Thursday, March 3, 2011

C.I.A. - Who Went Rogue in East Africa? - 8:00 P.M. Thursday March 3rd 2011

For the past two months Dave had painstakingly gone over reports coming in from East Africa. His surveillance operatives in the region had picked up on anti-al Qaeda actions and had been forwarding the details back to Dave at Langley. These were actions not authorized by the C.I.A. and Dave had spent most of the past ten weeks trying to figure out who it was. As the weeks rolled by it was clear to him that the style and timing of these well-planned countermeasures against al Qaeda training camps and actual disruptions of terrorist attempts were not being performed by an amateur.

Whoever it was, they were thorough and quick about it. Like lightning, they hit with explosive speed, then disappeared; vanished to strike again with the same voracity. Dave recognized U.S. training in some of the ops, with a spattering of old time Russian K.G.B. tricks that made him believe it was a well seasoned operative. The part of these operations that smelled C.I.A. was right out the training manual with some creative twists for flair. It was the flair that really made Dave think. It was almost as though whoever was orchestrating these attacks was sending Dave a message of who he was. A signature or fingerprint, a sort of bragging about what he had done. All of this was actually driving Dave nuts because it all seemed so familiar yet new.

All of Dave’s ex-associates and current sub-contractors were accounted for, and most of them didn’t have anywhere near the style of these successful operations. It was rare for al Qaeda to be hurt so badly in this region. In the past few months al Qaeda must have lost over a thousand men and tons of munitions. These clandestine operatives had definitely left a mark on their psyche because most of the chatter being received from the area was more about when this force was going to attack again, rather than when their operations would move forward. It appeared that whoever it was that was crippling these thugs of the desert had brought the whole program to a standstill.

Dave was praying it was somebody he had done business with before and could eventually coordinate future authorized attacks with. But getting this self-proclaimed Robin Hood’s attention was the hard part. If al Qaeda, who was on the ground and in-theater couldn’t find him, how could Dave? That was now Dave’s big dilemma and he pondered it every day.

Jimmy and Dave had their regular Thursday night pizza and beer in Georgetown at Pizzeria Paradiso, where Dave caught up on the inside scoop on the President’s movements. The pressure was really on now with the new Tea Party led Congress putting the screws to the President at every turn. Between signing stopgap funding bills every two weeks to keep the government running and campaigning for his second term, he had no time for running the country and foreign affairs which both were showing neglect. The Middle East was falling apart with the so-called Democracy movement spreading to all parts of the globe. Even China was now embroiled in this turmoil with “The Jasmine Revolution” that had the ChiCom’s arresting thousands for demonstrating and spreading messages of discontent on the Internet.

Most of the President’s staff had changed and moved back to Chicago to run his 2012 campaign leaving him with an inexperienced skeleton staff that screwed up just about everything that came through the door. The new Press Secretary was a disgrace as a spokesman for the office and cast a transparent veil over the inexperienced President. Jimmy actually felt sorry for the guy, once in a while, as he heard the First Lady screaming at him for some bullshit thing that Rush Limbaugh said about her. “Why can’t you have him killed,” she ranted on at the President as he responded in a weak mousy voice, “Who do you think I am J. Edgar Hoover?”

Dave laughed at that while taking his last bite of pepperoni pizza when Jimmy brought up someone who Dave thought was dead and buried in Arlington. Jimmy mentioned how slick the idea was of planting GPS microchips into Muslim prayer rugs. He asked, ‘Whose idea was that anyway,” as George Preston’s face flashed into his mind, someone he had almost forgotten about. It was as though Jimmy had broke open a dam and thousands of memories of operations they shared over the decades together rushed into his mind like a red dye enveloping clear water. As these thoughts rendered Dave speechless, he began to meld the past with the present. Jimmy’s voice became more like a distant mumble rather than someone sitting across the table. For what seemed like an eternity Jimmy kept asking, “What’s wrong, what’s wrong?” as he slowly put together the puzzle of who was operational in East Africa. Dave thought it wasn't possible that George Preston was still alive as the 761st day of the Obama Presidency called Rush Limbaugh while the First Lady listened in.

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