Book 2 Chapter 12

I first went to see Robert so he could go home. Tiam, Jaed and General Kadar had been very active today on the dark web. Even with all the dialog, the only thing learned was that Jaed was making daily trips to the water park.

The General was acting like a general; giving orders. I liked direct orders like he was giving; it narrowed the things we had to look for. The even better part was the General wanted a daily report on progress.

The more they talked the better chance we had to stop them and the better we could break into their email server.

To me that signaled that Jaed was an employee, a vendor or worked for someone who made regular pickups or deliveries. That also meant that we needed to be careful who we talked to at the water park.

It also raised more questions. If he was a vendor, supplier or in trash pickup, UPS or FedEx, how many other sites did he have or was investigating?

What else could he be doing to get into the park every day; a season pass holder? That I doubted. Could he have an extended rental in the same RV lot that our four RV were in? Doubtful again; there simply was not enough room in an RV to get into serious bomb making, plus there were too many eyes looking, but we would check.

Tomorrow I would call Ben and discuss the information. That was the best that I could do for now. And do the same with my people there as well.

Then I went to the meeting with the girls. Marcy and Lorrie were happy and it showed. East Water Cay had made a nice profit in its fourth month of operation; that explained why Marcy was happy.

Lorrie was happy for several reasons. East Water Cay was currently booked full from September to June – the prime winter months and bone fishing season. Tug had bought back all the lots that had been sold by the previous owners.
The blueprints from the last split rental house had been found and could be used again and again. Lorrie wanted to build four houses, one on every other vacant lot.

If we were booked full that sounded like a reasonable thing to do and they had done it. The contractor had to be from the big island and Tug had found one. The contractor could start in a month. All the materials were going to be sent by barge from Florida to the Cay.

There was only one problem – the construction was labor intensive because it was in the Atlantic hurricane zone; everything had to be bolted, screwed and interlocked together. The siding had to be installed onto three quarter plywood that was on top of half inch concrete board. Instead of two by four walls it was two by six and two by eight.

Insulation had to be foam not fiberglass; fiberglass held moisture that resulted in mold and mildew. The list of special things went on for several pages.

The contractor was approved by the Bahamas regulatory boards and had good reports from his customers. Plus he had built two of the houses we owned there and they were built like a rock.

Lorrie and Marcy both instructed that a rush be put on the house construction. Marcy was counting dollars – three duplexes was one hundred and twenty thousand a month for the prime season – and Lorrie was counting customers, flights and happy customers for repeat business.

Friday morning I called Ben, “Send me the IDs of all your agents working the Harrisburg water park.”

“I assume you have men there,” Ben replied.

“Men and ladies and children,” I replied.

The rest of my men were discharged from the various hospitals. There was going to be months of rehab and follow up surgery for some of them. After I was done with the office routine – OK, I cut the routine short – Vicky, Jenny and I went to see them and check on their progress.

It was in talking that I decided they needed a visit, or more if necessary, from doctors Rich and Moore, our company psychiatrists. I not only wanted them physically recovered but mentally as well. The docs could and would see to that.

Friday afternoon we received a subpoena from the Dade County Florida prosecutor wanting any records we had related to the sale of East Water Cay and the previous owner’s finances. The crap was getting ready to fall on the previous owner’s money skimming operation.

Saturday and Sunday were family time. With four little ones in the house we all had things to do from cleaning and laundry to cooking. Of course little Jacob and Robert needed plenty of attention and things to keep them busy.
We did take time off Saturday morning to go over to the gym; I had asked the security person at the customer window to call me if Bones showed up to work out today. She did and they did.

Bones and I talked about the national security terrorism advisory committee that I was chairperson of. I asked if Bones knew Anne Hopkins.
“Annie, oh yes, we email and text quite a lot and every now and then get to do lunch,” she said.

We had a discussion about perceptions, attitudes, dedication and determination. After we were done I thought I had a good candidate; the interview would confirm it or sink it.

It was 1600 when Troy called.

“We had a request today and I am reluctant to ask you. Prime Minister Aleixo Cordeiro would like you and Vicky to go back to Portugal for the state dinner you missed and speak to his new government officials about terror and terror prevention,” Troy said.

“I have a direct number for you to call, he has other requests and things he wants to discuss,” Troy added.

“He is not expecting a call back today is he? It is already 2100 there,” I said.

“No, Monday would be fine. Let me give you the number, but I will also send the memo to your desk. 011-351-21-764- 4874,” Troy replied.

“Damn, I thought our numbers were enough,” I said.

“The 011 sends the call out of the country; the 351 is the country identifier; the 21 sends it to the Lisbon area and the rest is the phone number,” Troy replied.

“OK; while I have you on the phone and I know I am out of place for asking because it is none of my business. Has the President picked the finalist for the associate federal court judge?” I asked.

“Yes, Joey Kellerman is the pick. It will be announced on Monday, why do you ask?” Troy said.

