Chapter 528

In my time at the task force in the basement of the White House, it always amazed me just how many insiders managed to get invited to free food even if it was only pizza.

I asked the chef to send several dozen boxes and paper plates to the men and ladies still working in Sections One through Fifteen in the basement, “Right away Ma-am, these people always seem to forget about those making them look good down there.”

I thought that was an interesting take on the movers and shakers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, when the general staff referred to them as “these people.”

The main cafeteria – although it was not that large – was packed. Pizza was lined up on the tables from one end to the other. Very expensive gold decorated china and real silver utensils were stacked for people to use. These people were too high classed to use paper.

There was an undercurrent in conversations. Everyone knew something big was going on but knew better than ask. Many were second tier staff assigned to many of the offices.

Bobbie brought me another folder; this one was updated. All the data from the file was checking out. “This will be the last until morning. Judge Haynes has signed the warrants for the Senators, Representatives and the Generals,” Bobbie said.

After most of the pizza was gone and everyone was full to the point of being uncomfortable, I made my way to the door of the executive meeting room.

I pulled out my list of the individuals who were to attend this briefing and started calling out names.
“Mr. President , Troy, senior executive staff, Chairman and the Joint Chiefs, Speaker of the House and the minority leader of the house, the two Senate leaders, Directors, Frank Love, Marty Coeburn, Eric Roberson, Attorney General Dunne,” and so on.

A Secret Service agent only let those in who were called on. Aides, assistants and lackey boys were not allowed in, much to their dismay. Several were visibly upset, but my rules; my way or no way.

My description and general breakdown of the materials lasted thirty minutes; the questions lasted almost two hours. I was asked the same questions over a dozen different ways. I had finally learned that this was the Washington normal method of operation for all politicians.

Bobbie knocked on the door with a note that the agent inside the door brought to me. “The five Congressmen and two Senators had been arrested and were being held without bail.”

It was the excuse that I needed to end tonight’s session; my men had already been waiting three hours. I made one more announcement.

“The will be a ten AM news conference on the south lawn. I will remind everyone that the topics discussed are still classified and there is a news blackout in effect until the news conference.

It was after ten PM when I stepped into the kitchen. I was glad to be home; I was ready for some hot tub time and family time. But it was not to be.

Sitting at the table with my mates was Ben-David and Israel’s US Ambassador Ableman and Israel’s ambassador to Uganda Ambassador Dansky.

“Old friends, what brings you here tonight?” I asked.

“Ambassador Dansky was in town for a couple days and wanted to meet your family and see your operation. Your family was gracious enough to give us a very informative tour,” Ambassador Ableman said.

“Just a social call to give you a well done on a mission, hear about the tidbits and a word of warning,” Officer David added.

“That was quite a feat you pulled off. We hear the King was really upset in the beginning. Word through the channels is he is pressing your President for help in solving the mystery,” Ambassador Dansky said.

“Ah; I have already been asked and rejected that idea,” I replied.

“Things have changed in the last day or so. The King began his own investigation and was extremely upset at what his sons were doing and who they were working with. Many of the Crown Prince’s inner circle are headed to the palace basement,” Ben said.

“Not good for them – the old palace dungeon – the place of a thousand tortures if it lives up to its reputation. The power of the sheikhs – for decades to maintain order and loyalty – was not in how many made the trip to the dungeon but how many would do anything not to make the trip. Fear is the greatest motivator among thieves,” I said.

“So right,” Ben replied.

“A bloodbath has already started in the King’s family; several were hung just hours ago. The King is reasserting his personal control over the kingdom that he used in his youth. This will go on for days,” Ben-David said.

“Robert’s working on the other computers; as soon as he finishes you can get the data,” I replied.

“Now that you have got your man, are there going to be any changes?” Ben asked.

I knew where he was going with that question. There was really no need to ask it.

“I see no need to make any changes. We both have assets in hot spot areas; terrorism is not going away, cooperation will be essential to defeat it. I fully expect there will be more attacks against the US embassies that we supply security to. Our joint cooperation has worked well in the past. When it is not broke, don’t fix it,” I replied.

The conversation lasted another forty minutes before they left. The parting words echoed our desire for peace that we knew would take decades, “Shalom my friend.”

It was midnight when the girls and I left the office after a few quick updates on things JBG. It was a short visit to the hot tub and then a short night. I was in Section 12 by seven.

The media at the gate – that was normally dozens – now numbered a hundred or more. I waved as we went by and ignored all the shouted out questions as I went into the White House.

The Washington media was on a crusade to find out what was going on. The official news blackout was still holding but barely. Speculation was growing that the Task Force was at it again.

Local news stations were carrying reports and video of all the other arrests from around the country. Hanna Page had the full video of the arrest of the Vice President of Alamo International, a defense contractor who specialized in battle communications. The Prince was paying for equipment not authorized for export along with frequency jamming equipment that he had sold to Iran.

After reviewing all the arrests and accompanying data – and there was a lot of data – the agents were connecting all the pieces together by working around the clock. The task force members and I felt confident we were ready to script the news conference.

Ben and I went to the Presidents meeting room to meet all the participants. The rest of the agency heads and VIPs were already there; the place was packed. A lot of people thought they needed to say something.

Repeat – review – repeat; it was a thirty minute exercise getting all of them up to date. And then came the hard part; the pecking order was picked; the President, Speakers of the House and Senate, Attorney General Dunne, Eric, Marty, Frank, Art Cummings of the NIA and others. I kept quiet as the secretary printed out the list and passed it around. In the urgency to get all the political players in front of the cameras, I had been over looked and I was not saying anything. I would stand in the back behind the tallest persons I could find and just listen.
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Chapter 527

Marty sent the other agents to the other SUVs with the prisoner. He and I were in one.

“I am not happy with you taking Mike away from the task force,” I said.

