Book Chapter 19

Ben called the meeting much earlier than I expected at 1300; I had just put copies of everything into a folder when his call came in. The only way I was going to be on time was to helicopter over to the White House lawn. I put in a call to the Secret Service White House control room to tell them I was coming and to get the landing information.

I was flying over in one of the new Bell 407s that had been added to the fleet. Marcy and Lorrie had come up with a replacement schedule for some of the older helicopters; this was one of this year’s group. We had some that were at the end of air frame life. The inspections were starting to find cracks in places where they should not be. We were going to keep this one for executive use; today I was the lucky one.

Troy and the President met me after the rotor stopped turning. “Looks like a new toy,” the President said.
“It is; just fifteen hours on it,” I replied then I added, “The pilots have just about cleaned and waxed the new smell out if it.”

The President and Troy both climbed in and checked it out from one end to the other. They were in it long enough that the Secret Service came out in force to see what was going on.

“What is the meeting about that Ben called on such short notice? Some of the directors are fuming,” Troy asked.

“Terror attack in the near future, we need to use more to data from certain agency files to gather information to find the terrorists. We are not making the progress we need to be able to stop the attack. I have to get more agencies involved and I suspect one of the agencies is going to resist. You may want to call both Senate and House leaders so I can put them on the spot too,” I said.

Troy did one of those raised eyebrows look, then smiled, ” OK – you call them!”

” OK – after we review what I have,” I said as we walked to the White House side door.

On the way to Ben’s office I called the FBI explosives agent, “Come to the White House, NOW, expedite the trip and bring your explosives calculator,” I said.

Ben, the President, Troy and I went over the information that I had received from Robert. I felt the President needed a private briefing before the real meeting. First to allow him to see what we were working against.
I explained the avenues of investigation we wanted and why.

“Moving the satellite over Harrisburg and concentrating its cameras there should not be a problem. The IRS director is a whole different thing – he is as hard headed as you are but digs in his heels deep and likes to use the threat of media releases to stifle any opposition, no matter how wrong his position is,” Troy said.

“Do you remember the charter and organizational documents for the oversight committee I am in charge of?” I asked the pair.

“Vaguely?” the President answered.

“Part 4 paragraph 1 sub-section 10A – if necessary I will exercise that option today,” I said.

I was reading the documents and had marked the page in the manual during the flight over. I opened the book and slid it over to the President.

The President read and then slid the book to Troy.

“If that is what it takes, go for it. But you are right- call the House and Senate leaders and get them here. They have the necessary clearances to see this and have influence in the final outcome. This action may not be a smooth ride.”

“I do remember that a majority vote by the four of them and you can overrule actions I take under that section. That is why I want them here at the beginning; I don’t want to have to go through this twice,” I said.

I called the two leaders of the Senate – Colin Harrison and Hank Whitby – and the two House leaders – Rhonda Hall and John Lee.

I told them all the same thing, “There is an emergency meeting of the Terrorist Task Force with the oversight committee in the White House Lincoln meeting room in 30 minutes; your attendance is required.”

While I was doing that, Ben called the directors that he and I wanted at the meeting and emphasized the meeting was mandatory. We needed OSHA, Labor and IRS. The CIA and NSA that controlled the satellite were members of the Task Force as was DHS and FBI.

I called Art Cummins and asked him to join the meeting. Art had always been open to anything I did or tried to do to stay ahead of the terrorists. His response was “I am on the way.”

General Ingram came in a few minutes with a mug of coffee in each hand. He placed one in front of me. “Black, no cream no sugar. I figured you would need a reserve,” he said.

Andrew Pollard and Anne Hopkins were sitting in on this meeting; it would be our first as a group. It would be telling to watch their reactions to the events. Bobbie Canterberry was going to take notes for me.

Several of the directors were fussing about having to come to the meeting. To upset them even more, Bobbie passed out the confidentially statement that made this a top secret meeting and any discussion outside this room would incur jail time.

After the incidents of various agents and staff secretly recording meetings on phones, I walked around with the trash can and collected cell phones. I started with my people and went around the table.

“I am not putting my phone in there and I am not signing another nondisclosure statement for you,” IRS commissioner Isaac Campbell replied.

His phone was on the desk in front of him; I grabbed the phone as he tried to stop me. I palm slammed the phone over the edge of the heavy-duty metal trash can – breaking it in half – and I then threw it on the table in front of him. It was sparking and arcing.

“Sign the form unless you want me to break your fingers and use your blood to sign it,” I said.
There were big eyes all around the table except for the ones who knew me very well from the actions at Fort Smith.
He looked around and then signed the paper.

There was a knock on the door; it was the FBI explosive expert Casey Todd.

Casey was the go to man within the FBI; he was the guy who estimated how powerful various explosive mixes and compounds were. He had complete data on every commercial and every known homemade mix there was. It was his data the news media used anytime there was an explosion. Casey had supplied the data for all the bombs the task force collected as evidence including the estimates of the Minnesota college bombing.

I gave him the description of Jaed’s bicycle bomb and what I wanted while Bobbie passed the assembled data.

“Ben, you present the known facts and I will take it from there,” I said.

Ben went through what we had learned from the dark web about the attack, the date, the place and communications between Tiam and Jaed. He explained what we knew about the bikes.

“Casey – what is the kill zone of those devices with the two and three quarter pounds of C4?” I asked.

