Friday was a blur; all of us were busy. I spent most of the morning on the phone with various pact countries. It was noon when Louis Boucher called from France.
I spent better than an hour reviewing points in the conversation with him and President Bisset. I had expected the French would come up with a decision to perform the raid themselves. The more the conversation carried on, the more I knew France was not going to carry it out themselves.
It would be too much of a political bombshell and he felt the National Police could not plan a raid of that size in that area without it being leaked. Then there would be the fallout with the government. Politics always projected a big cloud on things that needed to be done. That said, I knew the pact was not going to be approached. That only left one option.
Louis ended the conversation with, ”I’ll get back to you in a few days after I meet with the ministers again.”
Ching Lee was getting more updates from Frank Hammond and seemed happy with them. After that I went down to the EIT and with Robert and Tom went over today’s broadcast from General Bashir.
I asked that the communiqué be separated two ways for me, all of them in a folder by posting time and a separate folder by location. Then I specified that closer attention be placed on Oklahoma and France.
”I see JBG being involved in aggressive action in both places in thirty days or less. While you are at it, have you heard anything from the other Texas groups and any connections to Mexico?” I asked.
”I have a couple men working exclusively on the Texas groups, little or nothing is going with them other than normal replies to transmissions,” Robert replied.
”I think that will pickup in a few days,” I said.
The weekend was a blur just like July – August and now most of September was in the history books.
Monday all of us were headed to the White House for the requested meeting. We met Curtis Warren and two of his lawyers there. I requested Curtis be there at the suggestions of General Isaacs and Dick James.
After coffee, donuts and the usual niceties, we signed another secrecy nondisclosure form. One of those where if you ever breathe a word of the topics of this meeting you and a cell in Leavenworth will have a long time association.
Frank Love – director of the CIA – Gary Porter – director of the NSA – and General Isaac – chairman of the Joint Chiefs – started. What started was a three hour breakdown of Black Bear Corporation.
For years they had been associated as a Soldier of Fortune operation (SOFO). They were so much more than that; supplying security for extremely high risk individuals, meetings, and convoy security in the world’s worst areas. There were even cross-country nuclear convoys.
But then there was SOFO, they had men in nearly two thirds of the countries in Africa and the Middle East as well as South America. They were working for both our government and under contracts – if you could call the arrangements contracts for other countries and a few questionable governments.
They gathered intelligence, carried out extraction operations including sanctioned kidnappings, made weapons drops and were saboteurs when necessary – for our government.
But there had been mistakes and the trio laid them on the line for us. Black Bear had hired too many people in a rush without proper investigation – some were mental cases of the worst kind. They were trigger happy and off the deep end with little provocation. This I knew from previous conversations with officials.
Several of their employees were being held in a couple countries for the most hideous crimes and perversions. If they had been my employees a trial would have been a blessing that they would not get before being shot.
Then there were their legal problems. They had lost several lengthy court cases that had cost them millions. Record keeping had gotten sloppy; so bad that Congress was demanding investigation and agencies were balking over invoices and payments. They were on the IRS prosecution list in the worst way for late filings, nonpayment and violations.
Then came the assets discussion, reveal and pictures of assets. None of it was good. Assets were missing; guns, sophisticated communications equipment left in the field, sold or stolen unaccounted for, also Jeeps, trucks, ATVs by the hundreds and SUVs.
Heavy machine guns and other weapons that required special permits and tracking were also missing.
They only owned a few aircraft and some of them would never fly again. They relied heavily on leasing schemes – one fake corporation to the other.
They do have a large training site in Louisiana for tropical warfare training and marsh training to represent jungle environment – it was fifteen thousand acres with their operations center.
We were handed pictures of the property as the discussion went along.
It was bayou country with levies, a lake and dock with water ways that were apparently deep enough for nice sized fast attack patrol boats to navigate to get to the Gulf. There were several tied up at the docks.
Another training segment that I liked was that they had a drop zone for paratrooper training. I was sure this was part of the secret ops they participated in.
One thing I liked; they had also built a replica for a major ship upper deck for anti-hijacking training or possible seizure and control. It was on a man made island in the lake. The only thing lacking was the ability to create rough seas.
Rough seas were a make or break on any water operation. A bad day on the bay was enough to convince even the most hardened sailor of that.
