Friday was home. I needed home – all of us girls needed home. Of course there were office responsibilities that needed to be taken care of, then there were the emails – hundreds – related to business. Hundreds were related to the Loco Waco mess, most of them were threatening. It made no difference and wasn’t going to change anything.
We went to the gym, all of us did. It felt good to be able to work out. That had been hit or miss for the last couple weeks. I spent three hours in the gym including thirty minutes in the hot tub and another thirty on the massage table letting Amy Crossman work me over. I needed working over; my muscles were sore all over my body.
Amy rarely did massages herself anymore; there were six men and ladies who stayed busy all the time. Several were into sports massage for the many athletes that regularly came to the gym.
Friday afternoon I went to the jail at Fort Smith to see the elite prisoners most likely to live – short of starting a Middle East war – and the five who would soon die.
After several long discussions in Persian I told the elites their fate depended on the UN meeting in four weeks; until then they were my guests. The fire was gone out of their temperament. The few weeks in a cell had simmered them down.
The last thing I did was to give each of them the last two days of the Tehran daily paper and the Pakistan paper. While I was in my meetings yesterday I sent Dave Ortel – one of my new security guards – to the huge international news stand not far from the White House to get the papers.
Saturday started with a series of updates from Bob’s engineers in Mexico and Andy’s men. Andy was home and had already spent time in his office.
Then it was family day. The boys needed my attention. I carried them to the nearly deserted Fort Smith. We walked the compound and looked at all kinds of things. We left with their pockets full of shell casings and spent bullets from the target range. It had become a game to see who collected the most. I enjoyed watching them count them out in neat stacks and counting the stacks. They were growing faster than I could keep up with. I needed to spend time with Takeo and Sara. Time well spent with the kids – and all the frustrations of the week were gone.
The best part of the feeling was I would not need to go to Washington for at least another week.
I was looking forward to going to Thimble Shoals Pirates Bank on Monday. I wanted to see if the Bull had any money stashed there. In fact I was looking for any Central Americans with large sums deposited there.
On Monday Jenny, Vicky and Ching Lee made the trip to Mexico City with me. It was a media frenzy that I did not expect. I wondered why the Mexican government had taken such a vested interest in Mexpo’s plights that the President of Mexico would in Tampico for what was a progress report.
Not only was President Martinez there, so was Federal prosecutor Inez along with Mexpo’s Garcia.
A twenty minute huddle assigned the pecking order. Presidents go first and peon me last was my theory. It would be an interesting news conference for sure without some data for them to use, and as far as I knew they had none. I soon found out that I was to supply it.
I quickly wrote out a list of things they could talk about – Mexpo’s Garcia and Martinez sorted through and chose things they wanted. They chose the political and economic side of the notes. The number of taps closed, the increased revenue in taxes and fees collected already. There was also increased confidence from the locals in their safety.
The number of dead found on the highway from gangs and the cartel in the area had diminished substantially from just a week ago. Maybe we had the worst of the worst behind the concertina wire. Another thing that told me; the cartel had either moved operations south and west or was just laying low to see where things were going. It was time to devote some attention to Bull.
Federal Prosecutor Inez jumped on the police officers we had arrested and the number of prisoners captured. He jumped even harder on the human trafficking, wanting every detail, even the minor ones. Details like the names of two captured, what we did with the girls and what was going to happen to the men.
All that left me nothing, but I was not disappointed at that.
I listened while experienced Mexican politicians as smooth and savvy as any politicians anywhere gave their news conference. I thought I was home clear until they made the mistake of opening up for questions.
”There was a news conference in Washington last week displaying drugs and money captured by JBG in Mexico. Why were those taken to the US for a news conference?” a reporter asked.
I watched as the slickness disappeared and that lost look was cast my way.
”Let me answer that for you,” I said as I stepped to the podium.
”First, all things captured in the security zone and the pipeline right ways become the property of JBG by extension of the contract.”
”Second, JBG is working with the US Drug Enforcement Agency and other international drug enforcement agencies including countries I cannot mention. They are working to develop a world wide database of illegal drugs.”
