I slept most of the flight; there was little turbulence and good sleeping. The gear touched the runway at 0730. There was already a crowd at Morton. I wondered why? I sent the Secret Service and Abra to go find out while I waited in the plane.
My mates and the two little boys came out. They were waiting on the news conference the CIA was going to give.
”Mommy, is this BJ’s new plane?” JJ asked.
”I think it might be one of them,” Jenny answered.
”When can we go fly on it?” RJ asked.
”It might be a little while but you can walk through and look at how nice it is, but don’t touch anything,” I said.
”Washington and the media have been pretty rough on you the last couple days. Are you OK with all this pressure?” Jenny asked.
”I am fine and everything else will be fine as soon as the news conference is over,” I said.
”Have you gotten everything ready to take them shopping tonight?” I asked.
”Yes, everything is ready and they all have rooms at the Morton Hotel,” Lorrie said.
Frank and Art Cummins came up the steps. ”We are ready to go. Let’s pour some cold water on the fires they have tried to build,” Art said.
I walked into the meeting room to boos and jeers mixed with yelling, screaming and various obscenities.
The news conference was held in the large meeting room that was divided with one of those heavy curtains. The five and their families were behind their curtain.
Frank Love started the news conference, ”First I want to set the record straight on the five Iranians you have been screaming about. They are alive and well. Madam Vice President, can you have them come out? You speak the language better than I do,” he said.
I called them out one at a time. They were smiling and happy and each shook my hand as they came out.
”They have asked for and were granted asylum. Vice President Jones pushed and prodded us to see that there was a possible intelligence value and a public way to show how despicable the Iranian regime really was to the world. These weren’t average Iranian citizens; they were close relatives of the leadership of Iran and they condemned them to death.”
”The reports that they were dead and their remains were to be released to their families in Pakistan was a fabrication – an elaborate plan to get their families out of Iran.”
”The plane was a JBG plane to complete the ruse with CIA pilots and crew. That plan was the brainchild of Vice President Jones. She has taken a lot of flack and knew there would be, but stood tall to make the plan work.”
”Iran never contacted Jones in any way after the New York exchange. They simply were going to let them die as they were of no further value to the regime. Vice President Jones used this Iranian mistake to work behind the scenes with the State Department and INS and other agencies to help with the asylum.”
”The result has been a wealth of information into the inner working of Iran, the IRG and their quest for nuclear weapons, their plans to dominate and control all of the Middle East and more – much more,” Frank said.
”The family members arrived from Pakistan early this morning. Open the curtain and let the family members join with their men.”
”That is all I am going to say. Because of the complexity of the operation and the involvement of many intelligence agencies and people, I am not going to take any questions. Vice President Jones, is there anything you want to say?” Frank asked.
”Obviously I’m pleased that the extraction plan of the family members was carried out with great results. It was a tribute to the skill and secrecy of all involved. This operation is far from over; there are lots of pieces needed to finish it out.”
”Frank left out a couple of thank yous. One to Lorrie Jones of JBG Aviation for a plane on short notice capable of doing the job needed. Another to all the people of JBG that knew something big was up but maintained the secrecy needed to complete what many in high places had said was ‘Mission Impossible’.”
”For the media folks and politicians that have beat me up nonstop for the last forty eight hours, somewhere around here there is a case of JBG monogrammed hand towels. You can dry your tears or wipe the egg off your face – whichever applies,” I said. “This news conference is over,” I added.
Hanna and Melinda were with the reporters sending reports to their stations. I walked to them with Secret Service and my security tagging along. The reporter exodus ground to a halt.
”Hey girlfriends, how have you been doing?” I asked.
”We are doing well. Are you getting any time to sleep at all? From all appearances you are one busy person – becoming Vice President and then planning and executing secret missions. You are working too hard. By the way, do you have any more missions we can tag along on? I’m learning to like them,” Hanna asked.
”Vicky and Ching Lee are running that show now – I will remind them to keep you in mind. Should be some things coming up soon,” I said, ”I have to run.”
I told my mates that I needed to go to Washington but would be back early to help with things at hand tonight.
I talked a few minutes with Frank and Art about the mission and asked if they wanted a ride in Air force 2 to Andrews?