“Joey Kellerman is a close family friend. Joey also happened to go to law school with Anne Hopkins who I am interviewing Monday at 1300 for the oversight committee. Joey and Anne are also friends. I think they are both going to be excellent choices for the positions,” I replied.

“Why didn’t you say something?” Troy asked.

“Troy, I have been super busy as you well know. I don’t listen to much news at all, plus I would not try to influence the President’s decision either way,” I replied.

“The two you are interviewing, are they your picks?” Troy asked.

” Yes, unless they fall flat on their face during the interview. I had the FBI, the CIA and DHS run every check they could to make sure there was nothing that was a negative,” I replied.

“I will set up for a possible triple announcement Monday afternoon,” Troy said.

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Book 2 Chapter 11

The next few days were a relief; the prisoners were gone and I had no need to go to Washington. I got to spend time holding little babies and playing with the boys.

All of us girls spent a lot more time in the gym; there was no way I could hold my own against the Mossad ladies in my present condition. It was going to take awhile to get back to where I was.

I spent hours on the shooting range; getting shot at will make you want to be perfect with your return shots.

The gun club had several new assault rifles and handguns they wanted me to look at and try out on the range; newer, faster action, larger clips. No one was saying anything outright but everybody had something they wanted me to look at that would help protect me.

The people who made our bullet resistant vests brought a van full of new designs they wanted us to evaluate. They even brought some of the new advanced body armor. They also asked if they could test and photograph the vest I had been wearing in Portugal.

Photograph and inspect yes ; test no, most testing of that type involved some destruction. It was already hung on the wall in my office with the others as a reminder of just how close I had come to dying; not that I needed a reminder.

The down side was I needed make more trips abroad so the planning began. This time the girls laid down the law; I was going to one country and then returning home so no one would be able to figure out where I was going next. The trips were not going to start until after Harrisburg.

It was Thursday morning as I made my way to Washington; I had a 1000 meeting with Dick James, the Secretary of State. The meeting lasted until noon time as we reviewed the reports that my trip to Portugal and Spain had generated.

As usual – with the bureaucratic bull that accompanied the government – another internal audit and review process was also developed. Just more months wasted and extra time to allow the bosses to cover their collective asses.
Meanwhile the NSA, DHS, and the FBI were to given a list of all those who were given immigration status approval, green cards or asylum to find, interview and do thorough background checks on, if they could find them. Let the fun begin I thought.

Troy and Harry joined me at my table as I was picking over my salad and my thoughts.

“Your media friends are asking if you are going to address them today while you are here,” Harry said.
“I hadn’t planned on it; I have a full schedule,” I replied.

I did have a full schedule so I was not lying and I really did not have much I could say.

At 1300 I was in my new office with the reports from my meeting with Dick and the finalized report from my trip to Portugal. I was waiting on Ambassador Oliver Taylor to arrive.

I had wondered again why I was asked to doing this kind of interview with someone who should have had more rank and privilege than I did.

Digging through the official duties and guidelines for the oversight committee that I was now chairperson of, I found bits and pieces. On page 844, section D, subsection nine, amendment two, line forty four, item three was one paragraph that summed it up.

“On the recommendation of the committee, any employee of any government agency including Congress; involved at any level of national security or international affairs or national defense could face discipline including;
criminal charges, immediate termination for failure to carry out reasonable security measures or oversight of any employees assigned to them, breach of security or espionage.”

It gave department heads five days to carry out the committee recommendations.

The scope of the term ‘measures’ was three pages long and covered everything from spying, cyber security by agency, physical security of all government installations, personnel and more. There were three more pages of definitions of measures.

The committee was to be the enforcement arm eliminating departmental and Congressional politics, if that was ever possible. I did not think any of it would hold up in any kind of court challenge.

Reading in-between the lines, high level government officials had finally had enough of the stone-walling of agencies protecting their own, massive bureaucracy processes that never resulted in anything more than news print. If it was connected to national security, the committee was to be the hammer.

My reporting to Congress was a cover for those politicians. The agencies did not know – or maybe they did – the firestorm that I could create with the power they had given the committee.

Dick and I had talked at length about the failures of the Ambassadors to properly monitor their employees and stations. I had written up a list of guidelines and improvements. Oliver Taylor was to be the first the feel the brunt of those changes.

Ambassador Taylor was thirty minutes late to my meeting. The raging interruption of my MTAC to Portugal and late for my meeting was not going to bode well.

Ninety minutes later Ambassador Taylor left with a new understanding of how his embassy and it security was to be run. No longer would an assistant director be allowed to approve any immigration into the country. All applications would require multiple approvals.

All interviews would be conducted with a security person in the room and recorded. All interviews of non-English speaking applicants would be conducted with and through an embassy supplied interpreter. No longer would any previously filled out paperwork be accepted. The applicant had to fill it out at the embassy with the assistance of an interpreter if necessary.

The fact that Ambassador Taylor now had a disciplinary letter in his file didn’t set well with him and would affect his pay for awhile.

With the few minutes I had left I started looking through the folders that I had put together to fill the other positions of my committee. They were recommendations from the intelligence and Senate community and also the White House.

