This posting is a day early. Please have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.
The reunion home with the kids was special and heartwarming. They were growing like we were feeding them fertilizer. They were as glad to see us as we were them.
We spent a couple hours in the office going over Black and Bear’s Middle East trip. They had three possible locations for bases for the fast boats. Two of them had small dry docks and fueling equipment. The other one would need work – nothing new for anything we did anymore, it seemed.
In the end it would still take another port. Three would make too much distance to travel in an emergency in the shipping lane. They went back to the Middle East to secure the fourth base.
We decided on the Seafood Inn for an early supper. Cold beer, crab cakes, and steak fitted my mood to a tee. With it being steak and seafood night all the old friends were there. Duke Justice, Clarence Hallworthy – two of the county commissioners – and Elmo Cartwright.
Elmo was not only editor, he was now part owner of the now bi-weekly local paper. Elmo was seated with Hanna with his notepad. I was sure there was going to be a column about Hanna’s experiences in the next issue.
I had our waitress take a round of drinks to their tables just to be friendly. I was going over to speak but their food came and our waitress delivered our appetizers.
They came over to speak as they were leaving. It was a short but quick conversation.
At 0800 we were in a convoy closing in on Washington. One of the Suburban’s was filled with the bags of cash collected in Mexico. Eric and the director wanted to display the cash for the news conference along with all the drugs. Bigger bucks with the drugs equal bigger news bang.
The DEA agents had picked up the last of the collected drugs as soon as our planes landed. I had assurances that the money belonged to JBG.
The news conference was to be at 0900. With the flash bulbs keeping the room lit up, we stood on the stage with Eric, DEA director Hamler, and the Mexican Ambassador Ramirez. I started the news conference with a statement.
”The evidence is presented before you on these tables about what genuine cooperation can do to solve the problems between countries when the true interest of the people come first. What you see is ten thousand pounds of illegal drugs, cocaine, heroin, Fentanyl and several kinds of prescription look alike pills. Also note the millions of dollars. JBG is proud to have a small but active part in stopping this drug traffic.”
”All of these drugs were destined for our cities to feed habits and the coffers of the cartel. Together we partners took their money, their product and their men. All this displayed was gotten in just three days,” I said.
Politics just plain pure politics. Every now and then I made it work.
I turned the news conference over to the Ambassador who was beaming. He spoke for ten minutes. Eric smiled and gave me a knowing nod; he was well aware of the challenges.
Eric and Director Hamler spoke at length, patting everyone on the back.
Hanna and Melinda were both in the front row, both getting questioned intensely before the conference started.
Just before Eric closed the news conference down I asked ”Melinda, have your teeth stopped vibrating from that helicopter ride yet?”
”They have, but I’m not sure about my stomach yet. That was some ride,” she said before laughing and the rest of the reporters laughed with her.
”You and Hanna keep your go bag packed and that passport up to date; you may need them soon,” I said. I did that just to rile up the press corps, reminding them there would be no lottery.
The money was bagged back up and went back to the office with the girls and a security escort. I talked another fifteen minutes with Eric and the Ambassador.
Then I went to see the President for a quick meeting before I went to the Senate. Troy was in the room with the President.
”Mr. President, have you given any more thought to the document you are holding in your desk?” I asked.
”Yes we have, with no decision. How about we release a statement that your term is up at the end of the year and we will reevaluate your position on the oversight committee that time.”
”That will keep everyone guessing and give us some more time,” Troy said.
”Now let’s talk about important things. Iran has been granted a full UN assembly to level charges and threats against you for the assault on Iranian citizens in France. That is in three weeks; it was pushed back a week from their original request. How are you going to respond?” the President asked.
”Depends on how Mexico plays out in that time and issues growing in France that I cannot discuss right now,” I said.
”However, I intend to be there to respond. They have no real ability to censure or penalize me, Katy bar the door. I intend to fully unload and disclose their actions with proof from captured documents. It will be interesting to see who the officials are,” I said.
”You are right on that. We have not received the list from Iran requesting permission to visit,” Troy said.
”I will be back after the Senate comedy before I go home,” I said.
I was fifteen minutes late – just to piss them off – and it did. I listened to a few more minutes of verbal abuse before I stood up to leave, ”If that is all the questions, I have a flight to catch after a visit to the White House to get another verbal spanking,” I said.
That was all it took to get down to business. Fifty percent of the questions I didn’t answer- couldn’t because of international secrecy rules. They knew I couldn’t but they wanted the media time.
When they questioned a lot of things about France, even more about Mexico, I told them we needed to go to a closed door session if they wanted any discussion about those topics. Even then many of their questions may not be answered.
After answering what was little more than public knowledge, it was time to put the shoe on the other foot. I was going to try to put off return visits every time a new JBG announcement was released.
”Since this is the intelligence committee and you are supposed to know everything, what do you know about the new JBG super max prison being built?” I said.