“I can imagine so, but I need a leader who looks past the trees to see the forest and the snow capped mountains in the distance. You have taught him how to do that along with being hard nosed dedicated and to not let the bull distract him from the mission goals. He was lacking in those areas before, not now. The only thing he may be lacking now is compassion. That’s not one of your stronger suits if there is a job to do,” Marty said.

“I have another candidate who I will send you that needs your guidance. I think he will be a good one when you finish with him,” he said.

“He better come around in five weeks! That is all the time I have left at the White House,” I replied.

“What are you going to do with Balthazar’s computer?” Marty asked.

“Get Robert to look at it, but I doubt there is anything on it. Ormond has probably already bleached the hard drive. I can’t think there would be any reason for him not to have done it by now,” I replied.

We were back at the White House; it was not that long of a drive if the traffic was not bad. A Secret Service agent carried the box and placed it in my office.

In Section Twelve – with the exception Troy and the President – the powers were all still there. In fact, we had gained some. The Army and Air Force Chief of Staff were there and in a heated discussion on how to handle their high level traitors and the aftermath.

It would be a media bloodbath, let alone what Congress would do to the services with three Generals arrested for treason.

I reminded the Chiefs that Congress was going to fare no better with two Senators and five Representatives charged with the same thing. I suggested that we hold off a day to allow the agencies to investigate more and arrest more of the individuals. The task force would make the announcement of all traitors at one time.

I would have a major press conference about all the corporate, media and financial big wigs who were on the Prince’s list to help deflect some of the attention away from the military.

There were many in the military industrial complex who would sell their soul to the highest bidder to get some new big toy, and a few had.

My thought was to simply overload the media all at one time. The news would be so big and widespread they would not be able to focus on one individual piece for too long.

The military names were divided and were given to different agencies to speed up the process. The NCIS, CGIS were assigned the Generals; a different agency running the investigation would help stifle the rumors of cover-up by the DOD. Plus both of those agencies had impeccable reputations that Congress would respect.

The House and Senate leaders were summoned to the White House at six. I was to chair that meeting and give a brief overview of what we knew. The NSA and FBI were scrambling to gather enough data to make a case before the leaders arrived.

The Prince had documented his payments and the locations where they were made at well enough that the agents would be done before six. There were so many cameras in Washington, we felt sure that the cash transfers to the Senators and Representatives were on video somewhere, or at least the meetings or drops.

The locations, dates and times sped up the video search by thousands of man hours. GPS on the Congressional cell phones would tie everything together. All it was going to take was time.

Tracking the cash was going to be the worst problem; I was damn sure they did not accept checks from the Prince. The ledger always noted if the payments were US dollars, francs, yen or marcs.

It was going to be a long night as indicated by the normal Washington tradition, the pizza had already been ordered by the dozens.

With all the real work delegated to the dozen of staffers who worked for the task force and my team putting the details in order, Frank, Eric, Ben and five-star General Ingram ended up in my office.

Frank started the conversation, “if you hacked this file of data what else did you get? Anything interesting that may be beneficial?”

“Frank,” I started to say.

“I know a girl has to have some secrets, but sometimes sharing among friends is good,” Frank replied.

“If I didn’t know any better, we could be talking about pussy and an aged bottle of Jack Daniels,” I said.

“I have everything. Over a thousand military files classified top secret by the Saudi government; defense plans, offensive plans, battle estimates, secret locations of a missile complex, the locations of their stockpiles of battle field nuclear artillery shells obtained from the Soviets. I also have secret negotiations with Iran, Israel, Jordon, North Korea and China,” I replied.

“There are assessments of Pakistan’s and India’s nuclear capabilities and that they are deteriorating at a much faster rate than expected. Some are so bad that they are being moved to underground mines because of radiation leakage,” I said.

“There was something about inferior materials and insulators in the core and corrosion,” I added.

“Then there are hundreds of other top secret files, the declining oil production estimates and hundreds of wells that have prematurely gone dry. There are dissidents who are slated to be jailed or disappear. There is even a plan to overthrow the ruling family and join with Jordon, Turkey and Syria to box in Iran,” I said.

“How long have you had this information?” General Ingram asked.

“We had only been monitoring the Prince’s e-mails for six weeks – afraid a big data transfer would shut our source down until Saturday – then I got it all,” I replied.

‘You know we would like to have a look at the data as soon as we can,” Frank replied.

“How many days do you think it will be before it will be hacked and passed around?” I asked.

“You know the predicament it could place me in if it ever came back to me,” I added.

“Things have changed for materials that sensitive; a lead lined room with no connections to the outside or net: a view and read only, no notes, no phones, no cameras. It will be secure,” Frank said.

Bobbie knocked on the door and brought in the reports everyone had been working on, “Look them over and I will make any changes before you go upstairs. Pizza will be ready in fifteen minutes,” she said.

I opened my portable office and put the Crown Prince’s laptop and charger on the table in front of them. I had not noticed it before but there was dried blood on the Saudi gold crest.

“I have three more; the Prince’s brother and both arms dealers. My team is not done with them yet,” I said as I started reading the papers Bobbie had brought to me.

The men never moved, or said anything; they kept looking at the computer, each other then at me, just back and forth like the computer was going to attack whichever one touched it first.

Finally, “Never piss off a lady with a knife, a gun and an attitude. There are no second chances,” I said.
“I don’t think any of us will have to write that one down, it is in stone,” Ben said.

Frank put the computer in one of the many cases lying around then handcuffed it to the table.
“Let’s go eat some pizza,” Eric said.

The Senate and House leaders were already there.

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Chapter 526

The courier quickly left. Mike Doyle opened the box; I could tell by his expression that it was not good.

I looked in the box; it contained a mass of computer parts, all disassembled. I was pissed but after seeing Ormond Mohammed Patel on the Prince’s payoff list, I was not surprised. That answered why the courier left so quickly.

