When I finished with Bob, business was over for the night. A light supper and 30 minutes in the hot tub with a cold beer hit the spot. The stress of today was gone.
In big tee shirts, we lounged around in the living room with the boys. They were crawling, standing, taking a few steps and baby talking with an occasional word plain as day.
I woke up with Lorrie in my arms, her blue eyes staring at me and her comforting touch. I had had a restful night; the first in a few days. It was the start of another busy day.
On my way to Section 12, I met up with Troy; his face still looked bad.
“Have you made the morning call to Ambassador Reddick? I would like to sit in, if you don’t mind,” he said.
“I am going to, as soon as I get the coffee started,” I replied.
I made the 0700 call to Andy.
“Good morning Boss! How are you doing today?” I asked.
“I have had an interesting morning; the British ambassador Chad Stoddard stopped by and stayed most of the morning. I am glad I eves-dropped on some of your ambassadorial meetings as your body guard. It paid off in the conversation; at least I did not start any wars, as you like to say,” Andy replied.
“I used words that I have not used since college classes; maybe those four years were not such a waste after all,” Andy said with a laugh at the end.
“He and Ambassador Fauntroy are close friends and have been having quite a few conversations since the attack. Both wish you well in your current position. Oh, by the way; Fauntroy is anxiously awaiting your next trip,” Andy replied.
“I had faith in you or I never would have suggested you to take the position. All I have heard is good comments,” I replied.
“Bob’s Construction has all the damage pictures, is working up a price and then there are bureaucratic procedures to go through. I have no idea how long this is going to take,” I replied.
“I will let you know and I will talk to Amy Lockerman about getting you access to diplomatic cables and terror warnings for the time being. I suspect you are going to be there at least 8 weeks, unless other arrangements for Ambassador Eaton are made,” I said.
“I have a meeting with Namibian officials in an hour to review their police response and get an update from their investigation. After several days of prodding, they have agreed to meet,” Andy replied.
“The Secretary of State has been requesting an audience with their Ambassador to the UN, but so far they are refusing,” Troy said.
“We were able to find enough things to temporarily fix both roofs. It rained last night and no water got in; the guys are happy. They have cleaned out some of the debris in the residence and some of them are bunking over there. It makes things more manageable and cuts down on the tension,” Andy replied.
After a bit more talk I closed the window; the room was filling up with my team members.
“Are you making any progress with all of this?” Troy asked, nodding his head in the direction of all the prints and tree graphs.
“Yes, but I’m not sure it is going to be in time to stop the next attack by Saif, wherever it. It has been three weeks; I’m expecting Saif to do another bombing any day now,” I replied.
The morning for the number guys was spent with number searches, names and dead ends.
After a series of calls, Andy had his own login and password for diplomatic cables and alerts. After a two hour VCATS course on how to use all of it, Andy was in ready to go.
While the rest of the guys and gals were playing with numbers, I pulled up the Google Earth maps – the fancy government version. And then I pulled up the maps of a couple of big colleges and then the college web sites.
I wanted some ideas on how to approach putting scanners and other security enhancements at colleges. I already had plenty of ideas at the colleges covered by JBG.
The first one I looked at was right here in Washington and it was a doozy. It would take major changes to entrances and access roads to begin to improve even basic security. None of the JBG colleges were anywhere near this complicated. The immensity of the task I had undertaken was beginning to set in for sure.
After lunch things picked up or went sideways, with the group running all the numbers, they finally figured out that all those active numbers went nowhere and there was no need to chase them.
“So you are telling me that we are at a dead end on all the information collected out Diya’s phone?”
That was when I posed the hypothetical question, “If I take and buy a burn phone, make calls on it and take the battery out of it, they show up as inactive. A week later I put the battery back in and make another four minute call; there is no record to show that that the phone was active at all?”
“You have to be watching the number to see it go active and to be able to do anything. Four minutes is not enough time and Ma Bell is not going to let you tie up their systems waiting,” Wayne replied. Wayne Thompson was the DHS member of my team.
