Book 2 Chapter 32
We were three hours late leaving Lisbon; the six leaders had spent the night as guests of Premier Cordeiro and wanted another meeting with Vicky and me.
Fifteen more pages of notes, another list of requests for the Pact plus the request for urgency in completing some of the requested task was going to keep JBG busy as hell.
I wanted to nap on the flight home but that wasn’t going to be the case.
Ed and Biff stayed with the Lisbon group; there was just too much going on for one supervisor to handle with the sixty people there.
Andy was with us. I wanted him to be on hand for the Harrisburg thing; he could fly back to Lisbon with several men from the EIT group to get things rolling.
For the seven hours the three of us brainstormed ideas and put them in an outline form. There were so many pieces, that was the only way we were going to keep it straight.
I did not have time to dwell on this; from Morton we were going straight home. I needed to look at four days of complete reports from Robert instead of a few highlights.
Monday was decision day for Harrisburg and I wanted to be prepared.
We were one hundred miles out when Marcy sent a text, “Your welcoming committee has been waiting for hours, and the restaurant has sold buckets of coffee.”
When the plane taxied to a stop I understood the welcoming committee; it was a media frenzy. I expected one or two not dozens; every major news outlet was there on the viewing area in front of the terminal building.
Jenny called while the plane was approaching the terminal and gave me the highlights.
We let Hanna and Melinda be the first ones off so they could get set up to do a report with the other news groups. Vicky and I waited until we were the last persons off the plane.
My mates met us at the plane steps. We were attacked by two little boys. Every time I was away from them for a few days I was amazed at how much they had seemed to grow and learn.
I squatted so I could be at their level for hugs and kisses. After the welcome they wanted to help with my bags. With the handle all the way out I leaned my portable office over so they could pull it along. With a little guidance each took a side and pulled it towards the terminal building.
It was time for the walk to the terminal to face the music and let the questions begin.
“Ambassador Jones – the EU chief prosecutor is demanding that you be arrested and extradited to Brussels to face charges for conspiracy, espionage, violation of international noninterference laws and other crimes against the EU. Do you have any comment?”
“This is the first I have heard of this but I think they will have a long wait on their hands,” I replied.
“There will certainly be a lot of time-consuming legal maneuvering before that happens,” I added.
The EU had gone into a frenzy after we left Portugal.
I wondered why I had heard nothing about this from the White House. They were either busy doing behind the scenes damage control or just letting Europe vent steam until they simply ran out of it.
Either way the international lawyers were going to be busy Monday.
“On today’s news shows Senators and Representatives from both sides are demanding Congressional investigations into your trip and all contracts. Some are demanding that you be removed from your position in the White House given the events and the EU charges. Do you have a response?” the reporter asked.
“Well I am over worked and under paid; that would help with the over worked part of the equation,” I replied.
“Are there substantial contracts for JBG when the dust has settled and how will they affect JBG operations in the county?” another asked.
“The answer to the first part is yes – multiple contracts for the security division and there will be more. JBG has and is expanding; these new contracts will require more expansion sooner and faster,” I said.
“That’s all the time I have, I still have to deal with that work load we talked about for a few more days. Plus I have to prepare for the hot seat on Monday, asbestos jeans might be proper attire for the day,” I said.
Family time was first then I would go check my box in the EIT room. Family time lasted the rest of the afternoon and into early evening with a light supper at home. I spent quality time with the boys and held the little ones.
Vicky gave out all the souvenirs she had brought back; in a way I felt bad that I had not been able to go shopping and vowed that I would on the next trip.
There were brief discussions about the contracts and the JBG involvement in NMITC.
There were hours of news broadcast that my mates had recorded about the Portugal trip. I fast forwarded through most of it and listened to the highlights. There was very little I did not know, only the things with the EU that happened while we were flying home.
I didn’t get to Roberts office; with the little ones in bed my mates and I became intimate. It was time for some serious affection that all of us needed.
I was sitting in Roberts’s office reading the reports from Harrisburg when he came in. Lots of progress had been made while I was gone. While I was reading I had Cindy make copies of all the contracts and the Pact agreement for me, then placed the originals on Jenny’s desk so she could start the processes that needed to happen. I would carry copies in my portable office today.
For two days in a row there had been several trips each day to the two machine shops to move bikes to Avon Heights. From the number of bikes seen in the pictures I was sure they had most if not all of the bikes moved to the barn.
At the barn there were changes – looking at just today’s pictures it was hard to notice. But go back three or four days and compare; it was obvious.
All old Amish farms had multiple buildings separated by distance – always at least seventy five feet – and more if the building was important or housed things that easily burned like hay or straw.
This was a fire prevention thing; if one building caught on fire there was enough separation that only that one building burned to the ground and not all the farm buildings. It was an Amish building tradition carried on today.
As modern farming grew, buildings often become large enough to house everything needed to farm. Many had a lean-to attached to often three sides making use of the bigger building as part of the structure. A fire in one of these buildings usually meant that a farmer lost most of his machinery and other equipment.
Outside most of the separated buildings piles of dirt were appearing and growing. Next to the barn were more piles of dirt that were also growing.
The first story of those barns was usually the milking parlor and the second story of the barn was the hay loft. Both had new square holes cut along the ends and sides. I could see shiny new hinges attached to the fresh cut boards.
It only took a glance to know what they were doing – they were fortifying the barn and digging tunnels to those out buildings. Since there was no mention in Ben’s updates I was getting, I wondered if anyone else had noticed it. And then I asked myself “Why not?”
Since the invention of aerial photography intelligence had been comparing today’s pictures to last week’s, to last month’s, to last year’s pictures. That was how they caught the Soviet missiles being placed in Cuba and the North Korean and Iranian missile expansions.
Surely someone on the committee was comparing these. With NSA and CIA people on the task force it should have been routine. Why bother taking hourly pictures if you were not.
At first I wondered if the group suspected we were watching them and preparing for a final fight. The other thing could be that they knew if they were successful we would eventually connect the dots to them, leading to a final fight.
When I questioned Robert about the messages between Jaed and Tiam, there was nothing that stuck out.
What did stick out were messages from the General Kedar referencing the new contacts in Paris and the new Pact Nations. There was a lengthy discussion among several posters about the news conference on the steps of the palace.
General Kedar – being his usual arrogant dominating self – was livid that all these things had been done and escaped outing by the Iranian spy ring in Paris.
To improve the intelligence gathering in France he was sending agents to work with Fatin Bashir at the Paris Mosque and the ISIS contact Butros Tayfur in the Paris training site.
In his furry about the intelligence failure Kader had thrown caution to the wind and used their names in the encrypted post. We now had names for two Iranian spies in France. More importantly, we had the name of the ISIS contact.
Like it or not I climbed into the Suburban in the covered parking garage, a change in routine driven by security and was carried to 1600 Penn Ave. Let the fun begin! I was multitasking; reading and digesting the papers from my box and listening to the news as we went.
The Pact Nations and fallout from my trip was still page one news.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.