Chapter 555

My trip home was diverted to AAGH again; Lorrie and Mindy were both there in next door rooms.

I walked in to see Lorrie in the middle of a big contraction, clearly painful. I walked to the bed and gave her a kiss on the forehead.

“You know I would do that for you if I could,” I said.

As the contraction passed she pulled me by the neck to return the kiss and whispered in my ear, “I know, all of you would; that’s why we are family,” as she relaxed and lay back.

“The contractions are ten minutes apart. The doc says it won’t be long, she is dilating nicely and the baby is fine and in good position,” Vicky said.

I went to check on Mindy. She looked haggard, obviously having a lot more of everything. All we could do is wait for Mother Nature to complete the process and sympathize with her pain. I gave Jake a big hug and told him to hang in there. Then I returned to Lorrie’s room.

The doctor came in to check on Lorrie and the baby and to verify the progress.

“Not long, getting real close, mother and baby are both doing good. I hear the media is in the lobby waiting for news,“ the doc said.

“They follow me like a pack of foxhounds most days, even to the bathroom to check out the smell if they could, “I replied.

The doc went to check on Mindy; five minutes later there was a rush of activity from her room. The bed was wheeled out at a run, along with her nurses and doctors.

Jason stopped by, “They think one of the babies is showing signs of stress; a C section will be done in a couple minutes, “Jason said as he turned to follow. I followed as well.

Five minutes later I returned with the information that Theodore Ralph Jones and Tammy Elizabeth Jones were healthy as was Mindy. Jake and the grandparents were on cloud nine again.

Theodore had been great grand pop’s name, Elizabeth had been Mindy’s grandmother’s name and Tammy her mother’s name.

Things had barely settled down when the next doctor’s visit sent Lorrie to the delivery room. Twenty minutes later little Sara Abigail Jones was born, blue eyes and a smidgen of blond hair like Lorrie.

Sara had been Lorrie’s great grandmother’s name and Abigail was her father’s sister who had died at an early age with cancer. There were plenty of smiles and tears when Lorrie revealed the name and why.

Jonathan, Leslie, Jason and Lisa were on cloud nine again; they were proud grandparents. Jonathan and Leslie were for the first time. Jason and Lisa were for the sixth time; they knew about Jake’s contribution to our growing family.

Mindy had been moved to a private room and we were allowed to see her two at a time for a few minutes with the babies. They were beautiful! Jake and Mindy were beaming, even though Mindy was a space cadet because of the drugs she had been given.

Off to the side I gave Jake a big hug, “You have good genes brother, they are all beautiful,” I said.
I walked to the lobby to see if the media were still there; they weren’t, something important must have come up or they just got tired and left.

The next three days were all about family. Sara, Lorrie, Ching Lee and Takeo were waited on with every whim. The office saw very little of us. We just stayed home, helped and held the little ones. The house was full of family and friends.

Ben called everyday on VCATS on the things he had found out; it was a disappointing very little.
Everyday I did make the trip to Roberts’s office; together we went over the latest intercepts from the dark web terror sites.

Tiam was having no luck with his request for explosives in the Americas, which surprised me. I was sure someone in the cartel would belly up for that. But then again, maybe the cartel had been so badly burned by the Middle Eastern power players with the last two fiascoes they had decided to let their wounds heal and stay low with no involvement for a while.

The sex worker/ intelligence operatives was a differ story. Dozens of girls and ladies responded to the post through their ISIS husbands or controllers. Many of them wanted more information on training and conditions.

Robert and I both thought that if any breaks came it would be through that source. We debated the issue for an hour, finally settling on the idea that both husband and/or the girls were looking for a way out of Syria, Iraq and Iran or ISIS to America and if this is what it took, so be it.

I was betting that they figured they could disappear into the Muslim community in one of the big cities once they got here and oriented and made a few connections.

There were plenty of questions on how they were going to get here and who was going to be their controller once they arrived. Robert had plenty of things to research and I gave him more to do.

I explained the trip Vicky and I were going to make starting Sunday and what I needed. We girls had discussed it this morning and were all in agreement that Vicky and I should continue with the plan.

Ben called and wanted a VCATS again for the second time today.

“I am worried that we are not getting enough information about Harrisburg,” he said.

“It is still in the planning stages, all you can do at this point is monitor phone and internet traffic to the Middle East from the Harrisburg area and wait. Call the Harrisburg police department; better yet go there in person. Check out the chief first and make sure he is who he pretends to be; a lot of guys are being put in place for diversity goals. Take Eric and Rodney Marks with you, teach them how to become hard nosed.”

“Meet with the police chief and no one else; a private meeting. Make sure he understands that your conversation is strictly confidential between you two and all communications are to be between you two. You have seen me operate. Take it a level higher; you can do that now.”

“Tell him you need a list of all scheduled and routine events for the next seventy five days and to rate them as terror targets. Give him no longer than ten days to complete the list. Then you want a list of all foreigners arrested for any crimes in the last three months and any for crimes involving weapons or explosives. Also ask if there are any radical organizations they are watching,” I said.

“If you need a jet, call Lorrie’s office and talk to Sandy Brew or Kim De Walt; they are handling all government connected charters and flights while Lorrie is off.“

I went back to planning next week’s trip with Andy. Andy was sending Ed as supervisor for the four men who were going and Ziva was upgraded to supervisor for Farah, Abra, and Sanaz; all former Mossad. The entire security going was well versed in the areas we were stopping.

For this trip we were using the G650 extended range. With just eleven going, the extra seats were removed giving us plenty of leg room. We were departing Saturday at 2100 tomorrow night and would arrive around 0200. I would inform the Italian customs of our flight and particulars after we departed Morton Field.