I narrowed the list down to three, two that I wanted, the third just in case. The first was Andrew Pollard. Andrew had served in the US army intelligence section; not behind the desk but in the field during Desert Shield and Desert Storm and was personally decorated by General Schwarzkopf. He was an expert on the Middle East. From the army he served a stint in the CIA as an operative in all parts of Africa.

After the CIA he did consulting work for the NSA and had testified before Congressional intelligence committees multiple times before leaving government.

I had met Andrew at the FBI briefings on the remote control bombs we had found and intelligence we had gathered. I found him interested, knowledgeable, and professional; above all, a no bullshit kind of guy. I read some of the reports in his file and was impressed.

The next was Anne Hopkins. She had been a captain in the Marines. She was an intelligence officer; more directly, she had worked analyzing communications in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. She had been an intelligence specialist to Marine General Keith Whitley.

General Whitley had been the general who had field promoted me to a Major for 10 hours on the rescue mission to Camp John Roberts. After the war she had transferred to the JAG corps here in Washington while she attended Washington law school before leaving the military.

As I read though her resume the dates stood out. Anne had been a classmate of Joey Kellerman. Joey – Bones as she was known to her friends – was one of the girls we had rescued from the Annapolis North girl gang and lived with and been tutored by Jason and Lisa Coles. Bones had completed the normal eight year law school course in three years and was working as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harvey Walgreen. Bones was at the top of the three nominees on the short list for the vacant associate federal judge position here in Washington.

She had bought one of the houses in the development that Lorrie had taken over from foreclosure by Annapolis Banking and Trust. Joey was a gym regular and was family.

One of the reasons that I wanted Anne was that being a communications expert analyst in the Middle East she should be able to shed light on the dark web sites and able to help Ben and the task force.

The other was Larry Barton; he was one of the top prosecutors for the Justice Department. Larry had served in a variety of Justice Department positions. Before the Justice Department he had been a legislative aide to Senator Hank Whitby. Larry had been in a lot of meetings between the Senator and me. He was willing to bend the rules – as I was – to get the job done.

I called the first two choices and set up interview sessions for Monday morning. Then I went to the Oval Office to see if there would be any conflicts with my choices. It wasn’t necessary but I thought it was the proper thing to do.

The trip home went fast; the girls and Robert were waiting to see me.

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Book 2 Chapter 10

All the upstairs meeting rooms were occupied so that left us with the larger basement meeting room.

We listened as Moses, Larry and Curly – our corporate lawyers Howard, Fine and Howard – explained the suit and the cease all work order the town was asking the judge to rule on tomorrow.

“Why a stop order on the whole project? The sewer is the last thing that will be needed months from now. Why not just the sewer portion?” I asked.

“It’s all about negotiating leverage,” Moses replied.

“It’s hard to believe the town wants to put 500 construction men in the unemployment line in the middle of the construction season,” I said.

“Well, let’s change the game a little bit. Tear up the contract with Q-town and make it a two part contract. Part one is to be the sewage and water pipes from the town to the gun club. That will take in Morton, the Morton water tower, the Crash Motel, and the gun club and get the pipes just a few miles away from the truck stop,” I said.

“Contract two will be an extension from the gun club to the truck stop and the truck dealership to finish out the project,” I added.

“If the judge rules for a stop you can argue for just the second contract. That is the only one Cville has been making the fuss about. You can also argue that the first contract is critical to public health because of the failing well in Q-town,” I said.

“They are going to want the grant put into escrow until a court decision is reached. That will put a stop on the plant upgrade,” Kurt Allen the Qtown manager said.

“A grant is a grant; there were no strings attached to it other than the hand shake agreement. Continue on with the plant upgrade; if they want money in escrow we will take care of it. If the judge rules in our favor we will get it back and if we lose we will have to pay it anyhow,” I replied.

“Write it up and then the legal department will type it up and we can sign it tonight so it will be in force for tomorrow’s court appearance,” Jenny said.

A few minutes later the legal department was working on the text of the contracts. An hour later the documents were signed and everyone had left and I was glad.

Vicky and I met the DOD team, Frank and Eric at the medical building for the interrogation of the two. Tomorrow night they were going into the doc’s furnace. It was a short night; we were done early, the prisoners fed and we were home by 2200.

Tuesday morning I spent all my time on VCATS, MTAC or with Robert. The DHS agents had hard drives full of video data from the Harrisburg water park, someone had a long boring road ahead of them to analyze and run facial recognition on the sixty days of films from the hundreds of cameras. I was super glad they did not want Roberts’s group to do it.

At noon Moses called to say the judge denied the town’s request for an injunction and stop order on the construction of the truck stop and dealership building.

In judge’s words, “The town failed to provide sufficient evidence that continued construction was against the interest of Cville or the general public. The contracts were sound and the project was within the guidelines established by the county and the state through the permitting, hearing process and approvals. The construction site was outside the town limits leaving the town with no claim against either party.”

