Off the coast of Indonesia, an American cargo ship has been seized by terrorists, its captain kidnapped and its crew mercilessly slaughtered. In Washington, a peace-loving President's refusal to punish. the transgressors has enraged the sitting Congress, led by a wrathful Speaker of the House.
An ambitious young congressional assistant, Jim Dillon has discovered a time bomb hidden away in America's Constitution -- a provision that could be used to wrest power from the Chief Executive, a long-forgotten law that could could incite a devastating constitutional crisis.. and plunge the country into chaos.
Now, as a battle group steams toward a fateful confrontation in the Java Sea -- commissioned by Congress and opposed by the President -- Dillon finds himself in the center of a firestorm that rages from the highest court in the land to the killing fields half a world away. Suddenly there is much more at stake than the life of a single surviving hostage and a superpower's military credibility -- as a great nation prepares for war ... against itself.