With the rough planning done Vicky and I went to pack and mingle with family and friends. Eric, Joni and Allie with the little one who was a year old were in the living room with Lorrie and Ching Lee. The house was filled with babies; some happy, some not so.

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Chapter 554

The day started out on a good note with reports from Lorrie’s group on the comments from the East Water Cay guests who had been there last week; they were positive this time and several had booked repeat visits. Lorrie and Marcy both were getting more confident with that deal and doing more planning.

I was at the White House at 1000 for an early meeting with Troy and the President before the public handshake and signing. When I stepped into the office Troy, the President, Ben and Ambassador Garcia were in there with one empty chair for me.

“Ambassador Jones, I want to thank you for sending your corporate drivers and guards to move the cartel detainees back to Mexico. They have revealed a substantial amount of information that will be very helpful in your goals. Troy tells me they have not received an invoice for the task,” Ambassador Garcia said.

“Invoices and checks leave a paper trail that certain members of Congress would gleefully find and then demand answers under oath. That kind of operation needs to leave no paper trail for the benefit of all involved,” I replied.

“I understand completely but we have no such worries as that in Mexico. I will leave you my card; make an invoice and send it to me. I will see that it is taken care of. I understand that your services do not come – as they say – cheap.”

“But for quality, confidentially and the kind of service your team supplies that can only be expected. Without getting any details I have been told your teams have had many successful operations,” Ambassador Garcia said.
“Without getting into details, there have been successes,” I replied with a smile.

The conversation lasted another thirty minutes before we gathered in front of the reporters. This time I was successful at standing behind the VIP’s and getting away without answering any questions. The ones that did come my way I handed off to Ben.

After the press conference Ben and I discussed the boxes of evidence Garcia had brought with him.
“I want a copy of anything that references the Prince, Balthazar, any reference to Iran or the new web sites,” I said to Ben.

“I can do better than that, you will get a copy of everything regardless by courier as soon as we get it,” Ben replied.

“I took a page from your book this morning; Mexico does not know that we captured the number two man in the drug cartel while he was trying to cross into New Mexico over the weekend. Erik was able to keep it out of the media. The recommended rules changes for the media that you suggested were put into place and have been helpful,” Ben said.

“We were able to keep it out of the normal process, and are questioning him at a safe house. Will you allow him to be moved to Fort Smith and arrange for the doc’s assistance? He is being totally uncooperative,” Ben asked.

“If he is the number two he should be able to connect up a lot of things with the Prince and possibly the Iranians. As many cartels as there were at La Jarita, someone high up has to be in the know. Sure; are you going to deliver him or do you want one of my teams to pick him up?” I asked.

“You can pick him up at the general aviation airport in Columbus, New Mexico; we have a safe house there. Call this number a half hour before they land and they will be waiting at the airport when the plane lands,” Ben replied as he handed me a card with the number.

I made the call to Lorrie to schedule the flight. ” We need a “no-records, off -the-books” flight with armed escorts to transport a prisoner to the jail at Fort Smith for the Doc to experiment with,'” I said.

“How are you? You looked a little uneasy at breakfast,” I asked.

“The contractions started right after you left and I think Mindy’s has also. She called all excited about the same time! Jake is with her wearing out the hallway flooring,” Lorrie replied.

“Call the doc, let her check you out. Is Ching Lee up to being your coach or is Vicky going to do it?” I asked.

“Ching Lee says it is not happening without her being there,” Lorrie replied.

“You know all of us are going to be there,” I added.

I turned my attention back to Ben and the discussion of what events were happening in the Harrisburg area in the next 45 days. Unfortunately there were a mess of them.

Harrisburg was the capital of Pennsylvania and a hub of commercial and entertainment events. The state legislature was out of session for summer break but everything else was going gangbusters.

The state fairground complex was loaded with major events. It was a big place with dozens of huge buildings. There was a summer home garden show that offered everything imaginable to improve your castle and its surroundings. It drew hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors.

Then there was the annual FFA (Future Farmers of America) convention and farm show which finished off with a cattle auction the final day. The farm show had farm equipment vendors from across the nation displaying the latest equipment and farming innovations.

Dad and Jason went to it every year after we bought the property for Morton Field and the two adjoining farms to make sure they were never developed. I think they both used the quiet time on the equipment for stress relief.

But – it could have been the several days of fly fishing in the trout filled Pennsylvania streams was the real reason they went.

As if those two events were not enough, there was the annual boat and RV show and finally the annual outdoor sportsman gun and hunting show; both of them drew massive crowds.

All this was just at one complex. Then there was the massive Hershey park summer water park and recreation complex that went into overload crowds with the schools on summer break.

As if that was not enough, there were near fifty or so professional events scheduled throughout the month. Baseball, golf, tennis tournaments, rock and country music concerts, arts events and the list went on and on.

Without getting any breaks from intelligence, security would be a massive undertaking.

This was a new approach by terrorists and coming from Iran I was sure; simply overload your ability to provide security.

It was the same approach that Iran, China, and Russia were implementing to neutralize our carrier advantage. All were implementing or building massive numbers of very large and powerful anti-ship missiles for a few million each instead of trying to match us carrier for carrier in Russia and China’s case. Those carriers cost tens of billions to build and billions more to equip. Iran would never have a carrier but faced them in the Strait of Hormuz.

The plan was simple; launch a hundred – even 200 or so at one time – and overload the ships defensive ability. All they needed was just one super missile to get through to make a carrier a sinking piece of junk.