“Everyone within twenty yards is most likely dead. Those between twenty to forty yards are going to have some severe injuries,” he said.

“With the group having one hundred of these bikes, can you give us an estimate of the fatalities at this kind of event? Last year the crowd estimate was fifty thousand in attendance – standing room only – I am told,” I said.

“Standing room only; at least two thousand dead, twenty for each bike; injuries may be another two to four thousand. Possibly another five hundred killed in the human stampede of everyone trying to get away,” Casey replied.

“Now that we have laid some of the cards on the table on what we are possibly looking at, there are some agencies that have not been included in this kind of operation before. Because the information is from the dark web it hinders our ability to get effective and complete information. We believe that a specialized machine shop is building the tubes for the bikes.”

“Labor and OSHA – I need you to compile a list of all machine shops in a one hundred mile radius of Harrisburg that could have CNC machines and lathes. That information should be readily available to you. I need that list immediately.”

“I will have the office start immediately. You will have the list by the end of the day,” Labor Secretary Michael Harvey replied.

“OSHA, once the list is compiled and evaluated I want you and Labor to do a class 3 safety inspection on all of them and of course in the process you will also be looking for pipes and bikes.”

“You will have OSHA’s list tomorrow morning,” Katie Lowe responded. Katie was the Director of OSHA; she reported to Harvey.

“The FBI is looking at pipe suppliers for large orders of pipe of that size. They are also trying to identify the other components in the pictures and sources.”

“Commissioner Campbell, once we get the list of the machine shops we need you to pull up the business tax records for the last three years. We are looking at the owners and the employee list from the W2’s so we can run the names through Interpol, DHS, FBI and the task force terrorist list,” I said.

“The more information we get and the sooner we get it, the more likely we may be able to stop this before anyone dies,” I said.

“The IRS will have nothing to do with your egg hunt. There are rules against us giving out that tax information. I will not bend any of them for you. Drop dead; it is not going to happen,” Isaac Campbell replied.

“We are not after the tax information; just the list of names,” I said.

“Makes no difference- it is still considered confidential tax data,” he replied.

For the next thirty minutes all of the people in the hunt for terrorists in the room tried to reason with Campbell, including the Representatives and Senators. They told him that national security and the authority of the Task Force and Oversight committee would trump his and any court concerns if the decisions were challenged.

In the process of the debate I slid my manual over to Anne, “Make me 15 copies of this page and bring me a highlighter.”

Campbell was having none it. At every reason he only dug in harder.

I highlighted Part 4 paragraph 1 sub section 10A and then rapped on the table.”Enough time has been wasted on all this,” I said as I passed the sheet of paper to each attendee.

“Now that we have reached a dead end on the discussion on this critical matter, I feel I must act. There is far too much risk of mass causalities for all agencies for of the federal government not to work together.”

“Isaac Campbell, to force your agency to cooperate with the intelligence community, the Terrorist Task Force and the Advisory Committee I am invoking Part 4 paragraph 1 sub section 10A of the Terrorism Control and Interdiction Act (TCIA).”

“You are removed as Commissioner of the IRS effective this day and time. A termination hearing will be held tomorrow at 1300,” I said.

“You cannot do that! You do not have the authority!” he screamed back at me.

“I do and I did – you are effectively fired for insubordination and other offenses, there is only one avenue to change my decision.”

“Mr. President, Congressman Lee and Hall and Senators Harrison and Whitby, according to sub section 11 in the same part you can overrule my decision with a majority vote. Do you wish to overrule my decision and actions? If so now is the proper time,” I said.

There were five no’s.

I picked up the phone and dialed the Secret Service command desk, “Please send a US Marshal to the Lincoln meeting room.”

“Dick, will you make the call to cancel all of Isaac’s computer authorizations, logins and passwords?” I asked as Bobbie passed out the telephones I had taken. For some strange reason the State Department controlled who had all levels of clearances and authorizations.

“Mr. President who are you going to appoint as temporary commissioner so we can get them up to speed on what needs to be done?” I asked.

“Until we get past this attack I think it best if you add temporary IRS Commissioner to your duties. Let the assistant commissioner handle the general duties but you need to be able to stand on his toes make sure they follow your orders so there are no mistakes or foot dragging,” the President said.

That was bad enough but then both Senators agreed and that only made it worse. The Treasurer of the US was called to inform him of the change.

Nowhere in the pages of rules and restrictions was there any mention that I would have to assume the duties when I used part 4. I assumed the politicians would be eager to appoint a party favorite to fill the position.

I knew what assume could do; make an ‘ass out of U and me’. The donkey bit me on this one.

Like it or not I was back into the daily Washington routine – at least until I left for Portugal.

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Book 2 Chapter 18

After supper we went over to see what he wanted.

“This came in as Robert was leaving – he said to call you after it was unencrypted if it looked important,” he said as he put the deciphered communiqués on the screen.

The first one was from Jaed to Tiam and included pictures, descriptions and diagrams of his chosen method to deliver death and destruction. It was a new slant on a bicycle bomb.

In the Middle East, Africa, China, Indonesia and most third world countries bicycles were the most popular mode of transportation for the poor, even for many in the middle class. Automobiles were expensive and so was gas and in some countries gas was rationed.

They were used for everything, often filled with all kinds of bags, boxes, cane and anything else that could be tied, strapped or carried onto them. In war torn countries civil war, revolutions and insurgencies the bicycle had been turned into a weapon.