The Cville commissioners and mayor now had a public relations disaster to deal with and the town elections were in just two months.

I called General Ingram on the scrambled phone to inform him that all six of the cobras had been delivered to IDF as instructed. I also informed him that the two prisoners were going to meet Allah tonight after his men were finished unless there were strenuous objections. There were none.

The next call was to Ben-David to inform him of their fate. We had a lengthy discussion regarding disposal of the bodies.

“I am going to watch them burn alive for trying to kill me. If you want I will have the ashes put into an urn and you can return it to the Iranians if you want; otherwise I will sweep them out with the dirt,” I said.

Vicky and I both spent the afternoon in the gym. The stitches had been removed by the doc last night and the scabs fell off today. The desire to constantly scratch was gone although I was still putting lotion on the incision sites. I could work out again and I felt like I needed it.

At 1530 Andy found us and that required a trip to my office. He had gone through the security employee list and pulled fifteen prospective men to replace the nine who were killed and the six who were injured and would most likely be unable to return to duty anytime soon.

Andy wanted Vicky and my approvals before offering them the interview session, physical test and weapons proficiency test that would lead to an offer to join the ops team.

I did a quick look-through the folders and remembered all of them in the training after being hired. Vicky looked and handed me the folders back.

“I remember all of them. Call them and put them through the paces. If you are satisfied I know I will be,” I said.
After supper I carried the tool bag – necessary to remove the family jewels of the two prisoners – and two mason jars with us to Fort Smith.

At 2300 – minus the family jewels, therefore denying them their virgins – Vicky, the doc, and I loaded the screaming prisoners into the furnace. I watched the gas ignite and the flames surround them.

Their screaming ended just as we walked out the door. The fire put an end to a terrible two weeks for JBG. The only thing left was for the injured to make the long road to full recovery. The last thing I did for the evening was to place the two labeled alcohol filled mason jars on the shelf with the others in my office.

Wednesday was a repeat of Tuesday; MTAC, VCATS and meetings with Robert and Andy.
Andy and I discussed ways to get men into the huge water park. I knew the DHS was sending a few people but I also knew they were not experts but mostly desk jockeys and a few field agents used to working on border patrol cases.
With research I found out the water park also owned an adjoining large RV park. JBG still owned the four big diesel powered class A RVs that we had bought when we were trying to prevent the attacks the University of Minnesota. We had used them as command vehicles and bunk houses.

They were still used as command vehicles; Ching Lee’s group used them as command vehicles when they performed college security audits. Of course they were used from time to time by members of the security group for family vacations, just to make sure everything was operating properly.

Andy decided to send all four to the RV park with two families each under the cover of extended vacations. They slept eight easily and if they were really friendly, they could sleep ten.

Andy sent four of the rental cars to the shop to have tow brackets put on them and any decals removed; they had to look the part of real RV vacationers.

A month’s rental at the RV park came with a month’s free passes to get into the park; it should, because the daily fee was one hundred and fifty dollars a day. I was glad the government was still being billed for our intelligence sources with the new contracts.

In two days I would have eight of my men – four with wives and children and four of the Mossad ladies pretending to be wives – supplementing the six the DHS was sending.

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Book 2 Chapter 9

I listened for an hour while they went through the posts they had intercepted. The problem was the posts they were decoding the encryptions on were from weeks ago. Why?

That question I would ask Ben, Frank and Eric in a more private setting. I passed out the copies of the intercepts that Robert was collecting every day.

The new bounty on Vicky and I put a new emphasis on monitoring the internet and phone and airport traffic from not only the Middle East but Europe, Africa and Central America.

All the known assassins worldwide were on the Interpol site, but there were holes and we knew it. New credentials could be bought in almost any country for a few thousand dollars; they would withstand even the most sophisticated checks.

Specialists in that business scoured birth certificate, death records, school records, social security and tax records, along with many more. With only a few days notice they could match up records – even down to the birthday – for the customer.

With all the school and college records online and easily hacked, it was easy to install portraits in the files to match thing up. For the really critical customer, plastic surgeons could alter the facial profile so that facial recognition would be ineffective.

It had become common place in intelligence circle briefs to see new alerts about the new suspected identity for foreign agents.

The only thing they could not change was the DNA signature one left behind and fingerprints. There were rumors that a process had been perfected that would alter fingerprints enough that when ran through the systems, the individual could not be identified by them.

The real kicker was the new ones getting into the business. They were younger, in better physical shape, highly educated and a lot more skilled and capable of fitting into the role they needed to play to get close to their subject.

We went to lunch and spent time working on the angles for Harrisburg. It was a good thing; the trip Ben had made to the Harrisburg police chief had not been productive and neither had a search of the immigration files for the area. Many of the files were incomplete, either by laziness or design.

The last few minutes before lunch was brought were spent discussing the two I had in Fort Smith. The groups wanted two more nights of questions. That suited my plans about right; I wanted them gone as soon as possible in ashes. Wednesday was my target date for them to meet Allah.