The Navy brass failed to realize that the more hi-tech and complicated you made it, the easier it is to disable it. With massive computerization, simple things could be a disaster. A simple computer blip could take hours to overcome, reload and reboot. With electromagnetic catapults a simple generator failure puts the entire flight deck out of service.

One – just one – hit by the super missiles with hi-energy explosives could do so much more damage to so many ships systems.

A billion dollars for two hundred missiles was not even close to the operating cost for one carrier group for a year. China could most likely build twice that many for a billion dollars, as cheaply as they built things.

How many events were they going to attack? None, to gather intelligence on our security tactics and preparations to defend against attacks? One, five, maybe ten to send a message? It was anyone’s guess.

But one thing was a sure bet, after the first one many of those events would be canceled and those that weren’t would have super security in place.

Unless the plan was to use bombs there was one event I did not think they would attempt to attack and that was the gun show. Every vendor there was packing heat. With thousands of guns on display and thousands of rounds on the tables, any attack would be over quickly. Most people who went to those shows knew how to and intended to shoot back.

Ben did not hesitate to ask for help in planning; he and I started working on security ideas in case intelligence let us down this time. Every single event was going to be a disaster case on its own.

There was one idea that immediately flashed in my mind, the suppliers and vendor to each of those events would have the perfect cover to smuggle bombs and even gas cylinders inside.

We already knew that Iran had smuggled saran gas in before. Had we destroyed enough of the smuggling routes and smugglers or was there some we had failed to find? We now knew they still had an organization in the states; but how big and organized?

Then another idea flashed – they really didn’t need poison gas or fancy explosives; every food vendor at every event with every food cart used twenty and forty pound propane cylinders to cook the food and usually had spares. There were dozens of vendor at every event.

“Ben, every vendor at all those events needs to be thoroughly checked and see who they have been communicating with, who their friends are,” I directed as I explained why.

Another point flashed in my mind, several previous administrations’ state departments had worked a secret deal with the UN to move thousands of immigrants to the US to help the refugee problem in Syria and the decades of violence in Africa in violation of US law and customs.

They were barely vetted by the UN and determined they were no threat. Then they were flown into the US under the dark of night to the Harrisburg commercial airport in UPS planes.

They were met at the plane with buses and placed around the four state areas. People complained but those complaints fell on deaf ears. How many were terrorists and where were they now?

“Ben, where are these people now and what are they doing?” I asked.
My answer was a puzzled look on his face.

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Chapter 553

The night was quiet followed by breakfast as a low-keyed affair. I was in my office at 0730; it felt good not to have to make the run to Washington. It allowed me to do something that I had only been able to do sporadically for the last six months.

I started down the list of embassies, video conferencing with our security team leaders at each and doing it by the time zones. I wanted to speak to the day shift supervisor. All of them were startled to find me on their VCATS screen instead of Vicky.

Vicky had kept transcribed notes of all conversations in the files for each location and if I still had questions, I could pull up the video of the original conversation from the storage servers.
In past conversations I had planned to visit embassies that Vicky or I had concerns about; then came the task force and – with an exception or two – those visits were put off. Now it could be put back on the burner, and would be as soon as Lorrie and Mindy had their babies.

I had picked out the first group of countries I was going to visit by noontime; Portugal, Spain, Israel, Egypt and Morocco. I Intended to leave on a Sunday and be back the following Sunday.

Portugal and Spain were first because they were on the outbound leg of the flight and we would need refueling. The other reason was that my security teams there had been making comments about the number of visitors who seemed to get special access, with an unusual number getting visas or seeking asylum at those embassies.

The security supervisor at each embassy was encouraged to report any concerns to Vicky using the little black book code. It was a way that we were in the loop for potential problems. They were concerned enough that they put it into writing and I was going to follow up.

Israel was on the list for several reasons, mainly because I had promised Ben-David that when I was in the area I would make a visit to the Mossad training center. The thing that I really wanted to see firsthand was the anti-terrorist training they did.

The Mossad ladies we had hired worked with me every chance they could get. It took a while; in the beginning I could only fight with them a few minutes before they bested me. Now I could hold my own for a lot longer, but I soon was exhausted and they could beat me.

It took me a while to figure out why; they never stopped training! When they weren’t doing assignments they were training like tomorrow was the day of the battle of the century and it showed on the mats and firing range. They had unbelievable stamina under pressure.

Andy had made Ziva one of the snipers after just one day on the range, shortly after we hired them. With the Barrett M99 50 cal sniper rifle she could put rounds in a Mason jar ring at a twelve hundred yards one right after another.
Me, I liked the M40 sniper rifle in the corps but at JBG we used the Remington match grade 308. Most of the guys who carried the title of sniper were good to a thousand yards with it.

Ben also said there was a group of his friends that he would like me to meet; Ben promised me they would give me an a tour of the front lines where terrorist attacks were happening almost daily; that tour included some of the most historically significant places in the world since the beginning of history.

Egypt was listed because the security there had the same complaints as Portugal and finally Morocco, because none of the executives other than Jason had been there since I was there after the attack that killed two of my employees; a follow up visit was way past due. The plan was to go the week after Lorrie delivered.

After a lunch with the girls it was time to see Robert. Tiam had been busy over the weekend and this morning posting over a dozen times. None of them were directed towards Jaed.

Tiam had placed several posts on the recruiting website; he was seeking volunteers for an Americas expansion program.
He was posting on the weapons site for a supply source for C4 and RDX; a very powerful explosive in the Americas. That told me that the Iranian operational network in the Americas was still intact even after the arrests in Canada, Mexico, and here in the US.

Maybe I should have Frank transfer the buyer of the nuclear parts to Fort Smith for a Q &A to see what he knew. I had heard no results of the interrogation.