I took the components out and started placing them on the table. I only had a few pieces left in the box when the light went on. The initial evidence pictures of Balthazar’s items were of a HP laptop; all the big pieces had the Dell logo on them. He didn’t even bother to at least put the same brand parts in the box. On top of that, there was no hard drive included. No matter; his goose was cooked.

I had Bobbie make copies of the file Robert had put together and then made a phone call.
“Troy; are you and the President able to come down here? Bring a General with you that has the authority to have other Generals arrested. By the way, have the Secret Service keep Lewis Hill from leaving until the meeting is over. You may want to lock down his security clearance until then,” I said.

“Kathy; get me an arrest warrant for Ormond Patel; the charges are treason, aiding and complicity in terrorism, along with accepting bribes from a terrorist. Then I need arrest warrants for all Americans here and abroad listed on the report I just gave you,” I said.

Kathy Shellman was the federal prosecutor assigned to the task force. She was getting a name in federal justice circles because of the sheer numbers of federal warrants she was getting and the Justice Department team assigned to her was getting convictions without plea bargaining. She knew I hated plea bargains with a passion.

Kathy and her two assistants were typing out requests for warrants as fast as they could. The process was not easy; each name had to be checked for state of residency and all the other rules that applied. Once the request and warrant went to the federal judge for his approving signature, then a warrant was printed out on the printer on the proper legal forms. When that was done a copy of the warrant was sent to Eric’s group in the DHS. It was sent to all DHS connected outlets to flag that individual, stopping him or her from traveling by air or rail. And to Treasury, any financial transaction by the individual plus the bank cams created an alert at the DHS.

The DHS connected all public information to the warrant, driver’s license, car tag numbers and now the car’s computer GPS and all highway cameras that have tag readers on their system.

Big brother was not only watching, it was following and reporting. The days of being on a federal list and hiding were long gone. The one problem was that there was only a tiny fraction of the manpower needed to monitor the system. Thousands of terabits of data were generated; never to be evaluated in a timely manner, if ever.

Fort Meade was a major storage site on the East Coast for all the data collected by the NSA, CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence and other agencies. The five story buildings housing storage server farms were under continuous expansion. As soon as one was completed, another was started. There were thousands of analysts that worked around the clock making usable reports from critical data.

“Mike Doyle and I will make that arrest ourselves.” I said.

Everyone was looking at me puzzled as to what was going on.

As soon as the President, Troy and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Frank and Eric) had made it here and were in their chairs, I started to speak.

“The documents before you are similar to the ones captured from the computers at the New Jersey learning complex with a major difference. This list has only hi-level individuals listed; those that received more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollar bribes or payoffs,” I said.

“Mr. President, page twenty four has the entries you need to see. The third one down is Cabinet Secretary Lewis Hill. There are notes that describe the payments and what was expected for them,” I replied.

“The next entries that you need to look at are on page twenty eight, Senators Almost and Clements both have received multiple payments,” I said.

“Page thirty two has payments to five representatives; California’s Morse, South Dakota’s Harris, Delaware’s Boomer, Virginia’s Callaway and Georgia’s Mabry. All are on intelligence or military oversight committees with the highest level of clearance and all have made multiple fact finding junkets to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries that correspond with the dates of the payments,” I said.

“General Ingram; the ones you need to look at are on pages sixty and sixty two. There are three Generals that have been paid. They are assigned to the US military bases in Saudi Arabia,” I said.

“They are Army Lt. General Albert Hoover and Lt. General Howard Custer, along with Air Force General Buzz Arden,“ I added.

“The rest of those in the US are having warrants drawn up to arrest them as we speak; those warrants will not be executed until DHS and the FBI have a chance to investigate them and any possible accomplices,” I said.

The discussion lasted an hour and looked like it would continue several more. Finally I had had enough.
“Bobbie, do you have the warrant for Patel?” I asked.

“Yes,” Bobbie replied.

“Mike, let’s go make an arrest; bring that box of junk. Lets watch a whole department squirm,” I replied.

“Just a minute; where did these files come from?” Troy asked.

I looked at Frank, Eric and Ben; I saw eyes looking to the floor and a very slow shaking of the head from side to side. They were expecting the bomb to explode. Marty Coeburn was staring intently at me; he knew very little of what they knew.

“They came from Crown Prince Sultan al-Zahab’s personal laptop just minutes before he died. That’s what happens when you get interrupted, don’t close programs and don’t log out. Hackers are just waiting to take advantage and they did. A lesson we all need to apply to our computing habits,“ I replied as I motioned to Mike to get the box.

A glance at Frank, Eric and Ben said it all; the massive look of relief, doing their best not to smile and to maintain that serious look. I thought about throwing a wink in that direction but was afraid doing so would have caused them to lose their composure.

The Secret Service with four GSA supplied Suburban’s carried us to the FBI IT lab. The lobby security agent had no problem poking fun at Mike Doyle carrying the box, ‘demoted to a lackey boy’, but he did open the door for us.
There were four Secret Service agents with us who did not see the humor in the comment.

Ormond Patel’s office was a reasonably new office in the corner of the large computer lab. I guessed it was so he could keep a close eye on what was happening in there. There was a long counter where things brought in could be catalogued. As soon as the bell rung that signified that someone had entered, it drew all eyes.

Ormond Patel was out of his office in a flash as Mike put the box on the counter.

“You are not an agent, Ambassador Jones! You are not allowed in here because of the evidence chain of custody rules. But since you are with an agent I will bend the rules. What can I help you with?” he asked.

“I ordered that all of Balthazar’s devices be delivered to the task force; at noon this box of junk arrived. I want all Balthazar’s devices now,” I replied.

“That is his electronics, we had to disassemble them to check them out, there was nothing on it. Sloppy handling wiped it clean,” he replied.

