Iran was in the evening news cycle along with the Navy.
Iran was making bold claims about the unprovoked attack on their coastal defense fast boats by JBG military units. Their fast boats were assisting a sail boat in distress when they attacked in an aggressively merciless military style operation.
So they had just boosted JBG security forces to the level of a military force. I thought that was interesting.
Their propaganda arm said they had lost only two boats and four men to the illegal act. They were demanding release of an unknown number of their prisoners. I chuckled at that – I had video of all six either sinking or blown to bits and pictures of sixteen prisoners.
A ZNN military analyst who was deciphering my intentions said, ”It is clear that the Fordson class may be in trouble far beyond all public disclosures. It’s also clear that the new President is not going to put up with any smoke screens from the military industrial complex or the Navy.”
”Loss of the fourth and fifth Fordson class ship would cut thirty billion or more out of Newport News Ship Building revenues. It’s more than a wake-up call; it’s a slap in the face with an ice cold towel for poor performance and poor performing products.”
At 0700 I was in the Oval Office looking at reports from the night. Marcy went back to the living quarters to do things for JBG.
This morning there was a tree chart outlining all things related to the President, his duties and functions along with notes from Connie and Troy.
There were one thousand two hundred people that worked for me as part of the Executive branch or the White House.
I had hundreds of research people whose job was to find the answers to any subject that I needed to research or question for developing policies and generating favorable public opinion.
There was another group that worked on developing the President’s version of the national budget. There were ideas from the President and his advisors of tax increases or cuts to develop how they affected the national budget and national debt or affected the agencies.
Congress had their own called Congressional Budget Office that took Congress’s proposals and did the same thing. Usually Congressional proposals always came up roses and sunshine until passed into law. Then the numbers somehow came up in the red by billions.
These groups and dozens of others helped develop or modify the President’s policies, both financial and physical.
I now had the means to work on my State of the Union Address. I wondered how I was going to find the time to do the research. Now all I had to do was send them the questions.
Troy, Connie and I wrote up a list of topics that previous Presidents covered in the address, then we added mine. When we were finished Troy sent the list to Carson LaJames. Carson was head over several different research groups for the President. He was one more of the hundreds of people I needed to meet and gain their confidence.
At 0800 I was in a national security meeting with all the right people. The NSA and CIA had fresh satellite images of all of Iran in high definition.
The analyst had been over them with a big magnifying glass. Each photo had last week’s photo attached, with any changes in the field circled.
I listened as they gave their professional opinions. Next up was North Korea followed by Syria then Iraq. Then there were the African problems; the northern half of Africa was always at war with itself or someone. It had been that way for decades; nothing was going to change it short of turning the area into a glass parking lot.
At 0900 I was meeting with General Ingram, the secretary of the Air Force and four star General Alfred Baines. I listened to his presentation about his forces with the numbers of each kind of plane and their duty.
The numbers were impressive, just by their looks; one hundred and fifty five heavy bombers, one thousand six hundred fighter / light bombers, five hundred air tankers, over six hundred cargo planes and three hundred infantry ground support aircraft – the A10. There was no better sound to infantry than that of the twin jet engine A10 and the Gatling it carried.
”I’m going to war in twenty four hours, how many of the bombers and fighters can I depend on joining the battle the first day?” I asked.
The look of surprise was replaced with one of fear. He had no doubt been in conversations about the Navy and was afraid the same fate was headed his way.
”Less than fifty percent – more like 40 percent. We have similar issues to the Navy – maintenance delays, technician shortage and horrible parts supplies that make keeping a reasonable inventory impossible.”
”Manufactures are more interested in selling new planes than sufficient amounts of parts. Some parts have ten month back orders. To locate some parts for older models we have had to raid planes that were given to museums,” he said.
”Let’s change the conversation to what I call hardware, bombs, missiles and rockets. It is pretty much the job of the Air Force to deliver those on targets. How many days supply do you have on hand?” I asked.