The next thing he was posting for was in the sex slave site for American speaking women of low morals to work as informants. They would work at local adult clubs, as strippers, call girls, near military bases, diplomatic stations and military industrial complexes. Those properly dignified and equipped would work the political arena in Washington.

For years most of the massage parlors and call girl operations had been using Chinese, other Asian girls or girls from Central America. Everyone knew they were fronts for spying. The process was to get the men to come in for sex and hidden cameras took pictures of what they did with the girls and then blackmail.

The blackmail was small things first; things of little or no consequence and grew from there. Usually there was more sex offered as a reward as the demand for real information grew.

The fact that there were now far more Middle Eastern girls in the joints than Central American explained the reach of ISIS and the IRG and their quest for information.

Homeland had been assigned to investigate the clubs early in my task force days yet never seemed to be able to place anyone on the inside.

NSA was using the newest hi-tech phone monitoring devices; collecting cell phone numbers, crosschecking them against soldier’s numbers on file and then how often they visited the establishment. If it flagged a number the soldier records were pulled looking for duty assignment, security level and what they had accessed on government systems.

The system also looked for burn phones. When one was found in the vicinity, it was logged and after more than one event, it was flagged as well. There were 12 establishments that were under surveillance – either direct observation or video – in the last few weeks I was in charge.

Two were the Norfolk area not far from the Navy yard, one in Pensacola near the Navy flight training center, two in Louisiana near the big Air Force base, two in California near the bases, one in Puget Sound near the Navy base, two in Hawaii near the bases there with the others located near Army bases.

It was 1500 when Troy called, “A deal has been finalized with Mexico to send a team of investigators to interrogate the surviving cartel members and get copies of all the intelligence collected. We are hoping that the information will help close down the cocaine train coming into the US.”

“We thought you may want a firsthand look at the agreement since it may show the connections to the Prince,” Troy said.

“The announcement is tomorrow; because you are the chairperson of the oversight committee and all this was started under your watch, the President and Ambassador Francisco Garcia both want you to be at the news conference. It is at 1100,” Troy added.

“Damn, they can’t even make it a full day without calling me to do something,” I thought.
“OK, I will be there,” I replied.

I alerted Andy that we would be going to Washington again tomorrow.

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Chapter 552

Saturday morning we girls went to the gym, all except Ching Lee; she stayed at home with my mom and Mindy. They were trying to see who was going to hold Takeo the longest. They were also babysitting two jealous little boys.

I had looked at the notes Robert had left me last night. After a nights reflection I knew I was going to be back in Section Twelve a lot more than once a month. Roberts’s notes made it clear that stepping aside made no difference to the people who had put the bounty on me and my family; we were still priority targets.

I used the training module I had set up for experienced gym nuts; every machine twice. I knew it would be hard on me but I wanted to get back into shape as fast as I could. It was on my bucket list of things to do as soon as possible.

By the time I was finished I was weak and winded like a race horse that had been run too hard. The showers and hot tub helped some. I waited until one of Amy Crossman’s weekend masseur ladies was free for a turn on the massage table.

Tomorrow I was going to spend time on the mats and those type of exercises and then probably need the same treatment again; no pain no gain. And I was in pain. The other girls had finished their workout and had gone back to the house.

On the way back through the basement I stopped into Robert’s office once more and put all the paperwork that was in my file into an envelope. Robert was still marking everything important to me as top secret with a red stamp. I would find a few minutes to look through them.

Ching Lee was still having guests and friends stopping in to check on the newborn and bring gifts. It was a busy afternoon with a house full of family and friends.

I took little Jacob and Robert into the study and played with them. They had a new set of alphabet learning blocks that I thought was a little above them.

We had a fun time. They were past the stack them up and knock things down stage so we could work at letters and little words. I was surprised how interested they were; I had missed so much in the last six months.

After supper we put the boys to bed. I started with the reports Robert had left in my box. Robert had left a week’s worth of posts in my box; I wondered why as I had seen all of them except the last two days. I started with the oldest, looking for answers.

Tiam was posting dozens of times a day from the IRG location; there were several each day to Jaed in Harrisburg. In each case Jaed responded within thirty minutes according to the time stamps.

In Thursdays post and reply it looked to me like they were negotiating in some way. In the second set of posts and replies that day Tiam slipped up in the wording. He instructed Jaed to find a suitable event and place in the area within the next thirty days.

Jaed immediately chastised Tiam on the slip up and that he was putting too much information in one post with insufficient encryption.

Monday Robert and I were going to have a look a Harrisburg events happening in the next thirty days and look in the crystal ball.

Sunday was gym in the morning and rest with the family who all came for a light lunch. All the ladies had a turn at holding Takeo, even Leslie. I guess when she made the decision to be part of the family she was all in. She helped with making lunch and cleanup.

Mindy and Lorrie were both uncomfortable; if I was betting, both would deliver in the coming week.
After the entire crowd left we took Jonathan and Leslie to Morton. Lorrie wanted to show them her piece of the pie and I wanted to see the completed Fort Smith and all the helicopters that had arrived. With a small team of security we made the trip to Morton.

The first stop was Fort Smith. I loved the new entrance arch with the name on it. Beside the jail was the gallows with no trap door, but it had a hangman’s noose on it. I was sure there would be some PC individuals that did not see the humor of it.

We had made it look like an old time fort for security purposes and with the jail, the gallows and stock, the scene was complete. There was a bar across the steps and a sign for ‘Authorized Personnel’ only.
From there we made our way to the aircraft hangars to look at the batch of helicopters, all still shrink wrapped. I had bargained for twenty more Black Hawks, there were thirty. Then there were the ones I did not ask for, the ten Cobras – six of which were going to Israel on Monday leaving four here. Then there were the twenty Viet Nam era UH-1 Huey’s. What the heck was I going to do with them?