”With new and very advanced DNA tests and a host of other new advanced tests, we are hoping to catalog the location of manufacture and other revealing information, possibly down to the chemist’s DNA that mixed the chemicals together. As in all things technical with chemistry and DNA, it looked impossible at the beginning but we are making progress.”
”All that fancy equipment is not transportable. With so many samples captured, we sent the lot to the experts. They are responsible for the destruction after testing, eliminating any questions.”
”The Washington news conference was to display in a good light the cooperation between Mexico, the US and the JBG partnership,” I said.
As I turned and stepped away from the podium, eyes and smiles acknowledge that I had said the right things.
”Where are the prisoners being held? In the US, Mexico or JBG?” was asked. A question I was sure came from the cartel.
”JBG has several maximum prisons, one at Fort Smith, another at Fort Polo, a third at Fort Dean and a fourth at Fort Adams training complexes. We are currently building two three hundred cell maximum security prisons in the security zone. Construction started on Friday. Many of the components were made prefab for fast assembly. We fully expect to be in part of the first cell block section of prison ‘Matador’ in less than thirty days. The actual location of prisoners is classified for security reasons,” I said. This time I stayed at the podium.
” Any more questions for me?” I asked.
“Has JBG resurrected the war on drugs?” one asked.
”As I said in the other previous news conferences, the mission here is multi-pronged. Secure the pipelines, stop the pilferage, then stopping the human trafficking in both directions across the border and also stop gang and drug cross traffic across the border. The neutral zone will play an important part in that as time will show,” I said.
”As far as the myth that the fight against illegal drugs was over, that was started by some with no intestinal fortitude to make the decisions necessary to win it and people just threw up their hands in desperation. The war continues, different players, different places, and different weapons.”
”There is an old saying; the Navy withdraws from the battle to refuel, the Army retreats to wait for reinforcements, the Air Force is in the hangar because of cloud cover, the Coast Guard because they were never invited to the arena until it was too late.”
“JBG is a Marine run operation. We don’t need to withdraw to refuel; we brought it with us.”
”We don’t need to retreat to wait for reinforcements. They were ordered to join the battalions on the very first day with flexible assignments. My men are not going to die for the same ground twice.”
”Low cloud cover won’t keep our air support in the hangars because we have no hangars in the field. Our planes are in the field close to the men and are airborne in minutes. Our pilots love to get low and dirty backing up the men on the ground, flushing out the terrorists – by whatever name political pundits give them – to put them out of business. I have seen the grass stains on the propellers and I know how they got there.”
”The Coast Guard has been in the fight since the beginning, getting ten second blips of credit through a biased media.”
“Coast Guard – in a couple of months that fast boat overtaking you is not going to be a drug runner, it’s going to be a JBG fast attack coastal patrol boat armed for bear and coyotes.”
”I intend to put the drug runners using the oceans to skirt the security zone to do their business onto the bottom of the ocean, along with the drugs, boats and crews. I have no sympathy or compassion for any of them or what they do.”
”They are terrorists. It’s a mindset – it’s not a drug war – it’s a war on terrorism with a new players – new fighters – new rules – the cartel terrorists.”
”I intend to work harder to get the international community to shut down your drug operations, seize your homes and hidden wealth and declare nations looking the other way be declared supporters of terrorism and ask for international sanctions.”
”It’s time we ended the silent attacks on our communities, states and nations. We are the Americans – North, Central and South – but we are all part of the Americas. This is the first bold step,” I said.
I wondered many feet I had stomped on way past the toes. Both my phones were already vibrating on my hip.
I turned to look at blank faces of the politicians. ”Are you in? Are you ready?” The blank faces went to broad smiles and handshakes. Flash bulbs flashed rapid fire.
I was sure I had sent the message I wanted. But I was going to send another very soon.
As soon as I could research and verify The Bull was still using his compound, it was going to be raided Hollywood style ‘Shock and Awe’. But then Robert’s group had found four more in Mexico. Time to advance the pieces on the game board.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.