”On small weapons – 100, 250, 500, 1000, and 2000 pound versions – we have a sixty day supply based on historical usage from previous conflicts. On heavy units MOAB, less than twenty five bombs in inventory and of the seismic thirty thousand pounders, just ten are in inventory. There is a thirty day delay in getting replacements,” he said.
An aide knocked on the door then came in and handed me a note.
“The senators from the Armed services committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee are in the meeting room. They are not happy,” the note said.
”Generals, Mr. Secretary that is all I need to know for now but I will have more questions for you soon. I am not happy about the large bomb inventory and we will have a discussion very soon on that,” I said as I stood to leave.
I went to my desk to get the folder with files that Robert had sent over the last few days with the time table and plans that had been decoded and a fresh mug of coffee. There was a new message from Robert with attachments.
I opened them quickly and glanced over the information. One communiqué was trying to establish connections to more groups in the US and Canada.
Just when you think you had thinned the herd, more showed up. My immediate thought was there were sleeper cells they were trying to contact.
The other communiqué were to groups in Yemen and Somalia calling for joining of forces and an expanded effort in pirating. Another called for an increase in assaults against American interests in Saudi Arabia and Oman.
”Connie, call Ben, Frank and General Ingram and have them come to my meeting,” I said.
I knew one of the reasons they were unhappy. In order to stem the flow of leaks from the White House, I had all security clearances to the White House approved by President Thomas revoked. Only a few people would have clearance to the White House. All others would have their cell, beepers and laptops collected and they would be searched, plus they had to go through a scanner.
I also ordered – on the advice of Robert – to have a separate server that all transcripts of all meetings and all internal communications be stored in and not connected to government computer system.
The minute it went active, Congress could no longer view my meeting schedule or transcripts of the meetings, depending on security classification. It had been active for a week now.
Troy and I were led by Ziva, Abra and a couple more of my JBG guards followed by Connie into the meeting. I was expecting chaos and was not disappointed. I wondered why my security had decided to sit in.
It started even before I was seated. I knew that there are congressmen that have no respect for the President and as I expected, even less for a female President. It was something that I knew from problems that past President’s had dealt with, starting with Eisenhower.
It began with the press badgering the President as the press tried to sway the listening public to their way of thinking of force the President to accept theirs as policy.
Then as powerful special interest groups and their owners grew more powerful and allied with the media truth went out the window and the media was turned into a propaganda tool.
Washington Senator Wilber Downs was known as one of the liberal hot heads in the Senate. Senate leaders always tried to put him in committees where he could do the least harm. Seniority has a way of getting in the way of sanity; that was how he ended up on the Armed Services Committee – that and Washington had a major Navy base there.
The reserve fleet was stored there and there was storage for decommissioned ships and nuclear submarines. Washington had the only approved destruction site for nuclear submarines. What they did with old reactors was top secret.
Not only was Senator Wilber Downs an idiot, he was an asshole idiot without manners or respect. One thing he did was to protect his state’s Navy yard.
Before I was seated he told me in colorful four letter words what an idiot I was, how stupid I was and what he thought of me and my decision concerning Newport News Ship Building. Then he unloaded on being searched and having his phone confiscated. He kept on even after other senators suggested that he be quiet so we could begin.
With a knock on the door Ben, Frank and General Ingram came in. The General handed me several sealed notes. They were for minor things; one of them was that the Newport News Ship Building executive Vice President was in the lobby wanting to see me, it wasn’t unexpected.
It did give cover to oust Senator Wilber Downs. I snapped my fingers and gave Ziva a note, ”Tell Senator Downs he has a phone call. Escort him out – ALL the way out of the White House and on to the front steps – and remove his clearance.”
Speaking to Ben, Frank and the General, ”Have you seen the translation of today’s broadcast from Iran to their proxies?” I asked.
Three heads shook ”no” so I handed them the papers as they moved chairs to sit with me.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.