Usually they carried suicide bombers wearing backpacks full of explosives with nails or ball bearings or the bicycles had backpacks or saddle bags attached filled with the bomb.

Usually if the saddle bags carried the explosive charge the bicycle was rode into a busy street market and left in a bicycle stand or leaned against a building or a post. The rider activated a timer as he got off the bike and then he simply walked away to watch the carnage.

Looking at the drawings, pictures and the finished product Jaed had modernized the concept. He knew – the world knew it was standard policy now to inspect backpacks, bags and coolers as well as anything else carried into major events.

The new concept was cutting out the two top tubes on men’s heavy duty mountain bikes and replacing them with heavy scored plumbing pipe to create smaller pieces of deadly shrapnel. The front end of the pipe Jaed used was cut and tapered to make it look like the original when lightly welded in place.

That end of the pipe had a solid steel plug driven in and securely welded in place. This was done to contain the explosion until massive pressure was built up. The higher the pressure the more damage was done.

The Oklahoma City bombing was a clear example of poor bomb making. After the explosion hundreds of pounds of the explosive mix littered the site. He had used thin fifty five gallon drums that ruptured at a very low pressure before even twenty five percent of the mix had ignited. His lack of knowledge and stupidity saved hundreds if not a thousand lives.

The pipe would be filled with C4 – a very stable, very pliable plastic explosive that can be formed or rolled into shapes. C4 is generally manufactured in 2 x 11 x1.5 inch block that weighs 1and 1/4 pounds then wrapped in a Mylar wrap and sealed with adhesive tape.

It requires a shock wave created by a detonator or blasting cap to begin the mass explosion. It cannot be set off by heat, impact, fire or even being fired into with a gun – a common misconception promoted by Hollywood.

Jaed had taken advantage of this in the rear end of the pipe. After rolling the C4 into a cylinder small enough to fit into the pipe a cylindrical plug with a hole sized to allow a blasting cap to be installed was welded into place.

The rear of the pipes were welded to the seat stanchion. The wiring, batteries, timer and other control were hidden in the stanchion below the seat and accessible by removing the seat. The two pipes could hold three and three quarter pound of C4, based on the size of the pipe.

With the heavy steel pipe the pressure buildup would be tremendous, creating a huge deadly blast area. Jaed’s communiqué stated they had one hundred of these bikes with the tubes already manufactured, just waiting for the explosive.

With paint, epoxy and silicone applied, it would be difficult to spot these bikes without tapping on the tube with a metal object listening for a more solid sound instead of the sound of thin metal.

Jaed’s plan was to place the bikes in strategic locations and chain them into place. Others were to be placed into racks for the public to use. With miniature electronic timers the day and time could be programmed in advance.

General Kedar – through Tiam – replied to Jaed’s communiqué almost immediately, “The final products you wish will be delivered to you tomorrow.”

Analyzing the communiqué was depressing. It meant that the terrorist had four hundred pounds of commercial or military grade C4 and blasting caps in the area at their disposal. It was not coming across the border as we suspected; it had already made the trip. Did the controllers have that much confidence in Jaed that they sent the C4 anyhow?

How much more C4 did they have and where was it?

Another thing that it meant was the terrorists still had availability to advanced machine and welding operations at their disposal. Manually cutting, shaping and welding two hundred pipes was an operation that would be hard to do without drawing attention and would be time consuming by a single individual.

My feeling was that it was done in a manufacturing area, probably on CNC milling machines for uniformity, appearance and speed. Once the dimensions were plugged in it was all automatic.

It also meant that the electrical components had already been acquired, based on the pictures and tested.

Where were the bikes being stored? Where were they being modified? When would they be delivered to the water park? I doubted they were already at the water park- there was the possibility of too many prying eyes. All questions I had no answers to at the time.

I did have questions for Robert to look at. Was there enough of the bike in the picture to identify the manufacturer? If so could he find a local dealer? I was assuming that all the bikes were the same to make modifications easier and faster. A sale of one hundred at a time of the same model should be easy to find.

The picture also showed the miniature timer- was it good enough to allow a manufacturer and supplier to be found and tracked?

Then there was the machine shop that was making the pipes; they had to have some idea what they were making. Did the water park have a machine shop that was capable? Was Jaed a machinist? That was an interesting thought because I thought Jaed was a regular at the park from the bits and pieces from the other messages trails.

Just how many people were working on this? It was certainly more than just Jaed.

I called my people at the park and gave them a list of new things to look for and be careful of.

July the fourth fell just three days after Vicky and I returned from Portugal. With those thoughts in mind we returned home to little boys and babies in need of personal attention that was mutually shared.

At 0800 I keyed MTAC and began discussions with Ben. The agency people had only deciphered the first of the three communiqués from yesterday. There were already several more today that Roberts’s people were working on.

I continued to wonder why the feds were always so slow – the only conclusion I could come up with was it was a federal job, why rush at anything? Maybe it was the committee effect with everyone being afraid to make an immediate decision without first a consensus of minds.

Ben and I talked for an hour as we formulated plans and put options in order. The DHS, the FBI, the Department of Labor and OSHA were going to catalog all machine shops in a one hundred mile area.

The Department of Labor and OSHA had a coding system to identify what a business did to establish employee on the job accident risks and therefore the OSHA inspection criteria and frequency of those inspections.

