In my time at the task force in the basement of the White House, it always amazed me just how many insiders managed to get invited to free food even if it was only pizza.
I asked the chef to send several dozen boxes and paper plates to the men and ladies still working in Sections One through Fifteen in the basement, “Right away Ma-am, these people always seem to forget about those making them look good down there.”
I thought that was an interesting take on the movers and shakers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, when the general staff referred to them as “these people.”
The main cafeteria – although it was not that large – was packed. Pizza was lined up on the tables from one end to the other. Very expensive gold decorated china and real silver utensils were stacked for people to use. These people were too high classed to use paper.
There was an undercurrent in conversations. Everyone knew something big was going on but knew better than ask. Many were second tier staff assigned to many of the offices.
Bobbie brought me another folder; this one was updated. All the data from the file was checking out. “This will be the last until morning. Judge Haynes has signed the warrants for the Senators, Representatives and the Generals,” Bobbie said.
After most of the pizza was gone and everyone was full to the point of being uncomfortable, I made my way to the door of the executive meeting room.
I pulled out my list of the individuals who were to attend this briefing and started calling out names.
“Mr. President , Troy, senior executive staff, Chairman and the Joint Chiefs, Speaker of the House and the minority leader of the house, the two Senate leaders, Directors, Frank Love, Marty Coeburn, Eric Roberson, Attorney General Dunne,” and so on.
A Secret Service agent only let those in who were called on. Aides, assistants and lackey boys were not allowed in, much to their dismay. Several were visibly upset, but my rules; my way or no way.
My description and general breakdown of the materials lasted thirty minutes; the questions lasted almost two hours. I was asked the same questions over a dozen different ways. I had finally learned that this was the Washington normal method of operation for all politicians.
Bobbie knocked on the door with a note that the agent inside the door brought to me. “The five Congressmen and two Senators had been arrested and were being held without bail.”
It was the excuse that I needed to end tonight’s session; my men had already been waiting three hours. I made one more announcement.
“The will be a ten AM news conference on the south lawn. I will remind everyone that the topics discussed are still classified and there is a news blackout in effect until the news conference.
It was after ten PM when I stepped into the kitchen. I was glad to be home; I was ready for some hot tub time and family time. But it was not to be.
Sitting at the table with my mates was Ben-David and Israel’s US Ambassador Ableman and Israel’s ambassador to Uganda Ambassador Dansky.
“Old friends, what brings you here tonight?” I asked.
“Ambassador Dansky was in town for a couple days and wanted to meet your family and see your operation. Your family was gracious enough to give us a very informative tour,” Ambassador Ableman said.
“Just a social call to give you a well done on a mission, hear about the tidbits and a word of warning,” Officer David added.
“That was quite a feat you pulled off. We hear the King was really upset in the beginning. Word through the channels is he is pressing your President for help in solving the mystery,” Ambassador Dansky said.
“Ah; I have already been asked and rejected that idea,” I replied.
“Things have changed in the last day or so. The King began his own investigation and was extremely upset at what his sons were doing and who they were working with. Many of the Crown Prince’s inner circle are headed to the palace basement,” Ben said.
“Not good for them – the old palace dungeon – the place of a thousand tortures if it lives up to its reputation. The power of the sheikhs – for decades to maintain order and loyalty – was not in how many made the trip to the dungeon but how many would do anything not to make the trip. Fear is the greatest motivator among thieves,” I said.
“So right,” Ben replied.
“A bloodbath has already started in the King’s family; several were hung just hours ago. The King is reasserting his personal control over the kingdom that he used in his youth. This will go on for days,” Ben-David said.
“Robert’s working on the other computers; as soon as he finishes you can get the data,” I replied.
“Now that you have got your man, are there going to be any changes?” Ben asked.
I knew where he was going with that question. There was really no need to ask it.
“I see no need to make any changes. We both have assets in hot spot areas; terrorism is not going away, cooperation will be essential to defeat it. I fully expect there will be more attacks against the US embassies that we supply security to. Our joint cooperation has worked well in the past. When it is not broke, don’t fix it,” I replied.
The conversation lasted another forty minutes before they left. The parting words echoed our desire for peace that we knew would take decades, “Shalom my friend.”
It was midnight when the girls and I left the office after a few quick updates on things JBG. It was a short visit to the hot tub and then a short night. I was in Section 12 by seven.
The media at the gate – that was normally dozens – now numbered a hundred or more. I waved as we went by and ignored all the shouted out questions as I went into the White House.
The Washington media was on a crusade to find out what was going on. The official news blackout was still holding but barely. Speculation was growing that the Task Force was at it again.
Local news stations were carrying reports and video of all the other arrests from around the country. Hanna Page had the full video of the arrest of the Vice President of Alamo International, a defense contractor who specialized in battle communications. The Prince was paying for equipment not authorized for export along with frequency jamming equipment that he had sold to Iran.
After reviewing all the arrests and accompanying data – and there was a lot of data – the agents were connecting all the pieces together by working around the clock. The task force members and I felt confident we were ready to script the news conference.
Ben and I went to the Presidents meeting room to meet all the participants. The rest of the agency heads and VIPs were already there; the place was packed. A lot of people thought they needed to say something.
Repeat – review – repeat; it was a thirty minute exercise getting all of them up to date. And then came the hard part; the pecking order was picked; the President, Speakers of the House and Senate, Attorney General Dunne, Eric, Marty, Frank, Art Cummings of the NIA and others. I kept quiet as the secretary printed out the list and passed it around. In the urgency to get all the political players in front of the cameras, I had been over looked and I was not saying anything. I would stand in the back behind the tallest persons I could find and just listen.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.