Book 2 Chapter 28

Thursday morning was a change in my routine. We were going back to the Palace for final discussions on the security agreement; we had gotten much further along than I expected the day before.

We were close to an agreement and it was going to be a major contract. It was going to take one hundred and sixty men and ladies to give them the coverage they wanted, and they wanted a lot.

Each minister wanted a driver on duty 24/7 and their own Suburban. Along with the driver each was to get two bodyguards 24 hours a day. The logistics to accommodate the drivers and guards at the residence had to be worked out.

The general discussion was that there would be a mini command center with communications and a place for them to watch the camera monitors. All of the ministers apparently lived on better than average estates with extra rooms or guest cottages they were willing to sacrifice for their safety.

Of course that meant that there would have to be dozens of automobiles for our men to get to the job every day – just one more logistical nightmare. That was why the contract was for five years to allow JBG to recoup some of that investment. It would expire at the end of the Premier’s term.

The Premier and Vice Premier were to have six bodyguards on every shift plus three drivers and three SUVs; one for the premier to ride in, one to lead and one to follow.

The contract price was at eighteen million a year and we had not even talked about helicopters yet.

I was not looking forward to the logistics. Just where in the hell were we going to find temporary housing for one hundred and sixty plus people? It was not going to be in a five star motel.

Better yet, where were we going to get all those employees on short notice? The negotiations lasted several hours and then another two hours on VCATS with the girls. Introductions both ways from four thousand miles away can be tricky but it worked out well. In the end we had a contract we could live with.

I could tell by Marcy’s smile there was plenty of profit to work with. Then there was the lease of eighteen more armored Suburban’s.

Lorrie would be happy because the eight Suburban’s that were here were staying. Only one more C5 flight would be required and it would be loaded both ways. It would be departing Morton with eight more Suburban’s and returning with all the equipment and tools used for the summit and the four helicopters.

For lunch the ministers and premiers wanted to go to a swanky private club resort to celebrate the security contract. I really think they wanted another ride to evaluate the Suburban’s and our security posture.

I was sure when during the meal the Vice Premier asked, “Why do you choose these large vehicles over luxury brands?”

“I survived a truck bomb in one of these; it blew the chassis off the frame and I walked away with minor injuries. It has proven protection that I will stay with.”

“Sure, there are a lot of weapons that will penetrate the armor and kill you. Even tanks get destroyed but for what we see the most, these have the best survivability,” I replied.

We carried them back to the palace and then we went to the training center to help Howie finish up the displays for tomorrow’s summit. Howie and his helpers were finished. Vicky and I went through the video program frame by frame on what we were going to say about each display after Howie gave the technical description and demonstration.

When we were finished it was back to the hotel for supper. The same as last night, Vicky and I were carried to the embassy for secure communications. The reporters hit the city again, this time with the news cameras.

The communications started off positive, first from Ching Lee, “I sent 10 security guards from Blair College to ride the road from Harrisburg to Lebanon, starting at the spot they were lost yesterday. Several of them agreed to use their personal cars and the others rented cars from the MAAR site.”

“The tag scanners picked up the three cars on 78 at Colonial Park headed east; they followed them to Avon Heights. Avon heights used to be an Amish community, not any more. Robert can fill you in on the details,” Ching Lee said.

“Avon Heights was a small Amish community with roughly twenty houses and a small store that catered to the community. The community was surrounded by small Amish family farms of twenty to thirty acres. They were traditional Amish who used horses to farm with and who shunned modern conveniences.”

“The previous administration settled several Muslin families from Iraq and Syria in the community. The Amish church was burned within weeks and violence against the Amish community started with the children being harassed and bullied. The women and girls were harassed everywhere they went; several girls were assaulted. Their farm animals started dying; tests said they were poisoned.

“When the Amish tried to get permits to replace the church, the Muslims bused in hundreds from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to oppose the permits. The Amish could not even get into the courthouse, the spots reserved for buggies was filled with protesters who refused to move. The county police had to clear the area.”

“The new church was torched before it was completed. The Amish – being of nonviolent beliefs – moved to Kentucky to join a larger group,” Robert said.

“That is the same method that they use everywhere they go. They did it to neighborhoods and whole blocks in Detroit, Milwaukee and Rochester,” I said.

“I have talked with Ben and the helicopter just made a second pass over the area. I should have the video soon,” Robert said from his report.

“Thanks Robert, I think you know what I want you do,” I said.

“Yeah, find out the name of every individual in Avon Heights and run them through the systems. Looks like we already know who three of them are,” Robert replied.

I called Ben and was directed to the task force MTAC. The entire group was there including Andrew and Anne. The discussion lasted two hours with an abundance of instructions and questions.

“Ben, there are a couple things I want special, first get with the Postmaster General. I want a list of all the people that got mail at the Avon Heights post office boxes and delivered three years ago before all this started and another list for today’s date.

“Next a mosque has been built there; discreetly see if you can find out any information on the Imam. Then check out where the funding came from to build it. I would bet Turkey, Iran, or Saudi Arabia,” I said.

“We already asked the postmaster for some of the same things a couple hours ago and have nothing yet. They say they have to wait on approval of the Inspector General,” Ben replied.

“Andrew, call him and read him that highlighted paragraph I used the other day and tell him that I am only five hours away. If I have to cut my trip short it will not be a good day for either his future employment or retirement goals,” I said.

“Ten- four boss, I read you loud and clear. Twist his arm or you will come to break it,” Andrew replied.
My next MTAC was to the President and Troy; I had to wait for fifteen minutes for them to get clear of a meeting they were in.

While I was waiting, Ambassador Taylor knocked on the door this time and asked for permission to enter. Seeing that I was in a hold pattern he asked, “What are you going to do about France and Greece?

“I met with both their Ambassadors to Portugal today; they are not happy.”

“They thought they could get an audience with you but you were in closed door meetings. I called Washington for guidance and was told you were going to handle it,” he said.

