The first thing I did after Ambassador Abelman and his group left was to call Ambassador Dansky and thank him repeatedly. I even asked what gifts I could bring him from the states.
I put the thumb drives in my computer and started reading. There was nothing new on Aadam that I did not already know.
Dagar Daharr was another story; there was a trove of information and I did not understand why Frank had so little. In the reading there was reference to reconnaissance being done at the university where we supplied security. Not only was a reference there but a list of planned targets on the campus.
They were planning to attack the university when Dagar returned from his trip. The trip to Africa was leadership, tactics – and worse yet – explosives training; an exercise in how to pull off the big one.
Then one more question; why did Israel have all this information? Did they have agents in Minneapolis? What was the connection to Israel? I suspected there was a connection to problems that were close to Israel.
I called Ching Lee, “Come to my office now!”
Robert was next; I showed him and Ching Lee what I was reading. His group had a new urgent assignment; find all Dagar’s associates and contacts. Find out what was going on? How complete was the planning, and when and if the planned attack was still on?”
Alwaleed bin Salman Al Saud was the grandson of the king; he had the biggest file so far. It was hundreds of pages – almost since birth – and he had been a trouble maker and wild child from the beginning. He was 26 when he died at 515 and had been involved in terror plots and attacks in Somali, Iraq, Syria, also Jordan as a fighter, planner and financier. He killed the first time when he was 14; a 12 year old Somalia girl who had offended him; he killed her in front of her family.
He liked young virgin girls and boys, preferring them to be Egyptian, Libyan and Syrian; rape, sadistic torture, and when he was finished with them, he killed them if they survived the torture. His security team kept him supplied with new victims and disposed of the bodies.
I was willing to bet the four unidentified persons in 515 were his body guards. That was another note for Robert.
The king had dispatched Saudi security forces to look for him, but too late. All the bodies from the embassy attack had been buried or cremated by the time they arrived to look through the morgue.
Saudi Arabia was supposed to be our ally, yet had trained and supplied so many terrorists to attack us. I was willing to bet our state department had made the pictures of the dead available to the Saudi secret police. Or had the CIA tried to work a deal of some kind? People were expendable – including me – for a piece in the bigger picture.
I wrote more notes for Robert and his group. I wanted everything coming out of Saudi Arabia read with a magnifying glass. The more I read, the more things I thought of.
I wondered it there was some warning in Ben-David’s statement after all. Maybe, just maybe, I was wrong to leave existing JBG employees in place and add people to bring up the numbers. Maybe I should have swapped out the entire groups, moved them around to break up any possible traitors.
Could the Morocco attack have been helped by inside information? I put more notes on the paper.
Investigate all the individuals that were assigned to Morocco at the time; Robert knew what to look for.
I refreshed my coffee before I continued reading. As I was walking back, it finally dawned on me that our allies were beginning to pull back on information sharing. Our government’s poor showing on being able to stop hacking and leaks of our secret data was making them skittish.
Our homeland was isolated by two oceans; our land borders could be – when the need, necessary and the political will – nearly closed. Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia did not have that luxury.
I would bet that many things were now on a case by case need to share. That was why Frank did not have the intel. He had routinely held back on JBG and now they were holding back on the agency in the same fashion. They may pass on the headline but were holding the details as not to give away their collection methods or people, in case of hacking.
My reading and thoughts were interrupted by a call from Lorrie. The C5 was on it way back, but Frank had changed the plan. It was now doing a stop in New Mexico at an Air Force base that had been closed for years, according to Google.
“All things are not as they seem or are reported to be,” I told her. “Have Marcy bill the flight accordingly, adding for the standby time.” The C5 came home some time after midnight.
We girls went out for supper at the Inn again; family, friends and boys. Then we had a late night in the hot tub with wine coolers.
Crash spent the night with Marlene again, his age was showing and his health slowly going downhill and he knew it. He was still going on flights when he felt like it but not nearly as often. He wanted to go on a short flight on the C5, if there was one.
Crash had already taken a tour of the cockpit and was in awe at all the instruments and controls. He had even sat in the pilot’s seat – speechless for a long time – before he finally he said, “Makes that B29 I flew look like a Jenny.”
Saturday was normal; clean the house, boys and time together without work. We needed it; Monday was going to be a cluster fuck from sunrise on.
Before we were ready, it was Monday; all of us were going to the Morton Field restaurant for breakfast. Lorrie, Vicky and I were staying with Marcy, Ching Lee and Jenny going back to the office.
