Book 2 Chapter 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Book 2 Chapter 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Book 2 Chapter 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

I asked the question again.

“Four hours,” he replied.

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

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

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

He didn’t answer. I nodded.

Minutes later I asked the question again.

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

“How did you know?” I asked.

No answer so I repeated the question.

Still no answer so I nodded.

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

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

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

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

“General Abdalrahman Kedar,” he replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sleep came easy; my neck was healing. The girls and I could be more affectionate if they were gentle, and they were.
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Book 2 Chapter 5

Book 2 Chapter 5

The doc was already there and had most of his equipment set up.

“I have already checked them out. I think they are good for at least four sessions,” Doc Burns said.

“Gentleman, meet Guardian Major General Fayeez Mohammad of the Iranian Republican Guard, head of their intelligence division. He is Balthazar’s father if the reports are correct. The other gentleman waiting for his turn in the barrel is Guardian Colonel Abdullah Kassis – also of the IRG – from the military science group. His specialty was small rockets and explosives. These two orchestrated the attack that killed my men and almost killed Vicky and me,” I said.

“Director Dorin, ask your first questions,” I said.

“Who are your Hezbollah contacts?” Dorin asked.

“Do you really think I’m going to answer your questions?” he replied.

I nodded to the doc.

The General screamed and shook the table violently. It was five minutes before he returned to normal.

Art and General Ingram cringed at his outburst.

“Ask the question again,” I instructed.

It took the third dose before the General decided to talk. After that pages of questions were asked and pages of answers were written down. While Director Dorin was asking from his list, both Bens stood off to the side and General Ingram, Frank. Marty and Art joined us in the conversation.

The two military men who came with General Ingram never left the side of the table, writing down the questions and the answers.

“Just how in the hell did you get them out of Hezbollah territory?” Ben Smith asked.

“You know better than ask that kind of question, the answer could cost lives and careers,” I replied.

“Since you put it that way, forget I asked; I don’t really want to know,” he said.

“Sometime over a beer in your private bar I would love to hear that story, I will furnish the first case. That has to be one heck of a story,” General Ingram said.

“Beer and a private bar, I never had an invitation to go there!” Frank said.

“Me neither,” Eric added.

“You need to huddle with Frank, Eric, Art, and Marty and come up with questions for them for tomorrow night. I intend to put him in the furnace Wednesday night,” I said.

Director Dorin was finished with his first round of questions; the three Israelis went to a corner to sort through the answers and made phone calls back to Israel to sort them out.

It was my turn since the feds were still trying to come to grips with questions of their own. For the next two hours I asked the questions that Robert had given me. Vicky was taking notes even though I was recording his answers. Tomorrow Robert could check the answers to see if they were the truth or a lie and if they turned any lights on with the dark web sites we were following.

I pressed the Iranian hard on the websites and the posters and even who the people in the IRG that were running and coordinating the sites. I pressed him for login, passwords, locations of the operatives and the US target list.

The Israelis had completed another list of questions they wanted to ask so I backed away to check off my list. When I did Frank, Eric, Ben and Art cornered me.

“Why all the questions about the dark web sites? Surely there are lots of other things you could ask him,” Art asked.

“What the hell are your people doing with their time? The dark sites are where the organizing, planning and orders are being given. There is a major attack being planned in Harrisburg in the next thirty days, all on the dark web sites,” I said.

“Don’t tell me you don’t know anything about it,” I almost yelled.

I thought Ben, Eric, and Art were going to have a fit on the spot.

Director Dorin announced they were finished for the night. I sent Vicky to the restaurant to get the two a plate of food before we left. She and I were going to feed them and then put them to bed for the night.

“Did the information we talked about get leaked today?” I asked Director Dorin.

“Yes and they contacted Tehran before taking any action and were told to stand down. Tehran is sending a team to assist; they want to make sure Hezbollah fanatics do not get their General killed. We have been tracking them since they left Tehran. The rescue team is to meet at the Golan-Syrian border tomorrow. If your plan bears fruit, as it now looks like, it was a stroke of genius,” Director Dorin replied.