There was a runway that was at least six thousand feet long with very large turn-a-rounds on each end. The more I thought about them, the more I knew they were for C130s, C5s or C17s to land to pick up teams for clandestine operations in Central and South America. The site was just miles from the Gulf.
The other site was in Montana – and at one time – had been one of the biggest ranches in the US – one million acres of pasture and rock.
They had used it for cold weather mountain warfare training – thoughts of Afghanistan immediately came to mind. But no training had been carried out there in a while.
Before that several movie celebrities and movie production companies had owned it or leased it for movie sets, tax write offs or bragging rights.
Several westerns were filmed there before westerns went out of favor, then a space odyssey and finally doomsday films. The CIA held the mortgages on both properties.
Then came the classified contracts handout. They had one hundred active contracts with the US agencies and another fifty with foreign governments. They were passed out first to me. I glanced at them and passed them on to Jenny and Curtis.
”The contracts with the red X on them are expiring this year, all those with the black X have two or more years and all are carrying a five year extension clause with automatic payment increases,” Frank said.
“All this is very informative but where are we going with all of this?” I asked.
”The three judge federal secrecy court handled most of this case against Black Bear because of the secrecy surrounding their operations. The six wrongful death suits threatened to expose too many things.”
”After months of testimony and hearings ,the judges are going to order Black Bear closed for crimes, cover ups – both here and abroad – and employee deaths. There was failure to properly notify authorities of those deaths, failure to adequately train leaders, missing records files, unaccounted for explosives and the necessary records to the ATF.”
“They are calling the senior managers to serve time for lying to federal investigators and other investigators abroad.”
”You more than anyone know the value of intelligence and freedom of operation. Obviously we cannot lose years of in-place intelligence operatives.”
”We have been working on the judges and with the judges and finally have come up with an agreement that preserves secrecy and continuation of their critical operations. That agreement only applies IF JBG buys out Black Bear and takes full control of all operations,” Frank said.
”If you agree – the court order will take effect immediately – the assets list will be provided today if you desire. A complete employee list, pay grades, qualifications, assignments and all employee files as well.”
”All contracts with all US agencies will be modified to show JBG as the contract holder.”
“Charles Black and Milton Bear will be required to assist in the transition to be no more than one year; after that they are prohibited from any intelligence activities, military, security management, advisory positions, or working for any media establishment.”
”They are prohibited from even talking to any of their former employees. They are simply to disappear. By signing the federal order Charles and Milton avoid the federal penitentiary but will be on five years’ probation,” Frank said.
”Now for the meat enticement. The CIA will turn over the title to both training sites to JBG for this year’s property taxes. Their Washington headquarters is leased, the court action will cancel the lease, freeing you of that liability,” Frank said. ”I know you far too well to think that you would even consider paying the crazy Washington lease prices that were a thousand dollars a square foot.”
”The DOD will remove most restrictions that apply to the surplus auctions. The DOD will be more cooperative as need arises with things related to some contracts,” General Isaacs said.
”Now for the down side. JBG will have to pay average fair market value for verifiable assets to be placed in a court fund to pay off the wrongful death suits plus make any difference if necessary. The payout on those suits will be sixteen million. It also requires you to pay Black and Bear two hundred and fifty thousand for five years,” Ben said.
”Just how many employees will we be acquiring?” Jenny asked.
”Six thousand full time and availability of two thousand more that are listed as part-time on-call as needed,” Ben said.
“There will be no agreement that we keep anyone? Because we will investigate everyone while they are on a probationary period, just like a new employee,” Jenny said.
”I would encourage you to do that and would expect no less from JBG,” Ben said.
”I know it is a lot to digest but many of their functions are a close match for things that JBG does. Some of the flights you have been making were in support of their operations. Do you think you can have a preliminary answer for the court on Wednesday? They want this case closed badly,” Gary asked.
”Wednesday won’t work, I have a meeting in Mexico City with President Martinez and their AG Inez,” I said. ”Plan on Thursday. We will have a preliminary decision then. If the runway looks good we will drop in and do an inspection.”
”What kind of meeting?” Dick James asked.
”It falls under the need to know thing for the time being,” I replied.
”OK, I get it; I don’t need to know. I was just wondering if I needed to prepare people to be ready with damage control,” he replied.
”Not for this meeting – maybe in a month or so. But I suspect that JBG will be the one doing damage control,” I said.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W