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Characters / Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Antagonists

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This is the character sheet concerning the main antagonists of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. For a full index of characters from the game including Big Smoke and Ryder, click here. For tropes relating to characters debuting in other titles, see the main GTA Characters Index.

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    Frank Tenpenny

The main antagonist of San Andreas, Tenpenny is the corrupt leader of the LSPD's C.R.A.S.H. (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) Unit. He is bent on destroying all of the gangs in the state by playing them out against each other, and is willing to murder innocents, assassinate fellow officers, and distribute guns and drugs to do this.

Shortly after Carl arrives in Los Santos, he has the former gangster arrested, framing him for the murder of Officer Ralph Pendlebury, an Internal Affairs officer that Tenpenny himself had just had silenced. Using this and his power as a cop as leverage, he antagonizes Carl throughout the game, following him all across the state and forcing him to do his dirty work.

  • 0% Approval Rating: Aside from Pulaski, no one seems to like him. When he is acquitted from his trial, literal riots all over Los Santos erupt in response and they will not calm down until they have his head.
  • Adult Fear: The authority who is supposed to protect you is a corrupt officer with zero empathy.
  • Almighty Janitor: Officially, he's a beat cop, the lowest rank in the LSPD. Unofficially, he's the gangland kingpin of Southern San Andreas.
  • Badass Mustache: An evil one, too.
  • Bald Black Leader Guy: He's in charge of the LSPD's C.R.A.S.H. unit, and unofficially controls much of the crime in the city.
  • Bald of Evil: Not a hair on his head and not a drop of good in his soul.
  • Big Bad: He pulls the strings of nearly every major conflict in the game, and even when he isn't behind everything, he'll find some way to blackmail Carl into doing some dirty work for him.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Big Smoke although it's clear that he's the bigger threat between the two.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • In the Mission "High Noon," he's finally ready to kill CJ and Hernandez. But instead of just shooting them — Tenpenny knocks Hernandez out, makes CJ dig his own (and Hernandez's) grave, and leaves Pulaski behind to keep watch. Lo and behold — Hernandez wakes up, and makes a Heroic Sacrifice that allows CJ to kill Pulaski and escape.
    • As of "End of the Line," he still can't resist this. Rather than simply shoot CJ from behind, and unload Smoke's safe himself (which would've saved him a good chunk of escape time) — Tenpenny engages in one last bout of Evil Gloating, and makes CJ unload the safe for him... which enables CJ to distract him just enough to turn the tables. CJ even lampshades Tenpenny's screwup.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Towards Carl. Tenpenny stopped Pulaski from capping CJ many times because he is useful.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Tenpenny proudly owns up to his job as a corrupt police officer and never misses an opportunity to brag to CJ about this.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Despite being able to evade the law, his corrupt actions and arrogant behavior still have made him many, many enemies, dislike from the public, and have alienated him from his fellow officers. His acquittal angers the public so much that it triggers a riot, forcing him to flee for his life, which fails when he is chased off a bridge by CJ and Sweet, who sought revenge.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He will not hesitate to throw you under the bus when you have no further use. He uses the Truth as a contact to CJ while he is exiled from Los Santos, and later sics the feds on him.
  • The Corrupter: He attempts this with every officer who joins his unit, most notably Hernandez, and kills off any that he fails to turn. He also managed to corrupt Big Smoke and Ryder into working with him in distributing crack before the events of the game.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Frequently makes wry, snide remarks about CJ, his family, Grove Street and gangbangers in general.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Radio reports after the final mission note that his body was found by looters, who proceeded to strip and mutilate it before the police found it.
  • Dirty Cop: Considering who he and his unit are based on, it's no surprise.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first cutscene of the game has him rob CJ at gunpoint, accuse him of murdering a cop knowing he hasn't been in San Andreas for ten minutes, blackmail him, and throw him out of a moving car. An honorable enforcer of law and order he is not.
  • Evil Laugh: The opening cutscene has two types: A sadistic, menacing chuckle, and a pretty maniacal laughter as he has Carl thrown out of the cruiser.
  • Fat and Skinny: The Skinny to Pulaski's Fat.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Almost constantly takes on an affable, chummy tone with CJ, even as he's bullying and outright threatening him into doing his dirty work.
