There was real security on the steps now. I counted thirty five of the forty JBG embassy security force lining the steps in full JBG issue gear that was used for hostage rescue. It was complete body armor with helmets. They were carrying MP5s or M16s.
If I didn’t hurt so badly, I would have been doubled over laughing although I shouldn’t. Ambassador Taylor was standing outside the door in gear, vest and a helmet that was at least two sizes too big for him. He was about as out of place as a donkey at a cattle auction.
“My god BJ, are you all right? They did not tell me you were shot twice; they just said to get over here,” Taylor said.
“I’ll live,” I replied as Calvin and James picked me up and started down the steps.
At the bottom of the steps there was an ambulance with a stretcher behind it waiting with my six uninjured bodyguards. In front of the ambulance were three of the embassy cars; the Suburbans and another car were behind.
All of this and my bloodied jacket were captured by the media pool that had grown tremendously. By the time I was down to the stretcher I was surrounded by my security as they moved down with me, nearly cutting off visual access to me.
There was a quick convoy trip to the hospital with police escort. Then there was a quick trip to x-ray. While I and all the guards who would fit were waiting on the results, I watched my exit from the Presidential Palace on the lobby TV in Portuguese.
No broken ribs, just bruised and one partial crack. A surgeon came in and looked at the two puncture wounds. He stitched them up and then covered them with a large Band-Aid. He gave me a tube of ointment then sent me on my way.
Thirty minutes later we were back at the embassy, just in time to watch Ching Lee give the news conference.
I called into the office and dictated an update to be given to Ching Lee so she could finish out the news conference.
An MTEC call to the White House was on order and lasted an hour before I finally ended it. Dick James was going to notify the Spanish Secretary of State that I would be in his country in a couple of hours and stay overnight for a visit to the US embassy tomorrow.
The US Vice President was rerouted to attend the funeral of the Vice Prime Minister.
Dick booked the entire floor for me and my security – including those on the way – at a Madrid five star hotel the diplomats used.
I should have rested for a day in Lisbon but given the events and the escalating rhetoric in the local media, I thought it best if I left ASAP.
The local media was pressing for an interview. Then there were others demanding to know how this could happen in their diverse city. Then there was other group demanding that I be held responsible for agitating the extreme factions of the populace under obscure laws that had been put into place.
My plane was being readied for takeoff and the flight plans were getting filed. The plane Andy sent with the additional men would be landing before we took off to make the man-power swap. The four injured men were going back home and the extra men with me.
Once the swap was made the flight to Madrid was an hour with another hour to get through customs. This time there were no surprises; thirty of the JBG employees of the US embassy Madrid were on hand plus the sixteen with me and Vicky.
Media appeared while we were waiting; the only thing they got were pictures at a distance. Ambassador Martin Mills arrived with several Spanish officials who were with him.
In Spanish they asked, “Is there anything you need? We have been assigned to assist your security and fill any request they or you have.”
In fluent Spanish I replied, “Neither I nor they have any special needs at the time. I am tired and sore; I intend to order a meal and retire for the evening. I do not want to be disturbed unless there is an emergency. I will begin to fulfill the needs of my trip here tomorrow and try to answer any questions or concerns your government has if they get them to me by 1400 hrs. I will be at the US embassy.”
The embassy motorcade – along with a police escort – delivered us to the ‘Hotel Unico Madrid’; it was the most expensive hotel in Madrid and I was paying for the whole penthouse floor.
The cheap rooms here were a five hundred a night; I could only imagine what the top floor was costing.
Spanish police were in the lobby, standing guard at the elevator, in the elevator and on the penthouse floor when the elevator stopped and we stepped off. My men picked rooms; there were enough for them to each have a room if they wanted it.
Vicky and I took the honeymoon suite; Ed and Bill took the rooms on each side. Ed and Bill worked out a duty schedule to patrol the hall. Even with the Spanish police there, they were taking no chances.
I had a hot bath in a huge heart shaped tub with Vicky; she was joining me to wash the parts that I could not wash because of the pain. I sat in a huge easy chair and rested.
Vicky brought me the menu from room service. I ordered a fancy named salad, a steak and seafood combo with hot apple pie that included vanilla ice cream, wine and a beer; three hundred and ninety dollars. This was a once in a lifetime stay here for me and my men. They were told to order anything they wanted off the menu.
I called home and talked with the girls; it was good to hear their voices. Ching Lee and I talked at length about the press conference and the question and answer series after. I thought she had done an excellent job and said so repeatedly.
We talked at length about how Takeo was doing and I spent an equal time talking with Lorrie about Sara and Lorrie’s day.
Marcy, Jenny, Jason, Dad and Jake were gone to the Commissioners meeting; tonight was the final comment period and the vote to approve the truck stop and dealership.
As expected the retirement community had threatened to fight the project but reasonable arguments won out. Of course, there was money to pay for more noise abatement on their property and they were now happy.
I took some Tylenol and then Vicky and I went to bed.
Fortunately I rested better than I expected and my natural clock didn’t make the time zone change very well. I was up at 0500 Eastern Standard Time but it was 1000 here. Room service still delivered breakfast; I didn’t bother to look at the check.
At 1030 the motorcade carried us to the embassy and the routine questions began again. This time I had some help; Ed had sat in on some of the interviews at Lisbon and quickly brought Bill up to speed on what I was after. They were recording the interviews so I could watch them later if I needed to.
The interviews proved that nearly the same identical scenario was being played out with the US Spanish embassy. Ambassador Conley was a long time public servant with decades of service but the deputy Ambassador was again appointed by a previous administration. Deputy Ambassador Faisal Hamad conducted the interviews under the same pretense as had been done in Lisbon.
Jesse Hibbs had conversations with Thad and followed his lead on placing our own secret camera in the interview room. I had more videos to get facial recognition to work with.
Now I decided that I needed to search the State Department database and determine just how many deputy Ambassadors had been appointed by that administration and find where they were working and what duties were assigned to them.
I was willing to bet the problems in Egypt and Morocco were of the same making. Heck with it; I sent Robert a text to have someone do it for me and send me the report.
Just before my 1400 deadline it was announced that there were a group of individuals from the Spanish government in the embassy lobby to see me.
The six of them were cleared so they were led to the meeting room off the lobby.
Spain is ruled by a Constitutional Monarchy with a King, the actual government is run by the council of ministers.
Six of those ministers who dealt with security, immigration and travel were seated around the fancy table. We talked for two hours about the new trends in tactics the terrorists were using and new communication methods they were employing. I based my responses and statements on how free they were being with equal information.
When I asked if there were any evidence with the terrorists they had captured of involvement with the dark web, there were glances around the table. The man in charge responded they had found no evidence. I knew they were lying and I closed that line of discussion.
Spain was faced with similar problems as the US. The King wanted the country to greet thousands of immigrants with open arms while the majority of the public were left to deal with increasing crime and expected intolerance, the disrespect, crowding and to pay the Bill. The immigrants expected and demanded that their wants and special needs be provided for.
My G5 was ready when I got to the airport for the flight to Tel Aviv. Vicky and I were going to spend three days there.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.