Then the owners would be investigated electronically, looking for any and all connections to the Middle East. Not only the owners but all employees were to be inspected by both the Labor department and the IRS. The IRS could review all the employers W2s gathering names and how long they had been working at that establishment. Then they could be cross checked against immigration records, Interpol and the FBI and DHS data base.

Using the IRS in this manner broke all the rules and a few laws but I felt it was a necessary evil at this point in the investigation. Ben wanted me there when he approached the IRS director; he wanted someone to help twist his arm. Hell, I would break both his arms if necessary.

As chairperson of the oversight committee it was my sworn duty to see that all federal and state agencies stepped up to the plate when necessary to fight terrorism.

Those agencies were to be law enforcement and IRS agents carried guns, badges and also had SWAT teams – whatever for, no one knew. All these years I only thought an IRS agent killed you with a pencil and a crooked adding machine.

To me the gun and badge gave me the green light to use their resources, at least that was the point I was going to argue.

“Get them all on board and give me a time for the meeting. I will be there,” I replied.

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Book 2 Chapter 17

Back at the office I went to Roberts’s office to look at the communications on the dark web between Jaed and Tiam in detail.

There was good news for us in the communications, General Kadar demanded pictures of the devices they were going to use so his experts could evaluate and possibly improve them. That would make them easier for our agents to spot.

As if that was not enough, he wanted a map of where the explosives were going to be placed for ‘DA day’ – Dead Americans day.”

The date had been chosen – the fourth of July – but it was not mentioned in this communiqué, it was in one from the other day. The huge water park had one of the biggest fireworks extravaganzas around.

The next set of reports that Robert had intercepted were on the potential sex workers and escorts. There were now one hundred involved in the training of these girls at the Paris France locations. If there were one hundred involved in the training, I wondered just how many girls had they recruited and how large were the training facilities?

Based on past reports and conversations from the embassy tapes of interviews of women seeking amnesty I knew the women would be horribly abused. If there were a hundred trainers the women were going to be sexually trained a hundred times a day. For ISIS and the Iranians, if they could connive a way in it was open season on those women and their husbands and owners need not object.

Would the French police close down the operation or had the Muslim issue grown so large and out of hand that the police had been infiltrated and would inform ISIS?

There were only two avenues that could possibly give me answers to that. One was through Dick James SEC of state, but would I get more reliable information without the political whitewash by directly calling my security team at the embassy there?

Robert and I debated the issue as we walked to the command center to make the call.

Robert and I talked with the team supervisor for an hour. Security director Patrick Jackson was not kind to the current French government or its two national police units.

The National Police had jurisdiction over the major cities. They did patrols, traffic control and identity checks. They were glorified town cops from the sound of it.

The National Gendarmerie was a branch of the armed forces placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior with additional duties to the Ministry of Defense. They were assigned to the smaller towns and other suburban areas. At times the two units worked together; more often than not the arrangement was used to do nothing. It was always the other department’s jurisdiction.

The call reinforced my thoughts that the French police would be of no help. There were large areas of Paris and other cities that were off limits to the police. Through various techniques Muslims had driven the police out.

A single policeman or police car did not go into those neighborhoods; if they did they simply did not come out alive. Groups of police would be immediately surrounded by mobs to prevent them from proceeding anywhere in their neighborhood.

Police cars would be vandalized, tires slashed, set on fire – even with the police in them. The French government – instead of exercising its authority and establishing the rule of law – had caved.

I decided Roberts’s group was going to use the government’s high price version of satellite identification to search those neighborhoods – street by street and house by house – looking for unusual traffic. There had to be a continuous stream of people by the numbers.

General Kadar was not in control of the ISIS training but had some influence in the outcome by supplying money for the training. ISIS or not, he was working his hooks deeper into the training. Along with the money were requests for reports on how it was being used and the success of the training as he called it.

In each communication Kadar promised more money and had it delivered along with more demands. My guess was that in a few weeks he would be asking for names and pictures. He was already suggesting the locations they were to be sent.

In another post he indicated that he could acquire Russian or other European passports for them. The ISIS commander quickly responded that they already had French passports for all of them – and it would be far less suspicious than the Russian ones would be.

I left Robert’s group with more things to do. I met the girls at home. Today was the day that we were going to talk with Crash about the changes coming to Morton Field.

“Crash, we have some new updates about Morton Field. But first, you have never cashed the check we gave you for the property – we owe you some interest on the money,” Marcy said.

“I burned the check years ago – I have no one to leave the money to and I am damn well not going to let the state get it. You took me in when I had no place to go and have treated me better than my family ever did; like I was one of the family. We are even – you do not owe me any interest. If anything, I should be paying for something,” Crash said.

“The last two C5s are coming. The tarmac to park them on will be expanded again with additional spots for larger planes. In the final spot by the expanded tarmac a new specially designed hangar will be built so maintenance can be carried out on the jumbo planes without weather being an issue. The hangar will also be used for maintenance on other planes.”

“Speaking of large planes, we are negotiating with US Air for up to five 747s that have come out of passenger service in the last six weeks. They are in an Arizona bone yard but have not been through the decommissioning process yet. They have replaced them with 767 and 777s.”

“We are looking at them because the US Forest service is offering attractive long term contracts for firefighting water tankers to combat the ever increasing western forest fires. The forest service will give grants to help with the conversion to tankers, then pay standby, storage and availability fees like the state does for snow plows in the winter.”

