Book 2 Chapter 171

An hour later Tammy was finished with the project. The first draft was just like I wanted. I had her transfer the drawing to the bottom of the letter I was returning to the General.
I called Ambassador Al Farsi to come pick my reply tomorrow morning – July first. The Ambassador was out of town and would not be able to pick it up until the afternoon of the following day – July second. It would take at least a day or more to get to the General.
If Ambassador Al Farsi handled it personally, he would have to take a flight to Europe – most likely through Germany – then a flight to Pakistan. The letter would then be taken by a VIP to Tehran to be hand delivered to the General on the afternoon of July the third or the morning of the fourth.
There was all kinds of planning for events for the Fourth of July. The Jones always had a big family cookout. It was going to be a noon-time cookout this year. I was going home Friday night to help set everything up and try to help with some of the cooking. At least that was my plan.
Then we were coming back to Washington for the big fireworks display at the mall. It was customary that the President be in attendance to give a patriotic speech to kick off the celebration. My family and I were going to watch the fireworks from the White House.
Frank brought in new satellite photos of the day from the Middle East and from Africa. We spent an hour going over them with a magnifying glass. Africa was still the same. My guess had been correct – it was a fake message – a security check for General Bashir’s communications.
The Middle East pictures were a different story. Iran was still building up troop vehicles and munitions at its forward camps. There was still no information on the target or targets.
Thursday night I was going to break the routine. I was going to sit for an hour in the Roosevelt room doing a live news interview. It was ZNN’s Washington Thursday evening political wrap up.
It was a politics only current events news show. Senators and representatives were always trying to pull strings to be a guest on the show, especially as elections came closer. They were one of the many political news shows.
ZNN’s was the most level headed out there. They were far more respectful of their guest than many of the liberal political shows. Melinda had been trying for months to get me on one of their shows. I finally agreed.
For an hour I answered rapid fire questions. They covered most everything that had happened politically for the last six months. There were extensive questions about the California, Oregon, Washington and New York homeless problems and the resulting actions I had taken.
The last twenty minutes were on Nigeria and Russia agreements. The reporter and I discussed the merits of the agreement and the long term ramifications. I glossed over areas where I still had concerns.
I did a video call to the girls and listened to JJ and RJ as they told me about their garden before going to bed. The girls and I talked an hour; it was in this conversation that I learned that Mom and Lisa were doing most of the cooking tomorrow for Saturday. I would be able sample some of the foods tomorrow night for supper.
I went back to the Oval Office. While there I read over some bills that had been sent to my desk to sign into law. As with everything, there were notes stuck to them with various opinions from different advisors.
Legal always had pages attached with how the law would affect the courts, the general public and – if they thought the law would be pass muster – with the courts.
The White House budget office broke down the numbers as to how much it would cost the treasury or if it would enhance revenue. Money was always an issue.
Then there was the political opinion on how the general public would react. Most of the time I didn’t even bother reading that one. I was more interested in the merits of the law. Was it necessary, would it make lives better or was the bill just a smoke screen for some special interest group?
Two of them I signed into law, two others I vetoed. They needed some corrections and improvements. As always, whenever I vetoed a bill I wrote my objections and sent it back to the Senate and a copy to the House.
I slept soundly even though I wished one of my mates could be with me.
Friday I was up early – I was sitting in the dining room waiting for my breakfast at 0530. As I waited I read more updates.
Today I was somewhat surprised that the CIA had included in their file several pages of top secret documents from the German prime minister, his cabinet and their top military officials regarding the Russian agreement.
They were anticipating – and correctly so I might add – that the US was going to cut military aid to Europe. They were discussing ways to counter our planned cuts and ways to convince me and the next US president to increase our in Europe spending so – of all things – they could cut their defense spending and shift it to desperate social programs.
The Pentagon was already working on a plan to cut European military aid by twenty five percent. My plan was to do it by a gradual monthly drawn down of troops first and at the same time stop sending replacement military hardware there. All of this was dependent on Russia honoring the new agreements.