  • Hate Sink: Every scene he's in seems to invoke hatred and aversion. In-universe, he's so hated that his acquittal sparks a full-scale riot.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Depends on how seriously you take his claim that he uses smaller crimes and forging gang affiliations in order to ward off more heinous acts. However his actions make him out to be a hypocrite more often than not and he's just corrupt to the core.
  • Humiliation Conga: Posthumously. As if it wasn't bad enough that he died pathetically in front of his enemies, WCTR later reports that his body was stripped naked, abused by rioters, and dumped in a gutter.
  • It's All About Me: In The Introduction, he scolds Pulaski for calling him "pal." During High Noon Carl tries to warn Pulaski that Tenpenny may turn on him too, and in the final mission, as dies, he gives a final rant about how much better the city would be off if he was in charge.
  • Jerkass: Almost all the time. When he's not sending CJ on life-threatening missions, he's making snide remarks about him and his "wonderful family", and even punches him in the gut at one point. From what we see, he's not even particularly nice to his own partners, scolding Pulaski for calling him a pal in The Introduction and constantly insulting Hernandez throughout the game.
  • Karmic Death: His fellow cops abandon him in his hour of need — mortally wounded right in the middle of the Grove Street cul-de-sac, with the people he abused through the years standing over him. What's more, his death was a traffic accident he caused himself - so there's nobody else to pin the blame on.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Unlike everyone else in the game, NOTHING about him is really played for laughs. He does have a few moments that could be considered amusing, but they also further drive home just what an asshole he is.
  • Lack of Empathy: Never shows remorse or concern for others.
  • Laughably Evil: Downplayed. He has somes moments of humor thanks to the charisma that he receives from Samuel L. Jackson, but he's still a great Jerkass.
  • Leitmotif: In many scene where Tenpenny appears, he's accompanied by a menacing trap beat.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Has CJ, his fellow cops, and Big Smoke and Ryder wrapped around his little finger through persuasion and promises of power and riches, or in CJ's case, outright threats. A big part of the story is CJ trying to find a way to get out from under his thumb and turn the tables.
  • Mobile Menace: Tenpenny and Pulaski can zoom around San Andreas as well as Carl can; they even take an extended vacation in Las Venturas specifically to order around Carl.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Based on the real-life crooked cop, Rafael Pérez, leader of the real-life C.R.A.S.H. Unit.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Casts himself as the only one willing to do what's right to keep the streets clean. In reality, he's just a self-serving criminal.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Pulaski's Red, being the more patient and cerebral of the two.
  • Scary Black Man: Granted, CJ and most of his friends and associates are also black, but Tenpenny is not a man you want in charge of your local police force.
  • Smug Snake: Arrogant, snide, and clearly has nothing but contempt for pretty much everyone but himself.
  • The Sociopath: If someone were tasked with listing out all of Tenpenny's defining character attributes, all they'd have to do is copy/paste a sociopathy checklist and nobody would be able to tell the difference. Hallmarks of a sociopath include: superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self, a fundamental incapacity for human empathy, willful and repeated exploitation of others without compassion or remorse, pathological lying, a constant need for stimulation (his evil acts are done primarily for his own amusement), a complete inability to form genuine emotional attachments to anyone, poor impulse control, etc.
  • Undignified Death: He dies in the heart of Grove Street, surrounded by enemies, no support coming, and whining pathetically about how he could have cleaned up the streets of Los Santos before finally bleeding out. His body is then later stripped and mutilated by the homeless before the officials can recover it.
  • The Unfought: Oddly enough, CJ never comes to blows with Tenpenny. Even in the finale, all that happens is a chase across the city in which he crashes the fire engine over the Grove Street neighborhood and dies from his own injuries.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He's a cop in charge of a unit focused on dealing with the gang problem in LS. Sounds like a Hero Antagonist pitted against our Anti-Hero protagonist CJ, right? Well, no. His good publicity doesn't last either, since he's put on trial for his many, many crimes and Los Santos learns just how dirty he is. The people hate him so much that they riot when he's acquitted.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Once the FBI takes interest in his activities, the once snarky, condescending Tenpenny becomes irritable and paranoid, more so when he learns that Hernandez ratted him and Pulaski out.