“US Air will sell us the planes for one dollar and then they will write off the cost on the condition that they never return to passenger service and they get first offer of purchase when scrapped.”

“As usual for that kind of deal we would have to pay for maintenance and modifications above the grants. The pilots would have to go to a forest service training for aerial tanker pilots and certification. It would allow us to better utilize our heavy aircraft pilots,” Lorrie said.

“The next item is an air show. We have scheduled it for the second weekend of July. The advertizing starts tomorrow. We have several historic planes coming, including a B29 like you flew. There are also a B24, several P51s, a B25 and some newer war planes making a flyover or landing. The Navy Blue Angles are going to do a show, and the Army Blue Knights are going to sky dive in.”

“There will be no admission charges and the pilots and crews are going to sign autographs for kids. There will be free hot dogs, drinks and souvenirs for the kids,” Lorrie added.

“It sounds like you have a good show planned; maybe I can get to sit in the pilot’s seat of the B29 again for a few minutes. A word of advice though, watch those contracts with the forest service carefully – have your best lawyer read them.”

“They have been known to make contracts with clauses they can use to get out of the contract. I had a deal years ago to spray for beetles in pine trees using their supplied chemicals. The chemical was no good for the beetles and I told them so before I sprayed hundreds of acres. When the beetles didn’t die they blamed it on me for improper spraying and refused to pay. I had witnesses that I told them the chemical was the wrong one. They finally paid two years later,” Crash said.

The conversation lasted another hour while we were putting supper together.

The EIT night supervisor called asking that Vicky and I come over before we called it a night.

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Book 2 Chapter 16

The last report was from the finance department, Matt always gave that one himself and he was the one to give Marcy troubles.

He began with his report on the overall county being the largest employer using the combined numbers of all county departments and had the largest fleet of vehicles. Then revenues collected to date and projections for the rest of the year.

Matt instructed the agencies to begin putting their budget requests for next year together. The agencies needed to prioritize their spending requests. The finance division was expecting funding to be tight again.

Then he broke into a tirade about the revenue losses that would have improved the county’s financial position. They did not have those revenues because of court decisions related to the Morton crop dusting airfield, the Island airfield and JBG against the county. Like the taxes from one company was going to correct all the evils in the county budget.

With Morton Field so large now the lost revenue had to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly millions of dollars a year. Matt was advocating the county attorneys should reopen and appeal both cases.

Matt also said the finance division was looking at all counties with airports to see what kind of fees and taxes they had applied and if those fees and taxes could be implemented against JBG and Morton Field operations.

Matt continued on with a wish list to generate new funds. He wanted to double the fees for all business licenses. He wanted all rental properties in the county to be registered with an annual fee of not less than five percent of the rental revenue. This was the same rental tax scheme that LA, Chicago, New York and other cities were implementing. He wanted all businesses to pay an annual environmental waste fee and a parking lot runoff fee.

He seemed to ignore the fact that all businesses were unable to carry their waste to counties collection stations. They had to pay commercial waste contractors to pick up trash or the roll off dumpsters to state approved landfills and pay by the ton or the size of the container. I knew because our trash disposal costs were huge.

Duke and Clarence looked at me and tried to bore holes into the table with their eyes. They knew a response was coming; the other county commissioners didn’t know where to look but looked stunned.

The rest of the business owners and operators looked perplexed; this was a side of Matt they had not seen.

I guess Matt thought he had a captive audience and that I would sit there and not respond.

“Let me set the record straight for you, the lawsuit forty years ago corrected illegal actions by the county. The county ran the appeals process as far as they could. The actions by the county at Island Airport were handled in federal court; the amicable decision reached settled criminal proceedings and prevented various county officials and employees from serving time in federal prison.”

“The decision also ended JBG and the DHS suits against the county. If you want to open that rats nest back up go ahead; jail time is still an option. We are better equipped to deal with that more than ever; back then we only had one attorney, now we have dozens.”

“Next on the list is your statement about the county being the biggest employer and fleet owner; neither is true. JBG has over fourteen thousand employees in one hundred and eighty foreign countries and two hundred and sixty five locations in forty states.”

“Our embassy security division – that encompasses the one hundred and eighty US embassies in foreign countries – has seventy five hundred employees. Our college security division – that supplies college security for twenty five colleges – has twenty five hundred employees. Our auto leasing division MAAR has over one thousand five hundred employees; one of the few divisions that utilizes some part time employees.”

“Morton Field has over 750 employees – five hundred who are pilots; three hundred and sixty of those support the embassy security and the other pilots supply flight services. The rest of the employees at Morton are logistics and aviation mechanics.”

“The remainder of the employees are support, administration, trainers for the gym, maintenance, staff for the Morton and Horsey motels and trainers for the Fort Smith training complex and the gun club, the special operations team and more.”
“JBG aviation owns five hundred and fifty aircraft of which four hundred are helicopters; three hundred and seventy are leased to the State Department for embassy security and transportation of diplomats abroad and other government agencies. The rest are used for various training and security functions. We have one hundred and thirty fixed wing and drones.”

“We have planes from as small as Cessna 152 trainers, G5 executive jets, Cessna business and Lear private jets, two fifty passenger CRJ 200s a 737-200, six C130s operating under contracts and will soon have the 5th and 6th C5M heavy lift cargo planes that are back leased to the DOD and also available for commercial freight flights.”