“You can be sure we will take a page out of your book and shoot for knee caps on the high value targets,” he added.

The feds had a surprised look and then one asked, “What the hell are you two planning to happen now?”

“Keep me informed, video would be nice. Revenge is best served cold. That group there would tell you I am an expert at delivering revenge,” I replied as I pointed to the feds.

“Same time tomorrow or do you want to start a couple hours earlier?” I asked.

“Earlier,”

“1500,” Doc Burns said.

It was midnight when Vicky and I walked in and made the rounds giving sleeping boys and babies kisses, and of course the girls.

Breakfast had barely finished when the calls started. The first one was the funeral home, “The families have decided on Friday at 1100 as the time for the service. The school board is going to bring additional chairs from other schools in case they are needed. They are going to start setting up today,” he said.

“Where are the internments going to be?” I asked.

“Three on the Island, Three in the Cville cemetery and the other three wanted cremation,” he replied.

I breathed a silent sigh of relief; the last thing I wanted was a section of a cemetery to be known as the JBG plot.

“That will make logistics a nightmare, but it is what it is,” I said.

The doc called and asked, “Is there security at Fort Smith to assist him and a nurse in replacing the bandages in the two prisoner’s legs?”

“Yes there is; I’m not really sure why you want to do that,” I replied.

“Sometimes the illusion of sympathy and caring is the best cover,” the doc replied.

Vicky volunteered to go to make sure that nothing was said out of the way by the two; there was no telling what they would try. I was going to meet with Robert and we went over the answers from last night.

There was some good news at 1100; the four who were injured at Portugal were going to be discharged today – one of them in a wheelchair – but they would be home. That alone improved my mood some.

Today’s mail improved all our moods a little more; we had it in writing that the truck stop permits were approved with all the engineering plans accepted.

Engineers from J&J, Bob’s Construction and a dozen subcontractors had spent the last few days surveying, driving stakes and moving in heavy equipment. They were as anxious to get started as Marcy and Lorrie were. Everyone wanted concrete down before the fall rains came.

Next I spent time with Robert; there were some things that were beginning to bother me. We went over all the questions and answers from last night and I had over one hundred more I wanted answered.

One more thing we talked about was the web sites, one of the sites had dropped all pretense and clearly posted information about the attack on my convoy. The operator posted a request to all members in the Golan, Lebanon and no man’s land area looking for anyone witnessing the attack on my convoy.

There were several responses; one was close to the time the plan Director Dorin and I had worked out should have been leaked. The time was close to the time the Iranians started across the desert in Iraq.

The next thing I did was pull up the NSA and CIA satellite data from the day of the attack. Since all the world powers had gotten involved, so many satellites had repositioned in the area that there were concerns of space collisions. I downloaded all the data from about four hour before the convoy arrived at the fatal spot till shortly after we left.

Robert and I each took one and ran it at triple speed, looking for anything out of the ordinary. Almost at the exact same time, “Hey, did you see what I think I see?”

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Book 2 Chapter 4

Twelve hours later the wheels touched the concrete at Morton. The girls had done the usual great job of making difficult things come together.

Two were going to AAGH for the special care they were going to need; local ambulances were going to carry them there.

Two more were going to Shock Trauma for special treatment. Two of our helicopters were carrying them.

The final two were St Marys; they were going to need special work on their legs and the Saint had the best there was. Two more helicopters carried them.

Doc Burns and his doctors had made all the arrangements while they were somewhere over the Atlantic. That was one more reason I liked Doc Burns medical group; they were on the job when I needed them.

The nine that had died were another matter. The funeral home in Cville was going to store the bodies temporarily until all arrangements were made. Tomorrow the families were going to meet at 1000 at the funeral home.

Once at the funeral home the bodies were going to be removed from the leak proof military coffins. The bodies had been packaged with ice to keep them from decomposing during the flight. They would be place on a tray in the cool box until the arrangements had been made and the family had chosen a casket or cremation.

I had been on the tarmac by the plane telling each of the injured I would try to see them tomorrow.

