I accompanied the agents to the capital basement where all the cafeterias and service offices were; the doctor offices, dentist, barber and dozens more perks that the legislators thought they were entitled to.
I watched as the doctor quickly checked the two out and made arrangements to send them to the George Washington University hospital. Special Agent Donald Gardner had a broken arm with a compound fracture; he would be out for weeks.
Special agent Earle Gardner had received a glancing blow to the head. He had a concussion; he knew who he was but had blurred vision and was unsteady on his feet.
The doc checked my arm where I had taken the swing of the bat; it was bruised as were my knuckles.
I watched the four minute scene played over on the ZNN broadcast. The audience was growing in the waiting room. Senators and Congressman were filling the place up and trying to ask questions.
The steps to the Hill were now crowded with police and camera crews who were watching and giving reports and in the way of everything. The police were desperately trying to move them out of the area to preserve evidence.
I called the girls to let them know I was OK but may be late getting home. The good news was that Ching Lee and Takeo were home and being adored by all.
The media that had access were filling the corridors and halls looking for anyone who was willing to make any kind of statement to them.
I went to the committee room to testify before I went back to the White House. I expected it to be empty but it was not; no luck getting out of that today. I testified for thirty minutes and then left, taking the secure exit and limo back to the White House.
I watched the news video again, this time with the White House security chief of staff; he and I had long discussions. We were nearly done when ZNN went live back to the scene to update the report on the conditions of those involved in the fight.
Six were dead, twenty three injured in the protesters, with fifty more arrested. There were four Capital police seriously injured and two Secret Service agents were in stable condition with me having an arm injury. The capital police injuries were from baseball bats or knives.
The DC police Commissioner was on the steps declaring to the media they were going to handle the investigation. I sent Ben out to put an end to that line of thought, not that I need to; he was already going in that direction.
ZNN still had their cameras running when Ben confronted the Commissioner.
“Commissioner Todd, the task force will be handling the overall investigation; we view this as a terrorist attack on federal property and federal employees,” Ben said.
“The Mayor has instructed that the DC police will handle the investigation; an independent agency has to run it because of the involvement of the task force and Secret Service personnel,” he replied.
“The Justice Department and its partners will handle it because of the possibility of international terrorist participation that is out of the scope of the DC police department. That alone takes the DC department out of the picture. Your department can assist as needed but overall control will remain with the task force and DHS, this discussion is over,” Ben replied as he turned and walked away.
“Hmm, Ben’s pair are growing,” I thought to myself.
By now the rest of the players were in Section Twelve planning the response and already sorting through the information collected so far. Six of the dead had no identification on them; the two that I shot and the two that I had killed with my hands; the two that the Secret Service agents had done in also had no identification either. That was going to slow down the process. All six of the dead had black armbands and a black face mask.
One thing we did know was they all had pockets full of new one hundred dollar bills. The serial numbers may shed some light on whom and where; the ATF agent in the task force was collecting the cash to run the numbers. Most banks and ATMs recorded serial numbers of large bills passed through them.
The banks had started that process after the new wave of currency crime. Criminals would deposit counterfeit bills and then withdraw smaller bills at a different ATM.
Harry was getting hammered in the press room and asking for help. He had a constant group of runners coming to the Oval Office and to the Chief of Staff for answers and clarification on today’s fiasco.
I walked to the press room to give Harry a breather. He had been asked fifty times if someone was coming from the task force to make a statement.
“Excuse me Harry for just a moment, I have a brief statement to give,” I said as I interrupted him.
“Today’s events on the steps of Congress is a clear example of just how quickly things can turn disastrous and deadly. What looked like a serious demonstration about real events was hijacked by a group of radicals intent on inflicting severe injury on government officials,” I said.
“Luckily agents of the FBI, the capital police and the task force were able to defend themselves in a prudent and effective manner against overwhelming numbers,” I added.
“Six anarchists were killed and a number arrested with some serious injuries to a couple of the capital police units. The investigation continues but at this time we believe that a foreign government may have been involved as well as several anti government groups working together here in Washington,” I said.
“For those that were kind enough to ask Harry about my injuries, I thank you for asking. As you can see all I have is an ice pack on my arm to reduce the swelling on the bruise I received in the fight,” I said.
“Yes Malinda,” I said.
“The ACLU spokesman has released a statement saying that they believe excessive force was used to stop the protest. Do you have a response to that?” she asked.
“Maybe that spokesperson should take a few hits from an aluminum bat to determine how and when overwhelming force is necessary to defend oneself from an attack with a deadly weapon,” I replied.
“What is there about this attack that makes the task force think there was foreign involvement?” she asked.
“I won’t get into details but evidence already collected gives that indication,” I replied.
“This is the last time I plan to come before this group in this capacity. I have to admit it has been challenging and rewarding. Good luck with everything you do and be safe,” I said as I turned away.
“Harry, thank you,” I said as I reached out to shake his hand and then walked away.
Back in Section Twelve I cornered Ben and Rodney.
“Have either of your agencies made any progress in the investigation of the two Senators to find out which one leaked to the media about the nuclear weapons breach?” I asked. It had been one of the cases that had not been closed that I wanted closed before I left.
“Yes, we are close; it was an aide to Senator Thurmond. The Senator apparently made a statement to his chief of staff that was overheard by a low level staff member who decided to cash in,” he replied.
“The decision to charge that employee with treason or leaking classified information is in Alyssa’s hands and he no longer has access or a job. The Senator is going to get a refresher course on classified material handling,” Ben said.
“By the way, thank Robert for hacking the reporter’s notes, emails, and phone. Without that bit of information we would not have been able to break the case; I could have never gotten a warrant to hack into the media,” Ben added.
I made my way over to Alyssa, “I want the maximum penalty in fines and jail time for the leaker. I want to make a statement; it’s time to stop that crap.”
“After several appeals the courts will reduce the sentences anyhow but until then it will send a message. I want to put these people on notice once and for all that we will find them and when we do, they will pay,” I said.
I was just getting ready to leave for the day when Special Agent Timothy McGee from Treasury called.
“The hundred dollar bills collected from the rioters and dead are extremely high quality counterfeits. They were not made in a US mint. There is only one country that uses the same grade and style of thread woven paper, the same brand of printing machines and serial number loggers that we use. Iran!” he said.
“How did Iran get the same money making equipment that we have?” I asked.
“It was a deal with the Shaw of Iran and the Carter administration. The Iranian currency at that time was very poorly printed on ancient printers and heavily counterfeited. The Shaw wanted a uniform and better produced currency. Carter gave them the equipment,” Agent McGee said.
“There have been huge numbers of counterfeit bills turning up in the Middle East for years. The change to the new currency with the hologram has slowed it up. Plus there is the fact that we are destroying all the older issue printed bills as fast as we can. We are contemplating a cutoff date on acceptable currency,” he added before he ended the call.
“Before you do that I have a very large amount I need to exchange for new currency,” I said
More players, bigger players – same old beat – just a different day I thought as I donned the vest and walked to the Suburban.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.