“JBG offers passenger and freight flights out of Morton to anywhere in the world on short notice.”

“We have already made multiple commercial freight flights to Uganda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Egypt, South America, Australia, Korea, Japan and dozens of other places too classified to discuss.”

“We have completed final negotiations for five 747 jumbo jets to be converted into fire fighting aerial tankers with contracts for the US Forestry Service. Western forest fires seem to get worse every year. Aerial tankers are few and far between; many are seriously old. We have the pilots and the logistics.”

“Our Pig Iron Point marine terminal is in full operation with its pipeline to the Morton fuel farm. When the truck stop is operational diesel fuel will be brought in there as well.”

“Our Mid Atlantic Auto Rental division – better known as MAAR – owns twenty five thousand vehicles from riding lawnmowers to 400 ton mining trucks, and two hundred and fifty ton cranes with everything in between. We are the vehicle leaser for five major utilities that consume twenty thousand of those vehicles.”

“We are a leaser of armored SUVs to state, federal and foreign government agencies with several hundred more to other customers. MAAR uses four thousand vehicles at its two hundred and forty sites, and there are several other commercial leases – the rest for our own use. When the dealership building is operational, individual leasing for trucks will be available in this area.”

“We own or lease 300 houses in resort areas – Florida, Georgia, Texas, Maine and Colorado – and own an island in the Bahamas for our vacation rental division. Our vacation rental operation is in heavy demand and growing. Several Colorado ski lodges and two in the north-east have signed contracts to be part of our recreational package offerings.”

“Foreign clients increased to thirty percent of our customer base for the vacation offerings. Just in the last week we have partnered with two international airlines to improve the international package offerings.”

“Matt; Marcy, Jenny, Vicky, Lorrie, Ching Lee, Jason and I know all about budgets, banking, financing, taxes, logistics and HR employee benefits in a scale and scope you will only ever get to dream of. Try to come up with two million dollars every week to pay just the taxes. Yes – they have to be paid every week; payroll, sales, property, tags, international fees and such come to more than two million every week. And then there is payroll.”

“There is no need for you lambast our business and other businesses in the county and expect those businesses to pick up the tab because of your inability to properly manage your budget.”

“To cut road repairs when you have budgeted money for them and also received state and federal grants, and then give millions of extra money to the school board is unconscionable and may be an illegal diversion of federal funds.”

“Could it be that since you are still are a card carrying member of the Teachers Union and hold an executive board position in the education union, they have an influence on your decision making process related to the county budget?” I asked.

I knew I was not going to get an answer. Matt was too busy trying to find a hole to crawl into.

“I think the commissioners have an issue to deal with this afternoon,” I said as I stood to leave.

“If they don’t, a conflict of interest lawsuit will be the front page story of the Gazette,” I said.

The commissioners met me at the door, “Matt signed a letter of agreement that he would resign from the executive board and union when he was offered the job as county manager,” Commissioner Ames said.
“As of last Friday he was still getting weekly paychecks from the union and he was still using the union email system as well as the county email system to conduct union business,” I replied.

“You can document that?” Ames asked.

“Absolutely – you don’t think I would be that reckless and foolhardy, do you?” I replied.

I opened my portable office on the table and took out the report Robert had completed on Matt Monroe.
The cover had the JBG logo with the second line Electronics Investigative Team in large lettering. Then there was a classified line in Robert’s big red stamp.

On the inside was all the normal stuff Robert’s team collected – which was everything. There was an identifying photo then history, property and financial, including bank accounts, loans statements and other debts.

Then there were family trees on him and his wife and former wives. There was the past employment list, current employment list and all the social media posts.

The final section included all the email accounts he had ever had or used, including the county printouts and the union printouts.

I opened the bank deposit sheet to the deposits page Robert had identified for me. Matt’s county deposits were highlighted in yellow and the union deposits in red; also copies of the deposit slips. Then the latest emails from the two accounts. I only showed them three or four pages of each.

“I don’t guess there is any chance of getting copies of that?” Duke asked.

I closed the report and pointed to the red classified line.

“Your county prosecutor can get the same information easier than I did,” I replied.

“I have to do it the hard way. Everything – and I mean everything – on everybody is in the cloud. I have to find the right keys to open the cloud to get the information to fall out like rain,” I said.

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Book 2 Chapter 15

Tuesday morning breakfast was finished by 0730. Vicky and I were in Robert’s office with Andy. The rest of the girls were in their offices upstairs. Lorrie was still using her corporate office and not the one at Morton Field with the baby and the increased threat level caused by the bounty.

With Lorrie here that meant that most of the security was here or could be in training. Most of Andy’s new members to OPS team were at Fort Smith or on the way.

Robert and I went over yesterday’s dark web posts and responses while I was waiting on the rest of the girls to come down. When they arrived we walked over to the meeting room and the discussions began about going back to Portugal.

The discussion was lively and heated at times, almost to the point of being ordered not to go by the girls. But discussion and the taking of most of the OPS men plus the possibility of more diversity in income was a plus. The feeling was that one might open the door for more foreign contracts. We needed to at least give it a shot to see what our options were.

I filled Andy in on the trip to Portugal and my instructions to Robbie along with the possibility of a security contract, our first with a foreign nation.

I knew that even if we succeeded in getting such a contract, it would only be the beginning. The paperwork and getting all the necessary approvals would be a quagmire.