I was still there when they started to unload the caskets. The rest of the girls joined me and stood silently with the families as they were loaded into the hearses. Before the door was closed I walked to each one and said a prayer, then closed the door.

We made the long walk to the terminal and the gathered crowd of reporters who had been recording the event and taking an endless stream of pictures. I stopped in front of the reporters.

“As you know the last few days have been rather dangerous and deadly. To put it bluntly, I am tired and hurting physically, mentally and emotionally and I know the same is true for the families of the deceased. And the day is still far from over,” I said.

“That said, as soon as the families have finalized the services for their loved ones, we will get the information to you. Right now all of us at JBG need time to reflect and heal and come to grips with the events of the last few days. Please give us time to do that,” I said.

“BJ, Al Jazeera said you were injured; how serious are the injuries?” asked Hanna Page.

“We were wearing IDF issue body armor. An RPG penetrated the armored HumVee as we were exiting the HumVee, the blast and explosion burned my neck and left small pieces of shrapnel imbedded in my neck. The doctors there removed all but a few deep pieces that are going to require specialized surgery to remove,” I replied.

“In a few days when things have settled down, I will hold a press conference to answer your questions. Thank you,” I added.

What I did not say was the surgery was scheduled for tomorrow before the pieces had a chance to do any nerve damage. Doc Burns already had a specialist from John Hopkins to do the surgery tomorrow afternoon at 1400.

After a tough night talking with the girls and family and then the muted pleasure of little boys and holding Takeo and Sara, I had a restless sleep.

At 0700 I was in Roberts’s office picking up all the papers in my tray and then went to my office to find my desk with stacks of things that needed my attention.

At 0800 the girls and I met with Jason, Mischief and Mayhem (Rosanne and Corry) – they were never going to escape those nicknames – from HR. The process had already been started to get the death benefits to the families. I listened while the complete package was gone over for anything forgotten or missed.

JBG carried life insurance on all the employees assigned to the embassy division. The beneficiary would get a one million dollar payment and one year of full salary as weekly paychecks. The spouse would get lifetime medical and children to the age of 26 as required by law. Each child was to get two hundred and fifty thousand in a college trust fund to pay for college. If they did not attend college they could not get access to the funds until the age of twenty five.

At 1000 we met the families; after much discussion it was decided that if a suitable place size-wise could be located there would be one large funeral for the men at one time. It would make logistics so much easier for everyone.
I called Duke Justice and told him what I needed; I wanted to use the high school auditorium for the funeral service. The high school auditorium could hold seven hundred.

“I’m not sure they will do that, the school board is an independent thinking bunch,” Duke replied.

“Influence their thinking. If they refuse to cooperate I will have a legal team deliver freedom of information requests to the judge tomorrow. For say the last ten years of the board’s budget and itemized expenditures, hiring practices, grading system, school bus contracts, building and renovation contracts, to be audited by an independent group.”

“Then I would take out a full page ad in the Gazette every week with the discrepancies found. You know just how happy that would make old Elmo. I know of several individuals that could be paid to write opinions critical to the board’s processes and heaven forbid if the auditors find any mismanaged pennies or inappropriate expenditures,” I relied.

“Let me call the other commissioners; we are to meet in 30 minutes and we will go pay the board a personal visit with your request within the hour,” Duke said.

Andy and I along with four other men went to medical building to see the General.

“General, I see you have weathered the night, I trust the food has been to your liking,” I said.

“I demand to see the Russian Ambassador immediately. I need better medical treatment than I am getting,” he demanded.

“You are in no position to demand anything! You will have visitors coming to see you tonight; important people. You can air your complaints to them, not that it will help much,” I said.

Duke called back and said the school board reluctantly approved my request and wanted to meet the director of the funeral home at 1400 to make the necessary arrangements.

I turned that over to Jason and asked if he would attend that meeting on my behalf.

At 1300 one of the Blackhawks carried Vicky and me plus a few guards to John Hopkins for the surgery on my neck. It was an hour surgery done under some kind of continuous x-ray. There were three rows of small stitches on the back of my neck when he finished. Vicky only needed one row.