Eighty more new employees were showing up there this morning to start the process; HR, the Docs, then starting the training. Then 80 more were coming tomorrow; that would fill both the Crash Hotel and the Horsey House.
The push was on; we were two weeks into September now.
We were finished eating when the C5 crew came in; they went straight to the plane and started the process of loading. They were loading the same as last week; six choppers and two Suburban. On this flight they were taking 80 security men with them.
Vicky and I were in the meeting room with the 80 that were leaving on the C5. They had already chosen their assignments weeks ago with the housing confirmed; once they landed at Bamako Mali they were taking local flights to get to their destination country. The choppers would arrive up to four days later. There was no need to pay them to sit around and wait on the C130 to carry them and the chopper.
I gave them a pep talk and then we were taking questions. I was finishing up when I heard the tower talking to the two C130s from the Iowa National Guard; moments later they were landing.
I had left word with the ground controller that they were to be parked over by the super hangar, making it easier to be loaded; that was where all the completed choppers and Suburban’s were being stored. They were each going to carry two Suburban’s, making this combined flight a matched load of six choppers and six Suburban’s. All three planes were going to Bamako Mali.
The C5 was returning as soon as it was unloaded; the agency wanted another flight, this time to South Korea. I had long understood the agency played a big role in a lot of clandestine things around the world, but never to the extent that I was seeing now with all the flights we were doing for them.
Both our standard C130s flew every week for the agency to Central and South America. This was the second trip for the agency in as many weeks with the C5; the pilot group said the plane was loaded to the max with the first flight.
Adam sent me a text that they were on the way to the terminal with the Iowa crews to do the flight planning. All the equipment was loaded and the cargo masters were securing it. The C5 had been refueled earlier and the two 130s were in the process. The aviation shop had a scissors lift covering the National Guard decals with JBG decals.
When Vicky and I walked out of the meeting room to go to Lorrie’s office in the terminal, there were suits that I did not recognize sitting at a table by the windows, drinking coffee. They were awfully interested in the activity outside on the tarmac and runways. My attention was on Adam and the Iowa crews who were walking towards me.
The two captains and their crew in National Guard flight uniforms walked to and saluted; a show of respect for my former marine rank, I was sure. I returned the salute out of respect for the honor they had showed me.
“Ambassador Jones, Ma-am, here are our orders; we were instructed to present them to you.”
“Thank you captain, I shall review them momentarily; there is hot food and coffee in the restaurant. Just tell them to put it on the JBG tab; it may be the last American food you get for a few weeks. After that, Adam is going to go over the flight planning with you,” I replied.
I broke the seal on the orders from General McVee; they were straight forward and pretty simple after the list of names of the officers.
“Transfer to Jones Business Groups (Ambassador Roberta Jones) for two weeks for training including transatlantic flight, risk assessment, coordinating in-flight refueling, and international relations with our allies, foreign adventures and intrigue. Put them through their paces Ambassador.” Both sets of orders were the same. As I read them I handed one to Vicky to read and one to Lorrie.
When I looked to the big windows that faced the runways, I noticed that the Marine recruiter was there waiting on me. Today was the official launch of the recruiting posters with my pictures in the posters and TV ads.
Major Radcliff and another officer were setting up the display; they had asked if I would do a few pictures for the Marine Magazine Leatherneck.
On the display was the large poster; the top picture was me in my dress uniform from the ball and the bottom picture from the roof of the Kampala embassy.
The caption with the top was “The Marines are always looking for a few good men and women.”
Master Sergeant Roberta Jones was on the picture in the corner. In the middle between the pictures “We turn them into exceptional men and women.”
The bottom caption was, “Once a Marine always a Marine. US Ambassador Roberta Jones on the roof of the US embassy in Kampala after the terrorist attack, still defending America.”
Across the bottom was, “Join up. Be exceptional. The Marines.”
I posed with Major Radcliff unveiling the poster while the other officer took pictures and video.
Vicky wanted pictures for the web site so I stood beside the poster at attention while she took them, she wasn’t the only one taking pictures.
Adam walked by “We are ready to go;” the Iowa men had been issued their JBG cards so I could track them if I needed, including the two Captain’s cash bags with instructions and company credit cards. The two buses carried the 80 men and their bags to the C5 and made a third trip to pick up the guard crews, along with the four mechanics and the tools they would need to reassemble the choppers and test them.
Vicky and I watched the men load up and the ramps close. Then the props came alive on the C130s, one engine at a time. The C5 moved off first to the south end of the runway. A while later the three planes were gone on their long flight. The waiting game was on again.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.