I wanted to impress with security on my visit so the planning began. To help things along in our favor the Air Force had scheduled two flights a week to Turkey to bring back classified materials. Materials that were to end up in Texas and North Dakota; they were nuclear weapons storage sites. The planes were empty on the flight over – at least so far.

We would use those flights to shuttle equipment to Portugal. Logistics were going to be a mess. Andy and I decided to assign Ed to handle all of that since he had been there with us on the first visit.

At 0930 Jason and I left to go to the county meeting in place of Marcy with 8 security men. Jason went because he knew nearly everyone involved in county politics and could make introductions. I had been going to do this for two months but there was always something that came up, but not today.

We were there fifteen minutes early so there were plenty of seats available. Only a few business owners and county officials were there. I did know the couple who owned the hardware store where we seemed to spend a bundle of money every month.

I went and spoke with them for a few minutes until more people started to arrive, then I went to the chair I has chosen and sat down with my coffee mug, with two of my body guards behind me and the rest around the walls in chosen spots.

As was the normal power play, the county officials were ten minutes late. Department heads from all the county agencies were in first. The county manager Matt Monroe came in moments before the commissioners.
Duke Justice, Clarence Hallworthy, Penny Ames, Larry Barton and Roland Pennywell – the county commissioners – were the last in.

Matt began by introducing all the county dignitaries and department heads. Then he began the process having every department give a report on progress on departmental goals and updates from the previous meeting.

I made notes as they spoke with minor agencies being the first to speak; libraries, sewer and water, EMS, county health department, preservation and hysterical society, county environmental and so on. Once in awhile a department head would ask if there were any questions. Answers were the usual run around.

It was an hour before the department heads I wanted to hear spoke;
“County roads is on track to stay within our budget for the year. In order to do that we reduced the amount of roads grass cutting by fifty percent and reduced the number of roads getting tar and chip treatment this year. Some equipment purchases were reduced to achieve our budget goals and a couple vacated positions were not filled,” Nathan Moore said. He started to sit down without asking for questions but before he could – “Excuse me, but what equipment purchases did you eliminate?” I asked.

“Two of the larger mini excavators were eliminated,” he replied.

“So what did you do with the money?” I asked.

“What do you mean? It kept us with in our budget,” Nathan replied.

“According to minutes from your previous meetings the extra cost of the extra snow removal was covered in a grant from the federal government. There is nothing in the minutes to indicate that there should be any expenditure that would carry it over budget.”

“The two excavators should be one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars. The two employees with salary benefits and vehicle savings should be another one hundred and fifty thousand in savings. You cut contract road side grass cutting by fifty percent. The grass cutting contract was budgeted at one hundred thousand saving fifty thousand dollars.”

“Based on the tar and chip published bid award the contract was nine hundred thousand this summer. How much did you cut out of that; two, three hundred thousand? That makes over half a million dollars. Where did it go?” I asked.
“You do not understand the budgeting process,” Matt interrupted.

“Oh, I understand the budgeting process completely. You have a set number of funds to work with. From that you pay for the things you are obligated to pay. If the cost of those things are less than budgeted you have more money to buy other things or it goes in back into the general funds.”

“This is government- nothing ever goes back into the general fund. Government departments go on a spending binge the last weeks of the fiscal year. So where did the funds go or are where are they going?” I asked.
“I am not able to answer that,” Nathan replied.

“He does not have to answer that, the budget process is not open to the public until the year end reports are completed and then only by a freedom of information request. Let’s move on,” Matt replied as Nathan started to sit down.
“I’m not finished yet, county roads should cease using the tar and chip and begin a policy of black topping the roads and any extra money in the budget should be set aside for that purpose. The only thing tar and chip does is disguise how bad and rough the roads really are.”

“I’m not against education but every year you give several million a year to the school board above their budget, and test scores don’t move up and in some instances have gone down. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You have extra money – it’s past time to fix the county roads,” I said.

The next department to report was planning and zoning with a report that new house construction was up three percent and tried to go back to their seat.

“Why only three percent when the national average is six percent given the upturn in the economy, Delaware is over ten percent the rest of the state is over six. Could it be the rules and procedures are stifling county growth? Just when is the rough draft of the proposed new zoning rules going to be released?” I asked.

“It’s going to take several more months,” was the reply.

“Why several months? The rough draft should have been done in thirty days and submitted for review and changes. The new rules should have in effect by now,” I said.

“It takes time to review what different counties have done and put our own in line with them,” he said.

“That’s the problem right there. If I remember the declaration you were given you were directed to change, remove and update the existing rules not use some else’s and modify them. What jurisdictions are you using this time – San Francisco or Sacramento – that are seven hundred pages long to build a single story house? You and every one in your department working on this should be fired for insubordination,” I said.

There was a look of horror from county officials and I was only getting started.

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Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!
Today is a special day to spend with family and friends, renew old friendships and make new ones. Be kind, courteous and generous with thoughts, praise and the bounty of good food. Be safe, watch out and help those to young to recognize danger in the house and yard when there is so much excitement around them.

Jack

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Book 2 Chapter 14

After lunch Anne, Troy, Ben and Eric joined the interview. As with Andrew, I was prepared – in fact very prepared.

With all the years of Marine service there was plenty of paper on Anne and I had access to all of it. Her file had lots of records from her time in the JAG office. I had a lot of questions related to some of the cases she had worked on there.

