Happy New Year
Friday morning I went to Washington – as much as I didn’t want to. I knew there was going to be music that I didn’t want to hear. Last night’s news – that I only listened to for a few minutes – was video of yesterday’s UN confrontation with the pundits in screaming mode.
This morning’s version was no better, only now they had gone into full speculation mode. Would I or wouldn’t I carry out what I had said, was I out of control?
I swear the media had someone watching me. There was an army of reporters at the gate screaming and yelling for a story.
I went to Section Twelve first and started going through the things on my desk, putting them in order while I was waiting for the posse to come down.
The rest of the task force came in and a discussion was going on when Troy and the President came down.
”Well, you said you were going to unload on them and you did. I couldn’t see their faces but I’ll bet they were something to look at. That was some order you laid out to them. It’s a wonder the General didn’t try to hit you,” Troy said.
”You should have seen the General’s face when I approached him as they were entering the building. He was looking for someplace to run for a minute,” I said.
”The real conversation was on the trip back. The Supreme Leader insisted Iran did not put bounties on me and my family. He didn’t know that the IRG put bounties on us. The General denied the fact until I told him I had the communiqués from the training center to prove it,” I said.
”I guess we shall see who has the real power in Iran; the IRG or the Supreme Leader,” I said.
”Have they called you yet?” Troy asked.
”No, and I don’t expect them to,” I said.
”Surely you cannot believe that?” Troy said.
”Troy, you have problem reading between the double spaced lines. They cannot admit that they are sponsoring terrorism after they have denied it for so long.”
”They cannot negotiate because it will show weakness – either with the IRG and or the Supreme Leader – to the populace.”
”That weakness would be to an American – remember the ‘Death to America’ chants every week and heaven forbid give in to an American women at that. That alone could cause a political revolt! Remember how bad it was when they saw the video of General Kadar dying?”
“Who would the turmoil affect the most: the Supreme Leader, the IRG or both? Now it is the Leader’s family and the IRG, a double whammy.”
”To back up that point, all news from Iran today is on everything else but the UN. They are pushing a nonexistent fight with the Taliban on their border with Pakistan to stir up national fever.”
”The world knows they are supporting the Taliban, not fighting them, this is the IRG smokescreen. Is it a sign of who is the real power?”
”I predict they will sacrifice the five and use it for propaganda or else just shovel it under the sand,” I said.
“What’s going to happen to the French prisoners now?” Ben asked.
”Matador, the maximum security prison will be finished in seven days in the security zone. The tribunal will hold court there,” I said. ”
”On a different note, I need you to go on another two day trip to Argentina next week standing in for Vice President Mason; providing you promise not to take hostages or kill anyone,” the President said.
”You may want to go see the VP, again the negotiations were tough at the last meeting,” the President said.
”No problem, I need a break. Just so you know I am still scheduled to be on Sunday Morning America live this Sunday, it should be a lively hour of fun and excitement. You may want to watch,” I said.
I left by the side door even though the White House press corps were wanting me to appear to answer questions. I sent my regards to them stating that I didn’t have time today.
I went to see Vice President Mason again to get any info on the upcoming Argentina trip. Many of the people who were going to be there I had met before.
One of the new topics of the meeting tied into the international drug agency that was now being discussed in multiple countries.
Vice President Mason’s condition had not improved, in my opinion. He was upbeat about getting some new experimental medicines from Walter Reed hospital that had promise.
Back at the office I spent the rest of the day at my desk, working with my mates while trying to make sense of all the costs with the Mexico operation. Marcy was happy at the end and that was all I needed to know.
Saturday we made another family day. The TV was off all day – the boys and I worked outside raking leaves. It gave them something fun to do and kept us busy. I needed to keep busy, there was no need to be waiting for the phone to ring.
Something happened that never had happened before – there were protesters at the gate. The security guard called for help just to make sure no one was able to get by and onto the property if they rushed the gate.
The protesters were wanting the Iranians freed. They came in several vans with Washington DC tags. I had little doubt where they came from and who was pushing the buttons.
We had tightened security at the gate to the gym and offices months ago. To get into the parking garage or the Horsey Office building, you now needed a JBG ID card. The parking in front of the main office and gym only got you into those areas after being approved by the attendant manning the lobby window – which now was bullet resistant glass. In fact the whole lobby had been upgraded to be bullet resistant, doors and all.
Sunday morning the six of us and bodyguards went to the Washington studios of Sunday Morning Washington Live. There were protesters outside on the street – some masked – all shouting and waving signs or sticks. Luckily where we had to go was to the restricted access gated parking lot.
My mates stayed with me in the dressing room while the makeup lady worked her magic to make me look the best under the bright lights. When she finished the girls went to their seats.
I stood behind the curtain while the show’s opening music ended and the announcer went through the hosts’ names.
”Welcome to Sunday Morning live with Candy Brown, Arthur Kennedy and David Young. Today our guest is former Ambassador Roberta Jones, chairperson of the President’s terrorist task force oversight committee and President of Jones Business Groups, better known as JBG,” the announcer said.
Today I was the only guest named.