“If there is another summit at a later date they will be invited. Currently there are things going on that have a French connection that must be played out. I am afraid that allowing them to the summit may jeopardize the outcome.”

“I told the President yesterday that the summit was a JBG event with a possible business arrangement and had no connection to the US government.”

“The first diplomatic need of this trip was satisfied when I walked up those steps again in front of the cameras.”

“The other will be satisfied with the state dinner and festivities after including the inevitable media orgy Saturday night.”

“The leaders of the five countries attending the summit are coming to the state dinner. Their attendance has not been made public yet and there may be a couple more additions. The summit and dinner will be the first non EU sanctioned political gathering since its inception. I’m sure it will be a massive PR event for all.”

“After Brexit and now with others who are making noises about leaving the EU, we intercepted a communiqué from the EU leadership that indicates they are nervous and more than unhappy about this summit. They are discussing a variety of responses. The targets of that response have yet to be named, but I am sure I will not escape unscathed.”

“After the festivities wind down there is a top secret meeting among just the leaders. I have been asked to attend the meeting and possibly chair it. Maybe I am the one who should be nervous.”

“By the way, you and the misses have an invitation to attend the dinner and social gathering as my guest,” I said as the screen went live with Troy and the President.

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Book 2 Chapter 27

Supper was great – after all, this was a five star restaurant. I sent Vicky to take pictures for the girls, Hanna, Melinda, their camera men and some of the security team to sight see the city as the sun went down.

The security team I sent with them were from the first group I had sent here. I figured that they had explored the city by now and knew where the points of interest were. Although I did remark the strip clubs and casinos were not points of interest because of the political fallout if they were spotted.

I went to the embassy to use the MTAC secure communications. First was Robert.

“We got breaks today, Jaed spent several hours today at one of the machine shops just to the edge of the city. I sent the information to the Harrisburg group. It’s was too congested to get a drone over there.” I sent the information to Ben.

“They are getting a proper OSHA inspection tomorrow. We used one of the burn phones to call in an anonymous safety complaint to give them some paper to work with.”

“The power company is hanging one of those new transformers there tomorrow, low voltage and fluctuating power complaints in the neighborhood,” again from the burn phone.

“The Harrisburg group has sent pictures of several new helpers with Jaed this morning. All three of them are on the Interpol terrorist list. The last known sighting was in London six weeks ago.

“We used traffic cams to follow them as far as we could today. Tomorrow we will have access to more in that direction. Ching Lee is sending some of her people from the college to stake out the road and follow them if they can. The tag numbers come back to that same lot outside Philly,” Robert said.

I was not sure if I liked that. I did not know how skilled the college security teams were in tailing and not being seen in that kind of stakeout procedure.

“On a more private thing you asked us to follow General Kedar. He did make a trip to Pakistan as his travel calendar indicated and his arrival was covered by the Fars news agency,” Robert said.

“OK that is a start; keep checking,” I said.

“Robert, call East Coast and see if they have any portable tag scanners that mount on a car available. If they do, get a couple ASAP. Since we now have some tag numbers to work with we may be able follow them that way. It’s a long shot but I will take it,” I said.

The next one was to Ben Smith; I wanted to double check what he was doing with all this information. I listened to Ben explain his day so far. He confirmed what Robert had told me and carried it a little further. He was going to have an agency aircraft – alternating between a small plane and a helicopter – take photographs of the area every hour during daylight hours.

Ben had commandeered a telephone repair bucket truck. Tomorrow the 500 pair phone cable near the shop was going to need an all day repair and maybe for several days. The next day a fiber optic repair crew would go through the motions to replace it with the agency as part of the crew. At least positive things were happening.

I was ready to end the conversation when Ben said, “The President had requested that if I talked to you that you call him. Secretary of State Dick James left the same message.”

“OK – thanks,” I replied.

I called the President on MTAC, he picked up right away. Troy and Dick James came up on the split screen, all saying hello at the same time. I knew this could not turn out well.

“Did you get up one day last week and decide just to piss everybody in the world off in six days – take a break and then piss off some more?” the President asked.

“No, not really; who have I pissed off now?” I asked.

“Well for starters a third of the House is still screaming about the IRS leadership change. The other third wants you subpoenaed to explain why the collection changes. The Senate wants hearings on the ousting of the IRS commissioner. That’s just what’s happening in Washington,” Troy said.

“France and Greece are really pissed off about this terrorism summit and want to know why they were not invited. Both ambassadors have been to the State Department and have filed an official complaint,” Dick said.

“Now what’s with all that and how do we respond and why were not informed of this summit?” Dick asked.

“The plan was to put eyes on me so the task force could operate more freely in this Harrisburg mess; that part apparently worked with everyone wanting a piece of me,” I said.

“The visit to the Prime Ministers Palace was completing the State Department obligation that led to the attack on me. The Premier and his people are quite happy.”

“You should have gotten a lot of good PR on that. I did kidnap two reporters to make that happen and their reports are going to continue for several more days.”

“The terrorism summit on Friday is a JBG event, not a US government sponsored event. We are attempting to expand our security arm into an international business. Along with already known terrorism information that will be reviewed and highlighted at the summit, JBG will showcase our available security profile. I can assure you that no secrets will be reveled.”

“The five countries that are invited have requested security information since the first attack. France – for obvious reasons – was not invited and Greece for other reasons.”

“In other words I am happy France is pissed off. I am hoping that it leads to a burst of communications between the terrorist partners. You know me – I look past the trees and forest to the mountain that is behind them. I want to put that mountain through the crusher one rock at a time,” I said.

“Simply explain to them that the summit is a JBG event and you have no control over JBG; but you will do your best to try to influence me on their behalf to participate in the next upcoming summit.”

“As far as the House and Senate go, they can stuff it where the sun does not shine. There will be no response to any subpoenas or statements until after the Fourth. If we get the attack stopped before the third – and the odds of doing that are looking better every day – the news and press conference that you give will answer all their damn questions,” I said.