    Eddie Pulaski
"I ain't such a fucking soft touch!"

Voiced by: Chris Penn

Tenpenny's right-hand man in C.R.A.S.H., as well as a racist prick. Pulaski is dumb, loyal, and arrogant, forming a sort of "Bad Cop / Even Worse Cop" routine with Tenpenny throughout the game, starring him as the latter. He also handles anything that Tenpenny deems too important to hand off to Hernandez or Carl, but not important enough to bother with himself.

  • Acrofatic: He's a surprisingly fast runner for a man of his girth.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Believes himself to be equal to Tenpenny. Tenpenny always shuts him down and reminds him that he is superior.
  • Blind Obedience: To Tenpenny, to the point that he refuses to believe CJ's premonition that Tenpenny could turn on him anytime soon.
  • The Brute: He works as a muscleman for Tendency and has a fittingly cumbersome Desert Eagle for a sidearm.
  • Defiant to the End: Still taunts Carl about how he wanted to rape Kendl before the latter literally stomps his face.
  • Dirty Cop: He's every bit as rotten as Tenpenny is, acting as his right-hand man during their schemes and dealings.
  • Dirty Coward: Rather then face Carl in fist or gunfight, he quickly high tails it out of the cemetery and tries to run for it, forcing Carl to chase him down. Strangely doesn't stop his aforementioned Defiance to the End, though.
  • The Dragon: To Tenpenny.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His racism and general unpleasantness are set up in the opening scene, where he tells CJ's cab driver to "Get outta here, you greaseball bastard!", before muttering "Stupid Mexican" to himself. He then realizes that he said that in front of his Hispanic partner Jimmy Hernandez, and offers a very half-hearted "Oh, hey... sorry."
  • Fat and Skinny: The Fat to Tenpenny's Skinny.
  • Fat Bastard: While not as fat as Big Smoke, he's still pretty chubby.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He's the more quick-tempered of the two corrupt cops. The introduction shows him mercilessly beating down Officer Pendelberry right before Tenpenny had to step in and keep him from doing any more damage.
  • Hand Cannon: After you disable his car in "High Noon", he attacks you with a Desert Eagle, and can end you quickly if you try to take him on toe-to-toe.
  • Hate Sink: Just as big a scumbag as Tenpenny, but minus his coolness and humor.
  • Jerkass: He's often even more snide and obnoxious than Tenpenny is.
  • Meaningful Name: Pulaski, Tennessee is the birthtown of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • National Stereotypes: To an extent, at least. He's Polish (well, Polish-American), and a hot-tempered, not particularly bright blue-collar type.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: After you kill him, you can continue to shoot/stomp/run over his body until it disappears.
  • Plotline Death: During "High Noon".
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He's quite the racist. Which makes the fact that he's working for a black man pretty ironic.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Tenpenny's Blue, being the more impulsive and emotional of the two.
  • Satellite Character: Almost never appears on his own, and doesn't display much of his characterization till "High Noon." Outside of that, he mostly acts as Tenpenny's Yes-Man.
  • Smug Snake: Even more so than Tenpenny.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In "High Noon," he keeps insulting Carl's dead mother as well as Kendl... despite Carl now being a known One-Man Army who already has plenty of reason to want him dead.
  • Villainous Friendship: Subverted with Tenpenny, who Pulaski thinks is his friend, when in reality, Tenpenny sees him as a tool like everyone else.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Taunts Carl about his mother's death.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Carl tries to warn him that Tenpenny may soon turn on him once he has done messing around with the gangs of Los Santos.
  • Your Mom: Prior to his impending death, Pulaski insults CJ's mom by joking about the guys screwing around with her corpse after her spontaneous death.

