Book 2 Chapter 144

It was 2300 before we boarded the flight back to Andrews, midnight when we landed at Andrews, 0100 when I crawled into the big fluffy bed with Marcy and Jenny.
The day started early at 0500. I was awakened by the telephone – it was the CIA desk on the second floor in the basement. Iran had moved a step further. They were placing mines in the Strait of Hormuz right on the edge of the deep water channel.
It was the next step in the play book. If they could not sell any oil, neither was anyone else – if they had their way. The sanctions had been tightened again and again. There had been another round of sanctions just six months ago. They had been under sanctions of one kind or the other now for over twenty years.
That meant that the current or propeller wash could cause them to lose their anchoring. They then became a real hazard as a floating mine in the shipping channel.
Hitting the side of a tanker in the channel carrying gasoline, jet fuel or Naphtha would be disastrous, closing the channel for a very long time.
A national security meeting was the first thing on the schedule after breakfast and seeing my mates off. All of them were going back home to get things ready for our week at Deep Water Cay. They were going to pack for me.
I had just put them on the helicopter for home and was sitting at my desk when the green phone started ringing.
”Good morning Prime Minister Attenborough. How are you today?” I answered.
”I am good. I wanted to know what your thoughts are on Iranian’s actions in the strait?” he asked.
”It is troublesome but not unexpected from them, given the gradual increase of tensions there. We certainly have the ability to destroy them but we would gain nothing as they would just replace them.”
”Sanctions are already tight on them. The problem is more countries ignoring the sanctions so they are having less and less affect,” I added.
”I’m going to call for an emergency meeting of the Security Council,” the Prime Minister said.
”That would be the next orderly step, although it would be worthless. They haven’t complied with any in decades; they won’t start now. This is just another step to force negotiations to reduce the sanctions,” I said.
”I will inform our UN Ambassador to be ready to support the meeting and the position they are to take. Just remember, placing mines in or near navigable international waterways violates international law and may be considered an act of war,” I said.
”The Russians will not support any action against Iran. Higher oil prices are what they want,” he said.
”With the Saudis nearing completion of their long awaited Indian Ocean oil terminals, their output won’t be marginally affected. I think they are in the testing phase now. But that doesn’t help Kuwait and Dubai after the first tanker sinks in the Strait. That’s when things get dicey!” I said.
I sent a note to the General asking for the latest satellite photographs of Saudi Arabia and Oman.
I called Dick James and discussed the call and then ordered a transcript of the call sent to him and General Ingram.
”What’s your thought on sending mine sweepers to the area? There are docks at Mirbat to keep them out of the Strait if you like,” I sent as a text.
My next was a staff meeting; they needed to decide who was going to the island with me. The meeting lasted an hour.
The party chairman called with the assessments from the last three fundraisers covering the last week. Their coffers had grown by one hundred million. My fundraisers have raised more than three times what the other fundraisers had done.
He was still trying to get me to commit to putting my hat into the ring. It was one thing the girls and I were going to talk about while we were sunning on the beach.
We were just finishing up when I got the reports from Washington State. Things were looking good – arrests had been made. The tents were going up and homeless people were being removed from the streets. There was one note on the arrests – one hundred and ninety had been arrested trying to interfere with the operation. They were trying to block roads and harassing the soldiers picking up the homeless.
To make the day more cluttered, the Secret Service wanted a meeting about the vacation. They could not get things to come together for us to leave tonight, and that was hours away.
”We are leaving tonight, ready or not, what’s your problem?” I asked.
”We can’t get the Beast there for one thing,” the senior agent said.
”I would hope not – there are no roads. You get there by boat or helicopter; there are no paved roads on the island to use it on. Travel is by walking, ATV, Gator or golf cart and there are plenty there for us to use as there are boats and Skidoos.”
”We need to take sixty people plus equipment,” he said.
”Did you send all that to Lorrie? Did you think to tell all those people they could take their wives?” I asked.
”Yes, a couple days ago,” he said.
”OK, I’m sure Lorrie’s staff planned for all that. What’s the next problem?” I asked.
”Will there be enough food for everyone?” he asked.
”I’m sure there will be,” I replied.