“If you think Congress is pissed off now, just wait a couple weeks. It will get worse,” I added.

“I don’t think I want to know why,” Troy responded.

After another thirty minutes I left for the hotel. I was in the gym with Andy, Biff and some of my men and ladies. We were trying our best to break their equipment from overload when the group of sightseers came back, shopping bags and all.

I asked Hanna and Melinda if they had maxed out their credit cards yet. Even the security men I had sent with them were carry bags for them.

“Oh no, not yet! Daddy gave me one with a high limit,” Hanna said.

“Lucky girl; I charged my things on my expense card. I might have to give up a couple paychecks after I get home,” Melinda said.

A little while later, from the side Vicky remarked, “You ought to see the lingerie those two bought, their boyfriends are in for one heck of a ride. I told them they could come to the room and model them for us later if they wanted to.”

“I did get some nice souvenirs for the girls and men of the house at home,” Vicky said.

“I’m glad you did because it is unlikely that I will be able to,” I said.

Back in the room, Vicky and I did a VCATS from my computer to chat with the girls and see the little ones.
Marcy and Lorrie had signed the contracts with US Air for the five 747s. The forest service had signed contracts yesterday. Of all places, they had to be flown to Mississippi for the tank modifications but they needed to come to Morton first to have a lot of things removed that Lorrie’s mechanics could do.

What the hell were we going to do with 2000 seats that would never be used again? I was sure Marcy would try to sell what she could. The rest – that was simple, strip the upholstery off to go to the dump and sell the aluminum framework for recycling.

I was sure Marcy would see some profit in that. I was equally sure a few of the better ones would be placed around in a few hangars to take breaks on.

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Book 2 Chapter 26

After breakfast Vicky and I returned to the room to change. Craig took Hanna and Melinda to the palace steps to get set up. The Portugal media was to be notified of a VIP event ten minutes before we arrived but like most capitals, a few approved media always staked out the legislature halls and the presidential palaces.

Hanna – being the experienced open field reporter – quickly took advantage of the wait to film material for the lead in to the other news reports and local interest shows on her station. Melinda was handicapped because her experience was limited to Washington’s tightly controlled political scene. Melinda was fed her script for thirty second reports.

“Good morning this is Hanna Page for channel 34 news. Late yesterday afternoon my cameraman Jed Hoover and I, along with Melinda Schaffer and her camera man Nick Cote from ZNN were sworn to secrecy and spirited out of the United States. This morning we stepped off the plane in Lisbon Portugal.”

“I am climbing the steps of the palace and government office of Portugal Premier Aleixo Cordeiro. Just a few weeks ago Ambassador Jones and Vice President of the embassy security division for JBG Vicky Jones survived an assassination attempt at the top of these very steps. The bloody mess created by the attack has all been cleaned. The only reminder is the chips caused by the bullets in the marble and granite.”

“Ambassador Jones and Vicky are on their way and will arrive in a few minutes to climb these steps and complete the unfinished business of their first visit amid international diplomacy and under extremely heavy security supplied by JBG,” Hanna said.

Hanna and Jed quickly descended the steps and around Melinda and Nick who took the hint on what they could be doing and were ascending, working on her report.

With both reporters back to the sidewalk Craig handed both ladies body armor to put on.

“BJ’s convoy is five minutes away. Andy says you can make the connections to go live with your broadcast and send the reports you just made,” Craig said.

Moments later both ladies were looking into the cameras doing dialog and sending the tape they had just made.
While they were talking, JBG security and the official palace guard took their places on the steps. The JBG guards were armed; over head the helicopters started flying a box pattern. The cameras panned over the assembled security and helicopters flying over head.

The street had been blocked off at both ends eliminating unwanted and unknown traffic. Other than pre-approved local media no one was allowed on the street. Craig and Andy made sure that Hanna and Melinda had the best spots with the local media behind them.

The cameras followed the line of Suburbans as they came to a stop; more security exited the vehicles first. This much security was overkill and unnecessary but we were also trying to sell a security contract and first impressions would go a long way.

I waited until all the security was in place and Andy gave the OK for Vicky and me to exit the Suburban. We stepped out to blinding flash bulbs and video lights as we prepared to climb the steps.

When I looked up the steps the Premier, Vice Premier and his ministers were coming down to meet us and were nearly at the bottom.

Vicky and I met Premier Aleixo Cordeiro and Vice Premier Eamon Ferreira at the first step. I knew it was planned for the local media but it would also play well in Washington. Sorry Troy, your ‘keeping my head down’ wasn’t going to work.

“Ambassador Jones, Vicky, I am so glad you came back to Lisbon. The things that happened last time you were here were not of the Portugal I know and love,” the Premier said.

“We are glad to be back and plan to enjoy my short stay in historic Lisbon. All freedom loving nations are under intense pressure as radical terrorism rears its ugly head worldwide. We in the states have not been immune to the deadly attacks.”

“My goal while I am here is to expand your knowledge and explain deterrents necessary to defeat terrorism and improve communications between our countries,” I said.

“With that in mind the Ambassador and I can announce a five nation anti-terrorism summit and informational program on Friday at the National Police Training center here in Lisbon. US Ambassador Jones will be there as the principal speaker and her JBG security division will be providing training and displays,” Premier Aleixo Cordeiro said.

“The five countries participating are Portugal, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Albania,” I said with the camera flashes still going off.

For the local media’s benefit Premier Cordeiro introduced me to all the ministers and dignitaries and said a few words to them as I went down the line shaking hands and playing diplomat.

When I finished, Premier Cordeiro asked if I would take a few questions from the local media.

“Sure, I think the reporters with me may have some as well,” I said.

“Ambassador Jones, have you fully recovered from the wounds you received here and in Israel?” one asked.

“Yes I have recovered and I am back working out in the gym,” I replied.

“When you stepped out of your SUV did you have second thoughts about climbing those steps again?” another asked.

“No, no second thoughts at all. It is not in my nature to back away when things have been difficult. I view those things as a challenge to be overcome and to move past them,” I replied.