    Jimmy Hernandez
"There is only one kind of crime in Los Santos: gang crime. That's why I joined C.R.A.S.H."."

Voiced by: Armando Riesco

A new member of C.R.A.S.H. and a Mexican immigrant, who Tenpenny and Pulaski love pushing around like a slave. Brought in as a replacement for Ralph Pendlebury, a snitch that Tenpenny forced Hernandez to "deal with" as an initiation rite, he mostly serves as their henchman in the background handling every menial task that Tenpenny and Pulaski don't want to deal with themselves. Turns out, he's actually a snitch that's been leaking information to Internal Affairs, the Feds, and possibly the Aztecas.

  • Anti-Villain: Probably the least malevolent of the trio. The only adverse action he has taken against Carl is to call him early in the game, warning him not to leave Los Santos, and even then Carl dismisses him as Tenpenny's "bitch".
  • Butt-Monkey/The Chew Toy: He constantly gets this treatment, from both C.R.A.S.H. and Carl.
  • By-the-Book Cop: At least, he tries. Unfortunately, when he is surrounded by the likes of Tenpenny and Pulaski...
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Used to be a Wide-Eyed Idealist with a strong sense of morality, until Tenpenny forced him to kill Pendlebury.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Ratted out Tenpenny and Pulaski to Internal Affairs once he decided he has had enough of their abuse.
  • Expy: Of Jake Hoyt from Training Day. Both are laughed at by their new mentor upon first meeting after describing a past event on the job, both hesitate to participate in corrupt actions but are coerced into doing so, and both have the initials "J.H.".
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dies saving Carl from a killing shot by Pulaski during High Noon.
  • New Meat: He's the new guy in C.R.A.S.H., and as shown in The Introduction, clearly had no idea what he was in for being assigned to work with crooked, bullying cops like Tenpenny and Pulaski.
  • Redemption Equals Death: He turns against his superiors and takes a bullet for CJ, saving his life.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's rarely seen in the game and only has an expanded backstory in the extended introduction. By the time the mission "High Noon" rolls around, Tenpenny discovers that Hernandez was ratting him out to the feds and is now at risk of being caught. Hernandez was spilling information to the feds for quite a while and if it wasn't for him, Tenpenny's downfall could not have happened.
  • Spanner in the Works: Gets Internal Affairs onto Tenpenny and Pulaski's case, eventually leading to the latter's death and the former's riot-sparking trial (and consequent death as well).
  • Token Good Teammate: Compared to Tenpenny and Pulaski, he's practically a saint.
  • Trapped in Villainy: He wants to be a By-the-Book Cop, but unfortunately, he's stuck in the most corrupt division of the LSPD.
  • The Voiceless: Downplayed. He only speaks in a phone call he makes to CJ at very beginning of the game, telling him to not try to leave town, other than that he's completely silent during the cutscenes he appears in. Averted in The Introduction.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: In The Introduction, he tries to reason with Tenpenny. It goes about as well as you'd expect.


Loco Syndicate

    Jizzy B.
"See I only got two eyes and in this world you got to have mo' than that. You gotta be like a fly on shit, you know? A hundred eyes everywhere!"

