“Jaed – if that is his picture – is not in the immigration system anywhere. The only place we found a likeness is in the secret file that Mossad gave us months ago. He was suspected of being a spy and operative for Iran in Syria,” Robert said.
“Why am I not surprised?” I said.
“There is one thing that may interest you that was posted today for about four minutes. We did a screen copy before it was taken down,” Robert said.
I looked at the document and realized what it was immediately, even though it was written in Arabic. Somehow someone – either General Kedar or Tiam – had inadvertently posted Kedar’s travel itinerary for the next 60 days.
I wondered if it was the real thing or posted as a trap or way to see if their system had been hacked. For now we would just try to verify his travels to see if they matched.
In another post to Jaed he was told there were no more ingredients available to him and they could not get more to him by the deadline. He was to complete his assignment and let nothing interfere.
That was one post I was glad to read.
After an update on the rest of today’s important intercepts, I joined the girls for their meeting.
“The first C5 is on its way to Turkey for the Air Force. It is stopping off in Portugal to drop off the eight Suburbans for your visit there. The second flight leaves on Monday and will carry the four helicopters, pilots and part of the ops team for your visit on Wednesday,” Lorrie said.
“Thad Jennings has the keys and information for the hangar. I had to rent it for three months. That should be long enough for them to decide if they want a security contract; if not, then time enough for us to get the equipment out,” Marcy said.
I agreed with that opinion as we looked over the information Andy had put together from Prime Minister Aleixo Cordeiro. Counting himself and the vice prime minister, there were a total of ten persons who wanted 24/7 protection, including their homes.
Andy was going with us because there was a lot to evaluate on the residential part of the contract. Biff Leland had replaced Bill and was also going.
It was down to the gym for a while then supper and little boys. I even got to hold the two new little ones for an extended period of time.
We were getting ready bed when the duty man called from EIT, “Make sure you stop by in the morning before your trip to Washington. There are some reports you may want to take with you,” he said.
At 0730 I was speed reading the two reports with Vicky waiting for Robert to come in for the day.
Tiam was pushing for pictures of the completed bikes and pictures of the water park. The general wanted to pick locations or else was just plain nosey – I was willing to bet on ‘nosey’.
The Mossad folder on the general was to be delivered today and I was going to pressure the CIA and General Ingram for anything they had on him.
Vicky went to deal with embassy things and I rode to Washington.
The media was waiting at the fence and there were more than usual. They were yelling questions and insults along with a few threats. The White House had not given a real answer to explain the actions that I took and I was not going to either.
The first hour was with Ben and the committee. We had just finished our meeting when the IRS courier delivered the first business employee list from Harrisburg. The agents were going to be busy a while. Bobbie sent a copy to Robert for a more thorough search than the committee would do.
At 1000 Andrew, Anne and I spent another hour reviewing other work essential to their new positions. At 1100 I went to the cafeteria for an early lunch.
Troy came in and quietly said, “You should bring your lunch to the Oval Office; we need a couple of answers.”
The news was on the TV and the reporter was interviewing a senator who was ranting about the IRS’s sudden change in policy about collections without consulting Congress.
“You would not know anything about that change in policy, would you?” the President asked.
“Sure would, I cleaned off the desk; you know how I hate a cluttered desk. It was there in a stack of papers that I signed. I signed the first one hundred enforcement actions and I’m going to sign one hundred more today.”
“There is almost one trillion dollars in delinquent payments over the one hundred thousand dollar mark; some are twenty years old. I thought the treasury could use it and I gave orders to start collecting it,” I added.
“You did tell me to keep the agency on its toes and not to let the agency get complacent,” I said.
“That is true but I am not sure we wanted you to be that aggressive right off the bat,” Troy said.
“Harry would like you to make an appearance at his briefing; he is exhausted ducking eggs and rotten tomatoes,” Troy said.
“OK, but they are going to be disappointed. I’m going to limit what I say. I’m going over to the IRS building for a few minutes but will be back in time to rescue Harry,” I said as I stood to leave.
Hap met me at my office door. That told me that there were individuals who were notified by security when I came into the building. Were they afraid or just being cautious?
He gave me the number of assets seized so far today.
“Not bad for a start, unfortunately there are screaming senators who I have to address later today. Let’s go find the Judge and get another one hundred in the works for tomorrow,” I said.
The judge quickly signed the one hundred orders, probably to get me gone as quickly as possible. Hap had his work for the rest of the day as did the task force and Robert.
I was carrying the last of the machine shop employee lists for them to work with. When Hap said he would put people on the project he was not kidding.
I went back to Section Twelve to deliver the list, then went to meet with Harry and plan the news conference.
Harry and I carried the donuts and coffee to the table. “Who wants to deliver the first question?” I asked.
“Two days ago you applied the TCIA – a law designed to be used in the fight on terrorism – against the IRS commissioner and removed him from the agency. Can you explain your actions?”
“Melinda, I can only say a couple things about the change. As you should know, terrorism changes day by day. Technology today allows it to move at warp speed sometimes and we are always catching up, rarely getting ahead of them.”
“The IRS has always been extremely slow working with the agencies fighting terrorism, hiding behind antiquated rules. In some cases they were allowing the terrorist to make substantial gains. We don’t need much information from them but when we do it has to be fast.”
“That was the case the day I invoked the TCIA act on the IRS; critical information was needed and fast for a pending threat on the Pacific Coast. The commissioner dug in his heels one time too many,” I said.
“Sherrie Odell WITV, just how does the task force use information from the IRS and what does it ask for from the IRS?” she asked.
“What we ask for and how we use it to build a case that will hold up in court is classified information and process,” I said.
“Will Commissioner Campbell regain his job?” Melinda asked.
“No, because it is a personnel issue I cannot comment on the reasons at this time,” I said.
“James Hawk KTCC. You were installed as temporary IRS commissioner, was that by the design of the law?”
“No it was not, that was a surprise,” I replied.
“Albert Finn KCCJ. There are some citizens and senators that are upset by changes at the IRS, can you explain the changes?”
“The policies and procedures I put into force have been there for years, just not acted upon because of other priorities. The papers to begin this round of enforcement were on the commissioner’s desk and when I cleared the desk I signed them,” I said.
“Is this just a onetime surge on collections?” James asked.
“No. I have authorized the process to continue, there are thousands of delinquent accounts to be collected. If you owe the IRS back taxes pay them now. If you are unable to pay in full, call the agency and work out a 24 month payment plan. Don’t miss any payments and the interest and penalties will be waived. If the agency starts collection procedures, interest and penalties will not be waived,” I said.
“Are we winning the war on domestic terror?” Albert asked.
“As the saying goes, we are holding our own. Active investigations continue and grow daily. The current hot spot seems to be the west coast and the southern border. I see no real win any time soon. There have been isolated attacks, ‘the lone wolf things’ that are nearly impossible to stop but there have been no mass casualty attacks in quite a while. I view that as a win, at least for now,” I said.
“If you are making arrests at the border, why haven’t there been news releases about them?” Melinda asked.
“Sometimes we learn more by being quiet about what we do and how we do it than telegraphing our successes with publicity,” I said.
My phone signaled a text, “Call me ASAP, Robert.”
“Ladies, gentlemen duty calls. Harry it is all yours.” I picked up one more glazed donut before I walked out.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.