“How long are you going to stay in Portugal and are you going to other countries in the area?” another one asked.

“I have some official functions to attend Saturday and will fly home after that. No, I am not visiting any other countries on this trip. I have pressing business in the US that I need to attend to on Monday,” I said.

“Ambassador Jones, are you going to do any sightseeing on this trip?” Melinda asked.

“My work schedule is going to allow me very little leeway to sight see this historic nation on this trip. I intend to come back again and spend days to do that,” I replied.

Melinda was not fooling me, she had been looking at the brochures at customs while commenting on all the things she would like to see if there was time.

“Ambassador Jones, why were there only five nations involved in this anti-terrorism summit?” Hanna asked.

“Those five nations had reached out to my training group requesting a broad program to help with the problems they are experiencing. Space was another consideration,” I replied.

At that I walked up the steps to the Presidential Palace with Premier Aleixo Cordeiro. The cameras were not missing a single step. At the top the Premier pointed out all the bullet damage to the wall where a few short weeks ago we had been standing.

The rest of the day was spent discussing a variety of things including the security proposal he had asked for. Andy was meeting with his ministers and doing field assessments at each of their houses and making plans for us to work with.

Each minister had different requirements that needed to be met. There were of course several calls from Troy, the President and the Secretary of State.

At one point in the afternoon we took a break and the Premier, Vice Premier and several ministers rode around the city in a small motorcade – sort of a guided tour – in the Suburban’s.

I pointed out that JBG would supply this kind of armored SUV for VIP use. Secretly, that was one reason for the trip to get them inside one, more of a sales pitch for Marcy.

At 1700 Portugal time we called it a day. Hanna and Melinda had just returned from sightseeing the city in time to make a report for the afternoon news cycle. Outside with them was the gang of reporters that were there this morning. A quick news conference followed with the reporters

We were going back to the Corinthia Hotel to eat in the restaurant and then to the embassy. It was noon in America and plenty of time to catch up on events at home.

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Book 2 Chapter 25

With Roberts’s latest reports, I was meeting with Ben, Eric, Frank, Anne and Andrew. It was to be the last meeting until I returned from Portugal. The ISIS contact had emailed Tiam – therefore General Kadar – the pictures of the twenty girls and their chaperons; not only pictures but their travel plans – flight numbers and all. They were making the flight to the US the third week of July.

An enormous debate ensued. A couple of members – especially from the FBI – wanted to pick them up at the airport. I quickly shut that down; such a move would kill the intelligence source.

“How do you know that this is not them checking their communications for breaches? They could be waiting at these airports to see if we show up in force,” I said.

“We know when they are coming. What better information can we have than the information on their passports? Not only that, when they come through customs we could get weight, height, multipoint facial scans, full finger and hand prints and possibly DNA. Plus anything with them would be scanned for data; the customs search could be very thorough. We needed to make sure an agency specialist is working in customs the days they are to arrive,” I said.

I cornered Eric to have a new rule implemented that all persons arriving on either a student visa or a work visa had to submit to a mouth swab DNA sample to be added to the visa file at the point and time of entry.

Eric was not happy but when he saw how serious I was and the arguments for it, he agreed. The logistics were going to be a nightmare at customs entry points. Eric was going to issue an emergency rule effective in ten days.

Ten days was barely enough time to get the kits and training but it had to be done. I was sure I would hear more from the White House – oh well, I had big shoulders.

Back at the White House it was soon time to leave. I made one phone call to Hanna. Then I sent a Secret Service agent out to find Melinda Schaffer and her camera man Nick Cote to bring them to the side media room.

The side media room was where a reporter who was granted special access to administration VIP’s could do a one on one interview.

“Melinda, Nick are your passports valid?” I asked.

“Yes, but why do you ask?” Melinda replied.

“Be at Morton Field at 1400 so you can go through customs, the plane leaves at 1500 with or without you. Pack for four days – the temperatures are in the low 60s and daytime highs will be low to mid 80s,” I replied.

“Nick, bring enough equipment to do remote broadcasts” I added.

“Where are we going?” Melinda asked.

“I cannot tell you and you cannot tell anyone – not even your bosses – that you are leaving or for how long. To do so may mean the difference of walking down the plane steps or getting carried out of the cargo bay in a body bag when the plane comes back home. You will be able to do a live broadcast tomorrow. They will know where you are then,” I replied.

I felt sure Andy had all the possibilities covered but there was always the chance. One of those ‘never say never’ things.

Back in Section 12 I informed Anne, Andrew and Ben I was leaving and would not be back until Monday. On the way out I let Troy and the President know I was going to go to Portugal.

“Good luck, keep your head down and stay out of the headline news,” Troy said.

He already knew that was not going to happen.

I arrived home at 1230 and had lunch with the girls and boys, then went through the list of things that had been packed. Then there was the list of things that needed to be packed and it was down to a few items.

At two we were at Morton looking over the plane. All the seats were back in the plane; in fact, it had made several paying flights since it had brought us back from Israel. I checked to make sure the fancy dresses had been properly stored as well as all the other items for the State dinner Vicky and I were going to attend.

Gordon Decker was going to be my escort to the dinner and Sid Ortel was going to be Vicky’s. I double checked to make sure the tux, shoes and the like were packed. The jewelry was packed and locked.

When I went back into terminal, Hanna and Jed Hoover were waiting. While we were making small talk Melinda and Nick arrived with their baggage and gear.

To leave the United States on commercial flights one needs to go through customs here for departure inspection to prove you are not a fugitive, mass murder or wanted for other various crimes. When you arrive at your destination you will have a much faster trip through customs or you will have a very long wait with the customs process.

One of the documents that they needed was tickets with all the information to be processed. The tickets were labeled as JBG Aviation flight 725 Direct to Lisbon Portugal with return tickets in the packet. Hanna and Melinda would know where we were going as soon as I handed them the tickets.

