At 0700 I was in Section Twelve planning on how to address the group of intelligence experts coming for the 0800 meeting. They were all coming.
This time I blacked out the signatures on all six files and put Roxy’s through the copier, making ten copies total.
I needed commitments that everyone would work to contain leaks for at least for thirty days. At 0745 they started filtering in. Attorney General Dunne, Art Cummins Director of the NIS, Eric Roberson Director of DHS, Frank Love Director of the CIA, Marty Coeburn Director of the FBI, Bob Smith Director of NSA and chair of the task force. I had Andrew and Anne at my side.
After coffee and a plate of donuts was on the table I started the conversation.
”You told me to investigate Black Bear, I did with a fine tooth comb and we are not through yet. We have found things that were usual and some downright infuriating.”
”Accounting found there were routine deposits made to ten numbered accounts at Thimble Shoals Pirates Bank,” I said.
”They are dead ends then,” Frank said.
”Five of those numbers are held by Senators, one held by a Representative and four by Iraq political figures,” I said as I noticed I had everybody’s attention.
”Here is where it gets dicey, I could give you all the information and let you run with it. But and it is a big but, I need thirty days of calm. In those thirty days JBG has three Major events happening on two continents involving terrorists and I don’t want to cause any of them to get cold feet and change their plans. That would be catastrophic because they plan a flood of lone wolf attacks in Europe and a terrorist attack in Oklahoma City on the same day.”
”I considered holding the information for those thirty days because at the time I thought it would make little difference in the final outcome, but with continued investigation that has changed.”
”One of them cannot be put off. I am afraid that it may involve the sale of classified materials to our enemies.”
I passed out the copies of Congresswoman Roxy Granger’s account.
”Page one is self explanatory. Page two lists the account numbers and the details of the account holder. Pages three through eight are the account details with forty lines to the page.”
”Page three is the current cycle. The very first line can be traced back to Chicago Investments LLC. It is an insider trader scheme. In the five pages they made thirty deposits to the numbered account.”
“Black Bear made twenty deposits. Line item twenty one and fifteen others were traced back to the Moscow International Bank. Line thirty eight and six others were from the international Bank of Hong Kong owned by the Chinese.”
“Line item seventy eight and ten others were traced back to the Iranian National Bank of Tehran.”
“Line item ninety four and four others are on the Bank of Thailand and it looks like it is a North Korean account.”
”I believe Roxy is a traitor as well as a common criminal,” I said.
The conversation was hot, very angry at times and loud. So loud Secret Service knocked on the door asking to tone it down. I called for a break to allow heads to cool.
”Who are the others?” AG Dunne asked.
”Senator Ruth Gavin, Senator Gilbert Howell, Senator Rose Pearlman, Senator Hope Emerson and Senator Sherman Ballard. None of these accounts showed any foreign deposits to them,” I said.
”Damn. I just attended meetings where several of them were in attendance,” Marty Coeburn said.
Shortly after that Marty’s phone rang. I refilled my mug while he carried out his conversation.
”Roxy has been arrested – she sent a text to a Russian diplomat to meet in Veterans Park. She had thumb drives with classified information on them in her possession,” Marty said.
”Well you won’t need any of this then – her phone logs and the material will be enough to jail her for a long time. You will just have to get her to confess to see what she sold. Although you may be able find out what she downloaded onto the House computer. It is almost a sure thing that is where it was put on the thumb drives,” I said.
”As soon as it breaks that she has been arrested, the others may try to get their money and flee to some country that chooses the money over them, by looking at the sums of money in Roxy’s account,” Eric said.
”The CIA can get the money under normal circumstances, but Pirate Bank won’t cooperate with us,” Frank said.
” I can say with certainty that they can’t get at it either,” I said.
“How do you know that?” Eric asked.
”Because I know that it is locked down,” I said.
”How can you know that?” Ag Dunne asked.
”Remember that old Garth Brooks song ‘Friends in Low Places?’ I know some people in lower than low places. There are times that I have to speak their kind of language. I have high confidence the accounts are locked,” I said.
What I didn’t say was that it could only be unlocked by the Director who had locked it – me.
”She will lawyer up quickly and we will learn nothing,” Frank said.
”If you want, in three hours she can be in the Mexican desert stripped and staked out with a dribble of honey on her. In a couple hours of 120 degree heat and after wasp, flies, mosquitoes and an occasional reptile munching on her, she will be glad to tell you everything,” I said.
”Or there are other places with options,” I added.
”I like your line of thinking but I don’t think we had better do that in this case,” Eric said.
”All of you have agreed to keep this out of it then,” I said as I held up the papers I had passed out.
”Yes for the time being. If we need it, I know you will let us have access,” Art Cummins said as he and the others passed the papers back to me.
I had one more committee to appear in front of today. It went quickly because the media was filled with Rep. Roxy Grainger’s arrest and every time two or more got together, that was the topic of the conversation.
The media was hounding every politico it could find who would stand long enough for questions.
I was in the Senate hall headed for an exit to make my way back to the White House when I met Senator Hope Emerson, Senator Ruth Gavin and Senator Gilbert Howell. They motioned me towards the elevator for another conference.
”I thought you were going to wait before you took any action?” Senator Hope Emerson said.
”I did with you. But there was a difference with Roxy; she expanded the business by selling classified information to the Russians, the Chinese, Iran and everyone else she could find that would buy. I only hope that you did not supply her with any of it.”
”If you did, sooner or later grief is coming your way so you may need to lawyer up early. You would probably want to go the FBI and bargain for a lighter sentence by turning state witness when they do.”
”The other possibility is that when the pressure is applied she is going to trade names for a lighter
sentence of her own and throw you to the wolves anyhow. I doubt that it will help with as much as she has sold – and there was a lot of it.”
”She had four thumb drives on her when she was arrested. You are going to have to go it on your own to save yourself at some point. The decision is one only you can only make,” I said.
My phone dinged a text. It was from Frank Love, ”Can you meet us in fifteen minutes on the Capitol steps for a news conference about representative Grainger’s arrest?”
”No problem, I will have a couple capitol police walk me to meet you when I see you there. What do you need me for?” I said.
”We just thought we should present a unified group as the intelligence community,” they said.
”No problem, I can stand with the rest of you and look pretty,” I said.
I listened while Frank Love, Eric Roberson, Marty Coeburn and Bob Smith told of the arrest of Roxy Grainger and the amount of classified material she had in her possession. The arrest was made in sight of the foreign agent she was to deliver them to. He was on a plane back to his home country.
I avoided all the questions but one and that was how the task force and the oversight committee fit into this case.
”It’s going to take all the intelligence agencies working together to access what and how much information she now gave our enemies. Then the monstrous task of countering the damage will begin and of course – build a case that will put her away for life,” I said.
The news conference was over. Bob informed me that I was to attend an expanded meeting with intelligence community this time including the various military intelligence units as well as including the President, Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate as well as the minority leaders.
The meeting lasted two hours with new restrictions on Congressional ability to access classified information. Those restrictions were formidable – essentially read only, under guard and in a six by six room allowing no notes, copies or cameras.
I wondered why I needed to be in that meeting – all I did was sit and listen. I was glad when the Suburban door closed behind me and we headed east on Rt. 50. I would not be back in Washington until after the France, Oklahoma and Mexico issues were settled, unless I was summoned by the powers that be.
We were nineteen days from France – twenty two days from Oklahoma.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.