“Herein lies the problem; evidence photos from the scene show Balthazar’s computer to be an HP. This one is a Dell, there is no hard drive to even make this one a computer and there were none of the thumb drives included that were sent in with it. You simply threw junk in the box and sent it. That’s not going to fly,” I replied.

“If you are going to call me a liar you can leave and don’t come back,” he said quite loudly, bringing other techs out of their office.

“Oh, I’m going to call you a lot more than that,” I said as I did the one hand for support and jumped the counter.

He turned to run but not fast enough. I had a hand full of neck and slammed his face down in the counter in a pile of parts. Seconds later his left hand was in an arm lock shoved up to his shoulder blades. With the cuffs installed, I stood him up.

“I could call you a lot of things but I won’t; there may be delicate ears in here. But you are under arrest for treason, aiding and abetting terrorist, accepting bribes from a terrorist, destroying evidence, falsifying evidence, and giving false testimony to federal officials. That should do for starters,” I replied as I handed him over to one of the Secret Service agents.

“Who is the number two person here?” I asked the onlookers.

“I am Ma-am,” a lady replied.

“Get me all of Balthazar’s electronics. NOW. I still have many sets of empty cuffs looking for wrists to fill them,” I said.

There was a scramble looking for it.

Mike was picking up the equipment getting ready to leave when Marty Coeburn and another agent walked up behind us.

“Mike, you are the new interim director of this division. You know what needs to be found and I am sure, how to find it; get this place running like it should be. If you have any questions get with BJ, if she cannot answer them I’m sure she can get you to someone who can. I’ll carry the box for BJ. I have some questions I need to ask her on the way back.”

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Chapter 525

“Not only do I not want to ever play poker with you, add your mates to that as well,” Ben-David said.

“Why, you might win some money,” I replied.

“Lose my ass may be more like it. All of you have poker faces and voices made of stone. I was at Camp Smith Saturday and Sunday; when I asked where you were, the only thing they said was you were away on business for a few days and nothing else. Not even a change of expression,” Ben said.

“Balthazar gave away the two Iranian spies in Polokwane when we questioned him on Saturday. I sent people to look for them, only to walk into a hornet’s nest at the airport, barely getting away with their lives,” Ben-David said.

“Not only were the two spies gone, everyone connected with them is dead. Two Princes and every terrorist’s favorite arms dealer are dead. A Chinese arms dealer dead, his plane burned,” Ben-David said.

“There were remains of bodies in half a dozen places in the game reserve; the reptiles did not even leave enough to identify. Just how many people did you kill there? Everybody in Africa is out looking for blood,” he added.

“First, all the reports I have seen says it was ISIS. Second, it sounds like a Mossad operation to me. Third, what makes you think I was in Africa at all?” I replied.

“What was left of the Prince’s plane was found in Mexico today,” Ben-David said.

“Yes, I saw that report. The Prince was dealing with the cartel; we already knew that and so was his arms dealer. It looks to me like ISIS and the cartel turned on him for something. Blackmail, maybe blood money? Both are heavy into that business. Did ISIS just send the Kingdom a message to keep sending money or else?” I asked.

“BJ, you are throwing a good smoke screen; it may work with others. You expect me to believe the most wanted on your list is dead the same weekend you are out of town and you had nothing to do with it?” Ben David asked.

“I have no problem sleeping at night,” I replied.

“Look who you get sleep with, no wonder,” he said.

“You can feed me the juicy bits of the mission when I see you,” Ben-David said just before the phone went click.

At the office I ran into Robert. “Burt and I want to wait until next month to take the extra two weeks off. There is a convention on the gulf coast we want to go to then, if that is OK?” Robert said.

“That’s fine, just note it on your time sheet and block the weeks you want to on your schedule,” I replied.

“How are things in EIT land?” I asked.

“Very busy trying to keep up with all the email connections associated with the Prince’s computer. Stop by on your way through the tunnel and look at some of the more interesting ones,” he replied.

“I want all the emails printed out of the Prince’s account as far back as you can go, before the account disappears. I want a hard copy record. Make sure that laptop does not accidentally get online doing automatic updates or the like. Take the battery out of it,” I said.

“Already ahead of you on that. All his accounts were copied to files and everything printed. Burt did the same thing with the financial transactions. You may want to take a close look at Burt’s printout. I’m sure that you have not tracked down everyone he was dealing with in the US,” Robert replied.

“I put the printout on your desk with the computer. We have already cloned everything on it. I left the bank transfers making it look like he did them by leaving the computer online for an hour after he was dead. I figure at some time you may want to turn the computer over to someone. There is a lot of very good information on the first few pages you should look at. I am sure it will help you,” Robert added.

I put the folder, printouts and computer in my portable office; I would look over them later today if I had the chance.

I sure hoped that we or the task force was getting to the end of some of the trails! I wanted things to slow down.

Of course I was wrong, those things were not going to be slowing down for a while. Acknowledging that we had Balthazar was a mistake. The Prince told me that Iran has hundreds of agents in the US. As soon as the IRG knew, orders for all of them to get mobile would go out.

Within hours they all would know and scatter, destroying any Intel that we could use against them or to find them covering their trails.

The FBI had Balthazar’s computer along with all the other evidence collected. As usual their IT department was slow, actually more than slow. Their lab had the computer for two weeks and still nothing.

As soon as I walked in Section Twelve I cornered Mike Doyle, our FBI rep, “I want to see all the evidence collected at Balthazar’s apartment, rental unit and car. I want all the electronic devices delivered to the task force before noon today; ALL OF IT; ‘Get on it’,” I said as I put my portable office on my desk.

“Wow, somebody is in a bad mood today,” it was Troy who came for his morning mug fill up.

“You have not seen a bad mood yet. Oh, wait a minute, you have at that,” I replied with a grin.

“How did being on the receiving end feel?” I asked.