I still had not heard from Ben-David if they were finished with the pair; I would make that call later.
Harry met me in the hall after lunch to tell me that the coffee and donuts were behind the divider with the staff waiting on further instructions.

“Put them out at 1255; I will be there at 1259 sharp,” I replied.

He thought a minute, smiled and shook his head and walked away. He knew the news crew hated to be rushed but they enjoyed rushing everyone else. Trying to balance a pad, pen, coffee and a donut at one time was a combination for a mess in the lap.

At 1259 I placed my mug on the podium, went to the crowded table and quickly picked one of my favorites on a napkin and said, “Let’s get this show started.” They were forced to scramble for seats as the questions started from those who had been first to the table.

“First I want to thank everyone who sent cards and flowers and your prayers for the families of my men who were killed and injured.”

I answered question for forty five minutes before I shut the press conference down. Those highly educated individuals did not have a clue outside the world of politics. I got tired of answering the same question worded a dozen different ways.

I think it was Einstein who said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” This bunch was border line insane.

The most insane question came from one of the big three reporters, “When are you going to allow media representatives to accompany you on these foreign trips?”

“When you decide that it is OK to be shot at and blown up, I might consider it. You have to understand that you are a target anytime you are around me from the looks of things. I will not supply security for you,” I replied.

Back in Section Twelve Ben had started things moving towards Harrisburg. The Harrisburg DHS field office was sent ten more agents.

The big water park was loaded with security cameras. Agents were dispatched to secure access to security films from the last 60 days and to secure continued live access to the cameras.

All the films would be run through the facial scanners looking for anyone who made repeated visits to the water park. Then a more detailed look would be made of their actions for that day and to cross check the post to see if anything could be viewed as a report back to General Kedar.

After much discussion in Section Twelve – which included the President, Eric, Frank and Ben – there were what amounted to orders setting more surveillance in place at both borders. Tiam had sent Jaed a message that once the place was decided that the explosives would be sent to him. To me that meant that the explosives were either in Mexico or Canada.

I was betting Canada for several reasons, one being that the cartel was on the ropes temporally. The uprising had cost them many of the revolutionaries and leaders; the rest – for now – were trying to lay low and avoid arrest. I figured that they still wanted nothing to do with anything that may put a light on them.

The other reason was Canada had lost its mind and was allowing thousands of refugees to settle every month. They were coming from Africa, Syria, Iraq and even Iran. The EU was sending them via England directly to Canada with little or no checks on them. The UN was issuing travel permits with practically no background checks. These were from some of the worst sponsors of terrorism there was.

Another reason was there was so much unguarded border with Canada that it would be easy to get several hundred pounds of explosives across. With those thoughts left on the table, I started home.

Jenny called while I was being driven through Annapolis; the town of C-ville had filed a suit against JBG for the sewage issue with the truck stop and was asking for an injunction stopping all construction until the suit was settled. The hearing on the injunction was tomorrow morning.

Howard, Fine and Howard would be waiting at the office when I arrived there.

I called Jenny back after a few minutes of thought, “Have Q-town’s mayor, town commissioners and sanitation engineers and attorney at the office when I get there,” I said.

As I rode over the bay bridge I counted the massive ships at the anchorage waiting to make the final leg to the Baltimore marine terminal to unload. There were ten today; a mix of huge container ships and freighters.

The realization that we were never going to win the war on terror hit home. There were too many ways to easily enter the US and only a few cared at all. The rest of the country was lost in trying to survive, sports or drugs. The best we could hope for was to minimize the damage and prevent the big one from happening.

When I walked into the office the girls met me at the elevator.

“I take you have plan,” Jenny said.

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Book 2 Chapter 8

Book 2 Chapter 8
Friday morning after breakfast, we all dressed in black for the funerals. Mindy and Lisa were going to baby sit. They would be busy; there were four little babies for them to watch over and the two boys. I hoped they were up to the task, although I was sure that Ching Lee and Lorrie both would leave as soon as they could.

The media – and there was plenty of it – were camped out on the grass with trucks and reporters. The school board was going to have a fit.
At 1000 all the caskets were in place with the services standing guard. The hundreds of JBG security who had flown in were also standing around the inside of the building.

The families were seated close to the coffins and all the normal things that took place at a funeral, did.

There were several unexpected visitors; the Vice President, Troy, and all the members of the task force, General Ingram and the rest of the Joint Chiefs, along with Ben-David and several ambassadors. They came to pay their respects.

It was a sad and solemn day and I was glad when the last coffin was placed in the ground. This day would haunt me for a long time. It was 1800 when we finally walked through the door to be able to say it was finished.
The more I thought about it, the more it made me mad and I was more determined than ever to kill every terrorist I could find. Not only me but Vicky had a new fire in her eye every time a terrorist or terrorism was mentioned.

The weekend was subdued; it was recovery, rest, and rejuvenation time. But Saturday morning Vicky and I went to Fort Smith to feed the prisoners and to deliver Balthazar’s letter to his father and to help clean them up.