I already had a long conversation with General Ingram about life extension for major military equipment. It had long been proven that aircraft could continue to fly long after the engineers said it would be obsolete. Examples of that were the C130, B52, A10 and the F16 and F18s. They were living far longer than the F35 model.
I had the last security council meetings of the week and the last intelligence meetings until Monday. Not much had changed, just the same old same old stuff. Most of my staff were going home to various places. I had told all of them to be gone at noon to miss the heavy Fourth of July traffic.
I was staying until 1600; I had some things I needed to finish up and then Marine One was carrying me to Morton.
One of the things was to have Vice President Harrison in for a private talk after lunch. Vice President Harrison had been making the rounds with visits to our European allies, filling them in on the progress of the Russian treaties and agreements.
I wanted a personal assessment from him on the mood of the group before I went to the G8 meeting next Thursday and Friday. I wanted it while it was fresh on his mind.
He brought with him transcripts of each meeting and his private notes. The private notes were as valuable as the transcripts. The transcripts were just spoken words on paper, but the private notes conveyed impressions of body language and expressions.
It was one reason why I liked the VCATS and MTAC communications so much. The body language and expressions said a lot more than words sometimes.
At 1545 I was walking to the steps to Marine One with the football and the control with two agents. My bags and portable office were already aboard.
At 1700 I was walking in the door to the garage. I was a few minutes early. I quietly snuck up on two boys laying on the floor in the den.
”Got you this time,” as it became a tickle fest.
Mom and Lisa had just finished cooking in the big kitchen with the Secret Service supplied chef. I had forgot about that and was happy that they had gotten along perfectly. There was no shortage of pots, pans, burners and microwaves, plus the kitchen had plenty of AC to keep everyone cool even though it was ninety five outside.
I did find out I was going to be the official taster of various goodies tonight for supper. It looked like I might be the only one eating; the cooks and boys had sampled foods all day.
Then there was the case of the missing apple pie. There were rumors that a special investigation may be needed to find out where it went. However, there were several more.
My mates were still over in the office. I decided to use the tunnel to go over and surprise them. I knew many of the employees were given the day off if they wanted, or they could take a different day with pay if they liked. Several agents and the football made the trip with me.
I was in time for Marcy’s Friday meeting – one that I should sit in on – so I walked through and gave them a hug and kiss then went to my old office. My desk was still clean; someone had dusted recently. I wondered why Marcy had not moved into it. It was one of the bigger offices.
I took the elevator down to the command center and spoke to the controller for the day. I had a conversation about events that happened today. I was interested in the cameras from Andy’s teams who were assigned to the OPEC nations. I looked at the cameras from each of the stations.
AD Dammam was my main interest. That was where the destroyer USS Hammann was doing the port call tomorrow. Everything looked quiet and in the camera sweep of the port, it looked clean.
I called Aaron Percell, who is commander of all the fast JBG fast ships in the gulf, and had a good conversation. I discussed that the destroyer was to arrive at 1100 their time. Even though JBG had no part in the activities, it would be nice if some of our fast boats were visible at the time of arrival.
My mates were on the way to the house and came to drag me along, ending my conversation.
I did sample today’s prepared foods; I stopped eating before I became uncomfortable. I played with the boys, Sara and Takeo. It was a good evening away from the politics of Washington. I had a wine cooler in the hot tub with my mates before turning in early. Everyone was tired and wanted to be rested for tomorrow but there was a little touchy-feely and enough good night kisses to melt the heart.
At 0330 my cell phone started ringing; before I could answer it there was a light knocking on the door. Before I could get to the door an agent and the night DOD man entered the room.
”Ma-am, we have an emergency; we have been attacked. You are wanted in MTAC right away.”
Jenny was in the process of waking up. “Go back to sleep, I have to make a call,” I said.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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1 Response to Book 2 Chapter 171

  1. Joe h says:

    I am in total shock….how can you keep writing ✍ perfect 👌 chapter for so many years….

    I love it another Cliffhanger…

    Hope your vacation is going great for you.

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