”What prison?” the chairman almost yelled.
I floored them with, ”JBG is building a three hundred bed maximum security prison five miles from Matamoras in the security zone. The construction is scheduled to begin on Monday. We may possibly need another in the Arizona-California area once the security zone is fully implemented. Movements on the Mexican arrangement is happening a lot faster than we estimated. We have a lot more prisoners in our possession than we anticipated,” I said.
A heated discussion followed. Then it was time for the next bomb.
”What do you know about the formation of the JBG Navy?” I asked.
”WHAT navy?” the chairman responded, jumping to his feet.
”JBG will sign contracts on Tuesday with our nations OPEC trading partners to supply up to one hundred heavily armed boats with rockets, antiaircraft and ship to ship missiles, equipped with heavy machine guns and advanced radar. They will be fast response – fifty knots plus escort ships including all crews with four bases of operations.”
”The assignment covers the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean area near the Somalia and Yemen areas where the pirate hijackings and seizures are escalating.”
”The contract covers oilers, supply ships, repair facilities and an aviation detachment. It is a very lucrative ten year contract that carries a lot of risk – a risk that we at JBG are willing to take and overcome.”
”We estimate that the employee numbers will be excess of one thousand people.”
”Just to head you off, the State Department and CIA have signed off on the contracts and approved the weapons sales to JBG. Those weapons contracts are awaiting signatures as soon as those are signed on Tuesday, putting the arrangement into effect.”
”For an intelligence committee you sure seem to be in the dark all the time,” I said.
”Senators, it has been a wonderful informative day but I must run,” I said as I stood and left. Mouths were open and eyes fixated, just stunned. And these people were intelligence people! Just wow, I thought; I can pull the hood over these people any time.
I met my security team in the hall and walked down the capitol steps towards the White House. It was a good cool clear day with the whisperings of fall in the air. Cool but not cool enough for a jacket. I expected everyone to be in Congress or following Congressional testimony.
Who should be walking down the street coming towards me? None other than Juanita Waco and her entourage, cell phone cameras at work and media persons fawning over her latest comments and rants.
There was too much traffic to cross to the other side of the street, not that I would have done that anyhow. I told my security team in Russian that if anything happened to keep her security escort restrained and out of it and please have somebody film it.
As I met her entourage we narrowed to single file, ”Good afternoon,” I said as I continued walking.
”I want to talk to you,” she said.
”I’m late for a meeting at the White House. I can meet you after that,” I said.
”No, you are going to talk to me NOW,” she yelled.
As I started to try to walk away she grabbed my arm and pulled me around, ”How dare you walk away from me. You are going to listen to me right now!” She went into a tirade about France and Mexico. She demand JBG stop the illegal actions in Mexico. “My constituents were complaining that their Mexican relatives are frightened and fearing for their lives,” she said.
”JBG’s actions are legal and there is no stopping them. Good things are happening down there,” I said.
The tirade continued, finally she said, ”You are not listening to me; you are disrespecting me and my position. I totally disrespect you. I spit on you in disgust.”
She did it hit me on the chin with a big wad on my blouse. As I wiped it off my chin I grew into a rage. My right fist struck her in her pearly whites so hard it snapped her head back like a boxers punch. My left arched over and downward, mashing her nose to where her bottom lip should have been.
Another right was on its way to her throat only to be grabbed by Ziva, ”No need, she won’t feel it; she is out,” Ziva said.
Ziva was right; with her people behind her so tight she could not fall back, they now watched her crumple into a pile at their feet. Her teeth were falling out and blood was dripping on her clothes.
There was yelling and screaming that had the capitol police running across the lawn.
With help coming we stepped around the group and continued on our way.
The door to the White House had barely closed before it was breaking news on the TV.
”Ambassador Jones attacks Rep. Waco in front of the capitol building. Video coming in a moment,” the reporter said.
I went down to Section Twelve. There I ordered our in-house federal prosecutor to file charges against Juanita Waco for assault against a federal official and issue a subpoena requiring a complete blood test for communicable diseases that could be transmitted by saliva or blood for the record. I would beat her to the punch – no pun there – because she would certainly do the same thing and fast.
In today’s environment, blood and spitting were serious business. I should have walked away but wasn’t going to give her ego or status a boost or the impression I was afraid of her.
I took the elevator back up to the main floor to be met by Troy. He was holding an ice pack.
”Do you need this?” he asked.
”Yes and some alcohol pads to clean any possible cuts after I wash my hands,” I said.
”The White House doctor is on his way to check you out,” Troy replied.
”I hope you have your own video. You know what the media is going to do with that, you will be in a class with child killers,” Troy said.
I asked those with me if they had taken video as I asked. Two had and we transferred both to the flat screen and the entire White House staff watched.
”You held back for quite a while, some people will rejoice and some will be, well you know,” Troy said.
The President just stood shaking his head, ”This could be a mess.”
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.