Robert had run it through the translator and Abra had read it to me. I was satisfied that there was nothing damaging in it.

“I see you had funerals for your dead yesterday. A true pity you were not among them; not that we did not try,” he said. There was a TV in the medical building that was locked onto ZNN; they were there broadcasting yesterday.

“You are going to join the dead soon enough, only there will be no marker or grave for you,” I replied.

“You had some very influential people to the funeral. I’m not sure that is a true statement that Colonel Kassis and I are worth nothing,” he said.

“I am worth more alive to you and your partners than dead,” he added.

“Possibly to them but not to me and I am the one that has you, not them; they have no vote in the outcome,” I replied as I was locking up to leave.

Unless something changed by Wednesday, they were going to be fed into the chipper or the Doc’s crematorium alive. I figured if anyone had any more questions they would be answered on Monday night. The Doc was scheduled and easy to cancel if no questions needed to be asked.

Sunday was a family discussion that lasted all day with starts and breaks for boys and babies. It was repeatedly brought to my attention that Vicky and I had been the target of assassins twice in the last week and this was getting a bit much for the girls to handle.

It was Ching Lee that finally put the situation in prospective, “No matter what we do from now on, we are all targets and nothing is going to change that. We just have to be prepared, plan proper responses and stay one step ahead of them.”

Dad, Mom, Lisa and Jason made the rounds after lunch to see all the little ones.

Monday morning started with two hours with Robert going over the weekend’s postings. With the multiple encryptions it took a while but the final print outs were depressing.

General Abdalrahman Kedar must have been given control because the tone and language in the postings had turned aggressive and more radical. The first general broadcast was a change to the bounty on Vicky and me to twenty five million each. He was infuriated that we had walked away from their planned trap. That alone – to me – meant that he was informed of the operation.

The twenty five million was worrisome because that was high enough to bring out the professional assassins or someone who had a terminal illness wanting to provide for their family after their death. They were dying anyhow; they had nothing to lose. The question was, would payment be made? It was very unlikely to educated minds, but desperate people do desperate things.

Of course there would be those who would just roll the dice and try to kill us once the word of the bounty made its’ rounds in the terrorist circles.
In another they acknowledged that General Fayeez Mohammad was missing and a search was underway because no remains had been recovered. They offered increased rewards for information on where he or his body was located.

Further into the post he acknowledged that a rescue team had been dispatched only to run into a fierce firefight, losing many of its fighters before withdrawing after admitting there were no remains at the site and that it had possibly been a trap.

The posts directed to Jaed were demanding and some were outright orders. General Kadar ordered that the message was to be delivered on July fourth with no exceptions. He ordered the big decadent water park at Hershey to be the target. There would be thousands of military and innocents there for the celebrations and fireworks. It ended with further instructions would be coming.

With the printouts in my portable office and ten new people on my escort team I made the trip to Washington. The clock was ticking on Harrisburg and there was no longer time to be timid.

With the unexpected trip there was no media at the gate, but they sure tried to make it there before I got inside.

Inside was as far as I got; Troy met me in the hallway. The media was already in the press room asking for the news conference I had promised them when we had just landed at Morton.

“1300; I will do mine before Harry gives the scheduled 1400 press briefing. Make sure there are donuts and coffee to bribe them with,” I replied.

After conversations with everyone associated with the Oval Office, I finally made it to my new office at the end of Section Twelve.

I should have brought the reports from Portugal and Spain but they were not finished yet. The funerals and injured men had interrupted the normal work flow. Vicky and Cindy were finishing them up today.

I called Dick James and set up the appointment to discuss the findings of my investigation and go over the reports for tomorrow.

One of Vicky’s jobs today was to go through all the embassy official staff; I wanted to know who hired them and how long they had been at the embassies and what their duties were. I was looking for anything that looked out of place. Robert assigned four people to do background checks as Vicky and Cindy put the who, what, when and where together.

After I finished the calls I took the information I had brought from EIT and interrupted Ben’s plans for the day.

I walked in the section twelve meeting room, “Put it all on the table. What have you found and I want to hear all of it right now!”

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Book 2 Chapter 7

Two more of my men were to be discharged from the hospital today; that made me feel a little better.

I had a 0800 meeting with Andy and Ed; Andy wanted to start the process of replacing the men on Monday to get the OPS and Rapid Response teams to full strength. He was right in his argument that we may need them in a hurry. I agreed with Andy’s assessment and the quest would begin with HR reviewing all the applications already on file.

The funerals were on Friday; HR was checking and double checking everything. There had been an issue with the school board about parking. We were sure that there was going to be a shortage. Jason wanted a section of fencing removed and over-flow parking on the soccer field close to the auditorium. Only after agreeing to pay and repair any grass or fence damage did they agree.

I met with Robert; some of the web sites he had been watching had been going crazy. One site the Iranians had moved to the general internet to be a forum for hunting for their general. They were having no real luck, although there had been an item that he may have survived the attack.