Lorrie had started this procedure for tracking purposes in case the inevitable ever happened and we lost a plane; there would be a hard list of everyone on board. Marcy was onboard with it so she could have a written record and generate flight cost and prices for the future.

Every flight that I went on I was issued a ticket; usually, I did not pick them up unless the flight was out of the country.

“I’ll remind you – don’t tell anyone where we are going. Go through customs; we are soon ready to go,” I said as I handed them the tickets.

Everybody who was going was here and I was ready to go. It was a long flight, seven hours with five time zone changes. We would leave here at 3 PM and arrive in Lisbon at 3 AM Wednesday their time. It would be daylight by the time we were through customs and in the motel room to freshen up for the day that was planned.

The girls and I went to Lorrie’s office for a few more moments of affection and private good bye.

It was 1445 when the wheels left the runway. I did what I always did on a flight like this – reviewed with Vicky what we needed to do when we arrived and then went to sleep. I would need the energy and having my wits not clouded by the need for sleep. My entire team – to the man – did the same thing.

At three the copilot woke me up; we were going to be a little late landing. We were in a holding pattern for twenty minutes. I called Biff Leland to tell him that we would be a few minutes late.

Biff had been in the Special OPS team for four years and had been involved in practically all the ops missions. When Bill was killed he applied for the position of team leader to replace him. Andy and I had been pleased with his performance so he got the job. Biff was in command of the ground security team.

Terry Bozman was one of the Blackhawk pilots and in command of the four helicopters the C5 had dropped off – two Blackhawks and two Hueys. If necessary he could also draft the two from the embassy if needed. Both men reported to Andy when he stepped off the plane.

It was 0330 when we stepped off the plane and 0400 when Vicky and I walked through customs. All our luggage was labeled diplomatic so there was no inspection; a diplomatic courtesy.
All eight of the new Suburbans that the C5 had left off were in the passenger pickup line waiting, along with two from the embassy. Biff and Terry exited vehicle number four as we approached. Andy joined us as we placed our bags in the back.

We talked while the rest of the group made it through customs. Biff gave the schedule of today’s plans; it was almost word for word with the plans I had worked out on the phone.

Vicky and I were to walk up the steps of the Presidential Palace at 1000. I listened while Biff and Terry described all the precautions and placement of JBG security personnel.

By the time we were finished, everyone had made it through customs and was in a Suburban. The convoy stopped in front of the Corinthia Hotel of Lisbon. With today’s arrivals, Marcy was paying for fifty rooms; as usual she had negotiated a big discount. JBG has the two top floors again.

All the rooms had two full sized beds. All the men were two to a room and it was the same for the ladies. The two TV ladies had the same room and their camera men in another room.

Vicky and I had a joining room only because we needed the other room – possibly for a meeting and greeting room – the staff had removed the beds and replaced them with table and chairs. We were sleeping in the same bed; the other bed was to put things on.

It was in that meeting room those final preparations for the day was set in motion. I had Andy assign Craig Dexter to the TV people. He was to get them in place and set up before we were to arrive at the palace steps. Then all of us went to the hotel restaurant to eat breakfast.
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Book 2 Chapter 24

Friday morning I went straight to the IRS building with the business name of the shop Jaed had made Thursday’s stop at. It was an excuse to sign the next batch of seizures – in fact I signed the rest of the four hundred and fifty that were left.

I instructed Hap to pull another thousand for collection action next week. I planned to sign them on Monday, explaining that I would be out for the rest of next week and I wanted collections spread over the week.

I left with the information on the business that Jaed spent time at. In the office Ben immediately assigned someone to work on it. They were added to the OSHA inspection list.

I was disappointed at the snail’s pace that the OSHA inspections were going and let it be known. The Labor secretary Harvey was going to send a person over after lunch to explain the process and the delays.

I met with Ben and the task force and listened while he explained today’s difficulties.

The satellite that the CIA had moved over the Harrisburg area was an old one on life support. Life support failed to keep it alive after the second day. Three days of worthless pictures and video was all Ben was going to get from it. The CIA was trying to improve the quality of the pictures but there was little hope.

There were no other satellites that could be repositioned over the US for our intelligence use. Sure, there were plenty of satellites but they were all communications or weather or dedicated to military specialty functions. To reposition one from Asia or the Middle East would take weeks.

Putting a military drone overhead for that length of time was a possibility but that was some of the most congested airspace in the country. To get a larger drone high enough not to be seen would put it in heavily traveled air space that would be a nightmare for air traffic controllers. There were over a dozen major airports with flight routes over the area.

We could use the smaller drones and would be, starting on the second if all else failed. The water park had a strict and much published policy against drones, but then I would twist arms to stifle opposition – if necessary.
Robert sent this morning’s Harrisburg reports with the GPS map. Jaed did take the truck home – home was eight miles away from the water park on Holmes Road.

This morning after Jaed left for work Burt Slade of the Harrisburg group drove past. After verifying there were no more autos there or signs of life, Burt called for the drone to inspect the place. One of our small camera drones was carried there to do the job.

The flyover by the drone only proved Jaed was a junk rat with household trash dumped everywhere. There were no storage sheds or anything else large enough to store anything in nor were there any bikes anywhere on the property. One more dead end but at least it answered a question or two.

After lunch Neil Elliott from the OSHA enforcement and Director Harvey came to explain why the audits of the selected businesses were moving at a snail’s pace.

“We have to enter the business and announce what we are doing there. Then we have to wait until someone from management approves a voluntary audit. If they refuse, we are done until we get an enforcement order.”

“First there is a records compliance phase and then a verification of safety meetings and safety equipment. Then is the inspection of the shop area, storage and yards. The process can take two men a day to do a large one site business, even if they voluntarily comply with the request.”

“We have our entire Pennsylvania office working on the request; it s going to take a month,” Neil said.

“You don’t have a month; you have ten days. Pull teams from Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Ohio; send them there – put them up in motel rooms but get this job done. Tell them what we are discreetly looking for and not to acknowledge they have seen it if they do but report it immediately. It is imperative that their visits look like a normal inspection,” I said.