I walked to the hanger that all the crates of parts had been put in and walked through looking at things, at least the crates had been marked what the parts fit; that would make it a little easier. But there was no itemized list; everything had an inspection certifying tag and a mil spec part number, Robbie’s parts men were going to have their hands full putting this mess away.

All the parts had to be put on shelves in some kind of numerical order to be efficient for the parts men to find when they needed them. That much I knew.

“Sikorsky is sending the same men back who were here the last time; they will be here in two weeks. The service manager still remembers you going over his head and was thankful I called him first,” Lorrie said.

“Leave the four Cobras wrapped and placed in the storage hanger, along with 15 of the Hueys. After the Black Hawks are airworthy, let the shop get those five Hueys airworthy; they may come in handy. Get Jack to scour our pilot list to see if we have any who have been trained on them. The General said they have a flight simulator they were sending,” I said.

“We have about six months to see if we want any more Huey parts or air frames. After that they are going to crush all of the ones left in the Arizona, New Mexico and California bone yards. In four years all the older model Black Hawks and Cobras are to be crushed. Have Robbie keep that in the back of his mind. If we need things, have him make a list before it is all crushed,” I said to Lorrie.

In Lorrie’s office we talked about the other changes coming to Morton. The transfer date of the next two C5s had been moved ahead. The Air Force was in a push to cut costs in areas that could be contracted out. They had lost the war with Congress; to scrap all the Warthogs, smart people prevailed for a change.

Now they were looking to reduce cost and the Military Airlift Command was going to be the goat. There was a push in some Air Force circles to eliminate the C5s all together, keeping just the C17s.

JBG was filling the part as a test contractor; when the next two arrived we would have six, the agreed upon final number. Then the real cost analysis and performance evaluations would begin.

We made our way home for supper and to see if we could at least hold Takeo for a little while and then hopefully, a quiet night.
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Chapter 551

On the way home I called Ben. I wanted him to contact Lorrie to set up a delivery schedule for the choppers. The conversation naturally turned to the events of today and its potential conflicts.

I only had one response to that. “Let the chips fall where they may; life goes on,” I said.

What should have been a quiet supper was not. Moms, Dads, Jake, Mindy and a host of friends came to see the little one. We were proud as peacocks; Ching Lee was on cloud nine beaming so it was not a bother. Amazingly he slept through most of it, except when he was hungry. Like most men he had no trouble making the latch. Ching Lee had decided she was going to breast feed as long as Takeo wanted.

At 2000 the guard at the driveway called in, “I have a couple here who claim to be Lorrie’s parents,” he said.

Jonathan and Leslie Smithfield were a strange pair; the only time they had been to the house was when they came to check up on Lorrie after her ordeal to commit her to a mental hospital. We girls had quickly put an end to that idea.

Lorrie would send them emails and pictures; sometimes it would be weeks or months before they replied. Their excuse was they were always out of the country doing something. They were traveling the world; India, Pakistan, China, Tibet and other exotic places and unable to have access to internet communications.

The last two groups of emails , the one announcing she was pregnant and the one two months ago with pictures of her expanding belly had gone unanswered. Until now; they were at the guard post.

I had the guard direct them to park in front of the garage and I went to meet them.
“Well, it’s been a long time. Are you back in the country for a while?” I asked.
“We just got back a few days ago and found out Lorrie was pregnant. Has she delivered by now?” Jonathan asked.
“No, not yet – but any day now,” I replied.

“How long before you are leaving again?” I asked, expecting the response to be tomorrow.

“Quite a while, the Realtor finally sold our last house after 3 years. We got just enough to pay off all the debt and loans for all the traveling missionary work we have been doing and have some left over. We have come to the realization that it is time to spend time with Lorrie and her adoptive family and we are not young anymore,” Leslie replied.

It was a good reunion, better than I expected. The security men and we girls helped them place their things in one of the upstairs rooms. I was sure that long term details of their stay would be worked out over the next few days.

0500 came early. The baby had only awoken all of us one time during the night. We all sat with Ching Lee while she was feeding. There is nothing more precious than watching the bond between a new mother and her baby.

The family was coming to the White House at 1000 for the task force change and to sign the new contracts with the DOD.

Today was my last day as chairperson of the task force. I was going to hold the bible as Ben took the oath required for the position as chairman of the task force.

The President was going to hold the bible when I took the oath as chairperson of the oversight committee. The oversight committee would share an office with the task force in Section Twelve. I would have to report to Congress once a month unless called upon to testify before intelligence committees or appropriation hearings.

With that change I would no longer have a routine travel regimen for terrorists to target. I could review all the information I needed from the command center or use MTAC.

I could not say that for Ben and the rest of the task force members. They would still be targets of high opportunity.

One of things that the President and I needed to do was to select the other two members for my new committee. Much to Ben’s disappointment I had chosen Bobbie to be the secretary and coordinator for the new committee.

Bobbie, Dan, Cindy (with her husband), plus Eric and Joni were going back to East Water Cay in our place; the cottage we had reserved for us was now available. With Ching Lee delivering and Lorrie so close, we were not leaving the area for a few weeks.

When all the media details were taken care of a small cake and ice cream farewell was planned. After that we were meeting General Ingram and the Secretary of Defense to work out the final details and sign the contracts.

The more Marcy wanted to get away from government contracts to balance the revenue stream, the deeper we seemed to get.