At 1600 I sitting in my recliner with one of those soft jell ice packs on the back of my neck. Jenny, Marcy, Jason and Ching Lee were filling me in on their visits to the injured men today. With the first group from Portugal and the last six from Israel we had ten men in various hospitals.

Before they were finished Director Dorin called to say that he would be on time, landing at 1815 our time.
At 1630 I started making calls; the first was to Ben Smith, “Be at Morton no later than 1810,” I said.

“I have an important meeting at that time,” he replied.

“Unless it is an appointment with a world class hooker it is not as important as this one; cancel it. Be at Morton at 1810,” I replied and hung up.
`
Then I called the rest on my list including Ben-David. I had asked Director Dorin to tell no one I had the General and the Colonel – not even Ben – explaining that I would tell Ben to be there under different pretenses.

On my list were Frank Love of the CIA, Eric Robinson of the DHS, Marty Coeburn from the FBI, and Art Cummins of the NIA. Last on the list was General Ingram.

When I called the General and told him to be at Morton he implied he was busy. “You need to get not busy and bring your two Iranian experts; there is someone you desperately need to see.” He decided he could make it.

At 1815 they were all in my office when my phone rang. It was Director Dorin, ” I am five minutes out they are telling me,” he said.

“No problem, I will send someone to meet you at the plane,” I said.

I sent Albert to meet the plane. “Bring the gentlemen directly here, bypass the customs station. They are late for my meeting.”

Ben immediately stood as soon as Director Dorin and his guest walked in and made the introductions. Assistant Director Dorin had brought his boss Director Able Gerber.

After the introductions and with a lot of people wondering what was going on, “Let’s go meet the guest for tonight’s entertainment,” I said.

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Book 2 Chapter 3

Book 2 Chapter 3
“Hezbollah is demanding that their UN representatives have access to all hospitals tomorrow at 0600 to verify if any Hezbollah fighters have been admitted and if their needs are being met. It is part of all the agreements relating to the occupied territory with the UN,” the Director said.

“We have been monitoring their communications since the attack. Things went wild after the vehicles returned without the Iranians. Iran is sending a team to the Golan to find the men and interrogate the drivers,” he said.
“We need to move them to another location; it cannot wait until Sunday,” he said.

I knew what he was doing; they now wanted to keep the two, do their own interrogation themselves and save the two as bargaining chips for later on.

I called Lorrie, “Find out how far the C130 is from Tel Aviv and the arrival time,” I instructed and then I was placed on hold.

“Its five hours out, will land at Tel Aviv at 0200 your time,” Lorrie replied.

“It’s going to be a fast round robin, pick up two passengers, fuel and run. If they are out of flight time or need the rest I will send Max and Toby to fly it back. They would have to stay until the G5 is ready to return. Let me know ASAP,” I said.

“Director Dorin, have the two to the airport by 0200, they will be gone by 0300,” I said.

From the expression on his face, it was not what he wanted to hear but I did not care. The cooperation between Mossad and JBG along with my White House connection was far too valuable for them to risk throwing a shovel of hot coals on it.

I was sure he knew we would get every bit of information there was from them or else. He just would not have them for a bargaining chip later because when I was through with them, they were going into the furnace alive.

“1800 hours Monday at Fort Smith – located at Morton Field – if you want to be in on the fun,” I said.

I went back to reading the information in the bag. If Director Dorin kept his word I had Guardian General Fayeez Mohammad of the Iranian Republican Guard, head of their intelligence division. Balthazar’s father, if the reports were right and the mastermind driving black web sites – or at least Robert and I suspected.

What in the hell was someone of his level doing in the field with a raiding party? After a second thought, what the hell was I doing in the same area? Both of us must have had a plate of dumb yesterday morning. The only thing that came to mind was he was there to help Hezbollah improve intelligence collection. He had been suckered in to watch a successful raid against the IDF.

Me, I was just hardheaded and fearless. I wondered how many lives I had left; was nine the actual allotment?

