rohm (American Hustle, Joy), and Stacey Dash (Clueless). The film sold to 20th Century Fox and NBC/Universal and has aired on the Showtime Network and The Movie Channel hundreds of time. It is currently available on most digital platforms.

In 2011, Jack wrote, directed, and co-produced an action-thriller titled FATAL CALL, which stars Jason London (Dazed and Confused, The Rage: Carrie 2), Danielle Harris (multiple Halloween movies, The Last Boy Scout), and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda, God is Not Dead). The film screened at Cannes in 2012 and was released in Redbox and on VOD through Warner Brothers during the Summer of 2013, and is currently available on most digital platforms.

Jack has done many work-for-hire screenplays. He was the script-doctor on the film WALKING WITH THE ENEMY in which he was hired specifically to write scenes for Ben Kingsley. The film was released in theaters nationwide in April of 2014.

He also did a screenplay adaptation of the horror novel, Cold Moon Over Babylon, by the late Michael McDowell, a novelist and screenwriter best known for BEETLEJUICE and THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. The film, titled COLD MOON, which he co-produced, stars Christopher Lloyd (Back to The Future), Josh Stewart (Interstellar, The Dark Knight Rises), Frank Whaley (Pulp Fiction, Ray Donovan), and Candy Clark (American Graffiti, Zodiac). It is tentatively scheduled for a theatrical release in October 2016.

Jack co-wrote a dark comedy titled GRANDMOTHERS MURDER CLUB which was produced in July 2015. It stars Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop, The Santa Clause), Pam Grier (Jackie Brown), and Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch). The film is currently in post-production.

And he also co-wrote a Syfy Channel film which will air in July 2016.

When Jack is not writing screenplays or making movies, he teaches several online media courses at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Jack and his family currently reside in Los Angeles.

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