Voiced by: Charlie Murphy

A higher-up in the Loco Syndicate, the crack cocaine cartel supplying C.R.A.S.H. and the Ballas, and owner of the Pleasure Domes, a strip club underneath the Gant Bridge at Battery Point, on the northernmost end of San Fierro, which also doubles both as the Syndicate's headquarters and center of Jizzy's prostitution ring. Carl targets him as an "in" for the Syndicate, hoping to infiltrate and destroy it so he can halt the spread of crack in San Andreas.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: He literally gets on his knees and begs once he's confronted, and once he realizes that it won't work, he starts screaming for his guards.
  • Dirty Coward: Once he's confronted, he looks just about ready to piss his pants, screaming for his guards and running away as fast as his legs can carry him.
  • The Dragon: To Mike.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Calls in the second Lonely Hearts segment of West Coast Talk Radio, advertising the Pleasure Domes to prospective hookers, much to host Christy MacIntyre's disgust.
    Christy: "Good grief! That's not the way Lonely Hearts works at all!"
  • He-Man Woman Hater: He's pretty misogynistic, as shown in his last appearance.
  • Lack of Empathy: As far as he's concerned, he's the only person on the planet that matters.
  • Pimp Duds: Well, duh. A slightly more restrained example as he's lacking more extravagant features like a hat and fur, but he is wearing a gaudy purple suit and a gold dollar sign medallion.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Like Ryder, he thinks that he's much smarter than he actually is.
  • Smug Snake: Very much so, being very cocky and arrogant and generally thinking he's much more important than he really is.

    T-Bone Mendez
"You think you can fucking bullshit me, and fuck me over? I know your fucking game, ese."

Voiced by: Arturo "Kid Frost" Molina, Jr.

The Loco Syndicate's main enforcer and leader of the San Fierro Rifa, a Hispanic gang abundant in the southern half of San Fierro. He serves as the right-hand man to Mike Toreno, helping him deal with any threats to their business. Brutish and distrustful, he's forced to work with CJ once the latter has worked his way into the Syndicate, and serves as a major roadblock to Carl's efforts.

  • Ax-Crazy: He is brutally sadistic and impulsive and gets extremely angry easily. In "The Introduction" video, he gives a brutal beating of another gang member, possibly to the point of killing, and at one point threatens to rape and kill CJ's family as a "joke."
  • Badass Mustache: A cop mustache, ironically enough. In-game, that is; some pieces of promotional art (such as the one on the right) depict him as having a much larger and bushier mustache.
  • Blood Knight: He really enjoys killing.
  • The Brute: The main muscle of the Loco Syndicate.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Kid Frost's "La Raza" can be heard on Radio Los Santos.
  • Dead Star Walking: He's voiced by rapper Arturo "Kid Frost" Molina Jr., and as an antagonist, it comes as no surprise that he eventually winds up in the player's crosshairs.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He has a tendency to go nuts at the drop of a hat, especially when it comes to potential rats in the Syndicate.
  • Jerkass: He's very callous and has no problem with threatening violence against others for the slightest provocation.
  • The Leader: Of the Rifa.
  • Properly Paranoid: He suspects Carl of being a rat from the start, and rightfully so.
  • The Sociopath: He's an utter psycho who's willing to kill or torture anyone to keep his business afloat, and his sense of humor reflects that.
  • The Stoic: When he's not pissed off, he's rather calm and doesn't talk much.

    Mike Toreno
"It's not all white knights and heroes. We have to make decisions, kid. You know, I try to set bad people on other bad people and sometimes I let good guys die."

Voiced by: James Woods

The mysterious leader of the Loco Syndicate, a drug-running enterprise in San Fierro that supplies C.R.A.S.H. and the Ballas with crack. Few people have seen his face, fewer know his name, and fewer still know anything more than that. Carl targets him in an attempt to halt the flow of crack into Los Santos, destroying his business and shooting his helicopter out of the sky.

However, that's not the end of it. Turns out, he's working undercover for a Top-Secret agency within the US Government, and is one of their top spies. After Carl destroys the Syndicate, which he'd been using to fund various overseas operations, Toreno forces him to do his dirty work in exchange for Sweet's freedom.