“It was not a feeling that I want to repeat any time soon,” he replied.

“What’s got you in such a bad mood?” Troy asked.

“I should have fought harder to keep Balthazar a few days longer. I have indications that Iran may have as many as two hundred Balthazar’s in the US; he may be able to give us names of a few,” I replied.

I had more faith in Robert finding names in the Prince’s computer. If they were there, it may give an indication on just how long Iran and the Prince had been working together.

Then there was Balthazar’s computer; what was on it? Two weeks and the FBI IT department still could not tell us. Why?

I spent the rest of the morning with the group of the task force which were working on the college funding reports I would need next week for my appearance on the hill. The numbers were a mess but were beginning to come together.

The White House chef sent down one of his signature salads to me for lunch. In fact he brought it down himself along with my favorite dressing. He also brought a big mug.

“Do you mind if I get a mug of your coffee? I hear rave reviews on it; I would like to try a cup for myself,” he asked.

“Help yourself, thanks for the salad,” I replied.

I had seen the mug before. It was one of a kind and was usually being carried by someone else who always came with a mug in each hand.

As I ate I read the folder that Robert had left on my desk at the office. The more I read the more I would like to have had the Crown Prince at Camp Smith for a few days.

The Crown Prince’s ledger – from his account only – included payments to terrorists and terrorist organizations or individuals that were above two hundred fifty thousand dollars. I guess anything less was play money.

The good thing was they were broken down by area. Another thing was there was a note column by each entry.

There were almost four hundred entries for the US and over five hundred worldwide. Some were marked as closed. When I read the names I knew why. We had either killed them or arrested them.

The six learning centers and the leader, Saif, the New York and West Virginia training centers and the leaders all were marked closed. All told there were almost a hundred marked closed in the US. I recognized some of the names from the list of federal employees who had been arrested earlier.

I wondered why some of them were being paid the larger amount, but not for long. They were in positions to influence policy and government actions. As I sorted out the names, more issues and difficulties became apparent and answered several questions at once.

As I looked through the names I felt my chest tighten. I saw two Army LT. Generals and one Air Force Major-General, all three stationed in Saudi Arabia. There was one staff member on the President’s inner circle.

One name at the FBI stood out like a beacon, Ormond Mohammed Patel was listed with five entries of two hundred thousand or more in the last six months.

Ormond Patel was the supervising director of the FBI’s IT department and its computer lab.

“CRAP,” that’s why we were not getting any real information on any computers we sent there and why my EIT group was faster and more accurate. He was scrubbing the data and informing the Prince of what we knew before he was sending the data to various agencies.

My lunch was interrupted by a courier from the FBI IT department. “This ought to be good,” I thought.
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Chapter 524

“Why don’t you want to tell the King that his son’s were financing terrorists all over the world and working with Iran, his arch enemy?” Frank asked with a cocked eye brow.

He was baiting me: “It’s over my pay grade,” I replied.

“That’s true but I doubt that would bother you,” Frank returned.

“You’re right, it would not and if I knew the King was supporting terror in the US like his sons, I would cut his throat, King or not,” I replied.

“Wait a minute. You knew that Crown Prince was funding terrorism for sure?“ Ben asked. And then he added, “That’s why the blacked out boxes on the screen whenever we were at your command center. That’s why you were looking at South Africa on Google a few weeks ago. You knew what they were planning and when. That’s why you were off last week.”
“Oh my God. You?”

“Careful Ben, you are getting into areas that it would be better if you didn’t know anything about,” I replied.

The conversation ended when Troy called and asked if I could come to the Oval Office.

“OK, I will be right up,” I replied into the phone.

“Gentleman, I need to go upstairs, you will have to excuse me,” I said as I stood and closed the folder.

In the Oval Office there were three Senators from the President’s opposition party.

Senator Sloane was the first to speak, “We have been promised for weeks that there were recommendations coming for the college security upgrades. These things are going to take months to implement. Where are they?” he asked.

“The task force has been extremely busy as we all have. The preliminary report will be released in a week to 10 days after the President’s team has a chance to review it for policy adjustments,” I replied.

“The first release will deal with general campus security; armed guards, more guards and reduction of available access to the campus grounds. Very few of the colleges seem to be interested in stepping up security to the levels needed; many are not even at minimum basic levels given the challenges of today.” I said.

“One issue is funding; a good security package nationwide is going to cost several billion. No one seems to want to address that issue; the colleges are waiting for handouts. Even the ones that have hundreds of millions in trust funds and endowments are not going to pay for it,” I said.

“We have to pick numbers – and haven’t done that yet – but I cannot see any college getting funding if they have more than ten million in investments, trust, or endowments. There are so many other small colleges that are county and state or self funded that are going to need financial help with the security changes,” I replied.

“If funding is to be provided, all should be provided for; I won’t have it any other way,” Senator Almost replied.

“So you are saying a major college with sports programs making millions and hundreds of millions in investments should still receive funding for the more expensive system at the expense of the smaller colleges,” I replied.

“Why of course, the small colleges should be eliminated; the students there forced to go to the bigger better equipped schools. Those small schools get funding that the larger schools can put to better use,” he replied.

“I think there are a lot of people that won’t see it that way. A few months ago you stood on a stage with me and declared complete support for whatever it took to make all colleges secure. Now are you going to stand on the stage and say only the best are worthy of that support?” I returned.

I was to go before several house committees next week – including educational appropriations – and testify. I would have the data completed by then. Half my team would have new direction to go tomorrow.

He never answered; just looked away. I went back to Section Twelve more determined than ever to expand and develop national standards and set funding levels for all college security, and then shove them down his throat.

I would be in the Senate the day the proposal was voted on. I was begged almost weekly to write op-eds for major newspapers and TV interviews. As much as I detested the media, I would use it against the Senators if I needed to.
Ben was right, my week off and the events in South Africa had left me with a mean streak that was growing and a determination that was dangerous.

