I cleaned up and showered in the hotel room and then put on another pant suit with no blood on it. We were going out to the swanky French restaurant L’ Abeille for dinner. At least the girls were talking to me now. For a while I was getting the cold shoulder treatment.
We rode in three Suburban’s with the drivers from the JBG group assigned to the embassy. He said he knew Paris reasonably well. It was a good thing he was driving.
The traffic was horrible, the drivers obnoxious, impatient and plain out assholes. If I had been driving I would have intentionally wrecked half of them just so I could mash their faces. I guess everybody in Paris drove with the same attitude.
The realization hit me that it was time for a vacation. The stress of the last couple of months was getting to me; I needed a break – we needed a break. As soon as things settled down, a week at East Water Cay was in order – maybe two weeks or more would be better.
The reservations had been made this morning before we went to the air show. The place got deathly quiet as we were led to our tables in the corner with all kinds of cutlery and silver utensils on it. The side of my face was bruised enough that it was easily seen.
I could only guess what local media was saying about today and what footage they were running. But there was no doubt that most of these people in here had seen it.
We looked over the wine list and Jenny picked out a couple that she thought would be good. Even though I was not a wine drinker it was good wine.
We listened as the waiter went through the entrees. All of them sounded good. I settled on an all you can eat seafood and pasta sampler with a salad and another bottle of wine for the table. We took another bottle of wine to carry to the room.
It was a wonderful meal; one the gym equipment was going to have to counteract the pounds we girls would put on.
Back at the hotel the girls all came into the room. There were enough glasses for all of us. For two hours we sipped wine and talked about today, tomorrow and forever.
Tomorrow evening Ching Lee, Jenny and Lorrie were returning home. They had been away from the little ones long enough. Truthfully we all had; the VCATS helped but not enough.
I called Louis at 0700 for an update.
“We think you baited the General and he fell for it, but there is nothing we can do about that. You are free to leave.”
“Some of our men connected to the new security arrangement found out that you assist with some of the training scheduled at Fort Smith and are looking forward to sparing with you, others not so much,” Louis said.
“There will be a hearing to present the evidence to the magistrate. If we need you to testify you can do it by video. But I think it will be cut and dry.”
“The Iranian delegation has left for Tehran with the body. The realization that their hero wasn’t such a great hero after all has set in. They are trying to find a way to keep the hero image alive long enough for a state funeral,” Louis said and ended the call.
An hour later the wheels left for Athens, Greece, the last stop on this European portion of this trip. It was 1100 miles – two and a half hours in the G5.
The embassy’s Suburban’s met us at the airport and carried us to the embassy. I needed to MTAC with Ben and the committee; I had received a text from Ben indicating that a conversation was needed.
“Ten subpoenas have been received for you to appear before various Senate and House committees; two of them are subpoena duces tecum. You are to report with the items on Wednesday and to testify,” Ben said.
“What are the items?” I asked.
“All documents and records related to the FBI participation in the surveillance related to the terrorist enclave at Harrisburg,” Ben said.
“I will not be back in the states on Wednesday; therefore I will not be there to testify. It will take time for an extensive search and to prepare the documents. Have the attorneys get at least a thirty day postponement,” I said.
“I will work on getting the subpoenas squashed before then. Only time will tell,” I added.
We went on the National Hellenic police agency; they were the agency that handled counter-terrorism, border guards and immigration laws, all workings with the Pact. The various police departments reported to the Minister for Citizen Protection. I had only talked with him a couple times.
We arrived just at the appointed meeting time and spent the next four hours working out details. For lunch they carried us to the historic section of the city past the centuries old temples and monuments; Greece was considered the cradle of civilization.
Ancient armies – since the beginning of time – had marched over the soil of this country, dominated its citizens and controlled its fortunes even into the twentieth century.
After lunch there were talks for the next four hours. There were difficulties enough, so difficult that another meeting in Portugal and then a trip back was going to be required to settle out those issues.
I didn’t have time- given the new problems in Washington – but I was going to have to make time like it or not. I made an appointment to return in two weeks.
Back at the airport we girls went to one plane and sent the security out. We had one last talk along with hugs and kisses before we split up.
Jenny, Ching Lee, and Lorrie were going home. I gave the girls an extra kiss to pass on to JJ, RJ, Takeo and Sara and that we would see them in a few days.
Vicky, Marcy, Andy and I along with most of the security boarded N297A – my G5 – and departed south to Kampala to spend the night at the embassy with our men there.
The girls were next in the departure line in N896D – what would be soon known as Vicky’s G5 – headed home. I wished I was going with them or could have slept but Vicky and I had a day’s worth of notes to put in a format to be able to understand at home.
I did an MTAC with Washington – specifically Anne and Andrew. I wanted an update on the Harrisburg investigation and when it would be completed. The preliminary report was done and just needed me to look it over. Two more weeks to the final printed version. That would work but it was going to be tight.
“Where are you?” Anne asked.
“Leaving the Mediterranean, entering Egyptian airspace – heading south to Uganda,” I replied.
With the notes done we managed a couple hours sleep while flying over the civil war on the ground. I hoped the pilots did not venture off the commercial aviation routes or nothing would matter anymore. The world powers had let the warring parties know that shooting down commercial aviation would be the end.
It was 10 PM when the Suburban’s picked us up at Entebbe International. It was good to see the men again along with Ambassador Joe Bernardi and his wife. We were going to stay a full day, maybe more before going on to Polokwane.
I now needed to incorporate a little CMA into my movements for a few days. No, it was not a reference to the Country Music Association. It was to Cover My Ass for the postponement of the subpoenas to appear. Of course this was on the advice of Jenny.
While we were in Kampala I wanted to meet with Ambassadors Dansky and my partners – Ambassador Morrison and Fauntroy – in getting aid to the refugee camp. If there had been time I would have made the trip to the refugee camp myself to see the Doc and check on how things were.
We were in the embassy having wine, beer and finger food when the girls paged on VCATS. They were home with the kids, JJ and RJ wanted to tell us about the fun times with Pop-Pop and Grandpa. It took them half an hour to wind down.
The boys had a good time and I was sure the pops were going to have plenty of little hands to help them from now on.
It was Wednesday morning when we flew on to Polokwane. Marcy and Lorrie had scheduled meetings with the hotel and the airport manager. They had arranged for several other people to meet with us while we were there. I was glad Marcy and Vicky had talked with Andy and they had decided to send six JBG security guards to look after our interest.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.