There were only a handful of people in Israel that knew he was alive. The Mossad had seen to that and whisked him away to a Mossad controlled section of the hospital.

The traffic on the other web sites had doubled and almost tripled on the sex trade one.

The traffic between Jaed and Tiam had substantially increased and there was a new player in the US. All leads were pointing to Oklahoma City, although there was not enough evidence to confirm it yet.

The thing that set off alarms was that Jaed indicated that the prospective target list was down to two locations and the decision would be made in a day or two.

Tiam’s response was that the explosives had been secured and after the place and date was decided arrangements would be made to get them to him.

I needed to go to Washington; I wanted a face to face with the task force. I went back to Fort Smith and the jail; I asked the General if he had finished the letter.

“I’m sure you will read it to make sure I followed your instructions and I have no problem with that,” he replied as he handed me the letter. I placed it in an envelope with a couple of blank sheets.

I read what the General had written as best I could; I was a long way from being able to put all the scratches and symbols together and make sense out of them.

Back at the office I first had Robert scan it then run it through the translator for an English version. Andy was waiting as I donned the heavy vest. Ziva and Abra were in the SUV with me. I asked her to read the General’s letter to me. I then read the translated version. Both were very close; the General had followed directions. It was a simple letter from someone who knew he was dying.

“Goodbye; I am dying. Tell the family to stay strong and together. I shall greet them with Allah,” was the essence of the letter. It took three pages of ramblings with notes to all his children and wife.

Andy was carrying me to the South Hill Federal Penitentiary where Balthazar was being held. I called the warden and told him to have Balthazar in a visitor room in one hour.

An hour and ten minutes later I was sitting across the table looking at Balthazar; he did not look as good as when I saw him last time. I wondered if he was on a hunger strike.

I passed the envelope over to him. He read quietly then reread the three pages again.
“You have father?” he asked.

“I have communicated with people that have him; he is not well and will not be with the world much longer. I understand it was very difficult for him to write,” I replied.

I placed the blank sheets of paper in front of him and placed a pen on them.

“If you write him I will try to get it to him before he passes,” I said.

What I was wanting was to use the letters as leverage. I knew it had worked on Balthazar; I saw it in his eyes and expression. The thing now was to see if it had the same effect on the General.

Thirty minutes later I was in Section Twelve and causing grief and heartburn to everyone in there. They still could not tell me anything about Harrisburg. I was beginning to think Ben was the wrong person for the job. Troy started in the door but made a u-turn and left without saying anything.

The problem was that I could not say anything about it for fear I would be drawn back into the daily routine again. I had far too much going on for that.

So much was going on that JR VP Cindy Shaw and one of her administrators – either Stacy James or Renay Reese – were going to be moved further into the security division and given more authority.

Cindy had been involved in the general day to day decisions and scheduling of the embassy security division. It was now time to bring her into the more secret and classified decision making. She was an excellent analyst with facts and good with data and sometimes read my thoughts like they were a book. Better yet, she never had let any information slip – even to her coworkers, that we knew of – related to operations. She took the VP job seriously.

Another conversation that needed to be had when the funerals were over was with Robert and Burt. The EIT department had grown to over fifty since I went to Washington. Now with the new government contracts, did it need to grow more and did Robert need to start looking for qualified people immediately? I did not want people burnout or fatigue to get in the way of quality work.

There were so many things to do and there were a couple projects I wanted to discuss with the girls if the damn county would ever get the planning and zoning update completed. I wondered if they were foot dragging until the election was over before moving on it.

Marcy wanted diversity in the income flow; I would give her something to think about. The billions from the Crown Prince were still locked up in the basement and after talking to Robert Alderman and Lexi Morgan – our senior tax people – we had come up with a way to carefully use some of the money.

Next Tuesday was the county business meeting. Marcy wanted me to go to in her place and finally I was going. The county administrator was an obnoxious asshole in her words and still hung up on the court judgment on the old airport. The county still had several more years to make payments.

I had told her to give him both barrels but she insisted that she needed to lady-like in the public forum. I had no need to be ladylike in any forum and everybody knew it.

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Book 2 Chapter 6

Book 2 Chapter 6
“Yes I did, mark the frame and keep looking,” I replied.

Then I started a new page of questions. Some of my partners in the Spanish inquisition may get nervous and I needed to watch for that. There were things that were definitely amiss.

Vicky and I went back to Fort Smith. I carried a set of oversize head phones that played music. The explosive expert was not going to listen to the questions asked of the other. The doc was fifteen minutes early; that allowed Vicky and me private time to question the General. To get even more time, Ed was to delay a few minutes before he brought the rest of the group back and was to call me first.

“How long were you waiting at that location before my convoy happened along?” I asked.

“I’m not answering any more questions until I see the people I asked for,” he replied.

I nodded my head to the doc to remind the General who was running this show. It took three more doses for him to change his mind. And our time element was gone. The rest of the inquisition was here.

I asked the question again.

“Four hours,” he replied.

“How many patrols went by in those four hours that you did not attack?” I asked.