Vicky called to tell me that Balthazar was gone and all evidence that he had been there was burned. The cleanup crew even wiped the bars down with chlorine to remove any DNA and had the mattress burned.

“Good job,” I replied.

Vicky was learning, just as all of my mates were. They were long past needing detailed explanations when we talked about or suggested something; it was like they were beginning to read my mind, understood why and they did not forget things.

We discussed several times about how the radio station that Hanna had told us about could work for our own advertising outlet. I did not know what they really thought and had not brought it up again. In today’s email dump I was CC’d on an email from the FCC to Jenny and Marcy that the ownership change, new format and call letters had been approved.

There were three land deed notice transfers in the paper, one for fifty acres on the Island. One of the others was further south on 301, right at the overpass and the third was for the radio station property. I knew Marcy had put a bid in for them.

Both properties were already zoned heavy residential and commercial. If the zoning was changed, the one on the Island could be a one of a kind project in the county and the whole shore; if not, it would be a development.

Marcy had eyes on the other property and several ideas for it. She was looking for an outlet to sell all the cars and trucks coming in from the rental and leases other than at wholesale auctions. If that one did or did not come through she wanted to build a major truck stop on the highway.

Lorrie had input on that plan; being at the airport she always heard the truckers at the restaurant complaining there was no easy location to get fuel, food and access to load brokers in the area. The only places on the island to get diesel were the WAWA and they were not suited for OTR (over the road trucks). The over the road guys need a parking /rest area to be able to meet the sleep requirement.

The one the state had in the area was small. Not more than a dozen trucks could park there and the concessions and bathrooms closed at night. The truck drivers would pull in there to get their mandatory sleep hours. As if that was not bad enough, the DOT officers would roll in, banging on the doors, waking them up to check logs and licenses.

Marcy and Lorrie envisioned big, like the ones on the major interstates out west and down south.
JBG was a truck dealer for three major brands for the utility leases and the chassis were dropped shipped to the body builders. There were so many complete units delivered that needed an address instead of the final end user. She wanted a place to establish a dealership for them.

The current setup for the heavy trucks was through a dealer in Georgia and he was getting greedy and lazy. The last order of chassis missed the deadline by the body installer because the dealer was a month late processing the order on the chassis. Marcy was pissed; the Georgia dealer was not going to get a second chance to do that. Marcy absolutely hated to apologize for other people’s mistakes.

Either way the properties were going into Lorrie’s real estate division. The accountants would be happy; they were always fussing about needing more deductions.

I was going to stay quiet and wait to see when they were going to tell me.

I called Bobbie into my office and closed the door. I pulled the sticky note off the letters she had typed and held it up. “Talk to me,” I said.

We had a good talk – open, frank and to the point – it lasted an hour. I learned a lot about Bobbie and her aspirations. I invited her and her husband to come to Saturday dinner with me and the girls.

I was closing down to meet the men taking me home when my phone rang.

“I do not want to play poker with you. Ever!”

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Chapter 523

I had tried to send the entire OPS team home yesterday for two weeks for R&R, but they were the die-hards. The girls were going to convoy me to Washington today. When the garage door went up, ten of them were standing there waiting.

“Bob wins the bet, he bet you would try to go the Washington today without all your security,” Bill said.

“Put the heavy vest on; the boss ladies can go along for the ride but we are taking you,” Bill instructed.

“Wearing gloves today are you? I didn’t think it was that cold,” Bill added.

“The tribal designs have not completely washed off the back of my fingers yet; it is going to take a few more days and I tried everything,” I said.

I was wearing white thin dress gloves that I could do most things in if I needed to.

The ride was quiet and went fast. It was a pleasure to be able to talk shop with Marcy, Ching Lee and Jenny on the ride. Vicky and Lorrie were in the SUV behind us.

I was early; the ride had gone so fast. I had the coffee done and was sipping on the first mug when Ben and the group came in. I had been watching the ZNN morning update on the African Massacre. That was the name they had given the Crown Prince’s killing. They were still giving no real information, not that I needed any.

ISIS was still being blamed, they were stupid enough to take responsibility through a spokes person and that fired up half the Middle East that was aligned with the Saudis. The other half was laughing at the plight of the kingdom.

Another report on ZNN implied that there was a secret request to the US from the Kingdom for an emergency sale of 500 billion worth of weapons and bombs on top of a public order for billions in fighter jets yesterday.

The day of mourning didn’t make it a full day before there were two car bombs exploded in Riyadh. Again ISIS took credit. If I was betting, the money had been destined for the ISIS and now they were pissed that they were not going to get it.

Now they were vetting against the pay masters and for the sudden change by the kingdom because of the airstrikes. It also led me to believe they had no other connections in the King’s group.

“Well, you are here! You are back in time to watch a fire storm,” Ben replied.

“At least it is them this time and not us. We are just going to watch from the sidelines on this one,” I replied.
“What have you learned from Balthazar?” I asked to change the subject.

“DOD has learned plenty; they want to take possession of him,” Ben replied.

“Well he is a federal prisoner arrested by federal agents so there are some fine lines intersecting on him that have been crossed. It has been drug out long enough. If I had my choice he would be going into the furnace today; I want it cleaned up and case closed ASAP. I want him out of Camp Smith” I said.

“This one will be a rat’s nest before it’s over,” I added.

“A week off has not made you any more mellow, has it?” Ben replied.

“Actually it made my mean streak a little stronger. It’s amazing when you have to do things you do not like, how it toughens the mind and body,” I replied.

“I am sure the joint chiefs will be down to discuss the matter with you before the day is out. They tried to get me to commit yesterday. I told them they must have thought I was crazy if I was going to get involved in that dispute,” Ben said.

“They would be with the President now trying to make their case but the Saudi thing has them pre-occupied,” Ben said.