Ben and Eric had so far put about twenty percent of the names through the terrorist list and Interpol with no real success. There were one or two expired visas and green cards but none that seemed to be connected to our problem.

Tomorrow the number of people working on the list would be doubled. Ben and I both wanted all the names run through the system by noon on Monday.

After a quick visit to the Oval Office to hear more questions about the IRS seizures, my security carried me home. I took my place in the meeting room while the girls told me about their day.

Bell was finished with the upgrades to our 406 and 407 helicopters and had finished with the last of the Hueys. Progress was being made on both the truck stop building and the dealership building.

Q-town had hired a contractor and the state had approved all the permits to run the pipes along RT 301. The engineering plans for the overpass were in the hands of the State Highway Department. All were good things in the short time that had passed.

Robert had nothing new from this morning and the group had left at the normal time for the first time this week.

The weekend was spent – for the most part – with the family and time in the gym. Family time was meaning more to me and the girls all the time. I played with little Robert and Jacob several different times to give Jenny a break.

Those little rascals were getting to be experts at building log cabins. Jason had bought each of them a farm set with farm animals and fences. They had added them to the log village on the living room floor.

The only time I spent on work was reading the CIA and Mossad folders on General Kedar.

It was interesting reading and confirmed some things I knew, but left a lot of questions. It gave me some things to think about. One thing I knew for sure – he was a beast of the worst kind.

Monday morning the shrinks – doctors Rich and Moore – were coming to give the men who were injured a group session. I met Dr. Rich in the elevator and took her to my office.

“If I give you access to a couple of folders can you do a profile on a man for me? I want to know how he thinks, why he acts the way he does and what stimuli provokes certain actions,” I asked.

“It may not be precise but I can do that, the least I can do is look it over and give you some pointers,” Dr. Rich replied.

“See Cindy before you leave. I will have her make a complete copy of the folders. It is classified information,” I said.

“I understand completely,” the doc replied.

Monday was a repeat of Friday, only more Senators and Representatives were screaming about the IRS seizures. I told Troy “Let them holler.”

After reviewing the GPS track of Jaed’s weekend drive, Ben thought he had enough evidence to put more things in play – truthfully so did I.

And for once we both agreed on a course of action. DHS was going to send a utility company bucket truck to hang another transformer close to all the stops Jaed spent any time at.

At least it looked like a regular transformer but it was not. DHS had taken the guts out and replaced them with video cameras and a long distance wireless transmitter. The three cameras could give a one hundred and eighty degree view of the establishment 24/7.

Ben, Eric and I were on the same page when it came time to raid the group and that was to wait until the next to the last day. All of us wanted as much intelligence collected and accomplices as could be caught.

When that meeting was finished I went to the IRS building and signed two hundred and fifty more seizures. The rest were under the threshold that needed my signature. Hap could sign them and I was happy about that.

I was back in Section 12 when I was paged to the Lincoln meeting room for a meeting. Senators Harrison and Whitby were there with Troy.

“You read our minds about getting aggressive on delinquent taxes and I hear you are doing a good job. There is one other area we want you to look at and that is the Hollywood movie accounting scheme,” Senator Harrison said.

“They make hundreds of millions of dollars and pay little taxes, even after years of making money on movie syndication and cable channels. Here is a copy of the tax code passed by Congress and the rules the IRS developed to allow the scheme to prosper. The back four pages contain the rules we think you should amend or change and update to recover that lost tax revenue,” Senator Whitby said as he handed me the papers.

I thumbed through them looking at the suggested changes and immediately knew it was way over my head. But I knew someone who could explain it to me in plain English. I had Bobbie scan it and fax it to Lexi Morgan. I called Lexi to tell her it was coming and what I wanted after she read it.

I left shortly thereafter and headed home. Vicky and I were going do most of the packing tonight. We were flying to Portugal in the 737 with enough room to carry the rest of the security, their gear and everything Vicky and I needed to carry. I needed to be in Washington until noon; Vicky was going to see that everything was properly stored on the plane.

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Book 2 Chapter 23


Back in Section Twelve I used MTAC to page Robert.

“We got a break – in fact, a couple of breaks. Team Harrisburg placed the GPS unit on the vehicle today and we have tracked it to several stops. The longest was the water park, as we suspected it would be this soon.”

“The second was at a shop on the west side. They stayed there about thirty minutes, but the rest of the stops were short; ten minutes or less. The satellite photo of the shop is on its way to you. It’s not on the list of shops from the Labor department or the OSHA list so it may – just may – be a normal stop.”

“Next on the list is the French connection. There were several messages from Tiam to a new contact in the French group. Twenty of the girls are coming in two weeks – ten to the Norfolk Hampton Roads area. The other ten are going to the to Louisiana area near the Barksdale Air Force Base. They already have partial ownership in the establishments there if I understand the lingo correctly.”

“And get this – the French contact is going to send Tiam all twenty girl’s information. The girls are coming in on French student exchange visas. Each group of girls is coming with two female chaperons, ” Robert said.

“A couple days of tracking and we should have where the bikes are being made or stored, or at least his regular travels unless he is not using the truck after hours,” Robert said.

“If he doesn’t take the truck home, he has a car of his own parked close by. Send the Harrisburg team a couple more GPS units just in case they need them,” I said.

“I can read between the lines. The Iranians want the information first hand and not after ISIS has had a chance to filter it. They will have someone making the rounds to those establishments to collect it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Iranians don’t take over the thing shortly after everyone is in place. The chaperons will be found dead or not found at all when it happens,” I said.

At 1530 the girls and Jeanna were waiting for me in the White House lobby. We were going to pick up new clothes for the fancy dinner in Portugal since it was described as a State dinner and I had received a list of the VIP attendees for the event.

The best pant suit I owned – Marcy had paid almost five thousand dollars for – had two bullet holes in it and was bloodstained. The girls were determined that Vicky and I were not wearing a pant suits to an official State dinner, even if it was in Portugal.