The family was here at 0945, Ching Lee came bringing Takeo and Lorrie came with her parents. By 1030 the ceremony, press conference and announcement of my new position, the brief press conference by Art Cummings and a few senators was over.

The lunch and ice cream social was over. The girls and I went to meet with the Sectary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs. Jason, Lisa and the Smithfield’s were given a VIP tour of the White House while we were in the meeting and signing more long term contracts with the government; if there is such a thing.

Four hundred pages double spaced bold type; it was the biggest stack of papers for a contract that we had signed. It took two hours for us to go through, read, initial and approve all the modifications and changes.

Curtis Warren made sure none of the changes were a trap for us. He had read the original contract and compared it to this one while we were at this morning’s PR event. He and the DOD attorneys went through the thing again just to make sure nothing had been changed.

JBG employees and equipment would not be under DOD or any agency control; all orders would have to come from JBG’s command and control center through the JBG command chain; me, Andy and Vicky had the final decisions when it came to JBG team’s equipment and assignments. The generals were not happy with that but accepted it; they knew I had no problem doing distasteful things if necessary.

The most important thing they wanted was continued access to Robert’s intel and intelligence resources our embassy people could supply.

As long as both parties met their obligations this thing could run until we were all old and gray.

Changes were once again going to be coming to Morton Field and to the embassy security division. Change is good? Yes? No? Maybe? Change was always going to be a loaded question.

Tomorrow I would explain the coming changes to Crash, he was always so proud anytime things happened at Morton. He was failing fast; so fast that I did not expect him to be around another year. Members of the greatest generation were leaving fast. His memory was beginning to fail and I had kicked myself for not having recorded all his stories of the Great War.

I hoped his health would hold good for the air show we had planned in July. Nearly everything Lorrie wanted to happen for the show had been arranged. Only a few things needed to be finalized and then we could begin advertising the show.

I went to Section Twelve to retrieve the last few personal items I had there; a simple cardboard crate was enough to hold them. I said my goodbyes as I was leaving, I would see all of them soon; how soon was another unknown.

I walked to the door of the Oval Office to tell the President and Troy I was leaving. I heard a voice that was in a tense conversation that I recognized as Troy waved me in and the three men stood.

“Anton Pavlenko my friend! It is good to see you again. It has been far too long,” I said.

“Ambassador Jones it is so good to see you; I am not going to have to duck for cover am I?” he asked.

“No, not this time,” I replied. Troy and the President’s face expression read like a question mark. Anton sensed their puzzlement.

“The first time I met the Ambassador she looked like she had been through hell and the devil was listed as missing. The second time she blew up a building less than fifty meters behind me, debris was flying everywhere and her expression never changed. I think you do not want to make her mad; the outcome would not be good,” Anton replied.
The conversation lasted twenty minutes before I indicated that I needed to go.

“The offer for the private tour of the Kremlin still stands,” Anton said.

“I hope so. I would like to see all the history and secrets it holds. Can we plan on some time in August?” I asked.

“August would be great, just before the winter winds begin; I will be anticipating your call. Natalya is anxious to meet you; she wants to meet the lady that I consider to be as devious as she is,” he replied.

“My family and I will be there and it will be a pleasure to meet Natalya and compare notes,” I said.

At 1500 we were crossing the Bay Bridge on the way home. I had a feeling of relief and then one of fear. Sometimes knowing is a lot more comforting than the unknown.

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Chapter 550

I accompanied the agents to the capital basement where all the cafeterias and service offices were; the doctor offices, dentist, barber and dozens more perks that the legislators thought they were entitled to.

I watched as the doctor quickly checked the two out and made arrangements to send them to the George Washington University hospital. Special Agent Donald Gardner had a broken arm with a compound fracture; he would be out for weeks.

Special agent Earle Gardner had received a glancing blow to the head. He had a concussion; he knew who he was but had blurred vision and was unsteady on his feet.

The doc checked my arm where I had taken the swing of the bat; it was bruised as were my knuckles.
I watched the four minute scene played over on the ZNN broadcast. The audience was growing in the waiting room. Senators and Congressman were filling the place up and trying to ask questions.

The steps to the Hill were now crowded with police and camera crews who were watching and giving reports and in the way of everything. The police were desperately trying to move them out of the area to preserve evidence.

I called the girls to let them know I was OK but may be late getting home. The good news was that Ching Lee and Takeo were home and being adored by all.

The media that had access were filling the corridors and halls looking for anyone who was willing to make any kind of statement to them.

I went to the committee room to testify before I went back to the White House. I expected it to be empty but it was not; no luck getting out of that today. I testified for thirty minutes and then left, taking the secure exit and limo back to the White House.

I watched the news video again, this time with the White House security chief of staff; he and I had long discussions. We were nearly done when ZNN went live back to the scene to update the report on the conditions of those involved in the fight.

Six were dead, twenty three injured in the protesters, with fifty more arrested. There were four Capital police seriously injured and two Secret Service agents were in stable condition with me having an arm injury. The capital police injuries were from baseball bats or knives.

The DC police Commissioner was on the steps declaring to the media they were going to handle the investigation. I sent Ben out to put an end to that line of thought, not that I need to; he was already going in that direction.

ZNN still had their cameras running when Ben confronted the Commissioner.

“Commissioner Todd, the task force will be handling the overall investigation; we view this as a terrorist attack on federal property and federal employees,” Ben said.

“The Mayor has instructed that the DC police will handle the investigation; an independent agency has to run it because of the involvement of the task force and Secret Service personnel,” he replied.

