Tuesday morning at Section 12 was more of the same old same old, only at a slower pace. Literally thousands of files had been opened in the six months the task force had been in operation; now there was time to go through each one again, update each one and then close them. That process would take months on some of them, years on others as the court cases dragged out.
Ben made it a daily task to scour all intelligence reports from all agencies looking for anything the task force should investigate more thoroughly. With the Prince out of the equation things were slowing down. It was a trend that would only last a short while in my opinion.
I was willing to bet as soon as Iran came to grips and analyzed the things that had gone south with Balthazar, the two agents in South Africa and now the three off the Alvan, they would double down on their attempts to get into our defenses.
Ben was reporting a decline in net traffic from Iran that I was sure was from a temporary stand-down order from the IRG until they figured out how and how much of their intelligence gathering ability had been compromised.
It was near noon when Robert called me with some good news about Balthazar’s computer. Patel had indeed started to clean the computer, but to help his paymasters in Tehran he had made a backup of the hard drive.
In their haste to please me and to get rid of me when I arrested Patel, the IT people threw everything including the backup copy into the box. Robert would have names of more Iranian agents working in the US and possibly other countries as well in a few days.
The information was encrypted in the latest version that the Prince had used. Robert had broken the code within days when they started using it.
After lunch I went with General Ingram to the Pentagon for the classified policy forum and planning session. I was asked to give an assessment from the viewpoint of the task force and I did; a lengthy one including the trends as I had seen them grow. It lasted all afternoon and was an eye opener. Many of the things I was worried about were openly brought up by other attendees and discussed in depth. It was a good session.
In a private meeting with General Ingram I had a few questions for him. With the additional embassies I needed more helicopters. I asked if there was a way I could buy direct from the Arizona storage site instead of through third parties. Even though we still had connections through the CIA to buy from the government site, none had been listed in a long while.
“It would take a few days before I can find out,” he replied.
The trip home was uneventful again; Robert had left several files on my desk for me to take with me tomorrow. The EIT group was working reduced hours now; everyone had worked just so many hours in the last few months that Vicky and I both thought several short days would give everyone a needed break, that and four-day weeks for a month. The only people there were the two duty personnel. Two more would come in at midnight and relieve them.
Time spent in the gym with the girls was wonderful and then we had another light supper. After supper I explained what I had found on island retreats, what I was looking for and why. To my surprise, all the girls were very interested for all the right reasons.
I had the phone numbers and the contact information for the sales group. I would make the calls tomorrow myself.
Wednesday and part of Thursday was spent on the hill testifying to various committees, national intelligence, national security, education appropriation subcommittees and several more. I was on the move from the Senate to the House four times on Wednesday and twice on Thursday.
Thursday afternoon Robert sent the file of names off Balthazar’s computer; there were not hundreds as the Prince had said. There were a total of fifty; ten in Canada, thirty in the US and ten in Mexico.
AG Dunne had a direct link to the Canadian Royal Canadian Mounted Police Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale. I called AG Dunne then sent him the Canadian list and asked if they would hold off making the arrests until we could coordinate with Mexico to do a North American sweep of the spies.
More bad news came for Patel. This time it came from Mike and he was restoring faith in the FBI IT lab. Patel had been pressured by the Prince just days before he died to download a ton of classified materials; they were on his personal laptop. They were to be sent to the Prince on Monday; I had killed him on Saturday and the Prince’s death was blasted on the media on Sunday, so the transfer was not made.
Patel was so greedy he was trying to make contact on the deep dark web with the Iranians; apparently he learned some of the Prince’s secrets from Balthazar’s computer. According to Mike, Patel had been on the dark web just minutes before I had arrested him.
Working with Mexico was going to be a challenge, their federal police and many of the upper level officials had been the first ones executed on the steps of the federal building in the cartel uprising.
Mexican Ambassador Francisco Garcia was called and asked to come in for a conference by the President.
“You will be here at 1400 when Garcia arrives to explain all of this?” Troy asked.
“Just to keep you informed, I am going to be off again tomorrow, Ben will be in charge,” I informed Troy.
Troy looked at me with big eyes, “Oh no; do I need to prepare the President for anything on Monday?” he asked.
“No; a pleasure trip to the Bahamas, but it may turn into a news maker later on,” I replied. I didn’t think there was any way JBG could buy property there and not make the news. But then again Jenny might be able to run a trust through Midwest Bank to disguise the purchase.
“Pleasure? You? I won’t believe that. For someone that works 24/7 I don’t think you know what that word means,” he replied.
“You seem to have forgotten that in two weeks and three days I am done with all this,” I said.
“You’re right I had, you have become such a fixture in events around here. You have made every department take a step up. The task force comes up as a topic at every meeting. Everyone wants to know what you are doing every day,” Troy replied.
“You don’t think you are going to make a clean break from here do you? The generals asked today if there was some kind of appointment the President could do to keep you and your EIT team involved, at least as an advisor or consultants. That was after they couldn’t figure out a way to appoint or draft you themselves,” Troy said.
“The President, the AG, the Congressional leaders and the Cabinet have a meeting scheduled Monday at 1000 to finalize the makeup of the new Department. We will want you there too,“ Troy added.
“I will be there, I have been getting Ben up to speed and more involved in the decision making process. I assume he will replace me, at least temporally,” I said.
“You’re right on with that, he has my support,” Troy said.
AG Dunne and I were in the Oval Office when Ambassador Garcia was brought in. The conversation lasted two hours, but there were agreements. The Mexican President and military were still rounding up cartel suspects. One thing that had not made the news was that there were also multiple prison uprisings during the cartel attempt to overthrow the government.
Prison wardens had ordered the guards to shoot everyone involved; they did. Over a thousand rioting cartel members were killed in 20 prisons. There was going to be many nasty days ahead in Mexico for a long time.
There were conference calls between the Mounties, Washington and Mexico. Monday was ‘D’ day for the simultaneous arrest of the Iranian spies. That would give three days for them to be watched and located.
I spent an hour on the phone with the realtor for the Bahamas property. I made arrangements for us to spend three days there over the weekend to look the place over. There were multiple cottages we could stay in plus two master homes that would be available for us to use.
The trip home was slow; lots of traffic.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.