“Three – yours was the fourth,” he replied.

“Why did you attack the forth?” I asked.

He didn’t answer. I nodded.

Minutes later I asked the question again.

“We knew you were going to be in the convoy and about what time,” he replied.

“How did you know?” I asked.

No answer so I repeated the question.

Still no answer so I nodded.

Five minutes later he said, “A Hezbollah informant was following you; at one of the stops you made one of the soldiers made a call that was overheard.”

‘Loose lips sink ships, and got my men killed and almost me and Vicky,” immediately came to mind.

I went back to asking questions about the planned attacks that were being discussed on the web sites and how potential targets were being identified.

I followed that up with who was going to replace him as Intel chief for the IRG.

“General Abdalrahman Kedar,” he replied.

“I know that name; he was known as the Butcher of Baghmati during the Iraq/Iran conflict. Thousands died from chemical weapons he ordered used. Then his troops killed any survivors and looted the city,” General Ingram replied.

“He is devoted to the radical mullahs and is pushing for a much more aggressive terror campaign. He wants it expanded to all areas of the world. They will place him in control. You will pay dearly and soon for capturing me.” General Fayeez said.

“You won’t be able to celebrate any successes they have,” I replied.

“The Israelis took over the questioning and questioned in a lot more detail about Hezbollah’s spy network in their own back yard. Then the feds took their turn.

When we ran out of questions for the General, the equipment was transferred to the Colonel.

I had no real need to be involved in the small rockets and explosives questions. The Israelis, on the other hand, were thorough because they were facing them almost daily. The two DOD people that General Ingram had brought were just as interested.

Director Dorin received a call and carried on the conversation in Hebrew and quickly became very excited. After he finished the call, he came to where Frank, Eric, Ben, Vicky and I were standing.

“Your plan worked; they walked into the trap as you said they would. We have several Hezbollah leaders, two more IRG colonels and several captains. All of them have leg problems. Do you know how hard it was to convince soldiers to shoot for knee caps when they have been trained for years to shoot at body mass?” Director Dorin said.

He walked me off to the side. “If we are unsuccessful with interrogations, may we bring them here?” he asked.

“I’m sure we can work out an arrangement that will be satisfactory for all of us,” I replied.

The Israelis finished and quickly left; Director Dorin and his boss were going back to Israel tonight. They were anxious to get started with things there. Ben-David would handle any more questions tomorrow night.

The feds cornered me while Vicky went to get food again. “What kind of plans and deals did you work out with the Israelis?”

“No deals, just an opportunity to assist in applying a dose of revenge for killing my men and trying to kill Vicky and me. That pissed me off. You know, ‘Never piss off a lady with a knife, gun and an attitude.’ Even Vicky has developed an attitude now; you have been warned,” I said.

While we were waiting for everyone to finish up Vicky sent the list of questions and answers to Robert’s email so he would have them tomorrow when he came in to work. Then we had a quiet discussion. I filled her in on the success of today’s operation in the Golan Heights.

Then we looked at the files Marcy was keeping with all things related to the funerals. JBG was flying any of the security people at any of the embassies or colleges that wanted to attend the funerals. Everyone who worked in our security departments had been through training programs where some of the deceased had been trainers. Every site was sending several.

All had been in the military and all four branches of the armed forces were sending an honor guard. There was also a list of VIP’s who had signed that they were coming.

Reading all that made me sad and mad but the soldier in me kept me moving forward and had taught me to ignore sad and mad. Both of those emotions would cause one to do stupid things and interfere with rational decision making that could get us killed. I could not afford to have one more stupid thing happen.

We were waiting for the two to finish eating; we wanted to make sure all the utensils were collected so there could be no escape attempts. Tonight there was a security guard and a former medic staying in the medical building, in case they needed to use a bed pan. It was easier to do that than clean up the mess.

It was while they were eating that the General starting talking, “You know I am Colonel Faaz Fayeez Mohammad’s father, Balthazar as you know him. How is he; have they executed him yet?”

“No, he has not been executed, he is being held in a federal prison outside of Washington. The politicians wanted to trade him for a couple of people being held in Iranian prisons. But the mullahs refuse to discuss it so they are going to try him for his crimes. He may eventually be executed but it will be a while,” I replied.

“I know you are going to execute both of us. No one knows where we are and the answers we have given you would get us executed at home,” he said.

“You killed my men and almost killed me, no one is going to do that and live, you are the only two alive of the group you were with,” I said.

“We have been studying you for a while; you have a nickname in circles within your government; ‘Lioness’ I think it was, it is appropriate. It is also said that every man that has crossed you is dead.”

“If I wrote a letter to my son would he get it?” he asked.

“If you write a letter I will hand deliver it, I think you are smart enough to know the things you cannot say,” I replied.

“I will instruct the guard tonight to give you a pad and a pen,” I added.

When the guard came I gave him explicit instructions and the pad and pen for the general.

Sleep came easy; my neck was healing. The girls and I could be more affectionate if they were gentle, and they were.
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