1. President Rutledge suggests early in the book that “Civilized rules of engagement and jurisprudence mean nothing to a vicious enemy willing to do anything to succeed…In this case we have to suspend the rule of law in part, in order to save it.” The theme of success at any cost recurs throughout the story. When in your life have you had to justify the means? When have you witnessed a leader doing the same?
2. In the opening scenes of TAKEDOWN, Driehaus is concerned with the United States’ image abroad and political correctness in direct tension with President Rutledge and Gary Lawlor:
DRIEHAUS: ‘[W]estern civilization isn’t about force. It’s about the power of ideas — one of the greatest of which is the rule of law and that as all men are created equal, they are equally bound under those laws.”
LAWLOR: “The sword is the midwife of civilization and everything that has happened since civilization’s birth has happened at the tip of that sword…. We still live in a world where might makes right.”
Pick a side and make your case.
3. Deputy Director of the FBI Stan Caldwell struggled with “what was best for one’s government and what was best for one’s country,” when he considered divulging the complete information regarding FBI operations in Manhattan to Gary Lawlor. Put yourself in Caldwell’s shoes. How would you weigh the interests of government vs. country in this case?
4. A verse from a reading at Herrington’s funeral reads: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13). What are other great expressions of love?