Lorrie had sent me the list of things she had ordered to go with us. One thousand pounds of filet and other steaks. A thousand pounds of fresh and frozen chicken, fifty cases of beer and wine coolers, apple juice, sun screen and several cases of bug spray – just in case. An assortment of family favorite breakfast foods and many more things were included.
There were things for the boys to play with and grown men to play with. The boys were swimming now and we were going try to teach them how to snorkel.
As busy as the rentals had been, Lorrie must have been planning for months for us to have this week. I was happy about it. She had even saved rooms for Jake, Mindy, the twins and Jason and Lisa; they were coming for a few days.
A daily shipment of live crabs came from Savannah. Two cases of Old Bay seasoning for steaming crabs were in Lorrie’s order.
The gas, diesel and propane tanks had been filled. It would be bad to run out of fuel during our vacation.
Troy brought the responses from the Dayton fund raiser. The papers were as full of pictures as the editorial pages were full of opinions. People were wondering; bookies at Vegas were betting the best of both worlds.
”The odds are four to one. You will let us know before you make any announcement so we take our money and cut,” Troy said with a laugh.
”I do suspect you will know before anyone else,” I answered with a smile.
I still had a list to do and was running out of daytime when I got a text from Lorrie.
”Have all the agencies take everything that they want to go to Deep Water to Andrews. A C130 will pick it up and deliver it to the general aviation terminal at Grand Bahamas after dark. The cargo boats will make as many trips as necessary,” it said.
After dark was slow time at the airport there and was when general air cargo deliveries were scheduled.
The cargo boats was something I wanted to see. Jake had seen them in Alaska carrying equipment and supplies to the thousands of islands there where it seemed everyone was building cabins there.
They were a modified version of the old WW2 landing craft with the front drop opening. They even had two winches with an anchor that could be dropped off the stern to winch it off the beach as long as the tide hadn’t dropped too much while they were ashore.
Lorrie had found a company that built aluminum ones, they were of a shallow water design with twin outboards on them and were perfect for picking up materials and small equipment from the mainland to drop at Deep Water Cay.
The NSA sent a file with satellite pictures and other data from Nigeria; they was collected over several days. There were clear pictures of the group approaching from the north-west towards Gusau.
The photos from today showed they had stopped their trek for the last two days one hundred and fifty miles from the village. I wondered why? Then I figured they were sending women and injured in as spies to get the lay of the village and any police presence and defenses.
I took pictures of the photographs and everything in the file and sent them to Andy on my JBG phone with an FYI.
I called Frank Love and asked if he was in the building. When he arrived we discussed the file. Then an in depth discussion followed about the CIA’s operations and involvement in Nigeria. I wanted to know just how deeply involved the CIA was.
When the conversation was over, it confirmed everything I already knew. I wanted to confirm the people I could trust.
With the security staff in my office I called the Emir again. The conversation filled him in on the threat. I asked if he was open to additional security forces or was just going to rely on the existing personnel in the area.
”The forces we have seem to be working well, we will go with what we have. We are still considering your aid offer. We shall soon have projects selected and then I will travel to Washington to discuss them,” he said.
I received a note from the Secret Service ”Everything we want to go will be at Andrews by 1700.”
I forwarded it to Lorrie.
”Everything we wanted to take – including all the food – has already left Morton. We are flying in the business jet and will be there before you. Winds permitting, we will have a bonfire on the beach and a cold beer waiting for you. We can’t wait to get you in the sand on the beach,” Lorrie.
”PS. The business jet is flying back to Morton tonight and it is scheduled to bring Justice Copeland and her family back from Hawaii tomorrow.”
I finished up what I was doing as did the rest of the staff that was going with me. The staff was packing suitcases in a dozen vehicles for the trip to Andrews.
The White House press pool was drawing numbers; only two were going – one male and one female. I wondered if they were still loving a lottery? They had already been told taking pictures would be strictly limited.
Hanna and Melinda were with the girls at Morton. The press pool was going to be pissed.
Marine One delivered me and the football with some aides to Andrews at 1800. Everyone else was on board or waiting in line. Minutes later we were airborne.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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