As I took my seat, ”Good morning Arthur, Candy and David. It is a pleasure to be here again,” I said.
”When we talked on the phone you said we would have a lot more things to talk about today. That was an understatement so let’s start with France,” Arthur said.
”Are there more arrests by French police happening or has the raid caused a exodus of terrorists to other European countries?” David asked.
”There will always be the possibility of lone wolf terrorist attacks. The raid stopped an organized attack that was to involve multiple countries. The raid netted planners, leaders, trainers, weapons, material to make explosives and large quantities of ammunition.”
”Along with training materials there were lists of supporters, financiers and sympathizers and a waiting list of those wanting to join to become martyrs. France has been going through the evidence as are other countries,” I said.
”The five Iranians; what part did they play in the center? Why were they arrested?” Candy asked.
”Iran supplied funding, weapons, explosives and training. Those men were there to support and expand the training center. They were evaluating if more training centers could work in other countries as well as they thought the one in France was working. They were on site in the buildings, working with the group,” I said.
”Have the Iranians responded to your ultimatum on Thursday?” Arthur asked.
”No – not a whimper,” I said.
”So what is your next step – direct negotiations with Iran, possibly through a third party?” Candy asked.
”I made it clear to the Supreme Leader and the President of Iran, the top leaders in the political structure. As high and direct as you are going to get and with the IRG, just what the time limit was and consequences were for not meeting them – they are written in stone. There will be no second attempt,” I said.
”Aren’t you being a little hard nosed in the international arena? Complicated negotiations take time?” Candy asked.
”It is only as complicated as you let it be. Sure, they would like it to take years just for the propaganda benefit and the hope that someone will collect the bounty they have on me and my family. I’m not playing that game.”
”We live under the threat that every time you walk outdoors that someone is looking to put a bullet in you. Every car you meet on the highway could be filled with explosives to do a head-on collision. Or the drink or plate of food you get at a restaurant could be poisoned. You can’t make any routine that can be broken and allow someone in that would kill you. We have lived under that threat for four years now,” I said.
”Let’s talk about the Oklahoma State terrorist attack. Why was there no involvement from to local enforcement?” David said.
”We approached them when our informant in Paris gave us information that there was a connected plot to carry out a strike in Oklahoma. They told us we didn’t know what we were talking about. Their diverse city was peaceful.”
”Then the city police tried several times to disarm our security unit there, but we wouldn’t give in to their demands.”
”The city has so many restrictions to appease the college that it fully hampered investigative work, especially when the police said an attack wasn’t so. We couldn’t use a lot of our tools at our disposal,” I said.
”Now Mexico, from all accounts you are capturing a lot of drugs, taking prisoners and even a hand in stopping human trafficking. Did you think that the operation would have so many variables when all you were to do was to protect a pipeline?” Candy asked.
”We knew it could get complicated and we had prepared for it. You are right in that we didn’t expect to get so many prisoners so early in the game,” I said.
”What are you going to do with them?” Candy asked.
”We are building two three hundred bed maximum security prisons in the security zone. We came to the conclusion, after all the reports about Mexican prisons and how the cartels have so much power and control in them, we needed our own prison. It is the same problem we have here with the gangs in our prisons.”
”We wanted to eliminate the cartel’s influence over the prisons and the judicial system there. JBG personnel will man and operate the prisons,” I said.
”It has been reported that you are going to close off the US southern border. What’s up with that?” Arthur asked.
“As we cut off the illegal crossings and the trails for drug traffic, they are going back to using human carriers to carry it through the border checkpoints. The cartel themselves are looking for a place to hide – what better place to hide and continue operations than in any one of the sanctuary cities? We have to stop that from happening. Firmly close the border keep them out,” I said.
”How are you going to stop them?” Candy asked.
”Once the checkpoints are operating, the only way to get to the US will be with an American passport and possession of the real ID driver’s license and proof of citizenship. That is proof of property ownership, valid tax return and a job by verifying employment. All others will be turned away. That process will hopefully reveal the cartel members. Mexico has identified many and interrogations will revel more,” I said.
”What about people from Central America trying to apply for asylum?” Candy asked.
”As much as I object to many of the things the UN does, it has rules for people seeking asylum. They must apply in the first country they come to. That rule needs to be enforced. There are various processes for legal immigration and filing for asylum without crashing the border,” I said.
”You are covering for the Vice President at some meetings while he is ill. How did you get selected to do that?” Candy asked.
”Many of the people and the meetings that the Vice President was working on fell into the same things I am trying to do with the new international drug control commission and other national security projects.”
”Through my days as Ambassador and JBG security I already know many of the foreign leaders and their staffs. There is already a personnel connection and confidence level that does not have to be built from scratch, we already have it.”
”The President asked and my mates gave me the approval, so I agreed to fill in,” I said.
The questions went on until the time was gone. I was glad to be finished.
We all rode in one Suburban. The girls were upbeat – I had not fumbled any questions and in many I came out on top. I felt good – what made me feel better were the texts from all the White House crowd, ‘Damn good job,’ and things to that effect.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.