Chapter 544

The ride to 1600 Penn Ave was one of deep thought and work. I fiddled with the smarter than smart phone trying to work on emails. The thing seemed to have a mind of its own after Robert had deleted all the trash, unnecessary folders, completed the scan and updates.

It was just one more reason I hated the necessary evil of updates on the computer and the phone. They always changed something, creating a new learning process when I did not have time for it.

I kept thinking about the truck stop and dealership and wondered if I had handled it right. I was still wondering why all the county commissioners seemed to be on board so quickly.

I could only guess how badly the Cville town manager was getting his ass reamed this morning. His immediate response last night was a serious error on his part. It also prompted my announcement of the grant in retaliation for being interrupted. The grant was to be part of later private negotiations, but then I was worried that Qtown might jump and follow his lead. For the moment things were settled; tonight there may be whole a different take on things.

In Section 12 Ben had arrived before me and the first pot of coffee had just finished. I made the copier busy with the printouts Robert gave me last night.

In the talk over the first cup there Ben made no mention of being sworn in next Thursday afternoon and I did not bring it up. I wondered if Ben knew, or had that decision been made within the President’s inner circle in a planning session? That would certainly narrow down the possible leak.

Staying with the routine Troy, Frank, Eric and the President appeared at the door with a mug in hand.

“Come into my office; we need to have a private discussion.

“Ben, Frank; what have your agencies learned from the Prince’s computer? You have had them for two weeks now,” I asked.

“Best I can say there is a lot to analyze; the DOD is looking at the military things. We are still dissecting the things the generals sold the Prince and the international ramifications,” Frank replied.

“The NSA is still working on all the linking of the net traffic from the Prince to those US individuals, closing the loose ends,” Ben replied.

“Have you assigned anyone to investigate the dark web connections that were found and the growing connections to international terrorism?” I asked.

“I have a couple people looking at it, but it consumes so much time and the protocols they are using change so often,” Ben replied.

“I’m not getting a good feeling with where I think this is going,” Eric replied.

With that statement I passed around the first paper with the websites and the first post – the one about the cancellation of the first bounty. Robert had written on the borders the ISP location and other notes.

Then the pages with the new bounty on all of us and the forums. The discussion afterward was not one to be remembered but to be feared.

The next page I handed out was the one about Ben’s swearing in.

“Mr. President, what day did you have that closed meeting?” I asked.

“It was two days ago and just my inner circle,” he replied.

“So in twenty four hours the Iranians have it posted on a terrorist web site. Don’t you think alarm bells should be ringing? You still have a traitor in your office. Your complete cabinet needs a shakedown,” I said.

“Frank, Ben, Marty and Eric should have a new priority assignment right now,” I added.

“We need a list of names who attended that meeting and anyone that has access to the meeting notes,” Eric said.
I saved the information about Iran’s complaint to the UN for last.

“Here is the one that is really going to make your day and it is going to happen at the UN today. You may want to call the ambassador and prepare him,” I said.

“Robert is trying to follow up on which legislators are being emailed and back track to the planned protest. I think there may be crimes being committed but that will be up to Ben and Rodney Marks to figure out,” I added.

The discussions, conference calls and meetings lasted until lunch. UN ambassador Charlie Marcus reveled in one of the conference calls that Iran had requested the general chamber floor at 1300. We would be watching.

“It is time to up the ante. I will have Alyssa work on the charges for Balthazar starting with terrorism, spying, possession of weapons of mass destruction, participating in terror attacks, visa violations and anything else we can think of,” Frank said.

“Some of those charges carry the death penalty and can be tried in the secret terrorism court,” Frank added.

“Good idea, that will give us reasons for taking a hard line with them. If they want to play chess so can we. Transfer him from the DOD back to federal prison and end contact with the Egyptian ambassador; the talks have been about more than a swap. We can allow him access only to his lawyer,” Eric said.

At 1300 Iran’s UN Ambassador gave an hour speech railing about the US task force using various tortures including water boarding and other physical violence at multiple locations. They accused the US of kidnapping Iranian officials in Mexico and Africa.

They also identified Gitmo and Andrews Air Force base as the locations of torture but were only able to say at other secret locations.

Our Ambassador denied all allegations and countered that we had arrested an Iranian spy on US soil who was working with terrorists by supplying training and weapons.

Balthazar had been bagged both times he was moved. With enough interviews and time they would eventually be able to name Morton and Fort Smith as one of the locations.

Iran did not identify their missing and supposedly tortured individuals. To do so would be a major blow to the IRG’s command structure and flag similar individuals in other countries.

The news media was asking questions in the daily White House news brief. Harry was on his own today; I was not making an appearance.

The rest of the day was a single meeting to decide on what to do about the new bounties.

We were already doing all the security we could do for the task force members, short of housing them on a military base or jail.

They were getting the same level of security supplied by the FBI as I was getting from JBG (with the FBI picking up that tab). Their houses were being watched as mine was by my security.

One more day this week and then three in the sun with four left and I was done. I was looking forward to the weekend in the sun.

At the office I was in time for the last part of the meeting and appointments that had been made for me. My calendar was getting full for the week after next. The girls were loading me up with all the meetings they did not want to go to.

Marcy had me going to the county and business association meeting. There were county individuals from a couple departments who were still sore about the settlement that the federal judge had handed down about the original airport fiasco and the tax determination. They had been giving Marcy some problems.

I would see how they acted with me there instead of her.

Tug had been given the assignment to buy back the lots and the three houses that had been sold on East Water Cay if he could. I thought the lots would be easy to buy back. I was wrong; not one of the lots had been bought back but all three house owners had agreed to sell. It was one more thing we had to do on Friday when we were there.

The three houses had been built to be rental units, either as a single unit or split units. That had been the selling point East Water Cay had used to sell the lot and having someone build on them. The home owners would make money. The problem was East Water Cay was unable to keep their units full without adding the other three houses. In the four years since they had been built they had only been rented a few times. Tug had offered them a profit on their investment and all three jumped to take it.

It was a good thing too; with the ad campaign those three houses would be rented for the weekend under the old agreements and the East Water Cay properties would be full for the first time in three years. All of the guests were coming from the Washington/Baltimore area and flying out of Morton. That presented a little problem in that there were more people than the G5 could carry. It was either two G5’s or use one of the Bombardier 200’s.

One of them had just been put back in service after a factory four month rebuild and refit with new paint. Lorrie said it smelled like a new car. She had opted for a lot of the bell and whistle passenger comfort upgrades. It now had extra padded seats, WiFi, the airline style TV’s and an improved galley for a fifty passenger plane. The 200 it was.

Lorrie had been dealing with questions from various local media all day about the truck stop. One of the first things she had done today was bring all her administrators up to speed on the project so they could take calls.

The commissioners wanted the display we had carried to the meeting to stay in the administration building until after the next meeting.

The lobby attendant called to say that the first group was here for their appointment and were coming up in the elevator.

Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
Thanks to Alfmeister and Bob for putting the final touches on each chapter.

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