“The Justice Department and its partners will handle it because of the possibility of international terrorist participation that is out of the scope of the DC police department. That alone takes the DC department out of the picture. Your department can assist as needed but overall control will remain with the task force and DHS, this discussion is over,” Ben replied as he turned and walked away.

“Hmm, Ben’s pair are growing,” I thought to myself.

By now the rest of the players were in Section Twelve planning the response and already sorting through the information collected so far. Six of the dead had no identification on them; the two that I shot and the two that I had killed with my hands; the two that the Secret Service agents had done in also had no identification either. That was going to slow down the process. All six of the dead had black armbands and a black face mask.

One thing we did know was they all had pockets full of new one hundred dollar bills. The serial numbers may shed some light on whom and where; the ATF agent in the task force was collecting the cash to run the numbers. Most banks and ATMs recorded serial numbers of large bills passed through them.

The banks had started that process after the new wave of currency crime. Criminals would deposit counterfeit bills and then withdraw smaller bills at a different ATM.

Harry was getting hammered in the press room and asking for help. He had a constant group of runners coming to the Oval Office and to the Chief of Staff for answers and clarification on today’s fiasco.

I walked to the press room to give Harry a breather. He had been asked fifty times if someone was coming from the task force to make a statement.

“Excuse me Harry for just a moment, I have a brief statement to give,” I said as I interrupted him.

“Today’s events on the steps of Congress is a clear example of just how quickly things can turn disastrous and deadly. What looked like a serious demonstration about real events was hijacked by a group of radicals intent on inflicting severe injury on government officials,” I said.

“Luckily agents of the FBI, the capital police and the task force were able to defend themselves in a prudent and effective manner against overwhelming numbers,” I added.

“Six anarchists were killed and a number arrested with some serious injuries to a couple of the capital police units. The investigation continues but at this time we believe that a foreign government may have been involved as well as several anti government groups working together here in Washington,” I said.

“For those that were kind enough to ask Harry about my injuries, I thank you for asking. As you can see all I have is an ice pack on my arm to reduce the swelling on the bruise I received in the fight,” I said.

“Yes Malinda,” I said.

“The ACLU spokesman has released a statement saying that they believe excessive force was used to stop the protest. Do you have a response to that?” she asked.

“Maybe that spokesperson should take a few hits from an aluminum bat to determine how and when overwhelming force is necessary to defend oneself from an attack with a deadly weapon,” I replied.


“What is there about this attack that makes the task force think there was foreign involvement?” she asked.

“I won’t get into details but evidence already collected gives that indication,” I replied.

“This is the last time I plan to come before this group in this capacity. I have to admit it has been challenging and rewarding. Good luck with everything you do and be safe,” I said as I turned away.

“Harry, thank you,” I said as I reached out to shake his hand and then walked away.

Back in Section Twelve I cornered Ben and Rodney.

“Have either of your agencies made any progress in the investigation of the two Senators to find out which one leaked to the media about the nuclear weapons breach?” I asked. It had been one of the cases that had not been closed that I wanted closed before I left.

“Yes, we are close; it was an aide to Senator Thurmond. The Senator apparently made a statement to his chief of staff that was overheard by a low level staff member who decided to cash in,” he replied.

“The decision to charge that employee with treason or leaking classified information is in Alyssa’s hands and he no longer has access or a job. The Senator is going to get a refresher course on classified material handling,” Ben said.

“By the way, thank Robert for hacking the reporter’s notes, emails, and phone. Without that bit of information we would not have been able to break the case; I could have never gotten a warrant to hack into the media,” Ben added.

I made my way over to Alyssa, “I want the maximum penalty in fines and jail time for the leaker. I want to make a statement; it’s time to stop that crap.”

“After several appeals the courts will reduce the sentences anyhow but until then it will send a message. I want to put these people on notice once and for all that we will find them and when we do, they will pay,” I said.

I was just getting ready to leave for the day when Special Agent Timothy McGee from Treasury called.

“The hundred dollar bills collected from the rioters and dead are extremely high quality counterfeits. They were not made in a US mint. There is only one country that uses the same grade and style of thread woven paper, the same brand of printing machines and serial number loggers that we use. Iran!” he said.

“How did Iran get the same money making equipment that we have?” I asked.

“It was a deal with the Shaw of Iran and the Carter administration. The Iranian currency at that time was very poorly printed on ancient printers and heavily counterfeited. The Shaw wanted a uniform and better produced currency. Carter gave them the equipment,” Agent McGee said.

“There have been huge numbers of counterfeit bills turning up in the Middle East for years. The change to the new currency with the hologram has slowed it up. Plus there is the fact that we are destroying all the older issue printed bills as fast as we can. We are contemplating a cutoff date on acceptable currency,” he added before he ended the call.

“Before you do that I have a very large amount I need to exchange for new currency,” I said
More players, bigger players – same old beat – just a different day I thought as I donned the vest and walked to the Suburban.

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Chapter 549

Thirty minutes later I was in the room with the girls, watching the doctor looking at the baby heartbeat on the monitor. The wait lasted until 0300 when Takeo Lee Jones made his appearance and presence known to the world by natural birth. Lorrie was the breathing coach; they had taken the classes together.

Takeo had been Ching Lee’s father’s name; it meant warrior hero in Japanese folk lore. Ching Lee never knew her real father and mother, they were both killed in an auto accident when she was an infant. Her foster parents died while she was in college.

It was 0500 by the time everything was settled and the pictures were taken with the proud parents, all six of us. Takeo was a pro in the pictures with the cutest little natural smile for all of them. He seemed to be a happy baby already and didn’t mind the fuss of being handed around for pictures.