“They have learned all they are going to by now if they asked the right questions. He will start playing them and they are too enthralled to see it,” I replied.

What Ben and the DOD did not know was that the Mossad had interviewed Balthazar Saturday and Sunday while the Pentagon boys were partying and getting drunk.

Ben David had sent me a text this morning thanking me for the opportunity to do so and that the two sessions had been very helpful.

Frank and Eric came into my office and closed the door; they had been followed by the President and Troy but both of them had made a pit stop at the coffee and pastries.

“The good news is the agency wants to thank you for the two Iranian spies; they have been helpful. The bad news is much greater though. The Iranians are raising hell about their missing people. They know that we have Balthazar and are making demands both at the State Department and the UN,” Frank said.

“I told you the DOD could keep no secrets,” I replied.

“Worse than that, the President and the State Department wants the DOD and the Agency to take custody of him. They think a trade and concessions from the Iranians can be made,” Frank replied.

“We always get the short end of any trade or concessions anymore,” I replied.

“Frank, go get me a fresh cup of coffee and close the door behind you,” I said. Eric was sitting, looking at me confused.

I took a blank piece of paper and wrote out several paragraphs then called Bobbie Canterberry – my secretary – to come in.

“Type it up all official looking right now for me please,” I instructed.

Frank returned with the cup of coffee followed by Troy, the President and several of the joint chiefs.

The conversation lasted two hours. All the scenarios were discussed including the repercussions. The State Department had high hopes that a trade could be made. It was an unlikely prospect in my opinion.

Bobbie knocked on the door then handed me a folder. I assumed it was the letter I had her type up.

I called the Doc and canceled tonight’s and any other sessions. The FBI was going to pick up Balthazar in an hour. He was theirs and JBG was clear of him. The Egyptian ambassador would meet with him tomorrow.

I was pissed and I let them know it, Balthazar was a foreign terrorist on US soil. We could not prove he had detonated any devices himself. He had built them and people he had trained placed and detonated them. At a minimum he should spend the rest of his life in jail or better yet, shoved into the Doc’s furnace alive.

The powers had decided and I was a minor player. The discussion was over; the bad taste in my mouth was going to last a while. The joint chiefs left the meeting.

I reached for the folder to see if Bobbie had typed anything different than I wrote. On top of the letter was a big sticky note and in big red letters she had written, “Please don’t do this.” I left the folder open.

Frank and Ben both were close enough to read the large letters upside down. By the curiosity on their faces, I knew they did.

Eric – on the other hand – immediately knew what it was. He closed his eyes, lowered his head and moved it slowly from side to side.

Well it wasn’t over, they weren’t leaving.

“King Al-Zahab is requesting that we help with the investigation into the killing of his two sons,” Troy said.

I look at Frank, Eric and Ben; Ben had not been in any of the conversations about the Prince that Eric, Frank and I had. Both of them were looking at my hands and the little light came on.

“We have no time to get involved in an investigation that far away, we have more than enough to do,” I replied.

“There must be some information that we can help them with,” the President said.

“Any information that we share with them runs the risk of closing several important lines of intelligence. Intelligence that can only come from one source. I am not willing to risk it,” I replied.

“Just review what you have and see if there is something you can share,” Troy said.

“OK, I will look over the file,” I replied and that seemed to satisfy the two of them; they left stopping by the coffee maker.

Ben stood to leave.

“Sit down Ben,” Frank said as he stared at me.

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Chapter 522

I woke up when I heard the landing gear lock down. We were landing at an off-the-way strip in Cameroon to refuel and layover for the night. The idea at this stop was for the plane to be seen.

Sunday morning we flew to Rabat Morocco to refuel – to be seen – and then on to Caracas Venezuela – again to be seen. The Crown Prince had terrorist contacts there so a landing would not be out of the way when the powers started checking his email, if they found them. I was trying to make it look like the cartel was involved.

Monday I donned the burqa and getup again as the plane landed at the remote Atlantic banking island at noon. Burt had sent a text that everything was ready for me to pick up.

The pilot called a cab to come to the plane to pick us up. Abra, Ziva, Andy and Bill were going to the Island bank with me.

We were met in the lobby by Alfred Drake. Apparently, few wealthy clients actually made the trip to the island, depending totally on electronic banking.

“Ma-am may I ask your name and business with the bank?” he said.

I went through my name in Arabic then for good measure in broken English.

“I am Crown Princess Fayza al-Zahab. I am here to receive my withdrawal bonds. I am told they would be ready,” I replied.

“Yes they are ready; your treasury official was thorough. Everything was completed as he instructed.”

Ed and Bill each had a fancy leather business case with the Kingdoms seal inlayed in gold on them from a storage locker in the plane. They opened the cases on the counter.

“Do you wish to count the documents?” Alfred asked.

“No, if there is a problem someone from the King’s treasury will come and extract the variance in blood. You are the one who needs to make sure they are correct,” I replied.

“I can assure you they are correct. They are banded in lots of one hundred and we have counted them several times,” Alfred replied as he began putting the bonds in the two cases. I signed a scribble with my left hand; folded the paper and placed it in the case without bothering to read it.

From the island the plane was flown to a short remote strip of blacktop in La Jarita Mexico, twenty miles south of Laredo. This was one of those strips used by the cartels. It was nearly dark when we touched down. Ed and team 4 were waiting for us in four wheel drive SUVs.

After transferring everything, the pilot full throttled the jet and short hopped it off the end of the runway several hundred feet into the sand and gravel. That gave the appearance that the pilot had botched either the landing or takeoff.

Howie placed several incendiary charges at important places in the plane; one was right at the junction of all the fuel lines. We were five miles away when we saw flames in the night from that direction. With the circuit breakers tripped on the fire suppression system, the multimillion dollar plane would be a pile of melted aluminum in a matter of minutes.