“In a change of direction – for a few minutes – I have more pictures from the terrorist attack for you to run through your ID program. Run it on the big screen,” I replied as I sent the folder with pictures of the dead from Windhoek to Emmett.
“Oh – my – God,” Emmett replied as the folder opened. The first pictures were of the dead as they had fallen inside the compound before they were touched. Some places there were two and three deep like pictures I had seen from the battle of Gettysburg.
They had rushed into heavy gunfire from Andy’s men through the narrow entrance of gates, only to be hit with the LZ17B. Dazed, stunned and blinded, they just did not stop running and shooting wildly until they all were dead. I wondered how many of their own they had killed by shooting them in the back.
The next pictures were of the individuals just before the Namibia officials carted them away. If they had ID’s on them there was a picture of the ID held by the face.
I was glad to see pictures of the piles of guns and RPGs Andy’s men had taken off the dead; that would dispel any notion they were law abiding protesters.
A stop at the utility company office was the next thing I was going to do. I even thought of walking to their office for the exercise.
In the front lobby were several Marine guards in dress blues and several Secret Service agents; it was shift change time.
The shift changes were split so there would always be a full group of agents protecting the President, fully aware of the day’s circumstances. I asked if any of them knew the walking directions to the utility office.
Greg Archer was one of the first secret service agents I had met on the first day, “I will walk there with you; I can pick up the metro from there.”
Richard Foreman and Martin Hooker were two of the Marines going off duty.
“If you don’t mind, Rich and I will tag along,” Martin said.
“Not at all; I will be glad to have the company,” I replied.
The walk went without incident and in a few minutes we were entering the main lobby of the utility company’s eastern headquarters.
At the security desk a guard asked if he could help me, “I hope so. I would like to speak with the person in charge today. I believe it is that gentleman whose picture is on the wall behind you, a Mr. Emory,” I replied.
“Do you have an appointment?” he asked.
“No, I am here on a spur of the moment need. But I do have this,” I said as I held up my Federal ID and badge for him to see.
“I have this; it is different than the one she has,” Greg said as he held up his Secret Service badge and ID.
“Let me call upstairs,” he replied.
“She has a Secret Service agent and two Marine guards with her,” he said into the phone.
“Mr. Emory will be down in a few minutes,” the guard replied.
The four of us had a lively conversation while we waited. My two Marine escorts had been on the White House detail for two years. Before that they had served two hitches in the Middle East in the same unit, in some of the areas I had served.
Greg Archer had been FBI assigned to the White House before he transferred to Secret Service.
“Ms. Jones, they said you wanted to talk to me. I am Clayton Emory.”
“My day job – for right now – is at the White House on the anti-terrorism task force. I am also president of Jones Business Groups on the eastern shore. I am having emergency work done to our main office,” I said.
“I understand the C-ville service center reports to this office. My contractor needs a pad mount transformer and a hundred feet of wire installed. It has been two weeks since he applied for the work and they are telling him it will be six more weeks before it will be done,” I replied.
“Your website says that you have over a hundred pieces of equipment and 80 employees at that site, plus dozens of contractors with hundreds of employees to handle any needs of the service center. With all that, how can it be that it takes 8 weeks to get a new transformer and service installed?” I asked.
There was a long pause before he answered.
“That’s a good question. Who has your contractor been talking to at the office?” he asked.
“The manager Harry McAlister and engineering supervisor Ken Fox,” I replied.
“I will make some calls to see what the problem is, but I can promise you it will not take six more weeks. Do you have a phone number I can get back to you on?” he asked.
I gave him one of my JBG business cards and wrote my cell number on the back. I thanked him for hearing my problem and left.
Greg went to the metro and my two Marines and I walked back to the White House; it was time for all of them to go home and lunch for me.
My group had found twenty in the photos on the watch list and the four from the US. It was the motivation I was looking for to get everyone’s head back into the game. The dead ends on the phones had left them demoralized. They weren’t now, and they were busy.
Within minutes both Frank and Eric had called, wanting more information and to know how long I had the file.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.