The other was Colonel Abdullah Kassis from the military science group. His specialty was small rockets and explosives. That flew red flags immediately. I wondered if the two rockets that took out the two armored vehicles were something new that Iran was experimenting with or had just made available to Hezbollah. More questions to ask them later.

I went to bed and slept on my stomach until 0100; at 0130 Vicky and I were carried to the IDF hangar to wait for the C130 to land. The C130 was just pulling up as Toby and Max arrived.

The pilots on the C130 were well past the flying hours for the week plus they had flown thirty hours continuous without a break. They were just landing at Morton and took the emergency flight here. You just cannot knock the dedication of some people – and I had a lot of them who were dedicated.

I asked Toby “Are they were going to be able to handle the in-flight refueling?”

“Piece of cake; I have done so many I could do it in my sleep,” he replied.

It was then that the ambulance with the two Iranians showed up. I walked over to them to make sure there had not been a switch pulled.

“Well General, are you ready for a long plane ride?” I asked.

“I know who you are now, do you really think you can get away with this?” he replied.

“I already have, I survived your attempt to kill me and turned the tables on you. It’s my ball game now and in the end you are going to be the one to die,” I replied.

“Where are you taking me?” he asked.

“To America; I have very special interrogation methods you are going to experience there and I will enjoy applying them to you,” I replied.

Toby and the pilots finished the plane discussion and the fueling was done. Thirty minutes later they were gone. On board with the two prisoners were two IDF field medics to make sure the two were alive at the end of the flight. Vicky and I went back to bed. For two hours.

At 0600 the pilots of the 737 called to say they were two hours out. We had just enough time to eat and go check on the wounded men to see if the doctors would allow them to travel.

It took three hours to make the connections and get all the approvals from foreign doctors with different ideas on how things should be done. Then it took another hour to get enough ambulances to carry all of them to Tel Aviv.

When we arrived back at the plane we had to wait for the hearses that were delivering the coffins to arrive. It gave us the chance to board the plane and talk with the Doc and all the medical people who came.

The morticians at the Air Force base were experienced in their job. The base there as well as the one in Germany and Dover handled casualties from the Afghanistan, Iraq and those killed in Syria and other wars for years.

They had used the latest JBG ID pictures to do reconstruction on the bodies as best they could do. I was told the funerals would have to be closed casket.

As they were unloaded and placed on a stand until they could be positioned in the cargo bay, Vicky and I placed, fastened and smoothed an American flag on each. They were all ex- military; they deserved the honor.

Vicky had never had to do something this difficult; people who we worked with, who worked for us and were guarding us were dead.

As we finished she broke down and in a hug cried on my shoulder and that was all it took for me to lose it. I whispered words of encouragement, sympathy and understanding to ease the grief that we both felt.
Today was bad and worse was yet to come.

It was recorded and broadcast by the media and hundreds of cell phones from the terminal building.

The coffins were stowed while the ambulances arrived. The six injured were carefully transferred to stretchers able to get through the plane door and then to the hospital beds that had been put on board.

Departure time was fifteen minutes away when Director Dorin arrived with the Prime Minister. We had a brief conversation and the usual series of photos. I needed a few to put in an album, not that I would need a reminder of the last few days. But I was sure I would never come here again.

Twenty minutes later we were in the air for the long flight home and the dreadful reunions on the tarmac.

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Book 2 Chapter 2

Book 2 Chapter 2
The day went downhill from there. Medics with the arriving IDF did the best they could do. Those in the most serious condition had been the first flown out. They put some foul smelling salve on back of Vicky and my neck then wrapped our necks with gauze. The stuff stank worse than the burnt hair.

Vicky and I stayed at the site until all my men were flown out. We were all carried to the trauma center at the huge Haifa medical center. It was one of the busiest trauma centers in the world because of all the continuing violence in the area.

We flew in the chopper with Director Dorin, “I don’t want anyone to know that we captured the two Iranians,” I told him.

As we got closer to Haifa my cell phone started working. I called the girls and Andy back on a conference call for an update; it had been two hours.

