DIRECTOR CIA’S OFFICE
2230 ZULU MARCH 11
Director Adams walks into his office, sits down, takes a long breath and picks up his phone and dials a number.
The crusty voice of Chappy Carson answers. Chappy is a cowboy turned U-2 pilot, to a CIA Station Chief and back to cowboy. It’s hard to read Chappy. One minute he’s like your pet Schnauzer, the next he’s like a raging bull. A hard guy to read in the best of circumstances…and there are some in the agency that have gotten the blunt end of Chappy’s temperament more than once.
“It’s Ross, Chappy. Got a minute?”
There is a long moment of silence.
“Well I dunno Ross…this is my happy hour. Do you have good news? They boost my retirement benefits? That asshole of a deputy director get run over by a double decker?”
Ross smiles. Same old Chappy.
“No…he’s still with us. And I don’t know about your benefits. But I would offer you a consultation fee if you
can give us a hand on a delicate situation we are having in the Strait of Hormuz.”
“Can you e-file it to me?”
“I am doing a transmission as we speak. Look it over, let me know your thoughts.”
A moment of silence.
“Might be good for you to come down to Langley in the morning?”
“I’ll think on it, Ross.”
Ross hangs up. Hell this could be over by morning.
The phone rings again. It’s Chappy.
CHAPPY CARSON’S FARM IN VERMONT
Chappy is a strapping 65 year old rugged cowboy type who can straddle a horse as good as anyone. He had spent most of his early years on a west Texas cattle ranch, reclaiming his father’s brand of cattle that somehow got lost on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.
He sits at his wooden desk, a computer in the
background. He is holding the file from Ross. A fire crackles in the fireplace, a tall drink in his hand and a cigar poking out the edge of his smile. Chappy was a member of the Air Force Thunderbird Team and a U-2 Pilot in the early days. By the time he reached the top of the U-2 Squadron Headquarters Command, he was known as somewhat of a maverick. He then made a career move to the CIA and became a Station Chief for a few years. He knows all the tricks of the trade, and he also knows where all the skeletons are buried.
“Hey look Ross. This is a bluff by the Iranians, but you better play it smart. But that Israeli sub in the Persian Gulf is a problem. There are three things that could happen. They could fire on the surfaced sub hoping to sink it before it could get a missile off, but the odds are the Leviathan is equipped with anti missile technology to thwart that idea. The second postulation is that the Israeli’s decide to put a missile into the Goldono or Lytm facility that are the core of the Iranian enrichment program. The distance from where the Leviathan is parked to those sites is about 600 miles…that’s within the classified range of that particular cruise missile. That could be a serious international problem for all parties. Then there is the third scenario….they try and sink the sub on its way out of the Strait by luring it into the mine field. Your problem is to outguess two parties that don’t particularly like each other and would like to see each other interred!”
There is a long pause. Ross knows there will be more…
“The Iranians may try to block the Strait. My bet would be they will back down quickly, although they are easy to anger and aren’t too far from the trigger on those guns they have on the coast. I would expect them to also dog tail you guys in the strait, maybe with a few fighters. Don’t let your cool down, or this could blow up into a major event. You need me…call me. I’m not in the mood to deal with those suits at the CIA. But I will advise you.”
Another long pause…
“Are you hearing me Ross?”
Ross sighs. There is only one Chappy. You have to hand it to him, though.
“I’m hearing ya Chappy.”
Another long moment… Here comes the closer.
“First of all you are surrounded by assholes….that dumb ass senator from Georgia is a pain. The President’s National Security Adviser was an ACLU thumper and doesn’t have the foggiest idea of what his job is about. In fact, this President may not be equipped to deal with this kind of situation, because I think he is soft on the war on terror. I like Mercer and Emrick is a good man. You have your work cut out for you. Keep me posted Ross.”
You have to respect the man. He says it like it is.
“You always put things so delicately Chappy…part of your nature I guess. I admire that about you my friend. We’ll talk soon.”
Chappy hangs up the phone, takes a long drink, shuffles the papers together and walks over to the fireplace and dumps them in, takes a long puff on his cigar and throws it into the fire. A scroungy sheepdog dog lies at the foot of the fireplace. Chappy looks down at him…the dog raises his head and yawns.
“My sentiments exactly Burl.”