“OK: do you need me to resign or what?” I asked.
“Oh no; not that – it is a State Department problem.”
“There are all kinds of international agreements that cover embassies. One of those agreements says that an official of the government must be present at all times to carry out business of the guest country. If all officials of the guest country are removed and no official representative is present then the embassy must be closed,” the President replied.
“The Ambassador and his assistant are landing in Reagan National in hours. There is no official representative of the US government in Namibia; it is a violation of international law to keep the embassy open,” the Secretary said.
“You want me to fix that for you?” I asked.
“We thought if anyone could – on short notice – you would have a solution,” the President said.
I logged into VCATS again and paged the Namibia embassy. Josie was still working the console.
“Josie, can you find me a Bible, page Andy and find a couple of additional people to be witnesses on your end?” I asked.
“Sure, there is a bible in the recreation room. Andy will be here in a moment,” Josie said, and then she went to get the bible.
“Mr. President, you sit in this chair that the camera is focused on and Mr. Secretary, in the other one and I will stand to the side of you,” I said.
Andy came in and sat in the chair in front of the camera.
“Boss, we have a little bit of dilemma. It was an oversight on our part. International law requires that there be an official of the United States able to handle embassy business at all times. If there is no official the embassy must close. Once closed it could take months to go through the process to reopen. That said, do you think you can handle an additional title for the time you are there?” I asked.
“BJ, I will do whatever you need me to do,” Andy replied.
“Stand, raise your right hand, place your left hand on the bible; Josie, hold the bible. The Secretary will administer the oath,” I said.
“I don’t have the oath with me,” he replied.
“Andy, repeat after me,” I said.
“I Andy Reddick do solemnly swear,”
“That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
“That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”
“That I will and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter; so help me God.”
My people in the room added the whistles and applause.
“May I be the first to congratulate you and call you Ambassador Andy Reddick of the United States of America?” I said.
“Thank you BJ,” Andy replied.
“Thank you boss; do you need anything?” I asked.
“We are good here, prepared as much as we can be, I think,” Andy replied.
“Be careful boss,” I replied as closed the window.
“Still talking in code?” The President asked.
“Whatever it takes,” I replied.
“Mr. President, I need you to send an authorization to General Walton to put a drone over a property in Minnesota for up to seven days; observe and report mission,” I said.
“It might be one more piece of the puzzle. I would send my own drones but they are elsewhere right now,” I added.
“OK, consider it done,” he replied as he told an aide to make it happen.
“Before you and the secretary leave we need to talk about salary changes for the new Ambassador so I can get the home office on the right page. Marcy is a perfectionist when it comes to keeping the numbers straight,” I said.
“Just double what you are paying him; hopefully it is only for a few days,” the Secretary said then asked, “Just out of curiosity, what are you paying him for this kind of assignment?”
“Andy is in charge of both the special ops and rapid response teams when they are on assigned missions like this; his pay is a base ten thousand plus a thousand a day on top of his regular pay,” I replied.
It was very quiet at the table and then there was a whisper, “That is 17 thousand for the first week on top of regular pay. I think I am working for the wrong company,” it was Ben speaking.
“No, you are working for the right people, they do not ask you to stand up and get shot at. That is what I have ordered Andy and his teams to do,” I replied.
It was almost time to leave and I had wanted to leave early today to see what progress Bobs Construction had made. They were working around the clock.
There was a call from the FBI forensics lab, “We are done; on the drivers door there was a factory pouch to put things in. The pouch had been modified so it could be lifted and under it was a slot cut in the door panel.”
“It must have been for emergencies; the only way to retrieve anything put in there was to remove the inside door cover and trim. We found an iPhone 5 and several thumb drives. There was a flip phone in the AC duct work on the driver’s side; the cover had also been modified so it could be snapped off to have access to the phone,” the expert said.
Then he added, “It is on its way to you; should be there in half an hour or less. What do you want us to do with what is left of this thing?”
“Hold it for a few days if you can; there may be more I have to do with it,” I replied.
“Two weeks max,” he replied as the phone went dead.
Ten minutes later one of the agents from upstairs delivered a box with the things from the lab.
“Tomorrows work for us has arrived,” I announced.
I put the flash drives, flip phone and iphone on the table. I tried the power button and as I expected it was dead. I plugged it in to one of the many chargers that had accumulated on the table.
“We will have to get a court order to get the data from the phone and then another one to get Apple to try to open it. They will make noise and that is going to take a while,” the FBI assistant director remarked.
I was reasonably sure the iphone was locked. I had heard they were the choice for terrorist and drug dealers because of their security features. I knew someone that was rumored to have unlocked the San Bernardino iphone.
“Shalom my friend; I pray you and our friends in Africa are well.”
“Yes I am well. I hear you are shaking things in Washington, getting people up on their toes. I also hear you have promoted one of your men in Namibia,” Ben-David said.
“How did you hear about that so fast – it just happened a few minutes ago?” I asked.
“Your state department just sent us a change in personnel update,” he replied.
Then I changed the conversation over to Arabic.
“I have an iPhone 5 that I need to unlock; I understand you have had success with that. I believe that the owner was Diya,” I said
“We have a couple different programs for the iPhone 5 that have been successful. Are you able to share the data?”
“Yes, of course. I also have pictures of the suicide belt fragments used in Arizona,” I replied.
“I will meet you at your office at 17:30; have Robert stay and I will show him how to use the programs. Shalom my friend,” Ben-David said and he was gone.
I stayed another half hour writing out tomorrow’s agenda for my people. I was spending my day on the hill.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.