When you are outnumbered by determined partners and lovers you throw in the towel and say, “OK.”
With my JBG security and a few Secret Service agents we went to the most expensive dress shop in Washington DC. Jeanna had made the arrangements so I knew I had to go with the flow and shut my mouth.

In the shop I changed into the new bullet resistant gear sent by our supplier. It was the new one, an upgraded version of the one that had the bullet holes in it.

It was like a thin sweatshirt made of woven Kevlar, fine woven stainless steel wire and several layers of other top secret materials.

Unlike the first one – which was more like a men’s armless tee – this one has short sleeves to prevent bullets from entering under my arms. This gear also had a tight pair of women’s high top briefs. By design, the two were to overlap by several inches giving complete coverage from my neck to the crotch.

As many times as I had been shot wearing the traditional style vest I had been extremely lucky that none of the rounds had been low enough to penetrate my lower abdomen, an area not covered by the body armor.

I was dreading putting on the briefs, I could just imagine how Kevlar and wire was going to feel in the sensitive areas, but all the girls were there standing and waiting for me – so I did.

I was surprised at how comfortable the two garments felt – I thought they would be movement restricting but they weren’t – and the bloomers did not press pinch or bind. Vicky was satisfied with hers. Then it was on to the dresses. Vicky and I tried on about two dozen before there was a consensus on the right one.

It was by a famous designer, although it did require a few slight alterations. It was well below my knees, flowing when I turned and I was assured it was the dress for official functions and the favorite style of the well to do for the most important functions. Vicky’s dress was similar but in a different color.

The dress was long enough that it could easily conceal the inner thigh holster that I was going to carry.
I didn’t know that I needed new jewelry to go with new dress. A major international jeweler who was in the store next door had things the girls wanted to look at and me to try on.

First was a watch; I didn’t need a watch – I had a phone that gave me time.
I knew that objecting was futile when the salesman said “These are the pieces Marcy ordered.”

The watch was a Jaeger LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Tourbillion – the fanciest thing I had ever seen. Then there was the special made bracelet for my other hand. It was at least one inch wide and thick solid gold with a ring of rubies around the center; on each side of the rubies were rows of diamonds. It was hinged with a double snap so it could open up to go over my hand and fit snugly near my wrist.

As if that was not enough there was a new necklace with six strands of gold chain woven into it – a mighty fine necklace. A single gold pendant hung from the chain, wide and long enough for the birth stones for all of us and the boys surrounded on each side by diamonds. I felt like a walking gold and diamond showroom. But there were bright smiles, ahs, and grins so I said nothing.

Vicky’s was similar and the watch was different – it was a Calibre de Cartier. I was sure I didn’t want to know the price either. Her necklace was almost the same but had lockets instead of the pendant.

The salesman continued to bring out boxes of nearly the same items for each of the girls. They had decided to go on a spending spree for all of us, something they rarely did. Especially Marcy – normally if it didn’t make money it was a no-no. That only meant that she saw all the jewels as an investment or at least someplace to change laundered ‘prince’ money into hard items.

I knew right then we were going to spend time this holiday going to the Washington elite parties that I had carefully avoided last year.

I was glad we had security with us! I would have hated to carry all this down the street in DC as crime-ridden as it was.

We stayed in the store until all six of the Suburbans stopped in the traffic lane as a group in front of the store. With the sidewalk blocked to foot traffic, we were ushered into the Suburbans and left.

At home in the den we laid out the next two weeks; tomorrow was Friday. Tuesday night Vicky and I were flying to Portugal for three full days of meetings and finishing up Saturday mid-morning. The state dinner was Saturday evening and then we were flying back on Sunday. The following Thursday was the Fourth of July; that gave us three days to put the screws on Jaed and his merry men. Plans rarely come together, but I hoped this one did and that Jaed would make a mistake or two before then.

Howie was waiting for me to call. Howie was our pyrotechnics expert. When I needed him for special projects he was there. When he was not working for the special ops team he was working on special projects for me.
The special projects were every single design that showed up on the dark web of explosive devices, every bomb found. I had him make several copies and test them.

I wanted to know how difficult they were to build with limited resources, how effective they were and most of all – countermeasures.

I also had him work on more elaborate designs from his and my imagination and do the same kinds of testing. If we could think of them so would someone else sooner or later. Terrorists were getting sophisticated we needed to as well. We had to try to stay ahead of them.

Howie had taken samples of everything we had collected and the things we had made with the necessary equipment to give demonstrations without the explosives. He was already in Lisbon with the ops team.

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Book 2 Chapter 22

“Jaed – if that is his picture – is not in the immigration system anywhere. The only place we found a likeness is in the secret file that Mossad gave us months ago. He was suspected of being a spy and operative for Iran in Syria,” Robert said.

“Why am I not surprised?” I said.

“There is one thing that may interest you that was posted today for about four minutes. We did a screen copy before it was taken down,” Robert said.

I looked at the document and realized what it was immediately, even though it was written in Arabic. Somehow someone – either General Kedar or Tiam – had inadvertently posted Kedar’s travel itinerary for the next 60 days.

I wondered if it was the real thing or posted as a trap or way to see if their system had been hacked. For now we would just try to verify his travels to see if they matched.

In another post to Jaed he was told there were no more ingredients available to him and they could not get more to him by the deadline. He was to complete his assignment and let nothing interfere.
That was one post I was glad to read.

After an update on the rest of today’s important intercepts, I joined the girls for their meeting.

“The first C5 is on its way to Turkey for the Air Force. It is stopping off in Portugal to drop off the eight Suburbans for your visit there. The second flight leaves on Monday and will carry the four helicopters, pilots and part of the ops team for your visit on Wednesday,” Lorrie said.

“Thad Jennings has the keys and information for the hangar. I had to rent it for three months. That should be long enough for them to decide if they want a security contract; if not, then time enough for us to get the equipment out,” Marcy said.