  • Always a Bigger Fish: Much, much bigger than Tenpenny, to the point he outright steals Tenpenny's leverage over CJ and Tenpenny can't do anything about it.
  • Anti-Villain: His ways of maintaining the balance to evil in the world may be quite creepy, but his intentions are good.
  • Badass in Distress: In his introductory mission, he gets kidnapped by the Da Nang Boys and CJ has to rescue him.
  • The Chessmaster: Fakes his death in "Toreno's Last Flight," gives CJ missions that affect the international stage to Toreno's liking, and pulls strings to keep Sweet safe in prison and ultimately grant him an early release.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Not as much as The Truth, but still...
  • The Comically Serious: He never loses his calm and professional demeanor, no matter how outlandish the circumstances.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Ridicules the claims that Hitler committed suicide and that the USA nuked Japan. Considering the fact that he's a secret agent, he might be telling the truth.
    Mike Toreno: "If it helps people sleep better at night, I guess".
  • Deadpan Snarker: His banter with CJ is among the funniest of the game.
  • Evil Genius: Not entirely "evil," but still. He's manipulative, intimidating, and always has a plan in motion.
  • Foil: To Officer Tenpenny, curiously enough. They are both agents of the law whose modus operandi involve divide and conquer tactics against "bad people" with Tenpenny manipulating street gangs and Toreno against Gods-know-who he is fighting. The key difference is that Toreno doesn't seem to be corrupted by power like Tenpenny and is revealed at the end to be a man of his word.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Is both The Don of the Loco Syndicate and an undercover agent for the Government, wielding influence that even Tenpenny can only dream of. However - Toreno is busy with other, larger-scale affairs and even becomes an indirect, string-pulling ally for CJ.
  • Jerkass: He's constantly taunting, mocking, and berating CJ over just about everything.
    CJ: "Moms always told me not to talk to strangers."
    Toreno: "And look what happened to the bitch."
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Far from gold, but he does offer some kind words to CJ when it counts - and he always keeps his promises.
  • Knowledge Broker: Besides knowing a lot about CJ's life and Sweet's imprisonment (which he uses to make the former comply), he also admits that he knows about Tenpenny and C.R.A.S.H, even that him and Pulaski killed Officer Pendelberry. CJ even questions why he doesn't do anything to stop them...
  • Large Ham: When you're an Affably Evil Cloudcuckoolander voiced by James Woods, this is inevitable.
  • Laughably Evil: His over-the-top antics and constant wisecracking makes it easy to forget that he's a ruthless drug lord and government agent.
  • The Men in Black: His real job, which provides the majority of his humor.
  • No-One Could Have Survived That: When CJ shoots his helicopter out of the sky, the caption says that "there's no way Toreno could have survived that fireball." Of course, he did survive (no other antagonist receives this caption upon their deaths in the game), and pops up again two missions later. Then again, the helicopter CJ shot down was just a decoy, and Toreno was really in hiding during that time.
  • Noble Demon: Toreno is a ruthless drug lord and government agent willing to sell to very nasty people. However, he eventually takes a liking to Carl and keeps his promise to get Sweet an early release from jail.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • As manipulative of a bastard as he is, Toreno still compliments CJ for a job well done and compensates him generously for his work.
    • Ultimately keeps his word to protect and eventually free Sweet for CJ, even sounding genuinely happy for them despite earlier dismissing Sweet as "just collateral."
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: He teaches CJ to fly by essentially handing him a plane and ordering him to figure it out.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Does this so often that CJ compares him to the devil.
  • The Spook: CJ doesn't even learn his name until he's been working for the Loco Syndicate for several missions. And everything else he knows about Toreno, Toreno told him himself.
  • Villain of Another Story: He's involved in a whole other conflict that's implied to be grander in scope that what's happening in the game, but is only ever alluded to. The Loco Syndicate was just one thread in Toreno's greater scheme, and CJ inadvertently gets embroiled in it when he goes to war against the syndicate and catches the agent's attention.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: CJ destroying his entire drug-running enterprise doesn't earn Toreno's enmity, it captures his interest instead when he realizes CJ could be very useful for his operation.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: He loves to talk to CJ by phone or radio, more than any other boss in the game.
  • Walking Spoiler: The fact that there's more to him than just being drug baron makes it hard to describe what kind of man Toreno really is.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He insists that what he does for the government is justified in the grand scheme of things, killing "scumbags" inside and outside America in equal measure.

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