'Dragon Skin' Authors Joe Trippi, Patrick Hayes And Jules Radcliff Engage Alan Morell, Creative Management Partners For Book To Film Option Rights

Announced today, "Dragon Skin" Authors Joe Trippi, Patrick Hayes, and Jules Radcliff have engaged as their Literary and Broadcast Agent, Alan Morell of Creative Management Partners LLC in Beverly Hills CA for their Book to Film Option rights. Mr. Trippi, (former FOX and current CNN Analyst) is a character featured in the Hugh Jackman upcoming fall film SONY release, "Front Runner", the true story of Gary Hart and his presidential bid.

Said the Authors Joe Trippi, Patrick Hayes, and Jules Radcliff : "As first time Authors for our book to film, we went through a thorough investigative process for representation and unanimously selected Alan Morell of the Creative Management Partners in Beverly Hills to champion our true story narrative. We know there is a huge, international audience for this timely and shocking story, and more than a few reporters will be on pins and needles over fears their own roles will be revealed. The blogosphere is going to go wild."

Said Agent Alan Morell, Creative Management Partners: "My clients, Joe Trippi, Patrick Hayes, and Jules Radcliff have captured perfectly in Dragon Skin, the incredible true Body Armor story, inside the Washington DC beltway, whose scandal reached the very top political international levels; with Dragon Skin, insider glossary terms language known to very few. It's going to be a very exciting Book and Book to Film."

This book tells two extraordinary, improbable, and intertwined true stories. One revolves around the consequences of the media's love affair with narratives. The other recounts what happened when military families engaged in an amazing act of self-help, doing for their loved ones in combat what the political class in Washington, D.C. refused to do. The subject is the saga of Dragon Skin body armor, still the source of misunderstandings and controversy, and for the first time anywhere this book reveals that its media-acclaimed inventor, Murray Neal, was a charlatan, a fact ignored by the media and hidden by the House Armed Services Committee in one of the most controversial and highly-publicized episodes of the Iraq War.

It was a scandal that threatened the presidential ambitions of Hillary Clinton and of an obscure Chicago pol by the name of Barack Obama ... until the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) put an end to it. Was Dragon Skin body armor the best personal protection in the world? Generals and visiting VIPs in the Iraq war zone were wearing it, the Secret Service bought Dragon Skin, as did other elite federal agencies. And yet, it was being denied to regular troops.

The media had gleefully flogged the story ever since Massachusetts senator John Kerry first lit the fuse on it in his challenge to the presidency of George Bush. The Army's inexplicable resistance to making Dragon Skin available to the men and women doing the fighting and dying in the barbarity of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was an irresistible narrative, serving as a proxy for the political war at home on Bush, on the Iraq War, and on the Republican brand generally. When that narrative got around to blaming it on corruption, something utterly unexpected happened: The grass roots of the left joined with the grass roots of the right, unleashing a fury directed at politicians in both parties. Business-as-usual in Washington, D.C. was about to be upended.

The only challenge the Chairman of the HASC faced was in coming up with a way to put an end to what was by then known as the Army v. Dragon Skin controversy without revealing political dynamite that would make everyone look like fools. His staff did their job, and both Dragon Skin and its media-acclaimed inventor, Murray Neal-who had become a modern hero and symbol of hope for military families besieging the Congress for answers to why their loved ones in combat did not have Dragon Skin-were thoroughly discredited. The billion-dollar body armor cartel supplying the Army under monopoly contracts breathed a sigh of relief, as did Hillary Clinton, one of the big recipients of the political money they splashed around in Washington, D.C.

To this day the name Dragon Skin ignites controversy and misunderstandings. In recent focus groups with defense industry professionals both in and out of government, Dragon Skin was cited as an example of Pentagon resistance to anything new, especially if put forward by a small company unfamiliar with the Kabuki of military procurement. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This book, after leading off with the HASC hearing that left military families fuming, picks up with the extraordinary story of how those families turned the tide and took Dragon Skin right to the welcoming arms of the U.S. Army.

It was a rescue campaign designed, run, and managed by an unusual-and unusually well connected-team of insiders. The authors were three leading members of that team, and over the course of the effort it came to be supported by a never-before-seen network among the military families who are to be found all over the federal government, at all levels, who opened doors, shared insights, and prayed for the team's success. The story tells of the involvement of such major figures as Barry Zorthian, described by Life Magazine as one of the most important figures of the Viet Nam era, and later, in his role with Radio Free Europe, one of the architects of the collapse of the Soviet Union. And of John Young, a pillar of the defense industry establishment, a man once in charge of major Pentagon programs and credited with developing some of the nation's strongest weapons systems. All of them were motivated by their own roles as veterans, as members of military families themselves, or by a conviction affirmed early in the process that Dragon Skin was exactly as advertised: a supremely better armor technology that would save lives.

The task as initially seen by the team was to balance a visceral dislike of Murray Neal among many government defense officials against intriguing reports from some of the same individuals that Dragon Skin might be welcomed under the right circumstances. The foreseeable challenges involved surviving the assaults of the body armor cartel while overcoming the animus still simmering within the HASC. The unforeseen challenge turned out to be Murray Neal himself.

The media's fawning and uncritical coverage of Murray Neal had not only turned him into an international celebrity but bestowed on him an unearned credibility and gravitas as a critic of the Army bureaucracy. The military families that first came to his rescue deferred to him even as he asked them for money, which they readily gave him. As the rescue campaign got underway, working with him proved to be like flying a 747 with a rattlesnake in the cockpit.

The book follows the team of insiders as the Dragon Skin rescue effort-fueled by a sense of urgency in the race to save lives-first took shape in a meeting that included well-known political operatives from both sides of the aisle. As the strategy unfolded against great odds, first in South Africa, then in the UK, and finally in the U.S., Murray Neal's role and unexpected interference with the strategy also surfaces. Beginning with his odd circumstances in Fresno where he was surrounded by ne'er-do-wells, the story follows a rescue effort that is ultimately wildly successful externally, even as Neal's behavior internally ranges from botching a simple assignment to install armor in a FedEx jet, to his explosive and disruptive confrontation with a former member of SEAL Team Six. That former SEAL was personally assisting the management team as the SEAL Command prepared to become the official sponsor of Dragon Skin in an Army test that would mark the success of the entire rescue campaign.

On the eve of that all-important test Murray Neal took off in the dead of night. The revelations that followed pulled back the curtain on what the HASC chairman had worked so hard to keep from the public's eye. Murray Neal was a charlatan who had scammed the Army, the nation, and, unforgivably, those whose lives might have been saved by a better body armor.

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