I agreed with that opinion as we looked over the information Andy had put together from Prime Minister Aleixo Cordeiro. Counting himself and the vice prime minister, there were a total of ten persons who wanted 24/7 protection, including their homes.

Andy was going with us because there was a lot to evaluate on the residential part of the contract. Biff Leland had replaced Bill and was also going.

It was down to the gym for a while then supper and little boys. I even got to hold the two new little ones for an extended period of time.

We were getting ready bed when the duty man called from EIT, “Make sure you stop by in the morning before your trip to Washington. There are some reports you may want to take with you,” he said.

At 0730 I was speed reading the two reports with Vicky waiting for Robert to come in for the day.

Tiam was pushing for pictures of the completed bikes and pictures of the water park. The general wanted to pick locations or else was just plain nosey – I was willing to bet on ‘nosey’.

The Mossad folder on the general was to be delivered today and I was going to pressure the CIA and General Ingram for anything they had on him.

Vicky went to deal with embassy things and I rode to Washington.

The media was waiting at the fence and there were more than usual. They were yelling questions and insults along with a few threats. The White House had not given a real answer to explain the actions that I took and I was not going to either.

The first hour was with Ben and the committee. We had just finished our meeting when the IRS courier delivered the first business employee list from Harrisburg. The agents were going to be busy a while. Bobbie sent a copy to Robert for a more thorough search than the committee would do.

At 1000 Andrew, Anne and I spent another hour reviewing other work essential to their new positions. At 1100 I went to the cafeteria for an early lunch.

Troy came in and quietly said, “You should bring your lunch to the Oval Office; we need a couple of answers.”

The news was on the TV and the reporter was interviewing a senator who was ranting about the IRS’s sudden change in policy about collections without consulting Congress.

“You would not know anything about that change in policy, would you?” the President asked.

“Sure would, I cleaned off the desk; you know how I hate a cluttered desk. It was there in a stack of papers that I signed. I signed the first one hundred enforcement actions and I’m going to sign one hundred more today.”

“There is almost one trillion dollars in delinquent payments over the one hundred thousand dollar mark; some are twenty years old. I thought the treasury could use it and I gave orders to start collecting it,” I added.

“You did tell me to keep the agency on its toes and not to let the agency get complacent,” I said.

“That is true but I am not sure we wanted you to be that aggressive right off the bat,” Troy said.

“Harry would like you to make an appearance at his briefing; he is exhausted ducking eggs and rotten tomatoes,” Troy said.

“OK, but they are going to be disappointed. I’m going to limit what I say. I’m going over to the IRS building for a few minutes but will be back in time to rescue Harry,” I said as I stood to leave.

Hap met me at my office door. That told me that there were individuals who were notified by security when I came into the building. Were they afraid or just being cautious?

He gave me the number of assets seized so far today.

“Not bad for a start, unfortunately there are screaming senators who I have to address later today. Let’s go find the Judge and get another one hundred in the works for tomorrow,” I said.

The judge quickly signed the one hundred orders, probably to get me gone as quickly as possible. Hap had his work for the rest of the day as did the task force and Robert.

I was carrying the last of the machine shop employee lists for them to work with. When Hap said he would put people on the project he was not kidding.

I went back to Section Twelve to deliver the list, then went to meet with Harry and plan the news conference.

Harry and I carried the donuts and coffee to the table. “Who wants to deliver the first question?” I asked.

“Two days ago you applied the TCIA – a law designed to be used in the fight on terrorism – against the IRS commissioner and removed him from the agency. Can you explain your actions?”

“Melinda, I can only say a couple things about the change. As you should know, terrorism changes day by day. Technology today allows it to move at warp speed sometimes and we are always catching up, rarely getting ahead of them.”

“The IRS has always been extremely slow working with the agencies fighting terrorism, hiding behind antiquated rules. In some cases they were allowing the terrorist to make substantial gains. We don’t need much information from them but when we do it has to be fast.”

“That was the case the day I invoked the TCIA act on the IRS; critical information was needed and fast for a pending threat on the Pacific Coast. The commissioner dug in his heels one time too many,” I said.

“Sherrie Odell WITV, just how does the task force use information from the IRS and what does it ask for from the IRS?” she asked.

“What we ask for and how we use it to build a case that will hold up in court is classified information and process,” I said.

“Will Commissioner Campbell regain his job?” Melinda asked.

“No, because it is a personnel issue I cannot comment on the reasons at this time,” I said.

“James Hawk KTCC. You were installed as temporary IRS commissioner, was that by the design of the law?”

“No it was not, that was a surprise,” I replied.

“Albert Finn KCCJ. There are some citizens and senators that are upset by changes at the IRS, can you explain the changes?”

“The policies and procedures I put into force have been there for years, just not acted upon because of other priorities. The papers to begin this round of enforcement were on the commissioner’s desk and when I cleared the desk I signed them,” I said.

“Is this just a onetime surge on collections?” James asked.

“No. I have authorized the process to continue, there are thousands of delinquent accounts to be collected. If you owe the IRS back taxes pay them now. If you are unable to pay in full, call the agency and work out a 24 month payment plan. Don’t miss any payments and the interest and penalties will be waived. If the agency starts collection procedures, interest and penalties will not be waived,” I said.

“Are we winning the war on domestic terror?” Albert asked.

“As the saying goes, we are holding our own. Active investigations continue and grow daily. The current hot spot seems to be the west coast and the southern border. I see no real win any time soon. There have been isolated attacks, ‘the lone wolf things’ that are nearly impossible to stop but there have been no mass casualty attacks in quite a while. I view that as a win, at least for now,” I said.

“If you are making arrests at the border, why haven’t there been news releases about them?” Melinda asked.
“Sometimes we learn more by being quiet about what we do and how we do it than telegraphing our successes with publicity,” I said.

My phone signaled a text, “Call me ASAP, Robert.”

“Ladies, gentlemen duty calls. Harry it is all yours.” I picked up one more glazed donut before I walked out.
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