“General Ingram called and said we could get the airworthy sealed coffins from the air base outside Tel Aviv. The 737 has been in the air for about thirty minutes. We removed a lot of seats and there is hospital equipment and staff on board. Doc Burns and two of his doctors and several nurses are on board. Two of the county med units EMTs with equipment are on board,” Marcy said.

“WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?” Jenny asked.

I ended the call by saying we were landing and we were. They wanted me to lie on a stretcher but that was not happening, not with my neck so I sat on a gurney as they wheeled Vicky and me in.

Word had been leaked out to the media; they were there in force. My worst nightmares were on display for the world to see live. My dead men were being transferred to the hearse, the severely injured being rushed into the trauma center.

I asked the doctor about the condition of the first three men sent in. He shook his head and said, “It was too late, the injuries too severe.”

“I need to see the bodies, NOW,” I replied.

A Mossad agent walked me to the morgue. I needed to verify who had died and that there was no mix up.

Tom, Alan and Walter – as I suspected – were covered with sheets and in the cooler. I walked out into the hall and made another gut wrenching call to the office.

“Get someone to the families; I want them to find out from us, not a news person. The procedure has been written out; act quickly,” I said.

The procedure was not that complicated; if they were members of a church call the minister to meet the JBG representatives at the residence; have the state police or sheriff’s office to send a unit to keep the neighbors from interfering. A JBG Representative was to stay the day to assist.

All of our HR people had the training on how to handle situations like this, always hoping you never needed it. Today we did.

I went back to the trauma unit to be check out and get updates. My burnt hair was clipped short on the back of my neck and the burn cleaned. Then they removed most of the shrapnel, put in multiple stitches and a better salve applied with new gauze and tape. At least this time my neck was not wrapped like a mummy.

I spent the next hour with men and my Mossad ladies. Like me, they had received only minor injuries compared to some of the men. The six seriously injured and the two Iranians would be able to travel back if all the right equipment and staff were on the plane. The trauma team would not release them until that was verified. The rest of us were discharged, free to leave. The Mossad agents were carrying us to the hotel.

The two Iranians had kicked up such a stink demanding diplomatic privileges that the staff had heavily sedated them; they were out for the count.

I had told Lorrie to send a C130 for them. I wanted them to have a long and bumpy, painful plane ride to Morton to meet the Doc.

Director Dorin handed me a bag as Vicky and I stepped into the helicopter, “This is all the things collected off the two Iranians. You are going to be surprised who you have. Ben said I should ask for an invitation to participate in the interrogation.”

“Monday night Morton, 6 PM sharp”, I replied.

I had the drivers drop me and my remaining security at the US embassy. The next few hours was going to be tied up on MTAC and VCATS.

The first hour was with the girls, it was rough. All the families had been notified and as expected, that did not go well.

With that part of this terrible day past us it was time to put together a news conference that included facts. Washington was still struggling with third hand information; first from the Israeli embassy to the US embassy, then to Washington. I would soon end that. The Israelis had been slow to respond at my request since we were picked up.

With the girl’s help I worded the statement for the news conference and the pictures of the destroyed convoy we were riding in. Once we were finished I added the White House to the call.

I only wanted to tell the chain of events once. When I was finished, the White House decided it would hold off the day’s press conference and do a live feed from the JBG conference with Ching Lee and pick it up from there.

Andy wanted to send a complete new group of security for us. I shot that idea down; we already had too many planes involved in this venture. I was going to take ten from the JBG detachment at the Israel embassy and the Mossad was going to supply ten more. We were only going to be here until Saturday afternoon – a day and a half – we had it covered.

My G5 was staying until the six in the hospital could come home on it.

Back at the hotel room we watched Ching Lee’s press conference and then Harry’s update. Then we watched the local news coverage and their slant on the attack.

Then – for a different prospective – we watch Al Jazeera news and got the other opinion with a chanting mob in the streets of Beirut.

Finally after a solemn supper I opened the bag of items taken off the two Iranian prisoners and started reading. Oh crap!

I reread it all again. Double crap!

It was then that Director Dorin called on the phone; he was in the lobby and wanted to see me.

“We have a problem he said.

“Just one; is that all?” I asked.

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