Washington law school sent me all the files on her. Anne was hitting on all cylinders, never missing a beat with her answers. She didn’t miss even when I switch to Pashto; that was listed as the secondary language she spoke. Of course Troy was looking like I had lost my mind.

Ben and Eric – on the other hand – enjoyed the show, especially when the questions and answers required the normal Arab hand expressions to emphasize a point.

I knew right away why General Whitley wrote such powerful comments on her appraisal forms and why she was at the top of her law school classes with Joey.

With her analytical skills she was a perfect fit for the oversight committee and could easily verify that all parties were working to the same goal.

Like me she detested terrorists, what they did, and what they wanted to do. Anne knew what had to be done to stop them, the same as I did.

It was 1500 when we finished and I offered her the position. I made the offer without waiting for input from the others, getting approving nods from them.

Anne went to call some friends to join her at the news conference.

It was in this break that I told Troy that Vicky and I were going back to Portugal in two weeks and that we would be taking heavy security.

“You have a bigger pair of balls than I have, damned if I would be going back! Then again I heard you had a brass pair hidden somewhere,” Troy said.

“You don’t ever have to worry about getting the chance to look for them,” I replied with a laugh.

The press conference had been moved back to 1700 to make sure it made the news cycle as the day’s major event.

The girls – with Jason and Lisa – arrived in plenty of time to see the President announce Joey for the appointment. She would be the youngest person ever nominated for a federal judgeship.

I was proud of Joey; we all were, she had come so far, worked so hard and accomplished so much since she came into our lives. Moving in with Jason and Lisa had been a life saver for her.

It lasted an hour with everyone who thought they were anyone needing to speak.

There was still a long road ahead for the three of them, the Senate process could be vicious and would take a couple months. All three would be coached by a panel of experts on the ways of the Senate process; the highs, lows and worse.

In the meantime my two were going to start immediately. They were going to have offices set up tomorrow and hundreds of files and folders to review. I had requested the approval for top secret credentials be expedited.

I would meet with them on Wednesday to explain their duties and limitations of their position. Until the Senate approved them, there were a few limitations, but not many, as both still had classified clearance.

I was going to need tomorrow to get the ball rolling for the trip back to Portugal. I was sure the meeting to tell the girls was going to be a humdinger. Andy may not be enthused either.

This evening was a party night, Jason and Lisa had decided to hold a party for Joey and several of her friends were invited – including Anne – at our house. The garage was big and we had plenty of tables and chairs. Several men from the special OPS team had set up almost a dozen grills that were ready to go. When we left Washington I called them to start cooking the things that were going to take the longest to cook.

All the family was invited and a few guests; Bobbie, Dan, Frank, Eric, Ben and their spouses. I invited Troy, the President and their wives, not that I expected they would come.

The crabs were running and several bushels were steamed in ‘Old Bay’ seasoning; a shore favorite. There were fresh bay caught rockfish and flounder with 100 pounds of steak, prime rib and fried chicken taking care of the meats. There was also Mac and cheese, sweet corn on the cob, baked beans, cucumbers & onions and cases of beer.

We had plenty of food; if there were leftovers the guest could take them home or the night shift guards were going to eat well.

When we arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see Crash and Marlene (his friend with benefits) sitting at the end of the table talking with Jeanna Destone – Marcy’s mom.

Jeanna was getting ready to shift more of her money – made from the oilfields – as she had in the past. Usually we added more stock to the company and traded stock for the money to make the IRS happy. We always added enough stock so we girls could maintain controlling interest no matter what happened.

The arrangement would work better than ever with the changes in tax rules, estate taxes and the four little ones. Then there was a trust fund she started for us guaranteeing that we would never lose control of JBG. All the stock she had went into the trust.

I needed to fill Crash in on the latest developments for Morton Field but had been so busy that I had not had time, and today was not a good time to get into a lengthy conversation about it. I would add it to my list of other things to do tomorrow.

After the party was over and the guests had left I made the trip to my tray in Robert’s office. There were the normal daily messages between Tiam and Jaed and there were more orders from General Kadar. In two or three more days we would have the site and plans narrowed down, gauging by Kadar’s insistence for details and daily reports. Apparently he had the upmost confidence in the dark web and their encryption methods.

The vacationers at the RV park had sent groups of pictures of people who looked out of place and had been seen more than one day. Progress was being made and progress was damn important.

There was an email in my inbox that the Bell helicopter service department was going to have a couple mechanics look at a couple problems and do upgrades to two of our 407s. Robbie wanted to know if there was anything that Lorrie or I wanted them to do while they were here.

“Yes, have them get two of the Hueys and two of the Cobras airworthy ASAP. Also verify that the two Black Hawks with mini guns are ready to go. I may have a mission for the six to go on in ten days. If necessary have them get additional techs on site. Once all that is done get the other three Hueys ready to fly,” I replied to the email.

Another email went to Lorrie, Jack Rush and his group of four men. Those five had the job of certifying that all of our pilots stayed current on their aviation physicals, flying training, certifications and that the planes met the inspection regulations. Sometimes they went on flights as copilots to do the checks.

The real problems were the pilots stationed at the embassies. Even though they were in a foreign country they still had to be current by FAA regulations.

“Jack, I need to be sure you have four Huey and four Cobra pilots ready in ten days,” the email said.

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