I tried to suppress the tears but was not totally successful as I held the bundle of joy. My family was growing and I was proud. I wondered how it was possible to be happy and sad at the same time. I was sad that I could not have a baby but overjoyed that my mates were able to and that I was able to call them family.

I sent Jake and Mindy a text with a picture, “Hi Uncle Jake and Aunt Mindy, my name is Takeo and I just arrived this morning. Seven pounds ten ounces, twenty one and a half inches tall.”

Ching Lee and Takeo were going to stay in the hospital until later this afternoon or possibly tomorrow morning.

To piss off the hospital staff, I ordered a private room and JBG security would be stationed inside the door and in the hallway. The former Mossad ladies could do the honors and were on the way.

The media reporter from one of the Baltimore stations was standing back at the main entrance giving a report. They were covering a multi casualty shooting with a multi car accident and car chase. We had to walk by them to get to the Suburbans.

I had seen the reporter at several news conferences. I walked behind her and waved the two finger rabbit ears behind her head and then walked away, giving the cameraman a thumbs up as I walked out of the camera view.
The camera man immediately abandoned his reporter and started yelling, “Ambassador Jones, Ambassador Jones, interview, a quick interview just a few words. Please.”

The please did it; I stopped and faced the camera man and reporter – Sharon King from WDDA Baltimore – as she finally realized what was going on and raced to catch up.

“Ambassador Jones, have you been injured, are you ill?” Sharon asked.

“No, everything is fine. We just had an addition to my immediate family; Ching Lee gave birth this morning to a beautiful boy. Lorrie is due any day now. Soon our house will be filled with the voices and love from little ones,” I replied.

“The Washington Mill is reporting that you have been offered another position in the President’s inner circle. Are you going take it?” she asked.

“You should know I don’t respond to rumors. If such an offer were to be made at that level it would be classified until the administration decided to release the information and I would not talk about it anyway,” I replied.

“You are scheduled to testify on the Hill today; is this the last time as Director of the task force?” she asked.
“Yes, I may have to come back and clear up some loose ends but things are winding down,” I replied as I turned and stepped into the Suburban.

With dozens of pictures on my phone, my security team carried me to the White House.

After showing the pictures, Ben and I fell into the task at hand until General Ingram made his appearance at my door.

“Did you have a chance to look over the proposal?” he asked.

“Yes we did. It looks OK, however there are a couple points that Jenny, Marcy and Robert want clarified. I will bring the questions with me tomorrow,” I replied.

“What am I to do with the ten cobras?” I asked.

“Ah, they did send them. Six of them are to be delivered to Tel Aviv through your normal contract terms. Contact agent David to set up the delivery terms. The other four can be just stored or you can play with them if you have qualified pilots. I am sure you will be able to find a good use for them. Don’t send any parts to Tel Aviv, just the helicopters,” the General replied.

After lunch I was to be in the Senate for one last short meeting. The event had been choreographed by the White House. It was a photo op of cooperation between the White House and the Hill with me as that vision of cooperation. This op was starting at the bottom of the steps.

Congress was winding down for a spring break so there were a lot of hearings going on, all trying to get TV time. As a result there was a rush of hearings inside with various groups on the capital steps also vying for TV time to make a statement outside.

The Secret Service limo dropped me and six Secret Service agents off at the base of the steps where there were six capital police waiting.

The protesting groups were very vocal. The thing the capitol police, DHS and the Secret Service did not know was that they had been infiltrated with some violent members of groups supporting Syria, Iran, Turkey, PLO, and other factions.

As soon as I saw the mix of protester and the signs they were carrying I was concerned; another thing were the black armbands some of them were wearing as well as the hoodies and face masks they were wearing. The temperatures were nowhere near cold enough to need them.

I had only made a few steps with the media leading the way when the assorted groups became one large group. They were now yelling and screaming about everything, including the supposedly torture of the Iranian prisoners and other dissatisfactions with the administrations hard tactics against terrorism.

Protest sign posts suddenly became weapons and aluminum baseball bats appeared. The capital police and Secret Service were in need of help.

I turned just in time to be able to offhand a bat swung at me. The swinger was not as lucky as I retaliated. First a karate chop across the bridge of the nose caught him, her or it off guard; then a palm thrust as hard as I could onto the end of the broken nose and it went down like a rock; it would not be getting back up.
I moved to block the next one headed my way; it too was masked and swinging a bat.

A throat chuck with my right fist, not once but twice, as I held the bat at bay. It too was finished as I heard the gurgle as it tried to breathe; unless the medics showed up quickly to cut in a trachea tube, it was dead.
As I looked around the six Secret Service men were holding their own; they made regular trips to Fort Smith for training as did all the Secret Service. The six capital police weren’t fairing as well.

In my sight two of the capital police were down on the steps and more masked demonstrators were getting ready to use their heads for batting practice. There was only one way to save both of them.

I double tapped both of the batters with my Glock 40 cal. No one was going to help either of them. After the attacks we had changed ammo from plain hollow points to the Mag-tech personal defense Hyrdra-Shock rounds; when hitting something they were designed to split into four large hi-energy pieces. At ten feet, a dozen surgeons wouldn’t be able to save them even if they were here now.

By now reinforcements were arriving from all directions. The rest of the masked protesters were quickly wrestled to the ground as other protesters tried to scatter.

I gathered up my six Secret Service agents; two were going to need medical help for minor injuries.

“Let’s get into the Senate building before something else happens. You can go see the Congressional doctors,” I said as I hustled with them up the steps.

The choreographed PR event had gone down the tubes in 4 minutes. The whole thing had been filmed for tonight’s 6 PM news that was now live and would be replayed as the headline the rest of the day. The only thing now was to see how the media spun the story.
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