We went through the border crossing with no problem and drove to Laredo General Aviation airport where my G5 was waiting with another of our pilots – who did the CIA flights – at the controls to take us to Morton.

I had faith that the CIA approved pilots knew how to keep their mouths shut. Just to make sure, Lorrie had ordered that there were to be no entries in the plane or pilot logs. It would be early morning Tuesday when we landed. I had two more Buds and went back to sleep. I slept until the tires touched the runway.

All the airport security cameras went offline as my G5 approached. I wanted no visual records of anything we off loaded. We had left the Russian guns in the belly of the Prince’s plane to be burnt.

I sent all the men home for two weeks of rest and recovery and to clean up. I went home with my mates; all of them were waiting as I got off the plane. Behind closed doors we made up for being apart. The boys seemed as glad to see me as the girls.

I needed the time to unwind, clear my head and put the things I had done into deep memory. Several large cups of coffee and time with my family did the trick; after all, the bastard had tried to kill me four times. He deserved what he got four times over.

After a quiet lunch we went over to the office via the tunnel. I carried the two fancy leather cases. In my office they went into safe without opening.

After a better job of labeling, the three mason jars joined the others. A thought flickered in my mind, a note to all men; never piss off a lady with a knife and a gun and an attitude. I wondered if I should have that made into a poster and put on my wall.

The jet carrying team 3 and the rest of the loot was in the pattern at Morton. I had Lorrie order it pushed into the hangar and locked down; we would go after dark and remove the valuables from the cargo hold.

It was almost 1600 when the crap hit the fan. ZNN as well as every major station was carrying the news.

BREAKING NEWS FROM POLOKWANE SOUTH AFRICA “Crown Prince Sultan al-Zahab – the second in line to be king of Saudi Arabia – Prince Abdulraouf al-Zahab and Abu Barazan- a reported middle Eastern arms dealer with all body guards – were killed by ISIS terrorists in South Africa. The beheaded bodies were covered with ISIS flags.”

“Bodies were found at multiple locations at the former Polokwane Hilton hotel and airport. There are reports of bodies being found several locations near the National Game Reserve. There are some unofficial reports that some of the dead were known to be associated with international terrorist groups.”

“There was another report that there were four Chinese citizens who were also found in the room, there has been no other information on that report.”

“Tiaylaa Duchene, for the International News Network at Polokwane South Africa.” The reporter closed the segment.

From the news desk at ZNN, “Saudi King Al-Zahab has ordered a national day of mourning and pledged to increase assistance in fighting International terrorism.”

The response told me that the King may have known after all what his sons were doing and just decided to see where they would take it. Now that they were dead he was going to change course.

Another sign of a course change was that the kingdom had reportedly stepped up strikes against several terrorist organizations in Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia with nearly a hundred strikes carried out today.

These were the same organizations that the Prince was supporting, based on the email hacking Robert had done.

It was after dark when the four Suburbans driven by Marcy, Vicky, Ching Lee and Lorrie made our way to Morton to get the treasure. Marcy, Vicky and I did the work while Lorrie and Ching Lee acted as lookouts.

Back at the house it took two trips to get it down the elevator. Dad and Jake had shown up at the right time and were drafted to help. I had to commandeer another room in the basement to put it in. We had no safe big enough at the office to put it in. It would have easily fit into the gun vault at Morton but I did not want it there.

I chose the room that had some heavy duty tables next to Vicky’s extra hardware and vest storage to place the 10 crates at three to a table. The smaller box with the gems and the briefcase with the bonds would go into the safe.

“What the hell have you got here?” Jake asked.

With a hammer and bar from Roberts’s tool box that he kept in the computer room, I opened one of the crates. Why he needed a hammer in the computer room was beyond me; I thought I was the only one that wanted to use a hammer on one.

I pried the top off and handed the hammer and bar to Jake, “Open them all and stack the gold on the table. Look for anything out of the way, electronic tracking devices, things like that,” I said.

It was not that I did not trust them, but I did not trust any of them at all.

I directed Marcy to open the cases with the bonds and precious stones in it and check them out while I went to retrieve the other two cases from my safe. If any had tracking devices, it would have been those. I wish I had thought of checking things out sooner.

“Dad,” I asked.

“I know, burn everything as before and do not ask any questions,” he replied.

I just nodded.

Marcy was counting the first of the treasury notes that had come from the case with the jewels. I knew there were 68 there unless the Crown Prince had changed plans. I doubted he was going to short-change the arms dealer. That would not be a smart move.

I went to the table and looked at the stacks of the bonds I had picked up at the island. There were one hundred to a bundle at five million each; half a billion dollars. There were forty bundles; twenty billion dollars in the Prince’s terrorist account, way more than I expected. There must have been one hell of a deposit made in the last day. What the hell was he planning?

Twenty billion was more than the fifty smallest countries budgets all combined together. Twenty billion was equivalent to beer and slave money for the Crown Prince. The kingdom was reported to have trillions in US bonds and cash in its vaults from decades of oil sales; what’s twenty billion to them? Chump change.

What in the hell was the Prince going to do when this kind of money was suddenly transferred in a day? We would never know. It had to be payment for past operations or a new one in the works. But I knew they would not be using this money to buy arms or pay for terrorists now.

I stacked the bonds on the table – two bundles each – and covered it with a large fire blanket. One thing was for sure, I knew of no way we would ever be able to use any of it. The day I tell Marcy she has to put it in the shredder, I better have a full box of tissues handy; she would need them.

The rest of the treasure was covered as well. I wound a hardened chain through the handles of the doors and locked the chain. The door had a card lock that I was going to change the code on when I got to my desk.

I had another thought as the elevator door closed behind us, “Locks only work against honest people. Even electronic ones.”

I closed my office door behind me and started to deal with emails. It was going to be a long afternoon; tomorrow at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue may be a welcome break.

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