”No, we have a car to take back,” Art said.
”I can have a Secret Service agent do that if you like,” I said.
With them on the flight back it gave us time to talk about the five and all the intel they were gleaning from them. They were naming the names of all the Middle East terrorist groups that Iran was funding and the leaders of them. They had also named names of the Iranian operatives at the UN and other places in the US.
They were naming American and European businesses that were selling Iran components to make nuclear weapons while skirting the embargos and how they were doing it.
”The President and I have decided I would stay on as chairperson of the task force over-sight committee until the cases that are working through the judicial system are complete. Get me the list of American businesses and the hammer will fall on them and their board of directors next week. You know how I feel about people aiding terrorists,” I said.
”The corporate leaderships are no longer going to be able to hide behind the line that the blame goes to the shipping or sales department for violating embargos. When they see they are going to jail and stiff corporate fines are applied, they will think twice before doing it again for a few bucks profit and so will others.”
At the White House I met with Troy and the President and we discussed the successfully signed agreement with Argentina. Then we talked about my next trip to India, set for after Thanksgiving.
This trip was to cover ongoing negotiations on domestic trade, military agreements. The conflicts among India, China and Pakistan were the hot topics of discussion. It was also to be a good will friendship visit introducing me as the new Vice President. Two more Asian specialists were going along and I had a stack of documents to review to bring myself up to speed on the topics.
I went home to help the girls tonight with the tasks at hand. The Iranian groups were going to be divided up to go to the mall for clothing and the necessities of life. All of us were taking them because we could speak the language. It was going to be a challenge with all the different age groups.
I did have several men from the security group who were going to help the men shop. The good thing was the CIA was picking up all the final tabs. JBG was paying and then billing the CIA with the normal add-on.
While we were getting ready I found out the CIA was wanting to rent five houses for them to live in for a while from Lorrie’s real estate rental division.
Lorrie’s group had been buying every house they could find as part of long range plans for the island and renting them out. If we didn’t have anything, we would buy it and back charge the State Department plenty in rent.
And then there were at least five automobiles from MAAR. Renting could cover who and the locations they were living at for security purposes.
The night proved interesting to say the least. It was a task to find an acceptable mix between western clothing and the traditional Muslim dress that this group was accustomed to, especially their children. The children were ready to make the change a lot faster than their parents wanted.
I told the parents that if they didn’t want their children to be sticking out and be easy targets for anyone looking for them, they needed to allow them some freedom. Not dressing in traditional garb was one thing to consider, the other was to become fluent in English very quickly and not to use Arabic anywhere at any time and the same held true for them.
The families took up seventeen rooms in the Morton Hotel, man and wife then male kids in one room and female kids in another – repeated five times – plus two extra for a family that had more than two of one gender.
At least it was a short term arrangement. They would be in houses in two weeks and the CIA’s problem. The CIA and the five were going to look at the houses on Monday.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
I’m fairly sure you have a minor typo here, minor as it’s possibly intended as a deliberate malapropism since it appears on the surface to mean something even if it isn’t the normal figure of speach. The suspect word appears at the paragraph beginning “With them on the flight back it gave us time to talk about the five and all the intel they were gleaming from them.”
I’m fairly certain that the word you intended to use, or at least to reference by malapropism, was “gleaning” rather than “gleaming.”
“Gleaming,” which you used, normally appears as an adjective rather than a verb and refers specifically to something which has the appearance of shining brightly. My point is that, in your context, it would be more about the useful information calling attention to itself rather than the actual work taken to obtain and sift the interview results for useful intel. 😉
“Gleaning,” while somewhat exotic in recent decades as to its origin, has precisely the meaning desired even though few may recognize it as such any more. It essentially derives from the agricultural harvesting of crops and the action of going through the remains in the fields following harvest to figuratively “separate the wheat (or still useful produce) from the chaff (the debris left in the field after harvest)” to ensure that nothing of value is left to waste. In the case of your intel wonks, they would be gleaning the mass of interview results to separate out the rare pieces of actionable intel. 🙂
(adjective) Having a bright sheen.
(noun) A flash of reflected light.
gleaning (noun,plural gleanings) — The act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.
Thank You, Jack